A history of government oppression

Published 8:49 pm Monday, July 14, 2014

By Joseph L. Bass

America was founded as a divided nation.

Northern ideas more closely reflected our current views regarding equality of people and opportunity. Northern abolishment ideals were new to political thinking. Southern ideals reflected ancient views promoting a class-based society. These views existed throughout the world for thousands of years and continue to be put into practice in many nations today.


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Class-based societies involve a few rich people controlling the economy and government for their benefit. In such societies, a large percentage of the population is kept poor, uneducated, politically powerless and in a submissive state, incapable of rising up against the economic and political oppression of the controlling class. Wealthy people, controlling government, enact and enforce laws that deny the ability to revolt against oppression.

Although the North won the Civil War on the battlefield, it could not win the peace. The Civil War amendments were enacted into the Constitution. These involved the 13th, prohibiting slavery and other forms of involuntary servitude; the 14th, involving equal rights for all; and the 15th, involving the equal right to vote.

But Ku Klux Klan terrorism deprived the industrial north of raw materials found in the South. Eventually the Compromise of 1877 provided for the withdrawal of Northern armies from Southern states, and government leaders stopped enforcing the Civil War amendments. At this point, the Jim Crow Era began in America.

The U.S. Supreme Court gutted the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments through many decisions, such as Plessy v. Ferguson that allowed racial segregation.

Only during the last 60 years has the Supreme Court started “reincorporating” the original intent of the Civil War amendments and the Bill of Rights. During these 60 years, we have seen minority Americans begin to enjoy the right to vote and the rights to equal educational opportunity, employment opportunity and more.

During Jim Crow, a few rich people, controlling government and the Klan, enacted and enforced laws denying the ability to revolt against oppression. These laws kept minority people in a submissive state, incapable of rising up against the economic and political oppression required to maintain a class-based society.

Unfortunately many Americans today still support laws designed to protect the elite and keep others in their place, and government-sponsored education fails to teach them about the rights they’re giving up.

Read the Bill of Rights, and see for yourself which amendment ensured people had the power to rise up against economic and political oppression.

Do you really think it is a good idea to support laws — and their sponsors — that deny Americans the tools they might need to protect themselves against an oppressive government?

Joseph L. Bass is the executive director of ABetterSociety.Info Inc., a nonprofit organization in Hobson. Email him at ABetterSociety1@aol.com.