The myth of Confederate Honor

Ta-Nehisi Coats has invited some fine guest contributors in recent weeks. I’ve been enjoying the work of Andy Hall, a frequent commentator at TNC who also blogs at Dead Confederates. As TNC says Andy’s “…knowledge of all things Civil War is truly intimidating.”

There are many myths about the Confederacy, but one of the biggest is that it was a political movement built around honor. It wasn’t. It was a movement built around protecting a system of stolen labor and the ‘rights’ of a selective few to grossly profit from that system. Selling ideas of honor, states rights and outright racism was how a small group of 19th century Southern Oligarchs built an army to fight for injustice. Ever since their defeat these Confederates and their idealogical descendants have worked hard to spin their treasonous racist enterprise into an honorable ‘lost cause’ and in recent decades they have completely captured the Republican Party and the modern conservative movement.

ConfederateGOP Logo

In the beginning of the last century the Confederates were early adapters of new technologies to spread their myth. It was D.W. Griffiths’ “The Birth of a Nation” that spread the myth of Confederate honor across America and presented millions of white immigrants a narrative of white supremacy and shiftless, lazy, untrustworthy and threatening blacks. It was a narrative that generations of immigrants embraced as they and their children became Americans and it was a narrative that spread the reach of the Confederate Party and its ideology of hate to all 50 states.

The power of this myth is fading, but the Confederate Party is making a desperate effort to keep it alive with new (and yet old) lines of racist attacks, charges of ‘reverse racism’ and the search for new enemies of the white race (Hispanics, gays, Islam and non-white foreigners) to add to their old standard enemies lists of blacks, liberals, unions and abolitionists. This latest iteration of the Confederate Party is trying to mobilize a new army of teatards, wingnuts, racists and neocons to protect a new generation of oligarchs and new ways to steal labor. And just like 150 years ago they are selling myths of honor, states rights and appeals to white supremacy to build their movement. One can draw a straight line from the Dred Scott decision to the effort to end the birthright citizenship guarantee of the 14th Amendment. Many things have held this movement together over the last century and a half, but perhaps the biggest one is the myth that the Confederacy was honorable and that by extension some forms of racism can be honorable as well.

Confronting racism in America requires that the myth of Confederate honor is destroyed. And that gets me back to this guest post by Andy Hall at TNC’s site which strikes at the heart of the myth of Confederate honor. Citing an essay by David G. Smith, “Race and Retaliation: The Capture of African Americans During the Gettysburg Campaign,” Andy goes on to explain just what Bobby Lee and his Army of Confederates were after on their raid into Pennsylvania in the summer of 1863 (emphasis added):

During the Gettysburg Campaign, soldiers in the the Army of Northern Virginia systematically rounded up free blacks and escaped slaves as they marched north into Maryland and Pennsylvania. Men, women and children were all swept up and brought along with the army as it moved north, and carried back into Virginia during the army’s retreat after the battle. While specific numbers cannot be known, Smith argues that the total may have been over a thousand African Americans. Once back in Confederate-held territory, they were returned to their former owners, sold at auction or imprisoned.

That part of the story is well-known. What makes Smith’s essay important is the way he provides additional, critical background to this horrible event, and reveals both its extent across the corps and divisions of Lee’s army, as well as the acquiescence to it, up and down the chain of command. The seizures were not, as is sometimes suggested, the result of individual soldiers or rouge troops acting on their own initiative, in defiance of their orders. The perpetrators were not, to use a more recent cliché, “a few bad apples.” The seizure of free blacks and escaped slaves by the Army of Northern Virginia was widespread, systematic, and countenanced by officers up to the highest levels of command. This event, and others on a much smaller scale, were so much part of the army’s operation that Smith argues they can legitimately be considered a part of the army’s operational objective. Smith is blunt in his terminology for these activities; he calls them “slave raids.”

The last army of the Confederacy had “slave raids” as a top strategic priority and why wouldn’t they as the entire enterprise was built around protecting the theft of labor. The new teatard/wingnut Confederate Army is working to update the ‘slave raid’ concept for a new century with attacks on uppity negroes, ACORN, the NAACP, teh gays, brown people and the latest runaways to capture: anchor babies. Then as now the goal is to take prisoners, deny freedom and inflict punishment motivated by revenge and hatred.

I know that this will hurt the feelings of those who completely buy into Confederate mythology, but the cold fact is that the modern Confederate movement is without honor just like the traitorous movement that took up arms against our Nation 150 years ago. And sure, there may be examples of individuals who occasionally engage in honorable acts in any iteration of the Confederate movement, but these isolated incidents can not make the Confederate movement honorable any more than the honorable act of an individual German soldier could infuse the Nazi movement with honor or the honorable resistance to Hitler’s army by Russians in Leningrad and Stalingrad could, by extension, make Stalin’s Soviet regime honorable. There are political ideologies that justifiably belong on the ash heap of history–and the Confederacy is one of them.

A call has been made to treat Glenn Beck’s magic day of September 12 as Burn The Confederate Flag Day. Perhaps I will head down to a local statue of that old racist Bobby Lee and burn one. And then head over and burn another in front of a local statue of Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, the author of the Dred Scott decision. I might, but the time to do it would give the Confederacy far more honor than it deserves. Still, it might be fun.

Cheers






101 replies
  1. 1
    matoko_chan says:

    yup, time to acknowledge that “american exceptionalism” was built with the stolen labour of black slaves on land stolen from red men.
    Indians didn’t make good slaves, or the invaders would have enslaved them and bred them too.
    they died or escaped.
    those good ol honorable southerners exploited the tradition of blacks enslaving blacks in Africa.

  2. 2
    Jim C says:

    His name was Dred Scott, not Dread Scott.

  3. 3
    ...now I try to be amused says:

    The Southern oligarchs defined honor differently. To them, honor was the esteem of their peers; i.e., their fellow oligarchs. They could treat their “inferiors” as shabbily as they wanted without impeaching their “honor”, because none of the upper class cared about that.

  4. 4
    ItAintEazy says:

    I wish those neo-confederates and would just read the Constitution of the Confederate States of America including the parts where it says “No bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law denying or impairing the right of property in negro slaves shall be passed” or how slavery will be enforced in all states and territories that were acquired or would have been acquired by the Confederacy (Article IV, Section 3(3). So that means even their bullshit maunderings about “states rights” is just that – bullshit.

  5. 5
    Deb T says:

    This makes me think of that old “The Band” song –

    The night they drove old Dixie Down
    and the bells were ringing
    The night they drove old Dixie Down
    and the people were singing

    You take what you need and you leave the rest
    But they never should have taken the very best.

    It’s a lament for the common folks, victims of the South. Caught up in the propaganda of the the Southern leaders, they were rung dry and impoverished by the war. If only their anger and bitterness could have found the real source of their misery – the rich Southern land owners who wanted to protect their immoral, privileged way of life. The legacy lives on. Time for the myth to be revealed in all its true ugliness.

  6. 6
    Agatha says:

    Birth of a Nation did damage, but it gets more credit than it really deserves.

    Racism was blatantly entrenched in polite society. 1915 issues of Ladies Home Journal and St Nicholas (a magazine for children) were already full of references to “coons” and pickanninies before the movie came out.

  7. 7
    JDC says:

    Urinating on Jefferson Davis’ tomb is quite satisfying.

  8. 8
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @JDC: Students at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin have been known to wander over to Joe McCarthy’s grave in a nearby cemetery for the same purpose.

  9. 9
    Toast says:

    Then as now the goal is to take prisoners, deny freedom and inflict punishment motivated by revenge and hatred.

    And greed. We can’t forget greed now.

  10. 10
    Dennis G. says:

    @Jim C:
    Fixed. Thanks

  11. 11
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    I’ve been keeping a copy of the relevant part of the Texas letter of succession for when I run into people who want to talk about it being “States Rights.” I’ve only used it once, but it definitely made them pause.

  12. 12
    jeff says:

    I really detest political stunts like flag burning. I like the idea of these assholes having to be confronted with facts (they never are, and consider it incredibly rude if you disturb their fantasies.)

    I guess if you’re already a prick who likes self-important political stunts (if you have a giant papier-mache head of Dick Cheney in your garage or whatever) then this might be a good idea. It’s still an asshole thing to do.

  13. 13
    Andy Hall says:

    @jeff:

    I really detest political stunts like flag burning.

    Yes, I do, too. And it this case is plays straight into the hands of the neoconfederates, who like the Palinites and the ‘baggers, derive much of their energy and identity from portraying themselves as victims. “Burn a Confederate Flag Day,” in their view, completely affirms everything they’ve always said about their opponents. There’s nothing they’d like better.

  14. 14
    JD Rhoades says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    South Carolina’s is also instructive.

  15. 15
    Danton says:

    The Articles of Secession of South Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, and Texas make it abundantly and unequivocally clear that slavery was the principle cause of secession.

    Simply google “articles of secession” if you want to read them.

  16. 16
    MarkJ says:

    I’d be happy to burn a confederate flag and don’t consider it an asshole thing to burn a symbol of treason and racism in the slightest. I’m not going to buy one though because I’m not giving my hard earned money to the assholes that make those things.

  17. 17
    WereBear says:

    I grew up in the South (though not native born) and I never, ever fell for it. Everywhere I looked was delusion and suffering and the constant, exhausting search for someone to put down so the bully would have a moment of triumph.

    If it wasn’t so long, it would make a good title for a social history.

  18. 18
    Angela says:

    Chandra Manning’s book, What this Cruel War was Over, based on letters from soldiers and newspaper articles, makes it abundantly clear that the soldiers, on both sides, believed the was about slavery. And that belief just intensified as the war went on. It is time to lay bare the myth of the noble cause and confederate honor.

  19. 19
    AxelFoley says:

    @jeff:

    I really detest political stunts like flag burning. I like the idea of these assholes having to be confronted with facts (they never are, and consider it incredibly rude if you disturb their fantasies.)

    I guess if you’re already a prick who likes self-important political stunts (if you have a giant papier-mache head of Dick Cheney in your garage or whatever) then this might be a good idea. It’s still an asshole thing to do.

    What, burning the flag of a nation that no longer exists, nor should have existed in the first place?

    Fuck that, if I had the time, I’d participate in this Confederate Flag Burning Day.

  20. 20
    drkrick says:

    And then head over and burn another in front of a local statue of Chief Justice Roger B. Taney

    What kind of crazy town has a statue of Roger B. Taney? He wasn’t that well regarded at the time – even the slaveocrats saw him as pretty much a useful idiot.

  21. 21
    West of the Cascades says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): Had to look this up, but the first substantive paragraph (third overall) is shocking:

    Texas abandoned her separate national existence and consented to become one of the Confederated States to promote her welfare, insure domestic tranquillity and secure more substantially the blessings of peace and liberty to her people. She was received into the confederacy with her own constitution under the guarantee of the federal constitution and the compact of annexation, that she should enjoy these blessings. She was received as a commonwealth holding, maintaining and protecting the institution known as negro slavery–the servitude of the African to the white race within her limits–a relation that had existed from the first settlement of her wilderness by the white race, and which her people intended should exist in all future time. Her institutions and geographical position established the strongest ties between her and other slave-holding States of the confederacy. Those ties have been strengthened by association. But what has been the course of the government of the United States, and of the people and authorities of the non-slave-holding States, since our connection with them?

    as is the next-to-last:

    That in this free government all white men are and of right ought to be entitled to equal civil and political rights; that the servitude of the African race, as existing in these States, is mutually beneficial to both bond and free, and is abundantly authorized and justified by the experience of mankind, and the revealed will of the Almighty Creator, as recognized by all Christian nations; while the destruction of the existing relations between the two races, as advocated by our sectional enemies, would bring inevitable calamities upon both and desolation upon the fifteen slave-holding States.

    Mindblowing that anyone could argue that secession, and the Civil War, had any other primary cause than maintenance of slavery. And also mindboggling that Texas could declare that “all” Christian nations in 1861 recognized slavery – just as counterfactual as anything coming out of Texas today (slavery was illegal in England from 1772, in the rest of the British Empire by 1840, in Haiti in 1794, Mexico in 1829, Denmark and France in 1848).

    Thought exercise: has Texas advanced enough politically in 150 years that, if it seceded, it would not try to reimpose some form of slavery? Maybe for convicted criminals or illegal immigrants?

  22. 22
    Bender says:

    Ever since their defeat these Confederates and their idealogical descendants have worked hard to spin their treasonous racist enterprise into an honorable ‘lost cause’ and in recent decades they have completely captured the Republican Party and the modern conservative movement.

    Just repeating that a million times doesn’t make it true, you know. These are the kinds of bizarro-world statements that make “the other side” certain that you are a bunch of crazy, out-of-touch, bong-hitting, lightweight twinkies. And by “the other side,” of course, I mean Robert Gibbs.

  23. 23
    joe from Lowell says:

    I’d just like to take this opportunity to remind everyone that Lowell’s monument to the War of the Rebellion features a winged Nike, garment rippling in the breeze, holding aloft a laurel wreath, as if to bestow it on the brow of the downtown.

    Just behind her are the graves of Whitney and Ladd, the first two soldiers to die for the honorable cause of crushing the Confederate movement.

  24. 24
    Angela says:

    @WereBear: I lived in the South for two years. I never did get used to the casual attitude toward the historical reality of slavery. I’ve lived many places, including internationally, and usually have the ability to accept the good with the bad and enjoy the culture. I never was able to achieve that in the South.

  25. 25

    Nice post. Robert Stacy McCain may just have to put down his mint julep, slip off his dainty white glove, slap you with it, and request a duel with you on the perseverance of his honor.

  26. 26
    ...now I try to be amused says:

    Mindblowing that anyone could argue that secession, and the Civil War, had any other primary cause than maintenance of slavery.

    Decisive defeat messes with your head. Nobody wants to think of himself or his ancestor as an ignoble loser.

  27. 27
    Origuy says:

    @MarkJ: Print out a paper copy and set that on fire. Make sure you check the local laws, though. You don’t want to get cited for burning trash without a permit.

  28. 28
    someguy says:

    The real problem with the New South isn’t the neoconfederates. It’s the fact that so much of it is made of tacky ass stucco mcmansion, concrete and glass, that we’ll have trouble burning it to the fucking ground when the time comes.

  29. 29
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @someguy: Bulldozer, Abrams tank, etc.

  30. 30
    Almost PhD says:

    Why are we looking to 20th century _Birth of a Nation_ to understand the Confederate motivations for seceding from the U.S.? Let’s hear what someone has to say from 1862, in the thick of it.

    I just finished reading Richard Henry Dana’s _Two Years Before the Mast_ that tells of his two years working as a sailor along California’s Pacific Coast. He worked on the beautiful, powerful ship The Alert for part of his journey. This ship, as much as the captains and crew members he met along the way, is one of the most important characters in the memoir because it was an impressive ship that fed the admiration of seemingly everyone who traveled on The Alert.

    Except the Confederate navy and the crew of the steamship Alabama. In the last log entry of this ship, that was burnt to the water by the Confederates, the captain wrote on Sept. 9, 1862, “So end all our bright prospects, blasted by a gang of miscreants, who certainly can have no regard for humanity so long as they continue to foster their so-called peculiar institutions, which is now destroying our country.”

    This perspective from 1862, watching the ship in flames, seems quite clear that the Civil War was being fought for preserving the “peculiar institution” of slavery. Kind of dispels the fog pretty clearly to have the words there from the midst of the war, and not some reimagined nonsense fifty years later.

  31. 31
    maya says:

    B-b-but, Mammy and Prissy so loved being Scarlett’s unpaid maids.

  32. 32
    WereBear says:

    @Angela: If you were not rich, not one of “The Families,” in whatever place you were in, the South imposed this hat clutching servility that was inculcated into you under the guise of politeness.

    It was really the plantation mentality still operating, only now on the basis of economic class as well as racial and birthplace notions. For instance, Damyankees could never be accepted.

    As an employee, I never had a moment’s peace; they felt free to tell you what to wear, how to cut your hair, what to say and how to think.

    I got out of there at my first opportunity.

  33. 33
    ThresherK says:

    @someguy:

    “You can even get stucco. Oh, how you can get stucco.”

    But seriously, I just finished reading the history “Sugar” (no cite–lots of books like this). There were dozens of pages my squeamish self skipped over because it did not stint on depicting the background of violence and threat which is the cornerstone of all that mannerly charm and julepry.

    Was Griffith really a racist, out of the ordinary with his times? After all, he did make (and lost a fortune over) “Intolerance” ~3 years later.

  34. 34
    roshan says:

    I get really pissed off when the racists amongst us can’t freely speak their minds. They have to talk in terms of “reparations”, or “welfare”, or “private property rights”, or “the lazy bums are at it again”, or “crime rate in those folks society is really high”. Let them talk freely, let’s give them some space to express how they truly feel, let them address colored folks with whichever words they choose, but fergawdsakes let them speak freely. It drives me crazy to go through so many hoops to identify a single racist that by then the whole group has moved on and made a mess somewhere else.

  35. 35
    A Guest says:

    @…now I try to be amused: More than that, they were obliged to treat their inferiors with a certain (not necessarily intense) level of disdain. Was a class marker.

  36. 36
    dude says:

    @MarkJ: you mean China?

  37. 37
    Beej says:

    @ItAintEazy: The only state right any southern state was really interested in was the right to own slaves. Everything else was just puffery.

  38. 38
    PTirebiter says:

    @Agatha: Yep, the north has a tendency to conveniently forget how nationally entrenched racism had already become. Dozens upon dozens of blacks were murdered by immigrants in NYC during the draft riot of 1863. The color line in Boston was firmly drawn well ahead of the war and survived it by a hundred years.
    That said, TNC and Andy’s posts on the war have been a must read for me. TNC’s posts on Grant are among the most interesting things I’ve read all year.

  39. 39
    Alwhite says:

    Been reading TNC for a couple of months now & feel much smarter for it!

    Years ago, I read that Woodrow Wilson ran Birth of a Nation several times in the White House. Shortly there after he issued the order segregating the army and denying Federal jobs to African Americans (stuff you don’t get taught in history class). He was a good-ol-boy who sent the Marines to Haiti to overturn an election that elevated ex-slaves there & had started instituting land reform. A Marine general was reported to have been crying over the order to force blacks back into virtual slavery for their white masters.

  40. 40

    The seizures were not, as is sometimes suggested, the result of individual soldiers or rouge troops acting on their own initiative, in defiance of their orders.

    That’s a typo that always amuses me, as though there was a special unit of troops responsible for keeping everyone’s face full of color and looking vibrant.

  41. 41
    AxelFoley says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    @someguy: Bulldozer, Abrams tank, etc.

    I think a Sherman tank would be more fitting.

  42. 42
    Michael says:

    @Danton:

    The Articles of Secession of South Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, and Texas make it abundantly and unequivocally clear that slavery was the principle cause of secession.

    My other favorite is when the squeal about how it was in response to Lincoln’s atrocities, even though the man hadn’t even been inaugurated yet and merely promised a national dialogue on the slavery issue.

    In other words, they didn’t even want to discuss it.

  43. 43
    Michael says:

    @West of the Cascades:

    Thought exercise: has Texas advanced enough politically in 150 years that, if it seceded, it would not try to reimpose some form of slavery?

    It has not. And shitmouthed Texas teatard Christian preachers would be among the first to support the new social order. Some of their congregants would be enthusiastic, and the rest would display their inherent Southern cowardice on matters of race by going along with it.

  44. 44
    PTirebiter says:

    @ThresherK: Intolerance was, after all, Griffith’s response to those who refused to tolerate his racism. But your question is well worthwhile.
    Hollywood’s record for portraying anyone of color is less than admirable.
    And what about Margret Mitchell?
    I wonder if Gone With The Wind wasn’t a more insidious booster of the Confederate myth than Griffith or the KKK could have ever dreamed of.

  45. 45
    Woodrowfan says:

    Years ago, I read that Woodrow Wilson ran Birth of a Nation several times in the White House. Shortly there after he issued the order segregating the army and denying Federal jobs to African Americans (stuff you don’t get taught in history class). He was a good-ol-boy who sent the Marines to Haiti to overturn an election that elevated ex-slaves there & had started instituting land reform. A Marine general was reported to have been crying over the order to force blacks back into virtual slavery for their white masters.

    You need to find better sources.

    1. Wilson never ran BoN “several times” in the White House. it was shown once, he sat silently through it, and never endorsed the film. (it was also the 2d movie shown in the WH, not the first). It was shown the next day to the Supreme Court and dozens of members of Congress from every party. it was that showing that Griffith and Dixon played up in the press.

    2. The military was already segregated, and always had been. Wilson allowed most of his cabinet members to segregate their departments, but if they protested he didn’t insist. That’s why the Dept of Labor didn’t segregate. The biggest federal departments, however, were the Treasury and the Post Office and they did segregate and black managers were demoted or fired.

    3. he sent the Marines into Haiti after a mob captured and decapitated the elected President’s head while he hid in the French embassy. He was also worried (needlessly) that the German’s wanted to grab Haiti. FYI, FDR supposedly wrote the new Haitian constitution.

    A good-ole-boy? Um, no, he was a typical southern middle-class educated “moderate” racist who thought blacks were inferior, but, unlike Dixon and Griffith, though that with education, ala’ Booker Washington, would reach equality eventually. He also made donations to Howard University and invited Washington to his inauguration as President of Princeton. By 2010 standards he was an awful racist; by 1912 standards he was in the mainstream along with Teddy Roosevelt and other progressives….

  46. 46
    tkogrumpy says:

    @MarkJ: You don’t have to buy everything. A little time, glue, and tissue paper will get you there, with the added bonus that the flag will disappear in a flash, instead of melting all over your hand, causing second degree burns. Don’t ask me how I learned that.

  47. 47
    ocean man says:

    Feb 18th after taking his oath of office Vice President of the Confederacy Alexander Stephens bluntly said to a large crowd in Montgomery, Alabama:

    “Our new government is founded on the opposite idea of the equality of the races… Its corner stone rests upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man. This… government is the first in history of the world, based upon this great physical and moral truth.”

    From Ken Burns illustrated “The Civil War”. Actually started reading it a few days ago.

  48. 48
    PTirebiter says:

    @Michael:

    …and the rest would display their inherent Southern cowardice on matters of race by going along with it.

    Thanks for so clearly demonstrating that ass-holiness is an attribute without borders.

  49. 49
    Catsy says:

    I think that if we are ever to heal these 150-year-old rifts and get Southerners to stop romanticizing the Confederacy, it is critical to draw a distinction between the Confederacy and the South.

    I spent most of the first half of my life in the South. There are many things about Southern culture which are admirable. Emphasis on family ties, hospitality, ritual courtesies, good food, hard work–there’s a lot for which people from that region can be justifiably proud. The Civil War and the Confederacy are not among them.

    A lot of people who romanticize the Confederacy and fly the Confederate battle flag are doing so because they think they are celebrating their heritage. The question we need to be asking them is, why–out of all the wonderful things about the South and its history–do they choose to celebrate the time when their states committed treason in the defense of slavery? Why, if they must indulge in Confederate nostalgia at all, do they choose to fly the flag carried into battle against their fellow Americans rather than one variation or another of the Stars and Bars?

    I had this discussion with my younger brother, who is very definitely not racist but indulges in that sort of Confederate nostalgia under the misguided idea that it’s his heritage. It gave him pause when I brought up the flag point–he had thought the battle flag was the “Stars and Bars” (a lot of people do), and didn’t realize there was another. I told him that when people who didn’t grow up in the South see the battle flag on his truck, they don’t hear “I love my local heritage”, they hear “fuck off and die, Yankee”.

    The most apt analogy I can think of is, regrettably, Nazi Germany. There are many, many things about German history and culture which are worth celebrating and praising. Setting aside for a moment the laws against doing so, why would any German choose–out of all of German history and culture–to put a NSDAP flag on their car and wax nostalgic about the heroics of their ancestors who fought in WW2? The choice would raise disturbing questions about their ideology.

    These people are flying the Confederate swastika. For some that’s a feature, not a bug, but most of them are simply too ignorant of their own history to realize it.

  50. 50
    Remember November says:

    @AxelFoley:

    you win the day!

    Peabody award!

  51. 51
    Agatha says:

    @PTirebiter:

    Racism was the norm up North as well as down South. St Nicolas, the children’s magazine, was part the Century Company out of NYC and the Ladies Home Journal was published in Philadelphia.They were family magazines and when “colored people” were mentioned, it was as the butt of jokes or as objects of contempt. In 1905, the LHJ ran a cartoon series called “The Coons”.

    “The Mode in Dress & Home”, a school sewing textbook published in Boston in 1935, teaches how to patch clothing, with drawings of black people wearing the patched garments.

    When I was working in Boston in the late ’90’s, there was a furor in one of the local high schools because a black girl had been elected cheerleader. (The parents were the ones up in arms, the kids were OK with it — )

  52. 52
    Alwhite says:

    I just popped over to Dead Confederates web site mentioned in this post. Thanks for the link Dennis! WOW! If you are interested in detailed information about the CW, its beginnings and aftermath you really need to read that blog.

    It has dozens of links to other CW sites, a few I knew of but many I will be checking out.

  53. 53
    elmo says:

    @West of the Cascades:

    Thought exercise: has Texas advanced enough politically in 150 years that, if it seceded, it would not try to reimpose some form of slavery? Maybe for convicted criminals or illegal immigrants?

    Try? Reimpose? You mean like it hasn’t already happened?

    To be fair, it’s not limited to Texas.

  54. 54
    Allan says:

    Dennis, you’re going to force grandpa whateverhisname to go lynch some black people if you keep denigrating his noble ancestors like this. Why, a white woman was raped a hundred fifty years ago, which is totally worse than building an organized system of breeding humans like livestock.

  55. 55
    Remember November says:

    @Michael:

    Outright slavery, no but the brown and black peoples would get delisted as official citizens.

  56. 56
    dave says:

    Pet Peeve (not even your fault as it’s in the quote)

    rouge: cosmetics used to color cheeks
    also too: what sarah palin is goin’

    rogue: a cad or scoundrel, a wild animal
    on a rampage

  57. 57
    Mike in NC says:

    While not his best work, John Keegan’s “The American Civil War: A Military History” (2009) is a pretty decent read.

    He devotes a chapter to the enlistment of free blacks and former slaves into the Union forces, and notes how it was almost universal practice for Confederate troops to murder wounded or unarmed black prisoners after the battles of Olustee, Fort Pillow, and The Crater.

  58. 58
    Al says:

    The “ash heap of history” indeed. The term ‘honor’ in slave societies has a special meaning related to the solidarity of the slave-holding class, it goes back to Sparta and before no doubt (see Ken Greenberg’s “Honor and Slavery”). Confederate soldiers executed captured black solders on the field of battle — it was official policy or close, that’s why Lincoln and Grant canceled the parole (exchange) program.

    Don’t forget that pig Dunning, who made it his life’s work starting some hundred years ago to churn out racist historians and seize the narrative on reconstruction, all those lying case histories that DuBois rebutted so effectively in “Black Reconstruction”, not that anyone listened. The damage only started to be undone by the “revisionists” starting in the sixties.

  59. 59
    Andy Hall says:

    @Catsy:

    I think that if we are ever to heal these 150-year-old rifts and get Southerners to stop romanticizing the Confederacy, it is critical to draw a distinction between the Confederacy and the South.

    I agree. But to the neoconfederates, the South and the Confederacy and one and the same, indivisible. It’s a simple litmus test, really — if you’re not willing to fly a Confederate Battle Flag from your front porch, you’re not proud of your Southern heritage by definition.

  60. 60
  61. 61
    The Other Chuck says:

    Ah yes the false equivalency of “there was a lot of racism in the North too”. Yes, but not to the point of fucking *enslavement*. That is not a minor distinction.

  62. 62
    Michael says:

    @PTirebiter:

    Thanks for so clearly demonstrating that ass-holiness is an attribute without borders.

    Perhaps you can show me the widespread movement in the South of Christian preachers taking their congregations and localities to task over official, pervasive segregation and oppression of minorities during the 40s, 50s and 60s.

    Thanks in advance for your cooperation.

  63. 63
    Woodrowfan says:

    Ah yes the false equivalency of “there was a lot of racism in the North too”. Yes, but not to the point of fucking enslavement. That is not a minor distinction.

    Well, there was slavery in the north, but it had been phased out by 1860. New York City had a very large slave population that worked mostly in construction.

    I’ve wondered, if secession wasn’t due to slavery, why was Unionist sentiment strongest in those southern areas (such as western Virginia) where there were the fewest slaves? Golly, it’s as if the more slaves there were in a area, the stronger the support for the Confederacy….

  64. 64
    Anoniminous says:

    Anyone who thinks slavery wasn’t the mainspring of the Civil War is an idiot. Of COURSE there were other factors as well but a good dollop of those were secondary or tertiary spin-offs from slavery.

    Without slavery the South’s economy would have cratered. And, as usual for Southerns¹, they took a look at Lincoln, made shit-up, tossed in some Magic Ponies, and convinced themselves Reality was What You Thought It Was.

    ¹ I can say that. I grew up in the South.

  65. 65
    Brachiator says:

    @Dennis G.:

    In the beginning of the last century the Confederates were early adapters of new technologies to spread their myth. It was D.W. Griffiths’ “The Birth of a Nation” that spread the myth of Confederate honor across America and presented millions of white immigrants a narrative of white supremacy and shiftless, lazy, untrustworthy and threatening blacks.

    This is the second time that you have suggested that The Birth of a Nation holds some special place in American cultural history as perpetuating racism. You’re still wrong. You also miss or ignore how the reborn Klan (which was starting up in 1913, before the release of Nation), had a decidedly anti-Catholic and anti-immigrant emphasis in addition to the old standards, anti-black and anti-Jewish sentiments.

    And as Agatha pointed out, the Draft Riots and events before and after indicates that there were all kinds of ways that the culture let immigrants know who was who in the American pecking order.

    The plain fact is that in the United States of America, North and South, every institution and media outlet was used to perpetuate, defend and rationalize racism.

    And are you suggesting that DW Griffith was a Confederate?

    The new teatard/wingnut Confederate Army is working to update the ‘slave raid’ concept for a new century with attacks on uppity negroes, ACORN, the NAACP, teh gays, brown people and the latest runaways to capture: anchor babies.

    It is as wrong and as distasteful for you to attempt to turn undocumented immigrants into runaway slaves as it is for conservatives to attempt to link abortion and the 14th Amendment.

    I understand and agree with your passion, but this can’t excuse a slippery grasp of history and overheated comparisons.

    @Alwhite:
    Years ago, I read that Woodrow Wilson ran Birth of a Nation several times in the White House. Shortly there after he issued the order segregating the army and denying Federal jobs to African Americans (stuff you don’t get taught in history class).

    A previous poster challenged some of this stuff about Wilson (without excusing his racism). Apparently, some flacks pushed a Wilson-Birth of a Nation connection that really wasn’t there.

    He was a good-ol-boy who sent the Marines to Haiti to overturn an election that elevated ex-slaves there & had started instituting land reform. A Marine general was reported to have been crying over the order to force blacks back into virtual slavery for their white masters.

    Slavery was long gone when the Marines were sent to Haiti in the 1900s. And America’s miserable connection with Haiti began when Thomas Jefferson refused to support Haiti’s revolution, in part for fear that a successful Haiti might give enslaved blacks in the United States the idea that they too might be able to overcome their oppression. Since this first original sin, most American presidents either connived in keeping Haiti poor and isolated or turned a blind eye to the interference of other nations, and refused any attempts to deal equitably with that nation.

    And I doubt the anecdote about the tearful Marine general. The American military of the time was full of Southerners (that honor thing again which Dennis G rightfully points out). One of the most pernicious aspects of American occupation was that the military and business interests felt most comfortable in dealing with lighter skinned Haitians and helped intensify the malignant tradition of colorism which has long afflicted Haiti.

  66. 66
    Anoniminous says:

    @Michael:

    The Southern Baptist Convention was organized specially to support slavery.

    I beg pardon, to “protect private property rights” as presented in Smith’s Wealth of Nations.

    i.e.

    Slavery.

  67. 67
    Michael says:

    Just wanted to add this observation about the South in 1860.

    The slaver barons controlled all, and there wasn’t much of a middle class. Sure, you had some shopowners, doctors, lawyers and preachers, but you were absolutely dependent on the trade of the slavers to make your nut. The poor whites that didn’t have slaves were dependent on such little crumbs of work that could be thrown theeir way as their own wages were depressed due to free labor.

    Your local preacher was absolutely dependent on the slavers for the upkeep of the institution. Likewise, your local publisher was absolutely beholden to the slavers.

    As economies go, it was monolithically driven by the top of the economic status quo, thus decisionmaking power was concentrated in the hands of a few, who kept making bad ones.

  68. 68
    Michael says:

    @Anoniminous:

    The Southern Baptist Convention was organized specially to support slavery.

    Shhhhh….. You’re not supposed to mention that. It makes them look craven and cowardly, and who wants that when one can thunder on and on and on about the morals of others?

  69. 69
    Michael says:

    @Anoniminous:

    And, as usual for Southerns¹, they took a look at Lincoln, made shit-up, tossed in some Magic Ponies, and convinced themselves Reality was What You Thought It Was.

    Lincoln inaugurates March 4, 1861.

    Dates of Secession:

    1. South Carolina (December 20, 1860)
    2. Mississippi (January 9, 1861)
    3. Florida (January 10, 1861)
    4. Alabama (January 11, 1861)
    5. Georgia (January 19, 1861)
    6. Louisiana (January 26, 1861)
    7. Texas (February 1, 1861)

    Pussies didn’t even want to talk about it.

  70. 70
    Svensker says:

    @Woodrowfan:

    Well, there was slavery in the north, but it had been phased out by 1860. New York City had a very large slave population that worked mostly in construction.

    We’ve recently found some dirt poor immigrant ancestors in Albany area in the 1810 NY census who owned slaves. By the 1820 census, the slaves had been freed.

  71. 71
    PTirebiter says:

    @Michael: …show me the widespread movement in the South of Christian preachers taking their congregations and localities to task

    Perhaps we could start with Martin Luther King Jr. and his stunning lack of, as you so eloquently put it, “inherent Southern cowardice on matters of race…”
    Not unlike your morally superior self, it’s an anomaly that still baffles modern science.
    Your welcome, in advance.

  72. 72
    PTirebiter says:

    @Michael:

    …show me the widespread movement in the South of Christian preachers taking their congregations and localities to task

    Perhaps we could start with Martin Luther King Jr. and his stunning lack of, as you so eloquently put it, “inherent Southern cowardice on matters of race…”
    Not unlike your morally and geographically superior self, it’s an anomaly that still baffles modern science.
    Your welcome, in advance.

  73. 73
    Al says:

    @Michael: And that was very much part of the Republican critique at the time — Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men. It was an oligarchy top-to-bottom that, unfortunately for us all the last two hundred years, managed to convince its own people of the rightness of its cause. Up to quite recently, the apologists would compare the black slaves of the South to the wage slaves of the North. And it wasn’t all peaches and cream for Northern workers, but the South attracted fewer and fewer immigrants as the nature of their society became obvious and their economy slipped into the mire, becoming increasingly dependent on inefficient, slave-supported, plantation cotton agriculture and the elite it spawned.

  74. 74
    Anoniminous says:

    @Michael:

    Exactly.

    The South was a “resource region” – a la Jane Jacobs – for the cotton mills in England and New England. This led to all sorts of results, one of which was ignoring industrialization preventing the introduction and rise of managerial and technological classes in Southern society based on and from industries requiring a high level of education to manage and Do Stuff.

    This not only crippled them during the Civil War, as they didn’t have an extensive network of industrial infrastructure that could be turned to making war supplies, it also placed a low value on a technical and scientific education that is still operative in the “Southern Mindset” which, through the success of Nixon’s Southern Strategy has slowly taken hold in the Conservative Movement as a whole.

  75. 75
    Woodrowfan says:

    as someone once noted, (paraphrasing) “Southern honor” allowed you to seduce a woman, but forbade cheating at cards….

  76. 76
    Anoniminous says:

    @Michael:

    I’m not an expert on pre-War Southern economy — I’ve read some books — but from what I’ve gathered the Southern economy was slowly declining for the reasons you state.

    Now the rational course of action is: do something else. (Like, duh … LOL) But it seems us Human Beans would rather hold on like grim death to what we know (slaves planting cotton that is baled and shipped off to have something done to it and then money appears) than expend the effort.

    After Lincoln’s election the southern elite got all a’ froth and a’ foam about his wish to eliminate slavery and didn’t cognize his greater desire to hold the Union together. And it’s doubtful, although once again I’m no expert, Lincoln would have pushed to end slavery if the South hadn’t revolted; it’s even a good question Lincoln could have cobbled together a Congressional majority TO outlaw slavery if the Civil War hadn’t happened. The Abolitionists were a minority in the North and West and considered something of a bunch of nutters by the majority.

    It was only once the Union realized freeing slaves really hurt the Southern war effort it was possible, maybe necessary (?), for Lincoln to issue the Emancipation Proclamation.

  77. 77
    Michael says:

    @PTirebiter:

    Perhaps we could start with Martin Luther King Jr. and his stunning lack of, as you so eloquently put it, “inherent Southern cowardice on matters of race…”

    *chuckle*

    Now show me the widespread movement on the part of white Southern Christians – you know, the ones who belonged to the oppressor class and benefitted from it.

  78. 78
    Comrade Kevin says:

    It’s Ta-Nehisi COATES, not Coats.

  79. 79
    Michael says:

    @Anoniminous:

    And it’s doubtful, although once again I’m no expert, Lincoln would have pushed to end slavery if the South hadn’t revolted; it’s even a good question Lincoln could have cobbled together a Congressional majority TO outlaw slavery if the Civil War hadn’t happened.

    If you look at the Lincoln-Douglas debates, he appears to have been a gradualist in his pre-war thinking. My guess is that he’d have gone for the “no slavery expansion into the territories” solution for his presidential term.

    That, of course, was anathema for the slavers.

  80. 80
    PTirebiter says:

    @Michael: I should probably wait, eventually you’ll revise all of your ignorant and counter-productive generalizations and I’ll be stuck. Then again, and as you previously said without a hint of self irony…

    who wants that when one can thunder on and on and on about the morals of others?

    No thanks necessary, really.

  81. 81
    Al says:

    @PTirebiter: Just an innocent bystander, dude, but you’re not winning this one.

  82. 82
    JM says:

    These Confederate threads always seem to attract a few bigots who exhibit the same blind intolerance in their attacks on the South, that the South has been guilty of.

    The United States as a nation has much to be ashamed of. Manifest Destiny exterminated whole cultures. The US had a strong fascist element in the years before Pearl Harbor made us one of the Allies. The current anti-muslim feeling seems to come from all over the US.

    We have to look into our hearts as Americans and examine our history as a nation. Choosing one region to demonize is an easy way to divert attention from our own failings.

  83. 83
    Origuy says:

    @Michael: One significant date you left out of the timeline: February 8, 1861, the adoption of the provisional constitution of the CSA. The Confederacy existed as a government before Lincoln’s inauguration, not in response to any of his actions.

  84. 84
    Alwhite says:

    @Brachiator:

    I have no actual accounts of WW & BoaN but did read a contemporaneous account of the Marines in Haiti so take that as accurate.

    Jefferson’s behavior re Haiti is no more an excuse for WW’s than Truman and Ike’s work in Viet Nam as an excuse for LBJs escalation or RMN’s illegal war in the region. He sent the Marines in to over turn a duly elected government to our shame. Of course so did several other Presidents in several other countries – lets pick Iran 1953 as another great example of how well that worked out for both us and them.

  85. 85
    PTirebiter says:

    @Al: Then help me out here. How do you lose arguing that it’s ignorant to make sweeping generalizations condemning huge swaths of a population as being morally inferior?
    Especially if that condemnation is geographically and religion specific?

    And if I’m wrong I’m wrong but do you not find any irony in someone moralizing while expressing disdain for the moralizing of others?

    My point from the beginning was its a mistake to think that racism is, or ever was, confined to the South. Focusing on, and demonizing the South as the other may feel like sport, but it’s ignorant and ignorance is racism’s best friend.

    The post was about the myth of Confederate honor and the importance of dispelling it. I’m not sure what denouncing white Southern Christians for their collective and inherent moral cowardice does to advance the idea.

  86. 86
    Michael says:

    If you want to have fun making some comparisons with the desires of teabigots, you can go to read “The Cornerstone Speech” by that treasonous fuck Alexander Stephens, March 1861:

    http://teachingamericanhistory.....ntprint=76

    Again, the subject of internal improvements, under the power of Congress to regulate commerce, is put at rest under our system. The power, claimed by construction under the old constitution, was at least a doubtful one; it rested solely upon construction. We of the South, generally apart from considerations of constitutional principles, opposed its exercise upon grounds of its inexpediency and injustice. Notwithstanding this opposition, millions of money, from the common treasury had been drawn for such purposes. Our opposition sprang from no hostility to commerce, or to all necessary aids for facilitating it. With us it was simply a question upon whom the burden should fall. In Georgia, for instance, we have done as much for the cause of internal improvements as any other portion of the country, according to population and means. We have stretched out lines of railroads from the seaboard to the mountains; dug down the hills, and filled up the valleys at a cost of not less than $25,000,000. All this was done to open an outlet for our products of the interior, and those to the west of us, to reach the marts of the world. No State was in greater need of such facilities than Georgia, but we did not ask that these works should be made by appropriations out of the common treasury. The cost of the grading, the superstructure, and the equipment of our roads was borne by those who had entered into the enterprise. Nay, more not only the cost of the iron no small item in the aggregate cost was borne in the same way, but we were compelled to pay into the common treasury several millions of dollars for the privilege of importing the iron, after the price was paid for it abroad. What justice was there in taking this money, which our people paid into the common treasury on the importation of our iron, and applying it to the improvement of rivers and harbors elsewhere? The true principle is to subject the commerce of every locality, to whatever burdens may be necessary to facilitate it. If Charleston harbor needs improvement, let the commerce of Charleston bear the burden. If the mouth of the Savannah river has to be cleared out, let the sea-going navigation which is benefited by it, bear the burden. So with the mouths of the Alabama and Mississippi river. Just as the products of the interior, our cotton, wheat, corn, and other articles, have to bear the necessary rates of freight over our railroads to reach the seas. This is again the broad principle of perfect equality and justice, and it is especially set forth and established in our new constitution.

    Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner- stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.

    Wave it in the face of a Sharron Angle or Rand Paul, and see if they bite.

  87. 87
    Michael says:

    @PTirebiter:

    The post was about the myth of Confederate honor and the importance of dispelling it. I’m not sure what denouncing white Southern Christians for their collective and inherent moral cowardice does to advance the idea.

    Because they were cowardly up through living memory – that’s the point.

    All those beloved mommas and daddies and grandmas and aunties and uncles that we remember from our youth? Cowards all. The shit went down all around them, and they did zilch. Oh sure, a few occasionally had pangs of conscience, but for the most part, they were happy to not have to compete with black folks for jobs or business share.

    The South has never reckoned with that cowardice. We as Southerners have never reckoned with that moral cowardice in our own families.

    It took nonviolent kids from the North working with black populations in the South to break the back of the segregationists – kids far from home, going to the “courageous” South, all to face down people who did things like this:

    http://www.spokesmanreview.com...../sitin.jpg

    Who do you think that King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” was really addressing?

  88. 88
    SteveinSC says:

    @Danton: The South Carolina Ordnance of Session does not mention slavery.

  89. 89
    Michael says:

    @SteveinSC:

    The South Carolina Ordnance of Secession does not mention slavery.

    Disingenuous. The ordinance itself does not, but there was a companion piece.

    http://sunsite.utk.edu/civil-w.....20Carolina

    Declaration of the Immediate Causes Which Induce and Justify the Secession of South Carolina from the Federal Union

    For twenty-five years this agitation has been steadily increasing, until it has now secured to its aid the power of the common Government. Observing the *forms* [emphasis in the original] of the Constitution, a sectional party has found within that Article establishing the Executive Department, the means of subverting the Constitution itself. A geographical line has been drawn across the Union, and all the States north of that line have united in the election of a man to the high office of President of the United States, whose opinions and purposes are hostile to slavery. He is to be entrusted with the administration of the common Government, because he has declared that that “Government cannot endure permanently half slave, half free,” and that the public mind must rest in the belief that slavery is in the course of ultimate extinction.

    This sectional combination for the submersion of the Constitution, has been aided in some of the States by elevating to citizenship, persons who, by the supreme law of the land, are incapable of becoming citizens; and their votes have been used to inaugurate a new policy, hostile to the South, and destructive of its beliefs and safety.

    On the 4th day of March next, this party will take possession of the Government. It has announced that the South shall be excluded from the common territory, that the judicial tribunals shall be made sectional, and that a war must be waged against slavery until it shall cease throughout the United States.

  90. 90
    Woodrowfan says:

    you know who caused the Civil War? BABY BOOMERS!

  91. 91
    JR says:

    The biggest “tell” that I’ve found is that, from the very birth of the “Lost Cause” myth, the adherents rejected the term “slavery” as a descriptor of what the South was doing. They argued that “negro servitude” was far, far too gentle a system to deserve the harsh term “slavery.” In fact, if it weren’t for those damned tyrants from the North, the “servants” would have continued leading lives of ease and contentment.

    The whole thing reeks of the same sort of self-delusion that the Confederate Party relies on today.

  92. 92
    Brachiator says:

    @Michael:
    Who do you think that King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” was really addressing?

    America. The world.

    Certainly not only the South or Southerners.

    Moreover, I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states. I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial “outside agitator” idea. Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds.

  93. 93
    PTirebiter says:

    @Michael:
    First, I hardly need be reminded of the atrocities perpetrated by the South. Get it straight, I’m not an apologist for anyone in what really is America’s original sin. But you seem to be willfully oblivious to the nation’s complicity in it. Projecting your shame and family issues on others doesn’t absolve anyone.

    Who do you think that King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” was really addressing?

    You tell me? The letter most famously forced a Northern President to reluctantly and temporarily abandon his moral cowardice and address the issue. And of course JFK’s Civil Rights Act was a token crumb until LBJ displayed some true moral courage. You seem ridiculously willing to give a pass to millions of Americans based on their zip code.
    You tell me, where were the northern ministers, priests and rabbi’s? Where was the Northern economic boycott?
    Where was the Armed Forces principled stand against segregation? Scapegoats serve the intellectually timid & lazy. Guess who serves the racist’s cause?
    What do you not get? I’m not arguing any false equivalence here, I’m pointing out the absurdity of your hollow and selective rage. Casually and categorically labeling any group as large and diverse as whites, Christians or the South as being inherently anything is just stupid.
    Now, had you applied your assertions to the new or old Confederacy you’d have been on firmer ground. Oversimplified, but tolerable.

  94. 94
    rf80412 says:

    @…now I try to be amused: This right here. This is how “honor” has always been defined, in all societies throughout history; it’s not unique to the South then or now. Honor’s only connection to morality has been to either a self-serving moral code that an elite group invents for itself in order to justify its elite status, or to a moral code invented by an elite group to be imposed upon a subordinate group in order to better control it and exploit it.

  95. 95
    Craig Pennington says:

    Holy freakin’ cow! That was some weapon’s grade stupid.

  96. 96
    SteveinSC says:

    @Michael:

    Disingenuous. The ordinance itself does not, but there was a companion piece.

    Well, what’s the use of a good meme if you have to stick with facts. Facile moron.

  97. 97
    Allan says:

    King’s letter is a response to a statement made by eight white Alabama clergymen on April 12, 1963, titled “A Call For Unity”.

    However, we are now confronted by a series of demonstrations by some of our Negro citizens, directed and led in part by outsiders. We recognize the natural impatience of people who feel that their hopes are slow in being realized. But we are convinced that these demonstrations are unwise and untimely. We agree rather with certain local Negro leadership which has called for honest and open negotiation in our area. And we believe this kind of facing of issues can best be accomplished by citizens of our own metropolitan area, white and Negro, meeting with their knowledge and experience of the local situation. All of us need to face that responsibility and find proper channels for its accomplishment. Just as we formerly pointed out that “hatred and violence have no sanction in our religious and political traditions”, we also point out that such actions as incite to hatred and violence, however technically peaceful those actions may be, have not contributed to the resolution of our local problems. We do not believe that these days of new hope are days when extreme measures are justified in Birmingham. We commend the community as a whole, and the local news media and law enforcement officials in particular, on the calm manner in which these demonstrations have been handled. We urge the public to continue to show restraint should the demonstrations continue, and the law enforcement officials to remain calm and continue to protect our city from violence. We further strongly urge our own Negro community to withdraw support from these demonstrations, and to unite locally in working peacefully for a better Birmingham. When rights are consistently denied, a cause should be pressed in the courts and in negotiations among local leaders, and not in the streets. We appeal to both our white and Negro citizenry to observe the principles of law and order and common sense.

    Wikipedia is your friend.

  98. 98
    Dennis G. says:

    @drkrick:
    That would be Baltimore.

    Cheers

  99. 99
    Tehanu says:

    @WereBear:

    It’s sloppy thinking to say that “the South” is still at fault for the Civil War and slavery … and that’s not what Andy Hall was saying. He was talking about what he calls the “Confederate Party” — which now consists not only of diehard Southerners who, unlike many of their neighbors, still haven’t left the 19th century behind, but of everyone who’s still parroting the same BS the original Confederates put out, whether they live north or south of the Mason-Dixon line.

    On the other hand, I lived in Alabama for one year in the 1950s, when I was ten years old, and I’ve never forgotten introducing myself to some kids on the playground and being told I must be “one of those Yankee n——lovers.” I was a sheltered little white girl from a California suburb and had never even met any black people. And although I don’t remember what I said, I do remember — vividly — what I thought: If that made me different from those nasty, foulmouthed, bigoted, Alabama brats, then I was a Yankee N.L. and proud of it. And I still am.

  100. 100

    @PTirebiter:

    Focusing on, and demonizing the South as the other may feel like sport, but it’s ignorant and ignorance is racism’s best friend.

    Well stated. It’s not a sport progressive blogs will give up easily, because self-righteousness dies hard.

  101. 101
    jerry 101 says:

    @Michael:

    IOW…Trickle down economics. Reagan and modern conservativism’s favored economic “theory”

    Concentrate the wealth in the hands of a few and make the rest of us dependent on our superiors. Not only that, but they don’t even try to hide their intentions anymore. Look at the way they decry tax increases on business and the wealthy and protect shit-paying companies like walmart. They screech that only these rich people and big companies can create jobs.

    Shit jobs. Jobs that don’t offer an opportunity at betterment.

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