The article includes several ludicrous quotes, one from Benard Simelton, some functionary for the Alabama NAACP, which is the kind of kneejerk response you might expect from an officer of an organization that's all about expressing grievances.
But the cake-topper quotes come from a National Park Service lackey identifed as Bob Sutton.
If you can stomach it, go and read the article here: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/12/10/civil-wars-th-anniversary-stirs-debate-race/
I left a comment that at this writing is awaiting "moderation" at Fox New.com. In case it doesn't get approved, I've decided to post it here:
Bob Sutton has it exactly backward. Slavery was important to the cause of secession because it was tied to the really important things he mentions -- politics, economics and culture -- not the other way around. Who in their right mind thinks a war would have been fought over slavery if these other issues had not existed?
Slavery's importance was also artificially inflated, as prominent abolitionist (and Lincoln's Secretary of State) well knew. Ten years before the war, in the midst of sectionalism -- the regional squabble between north and South, which lasted from 1812 (some historians say 1800) to the start of the war -- William H. Seward said,
"Every question, political, civil, or ecclesiastical, however foreign to the subject of slavery, brings up slavery as an incident, and the incident supplants the principal question."In other words, slavery was the excuse given by northern states for victimizing the Southern states over many other issues completely unrelated to slavery.
You think you'll hear that from "court historians" like Sutton?
He also has it exactly backwards that the victors did not control the story of the war. The Union has always controlled information about the war's history and still does -- through the heavy hand of government (who do you think "owns" Sutton's employer, the National Park Service?), academia (which is firmly under the federal thumb), business and industry (regulated by the feds), and popular culture, especially the news and entertainment media.
Sutton also shows his bigotry toward Southerners with this quote, "Southerners saw ... [the centennial] as a real opportunity to dull the civil rights movement." Southerners? ALL Southerners? I was a preteen then and I marched in a centennial celebration parade in Anniston, Alabama --and had no thoughts of the civil rights movement whatsofrickin'ever. Moreover, NOBODY I knew in central Alabama saw the centennial that way.
Benard Simelton needs to realize that not everything revolves around him, his organization, or his views. The sesquicentennial celebrations aren't for the purpose of celebrating the taking away of anyone's rights, and it is certainly not like celebrating the Holocaust. If he wants to see it that way, that's his prerogative -- but he needs to not project his unfortunate misconceptions onto others.