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Opinion: Kelly, others can’t handle truth

Slavery caused the Civil War. A failure to compromise had nothing to do with it.

Yes, I know a thousand people have made that point in the days since White House Chief of Staff John Kelly’s nonsensical assertion on Fox “News” that “the lack of an ability to compromise” is what tore America apart. Allow me to be the 1,001st. There are things that need saying here, and I need to say them.

It’s not just that there is no “compromise” between slavery and freedom. It is also that Kelly’s use of that word is painfully ironic in a nation that has always been all too ready to bargain with the humanity of African-American people.

In 1776, in his first draft of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson condemned slavery. Southern states balked, so he compromised.

In 1820, North and South argued whether the new state of Missouri would permit slavery. Congress intervened, and they compromised.

In 1877, there was a disputed election. Someone suggested giving the presidency to Rutherford B. Hayes if he agreed to withdraw federal troops that had been protecting former slaves in the South. The two sides compromised.

In 1961, the Freedom Riders pulled into Mississippi. The federal government made a deal with the state that if Mississippi guaranteed no violence, it could arrest the riders, though they had done nothing illegal. They compromised.

And so on. Historically, America always seems to find a way to sell black people out.

Kelly is just the latest in a long line of those who lack the guts to face this straight on. They hide out in textbooks where slaves become “settlers,” flee from “Roots” because it is “depressing.” And they insist on moral equivalence between people sellers and the people they sold, lynchers and the people they lynched, traitors who fought to destroy America and patriots who fought to preserve it.

“Robert E. Lee was an honorable man,” added Kelly in the Fox interview — an interesting take for a military man on an enemy general in a war that killed more Americans than Hitler, Hirohito and Bin Laden combined.

“All of our leaders have flaws,” said White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders in defending Kelly. As if Lee’s ordering two men and a woman stripped to the waist and whipped (“Lay it on well,” he said) for the crime of seeking freedom was in the same moral universe as Barack Obama’s cigarette jones.

I can anticipate how all this will land among certain people. They’ll call it “racist.” They’ll call it “divisive.” They’ll call it everything but untrue.

They are, you see, deeply invested in the myth that struggles with poverty, mass incarceration, joblessness and miseducation arise from something African-Americans chose or did, while the rest of the country, innocent as the dawn, did nothing to cause or benefit from any of it. They will be angry at the reminder that this is ridiculous.

As if this was about them. As if we should give a damn about their anger.

This country stole from black people. It stole their bodies, their children, their names, their land, their lives. Now, some of us seek to steal the very memory of the crime.

Well, let them tell a thousand lies. Let them treat truth like the money card in a game of three-card monte. Let them salve history with the balm of false equivalence. But let them know that some of us find strength for our own trials in knowing the trials of our mothers and fathers.

So we will not be fooled and we will not be robbed.

We will remember — and demand they do the same.

No compromise.

— Leonard Pitts is a columnist for The Miami Herald.

Comments

Gary Stussie

Never a solution ... always the victim ... racist under every rock! Give it a rest Pitts!

This guy continues to chew at the social fabric of the country ...

On Jan. 10, 1963, Congressman Albert S. Herlong Jr. of Florida read a list of 45 Communist goals into the Congressional Record. The list was derived from ex-FBI agent, United States author and political theorist Cleon Skousen’s book “The Naked Communist.”

These principles are well worth revisiting today in order to gain insights into the thinking and strategies of much of our so-called liberal elite and appear to resemble the Obama Administration's playbook.

Several are at the heart of the social issues being debated today.

13. Do away with loyalty oaths.
14. Capture one or both of the political parties in the U.S.
16. Use technical decisions of the courts to weaken basic American institutions, by claiming their activities violate civil rights.
17. Get control of the schools.
19. Use student riots to foment public protests against programs or organizations that are under Communist attack.
20. Infiltrate the press.
21. Gain control of key positions in radio, TV & motion pictures.
24. Eliminate all laws governing obscenity by calling them "censorship" and a violation of free speech and free press.
25. Break down cultural standards of morality by promoting pornography and obscenity in books, magazines, motion pictures, radio
and TV.
27. Infiltrate the churches and replace revealed religion with "social" religion.
28. Eliminate prayer or any phase of religious expression in the schools on the grounds that it violates the principle of "separation of church and state"
29. Discredit the American Constitution by calling it inadequate, old fashioned, out of step with modern needs, a hindrance to cooperation between nations on a worldwide basis.
30. Discredit the American founding fathers. Present them as selfish aristocrats who had no concern for the "common man."
31. Belittle all forms of American culture and discourage the teaching of American history on the ground that it was only a minor part of "the big picture."
32. Support any socialist movement to give centralized control over any part of the culture – education, social agencies, welfare programs, mental health clinics, etc.
35. Discredit and eventually dismantle the FBI.
40. Discredit the family as an institution. Encourage promiscuity and easy divorce.
42. Create the impression that violence and insurrection are legitimate aspects of the American tradition; that students and special interest groups should rise up and make a "united force" to solve economic, political or social problems

... anything look familiar?

http://www.restoring-america.com/Docu...

2 weeks ago

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Dorothy Hoyt-Reed

"Never a solution ... always the victim ... racist under every rock! Give it a rest Pitts!"

So anytime that someone does something that is racist, it shouldn't be pointed out? Pitts is a Black man. He has experienced racism, despite that fact that he is a successful educated person. Why shouldn't her write about what he knows and has experienced?

1 week, 5 days ago

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Dave Lee

The trump administration?

2 weeks ago

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Dave Lee

1. trump demands loyalty from Comey. Has one maybe two daughters , son in law, and the PR person and family friend Hope Hicks in his administration. GOP congressman pledge loyalty to Gover Norquist. https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/...

2. yes
5. Richard Spencer, Charlottlesville
6. discounts all media as fake news. only believe in what trump says and fox news. stopped having press conferences for a bit. only lets certain media outlets ask question. breitbart.
9. "grab em by the P****"
10. 11 travel ban, endorsing one religion over others ("we are saying merry christmas again" )not happy holidays. pretty sure Government doesnt get to pic a national religion.

12. doesnt like 2/3 vote in senate wants everything to be simple majority. since he cant get any legislation passed. discounts entire election process by claiming he actually won the popular vote, commission is set up to find missing 3 million illegal votes.

16 yes.
17 yes
18. incites violence against protesters at his rallies.

2 weeks ago

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Bob Summers

Which "dossier" did you get this fantasy from?

2 weeks ago

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Dave Lee

umm.. just all facts that ive read in the news. before you call it clinton news network or fake news.. feel free to refute anything i've written. and not a tit for tat where obama or hillary did this or did that. but refute any of my facts regarding the constitutionality of trumps actions. thanks in advance. FYI there was some numbering /formatting errors. but youre a smart guy. you figured that out.

2 weeks ago

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Bob Smith

What passes for the truth on the sinister side of the aisle is a mutable thing. For the vocabulary challenged, sinister means left.

2 weeks ago

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Dave Lee

thanks for the lesson.""Historically, the left side, and subsequently left-handedness, was considered negative in many cultures. The Latin word sinistra originally meant "left" but took on meanings of "evil" or "unlucky" by the Classical Latin era, and this double meaning survives in European derivatives of Latin, and in the English word "sinister"."" As TIME explained in 1969, “southpaws, gallock-handers, chickie paws and scrammies” were seen as sinister—literally, since the word means “left”—for centuries. “In the Middle Ages, for instance, the left-hander lived in danger of being accused of practicing witchcraft,” the article explained. “The Devil himself was considered a southpaw, and he and other evil spirits were always conjured up by left-handed gestures.”

2 weeks ago

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Bob Smith

You neglected to mention the origin of the right/left political scheme in the 1789 French National Assembly. I suppose that didn't fit your narrative. Better luck next time.

1 week, 6 days ago

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Dave Lee

better luck? my narrative?? yawn. just a bit of etymology. but if you want to blather on and defend monarchies. feel free to do so. The French Revolution (French: Révolution française [ʁevɔlysjɔ̃ fʁɑ̃sɛːz]) was a period of far-reaching social and political upheaval in France that lasted from 1789 until 1799, and was partially carried forward by Napoleon during the later expansion of the French Empire. The Revolution overthrew the monarchy, established a republic, experienced violent periods of political turmoil, and finally culminated in a dictatorship under Napoleon that rapidly brought many of its principles to Western Europe and beyond. Inspired by liberal and radical ideas, the Revolution profoundly altered the course of modern history, triggering the global decline of absolute monarchies while replacing them with republics and liberal democracies.[1] Through the Revolutionary Wars, it unleashed a wave of global conflicts that extended from the Caribbean to the Middle East. Historians widely regard the Revolution as one of the most important events in human history.[2][3][4]

1 week, 6 days ago

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Bob Smith

Citations, bub? Copy/pasting without attribution is gauche. So, what flipped your switch and made you mr. know-it-all in the past few days? BTW, no reasonable person would interpret my post as having anything to do with supporting a monarchy. Keep swinging for the fences.....

1 week, 6 days ago

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Richard Aronoff

David Lee: Trump said many women would let a famous man do that. He didn't say he did that. By the way, have you noticed that the vast majority of people who have been outed in the aftermath of the Weinstein revelations are liberal democrats --- including an NPR executive? Priceless.

2 weeks ago

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Dave Lee

Unknown: She used to be great. She’s still very beautiful.

Trump: I moved on her, actually. You know, she was down on Palm Beach. I moved on her, and I failed. I’ll admit it.

Unknown: Whoa.

Trump: I did try and f**k her. She was married.

Unknown: That’s huge news.

Trump: No, no, Nancy. No, this was [unintelligible] — and I moved on her very heavily. In fact, I took her out furniture shopping.

She wanted to get some furniture. I said, “I’ll show you where they have some nice furniture.” I took her out furniture —

I moved on her like a bitch. But I couldn’t get there. And she was married. Then all of a sudden I see her, she’s now got the big phony tits and everything. She’s totally changed her look.

2 weeks ago

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Dave Lee

Trump: Yeah, that’s her. With the gold. I better use some Tic Tacs just in case I start kissing her. You know, I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.

Bush: Whatever you want.

Trump: Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything.

Bush: Uh, yeah, those legs, all I can see is the legs.

Trump: Oh, it looks good.

Bush: Come on shorty.

Trump: Ooh, nice legs, huh?

Bush: Oof, get out of the way, honey. Oh, that’s good legs. Go ahead.

Trump: It’s always good if you don’t fall out of the bus. Like Ford, Gerald Ford, remember?

2 weeks ago

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Bob Smith

Always interesting when a prolific new poster appears from nowhere.

1 week, 6 days ago

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Dave Lee

alway interesting when mr smith has absolutely nothing to add to the conversation.

1 week, 6 days ago

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Larry Sturm

All of you that downplay Leonard's articles ask yourselves. Have I ever walked in a black mans shoes? Then read what he has to say.

1 week, 6 days ago

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Gary Stussie

I just bet General Kelly has a better understanding about the cause of the Civil War then Mr. Pitts.

While slavery was certainly the catalyst for the Civil War, the primary issue involved was whether states which had freely joined the Union were free to leave whenever they so desired.

You want to know more?

https://tomroberson.wordpress.com/201...

1 week, 6 days ago

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Theodore Calvin

You're posting a link to a blog as if it's fact? I now understand why you view the world the way you do. That link is completely unbiased and I'm sure it's completely factual (sarcasm), opening with this line:

"The erasing of history is a characteristic of leftist totalitarian dictatorships used to reprogram their people much like computer memory is erased prior to reprogramming, and the intolerant left continues its march to erase American history by attacking Southern heritage with the removal of Confederate monuments scattered across the South."

1 week, 6 days ago

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Dave Lee

lol. at least he didnt link to a you tube video. fyi. check out his original post to this thread. he's an expert on the civil war, yet goes off on a weird communism tirade. some people...

1 week, 6 days ago

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Theodore Calvin

I know. I usually never click on links from posters like this as I don't want the site to conflate my visit with another individual that "agrees" with them, but recently have done so just out of curiosity. Yesterday I clicked on one for yournewswire.com. After visiting a couple of these sites I completely understand how we got to where we are today. It's no less alarming than the radicalization of US citizens by ISIS/terrorist organization online. It's the exact same thing.

1 week, 6 days ago

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Gary Stussie

If you are suggesting that the "erasing of history" comment is wrong because it is on a blog, you are woefully uninformed. What did ISIS do immediately when it established its caliphate?

My world view is a function of having extensively traveled the world and this country. It tickles me to see all you Lawrence snuggle bunnies suggest that they have such a clear and comprehensive understanding of every topic that is discussed. Liberals are so predictable.

1 week, 6 days ago

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Dave Lee

lol. tom roberson. a typical conservative blowhard that tea partiers blindly follow. in the attached link he figures he can balance the budget by getting rid of "entitlements" and by not paying united nations dues. laughable. right in the wheel house though for his audience. never mind that the GOP is about to put out a new tax plan that will heavily benefit the top 1% and grow the debt by 2 trillion or so. eh. who cares about the debt. only when a dem is in office do we care about the debt. talk about predictable.
http://www.americanthinker.com/articl...

1 week, 6 days ago

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Dorothy Hoyt-Reed

We realize you are very proud of your slave holding history, and wish you could go back to it. But honoring the Confederate scum is not in our agenda. It's not what most Americans want. In fact, you aren't really an American if you admire these jerks. Remember they didn't want to be a part of the US, but they lost. I'm sorry you hate our country.

1 week, 5 days ago

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Dorothy Hoyt-Reed

"What did ISIS do immediately when it established its caliphate?" Look at what Italy Germany did after we got rid of Hitler and Mussolini? Look what Iraq did after Hussein was gone. Why should we continue to honor losers with statues?

1 week, 5 days ago

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Brandon Devlin

Let's be a little honest here, however. . .there are diffferences between what happened in Germany and Italy. *We* didn't get rid of Hitler and Mussolini. Mussolini was executed by his own people; Hitler killed himself. The Nazis and Italian facists were ostracized by their own countrymen.

*We* welcomed fellow Americans back into the folds of the Republic.

1 week, 4 days ago

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William Cummings

The civil war was about slavery. To see the reasons, please review the declaration of causes which were published by seceding states.

https://www.civilwar.org/learn/primar...

The notion that the civil war was over something other than slavery is a line of propaganda used by white nationalist groups to excuse slavery, and to elevate the confederacy to a noble cause.

1 week, 6 days ago

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Dorothy Hoyt-Reed

I have lost all respect for Kelley. How did he become a general without knowing any American history? Or has he joined in the disgusting attempt to rewrite history.

There was a lot of compromising before the Civil War, starting with the constitution. The founding fathers wanted a United States, so they let the slave states continue. And, yes, some of the founding fathers were slave holders, but the ones who weren't and opposed slavery compromised. As the country expanded there was compromise after compromise. One of those compromises led to Bleeding Kansas. If you were homeschooled or at a private school which didn't teach Kansas history or if you slept through Kansas history, you may not know the compromises that led up to the blood shed as abolitionists fought to have Kansas come into the Union as a free state. The Civil War really started here. Is Kelly really ignorant of history, or does he really believe that slaves were just "agricultural immigrants"?

1 week, 5 days ago

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