". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Friday, June 20, 2014

Longest Day of the Year, First Day of Summer - Campaign Weekend!

Among the mass of free-to-the-public activities offered this weekend is yoga in Times Square
We are already having the perfect summer solstice, first day of summer weekend, weather-wise. This June perfection is predicted to remain through the weekend. Which, as we have plans, which include a gathering of the Haitian music tribes, is appreciated.  Thank you Weather Magistrates!

In the meantime, what kickstarted my system into existence this morning was seeing this through the waiting-or-tea-to-steep blur, was "Cochran Asking Blacks to Rescue Him in Republican Primary" in the New York Times:

Republican needs black votes to defeat his t-bagger opponent, in Mississippi, where black voters are so overwhelmingly Democrat that finding a black repub is statistically irrelevant.  Not to mention that repubs, not merely the extreme t-bagger sorts, have been working their hineys off to suppress black voting all together.  Yet this campaign, the Mississippi Republican party is funding serious outreach into the black communities on the behalf of Mr. Cochran.*

It made me laugh out loud, i.e. kickstarting the system.

Still, the situation is serious, as expressed by one African American voter who expects to turn out for Cochran:
Mr. Cochran’s challenge in reaching black voters was evident as he stumped last week before crowds that were almost entirely white. Talamieka Brice, 33, a small-business owner in Ridgeland, Miss., was one of the few African-Americans in the crowd. She said she had not been impressed by either campaign’s outreach to African-Americans but planned to vote for Mr. Cochran in the runoff — in part because Mr. McDaniel’s focus on “Mississippi values” worries her.
“Traditionally, things that have been associated with Mississippi values and what the state stands for are things that are not good for minorities,” she said. “That scares me.”
What I particularly appreciated in the article was the t-baggers' financiers - organizers' response to Cochran's hopeful strategy here, that it proved how liberal he'd become, that he was now a Democrat.


* By the way, in our currently crazy poisonous political atmosphere, surely every state can point to equally startling reversal among allies of one kind and another.
I was trying to make clear that I'm not picking on Mississippi.  I hope it doesn't sound like that.  What I am doing though, is seeing the past repeated in the present, following William Faulkner's informed vision.

For reasons I'm not that clear about as yet, but want to be, this is easier to see the repetitions with (some) southern states than (some) states in the north and west. The political history of my long-time resident state is so labyrinthian that Byzantium's seem easily understood in comparison.  It's been that way here since the days the Dutch ran it and were making huge fortunes in furs, land and carry trade.  There's no way to make sense of our state's politics to anyone who hasn't studied it for a long time, which I have, off and on, and I still can't follow many of  the clues to the end.  But one thing is clear -- it's always been about Really Great Big Money, and who gets the patronage, i.e. control, of dispensing it in the very many ways it can get dispensed in our state -- while keeping the largest percentage for the dispenser. Political patronage is the key.

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