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June 23rd, 2015

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10:37 pm - Musings on A Symbol of Oppression
If you ever hear anyone defend the Confederate flag or claim that the 1861 Slavers' Rebellion (aka the "Civil War") was about "state's rights" or in fact about anything other than the bold-faced defense of slavery, tell them to read this excellent article by Ta-Nehisi Coates.

I remember growing up with the widely repeated statement that this war was only partly about slavery or in some cases denying it was about slavery altogether. Also, in the mid 1970s, I remember reading an article about how Virginia (the state I grew up in for all of my years in public school) had Elementary School textbooks in many schools in the late 60s (thankfully, not my moderately liberal Northern VA schools) which talked about how masters set out holiday feasts for their slaves and other bits of vileness.

The one bit of data I lack is how any of this was handled in college classes, since with my taste for far away places and long ago times, I found American history largely devoid of interest, so avoided all such classes.

In any case, in a very real since, while the US won that war, it largely failed at the peace that followed and the would-be slavers basically wrote the official narrative about that war. It's only been within the past 15 years or so that I've seen a majority of articles, books, and mentions of textbooks and history classes which unequivocally state that Southern Secession and the Slavers' Rebellion were entirely motivated by a desire to defend slavery.

Confederate Flags are at long last headed for the closet of uncomfortable relics, I hope the the attitudes that were responsible for their popularity die out soon after. I would very much like to see the day when the Confederacy ceased to be a source of pride and where Southern pride or nostalgia means something other than white bigots wishing they owned a plantation worked by slaves.

(2 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:June 24th, 2015 06:41 am (UTC)
Nicely said.
[User Picture]
Date:June 26th, 2015 03:37 am (UTC)

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