Two books to read about slavery

Each Saturday, The Wenatchee World inserts The Washington Post National Weekly into its fold to give us their interpretation of what’s important in the world.

The cover story in the Sept. 1 issue highlights “Teaching the difficult truth about slavery,” complete with a 19th century mosaic reflecting this dreadful trade. The Post claims that “…telling the truth about slavery in American public schools has long been a failing proposition.” Furthermore, “Ours is a nation born as much in chains as in freedom.”

In the few paragraphs that follow, we get to the subject of “reparations to descendants of enslaved people” and changing how schools teach students about slavery.

Well, I am all for teaching the truth about slavery. For this reason, I highly recommend two books: “Grant” by historian Ron Chernow, and “John Newton — From Disgrace to Amazing Grace,” by Jonathan Aitken.

The reader will get a real look at how this evil industry operated from Africa to the West Indies and to America. In addition, students will get an education on slavery in America, the resulting Civil War, the crimes against “freed-men” during the Reconstruction period, and the roles of today’s political parties during that time.

Frankly, I don’t believe the Washington Post wants the real truth about slavery in America any more than they’d admit that the Democratic party should shoulder the cost of any reparations.

If the Post cared to be pertinent in our time, they might consider an article, “Teaching the difficult truth about abortion.” I’m not holding my breath.

John Alexander

Wenatchee

Breathtaking propaganda

The breathtaking propaganda offered up in the “Why socialism, and why now?” on Aug. 30, is the equivalent of what Pravda would have served up for its audiences in the days of the Soviet Union.

In the Pravda case it would have been laughably easy for us to see the propaganda for what it was, so why isn’t that the case for the Victor Davis Hanson piece? Is it because if you hear something over and over then you begin to believe it even though it is easy to deconstruct it’s sleight of hand techniques?

This article could have been written about the FDR era in this country. The “masters of mankind” (the richest 1%) were outraged that FDR would turn into a class traitor and enact programs that benefited a majority of the population. Social Security was attacked as a plot that would lead to the U.S. becoming a communist country.

Years later Medicare was attacked in the same way as leading to a socialist takeover of society. And the same playbook is used today.

Straw man arguments are a key technique of Hanson. Dictatorial regimes are cited endlessly. Never mentioned are the actual countries that are the role models: Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark. When you understand how they treat their citizens you begin to see how barbarously we treat ours.

While Hanson had some accurate observations about the plight of the working class he offers zero proposals to improve the situation. Nothing? Really? His class message would have been the same for the abolitionists or suffragettes or the civil rights protesters or anti-war protesters. The only whiners allowed are from the ruling class.

On climate change, those rulers of society have become a death cult. They would rather have the collapse of organized society in 50 years than risk the vast wealth they are sure to continue to accumulate in the meantime.

I understand why Hanson would produce such propaganda. What I am uncertain about is why The Wenatchee World would feel like they need to give that propaganda a platform.

Pierre Dawson

Cashmere

We need a real fix for our immigration system

“The system is broken” is about the only thing that everyone agrees on when it comes to immigration. But the proposed fix includes everything from open borders to totally shutting it down — neither of which are realistic solutions.

The immediate problem is we’ve got a bunch of (mostly) Central American refugee families that may be facing lives of extreme misery and poverty, or even death should they remain in (or return to) their home countries. This is not the illegal immigration of decades ago, when the undocumented would hope to cross the border undetected and melt into our interior (or come legally but overstay their visas — not that this doesn’t still occur). Indications are most of today’s hopeful refugees turn themselves in at ports of entry — there’s no need to build huge ugly walls and create a military build-up along the border to keep these people out.

On the other hand, open borders would be a total disaster. While there is ongoing debate regarding the economic and social aspects of excessive immigration, we simply don’t have room or resources to let any and everyone who so desires into this country. If we did, we’d soon have half the world’s population here.

Immigration is the driver of American population growth, which causes wildlife habitat and wetlands destruction, sprawl, water shortages, traffic congestion (have you been to Seattle lately?), with adverse effects on virtually every environmental issue in this country. Also consider that Americans have 4.2 times the per capita carbon footprint compared to the world at large (npg.org). We need fewer people, not more.

While our current administration advocates “punishment” of refugees’ home countries through reduction of foreign aid, the reality is that significant financial support for improvement of economies and education, easily accessible birth control (i.e., support of the UN Population Fund), along with possible military assistance supported by our allies and/or the UN, to fight gangs and corruption, is a requirement — otherwise the demand for migrating north never goes away. In the long term, this is the only real solution to fixing our broken immigration system.

Larry Glickfeld

Wenatchee