Day: January 19, 2017

Passing the 15th Amendment

Opinion writers who say “we’ve never had an incoming president this openly racist and sexist” are not historians, and are not thinking further back than maybe the late 1970s. Considering how crap a lot of the past was, that’s not the cheeriest reassurance, but here’s something I’ve tried to keep in mind.

When the 15th amendment passed, neither most African Americans nor most women could vote, none of them were in Congress, and several northern states had recently voted against black male suffrage in their legislatures (wanting to free the slaves didn’t mean wanting blacks at your political gatherings, ew.) It was a time when the economy was not great; a time when people in power were frightened about what might be taken away from them.

The “radicals” won anyway, because we are VERY PERSUASIVE.

The 15th Amendment passed the all-white, all-male House of Representatives 144-44, and the all-white, all-male Senate 39-13. It was then ratified by 28 states, including Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi. It wasn’t easy, it certainly wasn’t inevitable, and it didn’t get us to where we needed to be. But it was pretty impressive, no? Makes all this seem less daunting.

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My Cheer Up Song

“Gobbledigook” is a song that I listen to when I need to relax even though I am in emotional pain. It’s filled that role for me for the past eight years. Maybe it would be helpful for you at this time.

The lyrics are Icelandic, but they’re pretty simple. They’re about the wind as a generally charming prankster, but please don’t turn my umbrella inside out. The repeating line that sounds like “wind in my hair” (Vindur í hárinu) indeed means wind in the hair.

The official video has a lot of scrawny white nonsexual nudity, so if you’re not into that flip to another tab while you listen to the song playing in the background. Or you could buy the album, Sigur Rós’s “Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust” (with a buzz in our ears, we play endlessly). It’s a good album.