America’s Civil War Didn’t End. It Just Continued By Other Means.

Alt-right members preparing to enter Emancipation Park holding Nazi, Confederate, and Gadsden "Don't Tread on Me" flags.Anthony Crider / CC-BY-2.0 / Flickr

In an op-ed, Rebecca Solnit argues that the Confederacy still exists today.

In an op-ed for The Guardian, Rebecca Solnit theorizes that America’s civil war never ended, it simply continued by other means. Solnit compares the Trump Administration to the Confederacy, and says that the victims of the current civil war include black people, “immigrants, Jews, Muslims, Latinos, trans people, gay people and women who want to exercise jurisdiction over their bodies.”

Solnit claims that the premise behind the Trump administration, or as she calls it, the Confederacy, is that the rights of white men should be unlimited, and the protection of other people is limiting those rights.

Although the civil war ended in 1865, the American black population has continued to struggle through Reconstruction, Jim Crow, segregation, and violence.

Solnit additionally uses the number of weapons in circulation in the U.S. today as an argument for why the country is still at war. The U.S. holds more guns per capita than anywhere else, as well as more gun deaths. Mass shootings, which are usually carried out by white males, are practically daily phenomenons.

Trump has defended Confederate statues, values, and goals, according to Solnit. He has touted refugees and immigrants as dangerous criminals. More, he is encouraging violent, white-supremacist behavior in others. One Florida Trump follower sent bombs to leaders of the Democratic party as well as other prominent liberals. In Kentucky, a white supremacist shot two black people who tried to enter a black church.

The U.S. never had a reconciliation process after the civil war. Instead, the country allowed Confederate statues to stand and Confederate flags to fly around the country. ”The Confederacy, which should have died a century and a half ago, is with us still,” Solnit says.

“I do know that so much of what makes this country miserable is imagined poverty, the sense that there is not enough for all of us, that we need to become grabbers and hoarders and slammers of doors and ad hoc border patrols,” Solnit explains. She concludes that equality and universal rights is “the only real alternative to endless civil war, for all of us.”

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