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The white-Left Part 1: The two meanings of white

Sunday, November 12, 2017

This is why they #StandWithRoyMoore: Acceptance of pedophillia in the South is a legacy of slavery @MooreSenate is an attack on all women ‏

If you want to understand this:
Alabama’s GOP governor says she plans to vote for Roy Moore

By Michael Scherer and Sean Sullivan November 17 at 6:49 PM
MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) said Friday that she plans to vote for embattled GOP nominee Roy Moore for Senate, even as she said she has “no reason to disbelieve” the women who have accused him of sexual misconduct. More...
You need to read this:

While some people were surprised by the allegation that Alabama Republican Senatorial candidate Judge Roy Moore attempted to date a 14 year old girl in 1979 when he was 32, many more were shocked by how many of his Alabama supporters seemed to be willing to defend, or even accept, what is essentially a charge of pedophillia, or child sexual assault, in the candidate they hope will represent them in the Senate.

To understand why many Southern whites find acceptable, behaviour which would be considered deviant and criminal in most parts of the United States, one must understand the role that Antebellum slavery played in cultivating a culture of sexual abuse and pedophillia in the South.

Before the Civil War, forcing frequent and casual sex on young girl slaves was a prized white privilege of the Southern culture they built on the backs of their slaves. It's no accident that the age of consent is only 16 in all the former Confederate states but Louisiana, Florida, Virginia, Tennessee and Texas. Before the women's movement forced a change around 1920, it had been 12 or even 10 in the former Confederate states.

The sexual submission of female slaves was one-hundred percent expected. The slave codes did not recognize the crime of rape for African American women, free or slave. It was considered that they could not be violated because they were already "impure." It was white supremacist mythology that they were promiscuous, so it didn't matter. It was law that they had no rights a white man was bound to respect. When the woman raped belong to another master, it was considered a property crime with damages paid to the slave's owner, the rape victim wasn't even owed an apology. The African American slave woman was considered property with no more right to control her own body and sexuality than a draught animal. This is the culture the white South still celebrates with its statue of Lee and his horse in the town square. Robert E. Lee had the passion to whip young girls himself even when his regular slave-whipper refused. Put a statue of that in the park!

Gloria Sonnen of Bowdoin College writes about The Sexual Abuses Suffered by Female Slaves:
Slave women were forced to comply with sexual advances by their masters on a very regular basis. Consequences of resistance often came in the form of physical beatings; thus, an enormous number of slaves became concubines for these men.
Slavery made rape socially acceptable so long as the woman being raped, either slave or free, was of African descent [or a slave*]. Slavery also made rape profitable. Once slave trading had been banned, the slave owner relied on the reproductive services of slave women to replenish his stock. Usually, this involved forced sex. The owner might choose what he considered a good bull among the male slaves to mate with one of his prime breeders. Former slaves Sam and Louisa Everett told how it was, “if their master thought that a certain man and women might have strong, healthy offspring, he forced them to have sexual relations, even though they were married to other slaves.” This was double rape. Often, the slave owner would impregnate the poor girl himself. This was rape, completely legal, with a very tangible and profitable return. A slave of proven fertility was more valuable, and a pregnant slave would bid a higher price at auction.

One can never fully understand the strong objections to the right to an abortion that comes from this region without seeing the link to his long tradition of denying a woman any control over her own body or reproductive choices. Rape was an essential part of the Southern way of life Moore celebrates in his campaign.  This is the culture Roy Moore celebrates when he adorns his office with busts of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson.

Rape is, first and foremost, an exercise in power. The master used sex as another way to enforce his authority over the slaves, both male and female. Rape and sexual assault were much more demeaning to the slaves than other forms of torture such as flogging. Sex put to that purpose was of the most sadistic kind. It was designed to take away slaves dignity, privacy and any sense of family life. A black man had to experience the reality that his woman could be raped in front of him by any white man who chose to do so, and there was nothing he could do about it on pain of death. He could not protect her from sexual abuse. The slave system systematically sought to emasculate black men and take away their role as protectors of women. Now culture has turned that historical reality on its head with the white male sexual fantasy of racial cuckoldry.

While most women think their beauty a blessing and seek to enhance it, slavery turned even this on its head. Of the slave child,  ex-slave, Harriet A. Jacobs said “if God has bestowed beauty upon her [the female slave], it will prove her greatest curse.” Some female slaves were sold exclusively for the purpose of concubinage. Just as the Japanese fascists had their Korean "comfort women," the Southern gentlemen had their African American “fancy maids,” attractive female slaves that lived in the big house so that she could be sexually available to her master right under the nose of his white wife. *Robert E. Lee's "Slave Ledgers" reveal that before the Civil War he sent bounty hunters North to kidnap people to work as slaves on his plantation, including girls described as "white looking" to serve as "fancy maids." Sexual practises and morals born in the slave quarters crossed the color-line and furthered the oppression of all women.

Slaves resisted this behaviour. While the records are understandably shallow on these questions, we do know of one case in which the female slave fought back, but with fatal consequences for both her and her master. In the 1850's John Newsome of Callaway County, Missouri purchased Celia, then 14 years old. Newsome raped her repeatedly, causing her to bear two of his children. After years of sexual abuse, she had finally had enough. According court records “On the night of June 23, 1855, Newsome made his last demand. As he approached Celia in her cabin, she hit him with a stick, causing him to fall to his death.” Celia was tried and hung on December 21, 1855. She was then 19 years old.

Another slave told how no woman, either black or white, could restraint the white man's behaviour:
“In them times white men wen [went] with colored gals and women bold[ly]. Any time they saw one and wanted her, she had to go with him, and his wife didn’t say nothin’ bout it.”
The Southern belle may not have had the power to stop her man from raping other women, but she still had the power to make that woman pay dearly. Consider the following story from a slave's memoirs:
"Maria was a thirteen-year-old house servant. One day, receiving no response to her call, the mistress began searching the house for her. Finally, she opened the parlor door, and there was the child with her master. The master ran out of the room, mounted his horse and rode off to escape, 'though well he knew that [his wife's] full fury would fall upon the young head of his victim.' The mistress beat the child and locked her up in a smokehouse. For two weeks the girl was constantly whipped. Some of the elderly servants attempted to plead with the mistress on Maria's behalf, and even hinted that 'it was mass'r that was to blame.' The mistress's reply was typical: 'She'll know better in the future. After I've done with her, she'll never do the like again, through ignorance'" (Stanley Felstein, Once a Slave: The Slaves' View of Slavery, p.132).
Alabama GOP State Rep. Ed Henry also found a way to blame victim in the Roy Moore case.  He told The Cullman Times
“If they believe this man is predatory, they are guilty of allowing him to exist for 40 years. I think someone should prosecute and go after them.”
Harriet A. Jacobs
This remembrance by Jacobs, speaks volumes about what these practices did to the culture and how it was used to brand all African American women as "whores":
I once saw two beautiful children playing together. One was a fair white child; the other was her slave, and also her sister…The fair child grew up to be a still fairer woman. From childhood to womanhood her pathway was blooming with flowers, and overarched by a sunny sky… How had those years dealt with her slave sister, the little playmate of her childhood? She, also, was very beautiful; but the flowers and sunshine of love were not for her. She drank the cup of sin, and shame, and misery, whereof her persecuted race are compelled to drink.
That same feeling of abashment was felt by Roy Moore's victim in 1979, as she recounted to the Washington Post:
“I felt responsible, I felt like I had done something bad. And it kind of set the course for me doing other things that were bad.”
Slavery made sex with children easy for the masters of the old Dominion. There were no rules. A UK national archives report on the childhood of slaves states:
The trauma of sexual abuse is also a difficult subject to quantify. Sensibilities of the time and the fact that abolition was often associated with religious organisations means that sexual abuse of girls was often only alluded to in veiled terms and sexual abuse of boys was almost never mentioned. The dangers of sexual exploitation are only too obvious with slave children being seen as chattels with no legal protection. The fact that sexuality appears to have rarely discussed also left slave children ignorant and vulnerable to abuse. If the issue of forced marriage of slaves is included in this category along with coercion into sexual activity for preferential treatment, it is easy to see how sexual abuse could be seen as endemic in slave children’s lives
Southern culture explains why Judge Roy Moore could feel comfortable hitting on a child of 14, that was about the age that a female slave was expected to be available to all white men. Again Jacobs relates:
The slave girl is reared in an atmosphere of licentiousness and fear…When she is 14 or 15, her owner, or his sons, or the overseer, or perhaps all of them, begin to bribe her with presents. If these fail to accomplish their purpose, she is whipped or starved into submission to their will.
No lesser band than the Rolling Stones memorialized this aspect of Southern culture in one of the greatest rock and roll hits [pun intended] of all time:


Gold Coast slave ship bound for cotton fields
Sold in the market down in New Orleans
Scarred old slaver knows he's doin' all right
Hear him whip the women just around midnight

Brown Sugar, how come you taste so good
Brown Sugar, just like a young girl should

Drums beatin' cold, English blood runs hot
Lady of the house wonderin' when it's gonna stop
House boy knows that he's doin' all right
You should have heard him just around midnight
The South became the most "Christian" part of the United States precisely because its enterprise was the most sinful. The Bible was widely used to condone slavery and then, as now, white Southerners would hypocritically marshal the Scriptures to justify even the rape of children. Alabama state auditor Jim Zeigler defended Moore's sins with Biblical references:
"Zechariah was extremely old to marry Elizabeth and they became the parents of John the Baptist. Also take Joseph and Mary. Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus. There's just nothing immoral or illegal here. Maybe just a little bit unusual."

In a typical outburst of conservative Christian sentiment, Roy Moore told Talking Points Memo:
"People are getting killed in the streets. Chicago has the highest murder rate you can imagine. All across our land we have child abuse, we have sodomy, we have murder, we have rape, we have all kind of immoral things happening because we have forgotten God.”
Southern white racists have a long history of cloaking the sins of their very corrupt and profitable system in the trappings of Christian morality. As an Alabama prosecutor, Moore said he spent his time convicting “murderers, rapists, thieves and drug pushers,” so I'm sure he did more than his part to maintain the South's system of racial oppression between sermons.

When the struggle to raise the age of consent finally erupted in the 1920's, some whites argued that it should be lower for the South, saying African American women "matured earlier." This was a common myth about non-white people. Some even had the audacity to stretch the bunk science to the point where they claimed that white girls living in sub-tropical climates "ripened" into women earlier.

Another factor that seemed to propel, if not justify, certain sexual practises outside of marriage in the Antebellum South is the fact that most marriages among the slave owning class were arranged marriages. The children of the planters couldn't marry for love. That is one right the slaves had that they didn't. Their marriages were arranged by their parents to consolidate estates and build family power. We can see just how little things have changed when Judge Moore brags that he would never "date" an underage girl without getting the permission of her mother first. He seems to think that makes it alright.

Debbie Wesson Gibson ~17
The mother of Debbie Wesson Gibson was one such mother. In 1981, when her 17 year old daughter asked her mother what she thought of her dating a man twice her age, her mother asked who the man was. When the daughter said it was Roy Moore, already a big fish in the county, her mother said“I’d say you were the luckiest girl in the world.” How different is that from the slave mother that would encourage her daughter to willingly lie down with their master in the hopes of winning better treatment for her and her family? How much has really changed?

Those that find it hard to see how white Southern evangelists and Republicans can reconcile their Christian morality with their support for Roy Moore's pedophillia need to understand that Southerners have been honing that hypocritic art since the first day they started calling themselves "white," which was about 1670. Labeling themselves with that symbol of innocence and enlightenment was, and remains, at the core of their racist trickery.


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4 comments:

  1. Correction: Texas was a Confederate state and the age of consent here is 17.

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  2. I was born and raised in Mississippi. I'm a lawyer and I am a liberal Democrat. Your assumption that Southerners in general are accepting of pedophilla is simply not true. All US States put their age of consent somewhere from 16 to 18. In Canada the age of consent is 16. How do you explain that? When I first started practicing law in the 80s, in Mississippi sex with a girl under the age of 14 was a capital offense punishable by death. Death is no longer the penalty, but sex with someone under 18 is a felony, and the younger the girl the more severe the penalty. Your theory is a nice one, but it simply is not supported by the facts.

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    1. I agree with you that the age of consent issue is probably the weakest part of my argument. That is why you attack it. But I still think it adds to the overall case. With regards to the South acceptance of pedophilia, my piece doesn't argue that because current events make that self-evident. As of this morning a 5th woman was come forward, the 2nd to allege that Bible-thumping Judge Roy Moore sexually assaulted her as a minor and ALs 7 congressmen are still supporting him. My piece is an attempt to given some historical context to why this is the case.

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