As we all know, Martin Luther King Jr. was the most prominent figure in the passive-resistance civil rights movement in the US. He was shot to death in retaliation by a Southern white man. His memory and accomplishments were immediately targeted by smear stories about his sex life.
A recent piece by Thom Hartmann at The Smirking Chimp is as revealing/surprising/forehead-slapping as any OTL,S! has encountered in the hundreds of years this blog has been in existence. It is rewritten to some advantage here. In short, the present form of the second amendment (the “bear arms” amendment) is what it is because of a perceived need to preserve slavery.
The Second Amendment was Ratified to Preserve Slavery
The real reason the Second Amendment was ratified, and why it says “State” instead of “Country” (the Framers knew the difference – see the 10th Amendment), was to preserve the slave patrol militias in the southern states, which was necessary to get Virginia’s vote [ratifying the Constitution itself]. Founders Patrick Henry, George Mason, and James Madison were totally clear on that . . . and we all should be too.
In the beginning, there were the militias. In the South, they were also called the “slave patrols,” and they were regulated by the states.
In Georgia, for example, a generation before the American Revolution, laws were passed in 1755 and 1757 that required all plantation owners or their male white employees to be members of the Georgia Militia, and for those armed militia members to make monthly inspections of the quarters of all slaves in the state. The law defined which counties had which armed militias and even required armed militia members to keep a keen eye out for slaves who may be planning uprisings.
As Dr. Carl T. Bogus wrote for the University of California Law Review in 1998, “The Georgia statutes required patrols, under the direction of commissioned militia officers, to examine every plantation each month and authorized them to search ‘all Negro Houses for offensive Weapons and Ammunition’ and to apprehend and give twenty lashes to any slave found outside plantation grounds.”
It’s the answer to the question raised by the character played by Leonardo DiCaprio in Django Unchained when he asks, “Why don’t they just rise up and kill the whites?” If the movie were real, it would have been a purely rhetorical question, because every southerner of the era knew the simple answer: Well regulated militias kept the slaves in chains.
II. Extramarital affairs:
J. Edgar Hoover took it upon himself to obtain blackmail material, largely of a sexual nature, on anyone and everyone he wished, including presidents and Martin Luther King, Jr. Back in the 60’s this material was rather shocking, because no one bothered to point out/tried to ignore/hide the fact that extramarital affairs were quite common (not to endorse them) and that homosexuality was not only common but also normal. The JEH strategy became standard political strategy in the “anything goes”/fair game Karl Rove era, and led, bizarrely, to the impeachment of a sitting president. In fact, the very persons and political groups who have shouted the loudest about sex have turned out to have the most to hide. Yes, JEH, KR, et al, OTL,S! is lookin at you. It is long past time to reject the hypocrisy of Hoover and the politics of sex revelations. These are mortals, people.
OTL,S! salutes the memory of Martin Luther King, Jr. and his accomplishments.