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There was a profitable coup in america. It was a harbinger of Donald Trump's rise

This is one of the main reasons Republicans like Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton and his husband are so vehemently angry about re-examining American history from a racist perspective. For example, Cotton's war on the devastating analysis contained in the New York Times' lauded and influential "1619 Project" is not just about what such fresh looks at the "mainstream" story of the spread and longevity of racism is in betray this country. Instead, their anger is deepened by what racism – and the nation's long history – reveals about the character and motivations of the perpetrators themselves. Since race-based bigotry is not rationally defensible, stories and myths masking it are the only strategy.

As for these motivations, it is deceptively easy to assume that racism is simply based on discrimination based on skin color. At the most basic level, this is certainly what it is – it provides an explanation even a child can understand: others are "bad" because they "look different".

But “looking different” is just a basic element of racism. It all comes down to what comes next when the effects of a different appearance on the lizard brain of those so predisposed are weighed and considered. The same types of people have formed a vast cross-section of America over and over again over the centuries. From the southern heirs of the defeated 19th-century Confederation, then known as Democrats, to what they quickly transformed into a century later in the civil rights era – the same people we know today as the modern Republican Party . Today's Republicans are simply the latest heirs to the same post-rebuilding racist legacy that brought us Black Codes, Jim Crow, and Separate but Equal: it's a legacy that is now manifesting itself in the coordinated effort of black voting and to restrict anyone who doesn't know is voter suppression.

Of the many acts of terrorism against African Americans since the end of the active hostilities in the Civil War, what took place in Wilmington for a few days in November 1898 was not unique in its deadly character. About 60 (probably more) black citizens were massacred by an angry crowd of white supremacists. Similar incidents of racist violence had peppered the south for decades and fueled the creation of domestic terrorist groups like the Ku Klux Klan. The parallels with the Republican Party's modern goals – particularly the political reasons for the massacre, coupled with what sparked the event itself – are reflected today in the strategy and motives behind the Trump campaign's efforts to delegitimize the 2020 elections.

What motivated this 1898 Wilmington coup known as the Wilmington Insurrection – or its longstanding whitewashed historical descriptor, the "Wilmington Race Riot" – were the same things that motivate Trump and the GOP today: white power, white insecurity and white fear . All of this combined resulted in an ongoing campaign of voter intimidation, anticipating the modern script for suppression of GOP voters.

David W. Blight is a Sterling Professor of American History at Yale University. Blight writes for the New York Review of Books and explains in the review of David Zucchino's recent book Wilmington & # 39; s Lie what happened in Wilmington at the end of the 19th century and why it happened. In fact, it was the country's only successful coup d'état, an illegal and violent uprising by white Americans who tried to usurp power by intimidating and suppressing the black voice, thereby eliminating its impact on a "multiracial government in the most advanced South." black majority. "

It's an ugly story, but parts of it will seem very … familiar.

N.98.2.77_Group_of_Red_Shirts_pose_at_the_polls_5908630058.jpg "src =" https://images.dailykos.com/images/886728/large/N.98.2.77_Group_of_Red_Shirts_pose_at_the_pose_at_the_polls_5908630058.jpg_590508630058.jpg
"Red Shirts", a paramilitary organization that terrorizes American blacks




<p>That month there have been concerted, carefully planned, and successful efforts to forcibly suppress the black voice, eliminate the officials elected by the blacks, and restore white control of the city of Wilmington and the entire state to the Democrats for the cause of white supremacy. The coup leaders employed tactics ranging from vicious newspaper propaganda and economic intimidation to arson and lynching. Dozens of African Americans were killed and the political life of blacks in the area wiped out in a matter of days: 1,266 black men were on the North Carolina electoral roll in 1896; by 1902 only 6,100 remained.</p>
<p>As Blight points out, “The North Carolina Democrats of 1898 had the same goals and some of the same practices as today's Republican electoral suppressors, planning and spending millions of dollars to thwart the suffrage on flimsy claims of“ election fraud ”. ”</p>
<p>Despite the North's victory in the Civil War and despite emancipation, North Carolina, like other southern states in the years immediately following the war, began implementing Black Codes that essentially returned blacks to the status of slaves and refused to Ratify the 14th Amendment – Granting African American citizenship and equal protection under the law. These circumstances changed, at least on paper, when the state held a constitutional convention in 1868 as part of the reconstruction process that gave blacks the right to vote. As Blight notes, from that day on, blacks were viewed by the state's white supremacists as an existential threat, a "contagion that must be eradicated". The "Democrats" dominated by the supremacists quickly regained governorship and systematically began to impose legal and procedural "cunning", all with the specific intention of disqualifying black voters.</p>
<p>Despite these efforts, black citizens continued to assert and strengthen their political participation and power in North Carolina, particularly in the Second Congressional District, which included Wilmington, which had elected several black councilors and employed several black police officers. The district itself also voted on its first black representative, George H. White.</p>
<p>As Blight explains, this situation was unheard of and unbearable for many high-ranking and powerful North Carolinians, including the owner-editor of the Raleigh News and Observer, leader of the Democratic Party, and Alfred Waddell, another self-confessed white supremacist, propagandist. "Speaker" and Congressman. Waddell would, through his fiery speeches, evoke racist sentiments "which white working-class men had on their feet with Winchester rifles held high". </p>
<p>At a rally in front of eight thousand people on November 7th, Waddell called them to arms: “Go to the polls tomorrow,” he shouted, “and if you find the Negro voting, tell him to leave the polls. And if he refuses, kill him! Shoot him in his footsteps! “The campaign conducted ballot box filling training and met with employers to ensure that white men had the day off to vote.</p>
<p>Waddell had help from a local base of armed racists who wore certain robes to identify themselves. They called themselves the "red shirts", recognizable by their clothing, which was specially designed to make the united racists both visible and intimidating.</p>
<p>With the help of thousands of "red shirts" – gangs of heavily armed men who are intimidated and ready to kill – they sought the liquidation of black men from political life and the overthrow of the state of North Carolina. With large and small arsenals, the campaign openly declared its goals; … "We have to either outwit, overcount or overtake them!" You have achieved all three goals.</p>
<p>Blight explains that the instigators of this concerted backlash against black participation in democracy promoted a belief system that pervaded much of the post-civil war generation – that their (alleged) birthright had been threatened by freed slaves they believed that they were further "degenerate" by being "aggressive" towards white women. Everyone knows that there has never been an excuse for white supremacists as practical and selfish as the defense of the honor – and so-called chastity – of "their" white women. According to Blight, who quotes historian Joel Williamson, "these deadly combinations of race and sex formed a" psychic core "in the minds of radical racists … of a new, violent redemption."</p>
<p>As Blight notes, such an association "has advanced political organization and white frenzy more than some (modern) readers may realize". Because it meant that black men allowed to vote – or worse, to rule – could compete for the affection of white women, a prospect that drove these insecure men into a foaming, uncontrollable rage. It was anger that white supremacist demagogues would gamble to the limit.  </p>
<p>In Wilmington, the spark that sparked this teeming mass of anger was a man named Alexander Lightfoot Manly. The mixed race and well-educated grandson of a former North Carolina governor and one of his enslaved wives, Manly, have nonetheless been identified as black. He founded the city's only black daily newspaper, and in 1895 published a column questioning the prevailing idea that any sexual association between white women and black men could only be classified as "rape". In the summer of 1898, he published a fateful editorial in response to the lynching of another white congressman's wife. </p>
<p>As suggested by D.G. Martin, in an article written for local CBS Radio subsidiary WCHL:</p>
<p>In response to a popular claim that the only solution to black aggression against white women was lynching, Manly wrote: “Every lynched Negro is referred to as a 'big, stocky black beast,' although indeed many of them who have been dealt with had white men for their fathers and were not only "not black and stocky" but attractive enough for white girls with culture and sophistication to fall in love with, as everyone knows. "</p>
<p>As Blight noted, Manly also embellished his language with a mockery, writing that racist whites shouldn't expect their daughters to "stay clean" while the white men around them continue to "turn off" black women.</p>
<p>That kind of “outrageous” attitude that came from a black man was absolutely startling to white supremacists. Quoting Zucchino, Blight points out, "A black man had made fun of the myths that whites had maintained for generations and pierced the buried insecurities of southern whites." In response to furious pressure from the white population to lynch Manly and destroy his newspaper, the white supremacists, angry at the anger against blacks, convinced white voters of their anger on Election Day, November 8, 1898 express.</p>
<p>And that's exactly what they did, creating a template for what we know today as systematic, intimidating suppression of voters.</p>
<p>Black men in Wilmington risked their lives to vote on November 8th. Only about half of the people registered actually cast their ballots. Democrats stuffed ballot boxes in black districts and destroyed Republican ballot papers, while white men, as Zucchino puts it, "at some stations called blacks at gunpoint and forced them to turn back when they tried to reach polling stations." Rumors of black violence spread in white neighborhoods – rumors that zucchino states were "pure fiction": "Virtually all the armed men who stayed on the streets all night were white, not black."</p>
<p>A local white woman who kept a diary during the election noted that all of the effort was aimed at intimidating blacks (men) into "never voting again." As a result, white supremacist-inspired efforts succeeded in winning the Democrats over to the election, and their instigators immediately took action to oust the current government. The state media immediately praised the remarkable election results – they praised the coup and praised its leaders while ignoring the concerted repression and intimidation that caused it all.</p>
<p>Two days later, on November 10th, 500 white men gathered in the city's armory and started their rampage, indiscriminately killing black people and demolishing black houses and businesses. Her original destination was Alexander Manly. When they were informed that Manly had escaped, they set his newspaper office on fire and posed for the picture at the top of this post. Blacks were shot in the back, many killed on their knees or in other humiliating positions. Many of the remaining black residents fled to the surrounding forests or swamps. No one was punished or prosecuted for these murders. The chief of police, the Board of Aldermen and the Mayor of Wilmington were unceremoniously removed, essentially at gunpoint, and replaced by white supremacists, including Waddell, who was proclaimed the new mayor.</p>
<p>As Blight notes, the effects of the Wilmington massacre (he calls it a "pogrom") were felt across the country and determined the fate of North Carolina for decades to come. The Wilmington coup plotters immediately started spreading the false story that blacks had instigated the violence; Those responsible for the actual violence made prominent political careers. In the state capital, Raleigh, Blight writes, "a wave of disenfranchisement and other Jim Crow laws flowed out of the state," and it would be decades before the state began to "unlearn" the lessons of the massacre.</p>
<p>And over the years the mythology of “virtuous” white supremacy and the “unworthiness” of the black voice has been passed down from generation to generation, sometimes blatant, sometimes hidden, but always present, like a shadow patiently waiting for another cynical demagogue that awakens and takes advantage of the fears, complaints and insecurities of another willing audience of pathetic, fainthearted white men. </p>

			
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For example, Cotton's war on the devastating analysis contained in the New York Times' lauded and influential "1619 Project" is not just about what such fresh looks at the "mainstream" story of the spread and longevity of racism is in betray this country. Instead, their anger is deepened by what racism - and the nation's long history - reveals about the character and motivations of the perpetrators themselves. Since race-based bigotry is not rationally defensible, stories and myths masking it are the only strategy.\n\nAs for these motivations, it is deceptively easy to assume that racism is simply based on discrimination based on skin color. At the most basic level, this is certainly what it is - it provides an explanation even a child can understand: others are "bad" because they "look different".\n\nBut \u201clooking different\u201d is just a basic element of racism. It all comes down to what comes next when the effects of a different appearance on the lizard brain of those so predisposed are weighed and considered. The same types of people have formed a vast cross-section of America over and over again over the centuries. From the southern heirs of the defeated 19th-century Confederation, then known as Democrats, to what they quickly transformed into a century later in the civil rights era - the same people we know today as the modern Republican Party . Today's Republicans are simply the latest heirs to the same post-rebuilding racist legacy that brought us Black Codes, Jim Crow, and Separate but Equal: it's a legacy that is now manifesting itself in the coordinated effort of black voting and to restrict anyone who doesn't know is voter suppression.\n\nOf the many acts of terrorism against African Americans since the end of the active hostilities in the Civil War, what took place in Wilmington for a few days in November 1898 was not unique in its deadly character. About 60 (probably more) black citizens were massacred by an angry crowd of white supremacists. Similar incidents of racist violence had peppered the south for decades and fueled the creation of domestic terrorist groups like the Ku Klux Klan. The parallels with the Republican Party's modern goals - particularly the political reasons for the massacre, coupled with what sparked the event itself - are reflected today in the strategy and motives behind the Trump campaign's efforts to delegitimize the 2020 elections.\n\nWhat motivated this 1898 Wilmington coup known as the Wilmington Insurrection - or its longstanding whitewashed historical descriptor, the "Wilmington Race Riot" - were the same things that motivate Trump and the GOP today: white power, white insecurity and white fear . All of this combined resulted in an ongoing campaign of voter intimidation, anticipating the modern script for suppression of GOP voters.\n\nDavid W. Blight is a Sterling Professor of American History at Yale University. Blight writes for the New York Review of Books and explains in the review of David Zucchino's recent book Wilmington & # 39; s Lie what happened in Wilmington at the end of the 19th century and why it happened. In fact, it was the country's only successful coup d'\u00e9tat, an illegal and violent uprising by white Americans who tried to usurp power by intimidating and suppressing the black voice, thereby eliminating its impact on a "multiracial government in the most advanced South." black majority. 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