Friday, December 10, 2010

Fox News showcasing bigots....

Over at Fox, there's an article titled Civil War's 150th anniversary stirs debate on race.

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:

I left a comment that at this writing is awaiting "moderation" at Fox 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.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Planned lies about history? We'll see....

In her article, "One State Takes a New Look at Causes of War" in a recent issue of the New York Times, Katharine Q. Seelye says, a new historical marker at the old capital in Milledgeville, will cite "Georgia's secession ordinance" and will say that "the state seceded in response to the election of Abraham Lincoln, who was 'anti-slavery.'"

Ah, sorry, no. This is not true. Here is Georgia's Ordinance of Secession:

"We the people of the State of Georgia in Convention assembled do declare and ordain and it is hereby declared and ordained that the ordinance adopted by the State of Georgia in convention on the 2nd day of Jany. in the year of our Lord seventeen hundred and eighty-eight, whereby the constitution of the United States of America was assented to, ratified and adopted, and also all acts and parts of acts of the general assembly of this State, ratifying and adopting amendments to said constitution, are hereby repealed, rescinded and abrogated.

We do further declare and ordain that the union now existing between the State of Georgia and other States under the name of the United States of America is hereby dissolved, and that the State of Georgia is in full possession and exercise of all those rights of sovereignty which belong and appertain to a free and independent State.

Passed January 19, 1861.

Nothing about Aby-baby's election there. Obviously, the preeminent journalist Katharine Q. Seelye does not know the difference between an Ordinance of Secession and the Declaration of Causes of Secession. Only four states issued declarations, although all of them issued ordinances, simple legal documents dissolving the states' ties to the United States.

Georgia's declaration of causes begins with the issue of slavery, but goes on and on and on and on mentioning many other grievances the state had with the non-slaveholding states who were victimizing Georgia in numerous ways.

The declarations of Mississippi, Texas and South Carolina do the same. They are proof that while slavery was an important issue, also important were all the many, many ways the non-slaveholding states were victimizing the slave-holding states using slavery as the excuse.

It's exactly like abolitionist William Henry Seward said, according to journalist Douglas Harper:

"Slavery became the symbol and character of all sectional differences. It was the emotional gasoline on the sectional fires. Its moral and social implications colored every issue in terms of right and rights. William Seward, the Republican leader whose party made so much of this, recognized the fact: '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 for victimizing the Southern states for virtually any other sectionalist difference. And this went on for decades before the war. Some historians date "sectionalism" back to the War of 1812, others back to 1800. That much animosity, building up for that long, over so many reasons, is bound to erupt sooner or later.

The NYT article goes on to say, "'This may be one of the first official recognitions in the state, at least in modern times, that slavery was the overarching reason for secession,' said Todd Groce, president of the historical society. While some pro-Confederate groups may disagree with this conclusion, he said, mainstream historians do not."

Well, if the "overarching" is correctly explained -- that slavery was the excuse for the rest of the country's victimizing the Southern states over issues that had nothing to do with slavery -- fine. If "overarching" is going to be used as a euphemism for "the only reason" -- then, no --and the state's effort to pull the wool over the public's eyes needs to be staunchly opposed.

Besides, "mainstream historians" are in the winners' back pocket -- still, after 150 years. They parrot what they're told by their "progressive" professors, who are themselves residing in the same pocket.

The article concludes: "The historical marker is one of 15 that are being installed for the sesquicentennial under a partnership between the historical society and the state. ... The markers tell their stories in about 100 words. 'After that,' Mr. Groce said, 'people lose interest.'"

If the markers are going to be an excuse to lie about the South's cause, it is well that people lose interest after 100 false words.