Roger WilliamsIf you have any memory of learning about him in school, you likely remember Roger Williams as the founder of Rhode Island.
America's First Progressive
America's First Progressive
In 1636 Williams (c. 1603-1683), an English Reformed theologian, was expelled by our celebrated founding Pilgrim bigotry leaders from the Massachusetts Bay Colony because local Puritans, who we celebrate each year at Thanksgiving thought that he was spreading "new and dangerous ideas" to his congregants. His views on religious freedom and tolerance, coupled with his disapproval of the practice of confiscating land from Native Americans, resulted in his fleeing the Massachusetts colony under the threat of impending arrest and shipment to an English prison.
Williams and his followers purchased land from the Narragansett Indians and established a new colony governed by the principles of religious liberty and separation of church and state. Offering freedom of conscience, Rhode Island became a haven for Baptists, Quakers, Jews and other religious minorities.
If you are like most Americans, you probably did not remember much about Williams, America's First Progressive and one of the first abolitionists in North America. On the other hand you probably remember that by 1692 the traditional real American folks in Salem, Massachusetts - the ones Williams had to flee from - held their Witch Trials.
And thus before Eleanor Roosevelt, before Teddy Roosevelt, in fact 250 years before the "Progressive Era", the Progressive tradition of defending human rights against the bigoted silent majority began in America. And by 1790 it was the bigotry that was institutionalized as the United States.
The first six listed plus Pennsylvania were not slave states. Slavery was legal in the other nine states. At the time of its founding, in most of the states of the United States by population and area, slavery was a legal institution and was recognized as so in the United States Constitution.
It was no random happenstance that the columns containing numbers in order of listing are:
- Free white Males of 16 years and upwards,
- Free white Males under15 years,
- Free white Females, including heads of families,
- All other free persons,
- Slaves, and
It is also a fact that of the first 18 Presidents, 8 (in red) owned slaves during their Presidency, 5 (in purple) owned slaves some other time in their lives (slavery was illegal during the post-Civil-War terms of Johnson and Grant), 5 (in blue) never owned slaves:
- George Washington
- John Adams
- Thomas Jefferson
- James Madison
- James Monroe
- John Quincy Adams
- Andrew Jackson
- Martin Van Buren
- William Henry Harrison
- John Tyler
- James K. Polk
- Zachary Taylor
- Millard Fillmore
- Franklin Pierce
- James Buchanan
- Abraham Lincoln
- Andrew Johnson
- Ulysses S. Grant
So why the "Pacific" in The Progressive Pacific Message?
In 2016 leaders of both major political parties and a vast majority of the States openly embraced a 21st Century attack on the human rights of the people of the Pacific States.
Within the Statement of Obligations and Rights of People and their States of the Progressive Pacific Message are the following:
A "nationality" is the legal relationship between a person and a state which affords the state legal jurisdiction over the person and affords the person the legal protection of the state; gaining "citizenship" status assures a person the right to participate in government through voting and standing for election to office.The right to a "nationality" separate from "citizenship" comes from Article 15 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights ratified by the world after World War II, the deadliest military conflict in world history in absolute terms of total casualties. Over 60 million people were killed, which was about 3% of the 1940 world population.
Within these United States of America it is understood that "state" refers separately to the federal government, each of the 50 state governments, and the various territorial governments; therefore a person derives a nationality relationship from the state or territory in which they reside, and incidentally from the United States of America.
If at any time the government of the United States of America acts to deprive persons of one or more of their rights recognized herein, individual state and territorial governments through which those persons derive nationality by virtue of their residency shall afford such persons the protection of their rights; if at any time the government of any individual state or territory acts to deprive such persons of one or more of their rights recognized herein, the government of the United States of America shall afford such persons the protection of their rights.
The brother of Republican Senator Orin G. Hatch of Utah was among the 420,000 U.S. troops who died in battle in WWII. Ostensibly, they were sent to war to assure that all humans would have the right to the Four Freedoms.
But just 75 years later, U.S. politics have become so "un-Progressive" that, after a recent white racist incident in Virginia where Donald Trump appeared to be defending Neo-Nazis, Senator Hatch lamented: “We should call evil by its name. My brother didn’t give his life fighting Hitler for Nazi ideas to go unchallenged here at home.”
As noted in a previous post, in 1803 the Louisiana Purchase faced considerable opposition and was nearly defeated in the House of Representatives where the vote was 59–57. The oppostion feared the new citizens in the West whose economic priorities were bound to conflict with those of the states along Atlantic Seaboard and vehemently did not want to grant citizenship to the French, Spanish, and free black people living in New Orleans as the treaty required.
Those who in 1803 made up that 49% vote against the Louisiana Purchase would today say "We told you so!" Here are some facts about the Pacific States:
- Less than a third of the population of Hawaii has an exclusive white or black heritage as most of the population has an Asian, Native Hawaiian, or Other Pacific Islander heritage.
- California has more than 6 million residents who are Asian or Asian American and more than 16 million residents who are Hispanic, totaling to more than half the state's population. Those two California demographic groups total to more people than the total population of any other state but Texas (which itself does not have a white majority population).
- About 27% of California's population is foreign born - that's about 10.2 million people, more people than live in each of the 39 least populous states, more people than live in the 11 smallest states combined. In contrast, the Rust Belt states of Indiana and Ohio only have 5% of their population foreign born, while Michigan has 7%, Pennsylvania 8%.
- About a fifth of the population of Washington and Oregon has a Hispanic, American Indian, Asian, or Pacific Islander heritage.
- In total within the Pacific states:
- Only 45.7% of the population was Non-Hispanic White in 2015;
- Hispanics made up 32.0% of the population;
- Non-Hispanic Asians made up 12.6%;
- At 1.2%, the indigenous peoples - American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, or Other Pacific Islander - totaled to more than the total population of each of three states east of the Transcontinental Divide: North Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming;
- Non-Hispanic Blacks were 4.9% of the population.
At this point it needs to be made clear that the term "Hispanic" is not reflective of anything other than the legal Spanish language spoken in one's ancestors' countries of origin in the Americas. But even then, Spaniards from Spain are not Hispanic. The bigotry expressed in the United States against Hispanics derives not from the language spoken, but from where the immigrants come from and it is because of their race.
In Honduras 97% of the population has indigenous Native American blood. In Guatemala, 80%. In Nicaragua, 74%.
Or to put it another way, almost all of the immigrants who cross the Mexican-U.S. border have indigenous Amerindian blood - Native Americans, the indigenous race against which the white folks east of the Transcontinental Divide engaged in government-sanctioned systematic genocide creating the largest genocide victim group in world history.
Much like those Founding Fathers who embraced the U.S. North Atlantic culture that included slavery and genocide, many in the U.S. continue aggressively to engage in bigotry and hatred towards those with an African and/or indigenous Native American heritage including immigrants from other countries south of the U.S. in the Americas such as Mexicans and Central Americans.
To put it bluntly, when the President of the United States attacks people whose ethnicity is Hispanic, to those in the Pacific States he is attacking a third of our people and might as well be attacking those whose ethnicity derives from Sweden, Wales or France. To put it bluntly, when the President of the United States defends police officers shooting black citizens for no justifiable reason, he is attacking 13% of the American population and 2.7 million Pacific State residents and might as well be attacking those whose race derives from Norway, Ireland or Germany.
From a Pacific State point of view, the majority of voters in Ohio or Georgia who share President Trump's bigotry are of another culture, perhaps akin to Germany in 1938. That attitude isn't just unacceptable, it is deplorable.
For Progressives, that bigotry passed down from generation-to-generation is a cultural attitude that must be erased because it is a denial of the first Article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood."
Finally, one recent attack on a Pacific State person must be included if only to point out just how well the U.S. indoctrination system can teach American tradition lies that have their sustaining foundation in that 1803 anti-Louisiana Purchase 49% vote.
About that Star Spangled Banner National Anthem
Let us consider an example of a deplorable situation in which a Pacific State citizen - Colin Kaepernick - effectively has been ostracized from his NFL career by deplorable Americans either...
- because their education has left them ignorant of American history or
- because they are racist
Kaepernick does have a 21st Century anti-racism protest cause. But....
It was 1814, during the War of 1812, when the British attacked these United States, including the slave state of Maryland, where the verses of the song were written by Francis Scott Key. Consider the following history from a Smithsonian article:
In 1814, Key was a slaveholding lawyer from an old Maryland plantation family, who thanks to a system of human bondage had grown rich and powerful.So now let's at look some lines in the final two verses of the Star Spangled Banner, versus you don't know and we deliberately don't sing for fear some literate 10-year-old among us might ask questions. Consider carefully the words highlighted in italics:
When he wrote the poem that would, in 1931, become the national anthem and proclaim our nation “the land of the free,” like Jefferson, Key not only profited from slaves, he harbored racist conceptions of American citizenship and human potential. Africans in America, he said, were “a distinct and inferior race of people, which all experience proves to be the greatest evil that afflicts a community."
No refuge could save the hireling and slaveThe British attackers had many American ex-slaves in their ranks, persons who had been promised liberty and demanded to be placed in the battle line "where they might expect to meet their former masters."
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave,
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave,
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
O thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
After the U.S. and the British signed a peace treaty at the end of 1814, the Americans - trying to make America great again - demanded the return of American “property,” which by that point numbered about 6,000 people. The British refused and helped the former slaves settle in Canada, with some going to Trinidad.
In context of the century, Key understood that the British were free. In fact the only persons who weren't free were slaves, including those he owned. Quite literally in his mind and in his words, the star-spangled banner was the flag of "the freemen" not that "distinct and inferior race of people" he owned. And so he clearly wrote "O thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand."
Why would anyone expect descendants of slaves to stand when that song is being played? In fact, why would anyone with a conscience stand? In fact, why is that the National Anthem of the United States?
By all means, everyone proudly sing that poem of bigotry and hatred at every important event here in
Kaepernick is from a Progressive Pacific State so no wonder he gets it right. And it's time for the rest of the United States population to get it right. It's time we force a blunt, honest, full, and open discussion about these human rights issues that particularly impact on the majority of Pacific States people.
It's time that Americans learn that history matters and they need to acknowledge just how big the lie they've been told about American history has been. For instance....
Most Americans sort of recognize this from the Declaration of Independence:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.The governments in the colonies allowed only white male property owners to vote - that was the "consent" of that part of "the governed" who were formally recognized by the very people who signed the Declaration.
With regard to all men are created equal with all those cool unalienable rights, the male slave owners signing the Declaration agreed that all men - other than slaves and Native Americans and other different folks and women - had those rights.
In a curious truth, slaveowner Thomas Jefferson included in his draft of the Declaration...
he [the King] has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating it's most sacred rights of life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating and carrying them into slavery in another hemispere, or to incure miserable death in their transportation hither. this piratical warfare, the opprobium of infidel powers, is the warfare of the Christian king of Great Britain....which was regarded by fellow Founding Fathers as an anti-slavery rant and was dropped like a hot potato.
Then there is the preamble of the Constitution which says:
We the People of the United States, in Order to...secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.Again, at the time of its founding in most of the United States (by area and population as you can see from the graphics above) the only persons allowed to vote were white male property owners. The Constitution provided for slavery and the separation of the Native Americans, so that "We the People" was a very closely defined group.
It is in this context that the 21st Century Progressive must ask:
Is it possible for that portion of the population that supported Donald Trump to accept a society of equitable communities which permit every person the opportunity to pursue personal productive goals while sharing with all other humans equality in personal dignity and human rights while enjoying freedom with responsibility?Because that is the goal of the Progressive Pacific Message, it is not acceptable to continue the government-sanctioned bigotry reflected by such things as the Trump Administration's Neoliberal ideology and "The Wall" or the Clinton Administration's "Third Way" ideology and mass incarceration program.
Our people must be defended against these attacks.
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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT
THE PROGRESSIVE PACIFIC MESSAGE