That Plantation Mentality Author: BobRDate:09/23/2020 12:46:51
Our country was founded and built on the back of slavery. Our founders were colonizers, assuming and asserting that the white men should naturally be in charge. Only white men could vote, hold government office, own property, and all non-white men (and all women) were assumed to be subservient - in the minds of the white men as well as those being repressed.
The 3/5 compromise and the electoral college was enshrined in our country's Constitution with that in mind - the white men would represent the "others" in their states and districts, and enslaved blacks would count as 3/5 of a person when it came to allocating the number of representatives the states would send to the House (and thus the number of electors). This is because in some areas the slaves outnumbered the white owners.
Over time, the right to vote (as well as other rights) were recognized for non-white people and women. The rationale for the electoral college became less and less relevant, as every person could vote for themselves, and didn't need an "elector" to assume their voting choice based on how the white men voted.
It's become increasingly evident that this continuing plantation mentality is not just anachronistic, but harmful. Smaller less-populated states have an inordinate amount of power to sway elections (and to be represented in Congress and the Senate). This was evident in the 2016 election when Hillary Clinton had 3 million more votes than tRump, but he won due to the Electoral College.
After four years of gross mismanagement by tRump (and even grosser fealty to him by Republicans in Congress), the country is ready for a change. Corporate America is finally voicing support for BLM, as the unhindered aggression of a subset of the police continues to cut bloody swaths through the hearts of American families, with nary a consequence in sight. Although the image of Nero fiddling while Rome burns may be a popular one, a more apt allusion would be tRump toasting marshmallows over the smoldering wreckage.
With just over 40 days until the general election, Republicans are trying to ram through a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court. These are the desperate actions of a plantation owner watching his beloved house going up in flames, while the previously cowed and docile slaves claim their freedom. These are the actions of people who believe their power and right to rule as they see fit should not be questioned. They are the descendants of colonizers who passed down their assumed superiority for generation after generation. "How dare we question that?" lurks in the dark recesses behind their eyes.
After all these centuries, that poison is still with us, and the actions of Republicans show it. A thorough thrashing of them in November would certainly help provide some antidote, as Americans came to realize that their fears were unfounded. Whether we can ever completely remove that plantation mentality we may never know. It may take generations. The old saying goes "a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step"; we took a step in Nov 2008, and can take another in Nov 2020.
It's time for the plantation owners to take their rightful place as a minority.