Day 284: No Compromises

John Kelly is the latest member of the Trump administration to say something stupid about the Civil War.

In an interview with Laura Ingraham of Fox News, Kelly praised Robert E. Lee as an “honorable man” (not true at all) and blamed a “lack of compromise” for starting the Civil War.

Lack of compromise on what exactly? Because there were lots of compromises on the fate of slaves before the Civil War.

For starters, there was the three-fifths compromise at the 1787 United States Constitutional Convention, where it was agreed that slaves would count as three-fifths of a person when it came to the census. The Missouri Compromise in 1820 established Missouri as a slave state, with Maine admitted to the union as a free state, to keep the balance of power between free and slave states.

It also ignored all of the compromises made after the civil war, when, despite possessing the same constitutional protections as whites, people of color continued to suffer from the reign of terror of white supremacy in this country: the KKK, the terror of white mobs in incidents like the Black Wall Street, the Dred Scott case, segregation and Jim Crow laws, just to name a few “compromises” that people of color have had to make for hundreds of years.

It is an American tragedy that this needs to be said over and over again, but there should be NO compromises when it comes to the basic inalienable rights of people in the United States. There should be NO debate about who gets to vote, who gets to work, who gets to receive an education. There should be NO room for discussion on these rights and it is outrageous that anyone would suggest otherwise.

Yet, that is exactly what Kelly, who joined the military to defend American values, did last night. And it is what his boss continues to do on a daily basis.

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