Whining White Southerners

Exclusive: Some brave white Southerners, including the son of segregationist Strom Thurmond, have spoken out against Confederate symbols like the battle flag, but many whites still react with fury at calls for retiring those symbols and other honors bestowed on Confederate leaders, writes Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

Whenever there’s a suggestion that the Confederate battle flag should be retired to museums or that the name of Confederate President Jefferson Davis should be removed from major highways, there comes the predictable accusation that such moves amount to “rewriting our history” but nothing could be further from the truth. It’s a case of recognizing the real history.

What America needs perhaps now more than ever is a serious reexamination of its true history, not the pleasant palliatives offered in textbooks approved by Southern-dominated boards appointed by right-wing politicians. Under such benighted tutelage, popular U.S. history as taught in public schools has become primarily a brainwashing exercise, an ideological foundation for “American exceptionalism,” the jumping-off point for today’s endless wars.

Confederate battle flag flying on the grounds of the South Carolina Statehouse.

Confederate battle flag flying on the grounds of the South Carolina Statehouse.

Plus, given America’s continuing racial tensions, it’s particularly important to throw away the rose-colored glasses used to view the issues of slavery and the antebellum South, happy scenes of elegantly dressed white people lounging on the veranda of a stately plantation house, sipping mint juleps while being cooled by fans waved by contented and placid Negroes, a white supremacist’s happiest dream.

A June 24 column by Harold Meyerson cited a recent book, The Half Has Never Been Told  by Cornell University history professor Edward Baptist ,that explodes the enduring white Southern myth of the kindly and beneficent plantation. Baptist argues that even the word “plantation” should be tossed into the trash bin of historical euphemisms, replaced by the more accurate phrase “slave labor camp,” albeit one with a large, pretty house in the center.

“Torture” is also a word that should apply, Baptist argues, with African-American slaves routinely whipped for falling short of their production quotas. This behavior was not just common among the most ignorant of Southern slaveholders but was a practice employed even by Thomas Jefferson.

According to documents at Monticello, Jefferson had slave boys as young as 10 whipped. In another important book that strips away the excuses employed to ameliorate the evils of slavery, Master of the Mountain: Thomas Jefferson and His Slaves by historian Henry Wiencek disclosed a plantation report to Jefferson explaining that his nail factory was doing well because “the small ones” ages 10, 11 and 12 were being whipped by overseer, Gabriel Lilly, “for truancy.”

Jefferson and other slaveholders in the older slave states like Virginia, where the soil had become over-farmed and depleted, also found financial salvation in breeding slaves for the newer (and even more brutal) slave states of Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi.

Jefferson even calculated that a fertile female had a higher financial value than a strapping male in the fields, all the better to help him pay for his extravagant lifestyle and cover his mounting debts. (According to Wiencek’s book and many other accounts, Jefferson also personally contributed to the breeding process by imposing himself sexually on his female property.)

The Deep South

Baptist’s book provides an overview of the slave economy as more than 800,000 slaves from the Mid-Atlantic region were sold to the Deep South’s cotton planters who employed even a crueler system than in Virginia and Maryland. Slaves often were forced to travel by foot and in chains and worked under the constant “threat of torture.”

Even after slavery was outlawed by the Thirteenth Amendment at the end of the Civil War, Southern whites refused to accept their guilt in the atrocities inflicted on African-Americans. Many whites fancied themselves the victims of “Yankee aggression” as they replaced slavery with another grotesque system, Jim Crow segregation often enforced by lynching blacks.

Around 1920, at the height of Jim Crow and the Ku Klux Klan, the Daughters of the Confederacy honored Confederate President Jefferson Davis, who before the war had been a prominent Mississippi slaveholder, by naming major roadways in the South after him, including stretches of Route 1 in Arlington, Virginia, just outside Washington, D.C.

That roadway skirted some historic African-American neighborhoods settled by slaves freed by President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation in 1863. Many ex-slaves escaping the Confederacy ended up in a refugee camp called Freedman’s Village not far from the current site of the Pentagon.

During the Civil War, the area also was the location of Camp Casey, a training base for U.S. Colored Troops who then marched south to fight to end slavery. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “The Mystery of the Civil War’s Camp Casey.”]

Under orders of Confederate President Jefferson Davis and his War Department, captured black Union troops were not to be treated as soldiers but rather as slaves in insurrection, meaning that they could be executed or put into slavery regardless of their pre-war status. In several battles late in the Civil War, surrendering USCT solders were murdered, apparently including some of the soldiers from Camp Casey at the Battle of the Crater.

So, the message of Jefferson Davis Highway was always a warning to African-Americans that they were never too far from the hand of white power. The message of Southern white defiance was repeated in 1964 when Jefferson Davis’s name was added to a stretch of Route 110 near the Pentagon as a Virginian riposte to the passage of the Civil Rights Act.

This fury of white victimhood has been on display again in recent years with the hysterical conspiracy-mongering about President Barack Obama’s birthplace, the Republican Party’s assault on voting rights, the examples of police brutality targeting blacks, and the resurfacing of violent white supremacy as in the nine murders at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina.

Some Brave Southerners

After the Charleston church massacre on June 17, some white politicians did step forward and renounce the South’s long history of racism, slavery and segregation. State Sen. Paul Thurmond, son of longtime segregationist Gov. and Sen. Strom Thurmond, joined in calling for the removal of the Confederate battle flag from South Carolina’s Statehouse grounds.

“I am aware of my heritage, but my appreciation for the things my forebears accomplished to make my life better does not mean that I must believe that they always made the right decisions,” Thurmond said. “And for the life of me, I will never understand how anyone could fight a civil war based in part on the desire to continue the practice of slavery.”

But other white Southerners continued to play the “we’re the real victims here” card or to make up endless excuses for slavery and segregation. Some claimed to be simply standing up for “history” by defending the symbols of the slave South. [For a sample of these attitudes, see comments to Consortiumnews.com’s “Confronting Southern ‘Victimhood.’”]

In Arlington, where I had urged the County Board to petition the state legislature to remove Jefferson Davis’s name from Route 1 and Route 110, there was an angry backlash to the idea from some county residents as well as support from others. One group recommended that, in Virginia, Davis’s name be replaced by the name of African-American tennis player Arthur Ashe, who unlike Davis actually came from Virginia.

But resistance to the idea continued. On July 2, Consortiumnews.com’s assistant editor Chelsea Gilmour, who was the author of the article about the training of U.S. Colored Troops at Camp Casey, posted an online petition to change the name of Jefferson Davis Highway to a Facebook group page, “I grew up in Arlington, VA,” which has nearly 13,600 members who mostly share old pictures of Arlington, talk about shops that used to exist, and share memories from their time in Arlington.

However, when the petition was posted, Gilmour said, “Within seconds, a tidal wave of comments began appearing, generally along the lines of: ‘Are you kidding?!,’ ‘I will not sign this,’ ‘Why are you trying to rewrite history?!,’ ‘This is the history of Arlington and the South and we can’t change it.’ Additionally, a number of personal insults were directed towards me. When [one commenter who had responded ‘Idiot!’ was] asked by another commentor why his previous comments had been so personally disrespectful towards me, he replied, ‘This is an attack on my Arlington, my Virginia, my South!’”

Taking Down a Petition

Then, there were demands that the petition be removed from the Facebook page. “Within 45 minutes of posting the petition, it had been removed by the administrator of the page,” Gilmour said. “The hateful reaction from a county which has always prided itself on being ‘liberal’ and ‘open to diversity’ was surprising and disheartening.”

When another person posted the petition separately, it was immediately removed again.

This hostility and close-mindedness have been characteristics of many white Southerners for generations. Rather than acknowledge the historic evils of slavery and segregation and do whatever they could to make amends to African-Americans too many white Southerners and racists from other parts of the United States have wallowed in their own delusional victimhood.

Instead of confronting the real and ugly history, they have devised a fictional one that is reinforced by the many symbols of the Confederacy, from the many statues of Confederate generals to the Confederate battle flag (now waved as an international symbol of white supremacy) to the honors given to Confederate President (and Mississippi slaveholder) Jefferson Davis.

It is also not an affront to history to recognize the evil realities of history. Even in the Soviet Union after the crimes of Josef Stalin were exposed the government stripped his name from the city of Stalingrad, despite that city’s enormous historical importance as a turning point of World War II. The renaming of the city was an acknowledgement of a very dark history. But, so too, is the history of American slavery.

When President Barack Obama went to Charleston on June 26 to deliver the eulogy for one of the massacre victims, State Sen. Clementa Pinckney, Obama read and then sang words from the hymn “Amazing Grace.” Why his choice was so appropriate was that the lyrics were written by Englishman John Newton, an Eighteenth Century slave trader — “a wretch like me” — who repented for the evil that he had helped inflict.

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.

76 comments for “Whining White Southerners

  1. Abe
    July 12, 2015 at 14:25

    The Confederate Battle Flag Is a Symbol of Hate:
    Why are some people in Massachusetts suddenly Flying it?
    By Keith Harmon Snow

  2. Abe
    July 9, 2015 at 14:22

    In the course of the Confederate flag controversy, some apologists for the southern Confederacy have asserted that the leading rebel general Robert E. Lee was an opponent of the institution of slavery. This erroneous view is largely based on Lee’s letter to his wife of December 20, 1856, where he writes: “In this enlightened age, there are few I believe, but what will acknowledge, that slavery as an institution, is a moral & political evil in any Country.” This is a highly abstract and theoretical statement, and Lee never did anything to hasten the end of slavery. In modern terms it is a throw-away line of self-consoling rhetoric. Lee was a slave owner who ordered escaped slaves energetically whipped when they were recaptured.

    But for Lee, the real test came when Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863. Lee’s response was to write nine days later, on January 10, 1863, to Confederate Secretary of War James Seddon that he needed more troops to defend the Confederacy against the “savage and brutal policy [Lincoln] has proclaimed” – wording which makes clear that Lee wanted to defend the southern oligarchic social order based on slavery (“our social system”) against the implementation of the Emancipation Proclamation by the Union army. Lee wrote:

    “In view of the vast increase of the forces of the enemy, of the savage and brutal policy he has proclaimed, which leaves us no alternative but success or degradation worse than death, if we would save the honor of our families from pollution, our social system from destruction, let every effort be made, every means be employed, to fill and maintain the ranks of our armies, until God, in his mercy, shall bless us with the establishment of our independence. I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant, R. E. Lee, General.”

    Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia was in any case the mainstay of the institution of chattel slavery in North America, and Lee’s surrender at Appomattox spelled the doom of the odious Peculiar Institution.

    Don’t Believe the Neo-Confederates: Lee Demanded All-Out War to Protect Slavery from Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation in 1863
    Webster G. Tarpley

  3. hammersmith
    July 8, 2015 at 23:56

    Joined at the hip with fascist racist Israel, America disdains our noble banner. Sanctimonious war criminals.

  4. doray
    July 7, 2015 at 09:27

    Obama’s eulogy at the funeral was as hypocritical as it gets. Obushma has murdered more people than all the “lone wolves” combined, yet had the audacity to speak of using terror as a bad thing. He and his terrorist administration are yet another reason the US flag is seen as a terrorist flag by many people around the world.
    The Confederate flag is just a sub-terrorist flag that represents the same racism against blacks the US flag represents against Islam and Mexicans and any other non-white (and non-male) people different than the standard, wealthy white “Christian” American male. They believe America belongs to them. They killed everyone for it fairly and squarely according to their Manifest Destiny, and set themselves up with slave labor that had them on the road to riches. That same mindset is hellbent on owning the world. Make everyone into slaves for their benefit. Sadly, their plan seems to be working, with false flags like this one distracting the populace as they pass the Trans Pacific Partnership.

    • dahoit
      July 7, 2015 at 13:13

      Yes,the Zionist divide and conquer plan is going swimmingly,like the absolute silence on swimming to Palestine by ousted blockade runners.Are they out of Israeli prisons yet?
      They,hah,like the quislings aint on “their” gravy train. .

  5. Abe
    July 7, 2015 at 02:05

    As mentioned in my earlier comment above, Ukrainian Neo-Nazis hung the Confederate Flag inside the Kiev City State Administration https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-dHVZTtTxQ

    The Neo-Nazis in Ukraine understand very well that the Confederate Flag represents racist white supremacism.

    Unlike the Confederate Flag, the flag of Novorossiya has no stars.

    The Federal State of Novorossiya, a confederation of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, adopted its flag on May 20, 2014. A red flag with a blue Saint Andrew’s cross, the Novorossiya flag appears to be based on a naval jack of the Russian Navy.

  6. Abe
    July 7, 2015 at 01:46

    The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism (Basic Books: 2014) by Edward E. Baptist.

    Americans tend to cast slavery as a pre-modern institution—the nation’s original sin, perhaps, but isolated in time and divorced from America’s later success. But to do so robs the millions who suffered in bondage of their full legacy.

    The expansion of slavery in the first eight decades after American independence drove the evolution and modernization of the United States. In the span of a single lifetime, the South grew from a narrow coastal strip of worn-out tobacco plantations to a continental cotton empire, and the United States grew into a modern, industrial, and capitalist economy.

    Until the Civil War, Baptist explains, the most important American economic innovations were ways to make slavery ever more profitable. Through forced migration and torture, slave owners extracted continual increases in efficiency from enslaved African Americans. Thus the United States seized control of the world market for cotton, the key raw material of the Industrial Revolution, and became a wealthy nation with global influence.

    Told through intimate slave narratives, plantation records, newspapers, and the words of politicians, entrepreneurs, and escaped slaves, The Half Has Never Been Told offers a radical new interpretation of American history. It forces readers to reckon with the violence at the root of American supremacy, but also with the survival and resistance that brought about slavery’s end—and created a culture that sustains America’s deepest dreams of freedom.

    • dahoit
      July 7, 2015 at 13:31

      Do you believe the majority of slave owners were inherently evil and not protective in the guardian sense of their slaves,in supplying food,shelter and a somewhat happy life.I would disagree as it seems counter intuitive.
      And,looking at modern urban hellholes(not the minorities making),I would posit that some slaves were better off economically and even culturally,than the modern America,as the many blacks killed by the police dwarf lynchings.,although slavery of course is its own evil,and is abhorrent.I’m a freedom guy,,love Johnny Tremain.
      Can we ask Ben argo Afflect about his slave owning (selling?)ancestors?
      I really don’t see how comparing mores from different eras is productive,burning at the stake was accepted by the majority of the 15th? century,and the guillotine accepted by modern French,drawing and quartering accepted by the majority of Middle Ages.Britons,and throwing people to lions by the majority of Romans,they all thought it just.We blow up Muslims and call it victory.

      • persona
        July 7, 2015 at 21:32

        thanks, dahoit

  7. Sean Ahern
    July 6, 2015 at 22:41

    The Confederate Flag is the flag of white race supremacism, a ‘white’ identity that most Americans today would not defend and many have fought to overthrow; through rebellions led by the enslaved themselves, the Abolitionist movement, the Civil War, Reconstruction, WWII, the civil rights era and today’s Black Live Matters protests.

    Some white southerners and their northern supporters say that the flag is their heritage but I wonder what they would say if they could speak with southern whites who lived during the time of secession.

    The majority “white” populations in the southern border states opposed secession. Virginia split over it. In the lowlands of the Atlantic and southern valleys of the Mississippi, the votes of the slaveholders, overseers, slave traders and merchants serving the slave labor camps were inflated by the 3/5ths proviso so that southern state governments were always in the control of the Planter Oligarchy. The majority non slave holding whites living in the uplands were marginalized politically and among the poorest among the European American population in the country at that time. They weren’t waving any secessionist flag back then.

    In Georgia, the most populous southern state, modern reviews of the vote to secede conducted by the Georgia Historical Society in 1972 show that a majority voted against secession in 1861!

  8. Joe Holdner
    July 6, 2015 at 20:09

    When a person wears a “Star of David” these days it is not only a statement of Jewish identity , not necessarily in support of Israel, but also a statement of the freedom to voluntarily wear a symbol that was once forced upon us by the Nazis, a symbol that predated the modern state if Israel.

    • Abe
      July 6, 2015 at 20:54

      The hexagram symbol, a compound of two equilateral triangles, became representative of the worldwide Zionist community, and later the broader Jewish community, after it was chosen to represent the First Zionist Congress in 1897.

      Unlike the menorah, the Lion of Judah, the shofar and the lulav, the hexagram was never a uniquely Jewish symbol.

      The hexagram does appear occasionally in Jewish contexts since antiquity, apparently as a decorative motif.

      The earliest Jewish usage of the symbol was inherited from medieval Arabic literature by Kabbalists for use in talismanic protective amulets (segulot) where it was known as a Seal of Solomon.

      The identification of the term Magen David (מָגֵן דָּוִד) — “Star of David” or “Shield of David” — with the hexagram symbol dates to the 17th century.

      During the 19th century the symbol began to proliferate amongst the Jewish communities of Eastern Europe, ultimately being used amongst the Jewish communities in the Pale of Settlement. A significant motivating factor was the desire to imitate the influence of the Christian cross.

      The symbol was used in Christian churches as a decorative motif many centuries before its first known use in a Jewish synagogue.

      Prior to the 19th century, official use in Jewish communities was generally known only in the region of today’s Czech Republic, Austria and possibly parts of Southern Germany, having begun in medieval Prague.

      A Star of David, often yellow-colored, was used by the Nazis during the Holocaust as a method of identifying Jews.

      After the German invasion of Poland in 1939 there were initially different local decrees forcing Jews to wear a distinct sign – in the General Government e.g. a white armband with a blue Star of David on it, in the Warthegau a yellow badge in the form of a Star of David on the left side of the breast and on the back. If a Jew was found without wearing the star in public, they could be subjected to severe punishment.

      The requirement to wear the Star of David with the word Jude (German for Jew) inscribed was then extended to all Jews over the age of six in the Reich and was gradually introduced in other Nazi-occupied areas.

      The flag of Israel, depicting a blue Star of David on a white background, between two horizontal blue stripes was adopted on October 28, 1948, five months after the country’s establishment. The origins of the flag’s design date from the First Zionist Congress in 1897; the flag has subsequently been known as the “flag of Zion”.

      Certain Orthodox Jewish groups reject the use of the Jewish Star of David because of its association with magic. Neturei Karta and Satmar reject it because they associate it with Zionism.

      However, many Modern Orthodox synagogues, and many synagogues of other Jewish movements, have the Israeli flag with the Star of David prominently displayed at the front of the synagogues near the Ark containing the Torah scrolls.

      • dahoit
        July 7, 2015 at 13:08

        Why was forcing Jews to wear a star of David an inherent insult?I know the Nazi intent was not religious fervor enforcement,but would Christians or Muslims forced to wear their religious symbols be a slur,or would they embrace it?The Christians in the Roman coliseum seemed to embrace their religion under threat of death.
        Were there any examples of embracing?

  9. Abe
    July 6, 2015 at 15:02

    White supremacism, combined with ultranationalism (whether “Americanism” or the Neo-Confederate “Southern heritage” variety) and populism, is overtly and covertly embraced in various right-wing ideological streams and political mythologies.

    The Tea Party represents a noxious fusion of evangelicals and libertarians with Neo-Confederates.

  10. Lee Wood
    July 6, 2015 at 13:54

    Mr. Robert Perry,
    While most definitely the vestige’s, symbols, mind-sets, and constant reminders of Slavery must be removed as Nazi Swastikas were removed from Germany after WWII – so to must the continued implementations of Slavery be completely and absolutely Abolished from this otherwise so-called great nation. If not, then America remains a Slave Nation!

    America, Land of the Slave/Home of the Brave does not merely advocate for Slavery, it actually expands it’s practice both with Slave Catcher Copperhead police murdering innocent community members on the streets, sidewalks, and in homes where children, women, and men are routinely executed, as if to thin the herd of poor BLACK people; AND, within America’s Prison Slave Plantation Forced Labor Camps across this guilty nation. You know as well as most people that prisoners are slaves of the state, and that the 13th Amendment gives authority to the same, whereas:
    “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, EXCEPT AS A PUNISHMENT FOR CRIME WHEREOF THE PARTY SHALL HAVE BEEN DULY CONVICTED, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”

    So, please, rather than merely standing against the vestiges, symbols, and arrogant attitudes for slavery; please expose the continued reality of slavery in America, with demands that self righteous punishments of “…slavery/involuntary servitude…as a punishment for crime…” be abolished from this guilty Nation forever.

  11. Gregory Kruse
    July 6, 2015 at 09:34

    Hateful and angry reactions to modest and moral objections really frighten me. I don’t know what cluster of brain cells you have that I don’t, or you don’t have and I do, that allows you the courage to continue your objections to bald and sore injustice, and willful, malicious ignorance. To quote President Obama, ” Do you not remember what they did to Dr. King?”.

  12. Charlie
    July 6, 2015 at 08:09

    When Al Quaeda attacked the World Trade Center, it unleashed a war that killed less than 2500 Americans in the attack and less than 5000 Americans in the subsequent neo con war.

    When the traitorous South Carolina state attacked Fort Sumter, it unleashed a war that killed 620,000 Americans.

    ergo…. an al Quaeda flag flying over Columbia would be less offensive than the Stars and Bars.

    That is your Southern heritage.

  13. Reality
    July 6, 2015 at 05:02

    Typical racist anti-white bias.

    General Lee, who owned slaves and had firsthand knowledge of the institution of slavery in the U,S said that blacks had it better as slaves, than they did back in Africa as freemen.

    Trying to portray American slavery as evil is not debatable, because all slavery is evil. But some slavery is less evil compared with others. Black slaves brought from Africa were not pushed down the ladder, but were pushed up. The majority of Africans that became slaves in the American colonies had it better than their own brothers and sisters back in Africa who weren’t slaves.

    And the truth is that a black slave had more value than hired white help or indentured servants, and were well looked after, never having to worry about shelter or food.

    Yes, slavery was a evil, but we’re talking about 150 years ago here. We’re not talking about yesterday when this happened, though, that is how blacks would like to portray it’s memory as though it happened yesterday in the 21st century. We’re talking about an era when slavery was acceptable to everyone and everywhere in the world it was practiced. The South being the most humane place to be a slave. A black slave had a higher standard of living and longer life expectancy than a peasant or serf in Europe.

    On top of that, African-Americans, the descendants of those slaves have the highest standard of living of any black population in the world. Was slavery that bad and did it really keep blacks down?

    I think not. African-Americans could be living like those Haiti today if they did not live around whites. The black Haitians slaughter the white population, and have been free of slavery, segregation, and racism for 200 years and yet their the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.

    • Amused not confused
      July 6, 2015 at 08:05

      Your benevolent supremacist argument would have been acceptable to many non-slaves 200 ago, but today is laughable.

      It makes me wonder what has enslaved or arrested the development of your mind to accept such arguments as valid today?

      More likely you are a comedian; either way thanks for the laugh!

    • Gregory Kruse
      July 6, 2015 at 09:23

      Your premise seems to be that there is nothing worse than being poor and uncivilized. Upon this premise it follows that canines, felines, and bovines are better off now than they were before the rise of homo sapiens. Never mind that they have all been castrated.

    • Abe
      July 6, 2015 at 12:52

      Neo-Confederacy: A Critical Introduction, edited by Euan Hague, Heidi Beirich, and Edward H. Sebesta (University of Texas Press, 2008)

      An interdisciplinary team examines the mainstreaming of the New Dixie movement, whose calls range from full secession to the racist exaltation of “Celtic” Americans and whose advocates can be found far north of the Mason-Dixon Line.

      A century and a half after the conclusion of the Civil War, the legacy of the Confederate States of America continues to influence national politics in profound ways.

      Drawing on magazines such as Southern Partisan and publications from the secessionist organization League of the South, as well as DixieNet and additional newsletters and websites, the book probes the veneer of this movement to reveal goals far more extensive than a mere celebration of ancestry.

      Incorporating groundbreaking essays on the Neo-Confederacy movement, this eye-opening work encompasses such topics as literature and music; the ethnic and cultural claims of white, Anglo-Celtic southerners; gender and sexuality; the origins and development of the movement and its tenets; and ultimately its nationalization into a far-reaching factor in reactionary conservative politics.

      The first book-length study of this powerful sociological phenomenon, Neo-Confederacy: A Critical Introduction raises crucial questions about the mainstreaming of an ideology that, founded on notions of white supremacy, has made curiously strong inroads throughout the realms of sexist, homophobic, anti-immigrant, and often “orthodox” Christian populations that would otherwise have no affiliation with the regionality or heritage traditionally associated with Confederate history.

    • Joe Wallace
      July 7, 2015 at 02:55


      Wow! Yes, Surreality, do you ever take the blinders off?

    • dahoit
      July 7, 2015 at 12:57

      I think a freshly enslaved African might have a different opinion,and African tribal life back them was not the hellhole Africa is today,which many attribute to imperialism.
      But all descendents of slaves imported pre civil war would not be in existence today,as their ancestors in America would have never met.
      A conundrum?

  14. July 6, 2015 at 03:56

    The significance of our symbols depends on the importance we attach to them. There can be no question that the swastika has been transformed ito a symbol of ultimate evil by its relatively short association with nazi Germany. Nevertheless, the swastika is still seen as a symbol of well-being and good fortune in India. In Europe its history goes back thousands of years. It was used as a design motif by the Ancient Greeks, Celts, and Anglo-Saxons. Some of the oldest examples have been found in Eastern Europe, from the Baltic to the Balkans. It is difficult to change how we perceive abstract symbols, but that shouldn’t mean we ought not to try.

    One way to dilute the meanings we attach to symbols is to hi-jack them, in the same way they have been hi-jacked. Perhaps the wounds are still far to deep for Americans to start making fun of the Confederate flag, but it can be done. In the same way black people appropriated the ‘n’ word for their own use, the confederate flag can be mocked into disuse by everybody using it, especially black people. It’s a sensitive issue that needs de-sensitiizing, and black Americans are the ideal people to do it.

    The same cannot be said for naming highways or buildings after racists. I don’t think we’ll ever be ready for an Adolf Hitler highway.

    • Brad Owen
      July 6, 2015 at 05:14

      I appreciate your comment. The subject of symbolism is a heavy one, and people generally don’t recognize the “dynamite” they’re playing with, when they take Symbolism in hand. Oddly, the Nazis used the backwards version of the Solar Swastika symbol; one with a leftward-rotating (sinister) spin. Perhaps they didn’t know what they had done, but their occult advisors sure-as-hell knew what it meant…their historical record proves it. Perhaps for a further education on the use and meaning of Symbols, we’ll have to await the arrival of the Makers (the Ancient Gods? Ministering Angels? Outer Space Aliens? Star People, as native Americans call them?) of the real crop circles and also the sky-spirals (like the one that appeared over Norway in 2009), to explain things to us.

    • momus
      July 6, 2015 at 11:27

      I think you are channeling some Lenny Bruce there…. would that it were so easy to do what you suggest. Some people are deeply invested in hanging on to their pain, and in some cases the pain of ancestors they never knew.

      I heard that there was a movement at W&L to change the name of the school because of the crimes of the people it’s named for.

      Regarding “diluting the meaning of symbols,” you reminded me of my latest reading obsession, a guy named Doug Mesner, who also goes by the name “Lucien Greaves” and is co-founder of The Satantic Temple. He is the guy who commissioned a seven foot tall statue of Baphomet (a demonic goat headed pagan figure) to be placed next to a monument of the Ten Commandments commissioned by Rep Mike Ritze on the Oklahoma State Capitol’s front lawn. He agreed to not place the Baphomet statue there when Ritze agreed to remove his own. Greaves’ beef is against what he refers to as barbaric Abrahamic religions and being subjected to their symbols. He is pushing a separation of church and state agenda with his antics.

      Greaves says that Satan to him is a symbol of rebellion against tyranny and is diligently re-purposing Satan’s brand to that effect. This Harvard educated Greaves is very smart and very brash. He strikes me as a true enfant terrible. It will be interesting to see how he develops or if he just flames out. In the meantime the stunts he engineers are pretty entertaining.

    • Joe Wallace
      July 7, 2015 at 02:52

      Bryan Hemming:

      “One way to dilute the meanings we attach to symbols is to hi-jack them, in the same way they have been hi-jacked. Perhaps the wounds are still far to deep for Americans to start making fun of the Confederate flag, but it can be done. In the same way black people appropriated the ‘n’ word for their own use, the confederate flag can be mocked into disuse by everybody using it, especially black people.”

      For examples of this, read the essay of Ralph Ellison, author of Invisible Man, entitled “Change the Joke and Slip the Yoke.”

    • dahoit
      July 7, 2015 at 12:52

      Show me the human without a racist thought(at this point in human history,in the future maybe it will be shed),and I’ll show you a robot.
      And there are many many monuments to racists(our ancestors) throughout America.Abe Lincoln,American icon,was a racist,it was a very very common attitude pre WW2,which seemed to be a watershed moment in American discourse about race and racism,which is still ongoing today.

  15. boggled
    July 6, 2015 at 00:34

    Ignoring all other aspects of racism by not even mentioning them slightly and solely attacking ONLY one aspect of racism in America makes you Mr. Parry a practicing racist yourself.

    Fare thee well

    • John
      July 6, 2015 at 12:00

      Weird. I didn’t notice Parry “ignoring all other aspects of racism” at all. In fact, I see him regularly attacking media bais and groupthink, which are significant contributing factors to racism. To each their own.

    • Abe
      July 6, 2015 at 12:42

      The idea that the Confederate battle flag stood for white supremacy was mainstream in the South, not a fringe understanding.

      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 White Citizens Councils, also called the uptown Klan, represented leaders of southern society. The white supremacist Citizens’ Council of Mississippi was the major organization opposing the civil rights movement in the 1950s and 60s.

      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.

  16. Thomas Howard
    July 5, 2015 at 23:50

    If there is a “whiner”, it would have to be the victor of the Civil War crying in 2015 about the South.


    • Abe
      July 6, 2015 at 12:34

      The Confederate and Neo-Confederate Reader: The Great Truth about the Lost Cause, edited by James W. Loewen and Edward H. Sebesta, (University Press of Mississippi: 2010)

      Resounding documentary proof that the original reasoning behind secession and subsequent myth-making was in defense of slavery and white supremacy.

      Most Americans hold basic misconceptions about the Confederacy, the Civil War, and the actions of subsequent neo-Confederates. For example, two-thirds of Americans–including most history teachers–think the Confederate States seceded for “states’ rights.”

      This error persists because most have never read the key documents about the Confederacy.

      Learn the truth about the Confederacy and Neo-Confederacy

      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 the Confederate Truths web site is for those documents that weren’t included in the book.

      • Abe
        July 6, 2015 at 13:32

        When South Carolina seceded, it published “Declaration of the Immediate Causes Which Induce and Justify the Secession of South Carolina from the Federal Union.” The document actually opposes states’ rights. Its authors argue that Northern states were ignoring the rights of slave owners as identified by Congress and in the Constitution.

        Similarly, Mississippi’s “Declaration of the Immediate Causes . . .” says, “Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery–the greatest material interest of the world.”

        Documents in The Confederate and Neo-Confederate Reader show how neo-Confederates obfuscated this truth, starting around 1890.

        The evidence also points to the centrality of race in Neo-Confederate thought even today.

      • dahoit
        July 7, 2015 at 12:25

        They seceded to have the state’s right to own slaves.So it’s intertwined.
        But the original impetus for union support was not anti slavery,but preservation of the union.
        Why the southern poor man would fight to preserve slavery,which impeded his own economic progress,is still strange to me,though.I guess they had a good propaganda press,the rich planters.

  17. Gordon Pratt
    July 5, 2015 at 22:12

    Symbolism is important. Robert Parry’s campaign against the Confederate flag makes an honorable contribution.

    But on-going public policy is at least as important as symbolism. Segregation on the basis of skin color, sex, ethnic origin etc is public policy today in most of the western world.

    In 1954 the Supreme Court of the United States outlawed public funding of segregated schools. Segregation had been promoted as separate but equal. In the Brown v. Board of Education the SCOTUS ruled there is no such thing as separate but equal because separation makes some much less than equal.

    For the same reason there is no such thing as separate but better. Separate rights segregate the people eligible for them.

    Yet separate but better was the unstated appeal to Lyndon Johnson’s affirmative action law introduced a mere ten years later.

    Affirmative action promises its target group a few minor privileges. But these petty advantages do not overcome the disadvantages segregation imposes. They just make it easier to sell to its victims. And they allow proponents of official discrimination to label supporters of the tradition value of equality as racists.

    Dumping the Confederate flag will not solve the problem of racism. An on-going commitment to equal rights will defuse the situation enough to make symbolic problems less intractable.

    • Mark
      July 6, 2015 at 10:25

      I’ve always been under the impression that affirmative action was meant to give a leg up to those who had previously been held down by the boots of others.

      The “reverse discrimination” argument against affirmative action, is one that racists and others who begrudge affirmative action would and do use — but not all. And it is true that anytime preference or advantage is given to one party over another, that it is automatic discrimination even if it is considered compensation for some past action(s) with the original transgressor now being discriminated against.

      As for “affirmative action” being a legitimate policy in the eyes of any individual, it would likely depend entirely on the individual recognizing, or not recognizing, the effects that centuries of slavery and oppression had on black people and their culture in the US — and even then it is still an individual’s determination to consider affirmative action as legitimate — while judges are often wrong in their decisions. It is a valid question as to why someone born today should cede advantage and tax money to compensate others for events that took place in the past — events in the past the individual had nothing to do with although, they may actually have personally benefitted from those events with the gained advantages having been passed to them through successive generations.

      Of course the law can’t force anyone to consider affirmative action as legitimate any more than they can force anyone to accept our US Mid-East policy heavily biased in favor of Israel as legitimate. And even for those who do accept affirmative action as legitimate, the question becomes “how much” affirmative action is legitimate…

      • Gordon Pratt
        July 6, 2015 at 21:08

        I am delighted that you commented on my post without disputing my conclusion that just as there is no such thing as “separate but equal” (according to the SCOTUS) so there is no such thing as “separate but better.” Separate rights are self-defeating and they harm those they are supposed to help.

        The continuing harm done by separate rights programs is not factored in to the “race” question today.

        • Anonymous
          July 7, 2015 at 07:19

          I neglected to note: I do not concur with the vague statement that affirmative action universally harms those it was meant to help.

          Your interpretation of affirmative action being the equivalent of “seperate but better” as in “seperate but superior”, may have been more accurately stated as “seperate but advantaged”? The reason for the advantage given, again, was to give a leg up to those who had been purposefully and unjustly held down for centuries — the notion that this is damaging to the recipients would only be true in a limited sense.

          Anytime one person or group helps another it is “affirmative action” regardless of whether it results from a government program or not. In a general sense, the notion that trying to help a person or group is more damaging than helpful to the recipients, simply does not hold up under examination.

          The fact that there may be abuse in the government program, or those who don’t benefit in the most ideal way, may be a contentious issue — I see you making the claim but haven’t provided anything other than your own opinion as evidence.

          There would be many reasons, some obvious and some not so obvious, why the affirmative action program does not achieve ideal results according to anyone’s definition.

          The issue is complex and would require speaking in specifics with applicable data.

          • Gordon Pratt
            July 7, 2015 at 18:51

            Anonymous in this case is Mark

            Thank you very much for your admission that segregation by means of separate rights hurts the people it pretends to help (at the top of your post) and there are many reasons why this is so (at the bottom). You have not explained what you mean when you say this is true only in a “limited sense”. And how would you know what damage segregation does to other people?

            Please note that there are no people who have “been purposefully and unjustly held down for centuries” because nobody lives for centuries. Obviously you are judging people not as individuals but as members of groups. Is that not called racism?

            It is not true that “Anytime one person or group helps another it is “affirmative action…” People expect impartiality from government. It is the official nature of separate rights which is damaging. Americans are individually among the most generous donors to charity in the world. This is a good thing.

            You say I have provided nothing but my own opinion that separate rights programs hurt the people they are supposed to help. I provided the opinion of the SCOTUS that the separate provision of equal rights hurts people. If you still imagine the addition of a few petty advantages overwhelms the problems in the separate provision of rights I really think it is up to you to prove this.

            While I am glad to see you are much more concrete and understandable in this round of our discussion on this topic compared to last week, I did get a chuckle from your statement “The issue is complex and would require speaking in specifics with applicable data.”

            Lead the way.

          • Mark
            July 7, 2015 at 22:26

            You may want to read my most previous post again — It seems we have a serious communication problem with you not comprehending my intended or implied meanings pertaining to all the above.

            If you are unable to comprehend the economic, social, educational and indeed cultural disadvantages of inheriting generation after generation of slavery and oppression imposed on ones family and race, and how that would affect all races in similar ways, then you and I are in a similar situation as with last weeks conversation — where both what I said, and what you said was beyond your comprehension. Nonetheless there will be others reading that may find some amusement or value in the arguments such as they are.

            As the one claiming affirmative action is damaging to the recipients, the onus is entirely on you to provide evidence or valid theory as to why your statement is true.

            And of course any evidence or valid theory provided on your part can only be true in a “limited sense”, as there are always exceptions when discussing human behavior,

          • Gordon Pratt
            July 7, 2015 at 23:06

            This is a reply to Mark at July 7, 2015 at 10:26 pm

            I comprehend the arguments for separate rights programs. I simply think they are wrong. They were wrong in 1964 and they are wrong now.

            The Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education, Topeka, which I use as the basis of my argument does not meet your standard of being evidence. I think you refuse to accept the most famous civil rights case in world history as evidence because you do not have a reply to the conclusions I draw from the case.

          • Mark
            July 8, 2015 at 01:55

            A SCOTUS decision in a specific case is not evidence in the case itself and is nothing more than an opinion — opinions are often wrong SCOTUS or otherwise.

            What evidence or theory do you have that supports your opinion?

          • Gordon Pratt
            July 8, 2015 at 10:38

            You will obviously not be satisfied unless the hand of God writes on the temple wall “Separate rights segregate the people eligible for them.” Even then you will probably reply “Yes, perhaps in a limited way, but….”

            Two thirds of a century ago when separate rights programs were planned there was a widespread recognition they violated fundamental values of equality and respect for the individual. Supporters of separate rights replied they were only temporary, until target group members caught up.

            Now they are permanent because they have a constituency within and without the bureaucracy which depends on them.

          • Gordon Pratt
            July 8, 2015 at 10:41


            I went through the psychology of segregation in the wrangle I had with you last week. That you dismissed as “convoluted logic” and you talked it to death.

          • Mark
            July 8, 2015 at 12:00

            You have an opinion based on someone else’s opinion — what evidence was presented that led SCOTUS to form the opinion? The opinion of a psychologist or psychiatrist? Much of Freud’s once revered opinions are now believed to be pure bunk.

            Americans have the popular opinion that invading 2003 Iraq was not war crime just as torture is not when we torture Middle-Easterners.

            Americans once had the opinion that slavery was justified.

            The SCOTUS recently imposed the opinion that corporations are people — and people with more money have more rights to exercise more free speech through election campaign funding and advertising — to ensure the election undemocratically favors their candidate.

            Why would you set the bar for valid evidence so high as to require having God present it for you?

          • Gordon Pratt
            July 8, 2015 at 20:58

            One of the pieces of evidence presented to the court was the findings of a psychologist who gave dolls to what were then called Negro children. Each child was given a black doll and a white doll and asked which one they would like to play with. The white doll was routinely chosen.

            Of course the SCOTUS is not perfect but they do declare the law of the land. Simply dismissing their opinions is not impressive.

          • Mark
            July 8, 2015 at 23:42

            I’m left to wonder what exactly the psychologist concluded with the children choosing the white doll and what would psychologists say today that might differ from that decades old opinion? Pschologists routinely argue amongst themselves regarding significance and the implications of human actions.

            Are you impressed with the condition that US politicians and the entire legal, political and justice system has delivered the american citizens into?

            It sounds like you put more trust and faith in the authority of normal men than might be good for you.. Of course you realize judges as well as psycologists are subject to personal prejudices, social conditioning and political pressure like any other human and sometimes more so because of their positions.

            I get the impression you might be taking this all too personal — when all it really amounts to is a discussion of what one particular aspect of reality is.

            Free speech and open debate are two things that are thought to make this a great country by helping determine what is legal and just. Any idea how the country has gotten so far off the track with our lying news media,illegal wars, high crime rate, crooked politicians, bankers and all?

    • dahoit
      July 7, 2015 at 12:20

      Well,just about every school district on Long Island NY is segregated by wealth,with the poor minority areas having bad schools vs,much more well off middle and upper middle class districts which are predominately white.Racism is not a southern phenomena.
      The old centers of public commerce on LI,its small cities, have been displaced by the private malls,leaving those cities economic and wastelands.
      Thanks for nothing,neolibcon traitors within.

      • Gordon Pratt
        July 7, 2015 at 18:22

        Birds of a feather flock together. It is the ‘official’ nature of segregation which does the damage.

  18. Mark
    July 5, 2015 at 20:28

    When will those who decide what any one flag should represent to all people, decide the US flag from it’s beginning has been one of hypocrisy towards the principle of equality and an equal right to life itself?

    Our history of killing, torturing and plundering at will by right of superior military force and the will to abuse and vanquish those who are ultimately victimized, defines how we’ve managed to achive our “success” to date.

    Oddly enough many Northerners and Southerners alike would denounce the above statements and deny any truth contained within — this denuciation would make Northerners appear hypocritcally inconsistent in recognizing actionable principle, while Southerners in this respect would be consistent with defending their self-proclaimed “right” to exercise white supremacy in the Civil War era as well as supremacy throughout our entire US history.

    What this means is Americans in general are a collective of self-anointed exceptionalists whenever it’s believed beneficial to themselves — supreme hypocrites.

    If not supremacists how do we (the USA) justify our actions around the world today? Possibly as exceptional and supreme propagandists…

    Maybe it would serve the truth and justice better if we were judged by our victims and not our peers.

    • boggled
      July 6, 2015 at 00:20

      It is a shame to see your comment Mark.
      Especially the part – Our history of killing, torturing and plundering at will by right of superior military force and the will to abuse and vanquish those who are ultimately victimized, defines how we’ve managed to achive (achieve) our “success” to date.

      Up until WW2 we practiced a policy of staying within our borders and concerning ourselves with the conflicts there.
      America was successful in that period, regardless of many nations bringing the war to America.
      Success after that happened regardless of American foreign policy, it was because of American ingenuity and innovation.
      WW2 taught us, regardless of wanting to stay inside our own borders and let the rest of the world fight its own idiotic wars, we could not do that and insure American safety.

      The world is full of a lot of evil people and wars and has been since the first person picked up a rock and threw it at another person in hatred or jealousy of what that person had as property.

      American successes were because of intelligent, innovative, free, and capitalistic people who have some temperance in the methods they do things and trying to follow a set of laws instead of anarchy.

      NOT wars.

      You could make the claim colonialism and the way people acted with that contributed to America successes, however, North America had many different European, Asian, South
      Americans, and Central Americans trying to do that also at the same time.

      It was not just those that landed on Plymouth Rock or came with Christoper Columbus.

      Anyways, the world has been at war, and WW2 taught America that it is best to squash things that might bring or allow a fight being brought to its shores.
      The death toll and financial devastation and rebuilding is much less devastating if we would have stopped a fascist Dictator like Hitler and put our two cents in before Hitler set about his global conquest of death and destruction and the Aryan race.

      Fare thee well

      • Mark
        July 6, 2015 at 09:13

        Yes, staying within our borders makes us the peace loving people we always were and still are. And here I’ve been under the impression that the only reason the US has borders to “stay within” is because of “Our history of killing, torturing and plundering at will by right of superior military force and the will to abuse and vanquish those who are ultimately victimized, defines how we’ve managed to achieve our “success” to date.”

        If not for killing and plundering to map our borders, how then did we acquire the land to begin with?

        And now we travel the world killing, torturing and plundering to wrestle control of the world’s resources in support of the corporate fascism which we mischaracterize as “capitalism”.

        And since WWII, all the millions of deaths, directly and indirectly, the US is responsible for are justifiable because of Hitler’s Germany?

        At one time it was mostly greed for land that incited America to action. Now it is a combination of greed and fear that “justifies” our aggressiveness. Maybe we should take over the world because it is full of dangerous people and they might have WMD’s like the ones we unnecessarily used on Japan while knowing they were already intending to surrender? Tyranny almost always has an excuse and Americans can make one up at any time or real Americans might prefer to deny the obvious facts as you’ve done…

        Why do you suppose the majority of the world’s people see the US as the biggest threat to world peace and the sovereignty of foreign nations? Maybe they missed the story about Victoria Nuland serving cookies to the neo-Nazis we backed to overthrow the Ukraine government in 2014? But more likely it’s because they haven’t been so inclined to believe American propaganda while waving the American flag as you have…

      • Mark
        July 6, 2015 at 11:38

        Here’s something as quoted from another article:


        “There seem to be few maxims of power more thoroughly internalized by U.S. leaders than Kennan’s prophetic (1948) prescription for hegemony. In the end, the maintenance and expansion of American power requires oil to fuel our military, guns to make good on our threats, and the suppression of all alternatives to U.S. rule, particularly when they come from those who would govern themselves.”

        Our military adventurism and corporate profits are tied together with the entire economy in tow — to disrupt either could greatly affect the other(s) by throwing the current dynamics of the system out of balance (or imbalance) from whatever balance it currently has. To get a more in depth perspective of how these forces interplay with each other, the story the above quote is from might help:

      • Abe
        July 6, 2015 at 13:25

        More boggled logic and neo-fascist political mythology:

        In fact, the United States government policy during the interwar period (1919-1941) did nothing to discourage German National Socialism, while American corporate finance and industry contributed considerably more than two cents to support Hitler https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WpJjuotD534

        • Mark
          July 7, 2015 at 07:51

          One thing about the right:

          they can be counted on not to grasp the complexity of any complex issue and will generally justify the means by what they “hope” to achieve in the end.

          Hence they end up contradicting themselves in principle, often ignoring the underlying principles, from one action or proposed action to the next — exceptionalism de jour is their standard rule!

      • dahoit
        July 7, 2015 at 11:31

        Yeah we’d all be speaking German.sheesh.Hitler had absolutely no way of attacking America,other than submarines.Hyperbole.When they bring up Adolf,you know the poopie cockie is forthcoming.

      • leroy campbell
        July 12, 2015 at 17:45

        Please google Smedley Butler War Is a Racket. Quick and easy.

        • leroy campbell
          July 12, 2015 at 17:54

          Sorry. My recommendation was meant for “boggled”.

    • Abe
      July 6, 2015 at 12:10

      Thanks, Mark, for mentioning the 2014 coup d’etat in Ukraine.

      Events in Ukraine have highlighted the ubiquity of the Confederate Flag as a symbol for white supremacists worldwide.

      Symbols of racist hatred were visible among the Euromaidan protesters well before the US/NATO instigated neo-Nazi coup d’etat in February 2014.

      The Kiev City State Administration (Ukrainian: Київська міська державна адміністрація or КМДА) is the national-level branch of the Government of Ukraine that administers the capital of Ukraine.

      Kiev is a city with special status within Ukraine compared to the other administrative subdivisions of the country. The most significant difference is that the city is subordinated directly to the national-level branches of the Government of Ukraine, skipping the regional level authorities of Kiev Oblast.

      In December 2013, during the Euromaidan protesters, the Kiev City State Administration building was occupied by protesters.

      The building occupiers included members of the far right Social-National Party of Ukraine (rebranded as Svoboda).

      Political experts observe that the name “Social National” is an intentional reference to “National Socialism”, the ideology claimed by the Nazi Party.

      Video of the building interior from December 2013 clearly shows the Svoboda banner:

      The video shows two other flags hanging next to the Svoboda banner:

      — The Confederate flag

      — Odin’s Cross

      Odin’s Cross is also called a Celtic Cross by white supremacists. Its origins date to the pre-Christian “sun cross” or “wheel cross” in ancient Europe. Norwegian Nazis used a version of the symbol in the 1930s and 1940s. After World War II, a variety of white supremacist groups and movements adopted the symbol. Today, this verson of the Celtic Cross is used by neo-Nazis, racist skinheads, Ku Klux Klan members and virtually every other type of white supremacist. It has also achieved notoriety as part of the logo of Stormfront, the oldest and largest white supremacist website in the world.

      Since the US/NATO backed coup d’etat in Kiev in February 2014, we have seen Nazi swastikas and Waffen-SS runes on the helmets of Ukrainian National Guard soldiers, and the fascist wolfsangel banner flying on the armored vehicles of Ukrainian troops attacking the population of Donbas.

      Like the United States, Ukraine appears to have great difficulty shaking off the symbols of racism.

      • Mocking Bird
        July 7, 2015 at 08:38

        The reverence for supremacist symbols is laughable when taken by itself.

        Only those who chose firsthand to be a member of their particular race should be allowed to be racists…

        • dahoit
          July 7, 2015 at 12:07

          The chances of birth.A roundabout way of saying;Walk a mile in another’s shoes?(to see truth and perspective)
          Hey,those Ukrainians have some Muslim friends,the Chechens,says the NYTs.Better they blow up seperatists instead of Bostonians?I’m sure our criminals have a smile on their twisted faces.

  19. Barbara Meighan
    July 5, 2015 at 18:48

    When I hear some of my southern acquaintances claim that the confederate flag means so much to them as a symbol of their southern heritage, I ask them why they never uttered a word in protest when racist hate groups used the confederate flag as their symbol. The only answer I got was that they didn’t have a leader or an organization to lead them as Afro-Americans have with the NAACP. That seems like an awfully lame answer to me. And the same acquaintances are the ones who have sent forwarded email to me with disparaging remarks about President Obama and African Americans. Needless to say, this blue girl stuck in a red state has no respect for their backward thinking and ignorance of their own history.

    • Peguis
      July 10, 2015 at 22:45

      I admire your question to the racists…they was ‘got’ by you…

  20. J. Cosgrove
    July 5, 2015 at 17:36

    If the realities of history include disproportionate {i.e. far more than some small %} Jewish participation in the slave trade…. is our zeal for historical accuracy going to remain?

    Or can we expect that along with the idea some people might sincerely view the same symbol differently than northern journalists – does *that* notion (along with the Jewishness of the Old Bolsheviks and the ‘neoconservatives’) still need to be memory-holed with the most outraged expressions against “hate”?

    • Mary Tracy
      July 6, 2015 at 02:18

      It’s hard to decipher the point you’re trying to make, but it appears that the gist of it is that the Jews are to blame. Obviously, you believe that the Russian Revolution was a bad thing, but of course the man leading it, Lenin, was not a Jew. Not many Jews in the Communist Chinese Revolution either.

      • hammersmith
        July 9, 2015 at 00:30

        Lenin was of Jewish extraction; Jews dominated the Bolshevik and the early Soviet government. Stalin disrupted this cabal somewhat, but Jews and married-to-Jews remained prominent.

      • Peguis
        July 10, 2015 at 22:40

        Trotsky was Jewish…

  21. Randy Fritz
    July 5, 2015 at 17:35

    And let us not forget that removing symbols like the “Confederate Flag” is only a beginning. My fear is that the symbols will generally be removed from public locations around the South and that will be the end of it. In other words, Americans will again substitute symbolism for substance.

    • momus
      July 5, 2015 at 18:22

      Hmm. I am reminded of a dialog that was sparked at Mondoweiss when Michael Douglas wrote an op-ed about how an anti-Semite was rude to his son because he was wearing a star of David round his neck. Commenters pointed out that the star of David is on Israeli tanks and planes that bomb the bejesus out of Gaza and Lebanon… they were making the case that the star of David was a symbol of bigotry and oppression. It is hard to argue with that logic! So which is it? Is the Israeli flag with its star of David a good thing or a bad thing? I guess it depends on whom you ask.

      Full disclosure, I am descended from many VA slave owners, including Thomas Jefferson’s sister, Lighthorse Harry Lee, Robert King Carter and more. I do love VA though of course I am not proud of the fact that my ancestors owned slaves. But unlike Ben Affleck, I’m not embarrassed by it either: I wasn’t alive then! I had nothing to do with that stuff! And funnily, I met a cousin in a business meeting once, who told he was a direct descendant of Charles Carter Lee, just like I am – he was a black guy!

      I used to have a confederate flag on my license plate holder in the front of the car, and this had to do with my love of the south, not slavery. I got a lot of dirty looks! In particular I remember an African American cop mad dogging me in a seven eleven parking lot. I was annoyed to think that man assumed I was a bigot b/c of that confederate flag: clearly what that symbol meant to him and me were two different things. But I took off the license plate anyway, b/c who needs the trouble and really I decided other peoples feelings are important and should be taken into account. I actually don’t care that much if the confederate flag is removed across much of the south, but I also don’t think its removal will do much to eliminate racism in the south.

      Now, I wonder, will the day ever come when the flag of Israel is equated with racism as much as the confederate flag is? Will there be calls for its removal?

      • Mary Tracy
        July 6, 2015 at 02:09

        Sounds like a twisted moral equivalency argument.

        • momus
          July 6, 2015 at 11:52

          You might see it as a twisted moral equivalency argument. But the sole survivor of an extended Palestinian family that has been obliterated by Israeli bombs might see it differently. I understand that.

          • dahoit
            July 7, 2015 at 11:26

            Sheesh,a defender of Zion,the most racist and criminal nation in history,bar none.One thing about those confederates was they had honor,unlike the Zionists,who live in the 21st century AD,not their chosen 1000? BC.
            Obviously the flag shouldn’t fly over statehouses,its an insult to the union,but its OK to fly it personally,freedom is freedom,but reactions to it are freedom also.

        • momus
          July 6, 2015 at 12:27

          Addendum: Google “is the star of David the new swastika” for discussions of how this symbol is being re-purposed as an expression of Jewish hatred in Israel, Gaza and the illegally occupied territories. Many disturbing images can be found as well.

        • hammersmith
          July 9, 2015 at 00:24

          Sorry Mary, there is nothing “twisted” about momus’ argument. Though considering its time, the Confederacy was never as evil as Israel of today. BTW, Zionist and America, the would-be Chosen, have pretty much used up the “moral equivalency” gambit–find a new pitch.

    • July 12, 2015 at 00:57

      As an Ex-Ku Klux Klan leader I am so happy to hear that they have taken down the Confederate flag from the South Carolina’s Statehouse grounds! Where there is Grace there is No race! http://www.josephbednarsky.com

Comments are closed.