Confronting Southern ‘Victimhood’

Exclusive: Many white Southerners are getting their backs up again over demands that the Confederate flag and other symbols of slavery be removed. But the core problem is that the South never admitted that slavery and then segregation were wrong, instead offering endless excuses, writes Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

Unlike the Germans after World War II who collectively shouldered blame for the Holocaust and the war’s devastation, America’s white Southerners never confessed to the evil that they had committed by enslaving African-Americans and then pushing the United States into a bloody Civil War in their defense of human bondage.

Instead of a frank admission of guilt, there have been endless excuses and obfuscations. Confederate apologists insist that slavery wasn’t really all that bad for blacks, that the North’s hands weren’t clean either, that the Civil War was really just about differing interpretations of the Constitution, that white Southerners were the real victims here from Sherman’s March to the Sea to Reconstruction. Some white Southerners still prefer to call the conflict “the war of Northern aggression.”

Confederate President Jefferson Davis.

Confederate President Jefferson Davis.

Indeed, Southern white “victimhood” has been at the heart of much bloodshed and suffering in the United States not only during the Civil War and the ensuing decades but through the modern era of the civil rights struggles of the 1950s and 1960s to the present bigoted hatred of the first African-American president and the coldblooded murders of nine black churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina.

Dylann Roof, the alleged perpetrator of the Charleston murders, apparently was motivated by racist propaganda that highlighted incidents of black-on-white crime and led Roof to believe that he was defending the white race, under siege from blacks, another excuse used to justify the Confederate cause.

Yet, the overriding reality has been centuries of white racist violence against blacks from the unspeakable cruelties of slavery to Jim Crow lynchings to the murders of Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights leaders to recent police shootings targeting blacks.

Considering that grim history, what is perhaps most remarkable about white Southerners is that they as a group have never issued an unequivocal apology for their systematic abuse of African-Americans, let alone undertaken a serious commitment to make amends. Instead, many white Southerners pretend that they are the real victims here.

We see this pattern again with the white backlash against public calls from South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and others to retire the Confederate battle flag and other pro-slavery symbols. This weekend, news reports revealed a rush among white Southerners to buy the flag and clothing items featuring the flag. And across the Internet, Confederate apologists rushed to reprise all the sophistry that has surrounded the pro-slavery cause for generations.

In Arlington, Virginia, I encountered some of that when I again urged the County Board to petition the state legislature in Richmond to remove the name of Confederate President Jefferson Davis from roadways that pass Arlington National Cemetery (founded to bury Union soldiers killed in the Civil War) and that skirt historic black neighborhoods in South Arlington (conveying a racist message of who’s still the boss).

Jefferson Davis’s name was put on the stretch of Route One in the early 1920s amid a surge of Confederate pride, a period of increased lynchings of blacks, a growth in Ku Klux Klan membership, and release of the movie, “Birth of a Nation,” celebrating the KKK as the brave defender of innocent whites endangered by rampaging blacks. In 1964, as a counterpoint to the Civil Rights Act, Virginia extended Jefferson Davis Highway to a roadway near Arlington Cemetery and the Pentagon.

‘Rankled’ and ‘Crazy’

A year ago when I first suggested removing Jefferson Davis’s name, the local newspaper treated my appeal as something of a joke, referring to me as “rankled” and prompting angry responses from some Arlingtonians. One hostile letter writer declared, “I am very proud of my Commonwealth’s history, but not of the current times, as I’m sure many others are.”

A top Democratic county official confronted me after a public meeting and upbraided me for raising such a divisive issue when there were more practical and immediate issues facing the county. The official said the state legislature would think Arlington County was “crazy” if it submitted a recommendation on removing Davis’s name.

However, after the Charleston massacre, I wrote to the board again: “When even South Carolina’s Republicans say it’s time to retire old symbols of the Confederacy — especially ones associated with slavery, white supremacy and violence — isn’t it time for Arlington County to petition the state legislature to rename Jefferson Davis Highway something more appropriate to our racial diversity?

“As we’ve seen tragically in recent days, symbols carry meaning. They encourage behavior, either good or bad. And, in the case of Confederate symbols, it is clear how individuals like Dylann Roof interpreted them, as a license to murder innocent black people. As for Confederate President Davis, not only was he a white supremacist who wished to perpetuate slavery forever, but he also authorized the murder of captured or surrendering black soldiers of the Union Army, an order that was acted upon in some of the final battles of the Civil War.

“There’s even an Arlington connection to some of those U.S. Colored Troops murdered based on Davis’s order. Some were trained at our own Camp Casey before marching south to fight for freedom. Some Camp Casey recruits fought in the Battle of the Crater in a desperate effort to save white Union troops who were being slaughtered in battle. However, after the fighting stopped, Confederate troops — operating under President Davis’s order — executed captured USCT soldiers.” [See Consortiumnews.com’s “The Mystery of the Civil War’s Camp Casey.”]

My letter continued: “As a longtime resident of Arlington, I have often wondered what we think we are honoring when we name a major highway after Jefferson Davis. Are we saying that we think slavery was a good idea? Are we saying that we believe in white supremacy? Are we saying that we favor murdering black people simply because of the color of their skin? What message are we sending to our children — and indeed perhaps to some troubled young people like Dylann Roof?

“Please, finally, petition the legislature to remove Davis’s name from these Arlington roadways — and keep at it even if it requires multiple efforts. It is way past time to do so.”

I have received no reply from the County Board. My guess is there will be the same timidity about riling up the Confederate defenders who will draw fury from their bottomless well of victimhood. When my letter circulated on some local message boards, it did prompt a number of hostile responses (as well as some supportive comments).

But history should tell us that a grave injustice that is not confronted that is allowed to lie dormant while its perpetrators nurse their imaginary grievances will resurface in a myriad of ugly and destructive ways. It is best, albeit difficult, to take on the injustice and demand accountability.

(Update: Sadly, some of the comments to this story only prove my point. Confederate apologists just can’t bring themselves to admit that American slavery was one of history’s great evils. Instead, they engage in endless sophistry, obfuscation, excuses and misdirection. The goal apparently is to confuse the topic and distract from the heart of the matter — that many of them still believe in slavery and white supremacy. If they don’t, why don’t they just say so.)

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com). You also can order Robert Parry’s trilogy on the Bush Family and its connections to various right-wing operatives for only $34. The trilogy includes America’s Stolen Narrative. For details on this offer, click here.

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145 comments for “Confronting Southern ‘Victimhood’

  1. Abe
    July 2, 2015 at 3:38 pm

    The steady rise of ethnic nationalism over the past decade, the replacing of history with mendacious and sanitized versions of lost glory, is part of the moral decay that infects a dying culture. It is a frightening attempt, by those who are desperate and trapped, to escape through invented history their despair, impoverishment and hopelessness. It breeds intolerance and eventually violence. Violence becomes in this perverted belief system a cleansing agent, a way to restore a lost world. There are ample historical records that disprove the myths espoused by the neo-Confederates, who insist the Civil War was not about slavery but states’ rights and the protection of traditional Christianity. But these records are useless in puncturing their self-delusion, just as documentary evidence does nothing to blunt the self-delusion of Holocaust deniers. Those who retreat into fantasy cannot be engaged in rational discussion, for fantasy is all that is left of their tattered self-esteem. When their myths are attacked as untrue it triggers not a discussion of facts and evidence but a ferocious emotional backlash. The challenge of the myth threatens what is left of hope. And as the economy unravels, as the future looks bleaker and bleaker, this terrifying myth gains potency.

    White Power to the Rescue
    By Chris Hedges
    http://www.truthdig.com/report/print/white_power_to_the_rescue_20130128

    • Thomas Howard
      July 3, 2015 at 2:38 pm

      ‘Those who retreat into fantasy cannot be engaged in rational discussion, for fantasy is all that is left of their tattered self-esteem.’

      Blame the South before the war, blame the South for the war itself, and still blaming the South today.

      Man up and admit you won the Civil War and are responsible for the criminal cartel that rules over us all.

      As a footnote…an average 22 veterans commit suicide EVERYDAY! Is that something to ponder about, or should we continue playing games by saying it’s the Souths fault again?

      • Abe
        July 3, 2015 at 8:48 pm

        Speaking of Lost Cause pet movements, this Rand Pac cracker’s got the full roster of Teabagger ‘Southern Strategy’ talking points.

        Defeat The Washington Machine And Unleash The American Dream Now!
        Vote Ayn Rand!

        • Thomas Howard
          July 5, 2015 at 4:56 am

          And the veteran suicides continue, to the sound crickets.

        • Abe
          July 5, 2015 at 11:49 am

          Veteran suicides are a matter of national concern, an issue for all Americans, not just a political plaything.

          The repellant Teabagger effort to politically leverage the issue of veteran suicides shows precisely how desperate your Lost Cause is.

          • Thomas Howard
            July 6, 2015 at 12:14 am

            It shows how petty you and your “cause” are in comparison.

  2. Abe
    July 2, 2015 at 3:19 pm

    Real Americans in the Southern United States do not identify with the cult of Southern ‘Victimhood.’

    The Neo-Confederate movement is a virulent form of anti-Americanism.

    Real Americans are able to confront the historical realities of American history, including the persistence of racist and ethnic nationalist self-delusion, exemplified by the Neo-Confederate movement.

    • Thomas Howard
      July 3, 2015 at 2:31 am

      Hmmm…is there any United States application that does NOT ask for your RACE?

      I’ll believe your BS when the Government quits asking for race information.

    • Abe
      July 3, 2015 at 11:15 am

      The Lost Cause logic of Southern ‘Victimhood’ — a feast of red herring.

  3. Jonathan
    July 2, 2015 at 12:23 pm

    Every time I turn on the news I see some stupid caricature of a southerner doing something wrong. Examples: fixing something the wrong way on purpose, being ignorant, racist, homophobic, jingoistic, intolerant, xenophobic, etc. People use this caricature as some sort of proxy straw man every time a southerner speaks in opposition. For example look at Larry the Cable Guy. We take a lot of shit from people like you.

    There is a history here and trying to remove it will make people push back. It is a stupid strategy to attack southern history in an effort to unite people behind a cause. It just doesn’t work. People push back and that is what you are seeing.

    • Abe
      July 2, 2015 at 9:40 pm

      Yes, damn you fanatical, avaricious, treacherous, hypocritical Northerners and your stupid caricatures.

      Because killing nine people in a church, that’s just “people pushing back” and “speaking in opposition” because “Southern history is under attack” and “taking a lot of shit from people like you”.

      Git-R-Done!

  4. Doug
    July 2, 2015 at 6:53 am

    I don’t care about a flag nor do I care about street names. As a southerner what irks me is the constant negative bombarding and belittling we southerners are forced to endure from the rest of the country and in particular the liberal media. I’d probably be a liberal if not for all the hate mongering that is constantly spread by the liberals about me and mine. Instead I’m a left leaning independent that is extremely hesitant to vote democrat. I am not a redneck nor do I know many and I’m from Arkansas. I however am portrayed as being a racist, shoeless, toothless, ignorant peon by the media. The reality is that I know no such person. Everyone in my family has multiple degrees from major universities. We are more well traveled than the vast majority of the country but I’m perceived as an idiot because of what, an accent? I own a business with black man and have a black brother in law, not to mention a mixed niece and nephew who lives with me. Alas, I’m a perceived racist because I’m a southern white man. In reality, black southerners are treated a morons by the rest of country too. We unfairly carry these burdens. Sure there are idiots here AND EVERYWHERE. Have you seen the Kardashians and Jersey Shore? There are plenty of racists, black and white ALL OVER THE COUNTRY but, apparently the media only sees it in the South. I for one am sick of it. Do you like rock, soul, country, bluegrass, folk or the blues? YOU’RE WELCOME. Do you like chicken? You’re welcome. You can thank Tyson. How about fried chicken? Do you like CNN? You’re welcome. Do you like BBQ? You’re welcome. Shop at walmart much? Your welcome. You like rice or soy? You’re welcome. How about Kentucky bourbon whiskey? You’re welcome. Ever been to Mardi Gras? You’re welcome. You like horse racing? We make it happen. Auto zone much? You’re welcome. Do you use Fed-ex? You’re welcome. AT&T? You’re welcome. Drink Coke or Dr Pepper? You’re welcome. Does waste management grab your trash? Do you own a Dell PC? Did you depend on a TI-85 in college? Shop at office depot? Fly Delta? Shop Home Depot or Lowes? How about Family Dollar or Dollar General? Need windshield wipers? How about the modern toothbrush? Sun tan lotion? Anesthesia? Chew gum? You like microscopes? Anti-fungal cream? Use a vacuum cleaner? Think submarines are cool? Ever needed a tow truck? YOU’RE WELCOME. We would make it and would likely thrive without the rest of the county. Why shouldn’t we secede? I’m not calling for it but it’d be nice to shut the haters up. The reality is YOU NEED US. We don’t need you nor do we need your ignorant attitudes about us. If you want to keep us and our money around you’ll act accordingly.

  5. July 1, 2015 at 11:47 pm

    Mr. Smith,

    I do thank you for a reply (despite some intemperate language). You made me smile when you took me to task for venturing into “batshit crazy territory.” And I trust you really do not mean to imply some moral equivalence between the imperative of retaliatory response to Pearl Harbor and response to Fort Sumter.

    To the relief of yourself and I’m sure many others, I see no need to drag this out further with point-by-point assertions and rebuttals. Judging from your comments on many articles at this website, you seem well read, thoughtful, and fearless in your convictions. And any admirer of the journalism of Robert Parry is okay by my book, no matter how many or what disagreements I may otherwise have with his or her opinions. At least we may concur that honesty and good will count, facts matter, debate is unavoidable and can be healthy, and the goal of living by truth or wisdom is not to be surrendered in despair. That’s what Mr. Parry has come to mean for me.

    I’ll leave you with something I recall Harvard’s Samuel Eliot Morison said about the New England Puritans (probably in “Builders of the Bay Colony”, 1930). Perhaps not an exact quote, it went like this: “Their faith is not my faith and their ways are not my ways. Nevertheless they seem to me a brave, humane, and significant people.”

    You may not agree, of course, but perhaps our generation would be wise to study objectively the Old South and allow her to speak for herself much as the late Northern academic Eugene Genovese did. We may come away, as Genovese seems to have, echoing sentiments like Morison’s.

    • Thomas Howard
      July 2, 2015 at 5:05 am

      Yankee boot lickers are the offspring of their boot licking ancestors, freedom is a concept they can’t grasp.

      They think they are free right now! lmao

      • Brad Owen
        July 2, 2015 at 10:16 am

        Real Americans care not a bit, for the “freedom” of parasitic Oligarchs to compel “their lessers” (read “We The People”) to lick their boots. The point was proved by Cromwell in 1648, against the Cavalier ancestors of the ignoble Southern Aristocracy. The point was proved in 1776, against Mad George and his “Royal Court” of our supposed “Betters” . The point was proved in 1865, when the British Empire’s pet-project back-fired, and The Union held. The point will never be relinquished. For us common folk (“We The People”, And those Americans who are descendants of those once-held-as chattel, AND even most of the common soldiers of the Confederacy, minus those apologists like you) the best defense of our freedom lies in strong UNION and SOLIDARITY, AGAINST the depredations of all filthy Oligarchs, foreign and domestic, political and economic…and this Truth will go marching onward, as the Great Work is not yet finished…and will leave apologists like you, in the dust of historical Lost Causes.

        • Thomas Howard
          July 3, 2015 at 2:20 am

          You are aware that the President has bombed and killed Americans with drones?

          How about that ‘truth’?

          We torture, the President lies, gets caught, changes the term to enhanced interrogation, and jails the whistleblower.

          How about that ‘truth’?

          The Attorney General sold assault weapons to gang members in Mexico, dead people all over Mexico and even our US Border Patrol.

          How about that ‘truth’?

          We and future generations are poor enough to pay for those who are too rich to fail. You see, banksters never will allow those debts to be repaid…so every child is born into slavery for their entire life paying the banksters their interest.

          How about that ‘truth’?

          Randy Weaver, Green Beret, son shot in back and killed by US Marshall, wife shot and killed by headshot from FBI sniper…she was armed with her baby.

          I think the ‘truth’ is not what you want.

  6. July 1, 2015 at 3:44 pm

    Mr. Abe & Mr. Smith,

    Glad you’re pushing back at my posts a bit but not in a way that pleases or profits anyone. You seem to want to debate about Ludwell Johnson or “Southern Partisan,” neo-confederacy, or other publications and organizations most all of which are unknown to me.

    I mentioned Johnson merely in passing based on my reading of his essay “The Plundering Generation.” Truth be told, I’d formed my opinion, however mistaken, about who was really responsible for the war long before I’d ever heard of Johnson. Nonetheless, in all likelihood you’re only managing to malign a fine academic. From what I understand he was legendary at William and Mary, Southern partisanship and all, and beloved by his students. I respect anyone who can last nearly four decades anywhere, certainly at a venerable college, one of the oldest in the country.

    What I’d like to see you do is comment on the substantive points: What about racial attitudes North & South in the 19th century? Was I wrong about Lincoln’s advocacy of African-American colonization? What about whether there would likely have been a war if Lincoln had not summoned forces put down what he termed an insurrection in certain states? Was it really insurrection and if so what do we make of the 18th-century Revolution? Perhaps more interestingly, what about the application to eastern and southern Ukraine today? Wouldn’t those people, if they had their druthers, sever ties with Kiev for the sake not only of perceived interests but history, culture, ethnicity, language? Is it evil or unjust for them to so desire? Today’s US seems to think so.

    Gentlemen, I do not expect you to comment on all these things and maybe you think they’re a waste of your time. But what are you accomplishing by what amounts to endless whisperings, links, and rabbit trails?

    • Zachary Smith
      July 1, 2015 at 5:45 pm

      What I’d like to see you do is comment on the substantive points: What about racial attitudes North & South in the 19th century?

      What about them? WTH does the fact that just about everybody in the US was some kind of racist have to do with organized treason to defend and extend human slavery?

      Was I wrong about Lincoln’s advocacy of African-American colonization?

      What on earth does Lincoln’s unrealistic view of colonization have to do with anything? It was both impractical and irrelevant.

      What about whether there would likely have been a war if Lincoln had not summoned forces put down what he termed an insurrection in certain states?

      This veers into batshit crazy territory. It’s like asking whether or not WW2 would have happened if Roosevelt had decided not to reply to Pearl Harbor.

      As a dedicated true believer in the Old South and its Right to kidnap humans and treat them as valuable but disposable livestock for the rest of eternity, you’re entitled to your opinion and to state it on forums like this.

      Likewise, I’ve got the right to be – and remain – totally disgusted by all the True Believers in slavery, terrorism, and organized treason.

      • Abe
        July 2, 2015 at 12:00 pm

        Neo-Confederate batshit, to be precise.

    • Abe
      July 2, 2015 at 11:59 am

      Sir, your closing remark is absurd on its face.

  7. July 1, 2015 at 7:49 am

    Ugly triumphalism and willful ignorance make a poor presentation of your chosen position.

    I find the commentary promoting “good wars” reflects the basest part of human nature.

  8. Abe
    June 30, 2015 at 11:27 pm

    Confederate Truths:
    Documents of the Confederate & Neo-Confederate Tradition from 1787 to the Present.

    http://www.confederatepastpresent.org/

    The Confederate Truths’ web site is an Internet extension of the book, “The Confederate and Neo-Confederate Reader: ‘The Great Truth’ about The ‘Lost Cause,'” edited by James W. Loewen and Edward H. Sebesta, and published by the University Press of Mississippi.

    In the preparation of the book, a great many primary historical documents were found and less than half could be included in the book, so this web site is for those documents that weren’t included in the book.

    Learn the truth about the Confederacy and Neo-Confederacy.

    • Zachary Smith
      July 1, 2015 at 2:28 am

      I went to the site and was instantly hooked – especially after learning what their book was about. But the cost! And naturally, my library doesn’t have it. But as luck would have it, I lost out on a bid for a pricey item on eBay earlier today, and was psychologically ready to cough up some money.

      I’m turning into a big fan of Original Documents, for there has been too much lying and fantasizing going on since the 1800s. Most has been done by the Lost Cause guys, but by no means all. One nasty speech by Jefferson Davis turned out to be forged in the 1920s era. At first glance it looked authentic, especially if a person had already decided he was an ***hole. But when Google Books found no earlier copy, I knew that that all I had was some slick lies about the man.

      So thanks for the link. The book and the free files are going to save me a lot of time sorting out the enormous mess of documents about the Civil War.

    • Abe
      July 2, 2015 at 6:41 pm

      Zachary, try making an Interlibrary Loan (ILL) request with your local library.

  9. Abe
    June 30, 2015 at 11:21 pm

    The white supremacist Citizens’ Council of Mississippi was the major organization opposing the civil rights movement in the 1950s and 60s.

    https://web.archive.org/web/20141217031754/http://citizenscouncils.com/

    The White Citizens Councils newspapers from 1955 to 1961 show that it was commonly understood by mainstream members of southern society that Confederate “heritage” included the idea of white supremacy.

    The neo-Confederate myth that the Ku Klux Klan gave the Confederate flag a bad reputation or that fringe people gave the Confederate flag a bad reputation is historically inaccurate.

    The White Citizens Councils were lead by the leaders of their society. It was called the uptown Klan. The idea that the Confederate battle flag stood for white supremacy was mainstream in the South, not a fringe understanding.

  10. Abe
    June 30, 2015 at 11:15 pm

    In 1994, Southern Partisan (SP) magazine, the periodical of the neo-Confederate movement since 1979, contained an article by Ludwell Johnson III. The article was based on a November 1993 speech given by Johnson at the Museum of the Confederacy upon being named a Museum Scholar. “Is the Confederacy Obsolete?” was identified by SP as “a rousing call to arms.” A professor of history at the College of William and Mary from 1955 to 1992, and author of “Division and Reunion: America 1848-1877,” described by John Merig of the University of Arizona as “the Southern Version” of the Civil War and Reconstruction, Johnson is a major figure in the neo-Confederate movement. When MOC officials decided to make Johnson a Museum Scholar, just two years after “Before Freedom Came,” they would certainly have known he was a leading neo-Confederate scholar as he had published his opinions on numerous occasions including seven articles in SP, prior to being made a Museum Scholar.

    Illustrative of Johnson’s hysterical neo-Confederacy is the SP article, “Securing the Blessings: Today the South, Tomorrow.” The cover illustration of this SP issue shows New York City and the Statue of Liberty engulfed in flames with the statue’s head broken off, its harbor littered with sinking ships, and military bombers flying overhead. This illustration represents what Johnson sees as a potential “Armageddon,” by a conspiracy that was first unleashed by the abolitionists fighting for emancipation and Union victory in the Civil War. The lead-in to the article states:

    “We are threatened by a powerful, dangerous, conspiracy of evil men. The conspiracy of the enemy of free institutions and civil liberties, of democracy and free speech; it is the enemy of religion. It is cruel and oppressive to its subjects. Its economic system is unfree and inefficient, condemning its people to poverty and deprivation. It has relentless determination to spread its system to other peoples and lands. Its threat comes not only from without, but from its collaborators in our midst.

    “Its aim is total domination. To compromise with it is impossible, because its leaders are treacherous and only agree to compromise in order to prepare the way for further aggression. For them agreements are made to be violated. Living with this evil permanently is thus impossible; there can be no peace or security until it is completely eliminated and its place taken by a system like or own, for our system is the best hope of all mankind. Our way alone guarantees freedom, peace, and prosperity.”

    In his MOC speech, Johnson argued that the Confederacy “has much to teach us” but these are not moral lessons; rather, Johnson defends the Confederacy and antebellum slaveholders, his interpretation of American and Southern history echoing those written in the early 20th century when white supremacy was at one of its heights. Rejecting scholarship written in and after the modern civil rights era by historians who discarded the underlying assumptions of white supremacy and the Lost Cause, Johnson laments that popular and academic history has changed. Implying that post-1960s historical scholarship is driven by ideology, and thus its interpretations of slavery, the Confederacy and Civil War are invalid, Johnson presumes that historians of the early 20th century were, by contrast, objective

    The Real Agenda of the Museum of the Confederacy
    And Why I Don’t Want Our Book To Receive An Award From Them
    By Edward H. Sebesta
    http://www.blackcommentator.com/441/441_museum_confederacy_sebesta_guest_share.html

    Edward H. Sebesta is an independent researcher based in Dallas, Texas. He is one of the editors of “Neo-Confederacy: A Critical Introduction,” Univ. of Texas Press (2008)

    In 2010, Sebesta and historian James W. Loewen co-authored the book, The Confederate and Neo-Confederate Reader: The Great Truth about the Lost Cause, an anthology containing a wide array of primary source documents pertaining to the Confederacy from the time of the American Civil War.

    Sebesta has two blogs, Anti-Neo-Confederate where he reports on the neo-Confederate movement and Arlington Confederate Monument where he reports on the effort to persuade the President of the United States not to send a wreath to the Arlington Confederate monument and to end federal government support of neo-Confederacy. His web site, Templeofdemocracy named after a 19th century metaphor for the American republic and in rejection of neo-Confederate anti-democratic and anti-egalitarian ideology.

  11. Abe
    June 30, 2015 at 10:57 pm

    Even when historically accurate, these ever-present memorials usually go beyond remembering Confederate “heritage” and end up glorifying the Confederacy.

    Consider the Arlington Confederate Monument, where even President Obama felt obliged to lay a wreath in 2009, like presidents before him. As leading neo-Confederate scholar Ed Sebesta pointed out in a letter to Obama at the time, the goal of the monument was not just to remember the Confederate dead, but to champion the Confederate cause.

    Indeed, the Arlington monument’s Latin motto is “Victrix causea Diis placuit, sed victa Catoni.” That translates into, “The winning cause pleased the Gods, but the losing cause pleased Cato” — the implication being that Cato, the stoic advocate of “freedom,” would have sided with the Confederacy, a sentiment that descendants of slaves would find deeply ironic.

    The same is true with the Museum of the Confederacy, also in Virginia. As Southern Exposure reported in 2000, future President George W. Bush was a donor to the museum’s annual Confederate ball, which each year draws hundreds of all-white guests in period costumes.

    But the Museum of the Confederacy is hardly an innocent history operation: Its store is stocked with far-right literature on race and politics, including books by neo-Confederate
    ideologue Ludwell Johnson, who in 1993 was appointed as a “museum fellow” — author of “Is the Confederacy Obsolete?” and other calls for revival of the old Southern system.

    Sometimes, the racial motives of neo-Confederate remembrances are subtle. Other times, they are crystal clear, as with the the decision by white leaders to adopt Confederate flags in Georgia (1956) and South Carolina (1962). Today, historians agree these were moves were timed to protest the growing civil rights movement and its challenge to Jim Crow.

    Virginia reawakens the South’s Confederate ghosts
    By Chris Kromm
    http://www.southernstudies.org/2010/04/virginia-reawakens-the-souths-confederate-ghosts.html

  12. Allison Glenn
    June 30, 2015 at 10:51 pm

    It’s totally bogus to evaluate historic events in terms of modern sensibilities. Totally. Bogus. Sorry, you fail logic. All of you.

    • Abe
      July 2, 2015 at 7:02 pm

      History (from Greek ἱστορία, historia, meaning “inquiry, knowledge acquired by investigation”) is the study of the past, particularly how it relates to humans.

      As an umbrella term, history relates to past events as well as the memory, discovery, collection, organization, presentation, and interpretation of information about these events.

      History can also refer to the academic discipline which uses a narrative to examine and analyse a sequence of past events, and objectively determine the patterns of cause and effect that determine them.

      Historians sometimes debate the nature of history and its usefulness by discussing the study of the discipline as an end in itself and as a way of providing “perspective” on the problems of the present.

      Stories common to a particular cultural group or movement, but not supported by external sources are usually classified as cultural heritage or legends.

      The cherished legends of the Neo-Confederate movement continue to inspire racist violence.

  13. June 30, 2015 at 5:58 pm

    Mr. Smith,

    Maybe you’re right about the South’s deep pschological hunger for war despite many overt efforts to negotiate peace with a reluctant Lincoln administration. But any discussion of Sumter cognizant of the facts on the ground will not lead to a conclusion of unprovoked Southern aggression. Far from it, I believe.

    But the real trouble with your reply is dismissing someone with a career like Johnson as “neo-confederate.” It’s not the label so much but the lack of any convincing refutation of his point. Even after the ambiguity of Sumter, in which no one died, does anyone believe there would have been four devastating years of war unless Lincoln and his Republican backers chose to prosecute it? That’s how you discern who’s aggressing against whom. Hard not to vindicate Johnson, at least on this one.

    Maybe the professor, despite his Southern roots, is fulfilling his vocation decades in the making as honorably as he can. Maybe he cares about distinguishing truth from error as much as Robert Parry obviously does. Of course it’s also possible Johnson erred about that most obvious fact. Beware, however, of tossing about labels (Putin apologist) when you haven’t defeated the argument or even made a serious contribution to it.

    • Zachary Smith
      July 1, 2015 at 2:36 am

      But the real trouble with your reply is dismissing someone with a career like Johnson as “neo-confederate.”

      Before reading this thread, I’d never heard of the man. So I used a search engine to find out all I could. His wiki is microscopic, and presumably that’s because he wants it to be that way.

      If I publish articles in The Nazi Journal or use Kiddie Porn Press for my books, people are going to draw conclusions about me and my beliefs.

      Likewise for professor Johnson and his associations.

  14. John E. Reuter, Esq. (Ret.)
    June 30, 2015 at 5:03 pm

    Yes, the Joint Congressional Resolution that embodied a comprehensive apology to the native peoples of the United States and signed by President Obama in 2009 was long overdue. Still, some six years later, the Washington Redskins continue to refuse to change their name. I don’t see how the south is much different than the north when it comes to these kinds of things. It just so happens that I read an opinion piece earlier today in the context of the Charleston murders whose author was demanding that reparations continue to be an essential component of any apology by the United States to African Americans for slavery. Sometimes, I’m not sure who the victim is nowadays, them or us. Maybe we should ask for the opinions from leaders of the First Peoples.

    http://firstpeoples.org/wp/tag/the-apology-to-the-native-peoples-of-the-united-states/

    • Mark
      June 30, 2015 at 6:25 pm

      Thinking about all the human injustice and suffering that resulted from racial and religious supremacy and the consequential US Civil War — i wonder if there was any other hot button issue in our history that would have incited a civil war?

      Reading through these comments, it becomes obvious that both sides have committed wrong doing in respect to this issue — and whether one admits it or not we’ve all been victims as there are still people dying and survivors who feel genuine pain as a result — how much productivity has been lost due to the shootings in Charleston just last week?

  15. David Sheridan
    June 30, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    The US Gov’t didn’t apologize to the indians until 2009. The apology included a provision that it isn’t intended to support any lawsuit claims against the government.

  16. Zachary Smith
    June 30, 2015 at 2:57 pm

    It is troubling that you would write that the South pushed the country into a bloody civil war. Really? The most obvious fact about that war, as pointed out by William and Mary’s distinguished historian Ludwell Johnson, is that Union forces did the attacking and the conquering.

    The South didn’t give a hoot whether a war started or not – they were so far into their Purple Dream they felt they were certain to win. Shooting at a Federal Fort was merely a casual sign of their delirium.

    BTW, I googled your distinguished historian Johnson. He’s especially “distinguished” for being a first-class neo-Confederate. One of his primary publishing outlets was the Southern Partisan – a place where you can learn that the North was evil and wrong about everything. And of course, the South was good and right about everything.

  17. F. G. Sanford
    June 30, 2015 at 2:56 pm

    A steady diet of ‘word soup’ is likely to cause a chronic case of verbal diarrhea. So I bring to this discussion the observation Louis Armstrong made when he pulled a joint out of his wallet and offered a hit to Jack Teagarden. Jack already had a joint, and suggested Louis try the good stuff. Louis lamented, “Man, I think I just brought a hamburger to a banquet”. We can read here articles by Dan Lazare (who thinks The Constitution is paralyzing democracy) who obfuscates Nietzsche by invoking…Nietzsche, and Graham Fuller, one of the ideological godfathers of geopolitical destabilization who laments the mysterious journey upon which we have all embarked by failure to recognize that, despite his cumbersome forays into the wisdom of classical scholars, Leo Strauss was just a reconstituted “authoritarian follower”. At the bottom of a deep bowl of word soup, he was a garden-variety fascist. He really believed that, if it weren’t for the racist part, Nazis had something worthwhile to offer. We see the same nostalgia in Germany at the end of the Great War. The rationalizations based on the “stab in the back” eventually led to disaster. Permutations of those same arguments which attempt to mollify the horrors of slavery appear here too, in one form or another. There seems to be a streak running through ‘human nature’ which we just can’t overcome. It’s the ability to rationalize atrocity as long as it promulgates the tenets of some completely abstract, absurd and delusional philosophical construct. ‘Word soup’ comes in many flavors, but the recipe is always the same. I note that this article got more than seventy comments, but as of this writing, Martin A. Lee and the “Underground Reich” has gotten no traction at all. Despite the flaws in some of his work, there is historical evidence to support his claims. Whether that threat stems from actual historical continuity or merely represents a resurgence of the same mindset that gives rise to lunatic right-wing reactionaries is difficult to say. But the same dangers are afoot. Another big war to prove it seems to loom all too ominously on the horizon. It promises to be a veritable banquet for the lunatic fringe.

  18. June 30, 2015 at 2:00 pm

    Mr. Parry,

    You are truly one of the finest and most courageous journalists in the country, but this article is not a credit to your sterling labor and reputation.

    The lion’s share of the blame for American racism cannot be laid at the doorstep of the historic South. Hardly any American leader in the 19th century, including Lincoln, believed in the social and political equality of the races. Lincoln’s solution to the race problem was to colonize blacks abroad, something he stated over and over again including his Dec. 1862 message to Congress (after his preliminary Emancipation Proclamation).

    It is troubling that you would write that the South pushed the country into a bloody civil war. Really? The most obvious fact about that war, as pointed out by William and Mary’s distinguished historian Ludwell Johnson, is that Union forces did the attacking and the conquering. Nearly all the destruction occurred on Southern soil. It’s not wrong for a people to try to defend their own land. Today we may not appreciate or understand our 19th-century forbears whose bonds of loyalty were usually more to their state or locality and its region than even to the United States. But they were not traitors. Truly they were patriots, ready to defend the land and culture and people of their own fathers in the first instance. Rightly or wrongly, many Southerners of the era judged the Union to be acting contrary to their interests, and they read and heard malicious evaluations of their society from Northern authors and politicians. Their fathers would not have countenanced it, so they thought, nor did their ancestors fight for and establish a federal republic that would demean their character yet exploit their wealth. That’s why they seceded, by orderly democratic processes, as their fathers had done in the Revolution. Keep in mind that British America, when it severed its ties to the empire, consisted in a multiplicity of small republics almost all of which allowed for slavery.

    The Old South no more tried to destroy the Union than the colonies tried to destroy the British imperium. And it is no more culpable for aggression and bloodshed.

    Moreover, the Old South no more pushed us into civil war than today’s Crimeans or the ethnic Russians of the Donbass have pushed Ukraine into much the same. You of all people, Mr. Parry, should show sensitivity to the similarities. Your writings describe and explain quite brilliantly where the aggression in Ukraine is really coming from. The southeastern folk and Russia herself are merely defending what they believe are their interests or what is rightfully theirs against a threatening, hostile regime. And their case is grounded in history, culture, economic interests, and geopolitical concerns.

    US-backed hegemony, as you point out, is wrong and dangerous in eastern Europe. Likewise, perhaps a US imperium over the states and their peoples was not that for which the Founders sacrificed and bled. From reading all your dispatches carefully for over a year now, since discovering your website after the downing of MH-17, it seems clear you disagree with that view of the Founding. Very well. There’s a debate to be had. But let’s not dismiss cavalierly everyone who makes a case for what one author calls “America’s Tradition of Decentralism.” Many prominent countrymen throughout our history have embraced it, not just in the South.

    I write as a native New Englander transplanted to the Midwest like many before me. However you view my opinion, Mr. Parry, I hope to remain an avid reader who has learned much from your work.

  19. Josie Wales
    June 30, 2015 at 1:06 pm

    “I reckon so. I guess we all died a little in that damn war.”

  20. Christopher C. Currie
    June 30, 2015 at 1:01 pm

    Most “southerners” in the United States are “victims” of their own creation. The main reason most of their states are so poor compared to the rest of the US is because a majority of them keep voting for Republicans to run their states.

  21. a dissenter
    June 30, 2015 at 12:49 pm

    You sir, from my perspective, are wrong in this. I don’t have to be a racist or in favor of slavery to support the recognition of history and historically important figures from the past. You are a revisionist in this matter. You fail to acknowledge either the context of the time nor the reality that the slave trade we have been taught about (people of color) was only a portion and not even the major portion of the business of slave labor then, and which we still have and our government supports.

    Those symbols of the Southern effort to assert what they believed was their right (to leave the “union” under their interpretation of the agreement which was made when the Confederation was converted into a National Government are important reminders of much more than the slave society. The vast majority of those who actually fought for the South neither owned slaves nor desired to do so. But they sure did believe that the Northern Aggression and the atrocities it perpetrated on the civilian population of the South in that conflict were unlawful, literally qualifying as extreme violations of war and qualifying as war crimes, which they most certainly were. The acts of the Union during the War left a stain that cannot be removed. The cruelty and complete disregard for humanity they displayed counters any assertion that the “good” side won. Those same “superior beings” and their, along with your, self righteousness went on to be applied to the Native Americans as we systematically broke every treaty we signed with them and slaughtered them as we eradicated those who hadn’t been decimated by disease. And that was all for profit as well.

    The men and women who fought for the South were sincere in their beliefs – (not just focusing on the ownership of human beings) that the other things which were part of the rights of man and the role of government in relation to freedoms and other aspects of life were things worth fighting for. The descendents of those who fought, rightfully see the symbols of their erstwhile battle to be worth remembering and honoring as heritage and homage to those who went before them. Those who went before them were not criminals, certainly not most of them. Loosing a war doesn’t render the population and the soldiers that fought criminals.

    The “cleansing” you seek, sir, must come from things much deeper than the civil war and its symbols, such as highway names and monuments and flags. It goes to the heart of an economic system that is contrary to the benefit of mankind and encourages self-centered disregard for others and the planet we all have to live on.

    I am normally a follower of your writings and opinions and there are few indeed I take serious issue with. THIS is definitely not up to what I have come to expect from someone who I thought was of higher caliber than this piece represents.

    • Zachary Smith
      June 30, 2015 at 3:00 pm

      …Northern Aggression…

      Another True Believer in the holy Lost Cause.

  22. June 30, 2015 at 8:17 am

    Clean your own house first.

    Get rid of all the reverence to Sherman, Grant, etc.. Union army vets were almost all gross war criminals, Indian genocide, torture, aggressive wars of conquest.

    Stop pretending to believe in the myths of the righteousness of the Spanish-American war and the Mexican-American war.

    Admit that the civil war was not primarily about ending slavery, and in fact, was motivated by financial greed.

    Adopt a new flag to replace the stars and stripes.

    Then ask southerners to adopt it also if they choose to.

    • OH
      June 30, 2015 at 10:54 am

      The civil war was straight up about ending slavery. Read the comments of the confederate traitors. General Sherman was TOO NICE. Jefferson Davis is the biggest terrorist in US history, he killed more Americans than Hitler, Bin Laden, and King George put together. To defend these traitors is to sympathize with America’s enemies, and even so, during a time of war, conservative. The South can adopt the flag of the USA and quit whining.

      • Zachary Smith
        June 30, 2015 at 11:54 am

        Jefferson Davis is the biggest terrorist in US history, he killed more Americans than Hitler, Bin Laden, and King George put together.

        To me, Jefferson Davis was an incompetent boob who was a terrible choice to have at the head of a government.

        A mil-blogger I read a few months back (I can’t find the story!) spoke of Robert E. Lee as being much more the culprit. More often than not, he was excellent in battlefield tactics, trouncing the second-third stringers leading the Army of the Potomac in the early and middle years of the war. (his lack of understanding about whole-war strategy was a big problem though)

        It was at the war’s end that Lee turned from so-so traitor into a world-class villain. After the 1864 Union election the South had no chance of winning the war – no matter how you define “winning”. If he hadn’t been a self-important pompous figure who loved war and being worshiped as superman, he’d have surrendered then instead of months later at Appomattox. At a guess, more than 100,000 Americans wouldn’t have died. But the old ass didn’t, and the post-war situation was even worse than it than it should have been.

      • Brad Owen
        June 30, 2015 at 11:57 am

        True, it was about ending slavery, and ESPECIALLY about ending that Oligarchy that countenanced slavery (an age-old institution that “The America Project” was sworn to destroy, mainly by counter-example…the hoary old European Empires were to be next). Gen. Sherman wasn’t too nice though, he was obeying his Commander-in-Chief. His President wanted the Nation to embrace a genuine policy of Malice towards none, and Charity for all (ESPECIALLY in the face of our tireless enemy, the British Empire…the Civil War was NOT fought in a Geopolitical vacuum). Lincoln didn’t want a string of gallows stretching from Richmond Va. to Washington D.C. He knew that the well-entrenched Industrial Revolution MADE POSSIBLE the ending of slavery, as mechanization swept through the farmsteads of the Nation (this work is still unfinished), and Agricultural Colleges were established, enabling small-holders to become more productive with greater ease, thanks to the labor-saving mechanization. Let it never be said that technological progress has no bearing upon societal relations.

  23. Abe
    June 30, 2015 at 1:56 am

    “The Charleston shooter was actually influenced by the hate mongers he read on the net. The same kind of hate mongering you and others are doing under the guise of morals and equality.”

    That’s quite the feat of false equivalence there, Cal.

    Then it finally hit me… it’s dem damn librul haters and their tired base that’s to blame.

    Well, I hope Bob Parry will remember
    a southern man don’t need him around anyhow.

  24. Cal
    June 30, 2015 at 1:48 am

    BTW, I just got a email from a friend on this subject.

    In it he mentioned the US has 45 Holocaust Museums across the nation and how many US Museums dedicated to Black Slavery? One? None?

    Why?

    But never mind we have at last discovered the source of America’s racism problem…..its a 150 year flag and a bunch of statues and road names. If we just destroy those and Robert can get that forced labor camp atonement going for Southerners everything will be hunk dory and racism will disappear.

    God help America, its gotten too stupid to exist.

    • OH
      June 30, 2015 at 11:15 am

      You are slandering America. You say that America is stupid. No we aren’t – we are only too stupid for YOUR brand of intelligence, conservative.
      Give us a break, some of us are not as bright as you are. I mean, you are the chairman of the republican party, you are a big well known Republican Party official, you went to college, some of us only got technical degrees. Now I don’t know about this forced labor camp atonement, I presume you mean to speak of the on-going persecution of white Christians in your fantasy world. But those are complicated concepts, can you try to dumb it down for some of us, so that those of us who are less educated than yourself, can understand what you are trying to say. In your comments, you have mentioned many different items and I do not understand what is the thread which is tying them all supposedly together. You came here to express some opinion. What is it. What is your point?

  25. Cal
    June 30, 2015 at 1:25 am

    ” America’s white Southerners never confessed to the evil that they had committed by enslaving African-Americans and then pushing the United States into a bloody Civil War in their defense of human bondage’

    Tell us Robert what you think the proper punishment for ‘The South and Southerners’ should be?
    Perhaps you might get up a petition to have all Southerners sent North –since of course there never were slave holders or any racist in the North–as slave labor, just as several hundred thousand captured Germans were kept in UK forced labor camps for 4 years after WWII as punishment. Would that sake your righteous anger and moral outrage?

    As a Southerner I don’t personally know anyone who wasn’t horrified and outraged by the Church murders in Charleston. But when the confederate flag and Southern slavery in the 1700-1800 and demonizing of The South (Southerners collectively) started being megaphoned as the ‘reason’ and ‘inspiration ‘ for the racist killer the outrage began to have the smell of manufacturing a political agenda.

    And that smell keeps getting stronger and stronger. The liberals used to accuse the right of the ‘politics of hate’…now the hate and venom dripping from liberal outlets and mouthpieces will curl your toes. I was a republican until I was 35 and decided they had gone too far and then I was a democrat until recently when I decided they also had gone too far. Now Ii am neither party.

    I started keeping a sort of record diary of the statements, people, groups who have been most vocal on the evil South and the flag and tearing down all the Southern statue figures and renaming roads and etc.. Its interesting. One interesting thing is most of it is not coming from the black community. In the instances where it is its worth noting that that same leaders of these demands keep appearing at these events around the country—like one Mervyn Marcano of Marcano Strategies of Calif who suddenly moved to Charlotte NC several weeks ago and was arrested in SC at a flag burning last week. Mr Marcano ‘s firm says–” he works with elected officials, campaigns, foundations, and organizations of all shapes and sizes. Marcano regularly steers clients through difficult media cycles by maintaining a sharp eye on a client’s vision and core audiences. ”

    I have also wondered who people like you talk to in the South when you declare Southerners are this or that—-or if you even talk to any or if you just it make up or take the statements of a few fringe that newspapers interview and use those.

    What perplexed me at first was why the liberals and their media and press operatives or sympathizers were going so whole hog flat out hate on the South with the next presidential election not that far away–it would surely lose them votes in the south—no one is going to vote or a person or party that tells them they are evil and the source of all racism.

    Then it finally hit me…..the liberal base is tired, we all see that already, more worn out than the right wingers base is and the Dems have to have something to get people stirred up enough to come out and vote. That something is hate and outrage, with racism as the new boggie man threat to America as personified by the evil South and the 1860’s –that never died.
    In the next election they cant count on the majority turning out to vote for hope and change–everyone way to jaded for that to work again. So they have to go for the black vote and whatever niche special interest they can get.

    I don’t think any of you carrying out this stirring of hate and blame the South for any racism that exist today have a grain of sense…or know what your asking for and are likely to get—a total backlash—one thing you arent doing is bringing the races together—-some of you might truly be stupid, others might be supporting their political agenda, others might just enjoy being sword wielding warrior, angels of revenge’ on the evil doers.

    The Charleston shooter was actually influenced by the hate mongers he read on the net. The same kind of hate mongering you and others are doing under the guise of morals and equality.

    In case any sane person happens to read this they need to know others too see this Orwellian insanity that is going and know exactly what it is about and all the agendas floating around inside it.

    French writer Jean Francois Revel wrote…. “Clearly, a civilization that feels guilty for everything it is and does will lack the energy and conviction to defend itself.”

    I wouldnt count on that guilt and damnation working if I were you. Once you try to rule by crushing the spirit of a people then you have to keep on cause it keeps poping up in another group next. I suggest you remember what happened to Robespierre in France. ….peddling hate tends to boomerang.

    • OH
      June 30, 2015 at 10:49 am

      Whatever, Conservative

    • a dissenter
      June 30, 2015 at 1:06 pm

      Excellent comment.

      Robert’s revisionist intent is just another example of how the lies we are taught in school under the guise of “history” take root and cause even greater harm than the lies themselves.
      Without truth, and that means all sides of the “story” nothing is ever “settled”.

      This whole effort to “cleanse” something that wasn’t the root cause of the underlying evil is no more than distraction. The economic system itself encourages disregard for others and encourages self-centered self-justifying behavior along with a sense that since it is “business” no conscience need be involved. Self-righteous indignation helps us ignore our own role and lets us blame others for something we all take part in. When the goal is entirely self-centered accumulation there is no way there won’t be exploitation and devaluing of others. Hate (or supremacy of one over another, dehumanizing in the process) is just a tool in that context and it can be used for both profit and to misdirect attention from the underlying issue.

  26. Abe
    June 30, 2015 at 1:15 am

    “Confederate apologists… engage in endless sophistry, obfuscation, excuses and misdirection. The goal apparently is to confuse the topic and distract from the heart of the matter — that many of them still believe in slavery and white supremacy.”

    Parry accurately sums it up.

    • Zachary Smith
      June 30, 2015 at 11:28 am

      Mr. Parry did a great job with this essay!

      To keep the “victim” status going, the neo-Rebels have to constantly reinvent history.

      ~~~~~~

      For a few years I had completely removed the Hullabaloo blog from my bookmarks – an Israeli propagandist had taken up residence there as a “regular” and the place became unbearable. It looks as if the site owner has given him the heave-ho, and I’m reading it again. A few moments ago I saw this:

      “Of 400 years of history on these shores, the 4 years of violent treason are the ones by which some Southerners still define themselves. This makes them a very special breed of 1%-er.”

      Their ‘special heritage’ is a gift which keeps on giving. Each generation they educate every white child with a reverence for that violent treason, and the racial fear & hatred and distortion of history just keeps on perpetuating itself.

      http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2015/06/them-boys-aint-goin-gentle-into-that.html

  27. boggled
    June 30, 2015 at 12:57 am

    Two comments regarding slavery and your issue of a symbol creating a racial hatred that should be banned.
    First the symbol issue.
    Should gangster rap and other ‘symbols’ of the black community be banned and outlawed because of their call of white hatred or police hatred?
    Case in point, NWA’s F’ the Police? or the thousands of other current racially violence incensing symbols?
    Should not those be addressed at the same time we address the ideology behind the Civil War and why slavery was an accepted custom worldwide as a business model and with Europe taking a lead, that model became outdated and needed to be changed?

    Second point, Slavery was a global business model when you needed a workforce.
    It was ONE form of an accepted business model.
    They did also have the Sweatshops which were child slavery, they had other forms of business models that were just as horrific.
    Eventually, the child slavery model got eliminated by legislation and a peaceful transition.

    The USA was growing in the 1600s and it needed a workforce to feed the masses and work the fields.
    Some of the great commodities to sell at the time were tobacco and cotton for clothing.
    America had the fields of them and needed someone to work them.
    The industries of the North were happy to keep their workforce up there, but they needed the natural resources and someone to do the hard labor.
    The USA Government promoted this to make its nation strong at the time.
    It was globally accepted at the time, but the mood towards slavery progressively changed.
    Plantation owners for the most part gave their slaves a good life.
    Not all of them though.

    Those that didn’t got the attention of the Abolitionists who demanded change at any cost.
    They used propaganda to promote that change.
    They found some serious violations of plantation owners and widely publicized that as how ALL slaves were being treated.

    BUT that was not the truth.
    It fit the Abolitionists activism though and helped them to force a quick change to a serious problem.

    Personally, I think when those issues became known to the Federal Government, they should have demanded the State Governments take action and if they didn’t, time to send in the Local militia to enforce laws against cruel and inhumane punishment and put that Plantation owner as persona non grata and in prison.
    Blatant treatment of a human being as a commodity and less then human is wrong.
    Yes, I am glad slavery is gone, however when the slaves were freed, how did the North act towards them?
    They said, ‘Your free now, Good Luck!’
    No, lets get you an education so you can make a living.
    Most slaves had a house over their head and their families, some were given some education to maintain the plantation.
    Their families were taken care of.
    They were feed had days off to go fishing in the local pond and swim and in many ways better off then the workers of the North who had to feed a family of ten on 2 dollars a month with a $1.50 monthly rent.
    Not all plantation owner’s of the South were this generous but many were.

    All of a sudden the nation had a war because of Abolitionists forcing the issue because of their propaganda to bring the nation to war.
    When actually a slow transition by legislation and a gradual change in morality could have prevented over 750k soldiers deaths and many more maimed for life and a nation that had to rebuild over many years and I still think it is affecting us now due to a Civil War.
    They freed 4 million slaves, a lot of people.
    A large workforce that had to go to work if they wanted to survive, or steal, rob and murder.
    The North had its workforce already, they could not take more.
    The Southern Plantations said not in my fields, I will hire Mexicans and people from the Caribbean.

    The mood of the world was an end to slavery practices at that time, and America was progressively changing with the world.
    However it was not fast enough for the activists.
    And also at the time the slaves that were victims of bad plantation owners were forsaken by the Federal Government when they enacted the law to return escaped slaves to their plantation owners that treated them cruelly.
    Was a war the right thing? I do not think so.

    Did the North do the right thing after the War?
    Slaves were free, but they had no education other then working fields of the South, they had no property, no monetary savings, no one would give them a loan.
    Good job North freeing the slaves.

    It should have been a slow transition, but terrorist activists and their lying propaganda forced a War that could have been avoided.

    Let’s not forget those who sold the USA the slaves, and remember that slavery of this kind is still in practice in Africa today.
    Two villages on the African plains decide to go to war, the Conquerors killed many of the men in battle, a few others they killed to squash rebellion.
    They kept the rest.
    Until they met the missionaries.
    Missionaries in concern for the cruelty decided to take the troublesome people off the hands of the victorious tribal chiefs and gave the young men, old men, some women and children a new life and brought them to the USA to be part of the workforce of a growing nation.
    Yes, it got perverted by slave ships and that business.
    The tribal chiefs were happy to sell the troublemakers and losers in their wars for gold, tobacco, whiskey.
    The practice of slavery in Africa is alive today.
    They still have their tribal wars and the victors treat the losers as slaves.
    That is Boka Harum.

    And one last thing, that is how Ukrainian military is treated in Eastern Ukraine as they are captured as POWs.
    Donbas terrorists are using them as slave labor to rebuild buildings, roads, and other menial tasks.
    That is a war crime, are you going to speak out against that Mr. Parry?

    Fare thee well

    • OH
      June 30, 2015 at 11:02 am

      Whatever, whatever, whatever, … Conservative.

  28. historicvs
    June 30, 2015 at 12:43 am

    John Adams summed up the essential American problem in a 1775 letter to General Horatio Gates in which he said, “All our misfortune arises from a single source, the reluctance of the Southern colonies to republican government … The difficulties lie in forming constitutions for particular colonies, and a continental constitution. This can only be done on popular principles and maxims which are so abhorrent to the inclinations of the barons of the South, and the proprietary interests in the middle colonies, as well as that avarice of land which has made upon this continent so many votaries to Mammon that I sometimes dread the consequences.”

    The southern oligarchy had never accepted democracy either in theory or in practice. They kept Lincoln’s name off the ballot in nine of the future “confederate” states, and though they still controlled the federal Congress and the Supreme Court, they used his election as the pretext to put their long-planned assault on the national government into action. The 1860 Republican Party platform banned the expansion of slavery into the new territories seized from Mexico, which slaveholders saw as vital to the profitability of their “peculiar institution.”

    The southern-sponsored federal Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 had granted unprecedented policing powers to the federal government. The Act mandated an expansion of slaveholder rights to recover runaway slaves that substantially exceeded the provisions for such activity granted in Article IV Section 2 of the 1787 Constitution. This power grab was widely perceived as a first step in the final assault by an insidious “slave power” on the freedom of all Americans.

    It is a remarkable irony that the alleged states’ right advocates of the old south were the prime movers in strengthening the central government, which they had effectively controlled since its start in 1789. There was also no popular interest, and no legal method, to abolish slavery “where it was” before the slaveholder rebellion put both those tools into the hands of the tiny abolitionist minority.

    Remember too that the project of American dominance of the world began with the slaveholders of the old South, whose strategists repeatedly boasted of creating a hemisphere-wide slave power. In their vision the Stars and Stripes would proudly wave over an empire of human suffering that would extend from the Mason-Dixon Line to Tierra del Fuego at the very tip of South America.

    It is perhaps another, grimmer irony that if the South had succeeded in breaking away from the free states, it would not have been able to hijack the industrial might of the North to wage the aggressive mechanized war against the rest of the world which since has become America’s signature foreign policy.

    What the Confederates failed to accomplish by force of arms their ideological descendants achieved by subversion by the end of the twentieth century. A particularly insightful article on the seizure of modern America by the “plantation mentality” of the
    old south is online at http://www.alternet.org/story/156071/conservative_southern_values_revived:_how_a_br
    utal_strain_of_american_aristocrats_have_come_to_rule_america

    • Mark
      June 30, 2015 at 3:43 am

      When slave holding began well before 1776 there was no Old South — to blame the current state of affairs with the US empire being essentially a rogue criminal nation that possesses a strong contingent of sycophant politicians around the globe — to blame that all on the Old South supremacist culture is quite a stretch.

      Going by what came first, a logical argument would be that existing slavery and desire to maintain it, corrupted the Old South not visa versa — though I’m not making that argument here.

      The fact is, that with all that went on outside the Old South historically, and to say the Old South was the driving corrupting force which delivered the US to the corrupt state it currently is — I think for one reason or another you have overlooked how little influence the South historically had over Northern politics nor do they dictate to the North in this present day.

      The northern politicians and their backers may have actually played off the Southerners sentiments — first possibly even before the Civil War during Lincoln’s election campaign, and the next shift came when the Southerners punished the Democrates for helping to push civil rights into the nations forefront — and they’ve been voting republican, against their own best interests, ever since. This reality is in part how corporate industry has used the Republican Party as the tool to put more of the nations burdens on everyday Americans by granting favors to corporate and special interests. When Reagan convinced ultra-conservative Christian groups to preach politics, that’s when the Republican lock on white Southern votes was galvanized into a stronger force than previously. But who was driving who? If it was a lopsided relationship, wouldn’t it have been the Republican Party outside the Old South that was stronger and more influencial than the Southern Republicans?.

    • Mark
      June 30, 2015 at 8:53 am

      When slave holding began well before 1776 there was no Old South, and to blame the current state of affairs with the US empire being essentially a rogue criminal nation that possesses a strong contingent of sycophant politicians around the globe – to blame that all on the Old South supremacist culture is quite a stretch.

      Going by what came first, a logical argument would be that existing slavery and desire to maintain it, corrupted the Old South not vice versa – though I’m not making that argument here.

      The fact is, that with all that went on outside the Old South historically, and to say the Old South was the driving corrupting force which delivered the US to the corrupt state it currently is – I think for one reason or another you have overlooked how little influence the South historically has had over Northern politics nor does the South dictate to the North in this present day.

      The northern politicians and their backers may have actually played off the Southerners sentiments – first possibly even before the Civil War during Lincoln’s election campaign, and the next shift came when the Southerners punished the Democrats for helping to push civil rights into the nations forefront – and they’ve been voting republican, against their own best interests, ever since.
      This reality is in part how corporate industry has used the Republican Party as the tool to put more of the nation’s burdens on everyday Americans by granting favors and exemptions to corporate and special interests. When Reagan convinced ultra-conservative Christian groups to preach politics, that’s when the current Republican lock on white Southern votes was galvanized into a stronger force than previously. But which force was driving who? If it was a lopsided relationship, wouldn’t it have been the Republican Party from outside the Old South that was stronger and more influential than the Southern Republicans?

    • Mark
      June 30, 2015 at 5:36 pm

      Sorry about the repeated post. A good number of my post are getting significantly delayed — I even received one message on my cell phone that said I was black listed from posting; while my same message, from the same user, went right through on a pc using the same router.

      • Zachary Smith
        July 1, 2015 at 2:44 am

        A good number of my post are getting significantly delayed …

        One of mine was “moderated” and two words were printed in red – cla_s_s and a_s_s.

        I suspect they turned the nanny filter to High for this thread.

  29. Catherine Orloff
    June 29, 2015 at 10:15 pm

    I think Josh has come closest to the truth. I would add that what Mr. Parry calls Southern Victimhood is really the unusual fact that, with most wars, the victors go back to their own country, leaving the losers to lick their wounds. But with our Civil War, the two parties still live side by side, and I think it is very hard to be the loser when the guy who beat you is almost next door, year after year. Plus the war’s destruction WAS largely in the South. To me it shows the terrible thing about war, how the hatreds it engenders go on and on, and in our case especially since we are so close together. I remember reading how, before the war, Southerners felt Northern abolitionists coming south to preach against slavery were such hypocrites, since they owned factories in the North where people including children toiled long hours at slave wages. If those workers were laid off, they were on their own re: shelter, food and clothing; whereas the slaveowner provided these to his slaves, sometimes very minimally but sometimes with a paternalistic kindness. So as a Northerner I don’t think I should be too smug in condemning white Southerners for their racism. As it’s often said, we have racism in the North too, it’s just more sub rosa here. ” With malice towards none, with charity for all” seems to be the best way to keep trying to heal the wounds of that war.

    • josh
      June 29, 2015 at 11:42 pm

      Catherine, I appreciate your comment, especially as taking ANY side in this argument is liable to land you in hot water with someone.

      We have yet to learn how to use a gradualist approach to social change. We certainly didn’t with the Civil War, forced busing or even affirmative action. What kind of failures can we review in recent history? Regimes are still changing in Iraq, for a negative example. For another perspective, look at how the ACA has tried to move us toward providing more universal health coverage. It might even be said to be working, because we didn’t close the health insurance companies down, take away the drug company profits, but we managed to cover more people.

      So are we making progress or not? Governmentally forced social change really doesn’t have much of a leg to stand on. In that respect, the free marketers are right: people will gradually adapt to changes in the market. But on the other hand, the market is a very rough place in times of change, dislocation, globalism. Who can keep up with a factory closing and moving to China, and ten thousand jobs disappearing overseas?

      But what kind of people are we if we cannot somehow soften the effects of dramatic changes. What we need are statesmen, diplomats, and those determined to protect people at all costs from the worst that comes their way. That’s what we have to do for one another. If not, it will be one act of social terrorism following another.

      • josh
        June 29, 2015 at 11:44 pm

        And, by the way, you are right that we are all hypocrites when it comes to one group exploiting another and the environment, too. That’s how we roll.

  30. Gordon Pratt
    June 29, 2015 at 8:24 pm

    Segregation has not ended. It just changed tactics.

    In the old days segregation was enforced by police dogs, water cannon and barbed wire.

    Today we make target groups eligible for separate rights, i.e. “affirmative action”, and they segregate themselves.

    It is human nature. Nobody wants to admit they have unfair advantages. If target group members accept official preference they have to try to justify it. “I am different,” they say.

    Kids in the schoolyard know what ‘different’ means: inferior.

    So the person that the government has made eligible for separate rights must struggle with a nagging sense of inferiority. The few little advantages provided come at a very high price.

    Meanwhile the persons not eligible for separate rights regard themselves as superior because “nobody helped me get where I am.”

    Between target group members struggling with a nagging sense of inferiority and the so-called mainstream convinced of its own superiority, segregation by means of separate rights is complete.

    Who benefits?

    In our society men struggle vs. feminists, black against white, “gay” opposed to straight, east contra west and on and on. What about the vast majority fighting the banks, who get rich creating money out of nothing and lending it at interest?

    Humans create money out of nothing. So the answer must lie forbidding interest.

    Islam forbids interest on loans. Judaism says Jews may not charge interest of other Jews.

    Jesus condemned it until His prohibition was undermined by Pope Leo X just five hundred years ago.

    How is it going so far?

    • Mark
      June 29, 2015 at 11:21 pm

      I would agree with some of what you said but in a general and limited sense. Though we all have similar and overlapping characteristics, our perceptions and actions do vary to some degree and often it’s the uncommon and unpopular view that culture “tries” to adopt rather than stick to the tried and maybe not so true method or philosophy.

      When you start talking about people with unfair advantages and officially recognized privileges – you must consider the most advantaged in any time period or culture have been those who’ve historically had the privilege to openly and legally impose (a sometimes self-proclaimed) racial, religious or social-political supremacy on others.

      Following your logic as quoted, “So the person that the government has made eligible for separate rights must struggle with a nagging sense of inferiority”, I find the argument that European Caucasians were merely justifying their advantages because they are “different” (meaning inferior), with a nagging sense of inferiority, as you stated, to be convoluted logic and would contend that the vast majority of European Caucasians truly felt superior to everyone else during that time period, and many of their descendants still feel that way today as a matter of fact.

      At the same time according to another of your statements, “Meanwhile the persons not eligible for separate rights regard themselves as superior because “nobody helped me get where I am”, and that statement, equally convoluted, could be taken to mean that anyone who was genuinely being oppressed or enslaved to some degree would feel superior as they did not need advantages to survive or achieve whatever they did in life.
      Now ask yourself what groups and subgroups within our society are truly privileged and can get away with things that no other groups can – like the biggest financial rip-off in the history of America and the world, bankrupting many through theft leading up to the 2008 crescendo. Or maybe ask who can mislead the country and the world with lies and deceit in order have the US attack 2003 Iraq for the sake of alleviating Israel’s fear of their neighbors – a fear that Israel brought upon itself through their own actions beginning at about the turn of the previous century and continuing to this day. These groups operate with arrogance and hubris for the most part, and are collectively psychopathic in nature as defined by their deeds combined with a lack of empathy and honesty as they go about their “business”.

      • Gordon Pratt
        June 30, 2015 at 6:18 pm

        Thank you for the thoughtful response. Much of it I am sorry to say goes over my head.

        People are the same everywhere. They want food and shelter and a better life for their kids. When government accords privileges based not on merit but on inherited characteristics (sex, skin color, age, ethnicity etc) the authorities build walls which divide people. These walls impact everyone but their effect is worst on the people the gov says it wants to help.

        That is not to say everyone starts off in life absolutely equal. The person whose parents stayed together, got up each morning for the nine-to-five and stressed the importance of education has the enormous advantage of good role models.

        There is nothing the gov can do about that. It can’t give a tax break to people who came from broken homes without compounding their pain. And when the gov says it will give a benefit to people of a certain skin color because they are more likely to have come from broken homes it magnifies the damage it does.

        Life is not fair. Some people start off way behind others. Government efforts to compensate for that ensure those folks are likely to remain behind.

        • Anonymous
          July 1, 2015 at 7:42 am

          So when racial or religious or any other supremacists grant special privileges to themselves “they then live with the nagging reality that they are inferior” — and we can apply that axiom of “inferiority” to the white supremacists of the Old South as well as to any “inferior” religious groups, Christians or zee-eye-on-ists, that give special recognition and privilege to themselves — such as Israel killing Palestinians to steal the land based on religious supremacy which is really “nagging inferiority” as you describe it — and just as George Bush gave himself the privilege of thwarting US and international laws when he broke both by telling lies to intentionally mislead the country and world to what was not a “war”, but what was a “slaughter” in 2003 Iraq with the privileged advantage of double standard law breaking superiority along with his “nagging sense of inferiority”.

          I can see that as being perfect convoluted logic used by racial and religious supremacists to project their heartfelt sentiment of inferiority on those who were or are unlucky in life while they were being subjected to what in reality is “nagging supremacist inferiority” granting special privilege to the inferior supremacists themselves.

          Hmm… Thanks for clarifying all of that and helping myself, and anyone else, who now better understands!

        • Mark
          July 1, 2015 at 7:49 am

          Forgot my signature in the above post.

          And will add that with your logic, as explained by you, that all of this exceptionalism and privilege the US corporate ruling class grants to themselves and those who do their bidding — is all due to what is truly their “nagging inferiority”.

          Thanks again!

          • Gordon Pratt
            July 1, 2015 at 9:12 pm

            You have made heavy weather of a rather obvious remark — that when the authorities say they feel sorry for a designated group and grant them special privileges those privileges become a burden for the recipients. I note you have not disputed my point here.

            You introduced the notion that when identifiable groups use their influence to grant themselves official privileges they place themselves in position to feel isolated and threatened.

            This may be a fruitful line of inquiry but it is not actually what I was saying. Therefore the conclusions you arrive at are yours and not mine.

          • Mark
            July 2, 2015 at 1:33 am

            And now you’re suggesting that the “nagging inferiority” that comes from getting preferential treatment, as described by you, may be something else depending on who exactly is the recipient of privilege and how it was derived.

            Again, I find you logic convoluted and full of self contradiction.

          • Gordon Pratt
            July 2, 2015 at 5:43 pm

            In reply to your 6/2/2015 1:33 am post:

            Your comments are incomprehensible.

            I thought at first you had something to say but now I think your only purpose is to confuse, obfuscate and dismiss.

            You keep repeating “convoluted logic” like a mantra in Big-Lie propaganda.

            In fact the convoluted logic is on the part of people who believe that because the government says it wants to help that therefore anything the gov does must be helpful. The road to hell is proverbially paved with good intentions.

            In future if you hijack my posts as you have done this one you can expect to see: I do not take Mark seriously.

          • Mark
            July 2, 2015 at 6:29 pm

            Gordon, it appears that your otlriginal response was correct in that my original response was over your head.

            It is also evident that what you originally said was also over your own head as you are unable to defend your “logic” when it’s applied outside the narrow parameters contained in your original comment.

            And now to “convoluted” logic we can add “indefensible” to be used in any order you prefer.

        • Joe Wallace
          July 2, 2015 at 5:46 pm

          Gordon Pratt:

          “When government accords privileges based not on merit but on inherited characteristics (sex, skin color, age, ethnicity etc) the authorities build walls which divide people. These walls impact everyone but their effect is worst on the people the gov says it wants to help.”

          The government policies you describe are premised on the idea that “what’s good for anyone (of a privileged group) is good for everyone.” But it’s not good for everyone. It’s likely to provoke resentment. Better to have a policy that “what’s good for everyone is good for anyone.”

  31. Bill Bodden
    June 29, 2015 at 6:30 pm

    But it isn’t just white Southerners

    We Can’t Even With The Irony Of Clarence Thomas’s Marriage Equality Dissent by Zeba Blay – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/26/clarence-thomas-dissent_n_7672064.html

    In one horrifyingly obtuse paragraph- http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2015/06/26/clarence_thomas_same_sex_marriage_dissent_slaves_did_not_lose_their_dignity.html?wpsrc=sh_all_dt_tw_top – , Justice Thomas demonstrates his simplistic concept of oppression. He writes:

    “The corollary of that principle is that human dignity cannot be taken away by the government. Slaves did not lose their dignity (any more than they lost their humanity) because the government allowed them to be enslaved. Those held in internment camps did not lose their dignity because the government confined them. And those denied governmental benefits certainly do not lose their dignity because the government denies them those benefits. The government cannot bestow dignity, and it cannot take it away.”

    How did this man get to be a justice on the supreme (?) court?

    • Gregory Kruse
      June 29, 2015 at 6:41 pm

      The job of supreme court justice hasn’t bestowed any dignity on him.

  32. josh
    June 29, 2015 at 5:22 pm

    Slavery is a great capitalist institution, one that often affords the slave-owner a considerable means to wealth. A good argument can be made that anyone who undertook a slave-holding enterprise for the purpose of establishing or increasing his wealth had every right to do so, under the laws of this country in the first seventy-five years of its existence. You can see how such a person might feel persecuted under the laws that passed in the aftermath of the Civil War.

    In fact, those who supported the institution of slavery attempted to secede from the United States, but were forcibly prevented from doing so in a bloody war. Upon their defeat, they were required remain a part of a union under terms which they would not willingly ratify. It is not surprising that they resented the northern states afterwards. To top it all off, under Reconstruction, their captors put them under the dominion of the very slaves they had once owned. It is hard to imagine whom the former slave-owners resented more. It is impossible to imagine them not using any possible means to regain their former status.

    Had the slave states their way, there would be two countries here, one with slaves and one without. For a while a pastoral slave nation might have existed side-by-side with an industrialized factory nation. Sometimes it might be difficult to say which institution can be more brutal or benign. The right of one group to exploit another still predominates, less the institution of race-based slavery.

    So, to give the former Confederate states their due, they are victims of a national authority which they never believed existed, but which surprised them with its military might and determination to control their destiny. Oddly, they are also victims of their own unwillingness to bend into subjugation, to a moral voice of outrage at the indignities they forced upon their fellow human beings, that came from within their own nation. They were so set in their beliefs that another people might be exploited based on the color of its skin that they failed to recognize their own vulnerability to military subjugation.

    Hence they lost both their means to wealth and their freedom at once. They are still hurting from being a captured and defeated nation. Why would they ever give up that sense of victimhood, despite how much it costs them? This kind of pride in defeat is one of the fiercest feelings animating conflicts across the globe. What country, what people, what culture wants to ever give up its identity, culture, way of life, even prejudices to another? Sometimes the more they suffer, the stronger that feeling gets. Nothing short of genocide has proven itself able to wipe out that sense of outrage, which is why genocide is sometimes the “final solution” in such cases.

    What is needed is some way to settle the resentment of such a conflict, not just here, but the world over. Have we succeeded in putting to rest conflicts in Ireland, Palestine, South Africa, the Balkans, Tibet, the Ukraine, etc? A true sign of growth in human civilization might be found wherever these age-old conflicts have healed, where the exploited, the vanquished, the victors can all sit down as equals for maybe the first time, shedding the past and embracing a new future together.

    • Anonymous
      June 29, 2015 at 5:47 pm

      Nice sentiment, but will anyone go for it after the US kills everyone they need to take over the world’s resources, and thereby rob the survivors of the right and means to make a living? Everyone will then sit down and eat humble or arrogant pie depending on which end of the stick you ended up with.

      First we’ll take lives and property and then demand peace or administer death — just like we’ve been doing on the grandest scale since even before having 9/11 was an excuse to be barbarians — the 9/11 attacks I might add, that resulted from our invasions into the Mid-East and propping up Israel for our politicians benefits and Arab dictators so our corporate businesses can benefit.

    • Abe
      June 29, 2015 at 6:09 pm

      Wow, the Sally Struthers of Southern ‘Victimhood’!

      “Please, help Sally save the those who supported the great capitalist institution of slavery.”

      • joshs
        June 29, 2015 at 11:14 pm

        Hey, I was just giving a possible rationale for resentment from a slaver’s standpoint. I think they have every right to be pissed off that their white supremacist game is over, not that it will do them any good. Even people with filthy hearts can suffer loss. To pretend like we didn’t have a constitution that established slavery is naive. We obviously still have to deal with that. Give them their due so that we all can move on. I think we need a national day of grieving for the loss of slavery, with parades depicting human degradation and a chance for people to “try out” being Massa for a bit, like a slaver’s pride parade. Put it on TV and make everyone see what a great institution we’ve lost.

        • Mark
          June 29, 2015 at 11:36 pm

          That’s actually a very valid and legitimate point lost to many, concerning the beginnings of the conflict — the north was guilty to some degree of misleading the South in 1776 to believe that the institution of slavery would not be compromised or done away with. And not to defend slavery here, but this was a betrayal after the fact and did contribute to the overall intensity of the conflict .

          If I have it correct; Independence Day would have been July 2nd instead of the 4th if not for some states insisting on the removal of some language in the Declaration concerning slavery.

      • Abe
        June 29, 2015 at 11:56 pm

        Gosh, Josh, why not?

        And while we’re having our national wake for the grand ol’ American dream that was slavery, why not have a simultaneous parade down “Main Street” in America for that other great capitalist institution.

        While we’re giving Southern ‘Victimhood’ its due, why not honor the Northern ‘Victimhood’ of America’s “job creators”?

        Listen to the voices of those other victims of a national authority which they never believed existed:
        See minutes 0:35-2:25
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZGfUn7EZ69w

        “You’ve gotta look where Wall Street’s been for the last 200 years.”

        Yes, it might be difficult to say which institution can be more brutal or benign.

        Bottom line: “It’s not your show, monkey.”

    • Zachary Smith
      June 29, 2015 at 6:16 pm

      To top it all off, under Reconstruction, their captors put them under the dominion of the very slaves they had once owned.

      Poor babies. But to compensate, they set off on a campaign of terrorism lasting until this very day. It’s been what? Four generations, and they’re still shooting and bombing the descendents of those “very slaves they had once owned”. And of course being as obnoxious as possible in the process.

      • josh
        June 29, 2015 at 11:21 pm

        Thank you. That’s my point exactly: the roots of terrorism lie in this kind of emotional dirt, the loss of their supremacy, the removal of the ability to degrade another human being as a way of feeling good about oneself, expressing one’s liberty, and creating wealth. These same sentiments, and others equally debased, but nonetheless genuine, give birth to endless campaigns of terrorism and hatred. If we don’t acknowledge their loss of being able to selfishly exploit other people, we can never even begin to understand and heal this once and for all. We almost need a special mental health agency with affirmative action for whites supremacists; no other races need apply.

    • Gregory Kruse
      June 29, 2015 at 6:39 pm

      I learned on Sunday that the new definition of “wealthy” is to have no financial constraints on ones action. This can also be referred to as “liberty”. Taking liberty and wealth from others is the only way to increase your own liberty and wealth. Some people are adept at this.

    • Ted Tripp
      June 30, 2015 at 9:33 am

      josh, this is a nice post, however simplistic (conflicts cited do not all depend on resentment). I think that the victims of the Southern cause should have been wiped out–not by genocide, but simply by taking all their property and distributing it to poor Whites and former Black slaves, victims included. By maintaining the class structure of the Old South, the Reconstructors perpetuated the conflict. I also think that these victims used racism to maintain their social power after the Civil War, just as they have always done, and just as they do today.

  33. Mark
    June 29, 2015 at 4:36 pm

    It is true, in general, that most Americans with European ancestry are unable to envision reality by imagining someone else’s shoe or moccasin on their own foot.

    When is the last time the US government admitted violating someone’s, anyone’s human rights concerning property or resources, or the right to life itself, and then took any preventative or remedial actions? “We tortured some folks”, Obama admitted while he was in the midst of various stages of regime changes across the globe, while ordering the deaths of “alleged” terrorist “suspects” with drones in foreign and supposedly “sovereign” lands.

    It is true we have some Southerners who can’t let go of the past. Personally I believe this is largely due to the lowest of human life forms — political opportunists, who’ve milked racism and the Civil War, through disgruntled and resentful Southerners, for all the votes they can get.

    And no. it was not not just Southern politicians that have spoken in and out of code, with fondness for entitled racial and religious supremacy over our past OR recent decades.

    Since the civil rights era, republicans have made a concerted and sympathetic national campaign directed a white Southerners, to highlight the fact it was the democrats who helped usher in civil rights laws during the sixties.

    In more recent decades without the Republican Party embracing that unsavory part of, not just Southern heritage but what is truly American heritage (that many of us would like to move beyond), it is entirely unlikely Ronald Reagan or George Bush Jr. would have ever served as presidents in the USA.

    Ask yourself where this country would be today without the republican’s having courted and promoted racial and religious supremacist sentiments over just the recent decades.

    Would we have had Reagan’s CIA profiting from dealing in cocaine only to create addicts and crack babies while simultaneously waging a “war on drugs”? Thanks to that war we have the biggest per capita prison slave-labor system on this planet. The proceeds for Reagan’s drug dealing went to fund right wing death squads in Central America — in violation of US law as well as the human rights and sovereignty in those foreign lands.

    Those entitled supremacist policies have essentially continued to this day, including among others choices, the illegal invasions in the Mid-East, central and South America, and the Ukraine by proxy, all while aiding and abetting seven brutal decades of the Israeli occupation in Palestine — all like there is not one thing wrong with any of that.

    No, our problem in not merely and specifically a Southern problem — nationally we are collectively the biggest known hypocrites on this planet an in the universe. And because we are the most propagandized and militarily powerful country in the world — trying to hang on to our position of power without being able to compete through true capitalism in the global economy — we are the most dangerous psychopathic collective on earth as we go around supremely killing, maiming and torturing innocent people so our corporate rulers can profit at everyone else’s expense.

    No excuses for the racial and religious supremacism present in our entire collective nation. We all need to come to grips with our past as well as our deplorable present here and now. Maybe then we can get back to the business of recognizing and fighting for the promises that once defined America!

    

    

    

    • josh
      June 29, 2015 at 5:33 pm

      Well put.

    • Daniel
      July 5, 2015 at 11:05 am

      Well said. This is the larger picture missing from most of the discussions I’ve seen on this subject. We cannot discount the very real and concerted corporate efforts to propagandize us at every turn, which only serves to enrich and empower the already rich and powerful. This carefully developed and cynically mined materialism and selfishness, accelerated greatly since the 80s, sits at the center of all of our country’s ills.

  34. Mark
    June 29, 2015 at 4:12 pm

    It is true in general, that most Americans with European ancestry are unable to envision reality by imagining someone else’s shoe or moccasin on their own foot.

    When is the last time the US government admitted violating someone’s, anyone’s human rights concerning property or resources, or the right to life itself, and then took any preventative or remedial actions? “We tortured some folk’s”, Obama admitted while he was in the midst of various stages of regime changes across the globe, while killing alleged terrorist “suspects” with drones in foreign and supposedly “sovereign” lands.

    It is true we have some Southerners who can’t let go of the past. personally I believe this is largely due to the lowest of human life forms — political opportunists, who’ve milked racism and the Civil War, through disgruntled and resentful Southerners, for all the votes they can get.

    And no. it was not not just Southern politicians that have spoken in and out of code, with fondness for entitled racial and religious supremacy over our past OR recent decades.

    Since the civil rights era, republicans have made a concerted and national campaign to highlight the fact that it was the democrats who helped usher in civil rights laws during the sixties.

    In more recent decades without the Republican Party embracing that unsavory part of, not just Southern heritage but what is truly American heritage (that many of us would like to move beyond), it is entirely unlikely Ronald Reagan or George Bush Jr. would have ever served as president in the USA.

    Ask yourself where this country would be today without the republican’s having courted and promoted racial and religious supremacist sentiments over just the recent decades.

    Would we have had Reagan’s CIA profiting from dealing in cocaine only to create addicts and crack babies while simultaneously waging a “war with drug money”? Thanks to that war we have the biggest per capita prison slave system on this planet. The proceeds for Reagan’s drug dealing went to fund right wing death squads in Central America — in violation of US law and the human rights and sovereignty in foreign lands.

    Those entitled supremacist policies have essentially continued to this day, including among others, the illegal invasions in the Mid-East, central and South America, and the Ukraine by proxy, all while aiding and abetting the seven brutal decades of the Israeli occupation in Palestine — all like there is not one thing wrong with any of that.

    No, our problem in not merely and specifically a Southern problem — nationally we are collectively the biggest known hypocrites in the universe and on this planet. And because we are the most propagandized and militarily powerful country in the world — trying to hang on to our position of power without being able to compete through true capitalism in the global economy — we are the most dangerous psychopathic collective on earth as we go around supremely killing, maiming and torturing innocent people so our corporate rulers can profit at everyone else’s expense.

    No excuses for the South or our entire collective nation. We need to all come to grips with our past as well as our deplorable present here and now. Maybe then we can get back to the business of recognizing and fighting for the promises that once defined America!

  35. El Tonno
    June 29, 2015 at 3:46 pm

    Have I blundered onto a “liberal” website? Thinking that symbols, words and pictures have real effects and need to be erased, destroyed, eradicated down to their names? Neurotic clamors by the deranged. REALLY?

    “Confederate battle flag and other pro-slavery symbols”. Words joined to words. Signifying nothing.

    Next up: Indians I means, native americans, demand their say in this matter. Argentina has to change the country’s name because silver was won in death camp conditions by natives. Displaying China’s Red Flag forbidden on TV when children can see it because it is associated with the highest ultrakill in history ever etc. etc.

    • OH
      June 29, 2015 at 3:53 pm

      Why don’t you just come out and admit that your basic point, is you don’t agree that the confederate flag is a racist pro-slavery symbol.
      It is obvious that is what you have been trying to say.
      I don’t think you want to state your opinion clearly, because stating something convoluted and confusing the way you have, allows you to claim you didn’t mean what you said.

    • Bill Jackson Jr
      June 30, 2015 at 9:37 am

      How about we just eradicate symbols of white supremacy and move forward from there?

  36. Raymond Quiachon
    June 29, 2015 at 3:37 pm

    Mr. Party,
    There’s an typographic error, “I do not agree which should read, I do agree with your article…”.

    Thank you for your articles and keep it up.
    Raymond Quiachon

  37. Peter Hockley
    June 29, 2015 at 3:34 pm

    I thought it was a thoroughly Uncivil War. The First “Modern” war, massed rifles and guns. Trench warfare, war crimes, on both sides.

  38. Raymond Quiachon
    June 29, 2015 at 3:32 pm

    Mr. Parry:
    I have been an avid reader of yours and this is my first post in response to your article. The only disagreement I have is the Civil War was not about Slavery, it was about the Bank of England which today we still pay out of our IRS taxes 40% to them. As with all global history as well ours it has been distorted for the benefit of the Elitist whom whole the world enslaved to this day. President Lincoln was hand
    picked and the chosen theme to obsfucate the real issue was the immoral Slavery. I do not agree with your article just clarifying the true historical fact as to why we went into a Civil War. My warmest regards and wishes.
    Truly Yours,
    Raymond Quiachon

    • Bill Jackson Jr
      June 30, 2015 at 9:32 am

      This is complete revisionism and quite pathetic. The leading voices of the Confederacy were explicit in their defense of slavery and that its threatened abolishment was the primary motivating factor leading to the call to arms in their act of treason.

    • Lucie
      June 30, 2015 at 10:04 am

      Mr. Quichon, and all other commenters who so ironically prove Mr. Parry’s point, this proposed rationale is nonsense. The seceding states themselves made no such claim in their public declarations of their reasons for initiating the Civil War. If you read their actual statements of purpose—not summaries, analyses, or interpretations by others, but the primary source documents—you’ll see that they openly, candidly stated (with almost refreshing honesty) their intent to defend, continue, and even expand slavery in order to preserve their way of life, which had at its core the ownership of other, supposedly “inferior,” human beings as property with no human rights.

      For “true historical facts,” here is one collection of primary sources:

      The Declaration of Causes of Seceding States (http://www.civilwar.org/education/history/primarysources/declarationofcauses.html)

      Here’s an excellent article with a collection of highlights from the above along with some additional primary sources:
      What This Cruel War Was Over: The Confederate Cause in the Words of Its Leaders
      (http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/06/what-this-cruel-war-was-over/396482/)

      And here’s another collection: “Apostles of Disunion: Southern Secession Commissioners and the Causes of the Civil War,” by Charles B. Drew (UVA, 2002).

      A quick word search of primary sources online will show you that the neither Bank of England nor any other banking or financial institution, nor England itself, figures in Southern reasons for causing the Civil War. To continue to insist that anything other than the preservation of slavery, white supremacy, and the economy fueled by them was the Deep South’s rationale for war is not just truly, historically, factually wrong, but either intentionally dishonest or unintentionally delusional. (And such an insistence on this subject is so puzzling that maybe the latter would be better than the former.)

      Finally, and perhaps the greatest irony of all— based on what the seceding states had to say for themselves in 1860-1861, it doesn’t seem like THEY would be very happy about sympathizers today denying their declared rationales, or putting different words in their mouths. They were pretty clear about their reasons for secession and war and probably would not appreciate 21st century hindsighters not taking them at their stated word.

      The problem in 2015 is not that the secessionists’ motives were misunderstood, but that many Deep Southerners (consciously or unconsciously) continue to hold those white supremacist beliefs, even if it’s no longer politically correct to say so. This is why there is still no admission of guilt or willingness to take responsibility for the truth of slavery’s horrors here in the U.S.

  39. Abe
    June 29, 2015 at 3:14 pm

    Conspiracy mongers from California wave the Confederate flag to celebrate diversity. They’re part of the vast Southern ‘Victimhood’ rainbow coalition.

  40. June 29, 2015 at 2:56 pm

    What is so ironic is that a vast majority of the current residents of the South who are doing all the Confederate flag waving and screaming about state’s rights are transplants from some other part of the country! You will also find that a vast majority of them are conspiracy mongering, Alex Jones, Sean Hannity, Ron Paul, & Rand Paul libertarians.

    • Thomas Howard
      June 29, 2015 at 3:11 pm

      Imagine that…free thinking people without boundaries.

    • dahoit
      July 1, 2015 at 1:27 pm

      Conspiracy mongering theorists?They(hinterlands and suburbia) know there is an actual conspiracy,but the Zionist MSM keeps them off balance as to the real conspirators,Zionism.
      Jesus Freaking Christ!

  41. Joe Tedesky
    June 29, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    I feel for you Mr. Parry. I do recall you mentioning this ‘Jefferson Davis’ highway issue in regard to a disparity of a transit system as well. It appears you are out there on your own. Having said that, let me say how I would sign an on line petition for changing the highway name, if it were to help. I’m not sure if your county council would honor names living outside their county, but hey it’s worth a try.

    I never gave much thought to this honoring of all things Confederate, but now it appears we Americans are having a deep discussion over the South’s rebel pass. I can appreciate how American Southern’s crave to honor their dead Confederate great-great-grandparents, but what about us Northerns who lost love ones in that Civil War? Should I a northern stand fast against any observation of a kind remembrance of a confederate general or politician? My great grandfather took a bullet in the leg from these people, so for what cause would I be celebrating? I guess I could be happy for my great grandfather since the government paid him seven dollars a month for disability. Possibly I could be satisfied, since I was told of how my grandfather died hating no one. I am thrilled by how I can drive through the south to get to my place in Florida, but honoring ‘Confederate Battle Flags’, well let’s get real. So I will say to my southern friends, let’s take down the flags and let us move forward. We have to make this melting pot work for everyone. This country can be great when it works toward that all inclusiveness that we all like to brag about. Going onward and upward we would be wise to do right by all of America’s people….All People that is.

    • Thomas Howard
      June 29, 2015 at 3:08 pm

      Freedom to only do what is socially acceptable is no freedom at all.

      Old Glory flew while we nuked two cities with civilians.

      Even so, I would never attempt to shame you into taking it down, though you might want to hang it upside down.

      • Abe
        June 29, 2015 at 3:17 pm

        The Confederate flag is a true symbol of American freedumb: it looks the same when it’s flying upside-down.

      • Deborah
        June 29, 2015 at 3:25 pm

        Bravo Mr. Howard! Very well said. Old Glory is also the flag that the
        K.K.K. honors.

      • Anonymous
        June 29, 2015 at 5:28 pm

        If one is coerced by propaganda and public opinion into “freely” making the hypocritical choice to impose on the freedom and lives of others, then those who willfully coerce and lie to impose on others for reasons of personal gain, may in truth be slaves to their own greed and deceitfulness to themselves.

    • Gregory Kruse
      June 29, 2015 at 6:26 pm

      That would all depend upon what the definition of ” People” is.

      • Joe Tedesky
        June 30, 2015 at 9:08 am

        As in human being, NOT CORPORATIONS!

    • Brad Owen
      June 30, 2015 at 5:52 am

      Perhaps we’ll recall Lincoln’s brilliant policy of Malice towards none; Charity for ALL, after the war was over. It was to “close ranks” WITH our brother Southerners, AGAINST the FAR greater threat of the British Empire, who still had MUCH influence, through Wall Street banks and insurance companies, and ardently desired to reclaim their “rogue colony”, and squelch republicanism, greenbacks, and everything else that was a threat to Empire. The Russian Empire was a severe “CHECK” on British policy towards USA…hence the manufactured reason for the Cold War; to drive a permanent wedge between USA and Russia (I believe Tzar Alexander II was also killed, not sure, possibly for aiding Lincoln’s USA, and freeing the serfs…offending Britain, AND HIS OWN troublesome oligarchs).

    • dahoit
      July 1, 2015 at 1:24 pm

      Where did great gramps take that bullet,north or south of the mason dixon line?If south,it does defend the shooters a little eh?
      As an American patriot,my great grandpa fought in the Army of Tennessee(too poor to own slaves?,I have no idea,gone to Texas after the war),and my grandmothers 2nd cousin was Walt Whitman, I look on both sides equally,as Americans.

      • Joe Tedesky
        July 1, 2015 at 10:47 pm

        I’m not sure where my great grandfather was shot. I respect your love and observance of your great grand parent. I would be greatful if we could all move beyond this controversy. There are no good options. We would all do well to try and live peacefully as a people of this nation. What happened over 100 years happened, and we can’t change that history. Flags, and historical names are one thing, and then we need to move forward and live with each other.

  42. Abe
    June 29, 2015 at 2:05 pm

    Never ones to abandon a Lost Cause, the Republican Party has been not-so-quietly engineering itself as the vehicle of white supremacy in the 21st century. Explicit racism is still taboo, but pretty damn near it appears to be widely encouraged.

    • Abe
      June 29, 2015 at 2:53 pm

      In fact, come to think of it, there’s no contemporary political movement more committed to diversity than Black Republicans https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2tLyqfJd54

    • Evangelista
      July 1, 2015 at 10:32 pm

      These new-fangled Radical Republicans. They’ll have Thaddeus Stevens gong like a motor-boat propeller in his grave…

  43. Abe
    June 29, 2015 at 1:53 pm

    The Lost Cause movement and other Neo-Confederate cultural movements, based in the South, perpetuated a perverse notion of slavery as a benign institution.

    Proponents of the Lost Cause movement condemned the Reconstruction that followed the Civil War, claiming that it had been a deliberate attempt by Northern politicians and speculators to destroy the traditional Southern way of life.

    Confederate President Jefferson Davis, in The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government (1881) stated unequivocally that the “servile instincts [of slaves] rendered them contented with their lot, and their patient toil blessed the land of their abode with unmeasured riches. Their strong local and personal attachment secured faithful service … never was there happier dependence of labor and capital on each other. The tempter came, like the serpent of Eden, and decoyed them with the magic word of ‘freedom’ … He put arms in their hands, and trained their humble but emotional natures to deeds of violence and bloodshed, and sent them out to devastate their benefactors.”

    Contemporary historians generally agree that secession was motivated by slavery. There were numerous causes for secession, but preservation and expansion of chattel slavery was easily the most important of them.

    The confusion may come from blending the causes of secession with the causes of the war – which are separate but related issues. (Lincoln did not enter a military conflict to free the slaves but to put down a rebellion.)

    Historian Kenneth M. Stampp claimed that each side supported states’ rights or federal power only when it was convenient to do so. Stampp also cited Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens’ A Constitutional View of the Late War Between the States as an example of a Southern leader who said that slavery was the “cornerstone of the Confederacy” when the war began and then said that the war was not about slavery but states’ rights after Southern defeat. According to Stampp, Stephens became one of the most ardent defenders of the ‘Lost Cause’ theory.

    Similarly, historian William C. Davis explained the Confederate Constitution’s protection of slavery at the national level as follows:

    “To the old Union they had said that the Federal power had no authority to interfere with slavery issues in a state. To their new nation they would declare that the state had no power to interfere with a federal protection of slavery. Of all the many testimonials to the fact that slavery, and not states’ rights, really lay at the heart of their movement, this was the most eloquent of all.”

    Davis further notes that, “Causes and effects of the war have been manipulated and mythologized to suit political and social agendas, past and present.”

    Historian David Blight says that “its use of white supremacy as both means and ends” has been a key characteristic of the Lost Cause.

    Historian Allan Nolan states that “the Lost Cause legacy to history is a caricature of the truth. The caricature wholly misrepresents and distorts the facts of the matter. Surely it is time to start again in our understanding of this decisive element of our past and to do so from the premises of history unadulterated by the distortions, falsehoods, and romantic sentimentality of the Myth of the Lost Cause.”

    There are modern Lost Cause writers of history such as James Ronald Kennedy and his twin brother Walter Donald Kennedy (founders of The League of the South and author of The South Was Right! and Jefferson Davis Was Right!) who play down slavery as a cause in favor of Southern Nationalism. The Kennedys describe “the terrorist methods” and “heinous crimes” committed by the Union during the war and then in a chapter titled “The Yankee Campaign of Cultural Genocide” state that they will show “from the United States government’s own official records that the primary motivating factor was a desire of those in power to punish and to exterminate the Southern nation and in many cases to procure the extermination of the Southern people.”

    In arguing why the theme of this book is important to contemporary Southerners, the Kennedys write in the conclusion of their work: “The Southern people have all the power we need to put an end to forced busing, affirmative action, extravagant welfare spending, the punitive Southern-only Voting Rights Act, the refusal of the Northern liberals to allow Southern conservatives to sit on the United States Supreme Court, and the economic exploitation of the South into a secondary economic status. What is needed is not more power but the will to use the power at hand! The choice is now yours – ignore this challenge and remain a second-class citizen, or unite with your fellow Southerners and help start a Southern political revolution.”

    Historian William C. Davis labels many of the myths surrounding the war as “frivolous” and included attempts to rename the war by “Confederate partisans” which continue to this day. He claims names such as the “War of Northern Aggression” and the expression coined by Alexander Stephens, “War Between the States,” were just attempts to deny that the Civil War was an actual civil war.

    • Zachary Smith
      June 29, 2015 at 2:30 pm

      The Lost Cause movement and other Neo-Confederate cultural movements, based in the South, perpetuated a perverse notion of slavery as a benign institution.

      No. In fact the highly civilized slave south touted slavery as a positive good. There are a great many sources available for demonstration, but the most famous example is the speech by V.P. Stephens in 1861.

      http://tinyurl.com/q4ygsh2

      Stephens spelled how the authors of the “Old Constitution” had gotten it completely wrong with their BS about equality and all that. In fact, the negro was an inferior race and the only role suitable for these subhumans was to be the ‘corner-stone’ for the greatest civilization of all time – the White Slavocracy of the South.

      • Thomas Howard
        June 29, 2015 at 2:56 pm

        Lincoln, inaugural address… ‘I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so.’

        And Lincoln read the actual Constitution…’No person held to service or labor in one State, under the laws thereof, escaping into another, shall in consequence of any law or regulation therein be discharged from such service or labor, but shall be delivered up on claim of the party to whom such service or labor may be due.’

        Lincoln explains ….’It is scarcely questioned that this provision was intended by those who made it for the reclaiming of what we call fugitive slaves; and the intention of the lawgiver is the law.’

        Go read the whole thing…educate yourself.
        http://avalon.law.yale.edu/19th_century/lincoln1.asp

        • Anonymous
          June 30, 2015 at 1:28 pm

          Expansion of slavery to new states in the Union was the line Lincoln drew. Not abolishing slavery where it the existed. I believe Secession followed and Civil War. Please pause for a few seconds deep into slavery-war-south and start the moral and historical clock with the INDIGENOUS PEOPLE AND NATIONS on the continent. Amerika cannot be a great nation unless and until that is addressed and honored. Explain how this is not self-evident to all.

        • Frank
          June 30, 2015 at 1:29 pm

          Expansion of slavery to new states in the Union was the line Lincoln drew. Not abolishing slavery where it the existed. I believe Secession followed and Civil War. Please pause for a few seconds deep into slavery-war-south and start the moral and historical clock with the INDIGENOUS PEOPLE AND NATIONS on the continent. Amerika cannot be a great nation unless and until that is addressed and honored. Explain how this is not self-evident to all.

        • dahoit
          July 1, 2015 at 1:14 pm

          Judging 19th cent people with today’s mores and shibboleths is an exercise in futility.In 1861,slavery,(evil and heinous)was still a worldwide phenomena,similar to modern drone strikes(evil and heinous)and many many were supportive and are of these terrible policies.Same old,same old.And to say its a Southern phenomena is not true,as NY LI suburbia has its own collection of idiots,I saw a pickup with huge American and Rebel flags today.
          And dissing Abe Lincoln leaves me frigid,as he was one of the last American heroes,who earned the hatred of traitors..

      • Abe
        June 29, 2015 at 5:05 pm

        Lincoln’s first inaugural address was primarily directed to the people of the South, and was intended to succinctly state Lincoln’s intended policies and desires toward that section, where seven states had seceded from the Union and formed the Confederate States of America.

        Lincoln opened his speech by first indicating that he would not touch on “those matters of administration about which there is no special anxiety or excitement.”

        The remainder of the speech would address the concerns of Southerners, who were apprehensive that “by the accession of a Republican Administration their property and their peace and personal security are to be endangered.”

        Lincoln emphatically denied this assertion, and invited his listeners to consider his past speeches on the subject of slavery, together with the platform adopted by the Republican Party, which explicitly guaranteed the right of each individual state to decide for itself on the subject of slavery, together with the right of each state to be free from coercion of any kind from other states, or the Federal government.

        Lincoln refused to acknowledge the right to secession, and he would not yield federal property within Southern states.

        While much of the Northern press praised or at least accepted Lincoln’s speech, the new Confederacy essentially met his inaugural address with contemptuous silence. The Charleston Mercury was an exception: it excoriated Lincoln’s address as manifesting “insolence” and “brutality,” and attacked the Union government as ‘a mobocratic empire.’

        The speech also did not impress other states who were considering secession from the Union. Indeed, after Fort Sumter was attacked and Lincoln declared a formal State of Insurrection, four more states—Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee and Arkansas—seceded from the Union and joined the Confederacy.

        Numerous historians have explored the reasons so many white Southerners adopted secessionism in 1860. Bertram Wyatt-Brown argues that secessionists desired independence as necessary for their honor. They could no longer tolerate northern attitudes that regarded slave ownership is a great sin and Northern politicians who insisted on stopping the spread of slavery. Avery Craven argues that secessionists believed Lincoln’s election meant long-term doom for their peculiar social system. These terms placed issues beyond the democratic process, and they placed “the great masses of men, North and South, helpless before the drift into war.”

      • Peter Loeb
        June 30, 2015 at 5:51 am

        WHAT DOES GOD SAY?

        With white supremacy and ultra American conservatism, the
        “Word of God”, as someone keeps saying, is always the
        decisive factor. Often THE only decisive factor.

        With Israel (Zionists), the words of God are the decisive
        factosr. Usually the only decisive factors. Israel can on
        the basis of this do any terrorist activity from murder
        to massacre to rape, to coerced evacuation to starvation
        etc. The US says nothing at all.

        The US thinks this is AOK and gives enormous amounts of
        money—1.9 BILLION recently( to be raised in the
        future they say).

        There seems to me to be no basic difference.

        For a full discussion see Norman Finkelstein’s
        THE HOLOCAUST INDUSTRY.

        —-Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

    • Abe
      June 29, 2015 at 5:39 pm

      If I recall my history, the 1777 Articles of Confederation established a weak government that operated until 1789. The United States Constitution was ratified in state conventions in 1788. The federal government was reorganized into three branches, on the principle of creating salutary checks and balances, in 1789. George Washington, who had led the revolutionary army to victory, was the first president elected under the new constitution. The Bill of Rights, forbidding federal restriction of personal freedoms and guaranteeing a range of legal protections, was adopted in 1791.

      The “Grand Union Flag,” also known as the “Continental Colours,” was considered to be the first national flag of the United States of America. It consisted of alternating thirteen red and white stripes with the British Union Flag (“Union Jack”) in the canton.

      The “Grand Union Flag” first flew in 1777.

      The first official national flag of the Confederacy, often called the “Stars and Bars,” flew in 1861.

      If I recall my mathematics, that’s a period of 84 years.

    • Brad Owen
      June 30, 2015 at 5:38 am

      You’re right. There were THREE prongs of the threat that was leveled against We The People: the southern Oligarchy, the banking establishment (money handlers for the Southern Oligarchs) anchored in Wall Street by the British House of Morgan, and the Essex County Junto, of new England shipping/smuggling magnates (who moved into insurance). These three are the enemies to a democratic Republic. Only one threat was removed. The other two are with us, threatening us to this day. I’ve read where Lincoln was murdered for his genius”Greenbacks” policy, as it was a direct threat to the “Banksters”…Greenbacks implied a Truth that all ruling classes dare not say out loud; namely that it is LABOR that is the basis of all wealth and value, NOT money. Any fiat currency will suffice, and can be issued DIRECTLY from government. It all hinges upon what projects, to which LABOR is applied, that determines the value of that which is produced. The southern slave-holders knew this; their slaves were their MONEY, in effect.

      • Abe
        June 30, 2015 at 10:57 am

        See comment below about the Northern ‘Victimhood’ of America’s “job creators”

    • Evangelista
      July 1, 2015 at 10:30 pm

      Abe,

      You changed the subject to your “Lost Cause” and then argued your “Lost Cause” subject.

      So, does your argument mean you support or oppose Bab Parry’s petition for Arlington VA to take Jeff Davis’s name off some higway signs to calm the nerves of “long time resident” Carpet-Baggers and Scalawags at this late date, long, long after all the events that made Jefferson Davis a part of history in VA?

      Or do you mean to diplomatically suggest that Bob’s pet is a “lost Cause”, or that it should be?

      • Abe
        July 2, 2015 at 4:09 pm

        The “Confederate defenders” and “Confederate apologists” are Lost Cause / Neo-Confederate exponents.

        Speaking of Lost Cause pet movements, the Tea Party represents a noxious fusing of evangelicals and libertarians with Neo-Confederates.

        Yes, I wholeheartedly agree with Bob Parry on this matter.

  44. Thomas Howard
    June 29, 2015 at 1:41 pm

    Never in history has there been a country as in debt as the US.

    The Federal Reserve is creating TRILLIONS of dollars in phoney fiat money.

    The US has Military Bases worldwide and we bomb whoever we want whenever we want and however we want.

    The whistleblowers are dead, ijailed, or on the run.

    The criminals are in the Whitehouse, the House, the Senate, the Justice Dept, and on and on and on.

    And you are frigging worried about a highway name???

    I doubt your kids and grandkids will be forever thankful if you succeed.

    • June 29, 2015 at 2:33 pm

      I think you’ll find Robert Parry has been doing more than almost anyone to tackle all the issues you mention. If the American people do the right thing, perhaps his kids and grandkids will have the great fortune to see a highway named after him.

      You should be proud of him. I am British and envy you for your great fortune.

      • Thomas Howard
        June 29, 2015 at 3:18 pm

        Sesame Street perhaps.

      • paul wichmann
        June 30, 2015 at 11:12 am

        Parry’s right, and so are you.
        There’s never a bad time to do the right thing, but now, after the Charleston slaughter, that flag and all it stands for is ripe for abolition. Now’s the time.

    • KHawk
      June 29, 2015 at 3:04 pm

      Take a stroll down the main page and archives of this website and you can find all of the issues you reference and more being addressed many times over by Mr. Parry and numerous other genuine investigative journalist and commentators. This issue of white victimhood and the shameful encoding of racist, white supremacy in the public sphere by naming public roads, spaces and monuments after the defeated heroes of the slavery or secession confederate rebellion is just another issue to add to the list.

      But I guess in your world it’s impossible to walk and chew gum at the same time.

      • Thomas Howard
        June 29, 2015 at 3:21 pm

        I don’t think liars, thiefs, mass murders morph into anything other than what they are. I call a spade a spade.

    • Gregory Kruse
      June 29, 2015 at 6:10 pm

      Yeah, let’s solve all those other problems and then maybe we can get the name of the Traitor’s Highway changed.

    • Sam
      June 29, 2015 at 8:39 pm

      Thomas,

      There are a million problems in the world. But that doesn’t mean the disgusting, long-running acceptance of segregationists and the institutional subjugation of minorities and blatant racism is something we should just live with. Will changing the name of a highway change the world? No one is saying that. Will taking down the Confederate flag change the world? Not by itself. But on the flip side, these steps are simple, easy, symbolic things we absolutely should do. They are no-brainers.

      If you choose to not care about this issue, that’s your right. But I don’t think it’s a waste of time or beneath us to raise these issues.

      I personally think there is nothing that will threaten more people and more of life on earth over the long haul than global warming. If we don’t solve that crisis, I believe almost nothing else will matter a century from now. But that doesn’t mean I don’t want good schools and good health care and to stop the wasteful spending by the Pentagon. In a democracy, we have to be able to do more than one thing at a time.

      • Thomas Howard
        June 30, 2015 at 6:53 am

        Racism, overpopulation, global warming, good schools, healthcare, and wasteful spending by the Pentagon…you are parroting the criminals talking points, not identifying the criminals.

        • Sam
          June 30, 2015 at 12:08 pm

          I have a sense that you aren’t very good at organizing people to try to solve any of the real problems you care about. You like to wallow and condemn, but don’t actually have any real ability to do anything about it. Maybe I’m wrong, but I doubt it.

          • Thomas Howard
            July 2, 2015 at 6:06 am

            Jesus had the same problem.

          • July 2, 2015 at 4:46 pm

            Sam, I think your criticism of Thomas Howard and his attitude is appropriate, and as far as I can tell you are trying to be respectful.

            I think Thomas Howard thinks he is very superior in comparing himself with Jesus in his dismissal of your criticism.

          • Thomas Howard
            July 3, 2015 at 2:03 pm

            What is NOT racist about arresting a black for having a ‘rock’ of crack, yet Bush, Clinton, Oliver North, et al fly cocaine in by the tons and are caught but no arrest?

            You want to solve problems, arrest the criminals. Red herrings like the highway name are meant for ‘useful idiots’.

    • Ratherdrive
      June 30, 2015 at 1:39 am

      Of course the grandkids will be forever thankful that we succeeded in correcting the abomination of honoring an arch traitor.

    • Amanda
      July 1, 2015 at 9:00 pm

      Everyone has their own passion. Some fight for justice for children, some love volunteering, some love writing, some love finance or stick markets, some petition for veterans’ rights…. Your reply only indicates you fail to see the human side of many of the problems in the world. Why scoff at someone else’s focus that could bring good to the world when he exercises his right to free speech within the realm of the law? If you’re uninterested in his passion that’s okay. But urging him to silence his voice simply because you don’t see his cause as your passion is trivial.

      • Thomas Howard
        July 3, 2015 at 2:12 pm

        Is being a racist legal ‘within the realm of the law’?

        It’s hard to take your supposed attempt at teaching tolerance serious when displaying such intolerance towards racist, historical flags, and the South in general.

        Practice what ya preach.

    • Jonathan Johnson
      July 5, 2015 at 7:05 pm

      I have to admit this is perhaps the dumbest article I’ve ever read on the subject and shows the author’s complete lack of historical understanding in regards to the war of 1861. You can say millions of times over, show pounds of letters written by Confederate writers and people will go back and forth that it wasn’t about state’s rights vs. federal over reach, but slavery.

      You can point on Lee released his slaves well before Grant, who didn’t want to do that, you can show the Confederate plan to patriate Southern blacks as freemen in five years, under a plan far more civil than the ‘northern’ one. You can point to all this, but their argument is Southern people are rednecks who need to feel white guilt.

      Hell, even the more we learn about Germany and the firebombing of Dresden, the more we realize that even Germans need to ditch their guilt and shame.

      Again, truth doesn’t matter to people like the author, they just want to pile lies on lies and try to pass it on as the truth.

      Back to you to turn around and make this about gay rights are something else totally unf’n related in order to substantiated an equally ungrounded argument.

      Always Southern, never guilt. Secession now!

Comments are closed.