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History Lesson #5: CRT VS PC: The Way History Needs to be Taught

When the transcontinental railroad was being constructed across the U.S., specifically that section that went east from California, the Chinese were pivotal in providing the labor to get it done. And yet, they were prejudiced against. Why?

 

Such is the discussion of history in the United States. We are long past due to teach history with honesty and attitude. How can we be the people we are when we are constantly living lies? Why is teaching real history even a debate?

 

We have a lot of hate and anger in this country that was of late exemplar in Trump's "Make America Great Again." He even tried to counter the 1619 Project with the alternate attitude in the ill-conceived 1776 Project to "re-promote" patriotic education. Find more on 1619 here: https://www.project1619.org/. In short, that's the year that slaves were first brought here, and this project wants everyone to know American history from the perspective of its slaves. Trump felt we should know it from the perspective of the founders of the Constitution - I think. We all know the constitution was not founded on equality for all, even though it says that, because at the time it only meant white men; certainly not Indians, Blacks or women.

 

There is another way to teach history. Simply by sharing what happened, and why. We used to call it Political Correctness, but in the current climate we hear the debate is over whether or not to teach Critical Race Theory (CRT) in the schools. Why do we have to give the truth fancy names? Isn't that a sure way to continue to divide us?

 

Look, I wrote two books where all I did was follow what happened and why. Yes, I found out things I never knew. It didn't make me hate this country. It made me understand this country.

 

Here's how to understand CRT:

 

In order to understand the problem of Critical Race Training in Higher Education, parents and students need to understand what Critical Race Theory is and how it is implemented. As discussed below, Critical Race Theory is not the traditional civil rights movement, which sought to provide equal opportunity and dignity without regard to race. Rather, Critical Race Theory, and the training to implement it, is a radical ideology that focuses on race as the key to understanding society, and objectifies people based on race.

 

As a radical ideology it has, so far, only divided us further as a country. Let's get back to PC issues and talk about what really happened in our history as a way to teach history.

 

I belong to a number of western Facebook pages and to Western Writers of America, and the most vocal people at these sites are pro-gun and pro-GOP. They think us liberals are all about socialism, a word they abhor without even knowing what it is. Why can't we make Indians the bad guys in our westerns again? Political Correctness (PC) has ruined westerns.

 

And it's true, cowboys and Indians aren't good guys chasing bad guys anymore. We've learned, and it's taken long enough, that history is not black & white. There were as many bad white cowboys as there were bad red Indians. Real history shows us that the Indians alone did not slaughter Custer and his troops. The army's negligence was also responsible; negligence and political maneuvering to take the Black Hills. That's real history. It's not "re-thinking history." It's removing history's patriotic skin to see what really happened. We don't misuse PC to show what really happened. But we do use PC to make those movies that show what really happened.

 

You could continue to make fiction movies that show Indians as bad guys. But at least put them on another planet, okay?

 

Yes, it's true, patriotic history has been taught all through the 20th Century, as Waxman noted. It is long past time to stop. We're smarter than that now. We know what happened in the '60s as a result of Civil  Rights, though many of us still fear voicing it.

 

I just read an article about CRT by Oivia B. Waxman in Time Magazine and it's more clear than ever that this idea only further divides. It's controversial. Truth in history is not. Oh, sure, some say teaching true history means our kids will grow up hating the  U.S. That we'll stop pledging allegiance and no longer want to fly the flag.

 

Hang in there: I'm going to show you why this isn't true. As Waxman noted, our understanding of the past is the key to how we envision the future. If we're stuck in the "South lost because their slaves were taken away" version of American history, we cannot progress as a united nation. Maybe that's been our trouble all along. We have not been able to unite since the Civil War.

 

We can. But it's going to take a real human understanding that no one ever deserved to be enslaved. We can say our forefathers were wrong and learn to live with it. That their "ideal" of equality is still being played out, and is a worthy endeavor. We can say we knew what they meant, even if they didn't. If you 'red' (not reed) Civil War & Bloody Peace, you learned that war was going to break out over western migration, as it did once before; the British didn't want the colonies to expand into Indian territory either. For completely racist notions, the Civil War was fought, and there was no way around it. But though the Union won freedom (for what that was worth) for Black people, the losers were the Indians.

 

But Lincoln didn't free the slaves. That is lesson #1 in true history. And Washington felt only rich white men should vote. That's lesson #2. The United States was not established on true equality, but on flawed humans' idea of equality. Jefferson opposed Washington, and yet some want to erase Jefferson's name. Nonsense. Erasing any true history is non-PC.

 

CRT has rallied opponents who say it perpetuates racism and exclusion. Waxman gives Rockwood School District in Missouri as a case in point. The Missouri governor recently said they don't have to abide by federal gun laws. So we know Missouri is a hard GOP case. I'm sure CRT has supporters elsewhere.

 

But I am not a fan of anything that further divides us anywhere. Can teaching the simple and objective truth do that? What some fear is weighing the scales too much in the opposite direction. Teaching the simple truth does not do that. When I set out to write Civil War & Bloody Peace, I wanted objectivity. I read Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. I appreciated the author's attempts to show what really happened in history but I felt it tipped the scale a little too much in the other direction and really didn't get at the truth that we needed.

 

The truth that we need is one that shows President Grant as he was, not as he wanted us to remember him. The truth allows us to continue to read books like Mark Twain.

 

Mark Twain was the one who encouraged and helped President Grant write his Civil War memoirs. Mark Twain helped create his image. Grant avoided writing anything related to his presidential years. Okay, he was dying of throat cancer at the time, but when he left office in 1877, all he said related to his presidency was as an apology for allowing politicians to walk all over him. Really? The hero of the Civil War is blaming others for the graft and corruption during his presidency?

 

I don't use anyone's autobiography to demonstrate who they were. Nor would I demean any fiction novel like Twain's, written in the past that is a mirror to what that time period was like. You want to know who Grant was, you have to follow objective history.

 

Unless we learn from history we could well repeat it. And hiding what was written in history has been part of our historical legacy, too, because our history embarrasses us. We want to hide it. Hiding it hasn't done us any good, so let's try learning the truth for a change.

 

Grant felt the Indians could be pushed around. Trump felt minorities could be pushed around. He professed to being the first to cut off travel from China, but allowed the virus to get in through all other routes. The first occurrences turned up in NYC and Seattle. We heard early in our shut-down in 2020 that minorities would get hit the hardest. Did Trump know this, too? Is this why he felt he should not have lost the 2020 election? Yet he held rallies that summer and didn't care if his supporters wore masks. He said no, he wasn't worried about the virus; he was standing far enough away from everyone. How that didn't lose him votes, I don't know.

 

I do feel the GOP got more votes by cheating, and yet they accuse the Democrats of it. Why wouldn't there be more absentee balloting in 2020? There was a pandemic shutdown at the time.

 

Trump felt Black Lives Matters was one of the problems in the country that White Supremacy could fix. Trump supporters were the ones who caused the violence during the peaceful protests that summer of 2020. They were the ones who had something to gain by disrupting protests over the death of George Floyd. Trump was the one who had something to gain if he could send out the National Guard against a largely Black protest.

 

Trump decided that his election loss was fraudulent and he gets his QAnon followers so worked up that they tried to invalidate the final election vote confirmation on January 6th by storming the capitol. Trump was completely against the peaceful transfer of power that had been our strength in this country since the Constitution was devised, not because he was being PC. No, because he was a poor loser.

 

By standing against what this country stood for, he and his supporters committed the biggest act of political incorrectness. You can't pretend reality is what you want it to be. You can't pretend that history is supposed to go your way because you think you're the good guys. Voters decide, as they always have. And losers, up until Trump, have always been gracious.

 

To be politically correct, we have to correct our misconceptions of history. We have to erase what used to be patriotic history and learn the real history of the U.S., a country born in violence that seems to know no other way to respond. Since Biden was confirmed, gun violence has been worse than ever. According to CBS News on June 24th, there have been 296 mass shootings so far this year, the deadliest year in two decades.

 

Waxman said it right, that most people have to go to college to learn real history. And that's what makes colleges both liberal and hotbeds of protest. How dare educators lie to me all this time! I hated history in high school. I graduated in 1971 and didn't have my first college history class until 1995. I now hold a master's in history. True history is illuminating and invigorating. There's so much potential there for us to become a real and united people. But only if we learn it.

 

Waxman noted one who said that they weren't racist just because they didn't want CRT taught in their classroom, but she didn't say what it DID make them. What other reason is there for not wanting it taught? In my mind, it could tip the scale too far the other way and that is what people are objecting to, I think.

 

We need objective history and we need it in the grade schools, and we need it yesterday.

 

Trump committed the largest act of political incorrectness by supporting only the white Christians who don't believe that black lives matter.

 

Juneteenth is now a federal holiday, as a PC salute to the past. It commemorates the end of slavery by making the day slaves in Texas heard they were free a federal holiday. It has nothing to do with the Civil War, or the 13th Amendment. Texas was simply the last to let those people go.

 

What does another holiday accomplish? I'm not sure. But finding this out, and the Oklahoma massacre, and so many other things that I share in From Lincoln to Trump, is a good start. Maybe we need the students to ask more questions. Maybe the parents can tell them things they don't learn in schools as a way to start those conversations. Maybe if we show that learning the truth doesn't hurt us but sets us free and makes us feel not only smarter but more responsible to do better, we'll be able to move for real honest curriculum in our schools.

 

In the South in the 1960s, we saw a lot of objection to Civil Rights emerge, and when Kennedy pushed for it, and Johnson finished it, many of the Southern Dixicrats turned Republican. It had been Republicans who were against doing away with segregation. They felt segregation worked. They didn't see the Blacks as a voting bloc worth championing. President Kennedy did, and Bobby Kennedy picked up the Civil Rights voting mantle and ran with it. He got 100% of the black vote in the Los Angeles Watts District just before he was killed. Why was he killed? Because of Civil Rights. That's why his brother John and Martin Luther King were killed.

 

We cannot pretend race was never an issue. We have not had any decent progress toward equality since then. But the way to get it is through the truth in history.

 

Yes, it's good to recognize the end of slavery in Juneteenth. But we also have to recognize it wasn't the end of prejudice. It is being PC to write history as it was, not as we were taught to be patriotic and believe America was right no matter what, because then we'll start to understand where we're at today.

 

You see it, right? If you're taught to believe America is right no matter what, then how could slavery have been wrong? No, it's patriotic teaching that's wrong.

 

This country of immigrants is filled with examples of prejudice. Here are just a few I used in From Lincoln to Trump:

 

"Why not discriminate? Why aid in the increase and distribution over our domain of a degraded and inferior race and the progenitors of an inferior sort of men?" This was a quote by Republican Senator John F. Miller of California, and he may have been referring to the Chinese, who he wanted to stop coming to California. (President) Arthur refused to exclude them from immigrating for twenty years, instead reducing it to ten. They were not given citizenship, a law that was finally repealed in 1943. (p. 65)

 

In 1942 Mexican immigration was encouraged for agricultural needs because of the fear of labor shortages. Called the Bracero Program, it continued to be renewed for the source of cheap labor. FDR incarcerated Japanese US citizens during the war; one refused to go and took the case to the Supreme Court, who ruled it as a military necessity. (p. 108.)

 

Once we acknowledge that our country has had a past filled with subjective hatred and injury, we discover the true meaning of PC, that we are a different, and a better, people today and the changes in the way we look at ourselves is the best use of PC there is.

 

Michael Foucault noted that a true student of the past

 

…must grapple primarily with the events of history, its jolts, its surprises, its unsteady victories and unpalatable defeats -- the basis of all beginnings, atavisms and heredities.

 

If we show both the good and the bad in U.S. history to even our children, we'll discover that they are able to understand and still love our country, if we teach it right. We are all flawed human beings, doing our best in a flawed system. Let's teach it that way.

 

SOURCES

 https://criticalrace.org/what-is-critical-race-theory/. 

 Olivia B. Waxman, "Past Tense," Time, July 5 - 12, 2021, p. 81.

 https://www.cbsnews.com/news/2021-deadliest-year-gun-violence/. 

 Matthew Karp, "History as End," Harpers, July 2021, p. 29.

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Updated Political Correctness

In case you missed the first. This is preceding History Lesson #5 and is worth a read.

 

As a historian I've faced a lot of skepticism readers have about in the past. Some say we can't trust any of it. Some think nothing happened the way historians have presented it. Some wave their patriotic flags, yet today, and say the USA is never on the wrong side. Not only has the USA been on the wrong side, but political correctness (PC) is designed to right those wrongs, to add understanding to our immigrant culture that's sorely been lacking for too long.

 

I gave this talk at a historical conference in Virginia a few years back and we had a very spirited conversation. I went with the desire to find out from other history writers what the problem is in using terms like "half-breed" on the cover title of historical fiction. In the discussion came the realization that there was an awful lot of mistaken ideas about the topic that need to be addressed. I knew of a cover of a book called Half-Breed; it was nonfiction. But using it in fiction, it turns out, is a real turn-off.

 

What does using PC mean? It means we are trying to clean up the patriotic attitude that the USA has never done anything wrong in its past. It is completely PC to show what the image of the "half-breed" really was, to show the native American Indians as they were, not as an enemy we were right to vanquish. It is not PC to erase Jefferson from the books just because he owned slaves – that's going overboard. We can't address white supremacism if we don't understand why it still exists.

 

PC cannot erase history but teaches us to understand how we got from there to here.

 

PC means giving due respect to all human beings and understanding what really happened in history. It's called cleaning up the patriotic garble. Many want to believe that the USA government never did anything wrong. That we lost the Vietnam war because of protesters. That the Indians really were bad guys who attacked without warning or reason. We have to understand our real history in order to learn from it.

 

Oxford Dictionary online defined PC this way: "The avoidance, often considered taken to extremes, of forms of expression or action that are perceived to exclude, marginalize, or insult groups of people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against."

 

This definition refers to groups. If you're Jewish, you're greedy. If you're black, you're lazy. Stereotypes. Today some whites claim they voted for Trump because they've been marginalized and disadvantaged. They're the new stereotypes – they're all racist. (Hint: they're not.) At the Parkland shooting, the gunman supposedly belonged to a group that wanted to make all of Florida white. Trump claimed that he was going to "Make America Great Again" and his base is filled with racist sentiment. They're today following his lead with armed protests to open the country up to more infection. Are we to assume that "greatness" is tied to "whiteness? And that's tied to "rightness?"  

 

We have to get rid of the divide in this country, and the main way is to remove all stereotypes. Take Trump's logo: Make America Great Again. What does America stand for? America in geography encompasses all of the North and South American continents. But America in the USA means just us. We don't care about Mexico or Canada because they're not us.

 

Political correctness means that we treat historical research without stereotypes. While the Indian wars were being fought, the destruction of their culture was rationalized by saying that they must have killed the Mysterious Mound Builders (as at Cahokia). Only after the wars ended were the native American Indians considered to be the descendants of those mound builders. It's the truth, but it's not patriotic to believe it.

 

I once chatted with a Maryland college class that used one of my novels as required reading in an 1800s Americana class. One question I was asked was "but cowboys and Indians were never friends, right?" This was only a few years ago. Of course they were, I told them. Where do you think "half-breeds" came from?

 

Maybe this definition will help:  Today we recognize that slavery was wrong, that there is no inferior race; and all religions are created equal. Today we use this understanding to put all humans on an equal basis, and to understand our common core of humanity. PC means giving equality to every race, creed and philosophy, and recognize people as people, not as representing any single group. PC eradicates stereotype.

 

Religion is another hot topic today. Conservative Christians see PC as trying to erase them. But this country was not founded on Christian values. It was founded as a place where all could freely follow their beliefs. During the Eisenhower term, "In God We Trust" was put on money and in the Pledge of Allegiance because of fears of communism.

 

Attitude is what we're talking about. Historians today need to relate the attitudes of the times. That's being politically correct. That's showing how we cannot be stereotyped. When I show that Red Cloud stopped fighting whites because he saw how big the whites' cities were, while Spotted Tail came to appreciate whites when he saw them give a touching funeral for his daughter, I recognized how attitude erased stereotype. How do these images fit with those early westerns where Indians were always the bad guys? If I told you that Grant kept trying to find reasons to believe the Sioux broke the Fort Laramie treaty, and couldn't, and then had to force the war at the Little Bighorn, would you still say the Indians were guilty of slaughtering Custer?

 

Without attitude, we cannot understand proper use of PC. One lady I ran into wondered why dressing up for Halloween in Muslim garb is considered in poor taste. Were those fellows sitting around pretending to be terrorists? Or were they discussing the good things their religion stands for? A negative attitude is what hurts any residing member of any group. I don't want anyone to see that I'm white and immediately assume I'm racist. Don't assume anything by the color of one's skin. That's PC.

 

Stereotypes need to disappear from our dialog, or we will continue to be a divided nation. "Why are you a Trump voter? Are you a racist?" It's a sure way to stop dialog. So is using the word "libtard." We've become a nation without sensitivity. Hate spirals "us" downward.

 

"Half-breed" is one of those terms where historical attitude changed over time. The nonfiction history book, "Halfbreed" by David Fridtjof Halaas and Andrew Masich, was published in 2004 with that title in big bold letters. But inside the book, the term is rarely used, opting for "mixed blood" instead. Half-breed is a term exclusively for that 'condition' of being half-white and half-Indian. In "Halfbreed," there are two attitudes; some of them sided with the Indians, while others worked for the whites as interpreters. No stereotypes.

 

Guess who made half-breeds a bad word? Right, the whites. And use of the word "breed" makes Indians sound like animals. Heck, we all breed, don't we? It wasn't the word, though, that became offensive. It was the attitude that changed toward them. When the whites could no longer use half-breeds after the Little Bighorn, their existence in helping the Indians became offensive.

 

People complain that today's westerns are too PC. There are no more good guys vs. bad guys. What did one producer do? Cast Kurt Russell in a western where the bad Indians were cannibals (if you haven't seen Bone Tomahawk, don't bother). But does this mean that John Wayne westerns cannot ever be watched again? No, because if we understand PC, we can also understand where those stereotypes came from in the first place. I personally wouldn't watch them because I don't like John Wayne. If we recognize that they are stereotypes, then we're making progress with our attitude.

 

We can still have villains in movies, but they cannot be stereotypes. Remember Dances with Wolves? There were bad & good Indians; bad soldiers & good soldiers. That's the way it was, and we have to deal with it as real history. Stop teaching patriotism and teach history as it was. If we learn from the beginning that history is filled with attitude, we will lose our divisiveness. I'm sure of it.

 

Proper use of PC stops us from saying all Indians were savage and all cowboys were John Wayne, trying to save the settlers. Remember that college class I mentioned? Had they never seen "The Lone Ranger?" Or "Bonanza?" Even while John Wayne westerns were being made, there were those who tried to set the historical record straight.

Many think PC attacks Christianity. It doesn't; it attacks racism and stereotype. PC doesn't apply to your Christmas celebration. PC doesn't prevent you from being annoyed. Some Christians get annoyed when they say "Merry Christmas" to you, and you say "Happy Holidays" in return. We hear "Jesus is the reason for the season" as their reproach. As a Pagan, I know that Christmas was placed over the winter solstice celebration, so I get annoyed when I'm told I must believe in Jesus to celebrate the holiday. I once wrote an editorial about the Christian takeover of Pagan holidays and got a phone call from a local politician thanking me. He said I opened his eyes to something he never knew.

 

Rreedom of religion is in the Constitution. I don't want to believe in Jesus and would reject a law telling me I have to.

 

Here's a solution. You say Merry Christmas to me, and I won't get offended because that's what you celebrate. I'll say Happy Holidays to you, and if you get offended, or stop talking to me, I won't care.

 

Religion is filled with attitude. Kick out the Muslims, block immigration from Mexico and build that wall; Trump sounds sincere when he believes these things will make "America" great again.

 

Is citizenship that hard to get here now? Is a country of immigrants really anti-immigration or just anti-certain-people-immigration? I tried to find out how hard on a Q&A site set up online, and it asked if I was over 18, and live here, and have a green card. Once I got that far, I realized the questions were all in English. I did learn that to apply for citizenship, you need to be a green card holder for at least five years, be physically present here for 30 months out of those 60 months, and be able to write, read and speak English. Here where I live, with its high Hispanic population, many of the signs are in Spanish. Does that mean illegal immigrants live here? And of course you have to be law-abiding, of good character, know the Constitution … then how did someone like Trump get to be president?

How political is PC? From Writing.com:

 

The phrase "political correctness" has been around a lot longer than most people realize. Today the phrase is applied in everything we do, say, or act upon.  In 1793, the phrase was used in the US Supreme Court "to describe something that was not literally accurate but correct in the political field." 

 

Correct in the political field. That is a mouthful. They used it to apply fairness, it seems, because that's what the Supreme Court should be all about -- a fair and correct interpretation of the Constitution in all things.

 

Obama's failures were more related to the growing Tea Party influence (read: racism) on the GOP, who decided they would make him a one-term president by not working with him on anything. Where's fairness? Trump and the GOP reversed nearly all of Obama's accomplishments -- as though it offends them to have black progress in our government. Yet the Supreme Court upheld his health care for the third time.

 

Conservatives in the GOP were okay with PC if it worked in their favor. But PC attitude is now considered liberal, or leftist. Note this from Conservapedia.com:

 

The modern politically correct movement began at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, which is one of the most liberal colleges in the United States. Political correctness is a liberal degrading of the freedom of speech. Words or actions that violate political correctness are called politically incorrect. At American universities, liberals began imposing political correctness to prevent recognition of differences [stereotypes] among gender, religion, belief system, sexual orientation and nationality.

 

In the 1960s, feminists began to demand that the neutral pronouns he, him and his be replaced with expressions like "he or she", "him or her" … they argued that no one would be able to understand that the masculine gender included the feminine gender in neutral contexts. But this was just part of their campaign to redefine the social roles traditionally associated with masculinity and femininity.

 

We can't have freedom of speech if we use the word "human" in place of "man?" If we recognize that the male gender term could have been squashing woman's rights in the marketplace?

 

Yes, it's PC to eliminate some words from our vocabulary. We can be annoyed by political correctness, but my annoyance isn't the same as yours. We're all annoyed by different things. There's no pleasing everyone, as the saying goes.

 

"Make America Great Again" referred to a time that didn't exist. America -- I mean the USA -- was never great; patriotic attitude packs history with lies. Patriotism once told us that whites were good and Indians were bad, and blacks were only fit to be slaves.

 

It is "not cool" to say that any group of people is too lazy to get a job, or all blacks are on welfare, all immigrants are abusing the system, or women dress to get raped. It is good PC to recognize where our dialog crosses these lines; hardly a petty annoyance to assert that no one deserves to get raped. Rape is not protected free speech; although with recent abortion laws, it is starting to feel like rape is in vogue. It never was, in case you're wondering. "Baby It's Cold Outside" is not a song about rape.

 

We're the ones who can make the right changes in the world, by proper application of PC. One way is to understand how to read history books.

 

The term "half-breed" was used in the 1800s to identify someone who was half American Indian and half white. White settlers first headed west, as trappers or explorers, and they married Indian women. William Bent was one. His son Charly became a Cheyenne dog soldier and died a Cheyenne dog soldier. His son George worked with Indian agents as an interpreter. Half-breeds in the 1800s who were interpreters were considered valuable because they could understand both sides. If they became warriors, however, they would teach other Indians things like how to tear apart railroad tracks and set cars ablaze using coals from the engine.

 

Eventually even half-breeds like George Bent, featured in the book "Halfbreed," were considered a nuisance when the army no longer had need of them. After the Little Bighorn, they were written out of Indian annuity rights; suddenly they didn't know where they belonged anymore. Indians married whites because they felt their offspring would give them leverage with the white world. But after the Little Bighorn, all that changed.

 

We need to teach our teachers how to teach things like Mark Twain and Song of the South. That movie has been removed from Disney's play list because it's considered racist to show blacks in the South as being happy. For one thing, the song is set after the Civil War. So yeah, there were happy blacks in the South back then. We can understand that one movie doesn't mean they all were. Show the movie to middle schoolers and start a spirited conversation, one that will live on with them.

 

They're afraid that, if they let kids read Mark Twain, they'll be reintroducing those "bad" words into today's conversations. They need to teach historical attitude by showing the difference between what people knew then, and what we know now.

 

I contend that we can still love the USA, even with warts.

 

Some people believe that writers cannot write about a race to which we do not belong. It's PC to say we can never experience how they feel. That's true for contemporary works; but if a historian is writing about a period that emerges from primary sources that were written at a time when no one alive has lived, that changes the issue. We research a period in history and show what people were like then, so that others can share these experiences. And the historical terms we find in that primary research helps all of us understand the attitude of the time.

 

Feeling superior to another race is an attitude created by a stereotype. Waving a Nazi flag today is an attitude. Believing all people are equal is more than PC -- it's the truth. What makes each of us different, regardless of skin color, is how we were raised: our experiences.

 

PC serves us by removing stereotypes and reminding us, as the Constitution tried to inject, that all people are created equal. They didn't believe that back then because slaves were still slaves and women had no place in government. But trying to erase Jefferson from our history because he was a slave holder is overboard PC; did you know he tried to stop slavery in his time? We can admire Robert E. Lee for being a great military leader while wondering why he didn't just quit and free his slaves. But we didn't live back then. All we can do is show what happened, free of stereotypes.

 

Clint Eastwood made the movie Gran Torino because he "hates the so-called PC thing," according to Edition.CNN.com. The movie was about an old man who's a Korean war vet and an open racist. But he has a change of heart when he sees a neighborhood Korean boy being tormented by other boys and comes to his aid. He learns that they are people, too. Getting to know people is the best way to get over racism. Clint actually made the perfect PC movie.

 

I still use the term "half-breed" in the dialog of my novel about a half white son in the 1850s because, for teaching our children what the world used to be like, they can see how much better the world can be when we treat each other as equals. This means we don't stop teaching Mark Twain just because we don't know how. Learn how. Use it in historical context. Show students what people were like back then; explain why it isn't considered acceptable now.

 

We can do this as a people, and we must. It's long past time to acknowledge this country's real history. And that's being politically correct. But it's also the truth.

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History Lesson #4: Immigration Segregation's Impact on Blacks and Indians

Is it possible that immigration segregation that began in the 1800s had an impact on Indian and Black populations? I got this idea from working the Cartwright Virginia City history book. Ronald James noted that 30% of Virginia City residents came from other countries. 39% were from California, with the total number in 1860 at 3017. Hispanics were well represented as were people from the East Coast. The question that rose came with James's comment that "Most of the Spanish-speaking men were packers, and they apparently lived together, suggesting that Euro-Americans restricted people of their ethnicity and occupation to a designated area." Is this true, or did people of like languages simply settle together for support and communication?


A study that was completed by Eriksson and Ward noted this:  "Immigrants from Western Europe were most segregated during their peak immigration decades in the 1850s and 1860s. For later-sending countries in eastern and southern Europe, segregation peaked at the same time as inflows did around 1910. Segregation for all European sources fell after the immigration quota acts of the 1920s, laws which ended the open-door policy of the US."

This does sound as though segregation was a natural policy dominated by the first Europeans (British-French-Spanish) who settled here. But with my German heritage I have noted that Germans tended to settle in areas where there were other Germans and where the weather seemed most like what they were used to in the Old World.

 

People from Europe self-segregated because they felt at home, at first, with their own kind, speaking their own language. Second generation, however, who learned English were much quicker to leave this segregated neighborhood, Eriksson and Ward found. From 1850 to 1870 the most segregated groups were the Irish in mill towns of the northeast such as Lowell and Fall River, Massachusetts. Later in the 20th century, some of the most highly segregated areas were for Eastern Europeans in the mining counties in western Pennsylvania. Mexicans were also highly segregated in the agricultural and mining counties in the American southwest. 

 

There was perhaps an early, and what seemed sensible, decision to segregate Indians and Blacks with each other for the same reason that the immigrants chose to segregate. One reason is you're more likely to get stores, newspapers and restaurants that cater to your needs.

 

The problem is of being unable to get out.

 

We often look down on the segregation of Indians on reservations, and the segregation of blacks into their own neighborhoods, but it's important to remember that if you were a white second generation who spoke clear English you had a much easier time assimilating into a traditional white neighborhood. As noted in "Civil War and Bloody Peace," William Powell talked with a young Indian who had gone to school and had excellent English about why he didn't have a job. "But no one will give an Indian anything to do out here," was his response after saying he would love to have a job.

 

This fight for jobs and fair wages is nothing new. During the Civil War the draft riots in New York City broke out because the Irish were angry at the thought of Blacks taking their jobs at a lower wage. Unions started after the Civil War to try to stabilize wages and working conditions. One group of people (Whites) preferred not to have another group of people (Blacks) vying for their jobs because it tended to drive the wages down. Instead, they were forced into more menial tasks, and a Jim Crow law kind of slavery kept them there until the 1960s. And should a Black move into a White neighborhood? Whites moved out and property values plummeted, for no better reason than fear of accepting them as equal.

 

There was a group of Blacks in the 1870s who pleaded with the government to give them the kind of reservation land that the Indians had. Anything was better the the KKK violence they were enduring.

 

Segregated immigrant communities is still happening. Here's from a report by Gelatt, Hanson and Koball: "Just like US-born white, black, Hispanic, and Asian residents, immigrants from different world regions sort into neighborhoods across cities in patterns strongly shaped by the racial and ethnic and socioeconomic characteristics of those neighborhoods."

 

So even though immigrant segregation seemed like something that was equally good for Blacks and Indians, the difference was in wanting the freedom to move out, move up, and take advantage of the American dream. The difference, too, is that the Indian and Black communities are NOT immigrants, and never have been. But it could easily have been perceived by the white majority as something all inclusive for any group of people who identify a certain way.

 

(Today the white majority fears they're losing their majority, and the GOP attempt to control from a growing minority position.)

 

There's another demographic to pay attention to: According to Ireland & Scopiilliti Black immigrants also segregate. "Levels of segregation are much higher for black immigrants than for Asian, Hispanic, and white immigrants. In addition, because black immigrants are, on average, of higher socioeconomic status than native-born blacks, such characteristics do not help explain their very high levels of segregation."

 

There are case studies online, too, of half-black families who dare to move into white neighborhoods. "When Baptiste-Mombo was seven years old, she and her family moved from Queens, NY, to the suburbs of Jackson Township, NJ. "We left what now I see was our comfort zone — moving from an all-Black neighborhood into an all-white neighborhood," she says. "And we later came to find out that it was not going to be an easy road for our family.""

 

(Note that I left the comments in quotes as I found them.)

 

For two years I lived in an all-Black apartment building in Madison, because it was all I could afford. When I first moved in, two of the seven apartments were with white college students. When they moved out, one Hispanic family and one Black family moved in. I remember the gal who lived on the first floor below my second story apartment. She asked me to stop putting out birdseed because it encouraged the possums to come to her patio. I wanted to say "lucky you," but didn't. In another instance she reported of a flood in her bathroom and the fire department was sent to inspect my apartment to see if I had left any water running. I hadn't. Once I got a plant delivered and it was locked outside the apartment. The nice fellow across from me brought it to me. I never ever had any package stolen while I lived there, as my son has had in his all-White apartments in Green Bay. I never once felt unsafe, not even when the police pounded on my door in the middle of the night, asking me if I'd heard anything suspicious. I hadn't. Eventually I had to move across town because the business I worked at moved and I liked walking to work. That's when I noticed another difference - the all-Black apartment community had more litter around it. Whether this was the result of having to pay more for rent so the owners kept it neater, or not, I don't know. But in the lower rent area, no one cared if I let my cat run up and down the stairs. At the high rent area, they told me I couldn't let them anymore because neighbors complained. So where would I move again if I had the choice? The all-Black neighborhood.

 

Yes, segregated communities are still a thing. But are they still in place because of White supremacy? Or because that's how these cultural and racial groups like it? Again, from Gelatt et al:  "Both Chicago and DC exhibit stark segregation between black and white neighborhoods, with the highest-SES areas primarily made up of white residents and the lowest-SES areas primarily made up of black residents. This dichotomy has changed little over the past two decades. Both cities have also attracted large numbers of immigrants. For the most part, immigrant residents have avoided both the traditionally black, lowest-SES communities and the traditionally white, highest-SES communities, instead settling into the middle-SES neighborhoods.

 

You can see what's going on here, and what needs yet to be addressed by this country and its Juneteenth celebration. Low communities must be upgraded to become more favorable to all if we are ever to achieve perfect equality in this country. This means part of our infrastructure needs to be a dedication to inner cities.

 

If we get used to having clean neighborhoods, maybe we'll all take more responsibility for that litter, too.

 

SOURCES:

James, The Roar and the Silence, 35-36. I will be developing this idea into History Lesson #4.
https://voxeu.org/article/ethnic-segregation-immigrants-us-1850-1940
https://apps.urban.org/features/ncdb/immigrants-reshaping-residential-segregation/index.html
https://read.dukeupress.edu/demography/article/45/1/79/170031/Immigrant-residential-segregation-in-U-S
https://www.gpb.org/news/2021/06/17/immigrant-family-navigates-generational-trauma. Read more of her story here.

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History Lesson #3: Virginia City Silver & the US Money System

Virginia City became one of the richest places on earth in the later 1800s because of deposits of gold and especially silver. But how does that relate the U.S. being on the gold or silver standard? If at all? Nevada residents were Republican and voted in a state constitution so that Lincoln could admit Nevada as a state in 1864 and and give him more electoral vote. Was the country already preparing to go off the silver standards, making this push for statehood an effort by Nevada to keep the US on silver?

 

In its early years, the US had a bi-metallic standard defined by both gold and silver, set at a ratio of 15 to 1. This explains why gold was a much more sought after commodity. But in Virginia City, silver discovered far out-measured that ratio. The gold discoveries of 1849 reduced the value of gold, and silver coins disappeared from circulation at that time. Of course, the more you have, the less valuable it is. In 1853, the silver content of small coins was reduced below their official face value so that the public could have the coins needed to make change.

 

The Comstock's silver lode was discovered in 1859. Stock in Virginia City metals took a hit in April 1860, which to some signaled the end of that boom. But that crash related to finding little or nothing to report in some of the peripheral mining areas. The Comstock itself was still solid. One of the problems in Virginia City's rich history was that they continually needed to go deeper and deeper to find ways to access the silver lode. And that meant the need for capital -- it takes gold to find silver.

 

Those dipping stock prices didn't reflect the fact that miners were bringing up gold and especially silver at Virginia City every day. "The reality of gold and silver provided its own momentum, and mining continued despite fluctuations  in the stock market."

 

There were crooked investors, of course, those only to happy to swindle someone looking to invest with worthless mine stock. "The two mining operations, one into pockets of ore and the other into pockets of fools, paralleled each other for decades."

I wonder if that was anything like insider trading, which became illegal, eventually.

 

This doesn't sound like the atmosphere of Virginia City silver made an impact on the monetized system. In fact, the Comstock was discovered only a decade after the California gold rush, during which there was a back flow of gold seekers who followed rumors to Sun Mountain in Nevada. The gold was enough to keep them there, but the silver lode made Virginia City one of the richest mountain cities on earth.

 

Here are a couple of events relating to devaluing silver:

 

In 1853, the U.S. government moved to debase—reduce the amount of silver—in its silver coinage. While the silver dollar returned as legal tender in 1878, it didn't last long. A silver-preserving law known as the Sherman Silver Purchase Act of 1890 was repealed because it undercut gold reserves.

 

The United States abandoned the silver standard in 1861, and by 1893 had effectively moved to a gold standard. In the intervening years it had been on a virtual bimetal system; that is a currency fixed to values in both silver and gold.

 

This second source is confusing; what does it mean by intervening years? If the silver standard had been dropped as noted, the Comstock Lode would have become almost valueless. Instead, Virginia City had boom and bust years between 1860 and 1880 -- mostly boom. Because of the Comstock, though, silver flooded the market, and likely caused the move to gold standard only. But not before 1880.

 

During the Civil War, the government issued legal tender paper money that was not redeemable in gold or silver, effectively placing the country on a fiat paper system. Another source noted that, in 1879, the country was returned to a metallic standard on gold only. This makes the most sense as it marks also the end of Virginia City's final bust.

 

But why was the silver standard abandoned? Here's a possible explanation that covers Virginia City's silver becoming devalued without mentioning the silver found there.

 

A major difficulty with a silver standard is the low value of the metal. In order to maintain parity with the metal value, silver coins can become physically large and heavy.For governments and central banks, maintaining either a gold or silver standard becomes difficult as the metal's bullion value rises and falls. For example, following the California Gold Rush, the gold price in the US fell and the physical metal value of silver coins exceeded their face value. As a result, many silver dollars were taken out of the US, and melted into a more valuable ounce of silver in other countries.

 

Also, both gold and silver standards restrict financial movement and the ability of government to set interest rates. Many economists cite this as the cause of the "long depression" from 1873 until 1896, and the "Great Depression" in the 1930s.

 

Silver wasn't that valuable to begin with, and as this site noted, the gold rush in '49 also devalued gold. So when technology was needed to go deeper and deeper into the lodes, the stockholders found the process more costly than it was worth. That finally happened to the city in the late 1870s.

 

Let's look closer at Virginia City. "In the 20 years between 1860 and 1880, they mined 6,971,641 tons of pure silver. To transport this amount of silver today, it would take a freight train stretching from Madrid to Moscow."

 

Of course stockholders invested as long as they could make a handy profit, and even President Grant invested. But here's an interesting comment:

 

Most of the silver kings converted their enormous wealth into political influence. No wonder they managed to defer the adoption of the pure gold standard for the United States. To support silver mining, the Bland-Allison Act stipulated the purchase and coining of silver in the amount of two to four million dollars each month. When in 1893 Congress ceased coining silver, the Comstock Lode was depleted and the ones who made a profit invested their assets in other things.

 

The Bland-Allison Act, which allowed for a liberal use of silver coinage during the Panic of 1873, was passed by two Senators, Bland of Missouri and Allison of Iowa. But this enabled Virginia City to keep digging. Late in 1874, and into the next year, there was great stock excitement in San Francisco and Virginia City, due to the developments in the Consolidated Virginia and California mines, where astonishing rich deposits of ore were opened into view, sending stock from $50 to $1,000, seemingly overnight. The same happened at the Ophir Mine, and all along the Comstock.

 

There was great speculation -- sell now and triple your investment, or wait?

 

On very critical occasions, either when stocks are rapidly rushing or when they are rapidly 'tumbling,' then is a grand charge made upon all the bulletin-boards as soon as it is known that the reports have arrived. Dry-goods clerks -- yardstick in hand and scissors peeping from vest pocket -- come running out bareheaded and bald-headed to catch a glimpse of the bulletin; barkeepers in their white aprons come; bareheaded, bare-armed and white-aproned butchers smelling of blood come; blacksmiths in leather aprons and hammer in hand, flour-dusted bakers, cooks in paper caps, cobblers, tinkers and tailors all come to learn the best and the worst.

 

Everywhere they talk stock.

 

Bill Stewart was Nevada's famous "silver senator." He ran as a Silver Party candidate in 1892 and 1898 because he opposed the Republican Party's position on demonetizing silver, though he ultimately rejoined the Republican caucus in 1899. Seems by this time, though, he should have known he was kicking a dead horse. But this demonstrates the continued desire of the locals to hit it big once more.

 

The move to a sole gold standard was fiercely opposed by many in the United States; the "free silver" movement included the eventual Secretary of State – William Jennings Bryan. He famously decried the move in a speech on July 9th, 1896. The Cross of Gold speech supported bi-metallism and was concluded with the infamous line: "You shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold".

 

Throughout the late 19th century, there were efforts to re-monetize silver. A quantity of silver money was issued; however, its intrinsic value did not equal the face value of the money, nor was silver freely convertible into money. In 1900, the United States reaffirmed its commitment to the gold standard and relegated silver to small denomination money.

 

Throughout the period under which the United States had a metallic standard, paper money was extensively used. This use of paper money is entirely consistent with a gold standard. Much of the money used under a gold standard was not gold, but promises to pay gold. To help ensure that the paper notes issued by banks were honored, the government created the national bank system in 1863.

 

So it appears we were on the gold standard exclusively between 1879 and 1933, when FDR took us off. In 1913, it created the Federal Reserve System to help ensure that checks were similarly honored. The creation of the Federal Reserve did not end the gold standard.

 

But to understand how we're not on any standard now, there's this:

 

The gold standard is a monetary system in which a nation's currency is pegged to the value of gold. In a gold standard system, a given amount of paper money can be converted into a fixed amount of gold. Countries on the gold standard can't increase the amount of paper money in circulation without also increasing their reserves of gold.The gold standard is a monetary system in which a nation's currency is pegged to the value of gold. In a gold standard system, a given amount of paper money can be converted into a fixed amount of gold. Countries on the gold standard can't increase the amount of paper money in circulation without also increasing their reserves of gold.

 

FDR's move to get us out of the Depression by taking us off the gold standard is considered to have been a smart move. Abandoning the gold standard allowed countries to print more money. And that means more money than we have anything of value to back it up.

 

Obviously, Virginia City would have lost its great wealth much sooner, if the silver standard had not been upheld as long as 1878. The final blow to the city was the decision to go exclusively on the gold standard, removing the value needed to invest in new technology for the continued depth needed to reach the silver.

 

Whether anyone understood the reason we stayed on the bi-metal standard long after silver flooded the market, it appears very relevant to the continuing wealth of Virginia City between 1860 and 1880.

 

References:

 

 https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R41887.pdf. 

 https://www.usmoneyreserve.com/blog/when-did-us-go-off-silver-standard/ 

 https://coinsweekly.com/virginia-city-where-monetary-history-was-written/. Two photos saved from this site for the book, Mckay Villa and Sutro tunnel.

 https://www.senate.gov/senators/FeaturedBios/Featured_Bio_Stewart.htm.  

DeQuille, Big Bonanza, 305-307.  

https://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h718.html. 

 https://www.bullionbypost.co.uk/index/silver/silver-standard/#:~:text=The%20United%20States%20abandoned%20the%20silver%20standard%20in,fixed%20to%20values%20in%20both%20silver%20and%20gold.

 https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/fdr-takes-united-states-off-gold-standard

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History Lesson #2: NIGHT WATCH to MODERN POLICE: History of the Beat

The first to police the colonies were called "night watch."  There were also private for-hire men called "The Big Stick." The Watchers were volunteers, sometimes people who'd been caught at a crime, and were often drunk or asleep. The wealthiest also hired men for protection, maybe not aware the these were often unscrupulous people. What we think of as our modern police force didn't get its start until the early 1900s. Also confirmed was that the first forms of policing in the South was "patroling," going after slaves. Here's an excerpt from "Civil War & Bloody Peace:"

 

Regulators, Loyal League activists, and Ku Klux (KK) klansmen, some of whom Democratic officials allied with, carried out lynch law in Kentucky before 1871. "Patrolers" had been in existence since long before the war and were considered one of the 'evils' of the slavery system. They were organized by law and protected by public sentiment; they could whip any Negro caught away from home, or for committing any supposed offense. They also tarred and feathered white men thought to be abolitionists. When they became "Ku Klux" after the war, they donned calico masks to avoid detection, especially after the federal government began to allow prosecution.

 

Kentucky bootleg whiskey (moonshining) was protected by the KK; an underground business, it emerged because of excise tax on liquor after the Civil War, even after many wartime levies had been repealed. Grains that made whiskey were Kentucky's main crop and most of the liquor industry was in the South. The KK protected moonshiners, and by extension, grain farmers; and certain leading Democrats protected the KK.  

 

There seems to be an inadvertent link to policing and liquor; connect this with the "night watch" in the first paragraph. Another source noted:

 

The first form of policing in the South was known as slave patrol, which began in the colonies of Carolina in 1704. The patrol was usually made up of three to six men riding horseback and carrying whips, ropes, and even guns.

On January 16th, 1871, a group of Blacks went to the capitol at Frankfort to complain. The two houses of the state general assembly announced that they would devise a plan to suppress the KK, even if it cost the state a million per year. But a month later the testimony bill, which would allow "persons charged with crimes and Negroes" to testify, was postponed.  

 

Back to CWBP:

Congress passed the Ku Klux Bill, also known as the 'Civil Rights Act.' This was meant to enforce the Fifteenth Amendment's right to vote regardless of race or former servitude. When Congress enacted this bill on April 20th, certain crimes were punishable under federal law: "Conspiracies to deprive citizens of the right to vote, hold office, serve on juries, and enjoy the equal protection of the laws, could now, if states failed to act effectively against them, be prosecuted by federal district attorneys, and even lead to military intervention and the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus."

 

With this second bill President Grant could, according to one newspaper, "call out the militia, proclaim martial law, close up the courts, stifle the press, and exercise arbitrary and unbounded power at his discretion."

 

Between this act and the end of the century, then, we can imagine the military was often used to suppress this kind of policing activity, when it was suppressed at all. But Jim Crow laws were also put into place, giving this kind of policing more teeth.

 

In the North a more official police force was coming into fashion. Clashes between incoming immigrant groups were getting out of a control. Boston was first to implement a police force in 1838, following by New York City.

These "modern police" organizations shared similar characteristics: (1) they were publicly supported and bureaucratic in form; (2) police officers were full-time employees, not community volunteers or case-by-case fee retainers; (3) departments had permanent and fixed rules and procedures, and employment as a police officers was continuous; (4) police departments were accountable to a central governmental authority.

 

By the 1880s, almost every major city had a police force, all independently run and controlled, based on that city's needs. With their reporting to political heads, corruption came in the form of paying them off to not report some illegal activity.

 

August Vollmar was the creator of the modern police force. "He stressed the importance of sociology, social work, psychology, and management in police work. In this system, officers patrolled the neighborhoods they lived in on foot. Vollmer also made sure policemen went to college and even created a separate system for juveniles to be tried and punished instead of trying them as adults." His idealism was short lived, however. Prohibition required police to patrol in cars, and Hoover wanted them to be an active fighting force.

 

Defining social control as crime control was accomplished by raising the specter of the "dangerous classes." The suggestion was that public drunkenness, crime, hooliganism, political protests and worker "riots" were the products of a biologically inferior, morally intemperate, unskilled and uneducated underclass. The consumption of alcohol was widely seen as the major cause of crime and public disorder. The irony, of course, is that public drunkenness didn't exist until mercantile and commercial interests created venues for and encouraged the commercial sale of alcohol in public places.

 

This led to the change of the police preventing crime, rather than just responding to it. To give cops more to do, they once again (as in the south's patrolers) began to patrol, looking for trouble, as a means of keeping the population safe. Dr. Gary Potter in his article at PLsonline.com emphasized how easy these early police forces could be corrupted. They became part of a corrupt political partnership, and ran rampant during Prohibition.

 

During the 1960s, the black communities began to question the way they were treated and had been suppressed under Jim Crow laws. Under Jim Crow in the south, segregation became acceptable and black people were harassed and denied equal rights. Most presidents feared taking on any states that imposed Jim Crow laws; the Republicans didn't care and the Democrats feared their own voting base. John Kennedy finally actively went for Civil Rights, but was killed before passage. Lyndon Johnson picked up the mantle but was hard to say "there goes the deep south." You can see more on this in "From Lincoln to Trump."

 

In 1915, the midst of this corruption in many places, the Fraternal Order of Police was founded by two police offers in Pittsburgh, as a means of airing their grievances. They went national in 1917, becoming the largest police organization in the country. Both Bobby Kennedy and Barrack Obama tried to take them on, with changes needed to police training.

 

"President Obama initiated the President's Task Force on 21st Century Policing, which developed a set of recommendations to improve procedural justice in police-citizen interactions and enhance the perceived legitimacy of the police." But when Trump was elected, the FOP requested that he de-prioritize what Obama's initiative had implemented; Trump excelled at reversing much of Obama's work.

 

And we all know what happened to Bobby Kennedy. In "From Lincoln to Trump," you'll find out that the police there doctored the murder scene.

 

I wish I was the type to infiltrate. But the Fraternal Order of Police, which considers itself along the lines of Freemasons, needs to take responsibility for those police still acting like White Supremacists and accuse and kill black people without due process. Because one of the things we've noticed in our current police force is their brotherhood, and not turning on one who's doing something that's obviously not under the motto of "to protect and to serve."

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History Lesson 01: Women's Suffrage

Did you know that the first movement to get women the right to vote was in 1848? That's even before the Civil War! On July 19th the Women's Suffrage movement was launched in Seneca Falls, New York. Lucretia Mott was a Quaker and Elizabeth Cady Stanton was a young mother. They wanted to be included in the Constitution's "All men are created equal."

 

What else was happening in 1848 that might have spurred this action? Europe's most radical revolution happened, which sent many people to the USA, including a great-grandfather of mine from Germany, not then called Germany. Workers were on the uprise around Europe. This revolution included a series of political upheavals. Closer to home, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hildalgo gave the US a lot more territory, most specifically in the Southwest. The California gold rush began.

 

Possibly as a result of their early efforts, the first medical school for women opened in Boston later that year, or certainly coincidental and perhaps stirring them for more of the same.

 

But these women weren't initially successful. There were disagreements over what they should be fighting for. Stanton wanted the vote immediately but others thought that was a little too radical. They finally agreed to add suffrage when Frederick Douglass spoke in support of it.

 

Stanton met Susan B. Anthony in 1850 and the two forged a lifetime alliance. Little was found about their efforts before the Civil War but afterward, they helped the movement build and pushed lawmakers to protect their rights during Reconstruction.

 

I've often thought that the 15th amendment that guaranteed voting rights to "all persons born or naturalized" should have automatically included women but the wording elsewhere in the amendment defined citizens as male. Petitions then began to fly in objection to that word, deliberately excluding them. George Washington Julian of Indiana proposed in December 1868 than the reference to male be removed, but it never even came to a vote.

 

One would like to think this reference to woman's suffrage was extended to black women as well. Stanton denounced this extension of voting rights to black males while excluding "educated white women." This is where black women felt alienated, and that animosity extended into the 20th century. Obviously, Stanton didn't choose her words well.

 

But black voices were not silent. They simply had other fights, such as Jim Crow. In an 1898 address to the NAWSA, African-American activist Mary Church Terrell decried these injustices, while remaining hopeful "not only in the prospective enfranchisement of my sex but in the emancipation of my race."

 

The women's movement fragmented into two groups in 1869: Stanton and Anthony's the National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA) and the American Woman Suffrage Association (AWSA). Lucy Stone formed the other; she was a one-time Massachusetts antislavery advocate and a prominent lobbyist for women's rights. The groups united in 1890. That's when they formed NAWSA. But they were without powerful allies in Congress. For the next 20 years they worked for voting at the state level.

 

In 1869 Wyoming became the first to grant women the right to vote, the only one for the next 25 years. Colorado followed in 1893, with Utah and Idaho in 1896. Some believe it was to encourage more women to move west. Others saw women as being equally as strong as men. A third reason was to help the territory gain statehood. Wyoming, however, didn't get statehood until 1890 and remains one of the lowest population states in the Union, even lower than the current population of DC. Seven more states granted women voting rights between 1910 and 1914.

 

The impact of Jeanette Rankin as the first Congresswoman elected in Montana in 1916 cannot be overstated. She turned out to be a great orator and led successful campaigns for women's suffrage. The first day of the new Congress, with herself installed as Congresswomen, she introduced the Susan B. Anthony Suffrage amendment. California Democrat John Edward Raker proposed a new standing committee in the House—the Committee on Woman Suffrage—to consider bills related to women's voting rights, bypassing Judiciary entirely.

 

"We have as a Member of this body the first woman Representative in the American Congress," Edward William Pou of North Carolina said to applause. "She will not be the last, Mr. Speaker."

 

Raker's Woman Suffrage Committee began hearings on the voting-rights amendment on January 3, 1918. Well, you can imagine the excitement of the women, who brought sandwiches to hearings.

 

Rankin began by invoking the generations of American women who had fought for the right to vote. "For 70 years the women leaders of this country have been asking the Government to recognize this possibility," she said. She even invoked the name of Harriet Beecher Stowe, as though to make up for Stanton's mistakes decades previously. Stowe was a white abolitionist, however.

 

Opponents were, of course, feeling their status quo threatened. Federal suffrage would violate the state's rights to determine voter qualifications. Suffrage was not a "right," they said, but a privilege, to be withheld at the pleasure of the state. (Oh are we seeing evidence of that today!) Southern legislatures opposed it because it included black women -- all the more they would have to fight to keep away from the polls.

 

One Suffragette named Carrie Chapman Catt even used white supremacy to help the amendment get through: "If the South is really earnest in its desire to maintain white supremacy, its surest tactics is [sic] to endorse the Federal Suffrage Amendment." She continued, "If you want white supremacy, why not have it constitutionally, honorably? The Federal Amendment offers the way."

 

The first vote on the amendment was narrowly defeated, even though Woodrow Wilson supported it. Then came midterm elections when the Republicans ran on suffrage as a means to defeat the Democrats, especially in the South. Jeanette Rankin, however, lost her seat in that election.

 

The 19th Amendment granted women the right to vote on August 18, 1920.

 

Despite the passage of the amendment and the decades-long contributions of Black women to achieve suffrage, poll taxes, local laws and other restrictions continued to block women of color from voting. Black men and women also faced intimidation and often violent opposition at the polls or when attempting to register to vote. It would take more than 40 years for all women to achieve voting equality.

 

The NAWSA prevented black women from attending their conventions. They had to march separately from whites in suffrage parades. But these women worked hard for those equal rights, too, and received little credit. Much of their activity centered around their churches, where they held political rallies and planned strategies. They faced unique challenges, being torn between the civil rights of the two groups to which they belonged, and being excluded by white women did not help.

 

This is an issue that may have lingered yet today. When there was a woman's march in Madison in 2017, I saw very few blacks in the crowd, even though Madison has a strong black population. Sojourner Truth, a name I just heard recently on Jeopardy that no contestant knew, noted that prejudice against them was even worse than against black men, and she was right. At least black men could vote, although in many states they were denied for whatever reason could be conjured.

 

Born Isabella Baumfree, Sojourner Truth died in 1883 so never saw the freedom she longed for. She walked away from slavery, though, in 1827 and changed her name when she became a traveling preacher.  She gave her most famous speech at a Women's Rights convention in Akron, Ohio, in 1851: "Ain't I a woman?" Here's more from that speech:

 

Then that little man in black there, he says women can't have as much rights as men, 'cause Christ wasn't a woman! Where did your Christ come from? Where did your Christ come from? From God and a woman! Man had nothing to do with Him.

 

It wasn't until 1913 that the first black women's suffrage group formed in Chicago by Ida B. Wells. Even after the 19th Amendment passed, they fought with black men for those rights until the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1965. It seems today we're going backward in time to erase all that progress.

 

Here's an interesting statistic I found online: "If just men had voted in 2012, Romney would have defeated Obama 322–216. If just white women had voted, the spread would have grown to 346–192." The voting bloc of black women helped; their vote was 96% in favor of Obama, the largest bloc percentage of any group. It was not the white vote that got Obama elected the second time, which, we can see, is what makes the GOP so nervous about the popular vote of growing minority groups.

 

Let's compare that to the vote for Nixon in 1968, shortly after the Civil Rights Act. It's not as easy to find that breakdown, but according to Wikipedia, 94% of the vote in black neighborhoods went to Humphrey, compared to 33% of rural votes.

 

I could find no demographics for the vote for Harding in 1920. It's said that his good looks helped with women voters, but it's rumored that his wife killed him for philandering before his term was up. He also said at one point that he wasn't meant for this office.

 

Fortunately women -- especially black women -- have gotten better at making choices. In fact, it would appear that black women always had it right. The black vote overall was at 89% for Clinton in 2016, while white women were only 54% for the first female president. White men supported Trump over Clinton.

 

And isn't it interesting that we don't see a breakout of black men versus black women for the 2016 cycle? Are we indeed going backward in time?

 

References:

at https://www.marieclaire.com/politics/a33808321/how-women-vote-statistics/. 

 

https://history.house.gov/Exhibitions-and-Publications/WIC/Historical-Essays/No-Lady/House-Supports-Suffrage/

 

https://www.history.com/topics/womens-history/19th-amendment-1 

 

https://www.nps.gov/articles/black-women-and-the-fight-for-voting-rights.htm

 

https://www.nps.gov/wori/learn/historyculture/sojourner-truth.htm 

 

https://www.aei.org/carpe-diem/voter-demographics-for-the-2012-presidential-election/ 

 

https://ropercenter.cornell.edu/how-groups-voted-2016 

 

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Scourge of the Soul: Introduction

INTRODUCTION

We all have monsters in our subconscious. It's why we created laws and religions.
Leslie Nielson, Forbidden Planet

 

According to Dr. Radin, the widely accepted belief is that our consciousness is baffling but not paranormal. I suspect if an animal started talking like us, we'd call that paranormal, but our minds are so widely accepted as normal that, even if someone has an altered state, such as autism or Down's, we still call it normal. There are also those who believe that the world does not exist independently of our ability to perceive it.[ Dr. Dean Radin, The Conscious Universe: The Scientific Truth of Psychic Phenomenon (New York: HarperOne, 1997), 9 & 136.] But isn't the very existence of various religions created by humans giving them too much power? Why do any of us believe what we cannot see but can only feel?


In this search why we believe, why consciousness gives us a fear of death and how that effects what should be a logical thinking brain, I hope to get readers to think about their own belief systems and whether it's actually a healthy one. By healthy I mean does it lead you to live a better, happier, cleaner life? I ask us all to go in-depth to uncover why we believe what we do.


I developed this basic idea while attending a consciousness discussion with eight other people, and I felt they got off topic by asking if rocks have consciousness. My response would have been (and maybe was) that consciousness as a concept is a human construct in itself, and must be examined in that light. We all know that nature is symbiotic. We are the ones considered harmful and destructive in our desire to capitalize nature for our "ease of living" (EOL). Even animals instinctively seek EOL. But we can rationalize anything using our minds -- and we can, and do, disagree about everything, too. Why? What makes one person more right than another? Why do we feel we're fighting each other all the time?


One answer, the one I seek to uncover, is religion. They say when you're in a group, never discuss politics or religion. Trust me, it's not always been that way. I'm pagan, I do a lot of research on ancient cultures, and if there's one common thread that's been written from exploration of their oral stories, it's that all in nature is spiritual. Religion is supposed to be spiritual, but became about power. There are no disagreements in nature. There is survival for the fittest -- no past, no future, no worries about death or the afterlife. What, then, is this consciousness for? To make us believe we create everything about us with our thoughts? To believe that our beliefs are reality?


You'll hear this EOL concept often here. Once humans realized mortality, that they were going to die, that life was impermanent, they created gods to explain what happens after death. The creation of gods came from EOL, because what eases life more than a belief that when you die, that isn't the end of you. Of course some people believe it is; they're called atheists, and, being married to one, I can only say that he finds comfort in his belief as well. That's what ease of living does. It gives us comfort. No one wants to live in mortal terror all the time, after all.


There is an inherent danger in writing a book like this. All humans experience our minds in a unique way that cannot be easily shared. The Dalai Lama noted this problem when he wrote, "We risk objectivizing what is essentially an internal set of experiences and excluding the necessary presence of the experiencer…We have a unique case of inquiry: the object of our study is mental, that which examines it is mental, and the very medium by which the study is undertaken is mental."


By mental, we mean subjective. You don't like the same movies as your spouse? That's normal. He likes anything with violence, you prefer romance. That's subjective. Our beliefs are subjective. They either come from inside us, or we had them brainwashed into us, and can't even begin to think about what we believe inside. I will tell sad case stories along the way.


Is this a book of philosophy or psychology? I better answer that right off. Hillman and Shamdasani believe the two are connected and inseparable.[ James Hillman & Sonu Shamdasani, Lament of the Dead: Psychology after Jung's Red Book (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2013), 202.] I see philosophy as a study of humanity while psychology takes that study more to the individual level. So this book is a study of philosophy with a smattering of psychology, which means study of the soul. But not of one soul. We're going to look at the religions that seek to conquer your soul, and how effective they've been and the power that gives them.


There's a reason they say we shouldn't discuss religion or politics. The two are closely entwined.


Hillman and Shamdasani also say there's no such thing as individual myth, that personal cosmology is an oxymoron.[ Hillman, Lament, 64.] This study will try to prove them wrong.


This is a study of human myth, of which religion is the basic form. We'll look at how dreams in the subconscious created most of that myth. Radin noted that after 100 years, "psychology has not produced even the crudest model of how processes in the brain are transformed into conscious experience."[ Radin, Conscious Universe, 233.] I hope he didn't include Jung here, who practically coined "collective consciousness," an idea we'll play with throughout. Collective consciousness could be applied to religion, as well as to how the animal world works. But we may find the term disingenuous along the way.


This is an exploration, above all. I don't know what we'll find. But I'm open to possibilities.


Jung noted that people have become so tied up and immersed in their own visions that they got others to believe in them.[ Hillman, Lament, 106-107. They also discuss this notion of "belief," but I'm going to tackle that elsewhere on a more personal level. That's what philosophers do.] Cults are one expression of this, with the most current being Trump, the GOP and Conservative Christians. These cults are the likely beginnings of most religious philosophy. It is important to understand this. Anyone can have a vision. But unless you have a way of sharing it, and of internalizing it, it does nothing for you or the world around you.[ Hillman, Lament, 172.] You may understand your place in the world a little better, at least, until the next person challenges you, and then self-doubt starts all over again.


Self-doubt leads to persecution. How? There's the example of someone who is so insecure in his beliefs that he refuses to have anything to do with people who don't believe his way. He might even act out against them. We see this in people who take their religious beliefs to extremes. There's a reason John Lennon sang "Imagine no religion … living life in peace." And yes, he was killed for his belief.


Human consciousness can be explained in two ways: how humans have acted to set themselves apart from other animals, and how they think about their selves and their behaviors. I seek to show how a more animalist/human approach to living will be more peaceful. The key is both natural and scientific, as you'll learn. Anthony Gottlieb expressed this when he referred to Socrates: "Surely it is one thing to come to know that a principle of action is right and quite another to behave in accordance with it. Could not someone find out all sorts of things about virtue by talking to Socrates but still go off and be wicked?"[ Anthony Gofflieb, The Dream of Reason: a history of philosophy from the Greeks to the Renaissance (New York: WW Norton & Company, 2000), 152.]


Is that what human consciousness is? Knowing what's right and still behaving wrong because it fits your belief? To a large extent, yes. It's understanding that we have choices, and act on those choices, good and bad. Animals seem like they have choices, but theirs are directly related to instinct and survival. And yes, choice. Animals can choose what to eat. Maybe they're hungry, but not hungry enough to eat the food they don't like. When I take my cat for a walk, she'll always sniff the air to make sure it feels safe before she walks with me.


Ours beliefs are much more complex. Can consciousness be given properties? Radin supposed that it extended beyond the individual (which accounts for paranormal activity), that it injects order into a suitable environment (aids understanding of what's around us), that it fluctuates depending on focus (some are better at focus than others), that group consciousness exists (all focused on the same thing), that when group consciousness falters it produces background noise (where nothing gets done), and finally, when the mind moves, so moves matter.[ Radin, Conscious Universe, 174-175.]


Notice that nowhere in here do we see the very real phenomenon of emotion or belief. All above parens are mine. For instance, when you're at the height of feeling focus can get lost, such as crying while driving and you'll miss your exit; emotions can remove your ability to think rationally. Beliefs can destroy facts, or your ability to recognize facts, such as Trump believing he won the election without any proof.


Radin says order is the connection between mind and matter. Without order is chaos. The idea that mind and matter are part of a connected whole, Radin noted, has been observed by many scientific and scholarly disciplines. We are fully connected and at the same time we are isolated. We understand real loneliness when we lost this connection.[ Radin, Conscious Universe, 189 & 302 & 315.]


Much of what you see in these pages will be historical. As a historian, I have undertaken to explore and present in one concise book the vast information gathered on the beginnings of all forms of religions we see in the world today. Here we'll see where power develops, where humans are so invested in believing something that they lose the ability to see any other perspective. You'll see many opinions here, all by humans with minds, and no one is better than any other. It's hard for anyone to be subjective, which is why you will not just be reading my voice here. What I choose to show, though, is also subjective. But I think you'll see where you get your subjectivity from in this exploration.


I will set this out here. I believe that reincarnation will emerge in its purest form as the one belief in all religions that is the most acceptable. It is also the most scientific. The first humans with conscious recognition of death began to treat their dead as something more than a dropped body. When and why did humans invent God? Does this belief that we invented our gods and goddesses mean this intelligent super being does not exist? Or do we believe our gods exist because the gods themselves put that notion into our brains? I hope to find answers here.


Those who are atheist deny there is anything beyond life. If we have a brain trauma and our personality alters because of it, isn't that proof there is no soul? Maybe. But if you can imagine how layered your brain is, and how layered your soul is, think of them as interwoven; your soul can change and adapt to your body, in other words. Also remember you have a subconscious, or "unconscious," to use Carl Jung's term. That means much of your personality, or past life experiences, remain buried. If a part of your brain is damaged, it could mean that another part of your unconscious has opened and that part of your past life personality is now being accessed.


But yes, though the soul exists is a belief, because there's no real proof, I will try to demonstrate its existence in these pages. Religion is, however, undeniably a human-made construct. Like John Lennon said, "God is a concept by which we measure our pain." Anselm defined God as "that than which nothing greater can be thought", and argued that this being must exist in the mind, even in the mind of the person who denies the existence of God.[ Anselm quote from https://www.bing.com/search?q=anselm%27s+ontological+argument&form=EDNTHT&mkt=en-us&httpsmsn=1&refig=5e2f7e491b3f44989e1c6d93a06a2095&PC=LCTS&sp=3&qs=LS&pq=anselm&sk=LS2&sc=8-6&cvid=5e2f7e491b3f44989e1c6d93a06a2095&cc=US&setlang=en-US; Lennon quote from his song, "God" post-Beatles.]


Do we exist to know the mind of God, as we've heard religious scholars say? [ Radin, Conscious Universe, 252.] Or does the mind simply exist as another survival mechanism, as some atheist scientists would have use believe.[ Radin, Conscious Universe, 285.] Humans are not fast enough, do not have claws or really sharp teeth, not enough fur to keep us warm. So we had to learn to use cunning. And we don't necessarily use our conscious mind to do that. We are still equipped with what animals have and that's called instinct. Our consciousness actually keeps us from accessing is as we should.


Are We From the Stars?
Atoms of all carbon based beings disperse on death. These atoms then reassemble into another carbon passed being. Matter is neither created or destroyed. All that is, all that we're made of, already exists. If you're looking for God, there it is. And it's all around us, a gift from the universe. We only needed the right planet with the right atmosphere to develope. And that's what reincarnation is, a reforming of carbon matter into another being. That's why some believe they can come back as a cat. There are those scientists who postulate that there is a "god particle" that could be what I'd call the soul atom. That would be where the consciousness comes from.


There's actually quite a historiography devoted to our early recognition of the stars. One that I've argued against, perhaps wrongly, is that effigy mounds built mostly in Wisconsin are reflections of constellations. I do believe they are star-related, but more a communication designed to speak to whatever is up in the heavens, perhaps stemming from a supernova that happened around the time of their development.


David Ulansey wrote on the mysteries of the cosmology, centered around the idea that early people figured out a mysterious astronomical phenomenon known as "precession." And I think we're all familiar with the Zodiac. Ever stop and wonder where they came from? Of course they came from the alignment of stars, but why were certain animals assigned to different groupings of stars? Ulansey didn't talk about the creation of the Zodiac but references them the sacrifice of bulls related to precession of stars.


Turns out there is no easy answer; no name to credit directly. Ptolemy is one named; he lived in Ancient Greece about the second century BCE. But though the Greeks and Romans may have given names to the Zodiac, the star designs were based a creation by the Babylonians as far back as 2500 BCE. Ptolemy popularized it, however, making it what we know today.[ David Ulansey, The Origins of the Mithraic Mysteries: Cosmology & Salvation in the Ancient World (New York: Oxford University Press, 1989), after a perusal of index. "What is the History of the 12 Zodiac Signs," https://www.reference.com/world-view/history-12-zodiac-signs-9f14078613993a84 ]


Why are most of the signs named for animals? Not all of them are, of course. There's Cancer, and Libra. Ulsaney's focus was on Taurus, the bull, and on symbols that show a sacrifice of the bull in the Ancient World related to precession.


Ulsaney summed up his research by saying that "the Mithraic mysteries began as a response by a group of imaginative intellectuals to the unsettling discovery that the universe was not quite as simple as they had thought it to be."[ Ulansey, Mithraic Mysteries, 125.] This, of course, refers to their discovery of precession, but really, they had, long before that, thought that humans dwelled among the stars. Many believed that's where they went when they died. For instance, there is a connection between the Mithraic twins, and Greek twin gods referred to as Dioscuroi, as they all dwelled among the stars. Early mythology has a lot of twin gods, here as early as the fifth century BCE, but in the case of these two and their ethnography, that both pairs wore caps seems to indicate their ancient adaptation from a single myth.[ Ulansey, Mithraic Mysteries, 112.]


Representing gods as holding globes indicates that they are the ruler of the cosmos. In this case, the globe is not earth, but a cosmic sphere.[ Ulansey, Mithraic Mysteries, 95.] This was easily copied by the Christians, by the way. We'll talk more about the Stoics later, but they were the ones who were deeply invested in astrology, astral religion, and astronomical cycles when they learned of Hipparchus's discovery of the precession of the equinoxes in the 2nd century BCE. They decided a new divinity must be in control, capable of moving the structure of the entire cosmos. Ulansey surmised they called their god Perseus, that he was also the bull-killer (Taurus), because that was the last constellation the spring equinox had been in. Perseus was also a star system that lay directly over Taurus.[ Ulansey, Mithraic Mysteries, 67 & 93.]


Understand the symbolism by realizing how important to them the spring was. If precession was frightening because they feared the world was turning backward, perhaps they thought it might get stuck in winter, a time when food sources were low.


There was a widespread belief, or longing, in the Graeco-Roman world, and indeed long a Pagan belief, that something powerful was in control of the cosmos. Many gods would be named to cover the many natural forces that Pagans had no control over. In Plato's Timaeus, according to Ulansey, each soul was said to be connected to its own star, and the growing importance of astrology in the Hellenistic and Roman periods demonstrated a belief that souls return to the stars after death.[ Ulansey, Mithraic Mysteries, 86.] This must have been of great comfort to them, and this comfort continues today with continued belief in the Zodiac and astrology. Who today doesn't know their sign?

"The land of dreams," according to Pythagoras, is composed of souls, which are gathered into the Milky Way … named for the milk with which these are nourished when they have fallen into genesis.[ Ulansey, Mithraic Mysteries, 61. This was actually what Porphyry said about Pythagoras, in his Cave of the Nymphs, written in the 3rd century CE, where he includes an astronomical explanation of incarnation of souls on earth. Cave of the Nymphs was his analysis of a Homeric writing.]


Praying to the heavens is the oldest single sign of human consciousness. We can refer to this belief as "Celestial Immortality," a term first coined by Franz Cumont in 1956. The Neoplatonists include a "complicated conception of the soul's celestial descent and ascent into and out of incarnation."[ Ulansey, Mithraic Mysteries, 87. Author's book is about an ancient cult of astrology called Mithraism, where a small number of people recognized the existence of a new cosmic force that controlled the stars and precession (84). But I won't go into detail on this; instead just gleaming out some ideas on the stars for this chapter.] Destiny as controlled by the stars was a popular idea during Shakespeare's time, and even into today, where some people are still referred to as Stoics, accepting their fate as though they can do nothing about it. It was a "Stoic practice to see a divine being as the source of every natural force." Imagine, then, when they recognized Hipparchus's discovery of precession in the stars, that they didn't move in a singular, orderly fashion. This confirmed their belief in a divine control in the cosmic sphere. They saw precession as movement of the entire cosmos, rather than as the wobbly orbit of the earth.[ Ulansey, Mithraic Mysteries, 78, 80-82.]


The Free Will Controversy
This debate over free will versus determinism has been going on for a long time. Radin refers to a few people in the discussion. One is that free will means we unconsciously make our decisions before we're aware of it. But if mental intention is outside our conscious reach, then all our behavior would be determined by forces outside our control. This leads to the idea that free will really is an illusion, and nothing is in our control. (I hope I paraphrased this correctly).[ Radin, Conscious Universe, 317.]


Is destiny written in the stars? Have we no control? If our fate is determined by past life karma, then we do have control because, say, for instance, you hate this life you were dealt so much that you decide to commit suicide. What your karma then does is give you an even harder life next time. But if you were to say, well, this is hard, but if I toughen up and keep doing the best I can, then my next life will be better. This is the part that is your free will. The will is how you choose to respond.


We may have a death date already pre-determined, no matter how healthy we live. But why tempt fate by being reckless? We are not given our expiration date for a reason, and that reason is called free will.


Enjoy the exploration, and understand my goal is NOT to remove your personal, deep-seated belief in a god or gods. My goal is to make you understand that your belief is personal, and subjective, and thus trying to convert others is a sign of both power and insecurity and that is the scourge of the soul that must end.

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Index to "From Lincoln to Trump"

Few things tell you more about a book than the index. In a print copy, this is undeniably needed.  Here for your browsing enjoyment, is the Index, complete with every page that particular topic is mentioned on, for this paperback edition, available soon!

 

As you'll see, this is truly a book about the weaknesses and strengths of our society, shown in the people we choose to make a difference. 

 

INDEX


9/11: 209, 211-216, 225.
2nd Amendment: 225-226, 228,
13th Amendment - Slavery is abolished: 14, 22, 30, 41,
14th Amendment - blacks as citizens affording them equal protection: 25, 31, 41, 43, 55,
116.
15th Amendment - Giving blacks full voting rights with citizenship: 7, 41, 50, 55, 81,
16th Amendment - Income Tax: 74, 88,
17th Amendment (footnote) (Senators by vote): 92 (165f).
18th Amendment - Prohibition: 91,
19th Amendment - Voting regardless of sex: 92-93,
20th Amendment - Changing inauguration day: 105.
21st Amendment - Ending prohibition: 105,
22nd Amendment - No president serves more than two terms; 110.
23rd Amendment - granting DC residents the right to vote: 260,
24th Amendment - Eliminating voters poll tax: 127,
25th Amendment - Filling office of President & Vice President on death or incapacitation: 258, 264-265.
26th Amendment - Lower legal voting age to 18: 162,
27th Amendment - Law covering Congressional pay: 201,
21 Point Plan: 110

 

A

Abolition/Abolitionist: 19, 24, 27-29, 36, 52, 65, 102, 261.
Abortion: 165, 167, 183, 185, 201-202, 209, 219, 245.
Ackerman, Amos: 39-40.
Adams, Abigail: 10.
Adams, Henry: 55-57.
Adams, John: 9-10, 77.
Adams, John Quincy: 11, 77.
Afghanistan: 180, 193-194, 199, 205-206, 210-213, 227.
Africa: 11, 14, 20, 22, 56, 167, 187, 191, 215, 218.
Agnew, Spiro: 159, 166, 170.
AIDS: 191, 218.
Air Force Academy: 116.
al Qaeda: 212-213, 215-216.
Alaska: 32, 87, 95, 165, 210-211, 224.
Alcohol/Temperance: 28, 45, 57, 64, 88, 91, 94, 120, 207.
Allied Nations: 97.
Allotment/Dawes Allotment Act: 52-53, 62, 64-65, 68, 72, 94, 98-99, 102.
American Anti-Slavery Society: 12.
American Child Health Organization: 101.
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU): 151, 201, 203 (f399).
American Colonization Society: 11, 20, 23, 56.
American Indian Movement (AIM): 164.
American "Know-Nothing" Party: 14, 16.
Anthony, Susan B.: 13.
Anti-Drug Abuse Act: 189, 192.
Antifa: 238-239.
Antiquities Act of 1906: 84.
Apartheid: 191.
Arkansas: 37, 127, 144, 163, 228.
Army (see Military).
Army Appropriations Act of 1880: 54.
Arthur, Chester: 53, 60, 63-67.
Assassination: 8, 27-28, 61, 63-64, 78, 123, 128-130, 135-141, 145-153, 156, 159, 169, 170, 172-173, 175-176, 181, 184, 197, 258, 263.
Attempts: 84, 105, 175-176, 185-186.
Atomic bomb: 109, 115-116.
Atwater, Lee: 188, 200.
Attwood, William: 129.
Automobile/car: 64, 76, 94, 97, 101, 103, 118, 211.
"Axis of Evil": 214.

 

 

B

Baby Boomers: 162, 177, 241.
Baghdad: 183, 199, 209, 214, 216.
Ballinger, Richard: 87.
Banks, General Nathaniel: 24.
Barrett, Amy Coney: 240.
Bay of Pigs: 122, 127-128.
Beirut: 189.
Belafonte, Harry: 149.
Belknap, William: 46, 48.
Bell, Alexander Graham, 63.
Benghazi: 189.
Biden, Joe: 7, 20, 118, 156-157, 236, 247-249, 253-257, 259-261, 263, 265.
Bin Laden, Osama: 205-206, 211-212, 215, 219.
Birmingham: 134.
Birney, James: 13.
Black Hills: 37, 45-49, 52, 65.
Black Lives Matter (BLM): 223, 230, 232, 238.
Black Panthers: 161-162, 181, 224.
Blaine, James: 58-60, 62-63, 65, 67-69, 71-72.
Boland Amendment: 192.
Breckenridge, John: 14, 18.
Brown, Judge Joe: 129, 148.
Brown, Michael: 231.
Brownsville Incident: 83.
Brown v. Board of Education: 116.
Bryan, William Jennings: 74-75, 78, 86.
Buchanan, James: 14-15, 18, 22.
Bureau of the Budget: 94,
Burger, Chief Justice Warren: 160, 165.
Burr, Aaron: 10.
Bush, Barbara: 196.
Bush, George Herbert Walker: 159, 175, 184-185, 189, 192-193, 195-202, 205.
Bush, George Walker: 144, 181-182, 193, 207-221, 224-228, 244.
Butler, General Benjamin: 29.
Byrd, Robert C.: 106.

 

C

Calhoun, John: 11.
California: 21, 65, 97, 110, 117, 120, 162, 171 (f313), 183, 211.
Cambodia: 161, 163.
Campaign contributions: 172.
Canada: 65, 72, 198.
Carson National Forest: 165.
Cass, Lewis: 13.
Castro, Fidel: 120-121, 126-129, 136, 145, 175.
Central Intelligence Agency (CIA): 113, 119-123, 126-130, 132-133, 135-137, 139, 145, 152-153, 158, 162, 167, 173-175, 192, 195, 197, 206, 215, 217-218, 227, 239, 262.

Central Pacific Railroad: 21.
Cesar, Thane: 152.
Chandler, Zacariah: 46.
China: 79, 89, 112, 115-116, 163-164, 166, 196-197, 240-242, 246-247, 250-252, 262.
Chinese: 65, 69, 76, 104, 166, 227.
Christian Right: 114, 142-143, 184.
Church Committee: 129, 136, 173-176.
Civil Rights: 25, 29, 31, 36, 41, 52, 96, 107, 110 (f197), 115-118, 121, 124-125, 127, 133- 135, 140-146, 148, 153-154, 156, 159-161, 172, 174, 178-179, 188, 191, 196, 198, 213, 225 (f413), 230, 262-263.

Clarke, Richard: 214-215.
Clay, Henry: 11-13.
Clean Air Act: 163, 167, 198, 243.
Cleveland, Grover: 67-70, 72-74, 75, 76, 112, 261.
Clinton, George: 9-10.
Clinton, Dewitt: 11.
Clinton, Hillary: 8, 189, 192, 201, 203, 228, 234, 237, 248-249.
Clinton, William J.: 64, 147, 156, 182, 188-189, 193, 197-198, 200-206, 207-208, 210-214, 219, 238, 264.

Cody, Buffalo Bill: 70.
Cointelpro: 148-149, 175.
Cold War: 109-110, 113-115, 119-120, 123, 129 (f229), 163, 181, 184, 193, 197-200.
Colfax Massacre: 42.
Colonization: 11, 20, 23, 56, 83.
Columbia (South America): 82.
Columbus Day: 70-71.
Communism: 74, 109-110, 113-114, 118-120, 123, 126, 128, 132, 148-149, 175, 183-184, 262.
Compromise of 1877: 51-52.
Confederates: 18, 24, 28, 30-31, 33, 40, 57, 67, 163, 239.
Confiscation Act: 22.
Conkling, Roscoe: 53, 58-60, 62-64.
Connecticut: 45, 68, 144.
Constitution: 7, 9-11, 18-20, 23, 28, 30-31, 35, 49, 54, 62, 76, 86, 89, 98, 110-113, 116-117, 127, 143-144, 154, 162, 165, 171, 202, 205, 224, 254, 263.

Cooke, Jay: 44.
Covid 19/Coronovirus: 20, 191, 213, 245-247, 250-253.
Cox, James: 93, 105.
Cox, Minnie: 81-82.
Crawford, William: 11.
Credit Mobilier: 38-39.
Crook, General George: 46, 48, 70.
Cuba: 74, 77-78, 80, 120-121, 127-129, 136, 141, 145, 152, 155, 175, 190.
Curtis, Charles: 102, 104.
Custer, George: 37, 40, 46, 48, 53, 64.
Czolgosz, Leon: 78-79.

 

D

Davis, Jefferson: 23.
Department of Homeland Security: 213-214, 246.
Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD): 144.
Department of Labor: 68.
Department of Labor and Commerce: 82.
Dewey, Thomas: 110-111, 138.
Diem, Ngo Dinh: 116, 129-133, 139, 167, 174, 216-217.
Dingley Tariff of 1897: 77.
Disneyland: 121.
District of Columbia (DC): 49, 73, 181, 203, 211, 228, 260.
Dixiecrats: 110, 154.
Domino Theory: 44, 118, 132, 191.
Doolittle, James R.: 20, 30.
Douglas, Stephen: 18.
Downing, John: 176.
Draft: 8, 24, 36-37, 54, 67, 90, 109, 145, 154, 160, 166-167, 171, 173, 179-180, 261.
Dred Scott: 14, 22.
Drug War: 189, 203.
DuBois, W.E.B.: 52, 81, (f147).
Dukakis, Michael: 195, 197.
Dulles, Allen: 120 (f213), 121-123, 127-128, 136, 141, 178.
Dulles, John Foster: 113, 120.

 

E

Economics:
Banking/banks: 12, 44, 73-74, 77, 88, 102-105, 190, 200-201, 219, 221.
Crash: 12, 100, 105, 190, 224.
Depression: 95, 97, 101-104, 253, 257.
Recession: 68, 185, 187, 197, 201, 218, 224, 227-228, 241, 258.
Silver standard: 45, 73, 75.
Gold standard: 45, 70, 73, 75, 103-104, 257-258.
Panic: 44-45, 71, 84, 137, 190.
Tariffs: 12, 58, 66, 68, 71, 75-77, 79, 83, 88-90, 94, 102-103, 198, 240-242, 254.
Taxes: 8, 65, 74, 88, 90, 95-96, 98-100, 105-106, 127, 159, 166, 179, 183-187, 190,
195, 198, 203, 206-207, 209-211, 217-218, 225-226, 228, 231, 240.
Trickle down: 96, 186, 210.
Voodoo: 184.
Edmunds, Newton: 65.
Education: 21-22, 43, 52, 57, 81, 84, 103-104, 116, 119, 141, 165, 186, 204, 207, 217, 237, 239, 261.
Eisenhower, Dwight (Ike): 44, 81 (f145), 112 (f201), 113-123, 125-130, 132, 134, 140-141,
143, 155-156, 158, 160, 180, 183, 192, 210, 212, 228, 262.

Electoral count/college/Act: 9-12, 18, 51-52, 61, 69, 93, 102, 104, 106, 111, 126-127, 156,
208, 219, 224, 237, 254, 256.

Ellsberg, Daniel: 164, 167-168.
Emancipation/suffrage: 12, 19-20, 22-24, 27-30, 41, 62, 70, 87, 90, 92, 117, 141, 187.
Emmons, Glenn L.: 120.
Endangered Species Act: 163.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): 167.
Equal Rights Amendment (ERA); 133, 187.
Ethics in Government Act: 165, 179.
Exner, Judith Campbell: 174, 175 (f319).

 

F

Farmers: 45, 68, 74, 100, 102, 105, 116, 120-121, 178, 200 (f360), 262.
Fauci, Anthony: 252.
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI): 88, 135, 145, 148-150, 152, 161, 173-175, 180, 206, 217, 249.
Federal Highway Act: 118.
Federal Leasing Act: 38, 99.
Ferraro, Geraldine: 190.
Fillmore, Millard: 13-15.
Firearm Owners Protection Act: 185.
Firearms/guns: 42, 63, 106, 120, 151-153, 180-181, 185, 202, 207, 220, 222, 225, 230, 232, 262.
Fletcher V. Peck: 11.
Florida: 50-51, 105, 155, 163, 174, 208-209, 228, 230, 236.
Floyd, George: 157, 230, 239, 263.
Ford, Betty: 172.
Ford, Gerald: 141, 156, 165-166, 168, 170-177, 178-179, 182, 185, 195, 197
Ford Motor: 103, 220.
Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA): 175.
Forrestal, Mike (NSA): 130.
Fort Laramie, Treaty of: 37, 46, 53, 65.
Fort Sumner (Bosque Redondo): 23.
France: 94, 113, 116, 118, 121, 152, 216, 262.
Fraternal Order of Police (FOP): 93 (f166), 151, 223.
Frederick, Karl T. (NRA): 106.
Free-Soil Party: 13.
Freedmen's Bureau: 23, 25, 29-30, 33, 38-39.
Freedom Riders: 133.
Freemason: 86 & f155, 105.
Fremont, John C.: 14-15. 17.
Friedan, Betty: 145.
Fugitive Slave Act: 13, 54, 65, 214.

 

G

Garfield, James: 58-63, 64-68, 86 (f155).
Gardner, Eric: 231.
Garner, John Nance: 106.
Garrison, Jim: 136.
Garrison, William Lloyd: 12.
Georgia: 39, 142, 154, 156, 181, 187, 229, 254-256.
Germany: 72, 83, 90, 95, 97, 103, 109, 128, 216, 235.
Gerry, Elbridge: 11.
Gerrymandering: 259-260.
Ghost Dance/Wounded Knee: 68, 70.
Gibbon, General John: 48.
Ginsburg, Ruth Bader: 203, 228, 240.
Goldwater, Barry: 141-144, 148, 157, 159-160, 183, 195-196, 225, 238.
Gonzalez, Henry: 176.
Gorbachev, Mikhail: 193, 198.
Gore, Al: 61, 181 (f333), 201, 205, 207-209, 248.
Graham, Billy: 115, 163.
Grant, Ulysses S.: 24-25, 28-30, 33, 36-49, 50-53, 55, 57-61, 65, 84, 86, 212, 261-262.
Great Britain: 9, 22, 72, 94, 96, 103, 119, 121, 209.
Greece/Greek: 109, 175 (f319), 258.
Greeley, Horace: 19-20, 43, 261.
Greenspan, Alan: 190, 202.
Griswold, Estelle: 144.
Guatemala: 119, 123.
Guinn V. the United States: 98.
Guiteau, Charles: 62-64.
Gulk of Tonkin Resolution: 146, 168.

 

H

Haiti: 20-21, 23, 172.
Haldeman, H.R.: 160.
"Half-Breeds": 58.
Hall, Albert Bacon: 94.
Hancock, General Winfield S.: 60-61.
Harding, Florence: 93, 95.
Harding, Warren: 92-95, 96, 101.
Harris, Kamala: 4, 248, 256.
Harrison, Benjamin: 68-72, 73, 83.
Harrison, William Henry: 12.
Hawaiian Islands: 62, 67, 72-73, 76-77.
Hawley-Smoot Tariff Act: 102.
Hayes, Rutherford: 31, 50-57, 58-59, 61, 65, 68, 76.
Hayt, Ezra: 53.
Highways: 94, 101, 104, 118, 145, 213.
Hiss, Alger: 113, 158.
Hitler, Adolf: 108, 116.
Hoffa, Jimmy: 121, 152, 160, 171, 178.
Hollywood: 97, 121, 149.
Homeopathic medicine: 63-64.
Homestead Act: 21.
Hoover, Herbert: 97, 101- 104.
Hoover, J. Edgar: 88, 123, 135, 138, 149, 161-162.
Hooverville: 103.
Hunt, E. Howard: 128, 130, 135-136, 160-161.
Hurricane Katrina: 220.
Hussein, Saddam: 199, 214-215.

 

I

Illinois: 18, 37, 72-73, 140, 222-223, 228.
Immigrants/immigration: 8, 16, 29, 64-65, 75-76, 78, 89, 94, 96-97, 100, 102, 105, 108, 111, 116, 145, 155, 191, 198, 204, 210, 219, 224, 234, 238, 262.
Impeachment: 10, 29, 31-35, 36, 168, 171, 192, 205, 247-248, 258-259, 264-265.
Imperialism: 76, 83, 94.
India: 73, 211, 243.
Indians: 8, 12, 21-23, 25, 30 (f56), 37-38, 44-49, 52-53, 56, 60-62, 64, 67, 70, 72, 84, 88, 96-99, 102-103, 111, 120, 164-165, 186.
Indian Bureau: 46-48, 52, 102, 120, 164.
Indian Citizenship Act: 96-99.
Indian Gaming Regulatory Act: 186.
Indian Oil Leasing Act: 99.
Indian Removal Act: 12.
Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act: 165.
Indian termination: 111, 164.
Indiana: 23, 68-69, 73, 96, 232.
Ingersoll, Jerod: 11.
Institute for Social Research: 102.
Insurrection/riots: 8, 10, 30, 40, 49, 54, 67, 94, 119, 144-145, 162, 166, 172, 193, 199, 217, 231, 239, 253, 257, 261, 265.
Interstate Commerce Commission: 82.
Iran: 119, 123, 167, 180, 214, 231, 235, 239, 241-243, 249.
Iran-Contra Affair: 191-192, 197, 201.
Israel: 153, 173, 180, 189, 203.
Italy: 94, 246.

 

J

Jackson, Andrew: 11-13, 17, 226.
Jackson, Helen Hunt: 62.
Japan: 80-82, 89, 94, 96, 104, 108-109, 172.
Jefferson, Thomas: 7, 10.
Jennings, Lizzie: 64.
Jim Crow: 69, 90, 222, 236.
John F. Slater Education Fund for Freedman: 57.
Johnson, Andrew: 21, 24, 27-35, 36, 61, 172, 205, 264.
Johnson, Lyndon B.: 115, 125, 134, 136-147, 149, 155-160, 164, 168, 170, 182, 186, 195- 196, 258, 261.
Johnson, Richard M.: 12.
Judiciary Act: 12, 108.

 

K

Kansas: 18, 34-35, 56, 60, 102, 106.
Kansas-Nebraska Act: 13-14, 17-18.
Kennedy, John F. (JFK): 28, 34, 69, 78, 106, 124-137, 139-142, 145-146, 149, 152, 157, 160, 170, 172-177, 181, 216, 237, 258, 262.
Kennedy, Robert F. (RFK): 121, 130, 133-134, 139, 146-147, 149-154, 156-158, 161, 164, 172-173, 175-176, 178, 223, 262.
Kennedy, Ted: 160-161, 164-165, 181, 202, 211, 220.
Kent State: 161.
Kentucky: 20, 23, 30-31, 40.
Kerry, John: 218-219, 242.
Khomeini, Ayatollah: 180.
Khrushchev, Nikita: 118, 121-122, 128, 158.
King, Martin Luther (MLK): 107, 117, 126-127, 129, 134, 140, 141, 145, 147-149, 157, 161, 173-176.
King, Rodney: 199-200.
King, Rufus: 10-11.
Kissinger, Henry: 163, 167, 172-173.
Knights of the White Camellia: 43.
Knowland, William: 115 & 117.
Know-Nothingism: 15-17, 86.
Korea: 66, 109-110, 113, 115, 158, 177, 214, 238.
Ku Klux Klan (KKK): 29, 39-40, 43, 54-55, 86, 96, 110 (f197), 125, 141, 155, 224, 229.
Kuwait: 199, 212.
Kyoto Protocol: 211.

 

L

Labor Day: 74.
LaFollette, Robert: 96.
Landon, Alfred: 106.
Laos: 163.
Latin America: 67, 82, 100, 149, 193.
"Law and Order": 92, 152, 159, 161-162, 224.
League of Nations: 91.
Lebanon: 189, 192.
Lee, General Robert E.: 25, 28, 40.
Leupp, Francis: 72.
Lewis, John: 134, 141.
Liberia: 11, 20, 22, 55-56.
Lincoln, Abraham: 4, 7-9, 15-25, 27-29, 32, 35, 41, 44, 61, 81, 89-91, 104, 107, 117, 140, 218, 221, 261, 263.
Liverpool: 22.
Lockwood, Belva: 57.
Lodge, Henry Cabot: 77, 78, 81, 92.
Lodge, Henry Cabot Jr.: 121, 125, 130-132, 139.
Louisiana: 10, 29, 37, 40-41, 50-52, 55, 57, 142, 155, 228, 259.
Lundy, Benjamin: 12.
Lusitania: 90.

 


M

Madison, James: 10-11, 201.
Mafia/mob: 97, 121, 126, 128, 135-136 & (f245), 137 (f247), 152-153, 170, 174-175, 262.
Maine: 77.
Maine: 25, 58, 67,
March on Washington Movement: 107.
Maternity & Infancy Act: 94.
Marshall, George: 109, 112.
Marshall, Justice John: 10-11.
Martin, Trayvon: 230.
Massachusetts: 25, 77, 92, 95, 125, 192.
McArthur, General Arthur: 86.
McCain, John: 200, 207, 217, 221, 224, 227, 229.
McCarthy, Eugene: 146.
McCarthy, Joe: 110, 115, 118, 120, 158, 195.
McClellan, George: 25.
McConnell, Mitch: 226, 247, 250.
McGovern, George: 165-166, 168, 176-177.
McKinley, William: 28, 72, 74, 75-79, 81, 176.
McNamara, Robert: 131-133, 136, 139, 146, 164, 167.
Medicare: 141, 144, 202, 220, 229, 240.
Memorial Day: 24.
Menominee Indians: 99, 111, 120, 165.
Meredith, James: 134.
Meriam Report: 99.
Mexico/Mexicans: 13, 65, 88, 90, 108, 111, 198, 204, 220, 234, 238-239, 262.
Military/army: 23-25, 27, 30-32, 37-38, 40, 44, 46, 48, 51, 54-55, 62, 67, 71, 76, 79, 83, 90, 98, 104, 107-108, 110, 113, 116, 118, 120-121, 123, 130-131, 136-137, 141, 167, 170, 175, 184, 186-187, 191, 193, 198, 200, 202, 212-213, 216-217, 219, 225, 235, 252.
Military Industrial Complex: 44, 114, 122, 128-129.
Militia: 18, 22, 42, 54, 225.
Minnesota: 22-23, 88, 120, 190.
Mississippi: 22, 29, 36-37, 127, 134, 142, 154, 187, 229.
Missouri: 11, 17-18, 20, 37, 45.
Mondale, Walter: 179, 190.
Monroe, James: 11, 83.
Monroe, Marilyn: 121, 175.
Montana: 48.
Moore, Levi: 69.
Moral Majority: 184-185, 196-197.
Morgan, J.P.: 73, 102.
Morgan, Thomas: 70.
Morrill Act: 21.
Mossadegh, Mohammad: 119.
"Mugwumps": 67-68.
Mussolini, Benito: 108.
Myer, Indian Commissioner Dillon: 111, 120.

 

N

Napoleon: 22.
Nation, Carrie: 79.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA): 118.
National Forest Service: 84.
National Guard: 54, 75, 92, 117, 134.
National Negro Congress: 107.
National Rifle Association (NRA): 97, 106, 180-181, 202, 263.
National Security Council (NSC): 123, 131, 192, 246, 249.
Naval Arms Limitations: 94.
Nebraska: 13, 17-18, 21, 34, 75, 83, 120.
Neo-Conservatives: 184, 210.
Nevada: 21.
New Mexico: 23, 98, 110, 120.
New Deal: 105, 108-110, 114-115, 158.
New Federalism: 185.
New Jersey: 20, 68, 70, 89-90, 204, 213.
New Orleans: 24, 30, 152.
New York: 8, 24-25, 35, 37, 50-51, 53, 58-60, 64, 67-69, 73, 76, 78, 80-81, 83, 91, 97, 101, 105, 167, 172, 190, 214, 230.
"New World Order": 91.
Newspapers/Journalists: 22, 24-25, 97, 101, 136, 178, 241, 256.
Nicaragua: 88, 191-192, 198.
Nixon, Richard M.: 9, 113-114, 118, 121, 125-128, 138, 142, 150, 152, 158-169, 170-173, 175, 177-178, 181-182, 183-185, 187, 189, 196-197, 208, 224, 237, 249, 257, 262- 264.
Nobel Peace Prize: 80, 91, 109.
Noriega, Manuel: 192, 198.
Norman, Thomas: 102.
North, Oliver: 191.
North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA): 198.
Nuclear energy: 110, 115, 118, 121, 142-143, 167, 187, 190, 193, 198, 200, 210, 215, 218, 231, 235, 241, 243, 258.
Nullifier Party: 17.

 

O

O'Connor, Sandra Day: 185.
Obama, Barrack: 119, 126, 141, 143, 156, 182, 214, 218 (f399), 221, 222-233, 236, 239-247, 249-250, 254.
Oil: 77, 87, 94, 99, 103, 106, 115, 119, 153, 163, 165, 172, 178-180, 185-186, 195, 199, 206-207, 210, 211, 215-216, 239, 242-244.
Oklahoma: 72, 94, 99.
Onassis, Aristotle: 149-150,
Onassis, Jackie Kennedy: 126, 137, 139, 146, 149-150.
Oregon: 21, 50, 92, 120.
Oswald, Lee Harvey: 124, 128 (f227), 129, 135, 137-138, 141, 170, 172.

 

P

Pacific Railway Act of 1862: 21-22.
Palestine: 153, 203.
Pan-American Conference: 67, 71, 78.
Panama: 62, 82, 101, 144, 180, 192, 198.
Parker, Alton B.: 83.
Parker, Ely S.: 38.
Parks, Rosa: 117.
Patriot Act: 213-214.
Paul, Alice: 187.
Pelosi, Nancy: 247, 256, 258.
Pendleton Act: 64.
Pennsylvania: 13, 36, 72, 82, 221, 234, 252, 254-255.
Pentagon Papers: 129, 132, 164, 166-168.
Peru: 153.
Philippines: 78, 86, 89, 113.
Pierce, Franklin: 13-14.
Pinchot, Gifford: 87.
Pinckney, Charles: 10.
Pinckney, Thomas: 10.
Planned Parenthood: 144, 195.
Pledge of Allegiance: 114.
Plessy V. Ferguson: 90.
Poindexter, John: 191.
Police actions: 29, 83, 92, 117, 134, 136-138, 150-151, 161, 183, 189, 199, 204, 214, 222- 223, 227, 229 , 231-233.
Polk, James: 13.
Populist Party: 72, 75, 89, 153, 248.
Posse comitatus: 54.
Postal Service: 63, 82, 250.
Potsdam Conference: 110.
Powell, Colin: 199, 215-217, 219.
Powers, Francis Gary: 122.
Presidential Pension: 122, 176.
Price, Hiram: 62.
Proclamations: 27.
Prohibition: 79, 88, 94, 96-97, 101, 103, 105, 202, 225, 236.
Protests: 8, 23, 88, 117, 124, 131, 145, 159, 161, 162, 164, 172, 183, 185, 209, 225, 230, 238, 239.
Pure Food and Drug Act: 82.
Putin, Vladimir: 8, 198, 211, 218, 235, 249-250.

 

Q

QAnon: 156, 237.

 

R

Racist/racism: 8, 9, 16, 35, 43, 52, 79, 81, 83-84, 96, 101, 107, 125, 148, 157, 161, 188-190, 226-229, 231-232, 237, 241, 261-262.
Radio: 95, 97, 101, 105, 126, 226.
Railroad: 21, 36-39, 43-45, 54, 56, 62, 64, 67-68, 73-74, 87, 89, 103.
Randolph, A. Philip: 107, 134.
Rattlesnake Dome oil scandal: 103.
Ray, James Earl: 147-148.
Reagan, Nancy: 184, 193, 197.
Reagan, Ronald: 8, 95-96, 143-144, 148, 155, 159, 166, 176, 178, 181-182, 183-194, 196- 197, 200-203, 207-208, 224, 262.
Reconstruction: 25, 29, 31-34, 36-37, 48-54, 56-57, 59, 61, 90, 103, 154-155, 262.
Red Cloud Investigation: 47.
Red Cross: 63.
Religion: 15, 86, 115, 126, 140, 144, 163, 184, 206.
Reservation: 23, 38, 46, 56, 62, 70, 88, 98, 99, 111, 120, 186.
Rice, Condoleezza: 217, 219.
Rice, Susan: 249.
Rock music (as torture): 198.
Rockefeller, Nelson III: 125, 159, 163, 166, 172, 176-177.
Roe V. Wade: 31, 144, 165, 201-202.
Roosevelt, Eleanor: 105, 107.
Roosevelt, Franklin (FDR): 69, 88, 93, 104-109, 110 (f197), 114-116, 123, 143, 155, 186, 258.
Roosevelt, Theodore: 71, 78, 80-85, 86-87, 88-90, 92.
Ross, Edmund G.: 34-35.
Ruby, Jack: 135, 170.
Rumsfeld, Donald: 210, 215, 217, 2219-220.
Russia: 8, 16, 80, 110, 118 (f210), 198, 216, 218, 234-236, 239, 242, 247, 249, 256.

 

S

Samoa: 72, 83.
Sandy Hook Elementary School: 232.
Saudi Arabia: 150, 212, 242.
Schurz, Carl: 15, 37-38, 52-53, 62.
Scott, Walter: 231.
Scott, Winfield: 13.
Secession: 15, 18, 20-21, 28, 35, 256, 261, 263.
Secret Service: 28, 85 (f154), 140, 176, 185, 262.
Secret society: 16, 86.
Segregation/desegregation: 23, 64, 90, 107-108, 110, 116-117, 134-135, 145, 155, 165, 167, 172, 178, 184, 191.
Sexual harassment: 191, 198, 203-204.
Seymour, Horatio: 37.
Schofield, General John M.: 33.
Shek, Chiang Kai: 112.
Shelby County V. Holder: 98.
Sheridan, General Phil: 30, 37, 46, 48, 51.
Sherman, John: 58-61, 82, 86.
Shriver, Sargent: 165-166.
Sioux Indians: 22-23, 47-48, 53, 64.
Sirhan, Sirhan: 150-153, 156.
Sitting Bull: 46, 70.
Slavery: 9, 11-14, 15, 17-21, 24, 27, 29-30, 33, 35, 36, 40, 52, 61, 69, 107, 145, 222, 231, 261.
Slaves: 8, 10, 11, 17, 19-20, 22-23, 27-31, 33, 40, 41, 52, 54-56, 62, 65, 261.
Smathers, George: 174.
Smith, Alfred E.: 101.
Smith, Caleb Blood: 23.
Smith, Edward P.: 45, 47.
Smith, John Q.: 47, 53.
Soldiers: 22, 24-25, 30, 49, 55, 57, 72-73, 83-84, 91, 97, 199, 219.
Social Security Administration: 104, 110, 141 (f257), 204, 210, 219, 229, 240.
Socialism: 90, 93, 101, 104, 148.
Socialist (Party): 21, 91, 93, 102-104.
South Carolina: 31, 49-52, 57, 142, 155-156, 232.
Southeast Asian Treaty Organization (SEATO): 113.
Southern Manifesto: 117.
Spanish American War: 77-78, 80.
Spanish Flu: 91-92.
Stalin, Joe: 110, 118.
"Stalwarts": 58-59, 61, 63-64.
Stanton, Elizabeth Cady: 13.
Stanton, Edwin M.: 29, 33, 35.
Star Wars: 193.
Stevens, Thaddeus: 28-29, 32, 36.
Stevenson, Adlai Jr.: 112-113, 155.
Stimson Doctrine: 104, 109.
Stock/stock market: 39, 45, 95-97, 100, 102, 103, 190-191, 207.
Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT): 166.
Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START): 193, 198.
Street and Highway Safety Commission: 101.
Strikes
Labor: 54, 68, 71-72, 74, 75, 79, 82, 92, 103, 111-112, 187, 258.
Military: 90, 120, 126, 139, 199, 205, 209, 211, 231, 216.

Sturgis, Frank: 136.
Suffrage: 12, 24, 29, 41, 70, 87, 90, 92, 187.
Supreme Court: 4, 8-10, 12-13, 23, 57, 74, 83, 86, 89-90, 96, 98, 106, 108, 111-112, 114, 117, 134, 140, 143-145, 156, 165, 167-168, 185, 191, 198, 201, 203-204, 208-209, 225, 228, 240, 245, 255, 259-260.

 

T

Taft, Alphonso: 47, 49, 84.
Taft-Hartley Act: 111-112.
Taft, Nellie: 87.
Taft, William H.: 84, 86-89, 92.
Tammany Hall: 69, 81.
Tariff Trade Act: 103.
Taylor, Zachary: 13.
Tea Party: 143-144, 224-229, 231, 234, 238, 257.
Teapot Dome Scandal: 94-95.
Tennessee: 24, 27-29, 105, 147, 156, 201, 228.
Tenure of Office Act: 30, 32-33, 68.
Terry, General Alfred: 48.
Texas: 13, 23, 37, 96, 127, 135-136, 138, 155, 176, 195, 200, 207, 229, 236, 255, 257.
Thieu, Nguyen Van: 173.
Thurmon, Strom: 111.
Tilden, Sam: 50-51, 61.
Treaty of Versailles: 91.
Truman, Harry S.: 106, 109-112, 113, 116, 119, 122-123, 143, 148, 262.
Trumball, Lyman: 35-36.
Trump, Donald J.: 4, 7-9, 20, 32, 91, 98, 110, 125, 140, 143, 154-157, 181, 191, 193, 204- 205, 218-219, 221-222, 226, 228, 234-259.
Turkey: 109, 128.
Twain, Mark: 51, 56, 66.
Tyler, John: 12-13.

 

U

Ukraine: 198, 247.
Unemployment: 44, 77, 103, 126, 162, 179, 187, 190, 197, 218, 257.
Union: Civil War: 11, 15, 18-24, 27-31, 34, 37, 67, 72, 113, 261.
Labor: 54, 72, 92-93, 110-112, 120, 123, 152, 158, 160-162, 187, 232.
United Nations: 91, 109, 115, 196-197.
Union Pacific Railroad: 37-38.
United Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR/Soviet Union): 109, 118, 120-122, 127-128, 135, 142, 163, 166, 173, 175, 180, 184, 193, 198-199, 212.
United States vs. Cruikshank: 43.
Usher, John P.: 23.
Utah: 37.

 

V

Valentine, Robert: 88.
Van Buren, Martin: 12-13.
Vaughn, Robert: 128 (f227), 149.
Venezuela: 83.
Veterans: 58, 95, 103-104, 263.
Vietnam: 115-116, 118, 124-125, 127, 129-133, 137, 141-142, 144, 146-147, 149, 153, 159, 161, 163-164, 166-167, 170-171, 173, 175, 179, 181, 192, 215, 262.
Virginia: 12, 24, 37, 127, 156, 176.
Volstead Act: 91.
Voter fraud: 127, 255.
Voting Rights Act: 98, 141, 144, 156, 188, 259.

 

W

Wallace, George: 134, 159, 165, 176.
Wallace, Henry: 106, 109, 111.
Warren Commission: 137, 139, 141, 152, 170-171, 176.
Warren, Justice Earl: 110, 116-117.
Washington, Booker T.: 81, 82 (f147), 83, 88, 145.
Washington, George: 9.
Washita: 37.
Watergate: 95, 114, 128, 136, 164, 166-168, 173, 179.
Weapons of mass destruction (WMDs): 214-219, 221.
Webb, Lucy Ware: 57.
Weinberger, Casper: 192, 201-202.
West Virginia: 54, 96.
Whig Party: 12-13, 15, 17.
Wilbur, Ray Lyman: 102.
Wilson, Edith: 91-92.
Wilson, Woodrow: 85, 88, 89-92, 95, 101.
Wisconsin: 17, 20, 59, 73, 84, 96, 102, 111, 120, 222, 232, 234, 236, 245, 255.
Wolfowitz, Paul: 210, 215.
World Health Organization: 251.
World War I: 85, 90, 92, 98, 101, 104.
World War II: 104, 107, 112-113, 123, 140, 155, 195, 262.
Wounded Knee: 68, 70.

 

X

X, Malcolm: 141, 145, 162.

 

Y

Yellowstone National Park: 84.
Yeltsin, Boris: 198, 200.

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Pensaukee: Voice of a Landscape

Water.  We humans, along with all other living creatures on earth, have thirsted for it since the beginning of time.  They say life emerged from water; water is where life began. Water also destroys  --floods, monsoons, even tornadoes are caused by factors related to water.  Water gets polluted by acts of man and nature and becomes undrinkable.  But nothing can live long without water. The Great Lakes is home to the largest fresh drinking water system in the world.

 

(Map to the left is from "Gift of the Glaciers," The Great Lakes Basin. Pensaukee is 25 miles north of Green Bay, which is at the bottom of the Bay of Lake Michigan. Pensaukee is to the left of the bay. http://seagrant.wisc.edu/home/Portals/0/Images/Great%20Lakes/homepage/all5.jpg)

 

Pensaukee: Voice of a Landscape is a study of the human relationship to water, to land, to trees, and to natural disaster. This study of people will demonstrate how we, the human society, have adjusted our needs around water and increased our footprints. This area, along the Pensaukee River leading to a bay on a lake of the Great Lakes, was pegged to one day be a great city. Its ups and downs are measured in the stars.

 

In January 2006, the Arndt Pensaukee Sawmill was added to the State's Register of Historic Places as an archaeology site, and in March, to the National Register. The Arndt Sawmill Discovery Team worked for four years providing details that demonstrated its validity for this status. This is a pretty amazing story, because the location of Arndt's sawmill disappeared until we were able to recover it again.  Even those who referenced the documented lease for this site tended to ignore what was right in front of them.

 

In 1822, John Penn Arndt moved to Fort Michilimackinc, Michigan, to get involved in the fur trade. Arndt was old school.  He came from back East where there were still a number of citizens who recognized the symbol of America as an Indian woman, before the image of Columbia and Manifest Destiny took over by 1815.  In 1810 the American symbol/, an Indian princess, was painted with such icons as the Washington bust, an American flag and her foot planted squarely on King George III's crown.  The Indians had become a symbol of favorites during the Revolutionary War as a way of identifying with people other than the Brits in the land chosen as their new home. But by 1815, the War of 1812 began the turn away from Indians, seeing them as simply in the way.   

 

Arndt, however, raised with positive Indian symbols, believed that working with them was better than against.

 

In Pensaukee's Beginning

The land was not barren when the first humans arrived.  Let's go back further, to the current Ice Age, which began about 2.4 million years ago and isn't over yet.  Patterns of alternating cool summers and warm winters continue, and perhaps always will. This would make the Ice Age a permanent feature of our planet, and certainly of the location of this particular plot of land in northeastern Wisconsin, which had been directly in the path of the last glaciers. The Pleistocene Epoch, or what we call the "ice age," covered the warmer path of the Tertiary Epoch, which was considerably warmer.  That previous period began 65 million years ago, and was replaced as the earth's climate cooled, by massive movements of northern ice.

 

Today they call the return of the Tertiary "global warming." I prefer to think of it as "global instability." The cycles repeat themselves and warming causes more natural disasters, with or without the presence of humans.  But there's every reason to believe that the impact of humans with their cars and industry has worsened the cycle, to the point where the earth might not be able to cool down appropriately again. Should we wait until it's too late? How many future diseases, along with the recent COVID-19, might be in store for us?

 

Wisconsin is enclosed on three sides by water; the Mississippi River on the west, Lake Superior on the north, and the bay of Lake Michigan on the east. Pensaukee sits on the bay with a river running through it.   

 

Wisconsin is divided into two climatic zones, conifer/hardwood zone of the north and the mixed prairie/deciduous woodlands of the south, what's called a 'tension zone,' which is where the two climates overlap.  Pensaukee could be considered unique in containing features of both zones. Here great farming combined with majestic northern pine trees. Here, those great pines had to be removed so that farming could be increased. Wind and rain and sun -- these are things we cannot control and depend on for our lives. These three things, plus land and trees, had a major impact on Pensaukee's history.

 

Signs of glacial movement can still be found; boulders in fields or woods, polished rock surfaces and striated bedrock.  Pensaukee's land contains only a few features, such as flattened land, strewn boulders and its climate, which, as we will see, started out very cold with only the pine trees and, as it began to warm, other plants moved in. At one time southern Wisconsin was too cold for growing corn, and northern Wisconsin too cold to maintain a deer population. The Pensaukee area and places north now have an active deer hunting season.

 

Imagine what it's like if you were the land, to lay under a sheet of ice for tens of thousands of years, the ice scraping back and forth over your skin, digging up all the blemishes of rock beneath the surface, pushing this debris ever southward, giving you a flatter, cleaner, softer appearance in some places and leaving behind a boulder-strewn landscape of sandy ridges and exposed bedrock in others. As the ices melted in the interglacial, water in torrents formed great lakes, huge river channels and vast outwash plains of sand and gravel. Different kinds of hills formed, what they call dumlins, moraines and kames, and the valleys and deep kettles, as the ice moderates differently wherever it has strewn.  Most boulders you'll see yet today were pushed out of farm fields. On occasion, in the woods in the northern half of Wisconsin, you'll see an occasional boulder that's been sitting out of place for 10,000 years.  

 

The glaciers dug out the Great Lakes, and the melting filled them and the other 7,000 lakes in Wisconsin. Lake Superior is large, cold and deep, and Lake Michigan, down the eastern side, is more likely to be affected by low and high rainfall. Lake Michigan plays a bigger role in our story here because Pensaukee's river mouth opens into the bay "finger" portion of this lake.

 

One way they note glacial vs. interglacial periods is by studying the weather patterns. For instance, the 20th century has been the warmest since 1400 CE, when there was a little Ice Age; there was another in the 1800s. The year 1998 was the warmest since reliable instrument records began 120 years ago. Many who fight environmental efforts say that we are simply in an interglacial period and these rises of temperatures are normal. This may be true to a degree or two, but certainly air pollution and carbon dioxide emissions increase the changes and alter patterns to a degree never seen before.

 

Pensaukee has no natural lead or copper, but raw copper, called float copper, was also deposited there by the glacier's gracious generosity. Limestone is the prevalent layer of rock under the soil surface in Pensaukee, and elsewhere in Wisconsin. Limestone proves that all this land was once water because it is formed from the chemical precipitation of minerals in water and the accumulation of shells. However, because granite is the dominant material in Oconto County, the limestone here is more of the dolomite variety. They call the bedrock geology of Pensaukee the "Platteville-Galena," which is dolomite with some limestone. One would then expect, if they looked, they could find lead here.

 

One particular limestone ledge that formed in Pensaukee, along the river about a mile inland, became a focusing feature of the town that led to its development.  Nature works in mysterious ways.  Humans have learned both to put her resources to good use and to duck in her fury.  You'll see ample examples of both as we study time in a landscape.

 

Sedimentary rock, such as dolomite/limestone, or granite, is quite ugly, grayish and used most often as gravel for driveways and roads.  But when you examine this rock closely, you'll see how pockets of air formed inside them and geodes develop. Even the dullest-appearing rock can be beautiful on the inside.

 

The bay of Green Bay, on which Pensaukee sits, was not always a bay.  Once it was a lush valley through which a river ran to the lake -- technically the bay is part of the Fox River, which extends out of the bay in the Green Bay area, a north-ward, not south-ward, flowing river; another glacial effect. High and low water levels are gradual, and we were still on a downward slide in the natural scheme of things in 2000. James Pogue noted on a visit to Kenosha in 2018 that water levels were at a record high and expected to keep rising; we see more flooding on a regular basis. At the time of this writing, Whitefish Dunes State Park had to close because its shoreline is underwater.

 

Fish distribution in the Great Lakes is related to those in the Mississippi basin; the fish in these northern waters moved south with the movement of the ice sheet and returned north as the cold waters retreated. Migration is a coping and survival strategy in fish and people in pre-European-contact times. Variety of fish included perch, sturgeon, whitefish and trout in the pre-European years. Sturgeon, smelt and salmon, all fished in this area, are anadromous fish, fish that migrate from where they are born out to the oceans and then return to their place of birth to spawn and die.  

 

The spruce forest was gradually replaced by the more fire-adapted species such as the great white pine as the ice age receded and fires swept through the land, fire set by lightning and later deliberately by the natives when conditions were conducive. Forests were conifers, mixed hardwoods, birch, basswood, oak, cedar and hickory, a temperate mixed forest with both soft and hard woods. Originally forests covered 85% of Wisconsin. By 1965 this coverage was at 43%. White pine had been the most sought and most widely utilized of all the early various forest growths of the northeast, along with white oak.  Both grew well in Pensaukee. Pine, however, does not hold up well, being soft wood, to the tough waters of the Great Lakes and was used more for the layers of boats that are protected from the water and for the tall masts. The tough wagons that carried pioneers westward also could not be made of pine; but with those two exceptions, pine was used for everything. White Oak is the other timber found in this area that was used in ship building. Oak is hardy and resistant to fire.  

 

White pine forests arrived in the eastern colonies about 12,000 years ago, preferring soils created by the sheets of ice; young soils of clay, sand, gravel and boulders. White pine also grows on better soils if it can find the room amidst the hardwoods. Red Pine or Norway is found on the sandy pinery areas.  Jack pine was not considered valuable to the Europeans; Indians called it lodge pine. Red pine was neglected until 1870. White pine was found often in relatively small stands throughout the forests, as Norway pine tended to dominate poorer soils and drier areas than the white pine. White pines could dominate a forest, such as shown in the photo below.

 

(Photo From cover of The North Woods Journal of Charles C. Hamilton: an Englishman in Wisconsin's Lumber Camps, 1892-1893, edited by Mary Hamilton Burns. These are not Pensaukee trees but indicative of how big they would've been as well.)

 

Trees in Pensaukee could and did get this big. When they grow in a stand, they all compete for the sunlight, shooting up straight and tall without branches. White pine can live to 600 years or more, and trees never stop growing, until they die -- or are struck by lightning once too often.  

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New Gun Safety Laws

We should be required to submit a resume and character references in order to own a gun. Why not?  Why shouldn't we have to apply to own something that can potentially take an innocent life?

 

First, I'm not talking about taking anyone's guns away – unless they're illegal.  I am talking about making guns that are rapid fire illegal, and then yes, everyone who owns one would be required to turn it in for some kind of monetary "reward." Here's a stat shared by a South Carolina congressional candidate: When Clinton banned assault rifles in 1994, mass shooting deaths dropped by 43%. After the ban expired in 2004, they shot up by 239%. With statistics like this, how can anyone argue against a ban? This time, make it a ban that does not expire. Forbid even the manufacture.

 

Gun ownership needs to be taken as seriously -- no, more seriously -- than driving a car.  After all, you can always take a bus. But you should not be able to take a bus loaded with weaponry. You do have to get a photo ID to drive and it needs to be renewed every eight or so years, because you could become OWI in the meantime. Even operating while intoxicated isn't as bad as buying guns so you can shoot people.

 

I read the other day about a woman who was stuck in a traffic jam in CA and started shooting her handgun at other cars. Imagine that. Road rage is real, but usually you just have to worry about a fender bender. Did that lady think someone wasn't going to report her by her license plate?

 

So of course you need to get a license on that weapon to have it properly registered in your name. Do you? Guns can so easily change hands. But if a gun is registered to you, then no matter who uses it to kill people, YOU are responsible. Yes. Accept that. And there are ways to get guns where you don't have to register them. No one who sells you a gun currently cares about your mental health, or what you want it for.

 

We have to stop allowing concealed weapon or open carry laws. We have to stop. Because we cannot tell what any single individual carrying a gun is planning to do. Oh yes, they say, they're exerting their 2nd Amendment rights. No, they're not. There's nothing in the 2nd Amendment about walking around with a gun. People who lean on that amendment forget when it was written, and why. It was so each state had an active militia to protect against a "federalist" government. They were afraid the Brits might come back and try to re-exert influence again. Period.

 

On the other hand, if only concealed carry were allowed, then criminals might think twice, not knowing who might be carrying a gun and ready to shoot back.  The only thing that makes sense is concealed carry.  Then, too, the average citizen doesn't have to be made nervous or frightened seeing people walk around with these big guns. But the problem with concealed carry is the same -- what are they planning to do with that gun on their person? And how does any cop who confronts any traffic offense know who or what he's facing?

 

With concealed carry, every public building should install metal detectors -- don't worry, they'll get pretty cheap -- and anyone who enters a building with a gun needs to show his carry license, before going about his business.  It can be a kind of silent alarm, so that if there is a shooter in the building, they won't hear it go off and quickly scurry off to another public building to shoot up.

 

Gun owners also need to be aware that they will very likely not ever get the drop on anyone intent on doing harm.  Why? Because in a public place, you don't go there that day expecting trouble. The shooter does. The shooter is ready.  You're not. So who's going to out draw who?  You might be able to take him out after he's killed a few, but not before.

 

Finally, before I get to the resume part, think twice about needing a gun.  I never have and never will.  Instead, I prefer to live my life in a way that I'm not seen as a threat to others, and I hope you do, too.

 

Anyway, here's my step-by-step plan for someone who wants to get a gun.

 

  1. They need to be gainfully employed.  Seriously, they want to do a background check on someone in order for them to get a gun already, don't they?  Make sure they have and can hold a job.  The people who don't or haven't are more likely to turn suicidal, hold a grudge or become vindictive.
  2. They need character references.  Now just to be sure we understand this, these character references will need to be contacted, each of them, to make sure they are legitimate. They will need to testify to this person's personal character, first on paper, and then on the phone—and if necessary, in person.  The potential gun owner might be divorced, but he should be a willing partner to the divorce, and pay child support.  And if there are any red flags in any of these five references, then get more references.  Some of the questions these references must answer are related to the person's mental stability, and answers need to be consistent, and not sound coached.
  3. I think it's necessary that the person be over 25, at which age you can drive a rental vehicle. But if the person is aging, it could be important that they not have Alzheimer's and their eyesight isn't going.  I know that the aging population is at higher risk, but we don't want them to be a risk to others, or themselves.
  4. They need a clean record.  Squeaky clean.  Never arrested for drunkenness, never hit a cop, they don't speed (indicates stress), absolutely nothing in their past record.  As with resumes for jobs, they have to give past names used, past addresses, past jobs, social security number, driver's license number, whatever it takes to verify a clean record.  This is a must.
  5. The renewing of the license, too, is not a DMV-speedy event.  It's a week-long process, where the record is obtained for the past year to make sure their record stayed clean. If they have even one accusation of George-Zimmerman-itis, the gun is taken away.
  6. Before they're allowed to take the gun home, they need classes. Lots and lots of training.  They need to know how to put the safety on, and where to keep the weapon so that the kids don't get it but they can get at it in the event of burglary.
  7. Finally, they need this last bit of advice.  "You will likely never, ever shoot it.  Get used to that idea."

Now let's look at what Biden is proposing. These are all in the form of executive action currently, which would have to be made into law to have any real impact.

  • to propose a rule within 30 days to stop the proliferation of so-called "ghost guns," or makeshift weapons that can be constructed at home or that lack a serial number. These kits will be treated as firearms.
  • directing the Justice Department to issue a proposed rule within 60 days that makes clear a device marketed as a stabilizing brace, which effectively allows a pistol to operate as a short-barreled rifle, is subject to the requirements of the National Firearms Act
  • Bipartisan Background Checks Act, would expand background checks on firearm sales, closing a gun show and online sales loophole. It passed the House with the support of eight Republicans
  • the Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2021 would close another loophole dubbed the "Charleston loophole," which allows gun sales to proceed without a completed background check if three business days have passed, by extending the background check review period from three days to 10. The loophole is named because it is linked to the 2015 shooting in Charleston during which a white supremacist was able to obtain firearms that killed Black churchgoers.
  • Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., have introduced a new bill that would revive the ban [on assault rifles]. "It was the law for the longest time. And it brought down these mass killings. We should do it again," Biden said.
  • Strip manufacturers of protection from lawsuits by repealing PLCAA (2005); as it stands now, it can only be sued for defective merchandise.
  • Red flag legislation will allow police and family to petition courts to remove firearms from people who may present a danger to themselves and others - the Justice Department would do this immediately to allow the states to enact this legislation but the federal government would need Congress to pass the law.
  • Contributions to community violence program in the last stimulus program.
  • Biden appointed a director to the Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Division, which has been an empty position since 2015. He needs confirmation.

 

The most controversial of these is the repeal of Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), put into effect under GW Bush. This prevents the gun manufacturers from being sued, except if the weapon has a defect, or if they knowingly sold to someone for criminal activity. But this law also prevents the manufacturers from adding extra safety features, such as child locks or making them harder to steal. For instance, you can have a fingerprint ID on a phone; why not on a gun? There are those who say that making them responsible for how these weapons (meant to kill people) are used illegally is like making Ford responsible when people drive drunk. If you do make them responsible, wouldn't training and better background checks be a part of the sale? If someone drives drunk, and is killed, there is other culpability that can be enforced, unlike with weapons; if you are the victim, you can, for instance, go after a friend who let them drive drunk. It's called culpable negligence. I think since that PLCAA is so recent, it should go, and along with other measures noted above, manufacturers will start acting more responsibly in these measures.

 

Let's hope Biden can get this done, and soon, while we have a Democratic Congress. Some of the above information taken from

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2021/03/24/gun-control-where-president-biden-stands-legislation-executive-orders/6989667002/;

https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/109/s397; 

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/biden-wants-to-end-gun-maker-liability-protections-that-could-sink-the-industry-advocates-say/ar-BB1ftgTI?li=BBorjTa

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