One problem with this article is that it does not explore the long history of the term "white supremacy," which arose in the Jim Crow and was proudly and frequently used by white politicians and other thought leaders. /1…
The people who first embraced it were not critics but self-defined white supremacists, as in this claim by Georgia Senator A. O. Bacon in 1904. /2
At the Alabama Constitutional Convention of 1901, the attendees, who bragged "there is not a representative of the negro race among its one hundred and fifty members," framed the Civil War/Reconstruction era as a time of "negro supremacy." /3
They explicitly framed "white supremacy" as a political project to overturn what they called "negro supremacy," which was really racial equality, by whites who were, they admitted, "numerically inferior in many states."/4
"White supremacy" was the term employed by proponents of the reactionary political project to re-form a racial caste system in the wake of the Reconstruction era, and in particular it was popularized during the two decade period after 1890. /5
In that period, as C. Vann Woodward, argued, "The Mississippi Plan" became the "American Way," as many state governments in the South, beginning with MS in 1890, rewrote their constitutions to entrench Jim Crow and African American disfranchisement./6…
And politicians and others continued to employ the phrase. Here's a letter writer to the Atlanta Constitution noting that "white supremacy" appeared to be Governor Eugene Talmadge's "main plank" in his campaign for re-election. /7
Here's passage from an opinion piece in 1936: "White Supremacy has for its main object, the protection of WHITE SOCIETY, and particularly of the WHITE WOMAN from contamination from an inferior race." /8
From the same piece. /9
Michael Powell writes, "The rise in the use of `white supremacy' is in some ways a puzzle easily solved." But part of the solution, I believe, requires understanding the history of those who popularized the term as part of a racist, reactionary project after the Civil War. /10
I should mention that I learned a lot when I served on the committee for the dissertation that became this illuminating book by Janet Hudson. /11…

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More from @LarryGlickman

8 Oct
Lee's statement that "we are not a democracy" has a long genealogy on the American right, and is not that different from what others have said recently. /1
Remember that in 2016, Trump economic advisor, Stephen Moore, said, "I'm not even a big believer in democracy." /2…
As Lisa McGirr shows in the "Preface to the New Edition" of her classic study of conservatism, Suburban Warriors, such statements are not uncommon. In 2014, Tea Party Rep. Fred Yoho confessed to "radical ideas of democracy" by limiting voting rights to property owners (p. xxi) /3
Read 9 tweets
29 Sep
I love this story so much because it replicates the story I tell to begin Chapter 4 of FREE ENTERPRISE: in 1948 the 15 y.o. son of DeWitt Emery, a leading free enterpriser, has to write an essay explaining free enterprise but can't find a definition for it any reference work. /1
Emery was so upset by this that he sent his secretary to the Chicago Public Library, where, despite being assisted by three top-notch reference librarians, she was unable to find a definition of free enterprise either./2
This set off what I call in my book a "free enterprise freakout," a periodic condition of free enterprise discourse, the first of which happened in 1943, when a Gallup Poll revealed that only 3 in 10 Americans could define the term "free enterprise."/3
Read 11 tweets
27 Sep
Echoes of Louis Hartz: "We are a country founded along the contours of a philosophy...liberalism...that underlies our founding documents and our national ethos of individualism, self-reliance, liberty, equality and tolerance."…
Since Hartz wrote THE LIBERAL TRADITION IN AMERICA, scholars have challenged this view of a triumphant and monolithic liberalism, as well as the idea of "national ethos."
What about the competing traditions of civic republicanism or producerism, to name only two? What about the re-evaluation of Locke's work in the scholarship of the late Richard Ashcraft and many others?
Read 4 tweets
13 Sep
Excellent article by @KBAndersen but I think it is a misinterpretation, though a common one, to say that the Powell Memo was the "founding scripture for an economic crusade to discredit the New Deal consensus and rewrite the social contract." /1…
In my book, FREE ENTERPRISE, I wrote that "the document is less important because it was original than because it synthesized so many elements of a pervasive free enterprise discourse" that had been around since the start of the New Deal. /2
What was different was less than the text than the _context_. Although the Powell Memo didn't say much that was new, it said it at a time when the New Deal order was beginning to fall apart and an emerging conservatism was becoming more popular. /3
Read 7 tweets
10 Sep
Whereas Trump thinks the way to reduce "panic" is to lie, in his First Inaugural, FDR, who also wanted to reduce "fear" and "terror," said in the 3rd sentence, "This is preeminently the time to speak the truth, the whole truth, frankly and boldly."/1…
In that speech, FDR claimed (with considerable exaggeration, it must be said) "In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and vigor" has been met with the "understanding and support of the people."/2
Moreover, FDR didn't say the problem would magically go away. Instead, he offered a diagnosis of the problem and a series of proposed solutions: "Our greatest primary task is to put people to work. This is no unsolvable problem if we face it wisely and courageously."/3
Read 10 tweets
3 Sep
No matter how often it’s repeated, it is not accurate to suggest that non-college-educated whites make up the entirety of the category of “blue collar workers.” The latter category includes many people of color.…
There is a frustrating slippage throughout Sandel's article. For example, he writes, "In 2016, two-thirds of whites without a college degree voted for Mr. Trump, while Hillary Clinton won more than 70 percent of voters with advanced degrees."/2
Shouldn't he be comparing _people_ without a college degree versus those with advanced degrees? Why does he only include "whites" in that category, particularly when we know that, since 1964, a majority of whites have supported the Republican in every presidential election. /3
Read 6 tweets

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