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Trumps Indictment: Historical and Future Implications IV

Ahavati
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As the former thread will soon *disappear*, you can access the former former here:
https://deepundergroundpoetry.com/forum/speakeasy/read/12606/

From there ^ you can go down the rabbit hole to the others if you choose.

This thread violates no site guidelines. Additionally, political threads are not bait threads. They're a place where intellectual individuals can amicably discuss the affairs of a country.

This thread will also expand upon the history of American politics so that those who are engaging can understand it better.

I would ask everyone to be courteous as outlined in the site guidelines. This means no personal attacks or any behavior that would violate the site guidelines. Any such posts will be reported henceforth to ensure adherence to site guidelines.

Those who have texted & messaged your support for this endeavor, thank you. It meant a lot.

Ahavati
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Aug 01, 2023

Today a grand jury in Washington, D.C, indicted former president Donald J. Trump for conspiring to defraud the United States, conspiring to disenfranchise voters, and conspiring and attempting to obstruct an official proceeding. The charges stemmed from Trump’s attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 election. A grand jury is made up of 23 ordinary citizens who weigh evidence of criminal activity and produce an indictment if 12 or more of them vote in favor.

The grand jury indicted Trump for “conspiracy to defraud the United States by using dishonesty, fraud, and deceit to impair, obstruct, and defeat the lawful federal government function by which the results of the presidential election are collected, counted and certified by the government; “conspiracy to corruptly obstruct and impede the January 6 congressional proceeding at which the collected results of the presidential election are counted and certified”; and “conspiracy against the right to vote and to have one’s vote counted.”

“Each of these conspiracies,” the indictment reads, “targeted a bedrock function of the United States federal government: the nation’s process of collecting, counting, and certifying the results of the presidential election.” “This federal government function…is foundational to the United States’ democratic process, and until 2021, had operated in a peaceful and orderly manner for more than 130 years.”

~ Heather Cox Richardson, Letters from an American
https://heathercoxrichardson.substack.com/

Ahavati
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On May 9, 2023, a jury in New York reached a decision in the civil case brought against former president Donald Trump for rape, sexual abuse, and defamation. After just three hours of deliberations, the jury found him not liable for rape, but liable for sexual assault and defamation. It awarded accuser E. Jean Carroll $5 million in damages.

in a dramatic vindication of Carroll, and it complicates Trump’s run for the presidency in the 2024 election. In his deposition he reaffirmed his words in the Access Hollywood tape about how stars can sexually assault women. While his base supporters will not care about this verdict, lots of women will, and it raises the issue of the many other women who have accused him of assault. In Just Security, Ryan Goodman and Norman L. Eisen reminded readers that “Americans generally consider sexual assault incompatible with serving in elected office or positions of public trust.”

Also, strikingly, at the end of the trial, U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan advised the jurors not to identify themselves—“not now and not for a long time”—out of concerns for their safety. National security analyst Juliette Kayyem reported the judge’s warning and noted that “Trump’s strongest legacy will always be violence as an extension of our democratic processes.” Legal analyst Joyce White Vance added, “It’s a remarkable thing when jurors have to be cautioned that revealing their identities could put them at risk...when the defendant was the former president of the United States.”

Source: https://heathercoxrichardson.substack.com/p/may-9-2023-tuesday?utm_source=publication-search

Ahavati
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On May 30, 2024,

After slightly less than ten hours of deliberation, a jury today found former president Donald J. Trump guilty on all 34 counts of falsifying business records in order to unlawfully influence the 2016 election.

For the first time in our history, a former president of the United States is a convicted felon.

For the first time in our history, a former president of the United States has been convicted of committing crimes to steal an election.

Republican senators could have convicted Trump of high crimes and misdemeanors in 2019. In that year, the House impeached Trump after he tried to rig the 2020 presidential election by withholding congressionally appropriated funds to support Ukraine’s resistance to Russia’s 2014 invasion. He withheld the funds to try to force Ukraine president Volodomyr Zelensky to manufacture dirt on Democrat Joe Biden.

Republican senators could have convicted Trump, but they acquitted him.

Republican senators could have convicted Trump of high crimes and misdemeanors in 2021. In that year, the House impeached him after he tried to seize the presidency by instigating an attack on the U.S. Capitol and trying to rig the count of the electoral vote after Americans had elected Democrat Joe Biden.

Republican senators could have convicted Trump, but they acquitted him.

Today, twelve ordinary Americans did what Republican senators refused to do. They protected the rule of law and held Trump accountable for his attempt to rig an election.

Trump stared blankly ahead as the verdict was read. “Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty.”

Trump has managed to escape accountability from the political system, but in a court of law, where prosecutors brought facts, witnesses were under oath, and jurors did not need him to keep them in positions of power, he lost.

And so he continued his assault on the rule of law. MAGA lawmakers, including House speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) and Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), both of whom were involved in the events of January 6, 2021, joined him in attacking the system that produced the guilty verdicts, although they steered clear of defending Trump himself.

After the verdict, Trump turned back to politics. He went directly to the television cameras outside the courtroom, where he gave his usual speech, saying the trial was rigged, he was “a very innocent man,” and that “our country has gone to hell.” Within four minutes of the verdict, his campaign posted a fundraising pitch on social media, proclaiming, “I am a political prisoner!”

Trump has repeatedly urged his supporters to defend him with violence, but there was none reported. In some cities, there was cheering. Shares in Trump media fell sharply in after-hours trading.

Judge Juan Merchan will sentence Trump at 10:00 in the morning of July 11, four days before the Republican National Convention begins.

A spokesperson for the White House said: “We respect the rule of law, and have no additional comment.”

Tonight, for the first time in our history, a former president of the United States is a convicted felon.

https://heathercoxrichardson.substack.com/p/may-30-2024?utm_source=publication-search

Ahavati
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June 17, 2024
HEATHER COX RICHARDSON
JUN 18, 2024


Leaders from the Group of Seven (G7) met for their fiftieth summit in Italy from June 13 to June 15. Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States formed the G7 in 1975 as a forum for democracies with advanced economies to talk about political and economic issues. The European Union is also part of the forum, and this June, Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky also attended.

This summit was a particularly fraught one. When it took office, the Biden-Harris administration, along with the State Department under Secretary of State Antony Blinken, set out to reshape global power structures not only in light of Trump’s attempt to abandon international alliances and replace them with transactional deals, but also in light of a larger change in international affairs.

In a speech at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in September 2023, Blinken explained that the end of the Cold War between the U.S. and the Soviet Union had promised a new era of peace and stability, with more international cooperation and political freedom. But while that period did, in fact, lift more than a billion people out of poverty, eradicate deadly diseases, and create historic lows in conflicts between state actors, it also gave rise to authoritarians determined to overthrow the international rules-based order.

At the same time, non-state actors—international corporations; non-governmental organizations, or NGOs, that provide services to hundreds of millions of people across the globe; terrorists who can inflict catastrophic harm; and transnational criminal organizations that traffic illegal drugs, weapons, and human beings—have growing influence.

Forging international cooperation has become more and more complex, Blinken explained, at the same time that global problems are growing: the climate crisis, food insecurity, mass migration and mass displacement of populations, as well as the potential for new pandemics. In the midst of all this pressure, “many countries are hedging their bets.”

They have lost faith in the international economic order, as a handful of governments have distorted the markets to gain unfair advantage while technology and globalization have hollowed out communities and inequality has skyrocketed. “Between 1980 and 2020,” Blinken noted, “the richest .1 percent accumulated the same wealth as the poorest 50 percent.” Those who feel the system is unfair are exacerbating the other drivers of political polarization.

These developments have undermined the post–Cold War political order, Blinken said. “One era is ending, a new one is beginning, and the decisions that we make now will shape the future for decades to come.”

In his inaugural address on January 20, 2021, President Joe Biden vowed to “repair our alliances and engage with the world once again.” Saying that “America’s alliances are our greatest asset” just weeks later at the State Department, the president and officers in the administration set out to rebuild alliances that had fallen into disrepair under Trump. They reinforced the international bodies that upheld a rules-based international order, bodies like the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) organized in 1947 to stand against Soviet aggression and now a bulwark against Russian aggression. They began the process of rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement and the World Health Organization, both of which Trump had abandoned.

Officials also worked to make international bodies more representative by, for example, welcoming into partnerships the African Union and Indonesia. They also broadened cooperation, as Blinken said, to “work with any country—including those with whom we disagree on important issues—so long as they want to deliver for their citizens, contribute to solving shared challenges, and uphold the international norms that we built together.”

At home, they worked to erase the “bright line” between foreign and domestic policy, investing in policies to bring jobs back to the U.S. both to restore the economic fairness they identified as important to democracy and to stabilize the supply chains that the pandemic had revealed to be a big national security threat.

On April 28, 2021, in his first address to a joint session of Congress, President Biden said he had told world leaders that “America is back.” But they responded: “[F]or how long?”  

That question was the backdrop to the G7 summit. Trump has said he will abandon international alliances, including NATO, in favor of a transactional foreign policy. He supports Russian president Vladimir Putin’s attempt to replace the rules-based international order with the idea that might makes right and that any strong country can grab the land of weaker states.

Earlier this month, Biden used the occasion of the commemoration ceremonies around the 80th anniversary of D-Day to reinforce the international rules-based order and U.S. leadership in that system. On June 4, before Biden left for France, Massimo Calabresi published an interview with Biden in Time magazine in which Calabresi noted that the past 40 months have tested Biden’s vision. Russia reinvaded Ukraine in February 2022, and Hamas attacked Israel on October 7, 2023. Putin is trying to create “an axis of autocrats,” as Calabresi puts it, including the leaders of China and Iran, the state that is backing the non-state actors Hamas in Gaza, the Houthis of Yemen, and Hezbollah in Lebanon in order to destabilize Israel and the Arab states. China is threatening Taiwan.

Calabresi pointed out that Biden has responded to these threats by shoring up NATO and welcoming to it Finland and Sweden, with their powerful militaries. His support has enabled Ukraine to decimate the Russian military, which has lost at least 87% of the 360,000 troops it had when it attacked Ukraine in February 2022, thus dramatically weakening a nation seen as a key foe in 2021. He has kept the war in Gaza from spreading into a regional conflict and has forced Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza, although the Palestinian death toll has continued to mount as Netanyahu has backed devastating attacks on Gaza. Biden’s comprehensive deal in the Middle East—an immediate ceasefire, the release of all hostages held by Hamas, a big increase in humanitarian aid to Gaza, and an enduring end to the crisis with the security of both Israelis and Palestinians assured—has yet to materialize.

In Italy the leaders at the G7 summit stood firm behind Biden’s articulated vision, saying that the G7 “is grounded in a shared commitment to respect the U.N. Charter, promote international peace and security, and uphold the free and open rules-based international order.” On hot-button issues, the G7 backed Biden’s Middle East deal and support for Ukraine, agreeing to transfer $50 billion to Ukraine from the interest earned on Russian assets frozen in the European Union and elsewhere.

The Biden administration announced additional economic sanctions to isolate Russia even more from the international financial system. At the summit, on June 13, 2024, Presidents Biden and Zelensky signed a ten-year bilateral security agreement that commits the U.S. to supporting Ukraine with a wide range of military assistance but, unlike the NATO membership Ukraine wants, does not require that the U.S. send troops. The agreement is legally binding, but it is not a treaty ratified by the Senate. If he is reelected, Trump could end the agreement.

Cont below

Ahavati
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Cont from above

Immediately after the G7 summit, world leaders met in Switzerland for the Summit on Peace in Ukraine, held on June 15 and 16. Ukraine called the summit in hopes of persuading major countries from the global south to join and isolate Russia, but the group had to be content with demonstrating their own support for Ukraine. Vice President Kamala Harris, who attended the summit, today posted: “The more than 90 nations that gathered at the Summit on Peace in Ukraine hold a diverse range of views on global challenges and opportunities. We don’t always agree. But when it comes to Putin’s unprovoked, unjustified war—there is unity and solidarity in support of Ukraine and international rules and norms.”

Earlier this month, Finnish software and methodologies company Check First released a report exposing “a large-scale, cross-country, multi-platform disinformation campaign designed to spread pro-Russian propaganda in the West, with clear indicators of foreign interference and information manipulation.” The primary goal of “Operation Overload” is to overwhelm newsrooms and fact-checkers and spread “the Kremlin’s political agenda.”

Foreign affairs journalist Anne Applebaum told Bill Kristol of The Bulwark that China, Russia, Iran, Venezuela, and North Korea do not share an ideology, but “they do share a common interest, and the common interest is undermining…America, Europe, the liberal world, the democratic world.” They do this, she said, because the oppositions in their own countries are inspired by and use the democratic language of freedom and liberty and rights and rule of law, and leaders need to undermine that language to hold onto power. They also recognize that chaos and uncertainty give them business opportunities in the West. Disrupting democracies by feeding radicalism makes the democratic world lose its sense of community and solidarity.

When it does that, Applebaum notes, it loses its ability to stand up to autocrats.



Notes: https://heathercoxrichardson.substack.com/p/june-17-2024

mysteriouslady
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Its amazing that you still try to dump on this man. And what he stands for. Making my country the best it can be.

You are weak believing these broads, I am sorry.

Have you ever been assaulted, or anything close to it?  If so, you wouldnt wait 23 years to say so. Not in real, regular middle class life you wouldnt. And if you have, lets talk about it....

Why are you so hell bent on this subject, man, person?  He did noting to you personally, other than make our country awesome, so if your against our country being awesome, than maybe YOU are the problem?

All your copying and pasting is a serious waste of human time, dont you have a family? Kids? Pets? Go live. Log out ffs.



MidnightSonneteer
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"Log out ffs"

Translation...shut yo mouth.

Ahavati
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June 18, 2024
HEATHER COX RICHARDSON
JUN 19, 2024
'

First, a follow-up to last night’s letter on foreign affairs: Russian president Vladimir Putin visited North Korea today for a meeting with leader Kim Jong Un, who greeted his visitor personally as he got off the plane. Putin is looking for more weapons for his war on Ukraine. U.S. national security spokesman John Kirby expressed concern about “the deepening relationship between these two countries.”

At home, news broke on Saturday that Paul Pressler, a major leader of the Southern Baptist Convention and a key Republican activist, died on June 7 at age 94. In 1967, Pressler, a Texas judge, and Paige Patterson, a seminary student, met in New Orleans to plan a takeover of the Southern Baptists, the largest Protestant denomination in the U.S., to rid it of liberals, purging those who believed in abortion rights, women’s rights, and gay rights. By 1979 their candidate was elected head of the organization, and in the 1980s, Southern Baptists, who then numbered about 15 million people, were active in politics and were staunch supporters of the Republican Party.

In Robert Downen’s obituary of Pressler for the Texas Tribune, he notes that as Pressler’s influence in the Republican Party grew, he also allegedly groped, solicited, or raped at least six men, including one who said he was 14 when Pressler first sexually abused him. Pressler denied the allegations, but he and the Southern Baptist Convention settled a lawsuit brought by that accuser just last December. A 2019 investigation by the Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express-News inspired by that lawsuit found more than 400 Southern Baptist church leaders or volunteers had been charged with sex crimes since 2000.

In March 2021 the hugely popular leader Beth Moore, herself a survivor of sexual assault, left the church, saying, “You have betrayed your women.” That May, Russell Moore (no relation to Ms. Moore) left the church leadership and then, the following month, left the church itself over its handling of sexual abuse allegations and racism. A 2022 report on the church and sex abuse was so damning that Russell Moore wrote: “I was wrong to call sexual abuse in the Southern Baptist Convention…a crisis. Crisis is too small a word. It is an apocalypse.” The investigation, he said, “uncovers a reality far more evil and systematic than I imagined it could be.”

The patriarchal model of society embraced by the Republican Party in the 1980s enabled the sorts of abuse uncovered in the Southern Baptist Convention, but Pressler’s death suggests that the era might be ending. Today, Robert Morris, the pastor of Texas megachurch Gateway Church, resigned after news broke on Friday that a woman has accused him of sexually abusing her for several years in the 1980s beginning when she was 12.

The Reagan Republican model started from the proposition that the best way to serve the public good was to slash taxes and regulations because that would enable the very wealthy to accumulate capital that they would then invest more efficiently in the economy, making it grow faster than it ever could when government investments warped markets. Theoretically, this would help everyone.

Former president Trump and MAGA Republicans are still advancing that plan. Trump has promised to cut taxes yet again if he is reelected and has suggested replacing them with tariffs, which are essentially taxes levied on imported goods and then passed on to the consumer. Meanwhile, the Heritage Foundation, which is the major organization behind Project 2025, has called for raising the retirement age for Social Security benefits because of future shortfalls in the program’s financing.

But in 2024 the media is noting ahead of time that Trump’s vow to abolish the income tax and replace it with higher tariffs would raise taxes for a typical American family by $5,000 while raising the incomes of the wealthiest Americans.

And while the Heritage Foundation dismisses out of hand the idea of raising taxes, the Biden administration has noted that we are on the cusp of a generational opportunity to reorient the U.S. tax system.

Cont below

Ahavati
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Cont from above

Yesterday, National Economic Council Deputy Director Daniel Hornung used the Trump tax cuts to skewer the larger argument that tax cuts help everyone. He pointed out that the 2017 Trump tax cuts failed on their own terms. Proponents of those cuts said they would benefit mainly ordinary Americans; instead, the law gave those in the top 1% a tax cut more than 50 times higher than the cut that fell to middle-income households. Meanwhile, corporations used their tax savings on stock buybacks, dividends, and executive pay. No wage gains trickled down to the bottom 90% of workers.

Furthermore, the proponents of the Trump tax cuts said they would double or triple the economic growth rate. Instead, real GDP and fixed investment stayed at about the same rate as they had been before the tax cuts. Similarly, those behind the law said it would increase revenues and pay for itself; instead, revenues fell and the deficit increased.

Hornung notes that Republicans want to continue this system, but the Biden administration wants to scrap it in favor of a system that would be “more fair, promoting economic opportunity and work and eliminating preferences for wealth,” and that would raise enough revenue to fund critical national priorities, like Social Security.

The administration would like to see higher taxes on the less than 5% of American households with an income of more than $400,000 a year and on corporations. In addition, it is calling for using the tax code to support middle-class families and those in need, including by restoring the expanded Child Tax Credit, which cut child poverty nearly in half in 2021.

Yesterday, officials from the Treasury Department said they were cracking down on the ability of businesses and the wealthy to manipulate the value of their assets to lower their taxes. Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo estimated that the crackdown should yield about $50 billion in the next decade.

The struggle to resurrect a government that works for ordinary people rather than concentrating power and wealth in the hands of a few was on display in President Biden’s announcement today that, in the absence of congressional legislation, he is trying to streamline the process of applying for permanent residency for certain undocumented spouses and children of U.S. citizens, allowing them to apply for legal permanent residency without leaving the country.

Two weeks ago, Biden announced executive actions to bar undocumented immigrants from claiming asylum when the seven-day average of undocumented crossings is above 2,500 people. At the same time the administration is trying to stop undocumented immigration, it is also trying to make getting permanent residency easier for people who are already here.

Currently, in order to apply for legal residency, an undocumented person has to leave the United States, leaving jobs and family, and to hope for a chance to come back in. Now people who have lived in the U.S. for at least ten years and are legally married to a U.S. citizen can apply without leaving first. So can those who were brought here as children who have earned a degree at an accredited U.S. institution of higher learning in the United States and who have received a job offer from a U.S. employer in a field related to their degree.

This rule will affect about 500,000 spouses of U.S. citizens and about 50,000 noncitizen children under the age of 21 whose parent is married to a U.S. citizen. It will affect 50,000 to 100,000 “Dreamers.”

“We’re a nation of immigrants,” Biden said as he announced the order. “That’s who we are.”



Notes: https://heathercoxrichardson.substack.com/p/june-18-2024

MidnightSonneteer
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To whom it may concern...Stewart nails it on who is responsible for big city gun crime...

https://youtu.be/WGLZQ7Xrd6o

Ahavati
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MidnightSonneteer said:To whom it may concern...Stewart nails it on who is responsible for big city gun crime...

https://youtu.be/WGLZQ7Xrd6o


I just spewed tea all over my keyboard and had to clean it up! It's true though. You can't enable something from a red state and then blame it on a blue state. It's perpetuating the crisis, and definitely blowing it out of proportion, especially where crime is concerned. Being that it's dropped drastically.

It's absolutely ridiculous that the entire country is fighting over these two senior citizens, when it's obvious that both may not last the next term. Of course, that was spouted in one of the previous threads, that Biden's election was just a cover for Kamala to take over when he passed on after a year or so. And, four years later, here we are! Again! Deja vu! That might actually apply this time and very sadly, is a consideration for voters.

Because they are weighing who the next president will be if something happens to either of these men. And we ALL know how the majority of middle-aged, white men feel about a potential Black woman president.

As an aside, President Biden and King Charles are both Scorpio men with Taurus Moons ( I kid you not )! This means that come hell or high water neither will give up until they absolutely must. This means physical incapacities or death.

Trump, on the other hand, is a Gemini with a Sagittarius Moon which indicates that he knows how to intellectually play up others, whereas Scorpion men operate more from an intuitional level.

The methods of leadership could not be more polar opposite here.  

EDIT: And as an aside aside, something I forgot to mention above, Biden made Scorpios the most elected U.S. president, breaking a 5/5 tie with Aquarius.

Ahavati
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June 19, 2024
HEATHER COX RICHARDSON
JUN 20, 2024


[ Yesterday was ] the federal holiday honoring Juneteenth, the celebration of the announcement in Texas on June 19th, 1865, that enslaved Americans were free.

That announcement came as late as it did because, while General Robert E. Lee surrendered his Army of Northern Virginia to General Ulysses S. Grant of the U.S. Army on April 9, 1865, it was not until June 2 that General Edmund Kirby Smith surrendered the Trans-Mississippi Department, the last major army of the Confederacy, to the United States, in Galveston, Texas. Smith then fled to Mexico.

Seventeen days later, Major General Gordon Granger of the U.S. Army arrived to take charge of the soldiers stationed in Texas. On that day, June 19, he issued General Order Number 3. It read:  

“The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor.”

Granger’s order was not based on the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which abolished enslavement except as punishment for a crime. Although Congress had passed that amendment on January 31, 1865, and Lincoln had signed it on February 1, the states were still in the process of ratifying it.

Instead, Granger’s order referred to the Emancipation Proclamation of January 1, 1863, which declared that Americans enslaved in states that were in rebellion against the United States “shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free; and the Executive Government of the United States, including the military and naval authority thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons.” Granger was informing the people of Galveston that, Texas having been in rebellion on January 1, 1863, their world had changed. The federal government would see to it that, going forward, white people and Black people would be equal.

Black people in Galveston met the news Order No. 3 brought with celebrations in the streets, but emancipation was not a gift from white Americans. Black Americans had fought for the United States and worked in the fields to grow cotton the government could sell. Those unable to leave their homes had hidden U.S. soldiers, while those who could leave indicated their support for the Confederacy and enslavement with their feet. They had demonstrated their equality and their importance to the United States.

The next year, after the Thirteenth Amendment had been added to the Constitution, Texas freedpeople gathered on June 19, 1866, to celebrate the coming of their freedom with prayers, speeches, food, and socializing. By the following year, the federal government encouraged “Juneteenth” celebrations, eager to explain to Black citizens the voting rights that had been put in place by the Military Reconstruction Act in early March 1867, and the tradition of Juneteenth began to spread to Black communities across the nation.

But white former Confederates in Texas were demoralized and angered by the changes in their circumstances. “It looked like everything worth living for was gone,” Texas cattleman Charles Goodnight later recalled.

In summer 1865, as white legislators in the states of the former Confederacy grudgingly ratified the Thirteenth Amendment, they also passed laws to keep freedpeople subservient to their white neighbors. These laws, known as the Black Codes, varied by state, but they generally bound Black Americans to yearlong contracts working in fields owned by white men; prohibited Black people from meeting in groups, owning guns or property, or testifying in court; outlawed interracial marriage; and permitted white men to buy out the jail terms of Black people convicted of a wide swath of petty crimes, and then to force those former prisoners into labor to pay off their debt.

At the same time, those determined to preserve their power began to rewrite the history of the Civil War. The war had irrevocably undermined the institution of enslavement in the American South, moving it far beyond the ability of white southerners to reinstate it (although some historians argue that without the Thirteenth Amendment enslavement might have moved into the western mines). So white supremacists began to claim that secession had never been about slavery, despite the many declarations of secession saying the opposite. With the Freedmen’s Bureau, created by Congress in March 1865, defending the rights of Black Americans, certain white southerners began to claim that their “cause” had been to protect the rights of the states against a powerful federal government that was forcing on them a way of life they opposed.

In the 1820s, before he became president, Andrew Jackson argued that true democracy meant honoring the votes of those in the states rather than laws made by Congress. This idea justified minority rule. Under this argument, a state’s voters could choose to take the land of their Indigenous neighbors or enslave their Black neighbors even if the majority of Americans, speaking through Congress, opposed those policies, because what mattered was the local vote. Crucially, states also decided who could participate in voting, and before the Civil War, the body politic was almost exclusively white men.  

The Black Codes were a clear illustration of what that system meant. Congress refused to readmit the southern states with the codes, and in 1866, congressmen wrote and passed the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution. Its first section established that “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.” It went on: “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

That was the whole ball game. The federal government had declared that a state legislature—no matter who elected it or what voters called for—could not discriminate against any of its citizens or arbitrarily take away any of a citizen’s rights. Then, like the Thirteenth Amendment before it, the Fourteenth declared that “Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article,” strengthening the federal government.

The addition of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution in 1868 remade the United States of America.

Cont below

Ahavati
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Cont from above

But those determined to preserve a world that discriminated between Americans according to race, gender, ability, and so on, continued to find workarounds. Key to those workarounds has always been resurrecting the idea that true democracy means reducing the power of the federal government and centering the power of the state governments, where voters—registered according to state laws—can choose the policies they prefer…even if they are discriminatory.

In our era, those discriminatory policies are not just racial. They often center religion and include attacks on women’s healthcare and right to abortion, LGBTQ+ Americans, immigrants, and non-Christians. Just today, Louisiana governor Jeff Landry signed into law a measure requiring that every classroom in Louisiana public schools display the Ten Commandments. Those embracing the law hope to push the question of public displays of their faith to the Supreme Court, where they expect a warmer reception from this court than such discriminatory positions have gotten since the 1950s.

If states get to determine who votes and can pass discriminatory legislation without interference by the federal government, they can construct the kind of world Americans lived in before the Fourteenth Amendment. As several Republican-dominated states have already demonstrated, they can also rewrite history.

In 1865, Juneteenth was a celebration of freedom and the war’s end. In 1866 it was a celebration of the enshrinement of freedom in the U.S. Constitution after the Thirteenth Amendment had been ratified. In 1867, Juneteenth was a celebration of the freedom of Black men to vote, the very real power of having a say in the government under which they lived.  

In a celebration of Juneteenth on June 10, 2024, Vice President Kamala Harris noted: “Across our nation, we witness a full-on attack on hard-fought, hard-won freedoms and rights, including the freedom of a woman to make decisions about her own body; the freedom to be who you are and love who you love openly and with pride; the freedom from fear of bigotry and hate; the freedom to learn and acknowledge our nation’s true and full history; and the freedom that unlocks all others: the freedom to vote.”



Notes: https://heathercoxrichardson.substack.com/p/june-19-2024

Ahavati
Tyrant of Words
United States 118awards
Joined 11th Apr 2015
Forum Posts: 15468

MidnightSonneteer said:"Log out ffs"

Translation...shut yo mouth.


Not a chance!

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