Here’s a column that will probably make everybody mad — except those folks who actually take time to read it logically and think about what is being said. But what fun is that?
In 1958 George Corley Wallace — Alabama’s “fighting little judge” and the man African-American attorney J.L. Chestnut called “the most liberal judge I ever practiced law in front of” — ran for governor of the Capstone State. He warned the voters that racial strife would occur during the next four years and said, “If I don’t have what it takes to treat a man fairly, no matter the color of his skin, then I don’t have what it takes to be governor of this state.”
He went on to warn that “I advocate the hatred of no man because hate will only compound the problems facing the South.”
Wallace lost that election, to John Patterson, who ran on a strong segregationist platform. Wallace realized what the people of Alabama wanted and said to longtime friend, Seymore Trammell, “I was ‘out-word-I-would-never-write-in-this-columned’, and I will never be ‘out-word-I-would-never-use-in-this-columned’ again .”
Wallace underwent an immediate transformation and ran for governor again in 1962, winning by a landslide on the promise of “segregation today, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.” He had learned what many Southern politicians knew — demagoguery and race-baiting and hate-talk went a long way toward getting elected in the South of the 1950s and ’60s, as did threats and fear-mongering and intimidation. The Gothic politics of the Deep South were not pretty.
Everybody mad yet? The truth ain’t always fun.
Joe Biden, vice president of the United States, proved this week that he is as capable of race-baiting demagoguery, hate talk and fear-mongering as any politician who ever wore a seer-sucker suit to a Fourth of July barbecue.
Addressing a crowd in Virginia, Biden warned the crowd that the Republican party will “put y’all back in chains” — an obvious reference to slave days no matter how many times Biden and Obama and their campaign handlers insist that it wasn’t. He should be ashamed. In the first place, Biden has no business using the word “y’all.” He is a Yankee from Scranton, Pa., and should leave our vernacular alone — particularly if he uses it to try and divide the good people of these 50 states, the ones we used to claim were united.
Secondly, “back in chains?” Really? That is an unconscionable statement and if I live to be a hundred I will not understand the double standard that allows him and his cronies to get away with such remarks. Think back a few years. Imagine the media outcry if a certain Texas cowboy had made such an utterance.
Thirdly, let’s examine what he was saying. He was saying that whatever group his “y’all” was intended to reference couldn’t get along without the government to provide for them and run their lives. He was implying that Republicans would take away all their support.
Let me throw this out there for consideration. I think the ties that are binding the people in today’s society are that a greater and greater percentage of Americans are now depending on the government for their livelihood and I think that politicians are buying votes left and right with promises of even more entitlements and warnings that “the other side” will take those entitlements away.
Is that the American dream? To be taken care of — at a subsistence level — by the federal government? Have we come to that? Apparently Joe Biden thinks so.
Masters did chain many of their slaves. They chained the ones who stood up to them, the ones who were likely to fight for their freedom, the ones who were the biggest threat because they loved the idea of freedom and independence.
Most slaves did not wear chains or receive beatings. Masters kept those slaves subservient through intimidation and through creating a dependency among the people. They came to rely on the slave owners for a place to exist, for their daily food ration and clothing. They even relied on their masters to take care of them when they were sick and got too old to work. These slaves didn’t need to be enchained because they were afraid to run away or fight back. They had become dependent on their masters.
Isn’t that what we have done as nation — made the lower classes dependent on the government? Don’t we take care of large segments of the population today with taxpayers’ money? Haven’t we curtailed those people’s independence and motivation to try and build better lives?
Think about it. More than 110 million Americans now receive some form of federal welfare — 110 million — and our tax money is paying for radio ads that encourage more people to apply for food stamps.
You want to talk about chains and bondage, talk about making more people dependent on the government — and talk about the bondage incurred by the taxpayer who will have to pay for it all.
Joe Biden ought to be ashamed of himself for his divisive, hate-filled, race-baiting demagoguery.
We don’t need to compound the problems facing this nation.
Darrell Huckaby is an author and teacher in Rockdale County. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. For archived columns, go to www.gwinnettdailypost.com/darrellhuckaby.