Blacks were worse off. They could be bought and sold. They could be raped and tortured. They could be killed with impunity.
Children didn't fare well either.
Yo papas did okay.
There's a lot of misinformation out there about yo papas. Who exactly were they? Well, yo papas were mostly entrepreneurs. Yes, they were businessmen. More importantly, they were businessmen who didn't want to pay taxes. Taxes? Yep. Those boys fought a revolution over taxes. They hated taxes.
What about freedom and liberty? Well yeah. They wanted to decide for themselves when to pay taxes and they wanted to make sure they paid as little as possible. They weren't concerned with universal freedom and liberty. And states' rights? Of course states' rights. They didn't want any government interfering with how they made their money.
Things were rural/colonial back then. Different areas were developed by different businessmen. Each area had its own unique business model. Yo papas didn't want anyone telling them how to run their businesses. Like what? Like slavery. Some of yo papas didn't want no one messin roun with slavery.
Is this real history? You bet. It just ain't herstory. We still workin on herstory and ourstory.
Explain. Well as the country developed people wanted to be free. They wanted to own themselves and make their own decisions about how to live their lives. They also wanted a fair share of the profits from their labor.
This sounds like communism. Oh no, no, no! This is the exact opposite of communism. This is personal freedom. This is true liberty. This is equality. This is about equal rights under the law. This is about equal pay for equal work. This is about equal opportunity under the law. Equal opportunity? Yeah. The right to live where you want and do the work you enjoy and freely practice your religion.
Are you saying we don't have that now? Nope! I'm saying we're getting there. So? So we didn't get there because yo papas had some come to Jesus moment. We got there as a result of people putting their lives on the line for their personal freedom. People died in the effort.
Let's see: we had a Civil War; we had the Women's Suffrage Movement; we had the Labor Movement; we had the Anti War Movement; we had the Civil Rights Movement; and we had the Women's Rights Movement.
What did yo papas do to stop the movements? Everything they could. They falsely accused people of all kinds of things. They killed people. They put people in jail. They beat people up. They destroyed people's lives. You name it, they did it.
Wow! The Tea Party is a movement, right? On no! The Tea Party ain't no movement. The Tea Party is just another trick yo papa is runnin - a scam. What do you mean? Well the Tea Party was really secretly funded by very wealthy businessmen who wanted to make it seem like a "grassroots" movement when it was really a propaganda campaign to get people elected - people who would do their bidding - shills.
But the Tea Party is an independent party! Hell no. All those Tea Party candidates have been running as Republicans. The Tea Party has two agendas. The first is to cut taxes for the wealthy. The second is to take our government apart.
Why would they want to take the government apart? Because government agencies have been interfering with them making money. What? Well, there were things like fair labor practices, safe working conditions, equal pay and equal opportunity. There are government agencies set up to protect us in those areas.
Yo papas don't like anybody interfering with how they go about making money. They don't want government agencies stopping them from polluting our air and water and ground. They want to do things in the least expensive way so they can maximize their profits. They don't care if we can't breathe or if the ground water gets contaminated or if the climate changes or if they tear apart the countryside.
Is that it? Nope! Yo papas started the Tea Party after a black man was elected president and started to push for affordable healthcare, immigration reform, pollution control, education reform, women's rights, LGBT rights, infrastructure upgrades and repairs, renewable energy and a whole lot of things that would make our lives better and take care of our planet.
What's wrong with those things? Nothing! It just costs money and wealthy people are afraid their taxes might go up in the process. Huh, don't wealthy people pay taxes? Well yes they do, but they don't exactly pay their fair share of taxes. I don't understand? Well, 1% of the people in our country have almost 50% of the wealth. What? That's right. Yo papas have it all and they want to keep it.
Didn't they work for it? Sure, but nobody is doing enough work to earn a billion dollars or more a year. The wealthy people hire people to do the work for them and then pay them as little as possible and keep the lion's share for themselves. That's not fair! Hey that's profits.
How can the wealthy people get away with this? Well, yo papas have been doing it all along. Nothing new here. They do everything they can to divide us. They talk about things like "class warfare". Class warfare? Yeah, when someone says they need to pay their fair share of the taxes they scream class warfare.
Is that it? No! They prey on our weaknesses and our fears. It ain't no accident that they started the Tea Party after a black man was elected as President of the United States for the first time in our history. The wealthy used everything they could think of. Racism and sexism and bigotry are just tools to them.
The Tea Party got their stooges elected at all levels from school boards to governor's offices to congress. Those people started doing all kinds of things. On school boards they started banning books and questioning scientific study in school. In the state houses, they started restricting voter registration and preventing people from voting.
In congress they started preventing legislation that: raised taxes; protected the environment; guaranteed women's rights; and restricted unfair business practices. They hated any kind of regulations that interfered with how they wanted to conduct their businesses.
Wow! How did they get so many people to join the Tea Party? Well, they used false arguments about "religion" and "patriotism". Yo papas knew how to turn people on each other. They said things like we have a "Christian Country" and people who protest are "Anti-American".
Worshiping God in you own way and standing up for what you believe is very American.
Are all wealthy people like the ones you've talked about? Is it all just wealthy businessmen? No on both counts. There have always been some wealthy folks who have worked to improve people's lives and make our country better.
There are also wealthy businesswomen now and wealthy women who have inherited from their wealthy papas. A lot of them want to hold onto their money too.
You sound like you are saying there is a "class" war going on. I thought you said "class warfare" was a ploy used by the wealthy.
Oh yeah! Make no mistake, there is a big time class war going on. It's just not taking place the way the wealthy would have you believe it. The wealthy don't want to pay their fair share of taxes and they say that people who want them to pay their fair share of taxes are engaging in class warfare.
Real class warfare is what happens when the wealthy try to divide us up and work hard to prevent us from getting ahead. They want us ignorant and frightened of each other. They don't want us working together. That's class warfare.
This is very different than what I've been told. What about liberals and conservatives? Labeling someone as a liberal or a conservative has little meaning. People have always disagreed about how to go about things, but it pretty much gets down to taxes. It's just gotten more extreme lately. The class war has gotten meaner. New technologies have made it easier to spread false lies and rumors. Fake news is more common and harder to identify.
Yo papas story is pretty bad. Is that it? Is that the biggest obstacle we have to overcome? It ain't as simple as that. There is a lot more. We don't exist in a vacuum. We are not the only country out there. There are bad people who have sought to conquer and oppress others throughout history. In world War II we fought against dictators that rose up in Italy, Japan and Germany. We stopped them from taking over the world, but there are still totalitarian countries today.
Russia, China and North Korea are very dangerous. There are religious countries that are very dangerous too. There's are a lot of dangerous people who have nuclear weapons and who are willing to engage in terrorism.
Is there anything good you have to say? I want to think happy thoughts.
Well, the world is good. Life is a wonder. We are capable of doing extraordinary things. If someone led you to believe that you can be happy all the time, then they gave you bad information. Perhaps they wanted to make you feel good, but they didn't do you any favors in the long run.
A good life is about work and responsibility and compassion and understanding that it's up to each of us to make our world better. That's just the way it is. It ain't bad, it's reality. It'll get better when we replace history with ourstory.
One more question. Shoot! What about Donald Trump?
Well, Donald Trump is a failed businessman who was involved in real estate. He eventually got into entertainment and became very popular. He exploited his popularity in every way he could.
He is a ruthless opportunist. He is narcissistic in the extreme. He is very dishonest. He mistreats people. He mistreats women. Let's just say he saw an opening in the war between the Democrats and Republicans in congress and exploited it.
Exploited it? Yeah. He has the support of some very wealthy people. He used his celebrity to hoodwink the American people. He made false promises to people who were out of work and hurting. He gave voice to extremists like the KKK. He also seems to have something going on with Vladimir Putin.
Putin? Yeah Putin. Putin is a thug. He is a ruthless dictator who kills his political rivals and people trying to report honest news. He is one of a small number of criminals that have taken over Russia and transformed it from a nation state into a criminal organization.
Donald Trump acts weird when it comes to Putin. Putin sought to hurt Trump's opponent during the election and he may have gone further than that. He may have compromised Trump and his campaign and his transition team.
Putin may have managed to coopt the President of the United States. Trump may be his puppet. Trump has damaged our relations with our allies and NATO and said a lot of negative things about world leaders. Trump has not said a single negative thing about Putin. In fact, he often praises him.