Saturday, July 20, 2019

RACISM--WE ARE ALL GUILTY

Prejudice simply means pre-judging.  We all note differences including non visible differences.  It is in our genes to make a quick assessment, otherwise we might be killed or raped or possibly helped.  We fear what we don't understand as the world is a dangerous place.  We feel safest and most comfortable among people most like ourselves.

In another blog I learned that the wisest people withhold judgment until they get more facts.    http://www.therealjohndavidson.com/2016/10/the-wisest-one-in-room.html  But in order to survive a quick, even instantaneous decision is often required.  If we are wrong we could be dead.  However better decisions are more likely when one has more time.  It is normal for first impressions to stick until counter evidence is over whelming.   Abraham Lincoln is quoted as saying, "I don't like that man, I must get to know him better."  The first question after encountering something new should be "Why might my initial impression be wrong?"

We are each unique and capable of contributing to our society given a chance.  Society benefits when everyone is given that chance.  A chance actually starts before birth.  Are our parents treated fairly?  Stress and nutrition are factors while we are still in the womb.  After birth are we given an equal opportunity to learn including avoidance of unhealthy distractions?  Are decisions concerning our future made based on merit?  We likely will never achieve perfection, but should always push towards the goal.

Of course some of us are quicker to recognize opportunity and some realize preparation is critical.  As a collective we do not always realize we all benefit when choices are based on reason and not prejudice (or bias).  We need to respect and encourage individuals who can lead us to a better world but that includes everyone.

Politicians gain power by appealing to emotions.  They use that power to stay in power and expand conntrol.  Republicans have long known that the average American would not support their economic agenda and the only way to achieve power is to appeal to emotions by tying a social agenda. Donald Trump did a masterful job of projecting fear and assigning blame.  His simple solutions hurt many people and are counter productive but appeal to enough people to allow him to indulge in his own personal agenda (which nobody really understands).  Racism has proved to be very effective.

Lyndon Johnson once said, "If you can convince the lowest of white men he's better than the best colored man, he won't notice you're picking his pocket."  It is so frustrating for those who understand the economic agenda of the Republicans to see those who are getting hurt the most base their vote on social issues and non policy factors. 

When there are problems people look for simple solutions.  We live in a complicated world.  Automation is diminishing the need for manual labour and increasingly so for brain work.  The world is so connected that powerful people can more easily find the weak spots to exploit. We are reaching the limits of what the planet can provide.  Powerful people are in conflict.  There are no simple solutions to most of the serious problems and we need to resist those who offer them.

Ignorance is inescapable.  Education means learning and scraping away a portion of ignorance.  Intelligent people realize they can never know everything.  Education is not just an economic opportunity to be exploited, but critical tools we all need for a fulfilling life.

Homo Sapiens originated in Africa.  Skin was black to protect against the sun--when men moved to cooler climates with less sunlight they needed less melanin and gained advantages of Vitamin D.  In due time  there were many superficial changes in humans while the core remained the same.

What do "others" offer us?  A different perspective.  Uniqueness.  Potential.  Why do we close doors?  Familiarity fosters understanding, but true equality will go forward in uneven steps.  Education is only part of the solution, but a necessary part with many possible approaches.  Racism is an obstacle we all need to overcome if we are to solve the most critical of problems.

An earlier blog with another angle on another side of the refugee crisis with racial implications:   http://www.therealjohndavidson.com/2018/01/the-brain-drain-fromshithole-countries.html    

A recent blog that discusses how racism actually costs lives:  http://www.therealjohndavidson.com/2019/06/dying-of-whiteness.html

Sunday, July 14, 2019

The Future is Asian

Everyone tends to think they live in the centre of the world.  Western intellectuals see a world that revolves around their view, but Parag Khanna points out that Asia has been re-asserting itself for several years and now represents the future.  Asia is defined more widely than most of us concede.  According to Parag Khanna it extends from Turkey (includes much of Russia) through the Middle East (termed the Far West by Asians) and goes all the way to Australia and New Zealand (those two bastions of Western democracy).

Napoleon is supposed to have said about China, "let her sleep for when she wakes she will shake the world."  It is our turn to wake up to figure out how best to fit in a new world order.

Many western countries are counting on breaking into the Asian market not only to grow, but in some cases to survive.  They will have to adjust.  For instance McDonald's has done well, but a look at their menus will demonstrate they have emphasized local preferences.  

Asians now hold more than 55% of U.S. treasuries.  They have felt it was a safe place to keep excess money, but are already finding alternatives. 

Asian consumers, especially the younger generation are not as enamored of Western brands as their parents once were.  They are finding good value with Asian products.  At the same time Americans are buying more Asian goods and in many cases Asian manufacturers are setting up plants in North America.   It is no longer just cheap labour that gives Asians an edge, but professionalism.

There are actually 53 nations in Asia and they are beginning to communicate with one another. Although there is great diversity in Asia they are learning when they work together they are stronger.

Mobile banking is new, but Asians have adopted it quicker than Americans and Europeans partly because they have not been as entrenched in established banking practices.

Asians were attracted to Europe and North America for education and many of them used to find jobs in the host country.  That also is changing.  Not only are Asians finding quality education alternatives in Asia, but also the rest of the world is starting to enroll in Asian education institutions.  Another key trend is that Asian graduates are more inclined to go back home where they can make a difference.

What is Donald Trump doing after rejecting the TPP agreement?  Trying to be tough with China, Korea and Japan.  He has also been tough with his allies and Iran.  The reaction of most is to look for alternatives.  Asia has been building up a middle class as well as connections between them.  Asia has been reaching out to Europe, Africa and Latin America and a two way response is developing.

One book suggests United States and China are at risk of war.  http://www.therealjohndavidson.com/2017/09/u-s-and-china-may-be-headed-towards.html  

Another view that points to a Chinese strategy:  http://www.therealjohndavidson.com/2019/05/chinas-secret-strategy-to-replace.html  Two possible sources of future tension are when the Dalai Lama dies and China tries to impose a replacement and when China decides they can take stronger action on Taiwan.

Singapore is considered a model, not only for Asia, but also for the rest of the world.  One theme parallels what I learned from Plato's "Republic."  He envisioned an ideal society based on merit.  Children would be universally cared for, but at different ages would be tested to determine which ones were most suitable to be rulers, which ones would run businesses and the remainder would be workers.  In Singapore education is critical.  In order to be president one must have served as an education minister.  Instead of democracy they are described a technocracy, but enjoy many of the benefits of what we consider democracy.  There is a real effort to find out what the people really want.  Talent is rewarded, but wealth is spread around for everyone's benefit. Civil bureaucrats are well educated and rewarded.  Trust is developed between the rulers and the ruled.  There is little crime or corruption.  One of the first decisions made after winning independence was to make English the main language as there were already established 3 languages (Chinese, Tamil and Malay that were striving for dominance.  My father once declared the best government would be a benevolent dictatorship might have found Singapore the closest example.

Asian cultural influences are everywhere.  We eat their food.  Many of us enjoy Bollywood, K pop, yoga, martial arts, etc. and buy huge amounts of Asian products and technology.   Asians have influenced philosophy and encouraged mindfulness.  They have contributed to Western enjoyment of life and are being rewarded for doing so.

Immigration of Asians has been going on for over a century and there are significant diasporas from different ethnic groups and in many different countries that are leaving their mark.  The fastest growing language in the United States is Telegu.  Inter-marriage both within Asia and with outsiders is bringing a real influence (and hopefully better understanding).

There is much more significant detail and acknowledgment of problems.  The world is changing and we will all feel the Asian influence intruding our lifestyle.  It could be pleasant.

No time to read the book?   Need a little bit more incentive?   Check out a one hour talk focusing on the book:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VX_Z4qIBrfc

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Women's World Cup

The Women's World Cup, does not yet get the attention afforded the men's version.  A pity.  Yes, women are not as fast, as strong and maybe not as talented as the male stars, but they do possess skills while speed and strength are relative.  The games can be just as dramatic.

A few random thoughts.

The U.S. trashing of Thailand 13-0 gave me very mixed feelings.  It demonstrates the Women's World Cup  is not quite ready to expand the format to 32 teams.  To sustain interest it needs to be competitive.  Americans seemed to rejoice as the embarrassment most of us felt for the underdogs.  Later a player mocked the English team mimicking their tea drinking habits.

Thailand got a shock that must have humiliated some of their players and country people, but also inspired them to want to play better-.  Americans have a reputation of arrogance, but some of the goals were first goals, etc.  Sportsmanship suggests you need to lose gracefully, but others suggest to not gloat when winning.  It is good for everyone when anyone progresses as it forces the others to compete a little harder.  Thailand scored their first goal in the 91st minute against Sweden.  They demonstrated a joy comparable to actually winning.

US team sued American Soccer Association for equal pay with the men.  As some have pointed out it has marketing concerns.  What are fans willing to pay for?  If the fans are not willing in large enough numbers to pay actual money where is the money for equality to come from.   In many U.S. colleges the revenue from big ticket sports like basketball and football are shared with less popular sports in recognition that the other sports offer value for the students who participate and others who watch. 

 Apparently some men's teams have agreed to share revenue for the women's version.  Perhaps there are guilt feelings, but maybe they see some advantages.  Physical activity to good for all.  Most of us who spend time and money watching sporting events have had some active connection at some point in their life.  Women increasingly drive many decisions such what career to pursue, what things to buy, what people to have relations with.  The world is better off when women are listened to.

In passing I read one article about match fixing.  The more popular an activity is, it appears more people are interested to bet on the outcomes.  The more money involved the more attraction to cheat.  Cheating takes from the enjoyment of the fans and the participants.     Of course betting is often a major attraction for an event as those gambling have a vested interest in the outcome. 

As for me, I didn't bet, but I enjoyed the event and only regret that I didn't see more minutes.  The skills were more advanced than I anticipated.  I especially enjoyed trapping and passing.  Basketball is still my favorite sport where skills more often end up in a measurable result.  Soccer and hockey are much lower scoring meaning each goal is a combination of skill and luck and I feel the loser often could just as easily have won.  A centimeter or 1/10 of second can be the difference. 

Personalities do make a difference.  The top contenders all had an exceptional player that was a joy ot watch.  The Americans had several.  Megan Rapinoe stood out not only as a goal scorer, but also for her very public declarations regarding Donald Trump.  She also made an excellent speech commemorating the importance of women in sports.

The Women's World Cup has made for a better world.  If you missed this one and think of yourself as a sports lover, don't miss the next one.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Becoming by Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama is a well deserved celebrity in her own right.  I remember seeing her for the first time on a tv interview and and being impressed with her thoughtful answers.  It is disturbing that so many ignorant people have found trivial things to criticize with a racist undertone.

She describes her upbringing in Chicago with parents determined to steer her towards a better future.  Her parents were family oriented each with a network of aunts, uncles and cousins.    Her father worked for the city and despite having MS never missed a shift in 26 years.  Her mother made the conscious decision to stay at home, but was active with the PTA.  Knowing her parents had little money Michelle deliberately didn't tell them about a school trip to France, but they found out and made the necessary sacrifices so she could go.

At one gathering at about the age of 10 she was accused  of "talking like a white."  She was conscious that she and her brother Craig spoke differently than many of their cousins.  At home there was encouragement to use proper diction and refer to dictionaries and encyclopedia.  As an adult there was an awareness that language and race confused many people.

Qualifying for a magnet school opened up doors.  Early bus rides. helped reinforce discipline  Befriended daughter of Jesse Jackson who later sang at her wedding.

Her brother Craig won an athletic scholarship to Princeton.  She wanted to go to university on the east coast and Princeton seemed logical and she was accepted.  Later she studied law at Harvard.

She met Obama through work and although he was older he was under her at the law firm.  She asked her brother to evaluate Obama, but as both loved basketball this test was easily passed.  At this time she was living with her parents as she was heavily in debt.  After her marriage they both lived with her parents.

After marriage Barrack was increasingly getting involved in politics which created stress in the family as he was away from home.  She worked and was able to get meaningful tasks making good money while her mother took care of the children.

Several decisions meant risks and increasing responsibilities for her husband.  She felt he could do good things, but separations led to arguments.  At one point they went to counseling which helped.  The big decision was to run for president where he would be disadvantaged by the entrenchment of Hilary Clinton.  At the beginning Clinton was polling very good with blacks, but once Barrack proved he could be a winner after Iowa the blacks supported him and helped carry him to White House.

Once in the White House, ironically Barrack was able to spend more time with his family.  Michelle recounts some of the politics of the 8 years, but for her, keeping her two daughters living as normal as possible was her main focus.  She did get involved with a few First Lady projects and joined up with Jill Biden to help support veterans.  The event that effected her the most was the Newtown School massacre.

Towards the end of the book she looked forward to getting out of the limelight.  I have heard a few pundits suggest she should run for president (and I would agree), but to squelch such efforts she very strongly stated she was not interested at all.  One of my hopes would be for Barrack to be appointed to the Supreme Court.

Reading her book one gets an insight into what a politician's wife and a First Lady has to put up with.  There are not many inside secrets about policies, although some little bits about living in the White House and traveling with the President or on any trips related to her position of First Lady.  When Donald Trump promulgated the birther movement Michelle resented his endangering her family.  She set a good standard for her position which many appreciate, but there are still many that resent  a black family in the White House.  If they were open minded enough to read this book their outlook likely would change (maybe).

Monday, June 24, 2019

LET HER FLY

Malala has deservedly gotten the attention of the world, me included.  But she didn't emerge from a vacuum.  Her family, especially her father played an irreplaceable role.   Ziauddin Yousafzai came to the  Hamilton Public Library and when asked what he did, mainly he advised "Don't clip her wings."  He did more than that but his idea was that we all have potential, but too often society imposes restrictions.

Ziauddin might best be described as an educational activist.  He started a school from scratch (3 students) and developed it with both boys and girls up to 1100 students in the Swat Valley, Pakistan.  His foundation started a medical school in Karachi.  He now serves on various committees and travels to promote education worldwide for females.

We were entertained by a local sitar player and his tabla playing son.  


Ziauddin than read a brief section of his book dedicated to his wife and 5 sisters.  He sat down for an interview and also took questions from the audience.  Asked about a recent Canadian report regarding missing and murdered indigenous women he admittted his knowledge was scant, but one of the things he said was if all women were respected these sorts of things would not happen.

During his speech he occasionally had trouble with a few words.  In his book he wrote about a stammering problem he had as a youth and confessed that even after much effort he still has trouble once in a awhile.  He didn't let it stop him from being a teacher or a spokesman for world peace. 
For society to overcome prejudice education was needed to overcome.  He qualified by adding if still prejudiced,  the person had not received a quality education.

Asked about how her two brothers felt about Malala he recalled when her younger brother asked what it is like to have her as his sister he replied he couldn't imagine what it would be like for her not to be his sister. 

When Ziauddin was growing up he lived in an environment lop sided in favor of men and it seemed natural to him..  The role of women was as servants to men; father, son and brothers.   As a teenager one of his cousins was a victim of an honour killing.  This helped to wake him up to the basic unfairness of inequality.   

Before his marriage he wanted to be a teacher and needed to get more pupils to justify his marriage.  At first he was also the janitor and the accountant.  He tried mixing boys and girls but there were so many complaints that he did separate them.  Before his departure he had over 1100 students.

The Taliban started causing problems in 2007 with girls' education a major target.  There was a ban on girls' education on January 15, 2009.  The government fought back, but Ziauddin received death threats.   Some of his friends were beheaded.  He carried on as best he could including secret classes for some students.  Malala was outspoken with her father's encouragement and drawing wide attention.

She was shot in the head October 9, 2012.  There was fear for her life and then fear for her mental facilities, but miraculously she not only survived, but maintained her abilities. 

After the shooting, the surgeon who provided medical care while still in Pakistan was Dr. Fiona Reynolds who was from Bimingham, England where Malala was transported for further treatment.  Dr Fiona kept up a relationship with the family spending a lot of time with the two sons, Khushal and Atal who in many ways adapted faster than their parents.

Toor Pekai , Malala's mother had been fairly independent in Pakistan, but in England she was restricted because she couldn't speak English.  This was overcome with the help of tutoring and Ziauddin gave a few examples of how she managed to adapt.  I would like to add that she accompanied her husband at the Hamilton meeting.

Malala's history is fairly well known.  She was asked to speak at the United Nations and after accepting received encouragement from many quarters.  The children of Benazir Bhutto sent her some of their mother's scarves and Malala who great admired Benazir wore one for her speech.  She  also was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.  She took this honors as tools to help spread her campaign for girls education.  She has been to meet Syrian refugees in Jordan, to Kenya and many other global locations.  She is now studying at Oxford University.

A quote to remember her, "I don't want to be known as the girl who was shot. I want to be known as the girl who fought."

Thursday, June 20, 2019

"HOUSE OF TRUMP HOUSE OF PUTIN

"Russia has never tried to leverage over me.  I HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH RUSSIA-NO DEALS, NO LOANS, NO NOTHING" tweeted from Donald Trump on January 11, 2017.  Nonetheless Craig Unger presents a very strong case that Trump was influenced by the Russians.  There seem to have been links with Russian mobsters both directly and indirectly.

It seems quite reasonable to be suspicious of these many links.  Craig Unger does have a reasonable amount of credibility.  Who are we to believe?  I would suggest that anybody not suspicious of what we know of the links must either be ignorant or have vested interests.

Putin and Trump have something in common.  Both have had a lot of contact with mobsters and whether or not they would publicly admit it many of the contacts were beneficial.   At one end we learn of some of the facts surrounding Putin's rise.

Trump has had many decades of contact with the Russians.  By 1984 Russians were looking at Trump Tower and a number bought units.  It is said when no one else would loan him money they did.  But more likely he laundered millions of dollars stolen by Russian mobsters.

At the time of the Berlin Wall breaking down, Putin was an intelligence officer in East Berlin. He considered the collapse of the Soviet empire "the greatest geo-political catastrophe of the century."  What was very alarming was that 13 Eastern block nations joined NATO and later most joined the EU.  He felt Ukraine could not be allowed to abandon the Russian dominance.

Putin ended back in his home town, lately renamed St. Petersberg and worked his way into the mayor's office.  With careful maneuvering aided by mobster connections he gained power.

Russia was forced to privatize many state owned businesses many of which were picked up by criminal elements at discounted prices.  In turn this created pressure to put money into safe havens.

When Trump invested in casinos in Atlantic City he was involved with mobsters.  Many wonder how the casinos could end up bankrupt.  Trump went for extravagance, broke state laws and did favors for mobsters.  In the end he was desperate, but shortly after his finances recovered.  The author gives credit to his laundering of Russian money.  He sold Florida properties to Russians through shell companies.

He bought 3 beauty pageants and decided one of the pageants should go to Moscow.  One of the mob connections waned to promote a singer and used this event as a platform.  Trump wanted to curry favor with Putin to help with his idea of a Moscow Trump Tower.

In 2004 Trump started with "The Apprentice" to boost his brand name.  By this time he was not so much building as selling his brand.

Putin stepped up his power surging all the way to the top maintaining contact with criminal elements.

Ukraine was a focus of Russian attention.  Paul Manafort who had a lot of Republican connections was hired to promote Russian interests in Kiev.  Because he didn't speak Russian or Ukrainian he was dependent on Konstantin Kilimnik, who had ties to Putin.  Manfort became in effect an intelligence officer working against American stated policy.  For a few elections they managed to elect a pro Russian president who would keep Ukriane out of NATO and the EU.  Hilary Clinton suspected skulduggery and actually supported Yulia Tymoshenko.  Eventually the Ukrainians rebelled and Manafort had to flee as well.  Later Hillary criticized a Russian election and earned Putin's enmity. 

Donald Trump had visited  Russia a number of times and had established himself as a person of interest decades ago.  Although there is only circumstantial evidence that the Russians had a hold on Trump, but the Russians had a long history of developing compromising material on people they thought might be useful.  After a 1987 visit to Moscow Trump took out full page ads in Boston, Washington and New York to criticize the American support for Japan.  A strange topic for a real estate developer to be concerned with, but in line with Russian policy.

Donald Trump had had presidential ambitions for decades, but as 2016 approached his confidence rose.  He had been instrumental in widening the birther claim.  The Republicans had targeted Hillary Clinton as the likely Democrat nominee.  The Benghazi campaign must have seemed unnecessarily vindictive and pointless, but Kevin McCarthy admitted that its purpose was to drive down the poll numbers for Hillary Clinton.

From my reading of the given narrative it was the Russians who sought Donald Trump.  First Putin disliked Hilary Clinton for her remarks on his integrity.  As part of his plan to regenerate Russia's glory Putin needed and sought American agents.  One suggestion the author makes is that the Trump Tower meeting considered a dud by Donald Jr., was really a pretext to see how much co-operation the Russians could expect.  Still it seemed Donald Trump was aware of the Russian efforts and encouraged them.

The reason he had years of problems trying to build a Moscow Trump Tower was that all his most of his other ventures were financed by laundered money from Russia which of course was not available for inside Russia.  

The author suggests the Russians interfered with a number of European elections and had an impact on the Brexit vote.  One motive for their involvement in Syria was that it created a refugee crisis which the Russians felt weakened Europe.  Putin wanted to break up both the EU and NATO and drew a line at Ukraine which he considered in the Russian sphere. 

Credibility is a concern, but the facts in this book have not really been challenged.  At the end of the book the author lists 59 people that connect Trump to Russia.  Most can be described as ethically questionable.  The book was dedicated to the memory of Russians who died in the pursuit of investigating Putin's kleptocracy singling out Paul Klebnikov, Alexander Litvinenko, Sergei Magnitsky and Anna Politkovskaya.

You can view a Youtube clip after the book:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7mIRcGeELN4

We are still learning of Russian connections, but it must be admitted there were other factors in Trump's unexpected ascent to power. http://www.therealjohndavidson.com/2017/07/trump-enablers.html

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Dark Sky Rising

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. is someone I know from television where he has always seemed a calm and intelligent man.  After I reserved this book, I learned that it was aimed at young readers and debated whether to actually read it.  First of all my knowledge of the reconstruction era is very scanty.  Second Henry is very erudite.  Maybe third it would be a quick read which turned out to be true.

A bit about the author.  Henry Louis Gates has had a long academic career involving Cornell, Yale and Harvard.   He has become well known on tv for major productions on African American history and lately for "Finding Your Roots."  In 2010 he was the first African American to have his genome fully sequenced.  A year before that he made national news after returning from trip to China he found his door jammed and his efforts to get in resulted in police being notified and he being charged with disorderly conduct which was dropped.  The incident drew attention when President Obama said that the Cambridge police had "acted stupidly."  A beer summit was called and it blew over.

We all know that the Ku Klux Klan did terrible things after the American Civil War, but what happened afterwards is critical to understand today's racial tensions.

The Civil War itself provided an opportunity for blacks to demonstrate their value   Frederick Douglas campaigned for blacks to be accepted in the U.S. army and became a recruiter.  180,000 served in the army and another19,000 in the navy.  Many blacks were able to provide useful intelligence for the Union cause.  Close to 40,000 died in their effort with 3/4 resulting from disease

In 1863 Lincoln proposed "Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction."  offering property to be returned to Southerners, except for slaves.  Also excepted were Senators, , high ranking Confederate officials and Confederate soldiers who had abused black soldiers and their white officers.  Further if 10% the white male voters of a state accepted the terms (including a pledge of allegiance), a new state could be formed and rejoin the Union.  Radical Republicans felt it was too lenient and there were arguments after Lincoln was assassinated.  Lincoln made a pocket veto over a stronger piece of legislation.

The Freedmen's Bureau created in March of 1865 to help former slaves to adjust to their new freedom.

There was a lot of resentment of being asked to accept former slaves as equals.  In 1866 in Memphis, Tennessee there was an conflagration resulting in the deaths of 2 whites and 46 blacks as well as 70 wounded.  Over a hundred black homes and 12 black schools were burned.

It seems there were two main philosophical forces after the Civil War.  One was for leniency to encourage the defector states to rejoin meaning they were not expected to humiliate themselves by conceding any more rights to former slaves than necessary.  This gave some the freedom to abuse blacks and restrict their rights.  The other force was to be tough on the defeated states, a stance taken by most of the abolitionists and this of course caused resentment.

After Andrew Johnson was declared president he was  anxious for the Confederate states to rejoin, but seemed unconcerned about black rights that were being attacked and this offended Republicans.  He vetoed a Civil Rights Act  in 1866, but it was over-rode.

The First Reconstruction Act in 1867 required an acceptance of the 14th Amendment and until then were to be governed by a Military governor.

The Second Reconstruction Act gave the Military Governors the authority to handle all elections including voter registration.  The Third Reconstruction Act gave the Military Governor the ability to remove officials from office.

Many blacks were elected to various state legislatures, but the southern whites found ways over time to eliminate most of them.  Mississippi in their 1890 constitution imposed a $2 poll tax and literacy tests.  Military Governments were sometimes re-imposed as it was found that when the rules were loosened abuses returned.

A black code developed in the southern states that made work contracts one sided against the former slaves, restricted use of guns and absolutely no inter racial marriages.  The Ku Klux Klan intimidated blacks including burning houses and lynchings.  The federal government at one time convicted 600 of their members and imprisoned  ring leaders.

The 1876 presidential election proved to be a turning point.  It was close and confusing and the results were taken up by the Electoral College.  Armed troops were still in Louisiana and South Carolina and by promising to remove them Rutherford B Hayes was declared president.

By 1878 blacks began migrating both north and west.  Sharecroppers were caught in a trap that required them to make a profit while paying exorbitant prices for tools.   Blacks were convicted and sent to prison unfairly where they were leased out to companies at bargain pricing. 

In 1883 the United States Supreme Court struck down the Civil Rights Act of 1875 with a 8 to 1 decision.  In 1890 Louisiana passed a Separate Car act that enforced segregation of railway cars and although contested it survived the Supreme Court of Louisiana and the U.S. Supreme Court.   This set many more segregation laws in the southern states.

The term Jim Crow came from a stage performance mocking blacks.  The underlying claim was the segregation was based on "separate but equal."  That was a farce as blacks were given a badge of inferiority that ensured much less money devoted to them.

The blacks in South Carolina proved they could govern with progressive legislations for both blacks and whites including free schooling.  An earlier blog,  "We Were Eight Years in Power"  recounts some of the Reconstruction events in South Carolina linking them to Obama's 8 years in power.  http://www.therealjohndavidson.com/2017/12/we-were-eight-years-in-power.html  The idea of Reparations is brought up in this book.

Blacks of course made some progress forming their own associations including the NAACP.   Even some of the poor whites were progressive, but overwhelmingly the culture was oppressive towards blacks for more than a century.

If this book takes too long for you to read consider the link below that is an hour Youtube video, covering much of the same material with the author being interviewed for his tv production based on the Reconstruction tying it effectively to recent events.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g5svdBw7J3o