January 30, 2008
WE DID IT, WHY NOT YOU?:
After Appomattox (DAVID W. BLIGHT, January 30, 2008, NY Sun)
For most Americans it is all but impossible to imagine a time when murder, torture, and intimidation — terrorism — determined our own elections.
But in the election violence of 1868–1876 during Reconstruction, we can find a homegrown brand of American terrorism that forever mars America's claims as a political model for the world. We have come a long way from the success of the "Red Shirts" in using terror to overthrow Reconstruction and black political liberty in South Carolina in 1876 to the victory of Barack Obama in that state's Democratic presidential primary this month.
I don't get it. Aren't we all the more a model because we overcame exactly the sorts of violent ethnic divisions that supposedly make other states unsuitable for democracy?
Posted by Orrin Judd at January 30, 2008 2:18 PM
Gun-grabbing got its big start in the Southern Restoration. Prior to the corrupt capitulation to the Klan, freedmen had been protecting themselves from the terrorists by exercising their constitutional right to keep and bear arms.
Before the corrupt bargain, Federal courts had been upholding the RBKA as a civil right protected by the 14th Amendment. Afterwards, the newly empowered Klan-legislatures moved quickly to grab the Negroes' guns.
The matter went to The U.S. Supreme Court in the infamous case of U.S. v. Cruikshank.http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=US&vol=92&invol=542
We should never fail to react with loathing and revulsion when modern-day gun-grabbers cite this case, as they do to this day, for the propositions that the Constitution does not guarantee an individual right to keep and bear arms and that this right is not to protected against state infringement by the 14th Amendment.
I hope that's not a parallel we want to see as edifying; that period was followed by the 1877
compact which withdrew union troops and lead to
Jim Crow for three quarters of a century: under
the new "Bourbon reformers" who were affiliated with the insurgents, through the Klan and later
the White Citizen's Council.