604: Slavery in modern times

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Not all Civil War monuments celebrate slavery – many memorialize the Americans who served and died, whose relatives raised the money to erect a memorial in their honor, as a remembrance of lives lost in armed conflict. There is nothing stopping others (whose views and memories are different) from raising the funds and erecting new memorials that reflect their differing views. There is room to coexist.

I come from that part of the USA that has a unique history. We are the only American citizens to suffer defeat in armed combat – if you don’t count the recent military “actions” that were never rightfully called a war, even though Americans also fought and died there in armed conflict, too.

Georgia (and her Confederate sisters) was defeated. Yankees still to this day call what we did in those times as “treason,” although no Southerner calls what we did (honorably seceding from the federal union), treason. Many southerners fought that war for state’s rights, since many (most) southerners were not wealthy enough to even own slaves – what we are continually told (lectured) was the sole cause of that conflict. If the North thought the South committed treason when they seceded, perhaps freeing the slaves was not the sole reason they fought, either. Especially considering that when they freed the slaves, they did not promote them to equal status even in their own self-righteous northern homelands. Even into the 1960’s, a white boarding house owner in Green Bay, Wisconsin (among other northern states) was not allowed, by law, to rent a room to a colored man, even if he *was* a team member of the Green Bay Packers that they were all ostensibly so proud of.

My Wisconsin-born husband tells me gleefully about when the other sports fans disdainfully referred to his Green Bay Packer fans as “cheeseheads,” and how they  took that slur and made it a point of pride for the Packer nation. And he completely and willfully ignores how the term “Rebel” came to be a point of pride for oppressed Southerners during the very long years of Reconstruction that the entire region suffered under the hands of rapacious Yankees and the low-life Southern-born who sucked up to them, and who should have been raised better. Blacks like to claim that the repercussions of slavery still resonate today – and that, to a large extent, is still true for Southern people of whatever skin color.

LEGAL slavery ended in the USA as a result of the defeat of the Confederacy – and states’ rights died there, too. Slavery in modern times is primarily economic (overlooking the recent horrific actions of the Islamic State). Modern slaves are those people who, through economic need, are forced to submit to providing their labor for less than a living wage. I’ve been hearing a lot (from liberals, primarily) about how illegal aliens are beneficial to the USA economy and their illegal status should be overlooked and forgiven because they take the jobs no American citizen will take.

Well, DUH.

What do you think the South’s primary reason for importing forced labor (slaves) into the cotton and tobacco fields (labor-intensive cash crops) was, idjits? They were imported to perform necessary work that few free Americans would take, because the work was not worth the wages. That legal slavery wasn’t a whole lot different from the sharecropping that white and black Americans did, and it wasn’t much different from laying those railroad tracks across the West that the Asians did, and it wasn’t much different from the coal mining that the Irish immigrants and poor whites did. It was economic slavery. And now, in your enlightened liberal minds (ha!), you want to PROMOTE economic slavery for a whole new crop of human beings who happen to be primarily Hispanic.

Yeah right – we can be SOOOOOO proud of our self-righteous humanitarian progress in the USA, can’t we?

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586: OOPS…

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I am ashamed that I have not cheered you on as I should have done when you were awarded an honor (and I was not).

I admit, my first thought was how will this work, when you are, and I am not? How will it fit, and how will we fit with it?

I did not demonstrate to you (like I think I should have) that I was proud of you for being wanted, at least not as much as I think it deserved, because I was thinking about me, us, and how it all would work out.

I apologize, and please know that I am cheering for you. Congratulations! You deserve it!

574: Those Who Are Important

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There are those people who are important

to me, and those who are important to you.

I trust your judgment even when

I do not trust those who are important to you.

In this, this important life that lives between us, I am not central and

you are not central. The life that lives between us, and binds us heart-to-heart,

is central.

Because of you, I choose to respect those who are important to you,

to honor the life between us.

To honor you.

499: Inevitable

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You are the man.

The drive, the force, the strength.

I am the woman.

The receptacle, the pliable, the resilient.

You are mine

in the way that I am yours.

We blend

magnificently.

What I am complements what you are.

What you need, I seek to supply.

What I need, you supply.

We feed each other

in a daily dance of respect and honor.

You lead me to the great I Am.

I lead you to the well.

We share, each other.

We share, worship.

We share, sacrament.

We share.

478: Why?

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Because you are breathing, and life isn’t always fair. Because there are lessons you are supposed to learn from this, and you haven’t learned them yet, or you would not be going through this again. Because there is a reason that you can’t see, and this time, the lesson is that you are supposed to have faith and trust that God knows best for you. Even if it hurts.

Because it is for the good of someone else, not you this time. Because you are strong enough to take it, and come out victorious on the other side, even if it does not feel that way right now. Because you made a less-than wise (OK, butt-ugly, dumb, and stupid) decision and must now suffer the consequences of your own haste/poor judgment/desires. Because the universe and the planets aligned and it was simply your turn. Because you were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Because you deserved it (ouch). Because karma made that big circle, and your chickens are coming home to roost. Because you were good and noble and the world does not always honor that. Because it is a sacrifice. Because it is an honor. Because you love. Because you live.

Pick one.

258: Trust and Honor

Trust and honor are words.

They reflect ways of thinking and acting ethically

even when others don’t.

Trust can be killed –

and when it has been, resurrecting it

is a miracle of time and hard work.

Honor cannot be killed.

It can be betrayed

Portrayed

as true when it is not.

Both trust and honor are earned

by those who revere them

and betrayed

by those who don’t.