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John Edward Bouligny

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John Edward Bouligny
John Edward Bouligny

John Edward Bouligny (February 5, 1824 – February 20, 1864) was a member of the U. S. House of Representatives representing the state of Louisiana. He served one term as a member of the Know-Nothing movement's anti-immigrant, pro-Protestant American Party.

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  • ✪ Edward Ball | Life of a Klansman || Radcliffe Institute


[MUSIC PLAYING] - Hello, hello. It's good to be with you. Hello, everyone. Greetings, especially, to my comrades at Radcliffe. There are 45 of us, give or take, from every hill and molehill of this intellectual farm. I'm grateful to my comrades. We're like a village here, and it's good to be among other farmers in the field of a mind on whom we can depend, one on the other for reassurance, and sometimes fertilizer. Now the year is ending. And the crops are high. And it's time to bring them in. Much gratitude to Radcliffe, Dean, Associate Dean, and staff, for making us feel supported and welcome here. We're made to feel important beyond the evidence of our actual contribution to the common good. Now my mother had a soft view of the subject I want to talk about today. She said, "he was the one with the beautiful name." Constant LeCorgne, Polycarp Constant LeCorgne, he used his middle name because he disliked his first. When I was a boy, I lived for a lot of years in Louisiana, down south in New Orleans. That's the home of my mother's family. My mother's people have lived in New Orleans for about 200 years. My father's family are all from Charleston, South Carolina, on the other side of the southeast where they've lived for about 300 years. I lived with my family in Charleston for part of my childhood. And then something happened, and that was my father died. And so my mother picked us up-- I have one brother, we were young, I wasn't even a teenager-- and moved us over to New Orleans. She wanted to be close to her people because she was alone and thought to look for help raising her boys. My mother's family in New Orleans have been and remain plain people-- clerks, tradesmen, school teachers, salesmen, carpenters, nurses, nobody at all with a higher education for 150 years until the 1970s. So when we arrived, we moved in with my grandmother into her bungalow, which was raised up against the floods that plagued New Orleans. This is my mother on the left. That's me sitting on her lap in the mid 1960s. And in the back is my mother's mother, Edna LeCorgne. Living with my grandmother, also, was a woman named Maude, my grandmother's sister, Maude LeCorgne. And it was with Aunt Maude that I first learned about the Klansmen. Aunt Maude was about 75 when I first paid attention. She was a school teacher. And she was unmarried, never married, what used to be called a spinster. She wore wire-rimmed glasses. She wore her long white hair, usually, coiled up in a bun tight against the back of her head. She had a closet full of gingham dresses. She wore opaque stockings with the seam down the back of the calf. She wore heavy black shoes with a clunky two-inch square heel that clattered on the floor of the bungalow. She had pursed lips. "Come here, boy, let me tell you about our people." "Aunt Maude, can I have a Coca-Cola?" Aunt Maude was the family historian. Now in every family, especially in the South, there is a keeper of lore. She's usually a woman. She's usually not married, either made single by divorce, or death, or never married. She gathers in the stories of all those who are no longer with us. She makes family trees. She pretends to be a writer. Aunt Maude was that person. "Yes, surely you can have a Coca-Cola. Here, let me tell you about our people, the LeCorgnes. The first one of us to arrive here in New Orleans was Yve LeCorgne, came from Brittany on the west coast of France. He was a sailor in Napoleon's navy. And Napoleon, as you may know, as you will learn in school one day, was involved in war from one end of the world to the other. And there was an uprising here at Saint-Domingue. That's that place-- they now call it Haiti. And Napoleon sent a flotilla of warships. And Yve was on one of them. And those ships arrived in the Caribbean. And for some reason, one of the ships came up to New Orleans. Yve got off the ship and never got back on. Well Yve was about 28-- are you listening boy-- when he arrived in New Orleans. And he found a wife, 19-year-old woman named Marguerite Zeringue. The Zeringues were a prosperous sugar planting family from Bayou Lafourche. But they weren't that prosperous. And they were somewhat in decline, slow decline. So they consented, or condescended, to allow Marguerite to marry Yve who'd washed up. And when they did marry, they moved into that little creole cottage on Dauphine Street, down in the French Quarter. Now they didn't call it the French Quarter at that time, you know. It was this, merely, le Vieux Carre. It was the Old Quarter. It was where all the French people lived. And these people were French. Everybody's speaking French in the LeCorgne household. We were French, you see. And despite the fact that the Americans had bought Louisiana, we did not stop speaking French. We remained French for another century. So they had their five children there. And among them was my grandfather, Constant LeCorgne, Constant LeCorgne. He was a Redeemer. Do you know about the Redemption?" "No, ma'am. Can I have another Coca-Cola?" "The Redemption, that was after the Civil War, when the colored people had taken over the state. They started businesses. They were acting as though everything was theirs. They were voting. The Redemption was after that time they call Reconstruction, that awful time. Now Reconstruction was not when the South tried to build itself up again after the war between the states. It was not when the houses were rebuilt after the Yankees burned them. No, Reconstruction was when they put colored people in the seat of power. The Redemption was the time when people resisted that. And so my grandfather, Constant, he was a Redeemer. He wanted to restore white rule. And he got tied up that White League." "Aunt Maude, what is The White League?" "The White League-- the only difference between The White League and the Ku Klux is that the Ku Klux were secretive. What the Ku Klux liked to do in secret at night, The White League did out in the open during the day. And thank God for The White League because they put the Negro out of the seat of power. Can you imagine the Negro with authority here?" And so it was from Aunt Maude, the spinster and family historian that I first learned about our Klansman. I grew up. I put the story of the Redemption away. I went to college, finished, ended up with a path in journalism. And then I started writing books. 30 years passed and I find myself in possession of Aunt Maude's notebooks. She has died and I've inherited them, her family trees, her marriage licenses, and her death records, and wills, and stories written down about the LeCorgnes and their people. I put them away. I don't look at them because I'm afraid they contain toxic tales of the Ku Klux. Then comes the day a few years ago when Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old kid in Seminole County, Florida, was ambushed and shot by a vigilante named George Zimmerman. And this shakes me. And I think of the Redeemer. Then comes the day when Michael Brown, the 18-year-old in Ferguson, Missouri, is shot dead in the street by the police, an event that reverberates for a year. Then comes the day when Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old boy in Cleveland, Ohio, was shot dead in a playground under a jungle gym by the police. And finally comes the day when a white supremacist named Dylann Roof, in Charleston, South Carolina, walks into a church, Emmanuel AME Church, and into a prayer meeting where people are discussing the parable of the sower from Mark. So, "as ye sow, so shall ye reap." And he shoots nine people dead. So I open Aunt Maude's files. And I decide to look for the Klansman, which is, at this point, merely a slice of oral tradition. When I start, it is a story that is unburdened by much research. But today, having spent 18 months in and out of the archives, I have a sense of the paper trail. The story I'm developing, here at Harvard, is a family memoir. But it is not the sentimental, gauzy kind. Polycarp Constant LeCorgne, a person long dead, his life a quilt of family lore and public records, was a man white Southerners once cheered as a savior along with thousands of other Redeemers in the first generation of the Ku Klux. He was a tradesman and father of five who became, in a way, a founding father when he took up with Klan groups in Louisiana. LeCorgne's life and choices helped to cement white over black during a time, Reconstruction, when white domination was under threat. After the Klan won the race battles of the post Civil War South and the Jim Crow caste system was locked down, everyone knew that restoring whiteness to power, following its years of retreat, was the movement's lasting achievement. And perhaps, this marginal man touches the fingertips of current politics. Perhaps his life makes visible the class resentments, the desire for ethnic purity, and the free floating fear that underlie extremes of whiteness. It may be possible to argue that some of the hostility of white identity in the present can be traced to sources in the first years of the Ku Klux. An aggressive form of whiteness has been resurgent. It moved into the open when the Ku Klux Klan and race speech streamed into the 2016 election. It surfaces naked racism with the naming of the alt-right movement and crested, perhaps, in the white-lash that helped to sweep a new president into office. I am trying to recount the birth hours of white supremacy using the experience of a guerrilla fighter who battled it into the world. I am trying to decide whether more than 100 years ago, one man and his gangs lit fires that still burn. The Ku Klux Klan arose throughout the South in 1867, soon after the Civil War. But in Louisiana, the Klan used other names, the Knights of the White Camellia, The White League, The Innocents. Constant LeCorgne fought with the Knights of the White Camellia and The White League. The Ku Klux Klan and their comrades are the bogeyman of American history, everyone's first choice for evil, ignorance, and hatred. But as with other villains, people know them through image and legend, the torch light rallies of hooded men-- shorthand for Southern depravity-- supply the imagery. The 1915 D. W. Griffith film about the Klan, Birth of a Nation, provides the black legend. I want to name what the Klan originally did through one man that actually did it-- the street battles, and night riding, the banquet of violence that made people like my great-great-grandfather infamous in his own lifetime. Early Klansmen, like Constant LeCorgne, were, in their way, the original authors of extreme whiteness. They did not write its theory, which grew up within universities during LeCorgne's lifetime as scientific racism. Instead, the Ku Klux devised its practice, intimidation of non-whites, menacing gang rallies, exclusive claims to economic and political spoils, and targeted violence. In the aftermath of the November elections, it is possible to see the white vote that flooded to the Republicans, not only as an expression of working class insecurity, but also as a clamoring for a kind of whiteness. And during the first months of a new administration, it is possible to see politics that are remotely, but persuasively, moved by feelings of entitlement that find harmony with some of the deeds I'm about to describe. Constant LeCorgne was born in 1832 to a French family in New Orleans. He is the second of three sons. His parents give his older brother the education, and Constant goes into a trade. He grows up a small, thin man, nervous and alert, sharp features, skinny nose, beautiful hands, an underbite, and a furrowed brow, a long wave of dark hair, which turned white early. As a cistern maker, he built the wooden casks that stood in the yards of most houses in New Orleans where they held drinking water. At 24, in 1856, Constant marries Gabrielle Duchemin, age 19, an orphan of French descent from the Caribbean island of Martinique. In 1860, as the Civil War approaches, Constant is a carpenter living in a rented house with his wife, Gabrielle, and their two children in this neighborhood, at the time a suburb of New Orleans, called Bouligny. His parents are dead. His mother, during her last years, had sold her rice farm and its people-- she was a slave holder with eight enslaved people-- and divided the proceeds among her children. Constant and Gabrielle received $500 and two enslaved people, 35-year-old Ovide and 24-year-old Polly. In 1861, just before the first shots of the Civil War, the couple sells Ovide like real estate for $1,000. They knew Louisiana would fight. And they wanted to liquidate their biggest asset in case slaves became free, robbing them of their windfall. They would not move quickly enough to sell Polly, who would, indeed, soon become free. At the start of the war of secession, Constant enlists in a Confederate company and heads for Virginia. But the unit falls apart in a mutiny. And he deserts and makes his way home to Louisiana. When Union forces stream up the Mississippi and occupy New Orleans, he flees, again, leaving Gabrielle and the children. "He walked north up the Mississippi levee some 50 miles," said my aunt, Maude LeCorgne. When he reached Confederate lines, he joined another unit, the 14th Trans Mississippi Regiment, and fought for the rest of the war. In summer 1865, after the truce, after the assassination of Lincoln, he comes home to New Orleans sick, exhausted, and bitter. He arrived in a city "full of carpetbaggers and with the Negroes twice as numerous." Now with three children, he found his livelihood wrecked. Louisiana was occupied by the US Army. New Orleans was crowded with black freed people. And Yankees and thieves ran everything. He felt himself a victim, saw the new order as anathema, and descended into resentment. The government was pro-Negro and colored people actually held office, a bona fide perversion. "Imagine a Negro in the White House," said Aunt Maude. This is a guide to New Orleans published during this time, called Zachary's Guide. Reconstruction came. Reconstruction was the name of the first attempt to remake the US as a racially mixed democracy. To some, not least to four million ex-slaves, it meant power sharing with whites, possibly even wealth sharing, and somewhere in the distance, shared humanity. These fantastical ideas, called Radical Reconstruction by their millions of white opponents, met mass obstruction and popular violence defiance. Constant took the extreme step and joined the armed resistance. He became a guerrilla fighter who wanted to return the South to white rule. He became a Klansman, one of the foot soldiers, not a Grand Dragon or a Hydra, to use titles from the first Ku Klux precepts. The Ku Klux movement started in Tennessee in 1866 as a former Confederate general named Nathan Bedford Forrest led the initial night raids and terror strikes against black people and against whites who supported Reconstruction. The tactics of these gangs spread quickly. And by 1867, Klan raiders were operating in most counties of the south. The name Ku Klux derives from the Greek, kyklos, or circle, and gangs as everyone knows sometimes dressed in costume and mask. Klansman made a cult of disguise, wearing robes and hoods to avoid identification by the Army occupiers. Klansman also knew their victims personally and preferred to torment them anonymously. The first major explosion in New Orleans occurred in July 1866. And circumstantial evidence puts Constant LeCorgne there. At the Mechanics Institute, a meeting hall for tradesman, during a convention to agitate for the black vote, an assault of Klan rage leaves 40 black people dead, perhaps many more. An early disguise of the White Brigades was the costume of fireman. Volunteer fire companies were overstaffed, and armed, and made up of entire Confederate companies. Constant's was Home Hook and Ladder, made up of his former Company C in the 14th Regiment. Home Hook and Ladder was on the scene to break up the meeting about the black vote and then the shooting started. During the next eight years, evidence shows LeCorgne and perhaps 2,000 others in the state, raided, marched, and beat people. Some gangs assassinated black leaders. There was night riding, whippings, and ambush killings. According to court records, an attempted Klan coup is among the incidents in which my great-great-grandfather found his claim to glory. In March, 1873, after an election, LeCorgne joined a putsch against the state government. At home that night before leaving for the action, he said goodbye to his wife, Gabrielle, and their four children, all younger than 12, because he did not expect to return. In the night time attack, LeCorgne and an armed gang of 20 surrounded a police depot in New Orleans and shot it up, seized the building. Theirs was one fork of a two-pronged mission. A second group stormed the city's main armory but failed to overcome it. LeCorgne's gang held its position. And the standoff ensued for days with the military camped nearby. If the plan could bring down the Louisiana government, even for a week, then the US Army, which shored up the new and precarious civil rights laws could be forced to withdraw from the state and white rule might be taken back. The army stormed the building and two were killed. LeCorgne and the others were charged with treason and with violating the Ku Klux Klan Act. In Washington, Congress had hoped it's 1871 Klan Act would stamp out the white gangs in the South. The Klan penalty was five years. The treason penalty was hanging. LeCorgne was not the only one in the family who fought for white rule. His brother-in-law, his nephew, and several of his French cousins played greater or lesser roles. In the treason case, the gallows were being discussed when a sympathetic white judge dismissed all counts, freeing LeCorgne and his conspirators. He returned to the street and to the fight. Before the Klan coup, he had belonged to a different group, the so-called Knights of the White Camellia led by a family friend named Alcibiades DeBlanc. The aim of the Knights was to reverse black gains since Emancipation by any means necessary. Between 1867 and 1869, their attacks left 1,750 people dead or wounded in Louisiana, 90% of them black. The Knights also generated racist dogma. LeCorgne and other men who joined the Knights went through an initiation held by torchlight at night where they voiced a supremacist oath. This is a newspaper in the Houghton Library, which has some interesting things pertinent to this story. The oath, "I am attached to the Order of the Knights of the White Camellia. The Order grows on the mountain known as Caucasus. I do solemnly swear to maintain and defend the social and political superiority of the white race on this continent, always and in all places to observe a marked distinction between the white and African races, and to protect and defend persons of the white race in their lives, rights, and property against the encroachments and aggressions of an inferior race." This kind of language, taken from one of the earliest Klan creeds, allows one to trace a chain of ideas that reaches from 150 years ago and stretches down through the generations. It is a genealogy that wraps around one Klansman's life and spools out, forming a dotted and irregular line that runs to the present. Are the activities of The White League and the Knights of the White Camellia relevant today? It may be possible. These were murderous militias. But occasionally, they generated statements of purpose in which they called for a strong and dominant white racial identity. During the past year, we have heard on the lips of a few in public life the explicit desire for an ethno-state, a country made safe for the majority. And we have heard the coded speech of some who would have us make America white again. The Knights of the White Camellia as well as its successor, The White League, LeCorgne's third gang, saw themselves as freedom fighters on the side of justice. In 1874, LeCorgne and 2,000 white league fighters-- they had swelled from a fugitive minority into a mass brigade-- staged another coup, this time successful. On September 14, in the so-called battle of Canal Street, the Ku Klux toppled the interracial state government. LeCorgne was badly wounded in the clash. He had his head split open, says family tradition. But The White League held Louisiana's capital building for a week. Though the army again took power, the Klansmen knew they had lost this battle and yet won the war. US troops soon withdrew from Louisiana and from the rest of the South. And by 1876, a white monopoly was again taking shape in the region. It was the beginning of 100 years of Jim Crow, the system of color caste. Constant LeCorgne died in 1886 of malaria. He left sons who became carpenters like their father, daughters who mothered or taught school. He left grandchildren, including my grandmother, Edna, and her sister, Maude, proud daughters of tradition. Six years after his death, not far from the family house, a colored man named Homer Plessy boarded a white train car in a staged act of civil disobedience. Plessy and a group of activists wanted to challenge the barriers of segregation. He was arrested. And the Supreme Court decision in Plessy versus Ferguson drew the bright line of separate but equal between white and non-white, setting in law the stratification that LeCorgne had fought in the street to establish. After the Plessy case, black people were not entitled to most public space, nor most education, nor most housing. Simultaneously, a surge of vagrancy laws and the development of convict leasing-- a slave like prison system-- produced the first wave of black mass incarceration. Jail enforced work became a normal experience for black men. Race strata were refined into clear social and psychological planes with whiteness, the Brahmin standard. Since then, the redemption of white rule has weakened. This is a Klan march in Washington, DC in the mid 1920s. But it has a way of prolonging itself. A tilt toward blackness and brownness in the race dialectic tends to be followed by a white backlash. Backlash. Then gives way incrementally only to yield eventually to another success for whiteness. There is Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions in the front-- I'm kidding here. He's-- [LAUGHTER] - President Barack Obama often quoted a phrase used by Martin Luther King, "the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice." Why retrieve from obscurity this bitter and bloody Klan story? There is a personal motive, and that is that it bothers me. It feels like finding a corpse in the bedroom. I'm disgusted and ashamed. I had an inkling that a great-grandfather had been a violent supremacist. But I did not see until research just what he'd gotten up to. He was not a thoughtful man. He could write an invoice for his carpentry work. But that's about all. And he did not develop the idea of white entitlement that still circulates like an odorless gas in the duct work. But God knows he put poison in that gas. And he damaged the lives of hundreds. But for other people and not for me, why revive this filthy story and bring it back? One reason is to try to harness the tale of Constant LeCorgne, to repurpose it in some hope of shining a small light on steps forward. 50 years after the end of the Civil Rights Movement, the white and black divide remains caustic and fresh. That is because the US possesses a tragic history, some of which Americans are unaware of because much of it lies in the repressed parts of collective memory. White supremacy of all kinds, especially, is willfully forgotten. Here is another metaphor. Tribal whiteness is like an infection trapped within a closed wound. To tell a story of a Klansman is to cut into the wound and to wash it out in the hope that it heals again with better result. One reason to summon these harsh events is to apply a dose of storytelling to the injuries inflicted by supremacy, by extremist whiteness. The medicine comes late. And it is inadequate to the wound. But we know that is needed. What are some of the legacies of this Klansman and his Reconstruction race wars? Here is one. Many whites find it uncomfortable to speak about whiteness. We disliked being labeled a member of a race, dislike acknowledging that race is power. That is partly because the Ku Klux and people like Constant LeCorgne made whiteness an invisible norm. Supremacy is natural. And it was made so in part by events in this story. The deep legacy of the Ku Klux is the idea of whiteness, itself, which many of us can hardly perceive. This is a monument to The White League in New Orleans, which stood at the center of the city for 125 years and was removed last week under the cover of night with city workers wearing ski masks with snipers on the roof tops of buildings around it at 3:00 AM because city was worried that there would be a reaction. The deep legacy of the Ku Klux is the idea of whiteness, which many of us can hardly perceive. I look hard to see it. The outline comes into focus slowly, like sitting in a dark room and waiting for the eyes to adjust. Whiteness is not just personal. It is not just a matter of microaggressions. Whiteness, semi-consciously, puts its hands on the levers of politics and power, which brings us to the White House. It is November 2016. 150 years after the raids and the victory of the Redemption, a conference takes place at the Harvard Kennedy School. It brings together the campaign managers for all of the presidential campaigns-- 13, I think, Republican campaigns, and the Clinton campaign, and the Sanders campaign. I attended this conference as a guest of a faculty member there. And in a room this size, 200 people are arrayed around a rectangular table in the center. And all of the campaign managers are seated at this table. It's two weeks after the election. And they're telling war stories. There's a guy there named Paul Manafort, whom you may know was a manager of the Donald Trump campaign until about April 2016, when he was run off the campaign for malfeasance. There was a guy there named Corey Lewandowski, whom you may remember was the subsequent manager of the Donald Trump campaign until he was run off of the campaign for malfeasance. There was a woman there named Kellyanne Conway, who was the last man standing when the election actually happened and who's now a White House adviser. And Cory Lewandowski is saying, "we wanted to make sure we got the populous message across. And the way we did that was to show the money. We made sure that the airplane was in every TV shot. We made sure we had the most expensive hotels, the most expensive cars. And we made every interview on the plane. We wanted to show that what we had was one of the very most successful and richest men in the country because we knew that that was the way to reach the great mass of the people. That's what they wanted." So there was a day of this kind of gloating war stories until the end of the day when the conference blew up and there was a disagreement between the Clinton people and the Trump people. And here is an excerpt five minutes long from that. - [INAUDIBLE]. I mean, we can go through the list. But it's not as though there weren't moments in the campaign where he created controversy having to do with race, or gender, or religion. - But Dan, can we-- - But how does that affect-- your question was about Steve Bannon. - Well, because he was-- - You're trying to dovetail the two things. So when Donald Trump said something in January, February, March, April, whenever-- had nothing to do with the smear campaign of the left on Steve Bannon today. OK. Well it's ridiculous. And to be candid with you, the guy is an unbelievably brilliant strategist who is really a terrific guy who, as Kellyanne just said, a guy who has a Harvard pedigree and is getting attacked by people who have no idea how many years-- - Wait. Hold on, OK. No. No. - We happen to sitting here. But listen. He gets held to a standard that none of these other folks will be held to. - Let me-- - Dan, if providing a platform for white supremacists makes me a brilliant tactician, I am glad to have lost. And one of Hillary-- give me a minute, David. I am more proud of Hillary Clinton's alt-right speech than any other moment on the campaign because she had the courage to stand up-- I would rather lose than win the way you guys did. - No, you wouldn't. - Yes. - Absolutely. - Yes, yes. - That's very clear today. No, you wouldn't, respectfully. I'm sorry, how exactly did we win? No, go for it, Jen. How exactly did we win? I'd like to know. Because I sacrificed the last four months of my life to do-- excuse me-- and we did it. And we did it by looking at the schedule and looking at, yes, the electoral map of 270. Because that's how you win the presidency. And we went places. And we were either ignored or mocked roundly by most of the people in this room. But I have a smile on my face at all times. And we did it by focusing with Steve Bannon and Dave Bossie and everybody you see here. They're going to say, "oh, she just said Corey was part of the campaign," Jeff Zucker. OK, Corey, until whatever. What was that June? And we focused on how you would-- we connected with voters. We connected with voters. - --hiring is himself. We've already gone through some of the examples of his own language, his own positions that I believe are at odds with my values as an American of embracing diversity, inclusivity, equality, and hiring someone like Steve Bannon-- - --which is exactly what Breitbart-- - --who with Breitbart-- - --if you guys you spend a few minutes on Breitbart-- - --gives these people a platform. - You say things doesn't make it true. - One of my proudest moments of her, is her standing up and saying with courage and clarity, in Steve Bannon's own words and Donald Trump's own words, the platform that they gave to white supremacists, white nationalists-- and it's a very, very important moment in our history of our country. And I think as his presidency goes forward, I'm going to be very glad to have been part of the campaign that's tried-- - Jen, do you think-- excuse me, she said white supremacy. - Well, I would actually-- - I'm sorry. I know it's mentioned a lot on your website too. Do you think I ran a campaign where white supremacists had a platform? You going to look me in the face and tell me that? - It's did. Kellyanne, it did. - And that's how you lost. Do you think you could have just had a decent message-- - You guys are pathetic. - --for the white working-class voters. You think this woman who has nothing in common with anybody-- - I'm not saying that's how you won, but that's-- - [INAUDIBLE] over 200 counties that President Obama won and Donald Trump just won. You think that's because of what you just said or because people aren't ready for a woman president. Really? How about it's Hillary Clinton? She doesn't connect with people. How about they have nothing in common with her? How about you had no economic message? - Guys - --honest conversation about what happened in this campaign-- - We are. - --so hold on. - You guys are not. - They want this to be about the strategists. That's right. - You guys are punching down. It's unbelievable. - Hold on. You're talking about one Steve Bannon. [GROANING] - There's another Steve Bannon, as the CEO of Breitbart. He, himself, has said that was a platform for the alt-right, the platform. Now just two weeks ago-- in the rise of the at-right, which is now part of the mainstream of our politics, America is for white people. So don't tell me. And that is the kind of platform-- there's a video of it. That is the-- - No, no, no. Prove yourself of what you just said, Karen. Prove yourself. I have the idea that there is white supremacy on the one hand. And there is white supremacy on the other. There's violent supremacy and yet, all the way across the spectrum, there's a kinder, gentler kind. It is Father's Knows Best whiteness. It is atmospheric. And it permeates the social common. I have the idea that supremacy is a gas introduced in pure form by the people I've talked about. And yet the chemical is titrated and diluted in order to circulate invisibly. Now I don't think that we are in the midst of a return to the barbarism of the race wars of the Old South during Reconstruction. In my worldview, perhaps that is what passes for optimism. Although within the last weeks, there have been street fights involving supremacist at Berkeley. There is little doubt, however, that the concentration of that gas in the air is rising. And we are in a period of rising white anger in its ugly forms. I leave you with what my Aunt Maude said to me, which was, "son, we are part of the petit blanc, the petit blanc, the little whites. That's what they callled us. Le grand blanc called us that. And the Negroes called us that, the petit blanc. We are not grand people, but small ones. And my grandfather, he was trying to lift us up. It is too bad with that White League. But they ain't nothing we can do about it now, now is there?" Thank you very much. [APPLAUSE]



Bouligny was born in New Orleans. He was son of Louisiana state Representative Louis Bouligny and the nephew of Charles Dominique Joseph Bouligny, a U.S. Senator from Louisiana. His grandfather, Francisco Bouligny, was a high-ranking Spanish colonial official and military governor in the late 18th century in Spanish Louisiana.

Bouligny was strongly opposed to Louisiana's secession to join the Confederate States of America,[1] and retained his seat in Congress after Louisiana withdrew from the Union on January 26, 1861 until the expiry of his term on March 3, 1861. He remained in the North and died in Washington, D.C., during the American Civil War.

In 1862, following the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation, President Lincoln sent Bouligny to Union-occupied New Orleans to determine if the state could reintegrate with the Union and send representatives to Congress.[2]

His granddaughter, Odette Le Fontenay, was an opera singer in the 20th century.

See also


  1. ^ Bouligny, John Edward (February 5, 1861). Feb. 5, 1861: Secession of Louisiana (PDF) (Speech). Speech in the House of Representatives. Washington, D.C. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 2, 2017. Retrieved January 23, 2017.
  2. ^ Lincoln, Abraham (1894). "October 14, 1862 — Letter to General B.F. Butler and Others". In J.G. Nicolay & J. Hay (ed.). Abraham Lincoln: Complete Works, Comprising His Speeches, Letters, State Papers, and Miscellaneous Writings (Vol. 2). New York, New York: The Century Co. p. 247. Retrieved 2017-01-23.

External links

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
George Eustis Jr.
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Louisiana's 1st congressional district

Succeeded by
(Vacant 1861–1862)
Benjamin Flanders

This page was last edited on 6 February 2020, at 04:04
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