Not Cease from Exploration

Thursday, April 8, 2010

"Celebrating" The Confederacy

It was reported in multiple news outlets recently that Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell issued a proclamation designating April as "Confederate History Month" without referencing, in any fashion, the very reason for the existence of the Confederacy in the first place: the grossly immoral institution of slavery.

Well it appears that the governor's plan went askew, as people did notice the omission and the reaction was not positive. As a result, the proclamation has been amended. See story link HERE. As quoted from the governor's office and referenced in the article:

"The failure to include any reference to slavery was a mistake, and for that I apologize to any fellow Virginian who has been offended or disappointed."

The revised proclamation has the following additional text:

(slavery) "was an evil and inhumane practice that deprived people of their God-given inalienable rights and all Virginians are thankful for its permanent eradication from our borders."

What, you think so? As I noted in a comment on NEPArtisan's blog, not referencing slavery when discussing the Confederacy is like not mentioning the Holocaust when talking about NAZI Germany. Make no mistake about it:
  • The Confederacy's claim of "states rights" as an excuse to do whatever the hell it wanted was conceptually repeated by the NAZI Party in their unraveling of the Weimar Republic.
  • The actions of Confederate soldiers were no more honorable than the actions of the Wehrmacht. German soldiers fought to maintain Hitler's evil regime; Confederate soldiers fought to maintain Jefferson Davis' evil regime. "Protecting their homeland" you say? Well then you can make the same argument about the Gestapo I suppose.
  • The reason for existence of the Confederacy, which boils down to the notion that white people are better than black people and therefore have a God-given "right" to own them like livestock, is no more noble than Hitler blaming the Jews for every ill that befell Germany.
In the final analysis, apparently Governor McDonnell was hoping that the Revisionist History Fairy would be visiting Virginia and somehow make people forget about that little detail called "slavery" and instead have us all believe that Confederate soldiers were just a bunch of patriots who whistled Dixie as they fought to protect their farms from the "evil" federal government. Well guess again. There are few things more evil than the notion that some humans are equivalent to livestock, so there is at least some comfort here in knowing that the governor's best laid plans have gone asunder.

10 comments:

Linda Monk said...

Nice post Steve. I think in my life I still see some of the effects of slavery. It may have been generations ago, but it took so long to free a people. Then there are the others that are not free from ignorance ... we just have to keep trying !
I was never really educated on the long term effects of slavery until I worked with Black Co-workers that provided me insight to the real issues. They taught me so much, that I realized that I was somewhat ignorant through my own lack of exposure. Those were some of the best career days in my life- actually learning from other people, it felt great !

Stephen Albert said...

Thanks Linda.

I have a friend at work that is very conservative...so conservative in fact that he's never, ever in his life voted for a Democrat. Now I'm more center-right on fiscal stuff and fairly progressive on social things. That noted, we both have exactly the same opinion on the whole 'Stars-n-bars' thing...that displaying this flag or having "Southern Heritage" month (without talking about the moral evil that is slavery) is simply code for racism. The Confederacy existed for sake of racism...those Confederate soldiers died trying to uphold racism. It's imply not possible to separate racism for any reasonable discussion about this period.

Smoofy said...

Its nice that the victors get to rewrite history and you make my point perfectly... Slavery existed under the American flag for almost 90 years prior to the "war of northern aggression"
It's easy to look through the prism of time and pass judgement on a peoples whose mind set you could never fathom or even grasp.
The fact that owning another human being is wrong will not be disputed and the fact that it took a war in this country to join the rest of the free world speaks volumes... YET I must say that our country is very much different today than the start of the war.
Our federal government is now more entrenched than it should be... prior to the war states were viewed as separate countrys making up a whole of America...
We are one country with a facade of borders we call states... Sucession was a state right prior to the war and after we are just one big country with no rights at all... Linoln was not the great emancipator, to many of us he was a tyrannt and stepped all over the constitution in order to "keep the union together"... he cared not if there was slavery or not... read his own writings... he only wanted to preserve the whole that was the united states... I hate to give history lessons but the north needed the south to survive economically.
Lincoln only emancipated the slaves in the south, not in the north and Deleware didn't even ratify the 14th amendment until 1870!
It upsets me that history has been changed to hide the atrocities commited by the north against the south and the fact that the lack of dialog resulted in hundreds and thousands of dead Americans...
The Civil War proves what can go wrong when two parties fail to talk at all...
Slavery ended as a result of the War but it was not the entire reason for it, to ignore all of the issues is to do injustice to all who died north and south...
The flag is just a flag, made of cloth and containing the colors red, white and blue, stars for th e13 original colonies and actually it was a battle flag not a national flag. It has no meaning except the ones we as humans attach to it... For some of us it stands for the south in general, its pride not predjudice, its the idea of standing up to the federal government, individual freedoms, although a lost war, one that still unites those in the south with a sense of pride of those who laid down their lives for the ground we now call our home states...None of which is either, condoning, wishing or wanting slavery to return... that is absurd...
If there is one thing this country is founding on is freedom to say, think, print and express yourself... Political correctness is robbing us of our freedoms to think as we chose out of fear of persecution, which goes against those same ideals you preach freely...
Im not prepared to condemn an entire nation of our dead patriots and yes they were patriots for helping to build this country by laying down their lives... We cant possibly pass judgement on those whose entire mindset, way of life and history prior is beyond our scope do to our present and our history to envoke..

Anonymous said...

I have news for you there guy, I am from the South and I sure done appreciate you comparing my ancestors to Nazis, I don't know if your tracking but Hitler was all set for the purification of the people and making the perfect race and with that to achieve world domination now tell me again how the Confederacy and the Nazis are the same? try and get your facts straight before posting ignorant stuff on the internet where you can offend more people that the people that will agree with you we people from the south still have our Southern Pride that doesnt make us racist so like my Father always said think before you speak because you just make yourself look more ignorant

Anonymous said...

First off the civil war was not about slavery. Do I think we need a confederate history month? No for one reason it was a rebelion against the government but to just say it was all about slavery is false. Yes there was slavery and yes it is a horrible thing but the rebels were not like hitler. The south never killed 6 million African Americans in concentration camps. There is alot of history that you have to look into and study before you make comments like this. The civil was is apart of our history though and hsould not be forgotten. Also if you think for one minute that the north did not mistreat blacks when they took over states and the blacks came running to their army in search of safety and freedom you might want to go read up on history their bud.

Anonymous said...

You seriously need a solid history lesson. Do you really think that those Dixie whistling soldiers you mention could actually afford to buy a slave? Do you also think that millions of Yankees rushed down South to free Black people? Do you? In most parts of the South about 17% of landowners (ie, rich white men) owned slaves. The rest of the population 83% of landowners, landless poor whites, women) did not. In the north, after the draft was initiated rich white yankees hired new coming Irish immigrants to go to war on their behalf (a common practice at the time). Also, if you really think Lincoln freed anyone, you need to actually read the Gettysburg address. In it he clearly states if he could save the union without freein slaves HE WOULD! It also only freed the slaves in the remaining rebelling states. The outright owned human population of paces like Delaware had to get p at the crack of dawn and get to work, slavery continued. If all you Damn Yankees hate slavery so much and are willing to go to war over it, why don't you put your hatred of slavery to use and get bust freeing all of the hundreds of thousands of slaves (sex slaves, forced farm labor, human trafficking victims) that are within the borders of the good old USA today?

Stephen Albert said...

"Anonymous" if you are so sure of your facts, so strident in your convictions, then do please post under your own name. Have the same level of courage that a little girl in Pakistan did...

- Steve

Jenna said...

Only 6% of the ENTIRE Confederate Population owned slaves at the time of the war. Lincoln's Morrill Tariff started he war. The South was taxed worse than the North. They created the Confederacy to represent them. When Lincoln sent the Union army to make the Confederates pay up, the war started. There were black confederate soldiers. There were black slave owners. Lee had slaves. He set 'em free before he went to war. Grant also had slaves and didn't set the free until he was forced to do so, after the war ended. Lincoln used slavery as a way to get support for the war. He never said a word about freeing the slaves until after the war started. There were slaves in the North as well. It wasn't just the South. Slaves were all over the nation at the time. The slaves up North were slaves. I don't mean freed slaves run away from the South. I mean slaves who were still slaves at the time. As to the Nazi thing, Hitler banned the Confederate flag because he knew what it really stood for. The KKK? 2 chapters of the KKK use the Confederate flag. Both of these are in the North. One in Ohio, and the other, I believe, is in New York. Forget about it being about hate and slavery. History is written by those in power and the winners of wars.

Stephen Albert said...

Jenna...

Slavery didn't cause the Civil War? Allow me to quote from the first two sentences of Georgia's declaration of secession:

"The people of Georgia having dissolved their political connection with the Government of the United States of America, present to their confederates and the world the causes which have led to the separation. For the last ten years we have had numerous and serious causes of complaint against our non-slave-holding confederate States with reference to the subject of African slavery. "

Citation here:
http://avalon.law.yale.edu/19th_century/csa_geosec.asp

See any references to Tariffs? No. See any references to slavery? Yes.

I won't go into your other points, as I can only stomach devoting just this much time to Confederate apologists.

Next time please provide some sources to back up your claims. Blogs & Wikipedia don't count.

Have a nice day!

Stephen Albert said...

Note regarding comments & this posting: I'm disabling comments for this specific posting. Why? I'm not going to let outlandish comments go unchallenged, and yet it's a waste of my time to refute the obvious (such as "slavery didn't cause the Civil War"). I welcome comments on any other posting.

Thanks,
Steve Albert