“Some have debated whether we should view the groundswell of support for Donald Trump through the lens of white supremacy or fascism, but we can also understand it through the framework of nativism, the doctrine of prioritizing the interests of the native-born over those of immigrants. Nativism has a long and ugly history in the United States, in which the ascendency of Donald Trump and his supporters is just the latest chapter. Here… we study nativism from its origins to the current day, tracing the common threads that connect all the ways the rich have preyed on the fears and prejudices of the exploited to turn them against those worse off than themselves.”
Musical Interludes: Indigo Girls – Shame on You
30:24 – Delusions of Progress: Tracing the Origins of the Police in the Slave Patrols of the Old South – by Neal Shirley & Saralee Stafford – MP3 – Text – Archive – Torrent – YouTube
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The following was originally written for Scalawag, a magazine of southern culture and politics, with the aim of contributing to ongoing discussions of where the institution of police comes from and how it might be destroyed. While many have a general awareness that American policing has its origins in slave patrols, we found some of the specifics of how and when that transition occurred to be illuminating and worthy of looking at in greater detail.
“These are just some of the questions attending to the history of slavery and policing, as those forces continue to haunt both normal, daily life as well as the increasingly common moments where that normality is ruptured in some way. But slavery doesn’t just hover in the background like a spectre from another century; it actively tells us who we are and where our loyalties lie, it distinguishes the dead from the living, it holds the keys to prison cells and patrols our streets.”