Bigotry ‘Just Might Be Down for the Count’

bigotryI suspected it wouldn’t take long for some white guy to demand secession over President Obama’s re-election.

He’s Texas Republican Peter Morrison, 33, “author of a race-heavy Tea Party newsletter,” writes Fort Worth Star-Telegram scribe Bud Kennedy. Morrison is the Hardin County GOP treasurer, an evangelical Christian of the Jesus-loves-me-but-He-can’t-stand-you persuasion, a home schooler and a Ron Paul fan.

Morrison is so angry, according to Kennedy, that he wants an “amicable divorce” from the United States and us “maggots” who voted for Obama.

Morrison is especially miffed at minorities, who he said voted on “an ethnic basis,” Kennedy wrote.

Despite loonies like Morrison, I wouldn’t bet the farm that the Lone Star State will part company with us fly larvae. Kennedy also quoted Kent Batman, Hardin County GOP chairman: “…I don’t think a lot of people here are saying we ought to leave the Union .”

Maybe not, but Texas was one of the first Southern states to secede after “Black Republican” Abraham Lincoln got elected in 1860. White Republican Mitt Romney won Texas and ever other ex-Confederate state, save Florida and Virginia .

Texas secessionists of yore didn’t rip Republicans as “maggots.” They slammed them as “incendiaries” and “outlaws” who proclaimed “the debasing doctrine of the equality of all men, irrespective of race or color–a doctrine at war with nature, in opposition to the experience of mankind, and in violation of the plainest revelations of the Divine Law.”

I can almost hear an “amen” from brother Morrison who, Kennedy wrote, also wished “that P rovidence might shine upon our cause.”

White supremacy was also the cause of the original Texas secessionists. They insisted that the federal government and all state governments “were established exclusively by the white race, for themselves and their posterity; that the African race had no agency in their establishment; that they were rightfully held and regarded as an inferior and dependent race, and in that condition only could their existence in this country be rendered beneficial or tolerable.”

Of course, the Republican party of “Lincoln and Liberty” — the one the Johnny Rebs so despised — is long gone. The GOP is what the Democratic Party in Texas and the rest of Dixie used to be: mostly the white folks’ party.

To be sure, Morrison isn’t the first Texas Republican to yelp for secession. Gov. Rick Perry has hinted at disunion. Larry Kilgore ran for the U.S. senate as a flat-out secessionist.

Kilgore plans toss his Stetson into the ring for governor in 2014 as “SECEDE Kilgore,” Kennedy wrote.

Meanwhile, Morrison’s bloviating bigotry has prompted some of my fellow lefties to again cry “Let ‘em secede!” to Texas and the rest of the white Republican Red South.

I doubt few of them really mean it. But some of the old Yankee abolitionists did in 1860-1861. “Good riddance!” they said to the Southern “slaveocracy.”

No way, said Lincoln . He wasn’t about to leave millions of enslaved African Americans to the tender mercies of violent white supremacists in a Southern nation. Confederate President Jefferson Davis lauded slavery as an institution that “a superior race” used to convert “brutal savages into docile, intelligent, and civilized agricultural laborers.”

True, at first, Lincoln made the Civil War a war to preserve the Union . But before our bloodiest conflict ended, the “Great Emancipator” made it a war to end slavery, too.

Anyway, Morrison’s ravings were motivated by the same the same thing that fired secessionist “Fire Eaters” like Texan Louis T. Wigfall, probably one of Morrison’s heroes.

It’s fear.

The secessionists were afraid Lincoln ’s election and Republican dominance of Congress sounded the death knell for slavery and their system of white supremacy in the United States . Desperate to preserve both, they left the Union and brought on the Civil War.

The likes of Peter Morrison are scared stiff that the re-election of Obama, by another whopping electoral vote margin, is more evidence that America is no longer White-Folks-R-Us.

They hate it that even a lot of white kids don’t hate whom and what they hate. They hide their fear with blusterous rage.

I’m a 62-year-old white guy. I’ve been married for going on 34 years to a white woman seven years my junior. We have a 19-year-old son. All of us were born in Kentucky, where we still live.

We aren’t afraid of a more diverse America . We welcome it.

My wife and I happily voted for Obama twice. We contributed what we could afford on teachers’ salaries to the Obama campaign. Our offspring, who is in college, was proud to cast his first presidential ballot for Obama on Nov. 6.

The Craigs three, Presbyterians all, are grateful to the Good Lord that the likes of Peter Morrison are isolated kooks, even in deeply Red-hued Texas. We are thankful our nation is not going the way of hate-mongers like him.

Berry Craig

(Don’t get me wrong, I am not for a minute saying everybody who voted for Romney – including, probably, most of our extended family – is a racist. President Obama would say the same thing, if he hasn’t at one time or another.)

The three Craigs are not naive. We know that bigotry is not out.

But it just might be down for the count. That prospect, plus four more years of a president named Obama, is cause for celebrating in our household.

Berry Craig

Posted: Sunday, 11 November 2012

Published by the LA Progressive on November 11, 2012
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About Berry Craig

Berry Craig is an emeritus professor of history at the West Kentucky Community and Technical College in Paducah and a freelance writer. He is a member of American Federation of Teachers Local 1360, the recording secretary for the Western Kentucky Area Council, AFL-CIO, and the author of True Tales of Old-Time Kentucky Politics: Bombast, Bourbon and Burgoo, Hidden History of Kentucky in the Civil War, Hidden History of Kentucky Soldiers and Hidden History of Western Kentucky. He is a native of Mayfield, Ky., where he lives with his wife of 33 years and their 20-year-old son.