Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Secession Threats: OMG I Didn't Know it was 1861.

So perhaps you were wondering, "What happened to that snarky girl who told all the stories?" Well, after working on Florida elections for two and a half months, which completely went to hell in a hand basket, I'm back. And of course I have a story.

In my formative years when I was naive to racist micro-aggressions but all too understanding of what it felt like to be "othered" I learned about this thing called The War of Northern Aggression; also known to southernites as The War Between the States. You northern folks with your funny Yankee accents and progressive politics may remember this being labeled as the Civil War. As if there were anything civil about it.

For a brief history lesson it's the war that began with the election of Abraham Lincoln and the resulting secession of seven states of the Union to form The Confederate States of America. In the end 11 Southern states seceded while 25 others sided with the Union. At the beginning of the war the Confederate army scored a few key wins as the Union grappled with the fine line of fighting to keep the Nation together or fighting to free the slaves and keep the Nation together.

"My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union;..."
~ Abraham Lincoln, 
Letter to Horace Greeley
August 22, 1862

The enlistment of General Ulysses S. Grant changed the ground game for union forces, General William Tecumseh Sherman burned the entire state of Georgia with the exception of Savannah because it's just so beautiful there, and eventually Confederate General Robert E. Lee came with a white flag and his hat in hand to acknowledge the South's loss of the war and to negotiate the Confederacy's rejoining of the Union.

Oh and the slaves got a sweet deal out of this too... Freedom. Though the true meaning of that word is still being tested by slave descendants today.

Also today we find ourselves repeating history.

Upon the re-election of our 44th President of the United States, more than half the country has petitioned the White House, on its own website no less, to peacefully leave the Union. Grievances both real and imaginary are given as the logical explanation as to why these United States of America should divide. So much for that "indivisible" bit in the Pledge of Allegiance.

But you know, I'm not really surprised. Living in the country's largest swing state, whose 29 electoral votes made not one bit of difference in last Tuesday's election, I've seen people hold their hand over their hearts and sing our National anthem, get misty at the sight of our red, white and blue flag as it's pulled by our military each and every week at home football games, all the while wearing a t-shirt with stars and bars proudly displayed across their chest.

Clearly, allegiance in the South in some parts of the country is a little shaky.

Take a look at the list of states with open petitions to secede from the Union. (The numbers in  parantheses is how many secession petitions have been filed for that one state.)

Connecticut, Maryland, Washington (2), Alaska (2), Hawaii, Massachusetts, North Carolina (2), Virginia (3) Iowa, Maine, Missouri (3), Illinois (2), New Mexico, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Idaho, Georgia (3), Rhode Island, Wisconsin, Utah (2), Ohio (2), South Dakota, West Virginia, Nebraska, Pennsylvania (2), Kansas, Oklahoma (2), Wyoming, California, New York (2), Delaware, Nevada, Arizona, Arkansas, South Carolina, Tennessee, Michigan, Colorado, Oregon, New Jersey, North Dakota, Montana, Indiana, Mississippi, Kentucky, Florida, Alabama, Texas, Louisiana.

This is a list of 49 states. Apparently only the citizens of Vermont have any sense.

Mind you some petitions are a little more serious than others. As it stands, the petitions must only receive 25,000 signatures before the White House must respond within 30 days. The petition for Texas has more than 101 thousand signatures. In Louisiana the number is more than 33 thousand. In Florida more than 30 thousand.

Clearly some folks are so disheartened by the election they'd rather become their own country isolated from the vast resources of the United States government and go it alone. I don't mean to be rude but some of these so call Patriots should talk to people in countries actually isolated from the love and protection of the United States on how it feels to be outside the realm of political and economical popularity. I'm sure they'd rethink their position if they spoke to the loyal subjects of Kim Jong Un and Raul and Fidel Castro. #justsaying

All jokes aside, the fact there are thousands of people in 49 out of 50 states ready and willing to leave the Union tells me these secession threats are not really about wanting to govern themselves. It's not about taking the country back. It's not even about the crushing economy, the job killing Obamacare, or the overreaching hand of the federal government. These secession threats are due to fear brought on by a crisis of racial and hegemonic identity.

If the election of Barack Hussein Obama, II in 2008 was thought to be a fluke, his re-election in 2012 is now a defining moment in American history. Every day this half-Black, half-White man with the multi-cultural life experience sits in the White House is every day 400 years of institutionalized slavery and home grown racism slowly unchains itself from the backs of Black folks forever bent in submission. It is everyday the definition of Freedom becomes more clear for those often "othered" and in constant experience of racial micro-aggression.

These secession threats are more than just White male rage. These secession threats signal a shift in America the Census Bureau has forecasted for decades. The browning of America. The melting pot you learned about in the teaching of early immigration policy coming to fruition.

These secession petitions may never go anywhere, shots may never be fired in an aggressive and treasonous call for Independence, but they will go down as a total identity crisis for a country in transition. A transition we will have to define on our own terms.

If we totally repeat history, which I pray God we don't, hundreds of thousands of lives will be lost including that of the President. Which will lead to hundreds of thousands of more lives being lost in riots.

Already one life is lost because of an inability to handle change.

KEY WEST, Fla. -- A Key West resident who police say was distraught over the presidential election results and worried about his business has apparently killed himself. (source) 

Another life will be spent behind bars because of an inability to accept inaction and complacency in the election of a lifetime.

The future strength of our Nation will be determined not by the strongest among us but by our weak links; the secessionist who while ready to let go continue to hold on if for no other reason than to see the long rumored rise of the Old South or at the very least a Marco Rubio presidency in 2016.

Now isn't that the pot calling the kettle Black.


1. What is the future for a divided America?
2. Can the country overcome the re-election of President Obama to move forward on our real issues such as the Fiscal Cliff, the future of our economy, education etc.
3. Who's got next in 2016? (Float your Presidential picks for the Republican and Democratic parties)

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