Saturday, March 18, 2023

At War With Ourselves

This past Wednesday, March 15, Maine celebrated 203 years of slave free existence. As part of Henry Clay's Missouri Compromise, the admission of Maine as a slave free state along with Missouri coming in as a slave state helped to maintain the precarious balance of power between the North and the South. Henry Clay championed these new policies surrounding slavery at the time which became known as The Missouri Compromise of 1820.

I was exposed to the Missouri Compromise in several different school districts. There was a decided regional twist taught depending on where the school I attended was located. 

The high notes of the Compromise were basically taught the same, with my history teacher in Fairfax, VA adding his opinion that it ultimately favored the North as he felt it illegally negated the 5th amendment Right to own property. He felt that Congress overstepped its authority by denying a state's population the right to own slaves.

The National Archives list the main points of the Missouri Compromise of 1820 as:

"This legislation admitted Missouri as a slave state and Maine as a non-slave state at the same time, so as not to upset the balance between slave and free states in the nation. It also outlawed slavery above the 36º 30' latitude line in the remainder of the Louisiana Territory."

The Missouri Compromise was one of the early bipartisan efforts by Congress to stem the building hate and discontent over the issue of Slavery in the 1800's. Henry Clay was always in the thick of the conversations and results. Because of Henry Clay's and other's efforts, the conflict between the North and the South was successfully avoided until the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, which effectively gutted the Missouri Compromise. Now slavery in any state, no matter its location, would be determined by popular vote. The situation rapidly declined from there. But Henry Clay's Compromise helped to keep the opposing sides of the slavery issue from tearing the country apart for 25-30 years.

I mention the Missouri Compromise event only because here we are 200 years later and we are still at each other's throat. The people who were at the center of most of the political controversies in 1820 are still at the center of much controversy now 200 years later. In neither time are they to blame by their actions, but only by their mere existence.

This senseless racial hatred that was so insidious and virulent during our ancestors time still exists today. It still exists because it is in the interest of those who would control us to use it to keep us divided. The sleazy assholes pulling the strings and making greedy plans behind closed doors do not care about skin color. The color of our skin is a convenient and easy difference to exploit when seeking to dominate a population either politically or economically. They only care about money and power. Anything they can use to keep us slobs on the street off our game is okay with them. 

Once we all see that race, LGBTQ, religion, and the so-called culture wars are nothing but  manufactured diversions to keep us off balance, we may have a chance. A population that is off balance is so much easier to manipulate. ...... Yeah, until all of us stop this war with ourselves, we will continue to be mindless drones who are conditioned by hate and discontent.

Keep it 'tween the ditches ................................


BTW - Writing this post gave me a chance to reacquaint myself with another American hero who spent their life serving their country, yet did not quite make the front row of  history's Hall of Fame. Henry Clay was such a man. Reading even a short bio such as this one at Wikipedia, fills out the two dimensional image broad brush history books paint of him. Two fun facts about Henry and his time: 

~ His mother bore 16 children by two different husbands. 

~ Henry liked to gamble. He once won $40,000 (2020 dollars - $970,00) and returned all but $500 of it. At another time, he lost $60,000 (2020 bucks - $1.5 million) to the same person he had won the $60K from before. That man returned all but $500 of that debt.

I really enjoy these background fun facts of the pillars of our history. They somehow make me believe in them more. History is not boring. What is boring is how it is taught to us.


I googled "anti-slavery tune from the mid 19th century". The first song that popped up was "Auld Lang Syne". Originally a traditional Scottish tune to which a Robert Burns poem was used to provide words years later. A popular and immediately recognizable tune, many people substituted the Burns words with theirs. No better example exists that the version famed Abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison came up with. So here is an excellent version as Rod Stewart sang it some years back  .... AND .... also a version by a pipes and drum corps at an arena in Ukraine I believe. Somehow, that seems fitting .

Both versions are excellent. 

And as it always does, the song made me tear up. ....................... Twice. 

In memory of a friend who passed some years ago.


Bobalooski said...

Thanks for this one. Thanks for all the musings you manage to put into writing but this one struck the “leave a comment” chord in me. I’m not sure what that comment is except to say thanks for this one, brother, and the tunes as well.

peppylady (Dora) said...

So do you think Trump will be arrest soon?
Coffee is on and stay safe

The Blog Fodder said...

The pipes and drums version is in Cologne.
The war was fought on two different premises. The South fought to preserve slavery and the Noryh fought to preserve the Union. Racism was embedded in both sides and has never disappeared only grown stronger with help from those pulling the strings. You are so right, we have to stop killing each other. I saw a poster to that effect in a Mennonite Brethren church.