charlottesville rally Alex Milan Tracy/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

America’s Ongoing Civil War

Racial politics in the United States, both before and after the end of slavery, has blocked the emergence of a class politics that would unite poor whites and poor blacks in a demand for more public services. So what will happen when, by around 2045, non-Hispanic whites become a minority of the total population?

NEW YORK –America continues be in a state of civil war. Not just a civil war, but the civil war. In the first round, back in the 1860s, the Confederacy lost. Yet now the Confederacy is temporarily on top. The United States remains one country divided by two cultures.

From the start, the US has been a battleground of two competing visions. America’s founding credo was that “all men are created equal.” Yet the founding reality was that white males were far more equal than everyone else. White men owned slaves, denied the vote to women, and took the lands and lives of native Americans.

During the 1861-1865 Civil War, the slaveholding Confederacy, formed by 13 secessionist states, was defeated by 19 northern states and then occupied by the federal government for a dozen years. Yet after “Reconstruction” ended in 1877, the South vigorously practiced systemic racism for almost a century, until the US Congress enacted the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act, mainly with the support of northern Democrats. From that moment, Southern white voters deserted the Democratic Party en masse. The Republicans embraced the so-called Southern strategy, based on resisting the rise of African-Americans and other minority groups and opposing legislation that would transfer any funds, status, or power to them.

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