by Lanny Carruthers:
Part 5 of 6: Two Roosevelt’s, the New Deal Program/TVA, and Civil Rights Era.
Theodore Roosevelt in February 1, 1917, delivered a speech in which he said, “In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person’s becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American. There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn’t an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag. We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language… and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.” In the words of Professor Emeritus Dr. Clyde Wilson, “A pioneer creates a new country from foresight, courage, and hard work. An immigrant takes advantage of what the pioneer has created.” He goes on to say, “I suppose now we really are a nation of immigrants.”
In 1934 President Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “There is a much bigger situation behind the Tennessee Valley Authority…we are conducting a social experiment…we are going to come to a shack on the side of the mountain where there is a white man…who, with his family of children, is completely uneducated…and is progenitor of a large line of children for many generations to come… we are going to try to bring him some of the things he needs, like schools, electric lights and so on.” (Source: TVA and The Dispossessed: The Resettlement of Population in The Norris Dam Area). Resettlement could be interchanged with Reconstruction.
Any 6th grade level brain dead historian can read numerous articles in newspapers across the South and see that schools were already in existence. Here’s an article/editorial from a NW Alabama newspaper in the heart of the Tennessee Valley where the TVA was supposed to be headquartered by codified law. TVA is presently headquartered in Knoxville, TN instead of Muscle Shoals, AL. The editorial was published in 1895, almost 40 years prior to 1934. I was going to try and describe the irony that even relates to our present state of political affairs, but the short editorial can do so much more clearly than I can (click to enlarge).
Also look at another article regarding a women’s college operating in 1890.
So why was there a need of the New Deal to bring schools “to the side of the mountain?” “This side of the mountain” professes the Puritanical, Calvinistic view held by New Englanders that their form of society is superior to all other forms of society. Here FDR and accomplices viewed themselves being ordained to bring their ideas of necessity to the people of the mountain(s) aside from the desires of the people of the mountain(s) to determine their own need(s).
The part of FDR’s comment, “and so on” raises a red flag with me! This part is as ambiguous as the Democrats modern day wail of “social justice”. Both are left up to the interpretation of the beholder, just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I’ll let you determine the beauty of these two photos (click to enlarge):
Another New Deal related program in Greenhills, OH in the 1930s where a “planned community” with restrictions was constructed by the federal government. Restrictions, what? Government officials interviewed people (American citizens) to determine their moral character and make sure they would maintain the property. Sounds a lot like vetting. But I digress. Furthermore they were required to have a steady job that would pay today’s equivalent of $16,000-$40,000 a year. Only white families were accepted, though that was in an era when segregation was common. (A quote from the website…not personal characterization.) Google it! Last time I checked Ohio was part of the Union fighting the Confederacy. Why was this type of social experiment not attempted following the War to Prevent Southern Independence to integrate the black community and improve their way of life?
The Civil Rights Era was undoubtedly the most turbulent times in the country since the War to Prevent Southern Independence. I will not discuss the issue of civil rights, but will discuss the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The Act passed by Congress turned the legal principle of “innocent until proven guilty” on its head. The Act effectively allowed the U.S. Attorney General and Department of Justice to be prosecutor, judge and jury. Section 5 of the Act provided that jurisdictions covered by special provisions could not make any voting rights law changes in their state(s) without preclearance from the federal government. In other words, a polling place could not be closed and merged with another polling place without Department of Justice approval despite the initial polling place only attracted 2 voters in an election. In addition, the Attorney General could designate a county covered by these special provisions for the appointment of a federal examiner to review the qualifications of persons who wanted to register to vote. Further, in those counties where a federal examiner was serving, the Attorney General could request that federal observers monitor activities within the county’s polling place.
The Act also contained special provisions that effectively legalized profiling of those areas of the country with histories of racial discrimination. The Voting Rights Act did not include a provision codifying the prohibition of poll taxes, but had directed the Attorney General to challenge its use. Directing the Attorney General to perform any discretionary action is usually done through Executive Order and not through Congressional lawmaking. The Attorney General was effectively allowed to determine who qualified and suffered injury under the law of standing. The law of standing normally involves whether the plaintiff had suffered or is threatened with injury in fact at the time of the filing of the complaint, the law of mootness inquires whether events subsequent to the filing of suit have eliminated the controversy between the parties.
The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was signed into law by President Lyndon Baines Johnson (D). President Johnson launched a set of domestic programs titled The Great Society. These programs were designed to achieve the elimination of poverty and racial injustice. An Oval Office Tape recorded the following phone conversation with LBJ. I’ll let LBJ speak for himself:
The Act was enforced in its entirety for forty-eight years before the U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 split, ruled that the Voting Rights Act had achieved its main purpose (Shelby County v. Holder). Specifically, the Court overturned Section 4 of the Act, which laid out the formula for determining which states had to seek approval prior to enacting new voting laws. While Section 5 specifically addressed this requirement, the ruling on Section 4 renders Section 5 ineffective. Justice Ginsburg, argued “that attempts to restrict minority voting in many southern states is still rampant, citing efforts in many states to redraw district maps in order to minimize the will of minorities.” Justice Ginsburg espoused her opinion and a blanket statement without specific citation of examples introduced as evidence in the case before the court where a person or group of persons had suffered or was threatened with injury. She effectively declared guilt without evidence. Never mind the fact that the discriminatory immigration laws of the 1850s-1860s targeting blacks were never challenge by the U.S. Attorney General.
Many immigrants who have come to this country and refugees that have not been resettled to their respective countries have failed to assimilate to this country and its culture and traditions. Refugees are generally understood to be those who flee a country due to danger or persecution with the intent to return when conditions improve. Many Islamist immigrants and refugees have insisted on the imposition of Sharia Law in the United States. Islam and Sharia Law are totally incompatible with the laws and traditions of this country. In Minnesota, Islamists are demanding “Sharia pool days” where no men are allowed to afford women the ability to swim in public pools paid by taxpayer dollars without wearing a scarf. Many liberal, Democrat states are affording immigrants and refugees access to social programs, benefits and driver licenses the minute they enter their state. Many in the Islamic community are attempting to force one form of society upon another form of society.
If we are to remember and learn anything from the past we must acknowledge that the United States is on a collision course where different forms of society are being forced to assimilate.
Coming up next: Marriage, Gay Marriage, Marijuana, Wife Beater T-shirts, and Confederate Monuments…where we are today!
Lanny L. Carruthers is from Muscle Shoals, AL. A graduate of Auburn University with a degree in Political Science and also former College Republican Chairman. Carruthers is passionate about the Civil War particularly the political environment before and after the War and how the present is affected. “Trying to be or remain a Republican and (group) text messages will make you lose your religion.” – Lanny L. Carruthers