Guest Commentary

June 9, 2011 |

Civil War forever and ever


by Dr. John M. Hicks


I smell another civil war coming out of the woodwork. Like a line from the film "Fools Rush In," the signs are everywhere, and they started appearing prior to 2008. Speaking of signs, here's a doozy from the Rome (Georgia) News Tribune about a funeral home announcement: "In lieu of flowers the family respectfully asks money be given to whomever is selected to run against President Obama." Here's another: An Iowa friend stopped for gas in rural Mississippi. As the tank was filling, the proprietor said to the driver, "If I were you, I'd get the hell out of Mississippi as fast as you can. Iowans are not liked here in Mississippi."

I'm slow on the uptake, but then it hit me. The Civil War, our Civil War, always has been in the woodwork. Our good-ol' Civil War never ended, did it? Sort of slid along without too much friction, but since 2008 the friction has increased not only noticeably but more like a tsunami - a racial tsunami.

Signs for upgrading our everlasting Civil War are much more prominent when you look at Republican legislatures. Republican governors are providing one sign after another, as are Republicans who have announced they are running for president. The signs ARE all over the place. Lizette Alvarez of The New York Times, wrote about the GOP leadership rewriting election laws for the upcoming 2012 election. New election rules already have advanced in 13 states including northern states like Wisconsin, Ohio and Pennsylvania. If the Republicans can turn away minority voters, just think about how easy it will be to vote for a resurrection of real, (dis)honest-to-goodness slavery.

Let's look at more signs. First, social programs are being cut like they are going out of style, which they are not. Just the opposite is true in the current financial crisis. Social programs include poor whites but the attack is focused on African Americans and Latinos. Keep in mind that the money cut from social programs goes to the rich - lily-white males of course. When I say that I smell our Civil War simmering, the burners on the stove are red hot.

A major sign is how public school education is being treated. Public schools are required to take all children and that includes African Americans and Latinos. Now, think about it. If we take money away from public education, which is happening throughout the country, then education for African Americans and Latinos becomes even less qualitative than it is already, less effective, perhaps even nonexistent. This is why more money is being poured into private schools and Catholic schools. Guess what? Charter schools and voucher programs can make money for investors. Home schooling? Money! Public schools are labeled as socialistic because they don't make money, and they help minorities. Money only can be made by greedy capitalists changing the rules to help with the Civil War.

You probably have heard that in a few years the population of the U.S. will have more minorities than whites - one big OUCH for many whites. Their thinking is that we must do something. Republicans in power, white of course, are trying their best. Hey! The National Rifle Association is jumping up and down with glee as our Civil War returns. Guns are being bought by the truckload. The gun shops can't keep up with the demand for ammunition. Guns are important for whites as our Civil War is updated.

Republican politicians, almost in total, want to get rid of government. If we get rid of government, we really can have an enlarged Civil War - put those minorities back in their place… and keep them there. Since 2008, hate organizations in the United States have increased dramatically, now numbering more than 1,000. Tell me why there has been such a large increase lately. Oh, yes, I forgot. We have an African American in the White House.

Brian T. Kaylor wrote about how God-rhetoric wins elections. The candidate who talks about God the most wins. "When we create a system where candidates have to talk about their faith in order to have a chance to win, then there are serious democratic implications." You can bet that with white evangelical Christians in power, minorities won't have a chance.

Oh, I know what you're thinking. This is just another conspiracy theory. I tell you what. You check with Pat Robertson, Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, Rush Limbaugh, Newt Gingrich or Karl Rove. I'm sure they will be more than glad to give you the straight skinny about all kinds of things, including our Civil War. CV

Dr. John M. Hicks is a resident of Des Moines and Professor Emeritus at Drake University. He occasionally offers commentaries for Cityview.