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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I feel anger when I see a Confederate flag. I see extreme racism and rampant bloodshed, and I see ignorance.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
Pitts suggested the South finally accept reality.
“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.”
An old Pete Seeger song, “Where Have all the Flowers Gone?,” asked “When will they ever learn?”