OK, David, I'll bite:
Let Texas teach history and historical geology and biology any way
it wants. Just don't let it get beyond those borders. Yell, scream, and
threaten textbook publishers if they try to spread these rightwing
constructions across the U.S.A.
Based on the North's STATED justification for invading the South
(and don't say that Fort Sumpter justifiably turns the tables---it doesn't),
the South had a RIGHT to secede. The Constitution of the United States wasn't
then, and isn't now, Holy Writ, Glenn Beck notwithstanding. That was the
cause the North SAID it was pursuing: to preserve the union vouchsafed by the
Constitution. If the reason was to end the outrage of slavery within U.S.
borders, the North should have said so outright, and it should have invaded
the South on that bais not in 1861, but rather in 1851 or 1841 or 1831.
Slavery was no more an abomination in 1861 than it was a century earlier.
And oh yes, how much longer would slavery have lasted in the South,
if what was left of the U.S.A. and other nations of goodwill had blockaded
and boycotted the South? With the industrial revolution marching on apace, I
don't think for very long. And if the South had ended slavery more on its
own terms and timetable, the vicious aftermath of lynchings and Jim Crow
discrimination might have been moderated more than a trifle.
Six hundred thousand dead and tens of thousands maimed and wounded
by this terrible war: Don't forget to factor in THAT abomination, too.
As for the Tuscon school district's teaching Mexican-Americans and
Mexican illegals about the oppressions of the white Anglo power structure,
it's OK with me. Viva local control!---up to a point. When that instruction
makes a case that Arizona, New Mexico, and California still really BELONG to
Mexico, the state of Arizone has a right to intervene.
Whether those three states should ACTUALLY be Mexico's or America's,
that's a question no one can answer definitively. We took them by force.
Do they, therefore, rightfully belong to us? Does the Holy Land, including
the area around Jerusalem the Israeli's are encroaching and building on
belong to the Jews, who had it wrested from them by the Romans 2,000 years ago?
Or to the Arabs/Muslims, who more or less controlled those terriftories for
1,300 years, prior to 1948. You tell me.
And while I'm venting, put me down on the side of Arizona's Governor
Brewer and the redneck majority (in Arizona and in the U.S.A.) who are fed
up with having to provide social services for half a million Mexicans who
have crossed into their state illegally, "line-jumpers," as it were. If
you're one of the self-righteous, politically-correct opponents of "profiling" in
that state or any other, your "goodwill" counts with me ONLY if you have
sent money to that state to defray their 1 1/2 billion-dollar outlay to pay
for these services. Your words mean nothing to me. Only your deeds.
Someday I'll tell you how I really fell.
A brief response to David:
Remember, we have our symbolic blinders, too. Members of any
orientation, left, right, or what have you, have selective perceptions, selective
symbolic means, selective conceptions of causation and linkages of events,
and a selective dialectic between those in their morally superior "symboic
universe" and their less righteous opponents, who are not. Noting this
defining human rhetorical tendency is not to embrace an uncritical relativism. It
is to take cognizance of the need for perspetive by incongruity, some
consideration of all the parliamentary voices, comic-frame double vision, a
self-reflective linguistic skepticism, indeed, something of a humbly ironic
Also, anytime we reflect on the necessity or relative justice of
major warfare, past or present, we're not outside the orbit, I don't believe,
of Burke's admonition, "Ad Bellum Purificandum." Those who don't cast some
doubt on, and learn from, history may be more likely to repeat it.
As aye, not exactly a lockstep liberal,
While on the suject of secession, ala Michael Lind's essay linked to
by David, I've got a suggestion for Arizona, in response to the myriad
cancelations and boycotts from across the U.S., tendered and threatened, it's
been subjected to in recent weeks: In your state legislature, take steps
toward secession from the United States of America---immediately.
Why not? Arizona has the perfect rationale! It's being
successfully invaded, mostly peacefully, to be sure, by Mexico. Not actually invaded,
but rather repossessed. Until the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo with Mexico
(1848), the agreement that ended the Mexican-American War (1846-48), what is
now Arizona was part of a Mexican province. To his credit, President Polk
tried to "buy" this territory, short of war, along with California and Texas
(already actually annexed by the U.S. in 1845, but without the consent of
Mexico, which did not look kindly upon Texas' independendence (1837-1845). We
claimed that Mexico precipitated armed conflict by attacking and killing
troops under the command of General Taylor (spilling "American blood" on
"American soil"!) just east of the Rio Grande. But that supposed part of Texas
was in dispute, and Taylor's forces had already blockaded the mouth of the
Rio Grande, surely an act of war on our part and a casus belli for Mexico.
Even though we sweetened the final transaction with a $15,000,000 payment, we
fundamentally stole Arizona from Mexico, took it by force. It was "Manifest
Destiny," after all.
I'm not saying Arizona should go ahead with secesseion, and then ask
for readmittance to its "rightful" and historic role as a Mexican province.
I'm just saying (a) there's some legitimate historic and diplomatic
justification for such a course of action, and (b) the threat would be a way for
Arizona to thumb its nose at the likes of California, etc., and say, you want
to play hardball?, then we'll play hardball, too. Start figuring out now
where you're gonna make up for the 25 percent of your electrical power we'll
be taking with us! Go play your major league all-star game, America, in
Fairbanks, for all we care. And you can take the spring-training Cactus League
to the outer banks of southern Louisiana, while you're at it.
I think Mexico would look benignly on such an action. One way or
the other, if consummated, it would clarify in sharper outline who our
Southwest really belongs to.