“In August 1791, after two years of the French Revolution and its repercussions in San Domingo, the slaves revolted. The struggle lasted for 12 years. The slaves defeated in turn the local whites and the soldiers of the French monarchy, a Spanish invasion, a British expedition of some 60,000 men, and a French expedition of similar size under Bonaparte’s brother-in-law.”
– pg. ix, THE BLACK JACOBINS (Preface to the First Edition), by C. L. R. James, Vintage Books, New York
“A specter was haunting the slave-holding republic — the specter of an invading army of vengeful Africans.”
“‘Lamentable!’ cried George Washington in response to what he described as the unfortunate insurrection of the Negroes in Hispaniola. The president of the fledgling nation was anxious. This is understandable, particularly given the huge population of restive enslaved Africans that inhabited his own nation and the propensity of these bonded workers to unite across borders.”
– pg. 7, CONFRONTING BLACK JACOBINS, by Gerald Horne, Monthly Review Press, New York
Congressional hearings began in Washington on Tuesday morning with respect to the attack on the Capitol building on January 6 this year by a mob of Donald Trump supporters who had been worked up by the Donald himself in a speech just before they invaded the Capitol, where the process of certifying the November presidential victory of Joe Biden over Trump was taking place.
Four police officers who had been defending the Capitol building and the elected officials inside on January 6 gave evidence which was aired live by most American television stations, including the pro-Trump FOX News.
Trump was the incumbent President who had been defeated, and so the events of January 6 appeared to represent his attempt to hold on to power by disrupting the electoral college process of certifying Biden’s victory. In a sense, I suggest, the Trump supporters’ attack on the Capitol on January 6, 2021, may be seen as the equivalent of the attack on Fort Sumter in South Carolina in April of 1861 which started the United States Civil War, which lasted until 1865.
I saw a scroll yesterday on a television station which said that a recent survey had indicated that more than half of the American people are not optimistic about the future of the country, which most observers consider planet earth’s dominant superpower.
Most foreign observers do not believe that there is a significant difference in American foreign policy, whether Trump’s Republican Party or Biden’s Democratic Party, is in power. So, what is the problem in the United States? The January 6 attack on the Capitol represents an attempt to overthrow a legitimately elected government. How could Donald Trump have considered himself so powerful as to promote the January 6 attack in broad daylight? Why would he not have feared legal repercussions for the insurrection?
The United States is less than 250 years old. It began in 1776 with a Declaration of Independence from Great Britain by thirteen colonies, in the north and east of what we now see on the map of the U.S. of A.
In 1803, the young United States concluded the so-called Louisiana Purchase from the French government of Napoleon Bonaparte. The Louisiana Purchase extended U.S sovereignty across the Mississippi River, “nearly doubling the normal size of the country.” The then U.S. went to war with Mexico in 1846, a war which culminated with the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848. That treaty gave the United States the Rio Grande as a border of Texas, and gave the U.S ownership of California and a large area comprising half of New Mexico, and most of Arizona, Nevada, Utah, and Colorado.
When the lands of the Louisiana Purchase and the Guadalupe Hidalgo Treaty were acquired, this was sparsely inhabited territory, and almost all the inhabitants were Native Americans. One Wikipedia page states that in the Louisiana territory there were about 60,000 inhabitants, and half of them were African slaves.
The big issue in the United States Civil War was slavery. Immigrants of Caucasian extraction from Europe, Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, and even from the British West Indies had flooded the newly acquired lands of 1803 to 1848, and in the Confederate states had bought African slaves to produce raw cotton for the Lancashire and Manchester mills in Britain. The Southern Confederate states featured an agriculture economy, which depended on slave labor, while the states in the North, the so-called Union states, began to call for the abolition of slavery.
The quandary of slave owners in the Americas was that the more slaves they acquired, the greater their production of cotton, sugar, coffee, gold, silver, and so on, and the greater their profits. But the success of the Haitian Revolution, which began in 1791, caused great alarm in this region. The existence of a republic (Haiti declared its independence in 1804.) where blacks ruled and were free, was totally contrary to the socio-economic philosophy of the American South, where there were slave revolts in 1800 (Richmond, Virginia), 1822 (Charleston, South Carolina), and 1831 (Southampton County, Virginia). More slaves, more money, but more danger.
Some whites began to call for Africans to be sent back to the continent. This is how Liberia came to be on the west coast of Africa when, starting in 1820, freed American slaves began to move there. Black Americans also moved to Haiti, but the Haitian government was stopping slave ships in their waters, so the United States government did not recognize Haiti until November of 1862. (But in April 1884, the United States became the first country in the world to recognize King Leopold II’s claim to the Congo.)
Now then, there is talk that in two or three decades, the U.S. will become a country with a non-white majority. A large amount of Trump supporters view such a possibility with great trepidation. There are other issues which inflame Trump supporters. Generally speaking, they are very much opposed to abortion, and they are very hostile to the agenda of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community.
But my personal belief is that the core issue of Trump fanatics has to do with the entry of non-white immigrants from Asia and Central America into the U.S., and the prospect of a non-white America. You have to remember that the ruling whites of America achieved power over the Native Americans and Mexicans of the Louisiana Purchase and Guadalupe Hidalgo lands with raw violence. They imposed white power in the territories which had belonged to brown people.
Note that I have not mentioned the descendants of the African slaves who worked to make America as great as it has become. That is because there are black Americans who are Trump supporters. I do not understand their position. But, their position is their position.
The bottom line is that Trump is so powerful, and his followers so obsessed, that I believe the elected government of Joe Biden is afraid to touch him. If they step on Trump, it could mean civil war in America. It happened before, and it can happen again.