Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Even MORE Backsass!

Whew! It appears that the sesquicentennial is gonna keep me busy, backsassin' what passes for journalism in this country. I think this fellow, Roland Stoy, in lily-white (almost 94% white) Branch County, Michigan emailed his column to The Daily Reporter without any expectation of getting an eye-scorching backsass from a sweet, Suth'n belle such as moi. LOL! Unfortunately, I see no way to e-mail my backsass to Mr. Stoy, and I'm certain it's too long for comments, so I'll have to post a link to this entry of 180 DTS in the comments section -- and see how long The Daily Reporter lets it stay there...

Stoy's victor-pablum is here: http://www.thedailyreporter.com/communities/coldwater/x13290565/First-in-Print-Civil-War-terrible-chapter-in-history

My backsass follows.

Dear Sir:

Presumably the photo accompanying the opinion column, The Civil War did not end at Appomattox in 1865, is yourself, identified as Roland Stoy. If so, you look well old enough to have learned better than what you put forth in that piece.

You wrote:

The Civil War did not end at Appomattox in 1865.

Many Confederate sympathizers have been fighting it ever since, often viciously, with the Confederacy still glorified in the misguided minds of many. Besides lynchings and other murders, southerners managed to deny black people their civil rights for another 100 years after the war.

First, the idea that glorifying the Confederacy occurs in misguided minds may be your opinion, to which you are certainly entitled, but it is simply wrong, in error, not true. You may disagree with the idea of glorifying the Confederacy, but that gives you no authority whatever for claiming that those who do so have "misguided minds."

Second, the accusation that "many" Confederate sympathizers have been fighting the civil war "often viciously" since Appomattox (the correct terminology for the place, by the way, is Appomattox Courthouse) is also simply wrong, in error, not true. The vast majority of those who honor the Confederacy are law-abiding and non-violent, and it is the height of ignorance (or spite, or downright hatred) to mendaciously claim they are "vicious."

Third, blacks were denied their rights -- and still are -- all over the country, not just in the South. Racism is American -- not Southern. Race-based lynchings and murders occurred outside the South, as well, If more occurred in the South, it is because the South was basically the only black-white bi-racial region of the country.

In fact, it still is. If the black population were evenly spread across the USA, racial strife would also be evenly spread across the USA. Frankly, when somebody from lily-white Michigan (except for Detroit) starts talking about race, there's plenty of good reason for Southerners to tune you out. Also, if the South was such a terrible place for blacks to live, this map would not look like it does: http://www.censusscope.org/us/map_nhblack.html

I see that you live in Coldwater, in Branch County, which is almost 94% .... white. Well, well, well.... I grew up in a southern county that was 70% black, another that was 54% black. If you've lived with the reality of a bi-racial culture, I might be willing to listen to you pontificate about race relations. If you've lived in a lily-white culture all your life, forget it.

Some still insist it was about state’s rights, but we know it was about the right to have slavery.
Ah, no -- we don't know that. You may believe that -- you are entitled to believe what you wish but your wishes do not automatically constitute truth or fact. The war was about neither slavery nor states rights -- that argument came before the war. The war itself was about an army illegally invading the legally seceded states of the South, and the men of the South fighting to protect hearth and home from that invasion.

You wrote: There is a “secession ball” planned for April 12 at Fort Sumter, where the South began the war in 1861, 150 years ago. Wouldn’t it make more sense to wait a few more years and mark the truce in 1865?

If you want to have such a ball in Michigan, by all means, put your money where your mouth is and start planning. You've got several years to pull it off.

At least 618,000 died in the war, and some say the toll was closer to 700,000. Many who did survive came home without arms and legs, severely addicted to opium, and suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD) before it had a name.
True. In addition, Southern soldiers came home to a land utterly devastated by a ruthless and barbaric army, and had to live through further devastation from a lawless military dictatorship and venal legislation and outright thievery by reconstruction governments -- not to mention several generations of grinding regional poverty purposely perpetrated by the, um, victors of the war.

Rebel leader Nathan Bedford Forrest accounted for 300 dead after his victory at Fort Pillow, with black soldiers nailed to logs, buried alive or gunned down where they stood. The 300 included women and children.
He probably accounted for more dead than that -- he was a brilliant militarist. But the federals themselves cleared him of the Ft. Pillow charges that are still mendaciously repeated against him by folks like you. Just out of curiosity, why are you doing this? Did you not know he was cleared? Or do you not care?

The consideration in Mississippi of a new vanity license plate to honor Forrest - a planter and a trafficker in black people — prompted a column recently by Leonard Pitts, who also noted Forrest was a founder and the first “Grand Wizard” of the Ku Klux Klan, responsible for countless acts of violence, including the notorious 1963 church bombing in which four little black girls were killed.
Would love for you or Pitts to provide reliable historical source documentation that Forrest was "a founder" of the KKK, and what his actual deeds were as "Grand Wizard." I suspect if you started trying to track it down, you'd discover, probably to your dismay, that there IS no historical documentation for this charge. There is no historical source documentation that Forrest ever participated in any KKK activities. Oh, and he had been dead for about three generations when the Birmingham tragedy occurred.

In another manifestation of southern hubris, earlier this year Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell designated April as Confederate History Month, without mentioning slavery. Under pressure, he later changed his proclamation to condemn slavery and spell out that slavery had led to war.
Ah, no, you're wrong again. You just keep getting things wrong, don't you? Gov. McDonnell was well within his authority to proclaim Confederate History Month without mentioning slavery, if that is what his constituency approved of. And he didn't change it because of their disapproval, but because of the pernicious influence of political correctness robbing the United States of one of its most basic tenets and rights -- freedom of expression. And I'll bet you don't see how unfortunate that truly is. You're too busy using lies about the Confederacy, the South and Southerners to create warm fuzzies of phony moral superiority for yourself to appreciate how our liberties are being undermined.

I feel anger when I see a Confederate flag. I see extreme racism and rampant bloodshed, and I see ignorance.
How unfortunate for you. However, you see that because you choose to. I don't see that, so it's all in how and what you individually choose. I can't imagine there is an upside of choosing to create this anger in yourself. Just our of curiosity -- does the anger enhance or detract from the warm fuzzies of phony moral superiority you seek by South-bashing?

But it should be remembered there were good and brave men — and boys — on both sides of the war, even while the southern cause was dishonorable.
What's more dishonorable -- fighting to protect your home and family from an invader? Or invading and warring on civilians? How about an invading army that steals everything that isn't red-hot or nailed down? Shoots pet dogs? Burns whole towns, homes, barns, crops in the field --even farm implements so no food could be grown? How about an army that shoots livestock and throws the carcasses in streams and down wells to contaminate drinking water? How about an army that quarters horses in church buildings, just for spite, and digs up corpses looking for valuables? How honorable is that, on your scale of honorability?

How many cities, towns, farms and homes were burned in Michigan during the war, Mr. Stoy? You know where most of the burned towns were? In the South. There were over 10,000 fights in the war, from minor skirmishes to heavy combat, and virtually ALL of them were fought in the South. The South was INVADED, Mr. Stoy. Get that through your head. Invasion for the purpose of killing and thieving is NOT HONORABLE. And that WAS the purpose of invasion -- not freeing slaves. That didn't come until later in the war, and it wasn't a humanitarian move -- it was a military one. So you can take your talk of dishonorable causes and swallow it. Try not to choke on it.

One recalls such stories as of the Confederate chaplain who was forced to go into combat to kill, and instead successfully aimed for the legs, in order to simply take soldiers out of the fight.

One also recalls that southerners were not unified in secession, and it was the rich and powerful planters and politicians who ignited war.

No -- some of them influenced secession, true, but it was Lincoln calling up a freaking ARMY that ignited war.

A recent New York Times article said that besides the “secession ball,” many other events are being planned elsewhere in the South, including a parade in Montgomery, Ala., with a mock swearing-in of Jefferson Davis as president of the Confederacy.
You don't like Southerners seeing their history differently that you see it -- and celebrating it? Too bad. Maybe if the seeds sown by the union victory continue to fruition, the USA will eventually become the totalitarian paradise in which you could dictate to Southerners, on penalty of death, that they not celebrate their heritage. But we're not there yet, and part of the reason is because Southerners refused to grovel after the war -- and still refuse to.

Katharine Seelye quoted Lonnie Randolph, president of the South Carolina NAACP, “I can only imagine what kind of celebration they would have if they had won.”

He said he was dumbfounded by “all of this glamorization and sanitization of what really happened.” When southerners refer to states’ rights, he said, “they are really talking about their idea of one right — to buy and sell human beings.”

If Seelye's quote is accurate, Randolph is simply wrong -- just like you. There was far more to it than that. Even the Mississippi's secession document makes that clear.

Pitts suggested the South finally accept reality.
I suggest that Pitts -- and you -- learn the truth.

“Instead, too many in that storied region are still absorbed in fighting a war that ended in 1865, seeking to vindicate a cause long ago lost,” he wrote, and he said of Forrest “A man who betrayed this country, founded a terrorist group and committed mass murder is a man unworthy of honor. It is pathetic that that even needs to be said.”
You Confederacy-bashers just keep getting it wrong, don't you? Not "seeking to vindicate a cause long ago lost" but seeking to counter victor lies with truth. By the way, Nathan Bedford Forrest's country was the Confederate States of America and he did not betray it. He didn't found a terrorist group, nor did he commit mass murder. You and Mr. Pitts might want to keep an eye in the mirror on the length of your noses....

An old Pete Seeger song, “Where Have all the Flowers Gone?,” asked “When will they ever learn?”

In the case of Confederates, probably never.

After all, it has been 150 years.

Obviously, in your case, there's no desire or incentive to learn the truth, regardless of how much time has passed. To use a Southernism, go ahead on pushing your victor fables and planning your truce ball, but don't expect people who know the truth to applaud it.

Connie Ward

Monday, March 21, 2011

Backsassin' yet another "journalist"

Earlier this month, I came across a link to an article in Southern Heritage News And Views email list that caught my attention -- 'Sons' want to rewrite Civil War history. It was attributed to Stephen Dick at CNHI News Service.

It was actually the replies to Dick by a couple of "sons" that made me curious about his opinion column. So I followed the link. I was only a few paragraphs into the claptrap when I felt a backsass coming on.

Here's the link to Dick's column, http://blogs.cnhins.com/node/935 and my backsass is below:

Mr. Dick,

Perhaps you think the Sons of Confederate Veterans "rewrite history" because they know things you don't know, so you think they're just makin' it up. Let me help you get beyond that.

Ever heard of "sectionalism"? For decades before the war, the northern states had victimized Southern states using slavery as the excuse. Lincoln's own Secretary of State, William Seward, knew this and said so as early as 1850 in a speech about statehood for California: "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."

Read that again. The incident, slavery, supplants the principal question. In other words, there were other issues -- issues that today, people like you refuse to acknowledge, so greatly do you desire to cling to the all-slavery, only-slavery explanation. I guess, for some reason, it gives you the warm fuzzies of moral superiority, which you simply can't get if you look at the WHOLE PICTURE.

Read Georgia's and Mississippi's secession declarations, and try not to be so blinded by the passages that mention slavery, as most people are, that you can't read further. Try to read on beyond them and see what the OTHER problems were. Both documents are LISTS of ways the north had victimized these two states using slavery as the excuse, but I'll use only Mississippi's in this letter.

Although the document begins with "Our position is thoroughly identified with slavery," it sure mention lots of OTHER issues. Lots of 'em. See for yourself.

With slavery as the excuse, the north had "...deprived the South of more than half the territory acquired from France....dismembered Texas and seized upon all the territory acquired from Mexico..."

Territory? TERRITORY? But-but-but we're told it was ALL ABOUT SLAVERY and ONLY ABOUT SLAVERY. This is because people like you QUIT READING after "Our position is thoroughly identified with slavery...."

Not this time. Keep reading.

What other ways had the north victimized Mississippi and its people using slavery as the excuse? Well, it "...trampled the equality of the South underfoot ...promoted insurrection and incindiarism in our midst... enlisted its press, its pulpit and its schools against us, until the whole popular mind of the North is excited and inflamed with prejudice...

In other words, Mr. Dick, slavery was the excuse for stirring up sheer, blanket HATRED in the North for Southerners.

Moreover, it " ... seeks not to elevate or to support the slave, but to destroy his present condition without providing a better ... "

Hmmm.... sounds like the more things change, the more they stay the same, huh? To this day, northern do-goodism is frequently about bellyaching over problems -- indeed, sometimes making them worse -- without offering solutions.

Oh, but don't stop reading now. "It has invaded a State, and invested with the honors of martyrdom the wretch whose purpose was to apply flames to our dwellings, and the weapons of destruction to our lives .... it has broken every compact into which it has entered for our security..."

Security? SECURITY? Mississippians were concerned about their security? Concerned for their very lives? Yes, in case you're having trouble with that part of the document, it means slavery was the excuse for putting the lives of the Southern people in danger. But-but-but we're told it was ALL ABOUT SLAVERY and ONLY ABOUT SLAVERY -- that keepin' their slaves was the only thing Southerners cared about. Right? RIGHT?

Keep reading, Mr. Dick, we're not finished yet. IIf killing Southerners didn't work out, the north designed and desired economic ruin for the South, using slavery as the excuse:

"....It has given indubitable evidence of its design to ruin our agriculture, to prostrate our industrial pursuits and to destroy our social system ... "

And we know, don't we, that's EXACTLY what the north's war against the South achieved -- economic ruin so devastating it lasted for generations.

All about slavery? Only about slavery? Only to the extent that the north used slavery as the excuse to vent its hatred of the South, and as the method whereby to acquire the South's wealth for itself....

I've shown you how to pull the scales from your eyes using Misssissippi's secession document; see if you can do it for yourself using Georgia's.

Then, remember this. Only the states of the Deep South seceded, in part, due to issues related to slavery. The states of the upper South seceded ONLY AFTER Lincoln called forth a freaking ARMY to invade the seceded states.

I suppose it's too much to expect you to issue an apology to the Sons of Confederate Veterans. We'll just have to settle with using your attitude as a marvelous illustration of what the South seceded from.