These days, it's nearly impossible to keep up with the day-to-day pronouncements of our strange President. It has only been a week since Trump's aggressive talk of war with North Korea had the entire world on alert. But Friday's events in Charlottesville, Virginia shifted America's attention to another threat to our nation that many of us hoped was close to becoming extinct. Neo Nazis and fanatic White Power nationalists have become newly emboldened by the language of Republican Candidate and now President Donald Trump.
The excuse these sociopaths used for the violence and tragic loss of life they brought to Charlottesville was that they were defending a historic monument to the Confederacy's General Robert E. Lee. This is a bogus claim in so many ways. For example, these violent, misguided fools were marching through the streets chanting "Jews will not replace us." - It's not clear to me what that chant has to do with Civil War history.
But I don't want to get into an analysis of what motivates these hate groups. In the past few days, thousands of words have been written about all of that. I just want to touch on an aspect of this Civil War monuments issue that, from what I've seen, hasn't received much mention at all. In fact, I feel it's the most basic reason to remove such statues. Really the only reason anyone needs. The existence of these statues in public spaces is a constant and painful insult to millions of American citizens. And it has been for over 100 years.
Some right wing apologists have tried to claim that these monuments are a part of our national history that should be preserved. To them I say, "take a photo of each statue and put it in a history book under the caption 'Jim Crow propaganda.'" You see, contrary to what you might imagine, those tributes to the past weren't put up in southern cities and towns immediately after they lost their battle to keep slavery alive. The victorious Union forces would have forbidden such a glorification of that evil cause. No, the southern states didn't begin putting up most of these statues and monuments until the early 1900's.
The first 12 years after the Civil War ended in 1865 was the "Reconstruction" period. It was driven by Congressional amendments to our Constitution that freed and enfranchised (at least the males) the South's formerly enslaved Americans. Leaders in the Union hoped to gradually change southern society into a place where Blacks and Whites could eventually live together as equals.
Interestingly, back then it was Lincoln's Republican majority that favored civil rights for every American while the Democrats fought to return the South to its racist status quo. (History is full of ironies.)
Without getting into a long digression about the politics of the day, I'll just say that the Democrats regained control of the U.S. House in the 1870's and were able to cancel the plans for reconstruction and reconciliation envisioned by the martyred President Lincoln. In 1877, all Union Army troops were removed from the South and Reconstruction ended. For the next 25 years, the southern states struggled with their own version of reconstruction. Slowly they rebuilt the old societal arrangement, with White's once again completely dominating the Black former slaves among them. Jim Crow Laws appeared in the 1890's to codify such inequality. Lynchings, the KKK, "sundown town laws, imprisonment in labor camps, became a reality in the lives of African Americans living in, or simply traveling in the South.
And as this reestablishment of White power was occurring, the statues glorifying the heroes and the Confederacy's "heroic cause" began to appear across the South. Not only did these monuments project a sense of pride in the hearts of the South's White society, but they also projected a message of who's in charge to Black Americans passing by. A reminder, "know your place."
Yes, so much has changed for the better since those days. But with that said, today in the eyes of 43-million Black Americans, and millions more of us, these statues are monuments to past cruelties and barbarous inequities. (As is the Stars and Bars Battle Flag.) They have been standing in prominent locations in southern communities for more than a century.
You think my choice of words are hyperbolic? If you're an African American, these monuments are saying, "Folks around here still think that war we fought to keep people who look like you in slavery wasn't all bad." (It's not a good message to send to White passersby either.) The time for these statues to disappear is now.
The events in Charlottesville may actually lead to the removal of many more of these Jim Crow reminders. Eventually, I hope all of them. Such actions are beginning to occur in a number of cities. The death of that inspiring young woman, Heather Heyer, could become a national catalyst for a greater awareness of the need to turn a page on the Civil War. That war ended over 150 years ago. It's time for the South to stop living in a past that was poisonous for so many Americans. Could it happen? Probably it's unlikely. But after what we've seen since 2016, I guess anything is possible
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Save the date:
Sunday, Sept. 10
The NTDO Annual Meeting and Picnic
Lake View Room and Beach Pavilion
1 pm - 4 pm
(More info to follow)
Upcoming Events of interest:
Tomorrow morning, Aug. 17 in Glenview - Congressman Brad Schneider hosts a Federal Budget Workshop
Thursday, August 17.
Reception at 9:30am, program 10:00am - 12:00 noon
Glenview Public Library, 1930 Glenview Road
Congressman Brad Schneider holds a federal budget workshop with The Concord Coalition to examine how recent policy proposals could impact our nation's economy, debt and deficit.
Attendees will work in small groups to formulate fiscal solutions.
Coming up August 24 (in Evanston) and August 31 (in Skokie) -
A Screening of the Documentary "Equal Means Equal"
: Thursday, August 24, from 6:30 - 8:30pm
at the Century 12 Evanston, 1715 Maple Ave
: Thursday, August 31, from 6:30 - 8:30pm
at the AMC Village Crossing, 18-7000 Carpenter Road, Skokie
What: Friends for ERA Illinois present a screening of "Equal Means Equal," a documentary supporting adoption of the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guaranteeing equal rights for women.
For additional information or
to RSVP for Evanston click here.
(The Evanston event will only happen if enough tickets are reserved. )
For additional information or
to RSVP for Skokie click here
(The Skokie event will only happen if enough tickets are reserved. )
Saturday Aug. 26 in Milwaukee -
A Protest at the NRA Concealed Carry Gun Show.
When: Saturday, August 26, 2017
Where: Outside Wisconsin Center, 400 W. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee, WI
What: Peaceful Communities sponsors a demonstration protesting an NRA Concealed Carry Gun Show at the Wisconsin Center in Milwaukee to express their view that our country will be safer when fewer people are carrying guns. There will be a call for repeal of the Second Amendment so that needed laws can be enacted.
For additional information or to RSVP, email Lee Goodman at
or call 847-559-9525.
Tuesday, Aug. 29 in Chicago - A Reception for Commissioner Michael Cabonargi.
Tuesday, August 29, from 5:00 - 7:00pm
Where: Highline Bar + Lounge, 169 West Kinzie, Chicago
What: A fundraising reception supporting Michael Cabonargi, Commissioner, Cook County Board of Review.
For additional information or to RSVP, register online or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, August 31 in Chicago - Lisa Madigan's Birthday Bash - Cubs vs. Braves Baseball.
When: Thursday, August 31. Reception at 6:00pm, game starts at 7:05pm
Where: Wrigley Rooftops, 3609 North Sheffield, Chicago
What: Root for the Chicago Cubs at Lisa Madigan's annual Birthday Bash.
FYI: The NTDO Events Calendar
for the rest of 2017
June 23-24 GLENCOE SIDEWALK SALE
9 am-5 pm Downtown Glencoe
July 14 -15
WINNETKA SIDEWALK SALE
9 am-5 pm Downtown Winnetka
July 17 ANNUAL MEET AND GREET at AVLI ESTIATORIO
566 Chestnut, Winnetka, 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
July 22 -23 WILMETTE SIDEWALK SALE
9am-5pm Downtown Wilmette
Sept. 10 NTDO ANNUAL MEETING AND PICNIC
Lake View Room and Beach Pavilion 1 pm - 4 pm
Oct. 8 2017 NTDO ANNUAL DINNER
Maggiano's Old Orchard, Skokie, 5 pm-9 pm
Nov. (Date & Place TBA)
"HEAD START FOR 2018" CONFERENCE
All North Shore Democrats Invited
The guest speaker for the October 8, 2017 NTD Annual Dinner has been confirmed.
It's Congressman Mike Quigley.
As a member of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Quigley will bring his perspective on the possible Russian meddling in our 2016 Election and the seriousness of such a threat to our democratic process. (Were any Trump operatives involved?) -- By October, who knows what our guest speaker may have to report?
Have you visited Senator Biss' website "The Road Back" --
click on the link to his video -- then, throughout the summer follow his plan's development on the website.
Daniel explains a lot about how Illinois got where it is today and how we can begin the journey on the road back toward achieving our state's tremendous economic potential.
who represent New Trier Township in
Washington, Springfield and Cook County
You'll be hearing a lot from these exceptional public servants. --
And they want to be hearing a lot from you.
The fact is, they need to hear from you and want to hear from you in order to represent you most effectively. So, the first thing you can do is get to know who these people are. The links below to their campaign websites are a good place to start.
, 9th U.S. Congressional District Representative
and Chief Deputy House Democratic Whip. The new Ninth District boundaries include all of New Trier except for Glencoe.
, 10th U.S. Congressional District Representative which includes a number of precincts in Glencoe.
Julie Morrison, State Senator for Illinois' 29th State Senate District
State Senator for Illinois' 9th State Senate Distric
t.The Ninth District includes all of New Trier Township.
. The district includes New Trier's northernmost precincts.
IL 18th District State Representative
. The 18th District includes much of New Trier up to Hazel Avenue and Dundee Road.
, IL 17th District State Representative.
The 17th District includes the East Glenview and West Wilmette areas of New Trier Township.
IL 58th District State Representative.
The 58th District includes the northernmost precincts in Glencoe.
Larry Suffredin, Cook County 13th District Commissioner. The 13th District includes all of New Trier, Evanston and Niles Townships.
Dear Fellow Democrats,
If you are not already an NTDO member, and enjoy our Newsletter, we hope you consider joining us as a dues-paying member. NTDO is a not-for-profit political action organization. We depend on our membership dues to support our Democratic causes and candidates.
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By Check: Make check payable to NTDO and mail to our office:
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Click on the "Join/Contribute" button
Find the link for "contribute with ActBlue"
or go directly to ActBlue by clicking here.
|Still not a member of the New Trier Dems? Your participation in grassroots political action will make a difference. -- Come join us.
When you're a member of the New Trier Democratic Organization, you have an active role in affecting the political process; participating in grassroots campaigns, staying in touch with elected officials, playing a role in deciding which candidates are endorsed. You'll also gain free admission to select forums and events throughout the year.
Come be a part of New Trier's grassroots political community.
The New Trier Democratic Organization is made up of hundreds of grassroots volunteers dedicated to advancing progressive ideals through the political process. We welcome your participation.
Dean T. Maragos, Committeeman New Trier Township
We are located at 800 Oak Street, Suite 112, in Winnetka, IL. Ph: 847-446-8030
*This Internet communication paid for by the New Trier Democratic Organization and not authorized by any federal or state candidate or campaign committee. A copy of our report filed with the State Board of Elections is available for purchase from the State Board of Elections in Springfield, Illinois.