Annnnnnd it’s more on the Confederate flag issue.
It’s an important article to read for two reasons. First, it describes how white supremacists have hijacked the Sons of Confederate Veterans. These days, the SCV is into talking about how much blacks enjoyed fighting for segregation. This is real. This is not a random accusation from the left wing. This is a major, important Southern organization being coopted by virulent racism.
Second, it also makes it clear that the Sons of Confederate Veterans weren’t all racists or rednecks. Those who formerly ran the SCV are outraged and are working to take back their organization — as they should. These are men who are proud of the Confederate flag, and who are also working against racism.
Bryant, I just wrote something a couple of weeks ago on a black guy from around here who is running for President of the Lincoln County (NC) SCV, over the objections of some of the very racists you’re talking about. He’s gotten far more support than opposition apparently, and thank heaven for that. I hate those bastards. They’re hijacking history, and they absolutely destroy the credibility of anyone, like for instance me, who tries to argue the position that the Civil War (oops, scuse me, the War of Northern Aggression – ahem) was a little more complicated than people generally know, and that the guilt for slavery doesn’t end on the Southern side of the Mason-Dixon line. Don’t mean to start a big ol’ fight in your comments or anything, which this topic always seem to do. But I just wanted to say one thing you and I have always agreed on: screw the racist bastards. All of them.
That’s awesome. PNH over at Electrolite just found out he was eligible for the SCV, and reacted kind of badly. I’m going to drop him an email with a pointer to that, and point out that he’s in a great position to help kick the racists out of the SCV.
I know /exactly/ what you mean by credibility-destroying, too. Same way I get irked when I get lumped in with the blood for oil crowd.
Seems to me that Southern pride is… people are proud of their heritage. That’s almost universal. It doesn’t indicate that they think the heritage was universally wonderful; it’s just part of how humans are. Singling out the South and saying “Sorry, your ancestors did this bad thing thus you can’t be proud of your heritage” is futile.
I don’t follow how the target of the “enjoyed fighting for segregation” link expresses that sentiment at all. It seems to say that throughout American history, blacks have volunteered for armed service in spite of how America treated them, not because of it; the only quote I found on the page relevant to segregation is:
“Blacks served the South because it was their home, and because they hoped for the reward of patriotism; for these reasons they fought in every war through Korea, even though it meant defending a segregated United States.”
The bulk of the page seems devoted to spreading around the blame for slavery to every free man alive at the time, northern or southern, white or black.
If you completely separate the Civil War from the slavery issue, sure, then talking about how blacks voluntarily fought in the Civil War doesn’t seem related. I don’t think you can do that. I think there were certainly other issues at stake; the North and the South had huge economic issues at the time.
But the emotional element of the war, for both North and South, was largely slavery. That was the issue that was used to inspire the people, whether through the cause of abolition or arguing that the North was trying to take away rights. Emotional appeals matter, even though we understand historically that there were many other things at stake. It’s the same reason Bush should be held accountable for speaking at Bob Jones University; it doesn’t mean he’s sympathetic to their views, but it does mean he’s willing to seem as though he is in order to get their votes.