Hunter Wallace has been going over Reconstruction, and labeling that era the dawn of Black-Run America. His exposition starts about here and continues in the subsequent posts on the Civil War and Reconstruction.
He talks about only the good aspects of the culture he claims, while talking about only the negative aspects of the opposition culture. He ignores the fact that the North was mostly neither abolitionist nor Puritan, that the Southern aristocracy spat on the idea of state’s rights and local democracy, and that most Northerners had reasons to fight the expansion of slavery other than the elevation of blacks.
Beyond this he misidentifies the nature and origin of “Black-Run America”. I think all Southern partisans do this, and this is the source of their never-ending dyspepsia.
Conservatives of all kinds tend to think of left-wing ideas as being recent imports, and that an older America was a libertarian paradise of thought and culture. We see that, no, this is not the case, but that a great deal of it comes from reformist Protestant thought going back to the 16th century but reaching full flower in the 19th century.
But it does not all come from here. Plenty still comes from communist subversion efforts of the early 20th century, including “Black-Run America”.
Wallace has mentioned “Defying Dixie- the Radical Roots of Civil Rights” but still traces black power to the abolitionist movement and Reconstruction. The simple historical facts are that blacks rapidly lost any political power they had in the South after Reconstruction, and never had any in the North. The desegregation of Northern streetcars after the Civil War does not count; a Southern white man feels he is placed on a level of social equality by riding on the same streetcar as a black man, but a Northern white man does not. If the black man behaves himself, as he usually will under a normal regime of law and order, there is no problem. Blacks lived in the north in small numbers and did not cause any trouble to speak of.
After the Russian Revolution, communists were looking for opportunities to recruit revolutionaries in other countries. Blacks in the US were excellent candidates. The US was a theoretically equal society; blacks were formally denied equal treatment in the South and as a practical matter received unequal treatment in the North. Blacks were simply a matter of a necessary exception to the principle equality to some extent, but also simply fell under the ethnic grouping and labeling that any ethnic group gets in a multi-ethnic society. Each ethnic group will have dominance of certain jobs and professions and its own neighborhoods. People tend to spend most of their time with their own kind, except at work or business. No one is terribly hurt or offended by this.
Still the communists pushed hard on this using the Alinskyite principal of “use their own rules against them.” It didn’t really catch on though. Middle- and working-class whites didn’t want it, North or South and at that time they had veto power.
What changed? I think it was a matter of Cold War politics. In the late 40’s and early 50’s, communists were aggressively run out of the Democratic party. They were quickly avenged though, and McCarthy was taken out. By the late 50’s they had all their influence in the Democratic party back. Northern Republicans were more liberal then, and saw civil rights as a Southern thing. Behind all this was that the US needed to compete for influence with the Soviet Union in a new battlefield for political control, what came to be called the Third World. Composed of former colonies or undeveloped nations inhabited mostly by black or brown people, the communists could portray the US as a place where black and brown people were abused, not a place worthy of loyalty or emulation. The fact that the Soviet Union had no black or brown people and the ones they did encounter got treated pretty badly never came up.
At the same time the elites decided that non-elite whites, especially non-English northern whites, were no longer reliable allies. Given the vote in the South, blacks would turn out early and often for leftist candidates. Given more electoral power in the North, they would do the same. Non-elite whites were becoming more affluent, more educated, and less dependent on the New Deal state for their well-being. Southern whites quickly began to vote for Republicans in presidential elections, but remained loyal to local and Congressional Democrats for a long time; Northern whites took a little longer to abandon presidential Democrats, but quickly abandoned congressional Democrats when they did.
On the whole it was a significant net gain for the system. With blacks on board, it gained reliable supporters and vicious enforcers and commissars. Some non-elite whites left, but many were chained to the system by fear, shame, and nostalgia for when it took care of their parents. “Black-Run America” is a misnomer. Blacks don’t run anything; it’s not even run for them. They are tools, toadies and stooges.