My prison bound fellow intellectual Shane Greene Deer Island Correctional — oops no, that’s the prison island in Boston — Deer Ridge Correctional Institution, 3920 E. Ashwood Road, Madras OR 97741, S. Greene managed to get a letter to Your Intrepid Reporter the other day, and it is more than ten pages in small, neat script. It is not going into the blog of the Cascadia Chapter of the Pacific Green Party of Oregon without ahem considerable un-hunh, editing.
That said, my man was holding forth about what started Bacon’s Rebellion, in the latter part of the seventeenth century, less than 100 years since the first Anglo-Saxon permanent settlement.
It seems, if my man (or, perhaps, the sources from which he draws for his account) can be believed, that the spark that set off the fire was the choice between different sources of black African slaves. But let him speak.
Instead of importing English-speaking slaves from the West Indies, who were more likely to be familiar with European languages and culture, many more slaves were shipped
I like the impersonal, agency-free wording here. No actual person whipped these human cattle aboard ship and sold them to a short and brutal life in the plantation economy of the conquering white men. No, no. “more slaves were shipped. . . ”
many more slaves were shipped from Africa. These would be easier to control [the sentence appears to end there]
The planter class took an additional [in addition to using black African slaves, for labor] precautionary and calculated step later known as the “racial bribe”. Deliberately and strategically, the planters’ elite extended social privileges to poor whites, in an effort to drive a wedge between them and black slaves.
THEIR own plight wasn’t improved much, but at least they were not slaves. Once the planter elite “split” the labor force, poor whites responded to the “logic of their situation” and sought ways to expand their racially privileged status.
At this point Mr Greene riffs, I think you could call it, on the thought of white privilege. The text immediately following the above reads as follows.
White privilege — not necessarily racism — is it re-asserting itself? Make Amerikkka great again? How? By building a wall on the “U.S.”- Mexican border, forcing Mexicans to pay the cost? With citizen patrols of Muslim neighborhoods? White-citizens Councils and the KKK endorsing Donald Trump? Mass deportations of Muslims and Mexicans or outright travel bans into/out of “U.S.”?
You see, Anytime, Anywhere, whether domestic or foreign policy issues — when Capitalism = markets and currency as ruler; corporations as elite and a vanishing middle class the new underclass; or a Sharia Law theocracy where whosever God is strongest or right is ruler ; popes, priests, mullahs are elite; and everyone else at or near the bottom strata.
ANY system of government or economy ALWAYS, ALWAYS produces class tension, stratification, and class struggle. Are you involved, Reader, in “the Struggle”? Or are you “struggling” to survive from paycheck to paycheck? I hope it’s not too much of a mental struggle for you to pick up on what I’m doing down on these pages?
Do you not agree that deleting that last sentence, if it had been done, would have improved the whole argument? To the wall with unnecessary condescension toward the reader! Well, there’s lots of things like that.
The immediate next paragraph sums up:
In conclusion, whether it’s :
and, following the colon the author inserts a list of bad guys, I guess one could call them, or actors with records of bad actions, lasting three-quarters of an even-more-squeezed-written page,
All power and all corporations and lobbyists, “they” are ALL the same. Now you know who “they” are; do you know who you are?
Allowing the next sentence to blossom unseen in the desert air, we read next
Profit is God, Corporations to be worshipped, and You and I do the “serving” at this phantasmagoric money orgy. As much as things change, they remain the same.
And, following the signature, Shane V. M. Greene, and the date 26 May 2016, there is, at the bottom of the last page, the quotation, attributed to one Gregory David Roberts,
Fear and guilt are the dark angels that haunt rich and powerful men. I know from experience that despair and humiliation haunt the powerless and innocents. A politician is someone who promises a bridge, even when there is no river.
End of letter from Shane Greene, now serving time at Deer Ridge C.I., Madras OR.
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Your Intrepid Reporter, finishing the task of transcription, reaches down and pulls from the bottom shelf behind the desk where he sits, the new Ronald Reagan biography by Rick Perlstein.
Its epigraph shows G.D. Roberts to be a plagiarist.
If the people believe there’s an imaginary river out there, you don’t tell them there’ no river there.
You build an imaginary bridge over the imaginary river.
— Advice to Richard Nixon from Nikita Khrushchev