Friday, April 16, 2021

Does Tiffany understand that enslaved people built his workplace?

Does he know that enslaved people built - along with the US Capitol - Wall Street, the White House, Georgetown University, Boston's Faneuil Hall and other historic American institutions?

Does Tiffany know - or care - 

Image of Tom Tiffany

that the underpinnings of the economy which stabilized the nation and set it on a course of unprecedented expansion was underwritten by the labor of enslaved people, as an expert has noted:

It is inconceivable that European colonists could have settled and developed North and South America and the Caribbean without slave labor. Moreover, slave labor did produce the major consumer goods that were the basis of world trade during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries: coffee, cotton, rum, sugar, and tobacco.

In the pre-Civil War United States, a stronger case can be made that slavery played a critical role in economic development. 

One crop, slave-grown cotton, provided over half of all US export earnings. 

By 1840, the South grew 60 percent of the world's cotton and provided some 70 percent of the cotton consumed by the British textile industry. Thus slavery paid for a substantial share of the capital, iron, and manufactured goods that laid the basis for American economic growth. 

In addition, precisely because the South specialized in cotton production, the North developed a variety of businesses that provided services for the slave South, including textile factories, a meat processing industry, insurance companies, shippers, and cotton brokers. 

Moreover, Tiffany failed to grasp the impacts of institutional governmental racism which stripped land and resources from freed enslaved people and their descendants - so it is not surprising that Wisconsin's Northwoods Member of Congress is again shoveling  ignorant, resentment-fueling slop about fairness and race to his heavily-white constituency through his taxpayer-paid newsletter.

Democrats also renewed their effort to further divide and balkanize America along racial lines, pushing forward with a plan that would pave the way for “reparations.” The House Judiciary Committee voted along party lines to head down that dangerous road this week, seeking to effectuate a massive, race-based wealth transfer. Americans of all political stripes oppose this divisive and destructive idea, which some experts estimate would cost a whopping $12 trillion .

Americans know that forcing people who never owned slaves to pay people who were never enslaved is unfair. It is also unconstitutional. Americans of all races, colors and creeds gave their lives in the Civil War and the years that followed to build a more perfect union, end government-sponsored racism, and ensure that all Americans are treated fairly, with dignity and respect, as individuals – not faceless, nameless components of a race or ethnic group.

I am deeply opposed to this dangerous and immoral plan, and I am committed to defeating it.

Note that Tiffany's pious invocation of a mythical, cooperative post-Civil War American that created a 'more perfect union' overlooks decades of Jim Crow legalized discrimination that continues to spread and embed inequity to this day through environmental racism and fresh voting restrictions - and a consciously-created Black-white wealth gap:

The persistent Black-white wealth gap is not an accident but rather the result of centuries of federal and state policies that have systematically facilitated the deprivation of Black Americans. 
From the brutal exploitation of Africans during slavery, to systematic oppression in the Jim Crow South, to today’s institutionalized racism—apparent in disparate access to and outcomes in education, health care, jobs, housing, and criminal justice—government policy has created or maintained hurdles for African Americans who attempt to build, maintain, and pass on wealth.

So, Congressman, you were saying something about it being  'immoral' and 'unfair' and even 'dangerous' to address this? 

(You can subscribe to his newsletter with the appropriate, 19th-century title "Tiffany Telegram" at his office website. Apparently 'Buggy Whip Bulletin' has been spoken for. )


Anonymous said...

The Congressman's e-newsletter isn't the only "telegram" out there espousing such drivel.

March 26, 2021 - Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights (IREHR) website article titled "“WHITE LIVES MATTER” MARCHES ANNOUNCED, ATTRACTING WHITE NATIONALISTS AND ANTISEMITES"

First paragraph:
The social media site Telegram has become widely known for offering a smorgasbord of the worst our society has to offer – providing a haven for a wide variety of racists and antisemites booted from Twitter and Facebook as these social media giants have moved slowly, and generally ineptly, to remove crass bigots and misinformation from their platforms.

See also
Vox - Why right-wing extremists’ favorite new platform is so dangerous

Anonymous said...

Quoting Mrs. Betty Bowers ("America's Best Christian"
What a delicious irony that the people who believe in white supremacy are always the whites who are the least supreme.

Anonymous said...

You can't fix stupid!