S. Korea’s Constitutional Court dismisses appeal to review 2015 Seoul-Tokyo…

South Korea’s Constitutional Court has
dismissed an appeal for it to review the controversial 2015 agreement between
Seoul and Tokyo on the so-called comfort women the Court ruled Friday that the
deal is not a state to state treaty but just a political declaration it added
that because the deal does not create legal obligations it does not violate
the basic rights of the victims of Japan’s wartime sexual slavery in
December 2015 the park geun-hye administration in South Korea and the
Japanese government agreed to a deal that would provide around 9 million u.s.
dollars to a fund to help the Korean victims in return for the South Korean
government promising to never raise the issue again the victims of Japan’s
wartime sexual slavery protested the park administration’s unilateral
decision and filed a constitutional appeal in March 2016

Illinois During the Civil War, 1861-1865: Politics During the Civil War, Part 1

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Abraham Linc oln carried his adopted state of Illinois
in the election of 1860 and brought a Republican governor and legislature with him, but the
triumph did not mark the beginning of heady times for the state’s Republicans. The trials
of war soon brought the state’s Democrats back into favor. Throughout the
conflict the two parties’ competition provided a framework for the discussion, sometimes
peaceful, others less so, of war aims. A significant number of Illinoisians turned to extra-political
activities, including v
iolence, in hopes of pushing their preferred policies into reality. But the Democratic
Party came to represent those skeptical of the Union’s war effort, while a significant
portion of the state’s new Republican Party coalesced around a patriotic call for
a more vigorous prosecution of the conflict. For most of the war, President Lincoln remained
in the middle. }{fieldfldedit{*fldinst {rtlchfcs1 af0 ltrchfcs0 insrsid9905356
HYPERLINK “http://dig.lib.niu.edu/civilwar/politics.html” \l “1” }{
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par As the Confederate states announced their secession from the Union, Illinois
‘ Democratic leader Stephen A. Douglas, long a thorn in Republicans’ sides, abruptly changed
his stance and pledged his full support to President Lincoln. Douglas frankly admitted
his own tendency toward “leaning too far to the Southern section of the Uni
on,” and urged his followers to support the president. Then, on June 3, 1861, Douglas
passed away, the victim of a fever. In his absence, the Illinois Democratic Party struggled
to pull together under the Union banner. }{fieldfldedit{*fldinst {
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par While open air secession meetings proved popular in southern Illinois and a number
of Democratic politicians openly supported the Confederacy at first, the party eventually
accepted its role in the Union. Congressman John
A. Logan, who had originally compared Confederate secessionists with the United States’ Founding
Father, accepted a commission in the volunteer army and urged “all patriots to sustain the
Government in its efforts to vindicate the Constitution.” Many of L
o gan’s supporters followed his lead, and Illinois’
heavily Democratic southern sectors, which had once talked of seceding from the state,
led the way in military enlistments. Nevertheless, many Illinois Democrats continued to oppose
the war for the Union. }{fieldfldedit{*fldinst {rtlchfcs1 af0
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3}}}sectd ltrsectlinex0endnheresectlinegrid360sectdefaultclsectrsid9579342sftnbj {
rtlchfcs1 af0 ltrchfcs0 insrsid9905356 par While Illinois Democrats struggled with
the challenge of disunion, many of the state’s Republicans became increasingly impatient
with the federal government and President Lincoln. The W
ar Department entered the Civil War largely unprepared for combat, and labored to organize
a war effort. The Illinois State Journal complained “Our people venerate LAW next to GOD, but
they are restive under the restraining operations of red tape. The ide
a of waiting for orders from Washington to defend ourselves or protect our outraged Union
brothers in Missouri may not much longer be brooked.” }{fieldfldedit{*fldinst {rtlchfcs1
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par Republicans soon took umbrage with Presid ent Lincoln’s treatment of General John C.
Fremont as well. The Republican Party’s first presidential candidate in 1856 and a well-known
explorer of the mountain West, Fremont became the commander of the Department of War’s Western
Division, headquartered at St. Louis, with Lincoln’s appointment in
1861. Fremont’s forces struggled with inadequate support from the beleaguered War Department.
But the general also proved to be an ideologue often incapable of following the Commander
in Chief’s larger policies. In the late summer of 1861 Fremont issued
a proclamation declaring martial law in Missouri and the emancipation of slaves there. Many
Illinois Republicans, especially its abolitionists, cheered Fremont’s action. But Lincoln, moving
cautiously in a war to preserve the Union, annulled Fremont’s order
and eventually removed him from command, bringing down his supporters’ wrath.
par Democrats turned the Republicans’ disarray into victory in the fall of 1861, taking over
the state legislature. Many Illinoisians fea red that the Democrats, led by senior leaders
from southern Illinois, would attempt to dislodge that region from the state and unite it with
the Confederacy. Others believed that the legislature would use its powers to block
the state’s contribution to th e Union war effort. But the Democratic leadership
proved uninterested in such sweeping goals, and instead turned to the familiar pursuit
of partisan advantage. par Democrats quickly took up an investigation
of the state’s war expenditures, in search of unseeml
y contracts and graft, and found unusually high expenditures. Such discoveries failed
to translate to political capital in wartime however. A Democratic report of the treatment
of Illinois troops in the field found no wrongdoing, once again yielding no ca
mpaign leverage. par The Democrats soon turned to the framing
of a new state constitution, a project that the voters had set in motion in the election
of 1860. The legislators arranged a scheme of political apportionment that provided the
state’s less-populous southern counties with representation equal
to those in the rapidly growing north. Their approach to economic regulation returned to
the familiar Democratic themes of the antebellum period, framing provisions discouraging banking
and the circulation of p a
per currency. One provision bluntly stated that “all laws enacted after the adoption
of this Constitution, which create corporations, amend existing charters, or grant special
or exclusive privileges to individuals, shall be subject to alternation, amendm
ent or repeal.” The body also proposed to incorporate into the document a prohibition
of black immigration to Illinois first taken up in 1853. }{fieldfldedit{*fldinst {rtlchfcs1
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par Republicans of northern Illinois howled in
protest at the proposed constitution. The bank and currency provisions promised to damage
economic development in northern regions increasingly marked by railroads and factories. In a maddening
refrain of the national sectional crisis, the new constituti
on’s political apportionment threatened to subject the entire state to the political
will of a southern minority. “Shall the manufacturing, agricultural and commercial interests of northern
Illinois be put into Egyptian bondage?” wondered the Aurora }{
rtlchfcs1 aiaf0 ltrchfcs0 iinsrsid9905356 Beacon}{rtlchfcs1 af0 ltrchfcs0 insrsid9905356
. }{fieldfldedit{*fldinst {rtlchfcs1 af0 ltrchfcs0 insrsid9905356 HYPERLINK
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par Republicans ultimately organized their campaign against the new constitution, to
be tested by a voters’ referendum, around the theme of loyalty. “Why is it that every
rebel sympathize r in Illinois is open mouthed for the adoption
of the new Constitution? Asked the Illinois State Journal. “Down with the Secession Constitution,”
added the Chicago Tribune. Voters responded by rejecting each of the constitution’s provisions,
except the ba ns on black settlement, voting, and office
holding, which carried by large margins. }{fieldfldedit{*fldinst {rtlchfcs1 af0 ltrchfcs0 insrsid9905356
HYPERLINK “http://dig.lib.niu.edu/civilwar/politics.html” \l “7” }{rtlchfcs1 af0
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rtlchfcs1 af0 ltrchfcs0 insrsid9905356 par While Abraham Lincoln pursued a war to
preserve the Union in 1861 and 1862, Radical Republicans in Il
linois, including Governor Yates and Senator Lyman Trumbull, labored to advance the cause
of emancipation. One Illinoisian wrote that the federal government had “a higher and holier
mission to perform, than to lavish hundreds of millions of Treasure and t
o sacrifice tens of thousands of the lives of our noblest young men, to see how strong
it can hold a Traitor’s negro with one hand and how successfully it can fight his master
with the other.” }{fieldfldedit{*fldinst {rtlchfcs1 af0 ltrchfcs0
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rtlchfcs1 af0 ltrchfcs0 insrsid9905356 When President Lincoln persisted in maintaining
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the Union, Illinois Republicans’ patience snapped. One editor blasted “the imbecility
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The end of racism: Part 1 — with Dinesh D’Souza and Glenn Loury (1995) | THINK TANK

Ben Wattenberg: Hello, I’m Ben Wattenberg.
As the issue of race becomes ever more prominent in America’s public dialogue, a controversial
new book, “The End of Racism: Principles for a Multiracial Society,” promises to
ignite a heated argument, very heated. Joining us to sort through that argument are,
in the hot seat, the author of the book, Dinesh D’Souza, research fellow at the American
Enterprise Institute; Glenn Loury, a university professor at Boston University and author
of “One by One from the Inside Out: Essays and Reviews on Race and Responsibility in
America”; Christopher Edley, professor of law at Harvard University and former head
of President Clinton’s task force on affirmative action; and Michael Cromartie of the Ethics
& Public Policy Center. The topic before this house: the end of racism,
part one. This week on “Think Tank.” One of our panelists on this program, Glenn
Loury, had this to say about Dinesh D’Souza’s book: “Mr. D’Souza is determined to place
poor urban blacks outside the orbit of American civilization. Their lives are governed by
barbarism. They are the enemy within.” It is no wonder that Dinesh D’Souza’s
book provokes comments like that when you consider the following sentence from page
22 of the book. Quotes: “Virtually all the contemporary liberal assumptions about the
origin of racism, its historical significance, its contemporary effects, and what to do about
it are wrong.” Here are some of the arguments from “The
End of Racism”: Racism is a historically recent and Western idea. America is not racist,
but it used to be. Today the biggest problem with the black community isn’t white racism,
but black culture. Racial discrimination can be rational. And the conclusion that Dinesh
D’Souza reaches is that in order to set up a truly fair, multiracial society, all
race-based government policies must be scrapped, including affirmative action, but private
individuals should be free to discriminate. Dinesh D’Souza, you have to get used to
30-second sound bites. Let us hear the thesis of this book from you first. Dinesh D’Souza: Its basic argument is that
“The Bell Curve” is wrong to say that black failure in America is the result of
genes. Ben Wattenberg: That’s Charles Murray’s
bestselling book. Dinesh D’Souza: That’s Charles Murray’s
book, “The Bell Curve.” And the liberals are wrong to say that black failure in America
can be wholly or even largely today attributed to racial discrimination. I argue not that we have barbarians in our
midst, but I argue we have seen a cultural breakdown in our society, one whose effects
are particularly bitterly felt among poor blacks, and that this is the main obstacle
to success in America today. I am a first-generation immigrant. I have
benefited from the civil rights movement, and I believe in a multiracial society. We
have to have equal rules, fair rules that apply equally to all citizens. It’s that
that we’ve gotten away from and that we need to pay attention to. Ben Wattenberg: Okay. Glenn Loury, I know
— I read a draft of a review of you wrote of Dinesh’s book, and I could only — if
I had to describe it in one word, I would say, “angry.” Is that about right? Glenn Loury: Well, sure, the book did make
me angry. And one of the reasons it makes me angry is that it is insensitive. Now, that’s
a word in bad repute these days because of the political correctness movement, which
has made it difficult to talk candidly about issues that we must talk about. Dinesh is
talking about something that we must talk about. But I insist that the way in which he does
it — this is not my only point, but it’s an important one — is not helpful, is certain
to provoke, to hurt, to anger, and to preclude the possibility of reasoned discussion. I see no reason to title a chapter on intelligence
differences between blacks and whites, “The Content of Our Chromosomes,” or to include
within it the statement that “we can almost hear the roar of the white supremacists.”
Quote, ‘‘Forget about racism and discrimination. These people are naturally stupid,’’ close
quote. Ben Wattenberg: But Glenn — Glenn Loury: Even words put in the mouth of
a hypothetical racist, this is an inflammatory sentence. Ben Wattenberg: Okay, all right, let’s hold
up for — go ahead. Glenn Loury: Well, I only want to add this.
I want to say that if Dinesh had argued, as he claimed, that American civilization is
in crisis and that we must pay attention to that, a crisis of values, a crisis of culture,
I would have been all with him because indeed that is the case. But that is not, in my reading
of the book, what he argues. What he argues is that a certain cast of mind
that he calls relativism prevents us from recognizing differences between cultures within
America, like between black and white culture — prevents at least certain people from
acknowledging the failings of black culture and, as a result, leads to a lack of civilizational
capacities among people in the inner city, which he then goes on to characterize, and
again, in ways that I think are imprudent, and soon. Ben Wattenberg: All right, let me just ask
Chris Edley and Michael Cromartie if you have any brief general comment. Christopher Edley: I think it’s tough to
come to terms with Dinesh’s book. For me, I found several things in it, several lines
of argument, several observations that resonated quite comfortably. But I found a host of others
that did not. The tone that Glenn is discussing is clearly
a problem and will be a difficulty as America tries to absorb the thrust of the arguments.
But as to the substance, I think if I were going to say one thing about the book, it
would be that there is frequently resort to what strikes me as a straw man kind of an
argument, as though, for example, on the issue of cultural relativism, that that is the core
of all support for affirmative action and related social measures, when in fact cultural
relativism in the extreme form that Dinesh lays out seems to me to be a very — seems
to me a view that’s held by relatively few people who are proponents of affirmative action. Ben Wattenberg: Cultural relativism basically
being that — Christopher Edley: The notion that somehow
we are — Ben Wattenberg: — all cultures are equal;
there’s no distinction. Christopher Edley: Right, and that we are
somehow disabled from making judgments about what is good and what is bad, what is beneficial,
what is not. Ben Wattenberg: All right, Michael, brief
comment, and then let’s — Michael Cromartie: Well, I think it’s very
important, Ben, that we listen carefully to the way people read the book, especially African
Americans as opposed to other people, the way they read the book. I read the book to say that there are social
pathologies in our culture, and especially in my culture, that are inhibiting black progress.
And throughout the book, Dinesh makes the point: Unless there is renewal in this community
and that moral, cultural arena, then we’re in for big trouble, which we already are in. A lot of what I saw in Dinesh’s book, in
fact, is reflected in Glenn’s newest book, “One by One from the Inside Out,” where
Glenn talks about the moral quandary of the black community. I was a little surprised
by Glenn’s critique of the book, but I’m also sensitive to the fact that he’s right
about some of the chapters, I think, are a little bit too provocative. Ben Wattenberg: All right. Let’s go to this
list of ideas that Dinesh puts forward in “The End of Racism.” The first one is
racism is a historically recent Western idea. Dinesh D’Souza: I distinguish between racism
and what I call ethnocentrism, or tribalism. You find groups fighting with each other all
the time from the dawn of human history, but it stretches the definition of racism beyond
all comprehension to call the argument between the Hindus and the Muslims or the argument
between the Serbs and the Croatians — these are people, by the way, of the same race — to
call that racist. So I trace racism as a modern Western ideology
that developed to explain a large civilizational gap between the West and other cultures. Racism
became a commonsensical view to explain why the West had the cathedral of Chartres and
the cathedral of Notre Dame, the telescope and the microscope, had mapped the planets
and the globe. Other cultures by comparison appeared to be hopelessly primitive, hopelessly
far behind. Racism to Europeans appeared to be a commonsensical way to account for these
developments that could not be explained by climate. Ben Wattenberg: And it’s new. Dinesh D’Souza: It’s modern. Ben Wattenberg: I mean it’s modern. Dinesh D’Souza: It began around the 15th
century and reached its heyday around the 19th century. Ben Wattenberg: Okay. Glenn Loury: I think that’s a plausible
story. It’s not new, of course. I mean, other scholars who have investigated these
questions have made that point. I just — Christopher Edley: What do you make of it? Glenn Loury: The question is the implication. Christopher Edley: Right. Glenn Loury: And also the following observation,
which is that in Dinesh’s account, and I think plausibly, this idea of racism develops
in conjunction with enlightenment. It’s closely linked with the effort of Western
man to understand natural phenomena. And given the moral problems with the idea as well as
the subsequent discovery of many of the errors of people about these notions, we can see
some problematic aspects of the enlightenment itself, as contrasted, for example, with a
more religiously grounded ethical sensibility, which would incline us to see people of different
ethnic origins or racial origins as equals. Ben Wattenberg: Is it a recent development,
or are human beings inherently racist? I think that’s the key point you were trying to
— Dinesh D’Souza: Well, I was saying that
if racism has a beginning — Ben Wattenberg: It can have an end. Dinesh D’Souza: — it can have an end.
And that’s the reason for exploring the question. Ben Wattenberg: Right. Christopher Edley: I think that I prefer to
hope that it can have an end, but I think it’s important less to debate the historical
origins and which particular century was the dawn of this human tragedy than to understand
what are its contemporary manifestations and effects and how do we get out of it. Ben Wattenberg: Dinesh says America is not
racist, but it used to be — or Dinesh, again, give us a short paragraph on that. And then,
Chris, maybe you can — Dinesh D’Souza: Well, racism is a doctrine
of biological inferiority usually accompanied by the practice of systematized discrimination.
And it is true that the vast majority of Americans believed in black inferiority and supported
a set of social policies. Ben Wattenberg: Believed in the past. Dinesh D’Souza: Believed in the past. Today
there is very strong evidence — not just from opinion surveys, because people can lie,
but even looking at discrimination, which was the norm in America not very long ago
— there has been a revolution not only in attitudes but in practice. And young people
today are born after the civil rights movement. They take the idea of equality — they can’t
imagine putting someone in the back of the bus. What concerns me is that these young
people are being corrupted into thinking of themselves in racial terms, so the possibilities
of the future are being diminished. Ben Wattenberg: Chris Edley. Christopher Edley: The problem with the argument
is that it fails to come to grips with a huge gulf in social perception between — certainly
between blacks and whites and perhaps between whites and other disadvantaged minorities
more generally. I mean, whether one looks at the O. J. Simpson trial or whether one
looks at a variety of phenomena that Dinesh lumped under the category of statistical discrimination,
the social experience that many African Americans feel is one of otherness with a bite — not
simply otherness in the sense that Episcopalians are different from Methodists, but others
with a bite that has lasting and important social economic consequences. So it’s difficult for me to see how we get
to the bottom of this issue. Dinesh will say the problems are far more muted than they
have been in the past. I would certainly concede that America is better now as a result of
civil rights progress over the last couple of decades. The question is: How serious are
the lingering effects, and what set of subtle attitudes and habits of thought, habits of
institutional behavior continue to stall progress? Ben Wattenberg: Michael, are we still racist
in America? Michael Cromartie: Well, there are certainly
still racists in American society and lots of them. But I wanted to follow up on what
Chris was saying. I see Dinesh saying that racism still exists in this book. What I don’t
— what I do hear him saying is that, however, it can no longer be an excuse in the African
American community and that we have to get over this idea that black people are putty
in the hands of white people and cannot make their own decisions and cannot have their
own lives. A lot of the problems that Dinesh described
in this book do not have political and legal solutions. They are really moral, cultural
problems that cannot be addressed by legislation. And I think that’s going to create a lot
of frustration for people because they’ll want a political solution to a problem that’s
really moral and cultural. Glenn Loury: Let me just observe here, if
I may, that I agree with Dinesh on this point very strongly and have myself been arguing
for many years with respect to what should blacks do about our problems. Just this point:
Discrimination, racism, civil rights activity, petitioning to whites, change the government
policy will not solve the problems, won’t make the crime rate go down, won’t make
the out-of-wedlock birth rate go down, won’t make the failure to understand what the possibilities
are implicit in contemporary America go away. Those are problems that have to be confronted
directly by blacks. I think he’s right about that. I do think,
however, though, that racism is a historical and cultural phenomenon in American society,
which, because it’s not being manifest at a given point in time by a set of people,
does not mean that it won’t come back, can’t creep in, can’t influence the way in which
we relate to each other. As we get more openly candid with each other, the risk is that we
may provoke a reignition of a set of historic problems in American society. Ben Wattenberg: Are you saying Dinesh’s
book could play a role in reigniting that? Glenn Loury: I would not accuse Dinesh or
his publishers of, you know, bringing down racial comity in America. That would be an
extreme thing. But I think there is a problem. I think, you know, Charles Murray and Richard
Herrnstein in “The Bell Curve,” they go out so far. Dinesh goes out a little bit further
in some of his inflammatory rhetoric. The issue here is a flaunting of convention.
It’s a kind of the credibility comes from the bravery to say what others will not have
said before. I’m defined to making a contribution purely by virtue of not attending to the sensibilities
of others. I think that’s a pernicious development. Ben Wattenberg: But the way you first phrased
it is something that is honored in the intellectual community in theory, which is to have the
guts to say something that people know is so but don’t want to say. Glenn Loury: Let me give you — Christopher Edley: No — Ben Wattenberg: Chris. Christopher Edley: What’s honored in the
media is controversy and iconoclasm. What’s honored in academia is creativity. And — if I can go back to another point.
I think that there is a flaw in much of this discussion. I think we put too much weight
on the word “racist” — what is racist, what is not racist, what is the definition
of racism. That’s the wrong debate. And if Dinesh’s straw man is a small slice
of public opinion or opinion on the left that wants to paint a broad brush and say that
racism exists around every corner, that’s fine. What I am more concerned with is — whether
you call it racist or not — the deep and pervasive pattern of, let’s call it blind
indifference, a malign indifference to the welfare, the aspirations, the problems, the
challenges faced by people who are different from you, who live in another community that
you feel free to ignore. Ben Wattenberg: All right, that brings us
right to the next point, and I know you want to deal with that. And that point was, as
we phrased it in the setup piece, the biggest problem with the black community isn’t white
racism, but black culture. So why don’t you — Dinesh D’Souza: Even though the problems
of American civilization stretch across the national culture, there are some problems
that are distinctive to black culture. A good example for this is the extremely high, virtually
parasitic reliance of African Americans on the government. Now, I point out in the book that there is
every historical reason for this. Historically, while many whites have viewed the government
as the enemy of rights — the Bill of Rights says Congress shall not do this, Congress
shall not do that — blacks have found the government to be a helper. The government
ended slavery, the federal government ended state segregation, the federal government
was the employer of last resort, helped a lot of blacks enter the transmission belt
of the middle class. So I’m not saying that it’s peculiar or
bizarre that blacks rely on the government. I’m saying today, when the government cannot
employ large numbers of people, when public confidence in the government is low, the Korean
or the Asian strategy of entrepreneurship, of small business, which is very weak in the
black community, we need to stress that. So a cultural orientation that was functional
at one time is dysfunctional today. White racism — if white racism were to end overnight,
this would not improve black test scores. It would not increase black savings rates,
black rates of business formation. It would not reduce violence in the inner city. It
would not strengthen black families. I think that’s obvious. Christopher Edley: It would be a start. It
would be a start. Glenn Loury: Look, of course he’s right.
Of course what he’s saying is right. And as I say, people have been saying this for
a very long time. Ben Wattenberg: You’ve written much about
it. Glenn Loury: But look, “parasitic”? “Parasitic”
— black dependence on government transfers is parasitic? Okay, let’s suppose Dinesh
doesn’t know what he is saying. Let’s say he has a tin ear. What about Joe Sixpack,
okay, in Idaho, in Arkansas? What does he think about the parasitic, blood-sucking blacks?
The point here is this. Michael Cromartie: Well, Glenn, you’re going
a little far here. Glenn Loury: If I may just make the point.
Dinesh makes the following argument in his book. He says there were certain personality
types under slavery: the Sambo, the dependable mammy, the sullen field hand, the inscrutable
trickster. We can still find some of those types today, he says. Some of those types
are still to be observed today — which one, one wants to know. The comparable sentence about Jews. There
were certain personality types to be observed in the Russian shtetl. Okay, you can complete
the sentence: We can still find some on Wall Street today. The reason that no one utters
that sentence in polite company is because six million people were exterminated by a
regime which uttered those sentences for 15 years. The failure to appreciate the importance of
this point that I’m making here is part of what makes Dinesh D’Souza’s book considerably
less than what it could be. Now, let me just make one other point. Christopher Edley: Is it racist, Glenn? Glenn Loury: Well, who cares? I don’t — you
know — Ben Wattenberg: What was your question? Is
the book racist? Christopher Edley: Is it racist? Is that insensitivity
racist? Glenn Loury: He’s asking if the book is
racist. The book — I don’t want to put a label on it. I want to say exactly what
I said. It’s dangerous. It’s dangerous to our republic. It’s dangerous to the organic
and constructive dialogue that we must have if we’re going to get beyond this problem. And I want to just make one other point briefly,
and that’s this. American civilization is in trouble. In the 1950s, there were a bunch
of people who rebelled against the organization man and conformity, and they wrote a bunch
of books. In the 1960s, that developed into a counterculture of drugs, free sex, and so
forth. We have a corporate culture that markets destructive
rap music, as Bill Bennett is trying to get everybody to know. We have a demand for cocaine
in this country that’s through the roof, and I assure you, it’s not all being consumed
by people in the inner city, et cetera, et cetera. We’ve got out-of-wedlock birth rates that
are going through the roof. This is a problem for American civilization. This is a problem
which will only be solved if we reconstruct the way in which we think about America. So
the division between black and white and the link of this to black culture is, when spoken
from inside the black community, a plausible set of arguments about self-help and reconstruction;
when spoken from outside the black community, can become a very destructive set of arguments
about divisive things and so on. Dinesh D’Souza: Well, this is the heart
of the issue, in a sense. The heart of the issue is that I suppose I have broken the
code, which is that only people like Glenn Loury and Christopher Edley get to talk about
this in their living room. I am in a sense viewed as an outsider. Maybe I haven’t suffered
enough. I am not criticizing black culture pure and
simple. I point out in the book, I cite the urban anthropologist Elijah Anderson, who
says, I think vividly and accurately, that there are two cultures in the inner city:
what he calls the besieged culture of decency, people who struggle to maintain, keep their
families together, keep steady jobs, and what he calls the hegemonic, a dominant culture
of incivility, of violence, of sex abuse. And I can use all the euphemisms in the world,
but that’s what it is. Now, the problem is we have to have the courage
as a society to say one culture is better than the other, and we need to stand up for
those civilizational values. Look, I believe the line between civilization and barbarism
runs through every human heart. I don’t believe it runs through blacks and whites,
and I think that we can make a distinction between those civilizational forces in the
black community that need to be strengthened. I say all this, but you don’t seem to hear
it. Glenn Loury: I didn’t hear the line between
civilization and barbarism runs through the human heart — Ben Wattenberg: Chris — Glenn Loury: — not between racists, because
it’s not in your book. Ben Wattenberg: Chris Edley asked — playing
the role of moderator — asked Glenn Loury whether he thought Dinesh’s book was racist.
Let me ask you: Do you think Dinesh’s book is racist? Christopher Edley: I think — I mean, candidly,
I think that I want to resist getting into that argument. I think that’s a different
topic. I think what Glenn is — Ben Wattenberg: Then why did you ask Loury
that? Christopher Edley: No, here’s the point.
But he — because here’s the point. Michael Cromartie: That’s a dodge, Chris. Christopher Edley: If the issue is what is
racism, I think that that’s a diversion. I think the question is: What’s the set
of attitudes that are pathological in America? To me, the attitude that is pathological is
the one that says I’m not worried about the problem that exists in the underclass
because I’ve got mine and to hell with the rest of them as long as they don’t become
a big drain on my affairs, on my budget, on my community, on my sense of security, on
my economic aspirations. Now, in my view, that pathological, malign
indifference to the welfare of others is tinged with the problem of color, with America’s
particular neurosis about color. The fact that they are dark means that white America
is even less likely to include them in some sense of community, in some sense of shared
aspirations and values. Now, I view — in my own lexicon, that’s
racism; that’s the problem. Michael Cromartie: Let me just say, Ben, that
— Ben Wattenberg: Michael. Michael Cromartie: — let me answer your
question that Chris didn’t answer. It’s not a racist book. It’s a very serious,
courageous book in this sense, that it says that if not certain cultures are different,
certain behaviors must be condemned among white people and among black people. Certain
behavioral patterns in the black community are not going well, and the fact that we have
so many children without fathers, so many children who don’t even know what a father
is, is a crisis of immense proportion, and the violent crime rate is skyrocketing. I think maybe if Dinesh had emphasized certain
behaviors and not just say it was peculiar to the black community, he would have been
better off, and the language would have been a little more sensitive. Glenn Loury: Well, of course, he does say
that it’s not peculiar to the black community. Dinesh D’Souza: I did say that. Glenn Loury: Those qualifying sentences are
there. But what he does not say is that this is a problem of American civilization running
down through the heart of every human being, et cetera, et cetera. And indeed he can’t
say it because the logic of the book, with its emphasis on cultural disparity — you
know, the bogeyman is the relativist who refuses to acknowledge the cultural disparity which
Dinesh has the courage to look straight in the eye — forces him to make a distinction
among Americans, as between the disparate cultures. Ben Wattenberg: Okay. We need to break here.
Please join us next week when we will continue the discussion of “The End of Racism.”
Until then, thank you, Dinesh D’Souza, Glenn Loury, Michael Cromartie, and Christopher
Edley. And thank you. Please send your questions
and comments to New River Media, 1150 17th Street, NW, Suite 1050, Washington, DC 20036. We can be reached via email at [email protected] and do check out our new homepage on the World Wide Web at www.thinktank.com. For “Think Tank,” I’m Ben Wattenberg. Announcer: This has been a production of BJW
Inc., in association with New River Media, which are solely responsible for its content.

The end of racism: Part 2 — with Dinesh D’Souza and Glenn Loury (1995) | THINK TANK

Ben: Hello. I’m Ben Wattenberg. Last week on this program, we began what turned
out to be a very vigorous and spirited discussion about Dinesh D’Souza’s controversial new book
entitled, “The End of Racism.” Today, we will resume that discussion to give
you a flavor of why it is controversial. Let me read one quote from page 22 of the
book. Dinesh D’Souza writes this, “Virtually all
the contemporary liberal assumptions about the origin of racism, its historical significance,
its contemporary effects, and what to do about it are wrong.” Joining us to sort through that argument are
in the hot seat, the author of the book, Dinesh D’Souza, research fellow at the American Enterprise
Institute, Glenn Loury, university professor at Boston University and author of “One by
One from the Inside Out: Essays and Reviews on Race and Responsibility in America,” Christopher
Edley, Professor of Law at Harvard University and former head of President Clinton’s Task
Force on Affirmative Action, and Michael Cromartie of the Ethics and Public Policy Center. The topic before this house, “The end of racism:
Part 2,” this week on “Think Tank.” We are back again with the distinguished panel
that we had assembled last week about dealing with the Dinesh D’Souza’s new book, “The End
of Racism,” that viewers who saw that program will remember that it ended with what is called
in the business a vigorous discussion. We have decided to continue it. Dinesh, when we get to remedies in your book,
you are basically saying that all race-based government policies should be eliminated including
affirmative action. This would help create a healthy multiracial
society. You say that private individuals however,
should be free to discriminate and in fact, you say there are times when racial discrimination
can be rational. Explain that. Dinesh: Well, the classic example of rational
discrimination is the dilemma of the cab driver who is hesitant or reluctant to pick up a
young black male particularly at night. The cab driver doesn’t know his clients personally
and young black males, unfortunately, committed disproportionately high rate of crimes particularly
violent crimes in this country. So the cab driver’s dilemma is that he doesn’t
necessarily have to be a racist in order discriminate. In fact, black cab drivers, Middle Eastern
cab drivers, Pakistani cab drivers act no differently from white cab drivers. And the tragedy of this is that if Christopher
Edley wasn’t dressed in this, in a beautiful suit with a lovely tie, the cab driver doesn’t
know. And so he’s going to make a group judgment. Now, we can say that that’s wrong, but it
is… Ben: And as an Indian from the subcontinent
of India, do you ever experience that sort of racism? Dinesh: I’m constantly… Well, let me say two things. First, I think that while many people may
think may not like Hispanics or Asians regarding us to be lazy, or clannish, or whatever, it’s
the suspicion of black inferiority that’s the heart of racism. And so I would not claim to have gone through
the same experience. On the other hand, sure, I run into people
all the time who expect elephants to be walking on the street in India. These are misperceptions that those of us
who are immigrants run into all the time. But, you know, let me say, I would not have
devoted, you know, years of my life thinking about the subject if it’s something on which
I wanted to counsel, malign, neglect, or indifference. It’s something I care about. I want to argue for a set of rules in which
people of different backgrounds can get along. Ben: And your set of rules is… Again, to sort of briefly… Is to get the government out of race-based
and let demark it. Dinesh: It’s what I call separation of race
and state. Look, we need to get the government out of
the race business and what we need to do is pay attention to our real problems. Our real problem is this, that immigrants
are coming to this country including black immigrants, including Caribbean immigrants,
and they are leapfrogging, they’re going ahead of African Americans, and they’re succeeding. They are claiming their share of the American
dream leaving blacks behind. Blacks are not competitive with other groups
in American society today in measures of academic achievement, economic performance. This is the heart of the problem that we need
to address. Ben: Right. Christopher Edley, you just devoted a number
of months of your life to helping the President prepare this vast study of affirmative action,
which deals with the problem that Dinesh is talking about. How do you come out on this idea of the government
ought to get out of the business of race? Christopher: I think it’s both bizarre and
frightening, and ahistorical. I mean, let’s go… But other than that it’s interesting. So… Christopher: The issue to me is not whether
we ought to label the cab driver’s behavior as racist or not. There is a prejudgment in the cab driver’s
decision to pass up the young black male. There is a prejudgment and we have to make
a decision as a society as whether that kind of prejudgment is one that we want to permit
or one that we want to lean against as best we can. Ben: And what do you think the answer is? Christopher: I think we must lean against
that kind of judgment just as we must lean against a prejudgment made by an employer
about whom to hire or who to promote. Ben: But if you were a black cab driver and
you left a wife and three kids at home, and she said, “Honey, be careful today,” or, “Be
careful,” you know, “I always worry about you. It’s a dangerous job, taxi cab driver, taxi
cab driving,” would you resist picking up two young black teenage males at night knowing
what you know about the disproportionate crime rates? Christopher: Look, I’m not denying that is
a tough question. Ben: It is a real tough question. Christopher: We’ve done a lot of things to
try to address the problem. You know, you go in a lot of big cities and
they have plastic partitions to try to provide protection, you have lockboxes in cabs. There’s lots of… Ben: Now I see. Christopher: So what I wanna draw is a distinction
between whether or not we label the behavior of that cab driver or to make the point more
concrete, the behavior of an employer who may not be interested in hiring a young black
male because of a prejudgment that he will not be a good worker or that he will be disruptive,
or something of that sort. Is that behavior that we want to say is perfectly
okay? Is that behavior that we somehow want to try
to prescribe legally that we want government to get involved in trying to prohibit it and
trying to punish it? What I’m saying is that if there’s going to
be any hope, any hope of closing the opportunity gap, if there’s going to be any hope of trying
to take the people who were in the underclass and to give them their fair share of America’s
opportunities, that we cannot allow those opportunities to be depressed by rampant…a
rampant set, a pervasive set of prejudgments of prejudices whether or not you label them
racist. Glenn: I think actually the cab driver’s case
is not hard. I think it’s easy. I think the cab driver has to preserve his
life. In any case, you can’t force him not to do
it. The employment case for racial discrimination
is much harder. Now, I have the attitude that black men don’t
wanna work and so perhaps, I don’t hire them in favor of Hispanic men, or Asian men, or
whatever. The bank lending case is harder still. I think this neighborhood may go down because
the racial composition is such and such a thing. It’s in distinguishing among these cases and
deciding as a society to what extent we can, you know, countenance a certain amount of
rational discrimination and to what extent we must stand for something else. That’s where all the work has to be done. Unfortunately, this work isn’t done at Dinesh’s
book. But that’s not to his discredit because it’s
really hard. He’s really just reporting in this discussion
irrational discrimination about stuff that, you know, many people from Tom Sowell to Sandys
Jencks and others have worked out over the years. How do we get further? That’s what needs to be done. It’s not done in this book. Dinesh argues in this book and on the op-ed
page of “The Wall Street Journal” that it’s time to reconfigure the Civil Rights Act of
1964 so that it applies to government which would eliminate affirmative action and racial
preferences enforced by government. But that it would not apply to private behavior,
which would permit, for example, motel and restaurant owners not to serve blacks legally,
which would permit employers to refuse to hire blacks simply because they didn’t feel
like doing it and so on. Ben: Dinesh, I own a diner in Louisville. The four of you come in and I say, “Chris
and Glenn, I’m not gonna serve you,” that’s okay? I mean, when I was in the military in Texas
a long time ago, exactly that situation happened to me. We went there as an integrated group and they
said they can’t serve. Dinesh: See, the line there is in a liberal
society, in a free society, we have to draw a line between the public and the private
domain. The example you’re giving me, the hotel, the
motel, the diner is a tough one because it falls in the middle of that line, in the grey
area. In other words, is a hotel, a motel, or a
diner, at some level a public institution because it’s putting up a sign and serving
the public. This issue has been addressed by courts for
years. Let’s take a simple case. Let me… Ben: No, not after the 1964 Civil Rights Act… Christopher: That was the heart of the debate,
the heart of the filibuster. Ben: And it was addressed by the court and
they said that’s quasi-public and you may not say you can’t come in. Dinesh: That’s right, right. And I’m not quarreling between the public-private
distinction. But I’m saying right now it is the case that
private discrimination that doesn’t trespass on that fuzzy line is also illegal. And I’m saying that those forms of private
discrimination particularly in the area of… Ben: For example. Christopher: But for example, what? Title 7 of the Civil Rights Act does not affect
who you invite to your dinner parties. Dinesh: Right. The point I’m making is a little bit nuanced. So let me make it first then jump on me. Ben: Please. Dinesh: The sociologist Christopher Jencks,
gives the example of baseball teams. Imagine the case of baseball teams and he
says that if every baseball team in America discriminated against blacks, that we won’t
hire any blacks, the burden of this would fall most heavily on blacks. They wouldn’t be able to get into professional
baseball. Maybe the games would be a little weaker in
quality, maybe fans would suffer a bit, but blacks would suffer the most. On the other hand, now imagine if three baseball
team said, “We don’t want blacks.” Who would suffer the most, blacks? No, because the black players who go to other
teams. It would be those three baseball teams that
would suffer in games, in revenue, in losses, and angry fans, and so on. My point is that in a free society where the
government isn’t coercively supporting racism, there is automatic competitive pressure against
discrimination. Ben: Michael… Michael: This is sophomoric. Dinesh: It’s sophomoric. Christopher: Hold on, Ben. Ben: Michael. Hold on. Michael. Dinesh: What’s wrong with it? Ben: Hold on. Michael Cromartie, you have defended Dinesh’s
book. He is now under serious attack, I mean, about
this 1964 Civil Rights Act. Michael: It could get ugly. Ben: Do you think he’s going over the line
on this aspect of it? Michael: On this point, I do. Yes. I mean, the fact of the matter is if you’re
a black family riding through Selma, Alabama or somewhere in the south, you ought to be
able to stay in any hotel you want to. Ben: I agree. Michael: But if you remove the statutes to
say that it is wrong to do that, then I don’t think there’s gonna be any pressure on the
manager of a hotel or a restaurant to not let you eat there or sleep there, and I think
that has to be there. Ben: Dinesh, I know that you agree, but do
you think… Did you agree so strongly that it ought to
be a matter of law? Dinesh: I agree that… To me, the restaurant, the hotel, these are
quasi-public institutions and the law regards them as such. And I’m not contesting that. I’m concerned more with… Let me put a different case to you and to
Glenn. Go down to Washington DC to a Korean store,
look in the back. You see 15 other Koreans. Is the Korean hiring other people who are
like them? Yes. Right? Is he discriminating? Yes. Should that be illegal? Now, if we decided in our society we wanna
outlaw discrimination, no discrimination is permitted either in favor of blacks or against
blacks, then you’d have to go break down that Korean store and say, “Why are you hiring
other Koreans?” Now, I know as someone who has looked at history
that historically, ethnic groups in this country have advanced by helping their own guys that
this is true of the Jews, it’s true for the Italians, it’s true of the Irish. And I don’t want to destroy those ladders
of good ethnocentrism of people trying to pull up other people who are like them with
whom they share cultural affinities. This is a healthy trend in American society
and in a free society would not regulate it. Ben: Is that now illegal for a Korean shop
owner to hire 15 Koreans and no one else? Christopher: Well, you said 15. Actually, it is illegal. The question is what’s the size of the business? There’s a threshold. I think it’s 15 employees. But in fact, it is illegal. Ben: In other words, a truly small business
can hire all Koreans? Christopher: Right. I mean, I… Ben: But when you get to a certain threshold,
you start saying… Christopher: Right. The notion in the legislative history was
if it’s a family business, you know. Ben: This is the Mrs. Murphy clause kind of thing, right. Christopher: This is really a family… Exactly. Mom and pop. But once you start getting into something
that begins to really be commerce, then it bites. I think there may be a bit of a legal misunderstanding
here. The statute that Dinesh talks about repealing
the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is precisely the statute that in the public accommodations
provisions opens up the hotels and the motels, and the restaurants. And in the employment title that opens up
these employment opportunities. The thing that their private behavior that
who’s at your dinner party, who’s in your church, those are not regulated by the Civil
Rights statutes. When Dinesh says what law ought to worry about
is how governments behave, well, that’s done by the Constitution itself through the 5th
Amendment and the 14th Amendment. So the issue it seems to me is what kinds
of prejudices are we willing as a society to tolerate in drawing this distinction between
private behavior that for libertarian motivations are otherwise private behavior that we would
leave unregulated and other kinds of behavior private or commercial that we say, “Look,
sorry. Our vision of America requires a more inclusive
attitude than the one that you with your narrow prejudices might be comfortable with.” Dinesh: See, this is the central flaw here
because the Civil Rights movement for the last generation has been based on the assumption
that racism is the theory and discrimination is the practice. And that’s why things like prejudices are
bad because they are presumed to spring out of the racist impulse. Now, if I am an Indian setting up a cab company
and I wanna hire 25 Indians or 100 Indians for that matter, there are economic and moral
reasons to permit me to do this. There are Indians come to this country who
don’t speak English, who don’t have access to credit, who are strangers in a new land,
and entrepreneurship is a very good way to integrate them into the economy. On the other hand, this is not because I’m
prejudiced against anybody. I am prejudiced in favor of Indians. This should not be illegal in a free society. Christopher: But that it seems to me is the
difficulty when… Dinesh: The difficulty is… Christopher: At what point does the law firm… Look, they’re not prejudiced against anybody. They’re just prejudiced in favor of people
just like them. Glenn: I think Dinesh is wrong on the substance
and we’re obviously not gonna resolve it here. But let me just observe that this argument
is ahistorical and… Ben: Tell us what ahistorical means. Glenn: Well, just the reason that you just
said. You just… You can remember driving through the south,
etc., etc. Now, there were a set of events that dealt
with that. One of them was the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Any good justice will tell you as a matter
of jurisprudence that you wouldn’t wanna repeal a precedent without any good reason. There’s no reason to do it. Dinesh: The reason is… Glenn: To make the world safe for Indian taxi
companies? Michael: No, that was… Glenn: That’s not a serious argument and I’m
not finished. When people said… Ben: He’s sensitive, Glenn. Yeah. Glenn: When people said conservatives were
trying to turn back the clock because they disagreed with liberals about civil rights,
I stood up and said, “You’re wrong.” They’ve got arguments. I think they’re right about most of their
arguments. Now we’ve got conservatives unabashedly saying,
“Hell, yeah. I wanna turn back the clock. It’s a new generation. You people are living in the past.” This is not a tenure. This is a willful disattention to a central
theme in modern American history. This would be not just mischievous. This would be more than mischievous. This would be political reaction of a very
high order and I doubt that you can find two or three serious Republican politicians who
have to get elected, and who have to govern a multiracial country, who will truck with
this kind of nonsense. Christopher: Even Phil Gramm says that he
favors vigorous enforcement of the Civil Rights statutes. You may wanna trim a little bit on… Well, you may wanna trim substantially on
some of the interpretations, but the statutes that’s on the book, he favors these. Dinesh: I’m afraid this is blaster [SP]. I’m not trying to propose political solutions. My book is an intellectual book, a scholarly
book. It’s a way of trying to think through first
principles. What I mean when I talk about “The End of
Racism,” I ask what is our destination? Where do we wanna go? And the arguments are aimed at trying to point
us that way. Now, when I hear these arguments about history
and so on, I’m well aware of history. But I’m also reminded of the passage in the
Bible about Moses leading the Israelites to the promised land. But Moses couldn’t get them there. Why? Because he was too committed to old struggles
and that’s the problem here. The problem here is I’m sure if you asked
Alexander Solzhenitsyn what’s the most serious problem facing Russia, he would say the return
of the Bolsheviks. And here, we have two people proclaiming the
return of the Bolsheviks. I’m simply saying, I have more faith in young
people, I have more faith in the new generation that can get beyond the pathologies of race
that have poisoned earlier generations and made everybody go around policing words, and
saying, “Oh, we are dependent on the government, but not parasitic on the government.” Glenn: Zambo, the Zambos of today. Dinesh: No. Glenn: Who are the Zambos of today, Dinesh? Dinesh: Look, I am… You are citing a passage which deals with
historical scholarship on black culture. Glenn: What I’m telling you is that the rapacious
Jewish moneylenders would be out of bounds in contemporary American and contemporary
Europe for good reasons. And Zambos… Ben: As a phrase. Glenn: As a phrase. And Zambos and sullen field hands, and mammies
is out of bounds. And if you don’t know it, it’s not because
I’m hysterical. It’s because you’re indifferent or insensitive
to something that’s important about contemporary American life. Dinesh: No. I’m not talking about contemporary American
life. You are describing a historical argument about
the evolution of black culture. There’s no question that under slavery, for
example. The person who is admired under slavery was
the runaway, the rebel of, the so-called bad Negro because he was after all not allowing
his spirit to be crushed by oppression. And all I was trying to do in that passage
was to explain how a prototype, an archetype that was admired under slavery, admired under
segregation, the person who said no, who refuse to succumb to the system. Whereas the person who played by the rules
was an Uncle Tom, but I’m saying the world has changed now. And today if you want to be an outlaw, a bad
Negro, or a rebel, you’re going to end up in the hospital, in the morgue, in prison. And the people who attacked these Uncles Toms
and Glenn, you know that there are people who are willing to use these phrases very
easily, many of those who are attacked as Uncle Toms are defending civilization values
including I will say, Glenn Loury. Ben: Okay. Hold on. I wanna try something out here. We’ve seen, to say the least, what the disagreements
are here. The super central point of Dinesh’s book is
to paraphrase the Clinton 1992 thing, it’s the economy stupid. He’s saying it’s the culture stupid. That’s what he’s saying. My recollection of your writings is, if you
strip away all the other stuff, Glenn, you do not disagree with that. Glenn: Absolutely not. More than that, more than that, I agree with
what is a corollary of Dinesh’s argument. I don’t think he makes it explicit which is
that the fact that civil rights leadership among African American since King has not
attended to this problem, has hurt the group politically, has undercut our ability to make
credible argument, has made it possible for a person like me who has been ostracized and
who has spent over a decade making many of the arguments that Dinesh wants to make to
appear to be, you know, oh, just one of those complainers when I object, I think rightly,
to his excesses and his error so that… We have a problem here. We have a problem with race and the problem
has been sown to some degree in my judgment by the intellectual bankruptcy of the Civil
Rights movement. My intention in my writing is to try to work
us out of the problem. I don’t think Dinesh is helpful there, but
I could be wrong. Ben: We agree on this and I think Dinesh agrees
with this also, but he can speak for himself. And that is that racism is still a problem
in American society. I think where we disagree is that some of
these problems are really in the moral cultural arena and the reason we have culture wars
in our society today is because these different value systems about certain behavioral patterns
are being contested. And I think that there are not many political,
and legal, and legislative solutions to getting fathers to go back to homes and having…and
to prevent children from having babies. They’re just not a lot of legal answers to
that and I think that then, therefore, the only reason there is hope is that we do need,
as Gertrude Himmelfarb, the historian has said some kind of religious awakening to rejuvenate
our communities both black and white. Christopher: May I add one more point, Ben. There’s more to the disagreement with Dinesh
I think than something about tone or something about emphasis. What is striking to me is the gap in perceptions
that it evidences between the…at least, the African American perception of what America
is like today and the perceptions of many others. Is prejudice or racism if you want to call
it that, something which is being ever so tenuously repressed, constantly ready to rear
its ugly head reassert itself, or indeed is it genuinely a thing of the past? My fear when I see swastikas in Harvard Square,
when I see Mark Fuhrman, when I see the lawsuit against Denny’s Restaurant is that too many
whites, too many people in the majority culture dismiss episodes like that as abhorrent, whereas
many people in the African American community, many minorities perceive that those are just
the tip of the iceberg, those are just the tip of the iceberg, and those behaviors which
someone dismiss as abhorrent are in the first instance far more pervasive than may be readily
detected. But secondly, ready to mash or ready to explode
insignificance. That is a tremendous gap in perceptions and
I don’t know how we bridge it. Michael: I… We… Ben: Michael. Michael: I take it that the central argument
of this book is that it is a cultural problem, a cultural problem that’s been addressed by
these gentlemen here now. And I think it’s a cultural problem that in
fact is exacerbating the increase of racism in our society. In fact, because of these social pathologies
which are not just peculiar to black people, but to white young people who I don’t have
as much confidence as Dinesh does about their enlightenment about these issues, these social
behaviors, and the fact that we have so many children without parents and so many children
who don’t even know what a father is are going to in fact exacerbate and increase racial
stereotyping and racial problems in society. Unless those behavioral patterns are curtailed,
it won’t ever go away totally, but curtailed, then I think we’re going to have even more
of a racial crisis in the society. Ben: Right. Dinesh. Dinesh: That’s the message of my book. Ben: Say it for us. Dinesh: Well, that if our problems are the
product of genes, we can’t do anything about them. If the problems are the result of racism,
fighting racism I think has run its course. There’s nothing new we can do to fight racism
that will address these cultural issues. So we should realize they’ve taken on a life
of their own and the end of racism is about not diverting our attention from that crisis
and facing it squarely. Ben: Okay. Thank you, Dinesh D’Souza, Glenn Loury, Michael
Cromartie, and Christopher Edley. And thank you. Please send your questions and comments to
New River Media, 1150 17th Street, NW, Suite 1050, Washington, DC 20036. We can be reached by email I think, [email protected]
and do check out our new homepage on the worldwide web at www.thinktank.com. For “Think Tank,” I’m Ben Wattenberg. Announcer: This has been a production of BJW
Incorporated in association with New River Media which are solely responsible for its

Obama Marks 150th Anniversary of End of Slavery- Full Speech

“In giving freedom to the slave, we assure
freedom to the free.” That’s what President Lincoln once wrote. “Honorable alike in
what we give, and what we preserve. We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best
hope of earth.” Mr. Speaker, leaders and members of both parties,
distinguished guests: We gather here to commemorate a century and a half of freedom — not simply
for former slaves, but for all of us. Today, the issue of chattel slavery seems
so simple, so obvious — it is wrong in every sense. Stealing men, women, and children from
their homelands. Tearing husband from wife, parent from child; stripped and sold to the
highest bidder; shackled in chains and bloodied with the whip. It’s antithetical not only
to our conception of human rights and dignity, but to our conception of ourselves — a people
founded on the premise that all are created equal. And, to many at the time, that judgment was
clear as well. Preachers, black and white, railed against this moral outrage from the
pulpit. Former slaves rattled the conscience of Americans in books, in pamphlets, and speeches.
Men and women organized anti-slavery conventions and fundraising drives. Farmers and shopkeepers
opened their barns, their homes, their cellars as waystations on an Underground Railroad,
where African Americans often risked their own freedom to ensure the freedom of others.
And enslaved Americans, with no rights of their own, they ran north and kept the flame
of freedom burning, passing it from one generation to the next, with their faith, and their dignity,
and their song. The reformers’ passion only drove the protectors
of the status quo to dig in harder. And for decades, America wrestled with the issue of
slavery in a way that we have with no other, before or since. It shaped our politics, and
it nearly tore us asunder. Tensions ran so high, so personal, that at one point, a lawmaker
was beaten unconscious on the Senate floor. Eventually, war broke out –- brother against
brother, North against South. At its heart, the question of slavery was
never simply about civil rights. It was about the meaning of America, the kind of country
we wanted to be –- whether this nation might fulfill the call of its birth: “We hold
these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed
by their Creator with certain unalienable rights,” that among those are life and liberty
and the pursuit of happiness. President Lincoln understood that if we were
ever to fully realize that founding promise, it meant not just signing an Emancipation
Proclamation, not just winning a war. It meant making the most powerful collective statement
we can in our democracy: etching our values into our Constitution. He called it “a King’s
cure for all the evils.” A hundred and fifty years proved the cure
to be necessary but not sufficient. Progress proved halting, too often deferred. Newly
freed slaves may have been liberated by the letter of the law, but their daily lives told
another tale. They couldn’t vote. They couldn’t fill most occupations. They couldn’t protect
themselves or their families from indignity or from violence. And so abolitionists and
freedmen and women and radical Republicans kept cajoling and kept rabble-rousing, and
within a few years of the war’s end at Appomattox, we passed two more amendments guaranteeing
voting rights, birthright citizenship, equal protection under the law. And still, it wasn’t enough. For another
century, we saw segregation and Jim Crow make a mockery of these amendments. And we saw
justice turn a blind eye to mobs with nooses slung over trees. We saw bullets and bombs
terrorize generations. And yet, through all this, the call to freedom
survived. “We hold these truths to be self-evident.” And eventually, a new generation rose up to
march and organize, and to stand up and to sit in with the moral force of nonviolence
and the sweet sound of those same freedom songs that slaves had sung so long ago -– crying
out not for special treatment, but for equal rights. Calling out for basic justice promised
to them almost a century before. Like their abolitionist predecessors, they
were plain, humble, ordinary people, armed with little but faith: Faith in the Almighty.
Faith in each other. And faith in America. Hope in the face so often of all evidence
to the contrary, that something better lay around the bend. Because of them — maids and porters and students
and farmers and priests and housewives — because of them, a Civil Rights law was passed, and
the Voting Rights law was signed. And doors of opportunity swung open, not just for the
black porter, but also for the white chambermaid, and the immigrant dishwasher, so that their
daughters and their sons might finally imagine a life for themselves beyond washing somebody
else’s laundry or shining somebody else’s shoes. Freedom for you and for me. Freedom
for all of us. And that’s what we celebrate today. The
long arc of progress. Progress that is never assured, never guaranteed, but always possible,
always there to be earned -– no matter how stuck we might seem sometimes. No matter how
divided or despairing we may appear. No matter what ugliness may bubble up. Progress, so
long as we’re willing to push for it; so long as we’re willing to reach for each
other. We would do a disservice to those warriors
of justice — Tubman, and Douglass, and Lincoln, and King — were we to deny that the scars
of our nation’s original sin are still with us today. (Applause.) We condemn ourselves
to shackles once more if we fail to answer those who wonder if they’re truly equals
in their communities, or in their justice systems, or in a job interview. We betray
the efforts of the past if we fail to push back against bigotry in all its forms. (Applause.) But we betray our most noble past as well
if we were to deny the possibility of movement, the possibility of progress; if we were to
let cynicism consume us and fear overwhelm us. If we lost hope. For however slow, however
incomplete, however harshly, loudly, rudely challenged at each point along our journey,
in America, we can create the change that we seek. (Applause.) All it requires is that
our generation be willing to do what those who came before us have done: To rise above
the cynicism and rise above the fear, to hold fast to our values, to see ourselves in each
other, to cherish dignity and opportunity not just for our own children but for somebody
else’s child. (Applause.) To remember that our freedom is bound up with the freedom of
others -– regardless of what they look like or where they come from or what their last
name is or what faith they practice. (Applause.) To be honorable alike in what we give, and
what we preserve. To nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best hope of Earth. To nobly
save, or meanly lose, the last best hope of Earth. That is our choice. Today, we affirm
hope. Thank you. God bless you. May God bless the
United States of America. (Applause.)

Is The United States An Empire? | Avoiding the British Empire 1

Hey There. Is the United States an Empire? It’s a difficult question. When we won our independence we fought against
an empire. Throughout our history there has been a strand
in US politics that hates the very idea of empires. We like to see ourselves as liberators. At the same time, there have always been annoying
people like me who point out that we have always been more of an empire than we’d
like to admit. The truth is that the US still operates a
lot of imperial territories, lording it over millions of citizens who don’t get to vote. Also, the continental United States itself
is possibly the most successful empire in human history. All of that land, from Maine To Florida to
Texas to California is so strongly incorporated into one unit now that it’s almost impossible
to imagine its former owners taking it back. It took China two thousand years to build
up a similar situation in a smaller territory, and we did most of this expansion in just
two hundred years. All of those are great points, but I would
argue that they miss something very important about modern empires. Since the Industrial revolution, the very
nature of empire has changed dramatically. It’s not about the amount of land you control
any more. That’s one of the reasons I think it is so
important to compare US power today to the British Empire. So If you’re watching this channel, you’re
probably aware of the British Empire. A small island in the North Atlantic owned
an Empire upon which the sun never set. It lasted in different forms from the 1600s
until the mid 1900s. Everybody’s got a different date they prefer
for the end of the British Empire, but most agree that it’s over. We all know that the British Empire was powerful,
but we forget just how powerful it was. We tend to think of it as just those shifting
red bits on the map, and as just the biggest and most successful of many European Empires. OH SHIT. I HAVE TO MAKE THE MAP DON’T I? That might have been true in the 1700s, or
after World War One, but for the 100 years between 1815 and 1914 the British Empire was
a whole lot more. Yes it controlled those red bits on the map,
but it also controlled pretty much everything else. During that century it is very appropriate
to talk about the entire world as being jammed into one British World System. Britain’s control of the seas and world finance
gave it the power necessary to force the entire world into one system. We hear a lot about the way Britain exerted
direct control in places like India, Ireland, and dozens of other places. But we hear much less about the ways that
the British exercised control over the nominally independent Chinese and Ottoman empires in
the 1800s. And we hear almost nothing about Britain’s
role in Latin America, which was very significant. The crucial distinction here is between formal
and informal empire. In formal empire, you go somewhere, plant
a flag, and run the place. That’s always been a super expensive thing
to do. When the British Empire was at its most successful
it was much more interested in informal empire. Tvhey would let the locals keep their kings
or parliaments, but use money and the blockade or bombing of an occasional port to make sure
the world did what they wanted. Does that sound a little more familiar? Like something a country we have all heard
of may be doing today? The British get to write their own history
in the English speaking world so the true extent of their power is downplayed. You may have heard of the Opium wars, when
the UK forced China to open itself up to the drug trade. That wasn’t a one time thing though. It was a series of wars involving British
gun ships going up Chinese rivers and that culminated in the burning down of the Chinese
equivalent of Versailles. British bureaucrats controlled Chinese economic
and foreign policy for well over half a century. We tend to think of the British as just slave
drivers in the Caribbean, but their influence across Latin America is much wider. These countries all had their own great liberators
in the 18teens and 20s, but it was fear of the British Navy that finally got the Spanish
to give up on most of their American empire. The Brits didn’t do this out of generosity,
they quickly dominated Latin American markets, most importantly the market for government
debt. If any of these countries felt like renegotiating
these terms, the British Navy was always a threat. Even the United States itself was part of
Britain’s informal empire. Some commentators like to imagine that Britain’s
history with slavery is better than ours, because they banned it on their own territory
a few decades earlier. But where do you think Thomas Jefferson got
the money for the Louisiana purchase from? London. Who provided all the financing necessary to
build the horrific machinery of the Cotton South, going as far as to issue mortgages
for slaves? English bankers did, and their profits were
immense. The British inaugurated a very new kind of
empire. Like the Brits, the Romans controlled territory
on multiple continents. But they didn’t determine the trade policy
of the Mayas in the Americas, or benefit from massive agricultural investments on Persian
territory. The British had a world system, that was just
as important to their power and their wealth as the red bits of the map they directly controlled. The US has a world system just like the British
one, except ours is even more powerful. The British would use their gun boats to enforce
their ideas of free trade and international law. The United States has multiple international
bureaucracies headquartered in New York and Washington DC, that enforce our will everywhere
using sophisticated systems of carrots and sticks. The British could physically blockade a port. We are currently throttling the Iranian economy
without using a single ship. Because of our control of international banking,
every country in the world has to follow our laws, even when their leaders publicly, angrily
proclaim that they don’t want to. INSTITUTIINS LOGO BIGGER THAN GUNSHIPS. MACRON N MERKEL V. TRUMP ON IRAN It’s the extraordinary strength and breadth
of US informal empire that makes it the most powerful empire the world has ever seen. And I am becoming convinced that we are making
the same mistakes the British Empire did. So convinced that I wrote a book about it,
telling the story of the British Empire and laying out how the United States can avoid
its mistakes. Please do check it out, and come back tomorrow
when we will cover everything you need to know about the past 270 years of world history
in under 10 minutes. Thanks for watching, please subscribe, and
you can buy my book Avoiding the British Empire at this link, in either paperback or Amazon
Kindle form.

Why Kevin Spacey’s accent in House of Cards sounds off

Kevin Spacey grew up in California, but in
House of Cards, he plays a politician from South Carolina. “As we used to say in Gaffney…”
The first thing you’ll notice about Spacey’s accent when he’s playing Frank Underwood is
what happens to a lot of his Rs. “Money is the McMansion in Sarasota that starts falling
apart after 10 years. Power…” This is called r-dropping, and it’s a feature of several
well-known dialects. “He would rather the poor were poorer.” “The greatest wilderness
on Earth.” “In the tradition of bipartisanship.” “Metropolitan Museum of Art.” But it’s also
associated with the upper class of the plantation South. “This war talk’s spoiling all the fun
at every party this spring.” R-dropping emerged as kind of an affectation among posh people
in southern Britain in the 18th century — the English didn’t always talk that way. And then
it spread to elites on the East Coast of the US. At the same time, r-dropping was a feature
of the creole and West African languages spoken by some of the slaves in the South and their
descendants. But after World War II, new generations of white Southerners essentially abandoned
r-dropping, so today you’ll see it mostly in the very oldest generation, or more frequently
with African-American speakers from the South. Take Lindsey Graham as an example. Like Kevin
Spacey’s character, Graham is from the northern part of South Carolina, and his Rs are largely
intact. “going to sell the oil to another customer.” And that may be because language
in the Southern Appalachian areas was influenced by settlers from Ireland, where people aren’t
exactly shy with their Rs. “Seriously. Serious. How close does that sound to the Kentucky
accent where they talk like that and I’m talking like this?” Regardless, R-dropping probably
can’t be the shortcut that white actors use to sound Southern in the future. Instead,
the main feature that unites Southern dialects is something called /ay/-ungliding. For people
outside the South, this vowel has two parts. You can probably feel your tongue shifting
as you say the word “buy.” But in Southern speech, /ay/ is a one-part vowel in many cases,
sounding more like ah than ay. “Five” “and livelihoods” “terrified.” But there’s an important
distinction here that Northerners might not be aware of. Most Southerners only do ay-ungliding
before what’s called voiced consonants, or at the end of a word. The difference between
voiced and voiceless consonants is whether your vocal chords vibrate when you say them,
and ay-ungliding before voiceless consonants is stereotyped in the South as a less-educated
way of speaking. “But I don’t want your life.” Ay-ungliding triggers a shift in the vowels,
or in the space in the mouth where the vowels are formed. The ey-sound shifts lower in the
mouth. “And then blame somebody else.” The eh-sound moves forward to the front of the
mouth. “Just as strong and opinionated as men.” As do the vowels pronounced in the back
of the mouth like go and boot. “Thank you.” These vowel shifts occur to different degrees
in different parts of the South, and they’re certainly fading in cities where there’s a
lot of migration and generational change. But if you’re an actor from the North or the
West, the vowels are really the key to sounding Southern.

Freedom in Black and White

Hello and welcome to African Elements. I’m Darius Spearman. In this video we’re going to examine the notion
of “freedom,” and why it’s been such an elusive thing for black folks to obtain. How do the opposing ways in which we define
freedom impact the political experience of black folks at large? All that coming up next. Thank you for watching African Elements. Before we get started I have to give up big
thank you to our very first patreon subscriber, Tiana Harris. Tiana, your supportwill allow us to continue
to bring Africana Studies content from the classroom to right here where the people are
at. African Elements is a growing community that
believes Africana Studies curriculum was designed for the people and that the people should
have access to it both inside and outside the walls of higher education. If you’d like to join Tiana in supporting
this channel, click the link above. For as little as $1 a month and with people
power we can continue to make this content accessible. Also you if you find the content worthwhile,
don’t forget to give this video a like and consider subscribing. We’ll be uploading content regularly, so hit
that bell icon to be notified when new content drops. So, in the last episode we talked about “power,”
(if you haven’t seen it, you can check it out here in the link above), but what’s to
prevent black people as a collective group from exercising power? to understand that,
we have to talk about this thing called “freedom.” Freedom and rights are often used interchangeably,
but in either case freedom is a critical ingredient in exercising power. Where it gets complicated is that there’s
no universally agreed-upon definition as to what “freedom” actually means. But how we define freedom is critically important
in framing the limits of our individual power — or ability to get a person to do something
that they otherwise wouldn’t have done. Do I have the freedom, for example, determine
where I live? What school I’m able to attend? Where I’m able to work? Whether that work will provide me a living
wage? Conversely, if I have those freedoms, then
do I also have the freedom to determine that certain people are not allowed to live in
my community? Are not allowed to attend schools with my
children? Or are not entitled to the wage that I deem
appropriate for myself? Whether or not I have those freedoms depends
on how we define freedom. This may seem basic, but historically African-Americans
and the white power structure that they exist within have differed in fundamental ways on
the definition of freedom and on the limits of freedom. How is it possible, for example, that so many
of those clamoring for freedom from British rule in 1776 were slave owners themselves? In the wake of the Boston Tea Party, as Britain
was tightening its colonial grip on its American possesions with various “intollerable acts,”
a powerful Virginia planter and slaveowner named George Mason wrote, “though we are [British]
subjects we will use every means which Heaven hath given us to prevent our becoming its
slaves.” Wait… what? [confused black guy video or meme] So in other words, Mason is asserting his
freedom to own slaves while simultaneously asserting a limitation on the rights of Britain
to enslave him. The contradiction didn’t go entirely unnoticed. Thomas Paine excoriated the elite American
colonists in his revolutionary pamphlet “common sense” in which he angrily asked, “with what
consistency or decency they complain so loudly of attempts to enslave them while they hold
so many hundreds of thousands in slavery?” Right?!!! How is it possible that Thomas Jefferson in
laying out his argument for liberation from the British rule could assert with a straight
face that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain
inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?” Clearly Jefferson had no intention of extending
those freedoms to the hundreds of slaves that he owned The disconnect here goes beyond simple hypocrisy
and points to the fundamental ways in which the framers of the Constitution defined freedom
differently from those whose freedoms were left on the margins. (African-Americans, Native Americans, women,
and non-property owning poor whites).To better understand the definition of freedom that
Jefferson was operating under we have to look a few generations earlier to the writings
of one of the major Enlightenment figures. The Enlightenment era was a period in which
people were questioning the relationship between God, man, the universe, and government. During that time, technological breakthroughs
allowed masses of people to better understand their place in the universe and begin to question,
for example, whether the sun the moon and the planets were set in motion by God or perhaps
other forces like gravity – enter Isaac Newton. In addition, the invention of the printing
press meant that books that were previously available only to a few could now be mass-produced… Books like the Bible. So people were able to read this text that
up to that point was available only to a few who held power and they were finally able
to question the established dogma. They questioned, for example, simple things
they were previously expected to just accept like whether the rulers who exercised power
over them were put in power simply because God said. One such individual was an English philosopher
and physician by the name of John Locke who died in 1704 — just couple of generations
before the revolutionary war. The alternative ideas about the relationship
between the government and the governed would heavily influence the framers of the United
States Constitution in the latter part of the 18th century. His ideas pushed back against this notion
that those who are in power have earned their station in life through God’s blessing and
in those who subject to their power were so subjected because that was God’s plan for
them. Of course, those in power would say, “Who
are you to question God’s plan?” Well, John Locke did question the relationship
between the government and the governed. One of the things he proposed was the notion
of “natural rights” or, as some would call it, sovereignal organic freedom. These are freedoms that all men men are born with. Among those rights are life, liberty, and
the pursuit of… Property! Thomas Jefferson obviously changed the wording
on that slightly when he penned the Declaration of Independence in 1776, but according to
Locke, these are rights that are endowed to all men by their Creator or… God. That is the definition that Thomas Jefferson
is operating under and it’s John Locke who provides him the loophole that reconciles
the apparent contradiction between Jefferson’s definition of freedom when he maintained that
as all men are created equal while clearly not holding the same view toward the Africans
that he held in bondage. In other words, if God has endowed men with
the freedom to pursue life liberty and property, then by that reasoning Thomas Jefferson’s
pursuit of human property is a freedom that’s bestowed upon him by God. So, folks like Thomas Jefferson have defined
natural rights or sovereignal organic freedom as simply the freedom to do what one desires…
including enslaving other people. It’s interesting to note, though, that the
very folks were pushing back against the idea that their rulers were endowed their power
by God are also invoking God to justify the enslavement of others. About 1/3 of the framers of the Constitution
were slaveowners, and ALL were property-owning white men, so it shouldn’t be supprising that
citizenship and the freedom that accompanies it was framed in he context of property ownership. In fact, the property qualifications for voting
weren’t removed universally until the 1830s. So, freedom, citizenship, and property ownership
were framed in a sort of circular relationship with one another. Freedom carrys with it the pursuit of property,
property is a qualification of citizenship, and citizenship in turn carrys with it certain
freedoms. In Jefferson’s framing of citizenship, property
and freedom, blacks were exempted because blacks not only didn’t own property, blacks
ARE in fact property. Even though not all black folks in that era
were slaves, by the Revolutionary War, the definition of slavery had been so narrowly
defined that blackness and slavery were practically synonymous. I actually address that more thoroughly in
the previous episode so I encourage you to check it out at the link above. So we can see that based on the notion of
sovereignal organic freedom Thomas Jefferson was able to make his assertions that all men
were created equal with a straight face even though folks like Thomas Paine did call him
out on it. Contrast the individualized notion of sovereignal
organic freedom with the way African-Americans have typically constructed freedom. Since the early colonial period, Blacks have
largely emphasized the notion of collective freedom or what some people refer to as collective
deliverance. Collective freedom seeks the liberation of
a group from external control be it captivity, slavery, or oppression and pursues a more
universal definition of freedom that seeks to expand freedom to the broadest extent possible
– not just to those who manage to purchase their freedom… Not just those who happen to live in the north… But amongst all people throughout the land. That’s a universal freedom as opposed to an
individual freedom that the framers envisioned. That is the reason why Harriet Tubman who
gained freedom by escaping to the north continued to go back to the South risking her own freedom
19 times escorting over 300 slaves to freedom via the underground railroad. It’s also the reason why folks like Denmark
Vesey – a free black man in South Carolina – led a slave revolt in 1822. One of the ways that sovereignal organic freedom
and collective deliverance have come into conflict with one another manifested in the
water crisis in Flint Michigan. In April 2014, an unelected body switched
the source of Flint’s drinking water from the Detroit River to the corrosive Flint River
— ostensibly to save money. In this instance, an unelected emergency manager
appointed by Governor Rick Snyder imposed his will on the residents of Flint while the
people of Flint who were subject to that power sought the collective freedom to manage their
own affairs — including the source of their drinking water. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the
crisis in Flint Michigan, I provided a link below to a series of articles that gives in-depth
coverage to the issue. I would encourage you to check it out. Another example of how sovereignal organic
freedom and collective deliverance have come into conflict is in the ongoing conflict over
policing. One hand, there’s a view that the police function
to protect individual property overrides all concerns, whereas movements such as Black
Lives Matter seek collective liberation from police violence as a central concern. What are some other ways in contemporary society
in which the notion of sovereignal organic freedom and collective freedom continue to
be at odds? Please add your insights in the comments below. If you find this content of value, you can
support this channel on Patreon where we have a lot more Africana Studies materials available
at various levels of support. Otherwise, a “like” and subscribe is always
appreciated. I’m Darius Spearman. Thank you for watching.

Haitian Revolutions: Crash Course World History #30

Hi, I’m John Green. This is Crash Course
World History. And apparently it’s Revolutions Month here at Crash Course, because today
we are going to discuss the often-neglected Haitian Revolutions. The Haitian Revolutions
are totally fascinating and they involve two of my very favorite things:
1. Ending slavery, and 2. Napoleon getting his feelings hurt. I can’t
help myself, Napoleon. I like to see you suffer. [theme music] So, the French colony in Saint-Domingue began
in the 17th century as a pirate outpost. And its original French inhabitants made their
living selling leather and a kind of smoked beef called boucan. All that beef actually
came from cattle left behind by the Spanish, who were the first Europeans to settle the
island. But anyway, after 1640, the boucan-sellers
started to run low on beef. And they were like, “You know what would pay better than
selling beef jerky? Robbing Spanish galleons,” which as you’ll recall were loaded with
silver mined from South America. So, by the middle of the 17th century, the French had
convinced many of those buccaneering captains to give up their pirating and settle on the
island. Many of them invested some of their pirate
treasure in sugar plantations, which, by 1700 were thriving at both producing sugar and
working people to death. And soon, this island was the most valuable colony in the West Indies,
and possibly in the world. It produced 40% of Europe’s sugar, 60% of its coffee, and it was
home to more slaves than any place except Brazil. And as you’ll recall from our discussion
of Atlantic slavery, being a slave in a sugar-production colony was exceptionally brutal. In fact,
by the late 18th century, more slaves were imported to Saint-Domingue EVERY YEAR— more
than 40,000— than the entire white population of the island. By the 19th century, slaves
made up about 90% of the population. And most of those slaves were African born,
because the brutal living and working conditions prevented natural population growth. Like,
remember Alfred Crosby’s fantastic line, “it is crudely true that if man’s caloric
intake is sufficient, he will somehow stagger to maturity, and he will reproduce?” Yeah,
well, not in 18th century Haiti, thanks to Yellow Fever and smallpox and just miserable
working conditions. So, most of these plantations were pretty large, they often had more than
200 slaves, and many of the field workers— in some cases, a majority— were women. Colonial society in Saint-Domingue was divided
into four groups, which had important consequences for the revolution. At the top, were the Big
White planters who owned the plantations and all the slaves. Often these Grand Blancs were
absentee landlords who would just rather stay in France and let their agents do, you know,
the actual brutality. Below them were the wealthy free people of
color. Most of the Frenchmen who came to the island were, you know, men, and they frequently
fathered children with slave women. These fathers would often free their children. Wasn’t
that generous of them. So, by 1789, there were 24,800 free people of color along with
about 30,000 white people in the colony. The free people of color contributed a lot to
the island’s stability. They served in the militia, and in the local constabulary, and
many of the wealthier ones eventually owned plantations and slaves of their own. And then, below them on the social ladder were
the poor whites, or the petit blancs, who worked as artisans and laborers. And at the bottom were
the slaves who made up the overwhelming majority. I know what you’re thinking: this is a recipe
for permanent social stability. No, it wasn’t. Okay, so when the French Revolution broke
out in 1789, all these groups had something to complain about. The slaves, obviously,
disliked being slaves. The free people of color were still subject to legal discrimination,
no matter how wealthy they became. And the poor whites, in addition to being
poor, were resentful of all the privileges held by the wealthy people of color. And the
Grand Blancs were complaining about French trade laws and the government’s attempts
to slightly improve the living and working conditions of slaves. Basically they were
saying that government shouldn’t be in the business of regulating business. So everyone
was unhappy, but the slaves were by far the worst off. Mr. Green, Mr. Green! You’re always saying
how much slavery sucks, but is it really any worse than having to work for, like, subsis… Yeah, I’m gonna stop you right there, Me
from the Past, before you further embarrass yourself. You often hear from people attempting
to comprehend the horrors of slavery that slavery couldn’t have been all that bad,
and that it wasn’t that different from working for minimum wage. And that we know this because
if it HAD been so bad, slaves would have just revolted, which they never did. Yeah. Well,
1. equating slavery to poor working conditions ignores the fact that if you work at, like,
Foxconn, Foxconn doesn’t get to sell your children to other corporations. And
2. As you are about to see, SLAVES DID REVOLT. So, the unrest in what became Haiti started
in 1789 when some slaves heard a rumor that the King of France had freed them. Even though
it was across the ocean, word of the changes in France reached the people of Haiti, where
The Declaration of Rights of Man and Citizen, while terrifying to planters, gave hope both
to free people of color and to slaves. At the same time, some petit blancs argued
that there was inadequate discrimination against blacks. They identified with the third estate
in France, and they called for interest rates to be lowered so they could more easily pay their debts.
And they began lobbying for colonial independence. The psychology here shows you the extent to
which slaves were not considered people. I mean, these radical petit blancs thought that
they were the oppressed people in Saint-Domingue because they couldn’t afford to own slaves.
And they thought if they could become independent from France, they could take power from the
people of privilege and institute a democracy where everyone had a voice– except for the
95% of people who weren’t white. Then in 1791, these radical petit blancs seized
the city of Port-au-Prince. You’ll remember that by 1791, France was at war with most
of Europe, and just like with the 7 Years’ War, the wars of Revolutionary France played
out in the colonies as well as at home. So the French government sent troops to Saint-Domingue. Meanwhile, urges toward liberty, fraternity,
and equality were only growing in France, and it didn’t seem very equitable to grant
citizenship based solely on race. So in May of 1791, the National Assembly gave full French
citizenship to all free men of color. I mean, if they owned property, and had enough money,
and weren’t the children of slaves. The petit blancs weren’t thrilled about this,
and that led to fighting breaking out between them and the newly French free people of color. And then in August of 1791, the slaves were
like, “Um, hi, yes. Screw all of you.” And a massive slave revolt broke out. Among
the leaders of this revolt was Toussaint Breda, a former slave of full African descent, who later
took the name Toussaint L’ouverture. L’Ouverture helped mold the slaves into a disciplined army
that could withstand attacks from the French troops. But again, the context of the wider revolution
proves really important here. So, the Spanish had consistently supported slave revolts in
Saint-Domingue hoping to weaken the French. But, by 1793 they were offering even more
support. In fact, L’Ouverture became an officer in the Spanish military because the
emancipation of the slaves was more important to him than maintaining his rights as a French
Citizen. So then, in October of 1793 the British, whom
as I’m sure you’ll recall were also at war with France, decided to invade Saint-Domingue.
And at that point, the French military commanders were like, We are definitely going to lose
this war if we fight the British, the Spanish, and the slaves, so let’s free the slaves.
So they issued decrees freeing the slaves and on February 4, 1794 the National Convention
in Paris ratified those decrees. By May, having learned of the Convention’s
actions, L’Ouverture switched allegiances to the French and turned the tide of the war.
Thus, the most successful slave revolt in human history won freedom and citizenship
for every slave in the French Caribbean. But emancipation didn’t end the story because
the French were still at war with the Spanish and the English in Saint-Domingue. Luckily
for France, L’Ouverture was an excellent general, and luckily for the people of the
island, L’Ouverture was also an able politician. And between 1794 and 1802, he successfully
steered the colony toward independence. So, although slavery was abolished, this didn’t
end the plantation system because both L’Ouverture and his compatriot André Rigaud believed
that sugar was vital to the economic health of the island. But now at least people were
paid for their labor and their kids couldn’t be sold. Now you can compare it to Foxconn. But soon, L’Ouverture and Rigaud came into
conflict over Rigaud’s refusal to give up control over one of the Southern states on
the island, and there was a civil war, which L’Ouverture, with the help of his able lieutenant
Jacques Dessalines, was able to win after 13 months of hard fighting. L’Ouverture
then passed a new constitution, and things were going pretty well on Saint-Domingue with
the small problem that it was still technically part of France, which meant that it was about to be ruled by
Napoleon Bonaparte. Let’s go to the Thought Bubble. So, in 1799, Napoleon seized power in France
in a coup. And, his new regime, called the Consulate (because he was the First Consul
à la the Roman Republic) established a new constitution that specifically pointed out its
laws did not apply to France’s overseas colonies. Napoleon had plans to reconstruct France’s
empire in North America that it had lost most of in the 7 Years’ War, and to do this he
needed tons of money from France’s most valuable colony, Saint-Domingue. And the best
way to maximize profits? Why, to reintroduce slavery, of course. That’s certainly what
the former slaves thought was the plan when in 1802, a French expedition commanded by
Napoleon’s brother in-law Charles-Victor-Emmanuel “I-Have-Too-Many-Names” Leclerc showed
up in Saint-Domingue. This started the second phase of the Haitian
revolution, the fight for independence. So, Leclerc eventually had L’Ouverture arrested
and shipped to France where he died in prison in 1803. But this itself did not spark an
uprising against the French because L’Ouverture wasn’t actually that popular, largely because he wanted
most blacks on the island to continue to grow sugar. Instead, the former slaves only started fighting
when Leclerc tried to take away their guns, thus beginning a guerrilla war that the French,
despite their superior training and weapons, had absolutely no chance of winning. Although
the French were exceedingly cruel, executing women as well as men and importing man-eating
dogs from Cuba, the Haitians had the best ally of all: Disease, specifically in the
form of Yellow Fever, which killed thousands of French soldiers, including Leclerc himself.
Oh, it’s time for the Open Letter? Stan! Where is my chair? Stan, you’re telling
me the yellow chair has been lost? The yellow chair is the star of the show. The stars,
in order, are 1. me, 2. yellow chair, 3. the chalkboard, 4. Danica, 5. Meredith the Intern,
6. you, Stan. You’re sixth. Oh, I’m mad. Let’s see what’s in the secret compartment
today. It’s a giant squid of anger!!! I’M A GIANT SQUID OF ANGER!!!! Oh, no. It broke. An open letter to disease. Dear disease, why do you
always put yourself at the center of human history? Most of you are just tiny, little single-celled
organisms, but you’re so self-important and self-involved that you’re always interfering
with us. Admittedly, sometimes you work for the good guys, but usually you don’t. It
seems like even though you’re constantly interfering with human history, you don’t
even care about it. I just hate when people, and also microbes,
are super self-involved. Like, don’t tell me you gotta take a day off to go to your
mom’s birthday party, Stan. That’s not imagining me complexly. I’ve got needs over
here. Best wishes, John Green. So continued defeat and the death of his troops
eventually convinced Napoleon to give up his dreams of an American empire and cut his losses.
He recalled his surviving troops, of the 40,000 who left, only 8,000 made it back. And then,
he sold Thomas Jefferson Louisiana. And that is how former slaves in Haiti gave America
all of this. On January 1, 1804, Dessalines who had defeated
the French, declared the island of Saint-Domingue independent and re-named it Haiti, which is
what the island had been called by the native inhabitants before the arrival of Columbus.
The Haitian Declaration of Independence was a rejection of France and, to a certain degree
of European racism and colonialism. It also affirmed, to quote from the book Slave
Revolution in the Caribbean, “a broad definition of the new country as a refuge for enslaved
peoples of all kinds.” So, why is this little island so important that we would devote an
entire episode to it? First, Haiti was the second free and independent nation state in
the Americas. It also had one of the most successful slave revolts ever. Haiti became
the first modern nation to be governed by people of African descent, and they also foiled
Napoleon’s attempts to build a big new world empire Of course, Haiti’s history since its revolution
has been marred by tragedy, a legacy of the loss of life that accompanied the revolution.
I mean, 150,000 people died in 1802 and 1803 alone. But the Haitian revolutions matter.
They matter because the Haitians, more than any other people in the age of revolutions,
stood up for the idea that none should be slaves, that the people who most need the
protection of a government should be afforded that protection. Haiti stood up for the weak
when the rest of the world failed to. The next time you read about Haiti’s
poverty, remember that. Thanks for watching. I’ll see you next week. Crash Course is produced and directed by Stan
Muller. Our script supervisor is Danica Johnson. The show is ably interned by Meredith Danko.
And our graphics team is Thought Bubble. Oh, right, I write it with my high school history
teacher Raoul Meyer. Actually, he does most of the work, who are we kidding. Last week’s phrase of the week was “fancy
footwear.” If you want to guess this week’s phrase of the week or suggest future ones,
you can do so in comments, where you can also ask questions that will be answered by our
team of historians. Thanks for watching Crash Course, and as we
say in my home town, Don’t Forget To Be Awesome.