(Readers: Please note the blog about the 5th revolution in the US is constructed as a story. While not all chapters are linked, I think the story will be more meaningful by starting at the beginning.)

Readers: Want a PDF version for Entries #1-10 and 11-20 formatted for tablets and e-books?  Click the links for the download.                           America’s 5th Revolution Volume I (Entries 1-10)                                     America’s 5th Revolution Volume II (Entries 11-20)

Scene: Caesar and Jordan in casual conversation.

Caesar: “Jordan, the revolution started in Charlotte. Why do you think Charlotte, NC?

Jordan: “Funny you should ask that. I asked myself the same question the other day.”

CaesarCaesar: “And what did you conclude?

Jordan: “We’ll never really know. But my conclusion was the revolution would likely start #1, south of the Mason-Dixon Line; #2, in an area with rapid population growth the last say 20 or so years; #3, where population growth has been predominantly an influx of non-native southerners, mostly from areas east of the Mississippi River.

Caesar: “Those criteria encompass quite a few cities.”

Jordan: “One other factor. No dominant educational institution.”

Caesar: “Including a dominant educational institution eliminates such cities as Raleigh-Durham, Atlanta and Knoxville. But Charlotte has University of North Carolina – Charlotte and Queens University.”

Jordan: “Neither UNC Charlotte nor Queens is dominant. UNCC is growing but not a big player academically and not yet part of the community. Queens is a nice school in a nice neighborhood but not a player.”

Caesar: “I know some people in Charlotte will argue with you about UNCC and Queens. Then, why does the city have to be in the south?”

Jordan: “Because the north participated in the last revolution, about 50 years ago. During revolution #4, there were riots in Newark, Detroit and Watts in LA. Each of those cities…and a number of others…had grown rapidly due to migration of people from different parts of the US.”

Caesar: “But the migration was long before the riots.”

Jordan: “My theory is people who migrated originally viewed their new situation as superior to what they left, even if some inequities remained. Their kids had no understanding of conditions prior to migration and, as a result, had a different set of expectations.”

Caesar: “So you believe these same type frustrations exist in some southern cities with large migrations?”

Jordan: “Absolutely. Think about Charlotte. Here’s a sleepy town hours from the mountains and hours from the coast – really near nothing. Then a couple of locals each start consolidating smaller banks. After a few years, each company has grown into a larger regional bank. In the 1990’s the banks grow even larger, with one buying and taking the name of Bank of America.”

Caesar: “Charlotte becomes headquarters and now many key executives are no longer locals. And many of Charlotte’s high-profile executives are Yankees and liberals to boot!”

Jordan: “You said it right there. The Yankees, as you call us, disrupted the little tea party.”

Caesar: “This conversation is starting to get personal but I’ll listen.”

Jordan: “Caesar, you know in Charlotte I am viewed as an outsider…and always will be. But being an outsider gives one an advantage sometimes.”

Caesar: “I agree. You don’t get bogged down with a lot of emotional baggage.”

Jordan: “A key issue is most old-line southerners do not want anyone from the north in town. Many old-liners are still fighting the Civil War…or as the old-liners call it, the War of Northern Aggression.”

Caesar: “What else?”

Jordan: “Education. Brown v. Board of Education, especially. Underneath all the sappy smiles and politeness, a very high percentage of southerners, at least in Charlotte, want schools segregated.”

Caesar: “C’mon, Jordan. How can you say that? Charlotte was one of the first southern cities to integrate.”

Jordan: “You know my background. I take data points and look for patterns. When schools in Charlotte integrated, the number of private schools increased dramatically. Now, legislators allow public funds…encourage use of public funds for charter schools. And what happens? The number of charter schools…really private schools in disguise…shoots up dramatically.”

Caesar: “But there are blacks at private schools and charter schools.”

Jordan: “But how many blacks? And how many Hispanics? Now what about religious schools? How many of your children, and grandchildren, have gone to public school?”

Jordan: “Our kids went to public school when we lived in New Jersey and Massachusetts.”

Jordan: “Not my question. When you lived south of the Mason-Dixon Line, how many went to public school?”

Caesar: “OK, you made your point. So now you have explained two reasons why a revolution in the south. We don’t like Yankees. We don’t want to go to school with minorities. That still does not explain why Charlotte.”

Jordan: “I said my conclusion was not definitive. But here’s another point. Charlotte had a very moderate, almost progressive mayor for what 10-12 years?

Caesar: “14 years. Elected 7 times, often by wide margins. Pat McCrory was well respected.”

Jordan: “During McCrory’s tenure, the populous begins expecting a progressive government, at least by old south standards. McCrory is followed by a mayor who continues McCrory’s policies but he has a problem…he’s black.”

Caesar: “Quit playing the race card. You sound like…never mind. Quit playing it.”

Jordan: “You asked me why the revolution started in Charlotte. My observation as an outsider is race is a major factor for many people. Like it or not, following McCrory as mayor, Charlotte elects a black mayor, then the country elects a black president. Plus, the influx of Yankees continues.”

Caesar: “I’ll be honest. I never quite thought about it that way. Each event is a major disruption to Charlotte, let alone the three combined. What else?”

Jordan: “McCrory becomes governor of North Carolina. But rather than taking a moderately progressive stance as he had when mayor of Charlotte, he takes a hard right turn.”

Caesar: “What do you consider hard right?”

Jordan: “Reducing funding for public education. Funding charter schools with public money eats at the heart of free, quality public education for everyone. At the same time he cuts the pay incentive for teachers getting advanced degrees. On top of that he cuts funding for school books. Then he refuses to let poor people in the state qualify for expanded medical coverage under the Affordable Care Act. That’s just the tip of the iceberg.”

Caesar: “Stop. Enough. But the state budget was out of control.”

Jordan: “I agree the budget needs to fiscally responsible. Fiscal responsibility does not negate social responsibility. Legislators need to consider the consequences of their actions.”

Caesar: “Are you saying the changes by the Republican legislators contributed to the revolution?”

Jordan: “Absolutely. Many residents viewed the changes as ‘take aways.’ Plus the changes to improve the budget did not include a tax increase for higher-income people, but a tax decrease.”

Caesar: “The tax decrease was to attract industry to create jobs for lower-income people.”

Jordan: “Caesar, the trickle-down theory is BS. There are no credible data to support it. And most people think the theory is hogwash anyway. But one final point. Charlotte was a bit unlucky because of its proximity to South Carolina.”

Caesar: “I’m losing you. What do you mean unlucky?”

Jordan: “South Carolina is a fascinating state. I think of it as a bifurcated state.”

Caesar: “You need to be careful in SC using the word ‘bifurcated.’ They’ll think you are more of a Yankee liberal than you are.”

Jordan: “I know. But SC is bifurcated. Half the state is high tech – BMW, Michelin, Boeing – and the other half is still fighting the Civil War.”

Caesar: “Keep talking.”

Jordan: “And many of the Civil War folks have limited education but have a stash of firearms. Many of the Civil War folks worked in factories that cut back and sent work outside the US. King George III’s facility is a good example.”

Caesar: “The two guys who broke up our Bastille Day party used to work at King III’s plant, live in SC, not far from Charlotte.”

Jordan: “Speaking of King George III, any word from him lately?”

Caesar: “No. I thought you might know something. But explain to me a bit more why not having a high-profile educational institution contributed.”

Jordan: “I think high-profile educational institutions make cities more attractive to educated people.”

Caesar: “But UNCC is becoming higher profile. They even have a football team.”

Jordan: “Agreed. But UNCC has not yet become part of the fabric of Charlotte. 10-15 years from now – probably. But not now.”

Caesar: “So you think an institution makes a city more tolerant…or at least attracts people who are more tolerant?”

Jordan: “Yes. The result of the institution is willingness, or at least an effort to address and solve problems.”

Caesar: “I see your point but I am not sure I support it.”

Jordan: “Understand. But if Charlotte had a more educated populous in the metro area, you would not find voters electing that whacko state legislator.”

Caesar: “You talking about that former dentist from the Charlotte suburb, Matthews, I think.”

Jordan: “He is the one who claimed the Affordable Care Act had done more damage to the US than WWII – and made his claim before Obamacare had taken effect. Those kinds of statements really upset people and tarnish Charlotte’s reputation.”

Caesar: “Probably upset more liberals.”

Jordan: “Initially. Then the average Joe began to realize how much he was being shafted by the legislators. Being shafted combined with having lost a good-paying job and having lots of firearms made Charlotte an ideal location for a revolution.”

Caesar: “Interesting observations why Charlotte. Some British general called Charlotte a hornet’s nest during the first revolution. I guess Charlotte became a hornet’s nest again.”

Jordan: “Time will tell if the rationale about why Charlotteis is correct.  Now back to solving problems and helping the country move forward.”

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