Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Response to The Oxford American

Colors That Bleed by Warwick Sabin

The voluntary obtuseness in pieces like this one never ceases to amaze me. The city of Marshall's name is a disavowal of the Confederacy? Or the result of the influence of the military dictatorship set up by the federal government in the former Confederate states, as represented by the U.S. troops in Burrowsville? The forced imposition of northern/federal will upon the Southern states was practically the definition, and certainly the reality and practice, of Reconstruction.

And if you don't understand Kim Ragland's reference to the flag prohibition being a "slap in the face" of the men and women fighting for our country, let me give you a way of looking at it that obviously didn't occur to you. Our military personnel take an oath to uphold the Constitution -- the document that is supposed to charge the government with securing the rights of citizens, including the right to free speech and free expression. The troops may not feel about the Confederate flag the way the people of Marshall do, but they don't have to agree with the way Americans express their views in order to protect that expression. It is not the place of the city council to circumvent the will of the people. They are elected servants who are supposed to do the will of the people. The imposition of government on the people's rights and will are what the troops fighting against overseas -- but they're just supposed to accept it here, in their own country?

I suspect most of the troops remember what elitists back home have forgotten, or rejected: "I may not agree with what you say but I defend to the death your right to say it." Or, in the case of the mayor and people of Marshall, to display it.

There was no violent rebellion 150 years ago. There was a violent invasion of the Southern states by the federal government's military. There was absolutely no justification for responding to the peaceful and democratic secession of the Southern states with military invasion and war.

In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson established that people are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, and that governments are instituted to secure those rights. One right he specifically identifies is the right of the people to alter or abolish their government and create another that suits them better. This right both pre-exists and transcends the Constitution. How grotesque, then, that the only time Americans have attempted to exercise this right, the government that was supposed to secure it for them made brutal war on them instead.

That the people of Southern towns likely do not share your elitist view of history (and of them) doesn't mean they are conflicted and confused. It's far more likely that you're seeking to create in yourself the warm fuzzies of moral and intellectual superiority by bad-mouthing people simply for seeing the issue differently than you do -- i.e., you're right, they're wrong.

The Confederate flag did not inspire treason. The charge of treason applies only to people who, owing allegiance to the US, make war on it, or assist those who do. Since the states had already seceded (as was their right, enunciated by the Declaration of Independence) the people of those states no longer owed allegiance to the US. Thus, no treason.

The South did not tear itself apart OR tear itself away. It peacefully and democratically seceded, state by state, and it was invaded, blockaded, and starved. The invaders burned entire towns as well as farms, homes, barns, stored food and crops in the field; shot family pets; killed livestock and threw the carcasses in wells and streams to contaminate drinking water, stabled horses in church sanctuaries just for spite, and dug up corpses looking for valuables to steal. Oh, but I'm sure it was done without malice and with charity, since Lincoln suggested it should.

What I find grotesquely hypocritical of your essay is your charge that admirers of the Confederate flag do not fully comprehend its "complicated heritage" -- but then you simplistically reduce that heritage to "a nation conceived to deny fundamental human rights for some of its citizens." No, you got it right the first time; the issues that went into the creation of the Confederate States of America were not as simple as the all-slavery, only-slavery school would have us believe.

It is even more complex when you realize that virtually everything the Confederacy is criticized for, the United States is also guilty of -- and worse. The Confederate government did not have as official policy the genocide of the Plains Indians. It did not herd native Americans into reservations where their condition was worse than that of slaves. It did not engage in domestic mind control experiments and torture in Central America, like the CIA after WWII. When you compare the sins of the two governments and cultures, the CSA actually comes out as morally superior.

You seem to have a grudging respect for the hillbillies of Searcy County since they evidently didn't think secession and war was worth their time and trouble. Of course, that's probably the only thing admirable about them, judging by the way white Southerners -- especially hardscrabble rural ones -- are perceived and portrayed by the USA, especially in popular culture. They are among the last few groups people can ridicule and mock without rousing the wrath, or at least the verbal condemnation, of the political correctness police. I wonder if your grudging respect for their uninvolvement in the Confederacy's denying fundamental human rights to some of its citizens would move you to defend them from such as this:
Arkansas Hillbillies Google Search

And this:
And this:
And this:

I'm a self-taught writer. I found the Oxford American website while searching the Internet for writing-related content. I'm also a Southerner, and a descendent of poor, hardscrabble Georgia mountaineers. I am pleased with and proud of my region and its people and I write to honor them by accurately portraying them. I do not feel it necessary to portray them as scum-sucking racist inbred hicks in order to please some New York editor, or some Southern carpetbagger-or-scalawag editor. I would rather never be published than to achieve publication by lying about the good people of my region and their culture.

Fortunately, there are alternatives now, thanks to the digital revolution. Self-publishing has become affordable with print-on-demand technology. Downloadable electronic books circumvent brick and mortar bookstores. This same technology has given Southerners access to information about the past unfiltered by self-appointed gatekeepers who wish our view of history and our beliefs about ourselves and our culture to conform to theirs.

Not only do I feel no compulsion to trash my region and its people with my writing; I feel no desire to read others who engage in such. For example, "After all, the South is often mercilessly derided by outsiders for the more shameful aspects of its history; for its standing in many socioeconomic categories; and for the political systems and attitudes that are largely responsible for both." Anyone who writes such without pointing out that the political systems and attitudes responsible for both are not Southern in origin, but imposed from without, loses me quickly. As for the South's "socioeconomic categories" -- i.e., its poverty -- don't blame that on the Southern people....Blame it on things like this:

I'll happily leave the Oxford American website, go outside for some breaths of fresh air to clear my head and get the bad taste out of my mouth... and get back to the real South, a wonderful place regardless of 150 years of elitist efforts to sanctify the north of its sins by pretending only the South has them -- and that the sins are the crux, the definition, the sum-total of the South.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

More Sesquicentennial Slime

The Sesquicentennial of the War for Southern Independence will create a blizzard of claptrap like this, so Southerners who honor their culture, history, heritage and forebears -- brace yourselves... Oh, and if you're so moved, backsass the people attempting to palm off this claptrap. You may or may not teach them anything, but if my experience is anything to go by, it'll sure make you feel better.
Fayette: Peachtree City honors the wrong cause
By Jill Howard Church
Talking about the Civil War is a minefield of politics and emotion. As was the case with actual land mines during that war (as developed by Confederate Brigadier General Gabriel J. Rains), some Southern tempers tend to detonate under the slightest pressure, even after 150 years. But it’s not easy, or even appropriate, to tread lightly.
Folks, isn't it amazing how "opinion journalists" make baldfaced statements like this "detonate" accusation  without offering a shred of explanation, let alone evidence.  Frankly, Ms. Church, you're the one who seems to be detonating, here....
Peachtree City’s proclamation of Confederate History and Heritage Month was read aloud at a City Council meeting recently. Its wording took me aback, and I grew up in the same state as Robert E. Lee. My long-lost cousin Samuel’s Confederate sword is a family heirloom. I “get” the heritage, but only to a point.
This is 2011, generations removed from that most uncivil war. And I had hoped its lessons would be better reflected in modern mention. The proclamation begins, “April is the month in which the Confederate States of America began a four-year struggle for independence, state rights, individual freedom and local government control ...” I guess that depends on which individuals and whose freedom we’re talking about. The 4 million men, women and children held in bondage in 1861 struggled much differently.
Kind of like the slaves during the American Revolution, who didn't fall under the category "all men" as in the Declaration's "all men are created equal"? Kind of like American slaves who had no rights but three-fifths of them were counted for legislative apportioning, by Constitutional authority? Are the situations similar, Ms. Church, or not? And if not, why not?
The proclamation says April 26 is when “Georgians honor the brave men and women of all ethnic backgrounds who served the Confederate States of America.” Well, not exactly. True, there were Canadians, Europeans, Native Americans and Mexicans in the Confederate ranks. There were also thousands of Jewish soldiers, but their service was conveniently forgotten once the Klan showed up (just ask Leo Frank).>
Well, since Leo Frank has been dead since 1915, we can't exactly ask him, can we?  However, perhaps you will kindly point me to any published work by Leo Frank that indicates he knew the service of Jews to the Confederacy was "conveniently forgotten" after the KKK showed. Oh, and which KKK are you talking about, by the way?  There have been several "incarnations" of the Klan. If you are facetiously referring to Frank's lynching by the "Knights of Mary Phagan," that has nothing to do with Jewish service to the Confederacy, or the commemoration of it.  Yes, Ms. Church, I'm being as deliberately obtuse as you are. Only I'm not being nearly as dishonest as you are.
From the accounts I’ve read, black Confederates served mostly as laborers, relatively few as soldiers. And many who fought did so believing (or having been promised) they’d be freed in return.
What accounts have you read? And whether they served as laborers or fighters, what's your problem with acknowledging their service?  The same thing happened during the Revolution. Can we expect to see a similarly snide editorial penned by you denigrating the United States come the Fourth of July?  What a silly question, of course we cannot. Critics of the Confederacy are virtually always blind to the sins of the Union.
“Georgia has long cherished its Confederate history and Georgia’s great leaders who made sacrifices on behalf of the Confederate cause,” the proclamation says. But that way of life was built on broken backs and lives, and it is disingenuous to either contend or pretend that the “Confederate cause” isn’t stained by atrocity. Section 9 of the Confederate Constitution specifically bans restricting “the right of property in Negro slaves.”
The Confederate Constitution also forbade the importation of slaves from any foreign country except the United States, which some say would eventually cause the demise of slavery. Why no mention of that? Only what's worthy of criticism is worthy to be mentioned? Oh, and the United States isn't stained by atrocity?  For example, the official U.S. Policy of genocide against the Plains Indians. That's not an atrocity?  The 3/5th clause in the U.S. Constitution is hunky-dory with you? The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiments... CIA torture in Central America during the Cold War...  Gitmo, Abu Ghraibe...  Is slavery the only circumstance you recognize as atrocity?

Be careful how you criticize the Confederacy, Ms. Church; you're liable to find just as bad or worse done by the United States.
As I listened, I realized the only African-American person in the room was the police officer on security duty.

How ironic that the individual there to protect the lives of everyone else was the one person who, in the days of Dixie, wouldn’t have been considered a person at all. What did those words mean to her or her family?

I couldn’t bring myself to even look in her direction.
What do you mean by "in the days of Dixie"? Dixie means "the South".  The South predates the United States.  It still exists today, and will very likely exist after the United States ceases to.  That entire timeline is the "days of Dixie." Are you clumsily attempting to imply that slaves were not considered persons in the era before slavery was abolished? Where did you get that information? Certainly not from the laws of the day. 

I suggest you're going by your own personal concept/understanding, perhaps shaped by Hollywood and lurid paperback novels, or perhaps leftist race-baiters. I also suggest you look at the laws back then. Slaves were indeed considered persons. They had rights by law, very limited ones, to be sure, but non-persons do not have any rights (just ask an aborted fetus). Law mandated that slaveowners support slaves in sickness and old age. It gave slaves the right to give testimony in certain case. Slaves were also afforded more rights not by law but by custom -- for example, lighter work for women, especially during pregnancy, and the right to religious instruction. I suggest you attempt to rise above your anti-Confederate indoctrination and read real history, from source documentation dating from that era. You badly need it.
I understand that there are people for whom certain periods of history hold particular interest for one reason or another. Some Civil War aficionados re-enact the battles like a costumed chess game but not, thank God, the beatings, lynchings or other horrors of the time. I guess it’s easier to make believe than to make amends.
Civil war re-enactors re-enact the war; they don't re-enact plantation life or town merchant life or yeoman farmer life. Every time has its horrors, but the horrors of the time (and place) you're referring to are only a small portion of the total.  I understand that indoctrinees such as yourself have been taught to focus solely on the small, negative portion and pretend it is the whole -- and to try to convince others of the same distortion -- but it isn't. I guess it's easier to engage in false demonization than to see things as they really were.
But with the war 150 years past, and with African-Americans now 20 percent of Fayette County’s population, it seems more honorable to mourn the dead — from both sides — without constantly picking at our nation’s deepest wound.
Then stop picking.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

What Would They Do Without Us?

bby Connie Chastain Ward

There's no better place to explore pseudointellectual arrogance and South-bashing than the neo-yankee Civil War (sic) blogs that monitor the Sons of Confederate Veterans and other Southerners who refuse to spit on the graves and memories of their ancestors.

You will find the most pompous, hubristic commentary from folks who apparently have no way to feel good about themselves except to evilize those who see things (e.g., the Civil war [sic]) differently than they do.

On my last tour of the most arrogant blogger's blog, I came across a comment identifying the "white South" as the "worst of the worst" example of white supremacist racism that the "rest of the nation" moved on from "long ago."

Ah, yes. The evil white South. The scum-sucking racist inbred hick South. Funny how it manages to be the region of the country with the fewest hate crimes. Funny how the people of Mississippi, the poorest (and most racist) people in the nation, manage to top the list in charitable giving -- more than rich, pure-bred Massachusetts or any other state. Funny how the nation's black folks overwhelmingly choose to live in the evil white South.

But when you have such an overwhelming need/desire/craving to feel superior to ... somebody, it is imperative that you find a group to label as "the worst of the worst." Then you can feel those warm fuzzies of moral and intellectual superiority wash over you like waves on a tropical beach.

Just don't examine too closely how you created them, or you may find yourself far away from shore with the sharks of hypocrisy circling....

Monday, April 11, 2011

Hypocrisy Lives!

Yesterday, I wrote about Kevin Levin, the blogger at Civil War Memory, posting YouTube excerpts of the 1960s TV series, The Rebel, and waving it around as an example of embracing reconciliation and forgiveness for those "...who continue to harbor hatred for Grant and the rest of the 'yankee horde...'"

I was struck by this academic blogger appealing to Hollywood drama as not just a history lesson, but as a lesson for "putting aside hatred" (smirk), particularly when academics frequently show great derision for people who cite movies, TV shows and novels as examples to learn from about anything -- history, ethics, relationships, culture, you-name-it. Except, of course, when they or their friends are the ones doing it.

In fact, this had happened not too long ago on this same blog. Mr. Levin had posted an entry the titled "The Next Generation" with an embedded YouTube video, a promotional video for a Southern Heritage DVD, featuring the producer's grammar-school age son.

You watch the video and read the derisive comments from Mr. Levin and his satellites here:

Remembering that blog entry and one comment in particular, I couldn't stop myself from replying to the Johnny Yuma blog. The comment thread is produced below, with some added observations by your truly. (Incidently, I again searched the Civil War Memory blog for a copyright notice and didn't find one. If there is one somewhere over there and Mr. Levin wishes me to remove these verbatim comments, he has but to notify me, and they will removed -- and probably replaced with a paraphrased entry.)

Connie Chastain April 9, 2011 at 12:25 pm

Can’t wait to see if Andy’s gonna bring up the fact that Johnny Yuma was a “fictional character that only existed on a Hollywood backlot, where characters never dealt wtih really serious military invasion, conquest and dictatorship, and where African Americans were almost invisible.”

Nah, hell will prob’ly freeze over first.

* * * * *
Kevin Levin April 9, 2011 at 12:45 pm


Why are you singling out Andy? Do you have any idea of how obnoxious and angry you sound?

* * * * *
Connie Chastain April 9, 2011 at 12:54 pm

Because, he’s the one who wrote, “…the kid looks just like friggin’ Opie. There’s one well-known Southron heritage site that, when the author wants to refer to traditional, rural Southern virtues, also mentions Mayberry — a fictional town that only existed on a Hollywood backlot, whose law enforcement officers never dealt with really serious violent crime, and where African Americans were almost invisible.”

You think I sound obnoxious and angry, but apparently you didn’t notice how smug and arrogant HE sounded….

Gooses and ganders, pots and kettles, motes and beams, and all that….

* * * * *
Kevin Levin April 9, 2011 at 1:00 pm

I can’t think of one comment that you’ve left here in which you contributed something substantive to the discussion. All you do is monitor what other people on this forum have to say and then attack. I dub you “Angry Old Lady of Civil War Memory”.


* * * * *
Connie Chastain April 9, 2011 at 1:07 pm

I just have a really low tolerance for hypocrisy when it comes to my people, my region, their history and heritage; particularly when it’s exhibited by people who are no better than those they denigrate.

And if I may ask, what substantive something did Andy’s smug, arrogant comment contribute to the discussion?

* * * * *
Kevin Levin April 9, 2011 at 1:13 pm

Andy has been a regular commenter on this site for a few years now and I highly respect his knowledge of the period and his willingness to share it on this site as well as his own. You on the other hand have absolutely nothing substantive to offer beyond criticism of others. There is no evidence that you’ve read much of anything on the Civil War and related topics and yet you claim to speak for “my people, my region, their history and heritage.” Now that is a complete joke.

You speak for no one but yourself. Now please go away and stop wasting my time.

I replied to this, letting him know I'd go away after a final comment or two. He didn't approve it for viewing, though. That appears to be a typical response to commenters or comments he doesn't like.

In any case, some observations about his message here. You'll notice that he didn't answer my question. That also appears to be a typical response to commenters or comments the doesn't like. Thus, I can only conclude that smug, arrogant comments that lack a substantive something are okay as long as they're made by regulars who've been commenting for years.

You'll also notice that nowhere in my comment did I "claim to speak for" my people, my region, their history and heritage. I simply explained I have a low tolerance for hypocrisy where they're concerned, so here, Mr. Levin told a baldfaced lie. A. Baldfaced. Lie. I was speaking for myself, as my use of *I* demonstrates. Can any of my readers suggest how I could have made it any clearer for him?

In any case, the next reply to me was from Andy, the "friggin' Opie and Mayberry" guy, and I don't mean Sheriff Andy Taylor...

Andy H--- April 9, 2011 at 1:33 pm

It’s my people, my region, my history and heritage, too. If my writing or comments offend you, go elsewhere. I don’t post to your blog, and for the life of me don’t understand why you’re so upset. If you want to focus a lot of thought and energy and emotion on how I supposedly “denigrate” things you hold dear, OK, but understand that’s a choice you’re making for yourself.

There are a number of things wrong with Andy's comment. First, Andy, Levin, Corey Meyers and probably others go to proSouthern and Confederate heritage sites, groups, comments, etc., looking for things to get offended and upset about. Why's it okay for them and not for me?

Besides, can anyone here find the "upset" in my comments? I wasn't upset. Derisive of the hypocrisy, yes. Upset, no. When somebody Mr. Levin doesn't like posts in his comment threads, he gets more upset than anyone.

Finally, although claiming "my people, my region, my history and heritage, too," Andy never admits to having a low tolerance for hypocrisy about them. I wonder why. Do you suppose he does and just didn't say it? Or doesn't he care?

Does he or doesn't he?

Later on, someone else posted to me, perhaps not knowing that any reply I made would be unapproved for viewing (or maybe guessing it, if he has any experience with Mr. Levin, but not caring).

Neil H--- April 9, 2011 at 8:49 pm

Connie, It simply makes no sense whatsoever to zoom right by the message, learn nothing from it, and go on the attack.

I understand emotion, attachment, indignation, etc., but there was a sincere message being presented here, that of reconciliation and the “binding up of the nation’s wounds.” This episode that was presented here had that message and the idea the past is the past and it is time to move on to the future.

Your comments added nothing to that nor do they help with the study of history. I truely do not understand that if all you gather from this site is unhappiness, why come here and comment?

Thanks, Kevin, for another take on our memory of the Civil War and how some chose to remember it. Really enjoyed the trip down memory lane.



Sorry I couldn't reply on Civil War Memory, Mr. Neil H, but I'll be glad to answer here.

First, I know exactly what Mr. Levin's "message" was, and what lies behind it. My "attack" was about the hypocrisy of Andy's denigrating the use of fiction/drama to illustrate something when a Southern heritage site does it, but remaining mute when Mr. Levin does it.

Granted, I don't know what time the Johnny Yuma stuff was posted, and maybe there hadn't been time for Andy to see it and comment.

But does anybody really think he'd criticize it? To paraphrase some terms from my teens -- Is grass orange? Is the Pope Hindu?

The following day, this exchange appeared in the comment thread.

Billy Bearden April 10, 2011 at 4:36 am

I must say I am not familiar with anyone who is anti Grant like they are anti Sherman or anti Lincoln but perhaps, and this is just from my POV, but perhaps, had the surrender been the final event, the last chord of a sad song, then perhaps things like ‘continued hatred harbored toward the yankee horde’ might have been much less or almost non existant. However, I feel sure it was the second invasion after the victory – the rubbing our noses in defeat and stomping on the man who was down thru reconstruction that insured the feelings we are familiar with 150 years later.

Then of course noone can name a single southerner who went north to dictate how yankees must live, but we see daily the northerners who move south and force their yankee ways on southerners – so actually they keep this animosity stirred up against themselves

* * * * *
Kevin Levin April 10, 2011 at 4:54 am

Your comments betrays numerous assumptions about who is a legitimate southerner. What about the thousands of black southerners (Exodusters) who moved to the midwest, not to mention the hundreds of thousands of black southerners who migrated to the North during the “Great Migration.” They forced white northerners to confront their own racist attitudes.

Thanks for illustrating for all of us what happens when the past is viewed through the narrowest of lenses.

Breathtaking in its arrogance, iddinit? First, the black Southerners who migrated north were only a fraction of the total number. In fact, if you look at this map showing the location of slaves in 1861 ( and this one showing the location of blacks in the USA in the year 2000, ( they look substantially the same.

Besides, the term Southerner has historically been used to describe the white people of the South. I'm suspect Mr. Levin knows this -- and it probably sticks in his craw and gives him another excuse to wield his "Racist!" brush. But it is blacks in the South who usually choose to not identify themselves by a region. Historically, they were called (by themselves and others) Negroes, then colored people, then blacks, then African-Americans. Someone with Mr. Levin's, um, academic credentials should know this, and should have understood exactly what Billy meant. Instead, Mr. Levin used it as an opportunity to falsely "color" Mr. Bearden's comment with the tinge of racism. I think an objective assessment of this exchange clearly shows who has race on his mind.

Mr. Bearden's comment uses the word "force" implying intent on the part of northerners who come South to impose their yankee ways on Southerners, and dictate how Southerners must live. Mr. Levin himself is a great example -- coming South to dictate to us hicks, rubes, rednecks and scum-sucking racist Southerners (and our school kids) how we must feel, and what we must believe, about the Civil War (sic).

However, blacks who migrated out of the South did not migrate to the north to force white northerners to confront their racist attitudes. Nope. They went to find work. If they had migrated north to force yankees to deal with their racism, the project was a colossal failure. In fact, Mr. Bearden mentioned this in his next post. And look at the slippery, squirmy non-answer he gets.

Billy Bearden April 10, 2011

Current census results clearly show the racial beliefs of the North – most segregated area in the country.

* * * * *
Kevin Levin April 11, 2011 at 12:59 am

You seem to be fighting a personal war on this site. No one is making the claim that racism was/is a characteristic of the South to the exclusion of the rest of the country. I guess this allows you to sleep better at night.

Hilarous! Mr. Levin sometimes chides people for going off topic and not discussing the subject of his blog entries, but he happens to be a master at avoiding discussion of what he finds unpleasant or unanswerable. You don't have to be an academic to realize that nothing about Mr. Bearden's post indicate any sort of personal war on that site, although it does indicate that Mr. Levin feels that he's under attack. I guess that's what happens when people say or ask things one finds unpleasant and would wish to avoid.

He ends with the cake topper -- an ad hominem attack on Mr. Bearden that has whatever nothing to do with the subject under discussion. Really, why would any of this keep Mr. Bearden awake at night?

So in this one single, fairly short comment thread, Mr. Levin has told A. Baldfaced. Lie. and made an ad hominem attack on a visitor to his site. What a wonderful example he's setting for his students, huh? (Smirk.)

As of the time of my posting this entry to 180DTS, there is one more comment in the thread, summed up with, "Hey, it wasn't me!" plus an off-the-wall implication of hate where none exists plus a finger-in-the-face lesson about "hate" -- a bit gentler than Levin's finger-shaking, but just as breathtakingly arrogant in its assumptions.

Neil H--- April 10, 2011 at 10:55 pm

Mr. Bearden,

In all my trips through the South, which have been many over the years, I know of no time where I made the effort to rub in the noses of the people I met there about the ultimate outcome of the Civil War. The people I met were kind, polite, egar to help us with directions and answer our questions on just about anything we had to ask.

I suggest it takes a willful effort, an almost daily concentration to hate. It has been my experience one really has to work at such to keep up the effort that the emotion hate demands. The South, in my own view, has so much going for it, not the least of which are the people who call it home, who were born and raised there. An automatic smile comes to my own lips when I think about returning there on future trips, so pleasant were my times there.

I would rather concentrate on that memory, than the long ago past events of Appomattox and Reconstruction. There’s no profit in holding onto hate as there is no return on it.

Judging by the half dozen or so posts and comment threads I've read at Levin's blog, it is badly misnamed. "Civil War Interpretation --My Way's the Only Way" would be a bit more accurate. But then, so would "The SCV-Bashing Blog" or "History Seen Through Epic Arrogance and Advanced Tantrum Throwing Blog."

Sunday, April 10, 2011

THIS is the spirit of reconciliation? LOL!

Recently, over at Civil War Memory blog, the blogger embedded some YouTube scenes from the 1960s TV drama, The Rebel, accompanied by this text: "On this day in April 1865, Robert E. Lee surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House."

He goes on to point and shake his finger with, "Those of you who continue to harbor hatred for Grant and the rest of the “yankee horde” would do well to listen closely to Johnny Yuma.  In this episode, Johnny explains to a young boy, who lost his father in the war, to put aside his hate and embrace forgiveness and reconciliation....  This episode beautifully captures the reconciliationist spirit of the Civil War Centennial."

The Civil War (sic) Centennial has a "reconciliationist" spirit to capture? Not in a lot of the hooey published by the American Empire's mainstream publications, and certainly not in the comment threads, presumably written by "reconciled" Americans.

Case in point, this comment, made in response to one I posted: "I would have out-Shermaned Sherman in South Carolina. The Roman treatment of Carthage would have been my model - leave nothing standing, and salt the earth."

Thus, the conduct of the Union Army and the comments of its defenders today (and this one is quite mild) are proof plenty of who exhibited (and still exhibits) hard-heartedness, mean-spiritedness, cruelty, hatred and immorality. Makes some slaveholders look plumb innocuous by comparison.

I just might post more about the "Johnny Yuma" thread at Civil War Memory. So stay tuned.