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Lincoln and Confederate remnants [Feb. 17th, 2009|05:17 pm]
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[Current Mood |annoyed]

It's dangerous to think toohard about programs  seen on TV while sick, but sometimes it's impossible not to.   I watched a PBS program on Lincoln...mythology, reality, straight history, legend, etc.   In the course  of the program, the narrator visited a convention of southern white guys who loathe Lincoln because their ancestors lost and they don't like their ancestors being called traitors to the Union.

A hundred and forty-odd years and these guys still don't get the point.   Their ancestors *were* traitors, and they *did* lose the war of rebellion, and there was nevrer anything glorious about the Old South. 

It ticks them off that schools don't teach their version of history.  They want to believe great-grandpa (with however-many greats it takes) was a noble hero. 

No, he wasn't.  He may have been brave, but his cause was a bad cause,and he was willing to bust up the whole country to pursue  it.

I grew up sixty miles from the last battle of the Civil War (at Fort Brown, cavalry battle) fought after the war had ended but word hadn't arrived yet in south Texas.  

Word should have arrived by now, but clearly some folks have not listened.  The Confederate flag never stood for freedom, equality and justice for all.  The great cause was a cause of repression, subjugation, and race privilege.   Every U.S. Army officer who turned against the Union to the south did so by breaking an oath to uphold and protect the Constitution of the United States.  There were brave men on the Confederate side...but they were all, every one of them, wrong.  They were wrong then, and they were wrong when they passed the Jim Crow laws and raised the KKK and lynched and burned and threatened and just generally behaved like terrorists and not decent citizens of a civilized country.

These guys in North Carolina need to get over themselves, but as long as they can hire a hall, hang Confederate flags, and brag on great-great-grandpa, it's easier not to grow up.  

Everyone wants to have ancestors to brag about.   Back when I was a grade school kid, I was bragging about one of mine one day and the teacher walked up behind me and said "You know, it's all very well to be proud of your ancestor, but  you might consider whether your ancestor would be proud of YOU.  What have you done that would make your ancestor proud?"   Um.  Long silence.  Because what really matters here, in this country, is not what your ancestors did...but what you do with your life.   Are you making things better for the country, for the planet?   If not, no amount of bragging on ancestors is worth diddly.   If you've got ancestors who did stupid things, or bad things, you can do better...and the Lincoln-haters bragging on their Confederate forebears would do well to shut up, roll up their sleeves, face the reality of their not-at-all-glorious history and do better than their ancestors did.

Not that I expect they'll listen to me.  


[User Picture]From: morvashepley
2009-02-18 12:39 am (UTC)
Yes, it's interesting how many people can't feel good about themselves unless they've got someone to look down on. They don't even want to earn the right to their superiority, they just want it as a birthright.

Morva Shepley
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From: 6_penny
2009-02-18 01:20 am (UTC)
Inbreeding breeds idiocy?
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From: mmegaera
2009-02-18 01:38 am (UTC)
My 84-year-old Louisiana-raised mother went through Gettysburg National Historic Park a number of years ago. Her reaction? "That wasn't the history I was taught."

On a long car trip ten years ago, I went through both Gettysburg and Vicksburg. I finally understand what she meant. Those two places were not involved in the same war, at least not according to the signs and other literature.

That was an interesting program, though.
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[User Picture]From: bigbananaslug
2009-02-18 03:14 am (UTC)

The South Will NOT Rise Again

Your post is spot on, Elizabeth. This is one of the things that can drive us all crazy...there's hope that fewer and fewer Southerners are being raised to believe those things, but the number of people who continue to argue from the point of view that it was a glorious cause of heroes continues to be large enough to be frightening. Heck, even the Scots Jacobites have given up by now...Even the CSA Colony in Brazil tells the same stupid story.

At least we've elected a black man President. If he's a good one, this may help convert them. I almost said "heal the breach" but there is no breach to heal. We (the USA) won. They (the CSA) lost. That's it.

Walt Boyes
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[User Picture]From: chris_gerrib
2009-02-18 03:24 am (UTC)
Just want to put in another "amen." You're very often spot on, but today I'd call this one a Robin Hood split. (Robbin Hood split = where the second arrow cuts the first arrow on the bulls-eye in half)
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[User Picture]From: entp2007
2009-02-18 04:48 am (UTC)
Sadly I know some people who still refer to it as the "war of northern aggression". I learned a long time ago that I had ancestors who fought on the losing side of a war. One of my great grandfathers was a Feldwebel in the Austro-Hungarian Empire Army in WWI. Though all of his sons served in the US Army during WWII. I learned only a few years that I had a great great grandfather that served under Stand Watie.

I find this personal family history fascinating, but I certainly don't lament the fact that the Austro-Hungarian Empire is no more, nor that the Confederacy is no more. I say good riddance. I certainly have sympathy for my great great grandfather for doing what he did. He was orphaned on the Trail of Tears, and many of the Cherokees felt wronged by the Federal government for their removal. And yes many of them still wanted to keep slaves too.

The Cherokees are still dealing with the legacy of the Civil War. The tribe recently ousted the black Freedman who were made members of the tribe after the Civil War. I am ashamed that they did this. Hopefully, at some point in the future the Freedman will have their citizenship restored.
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[User Picture]From: stephen_dedman
2009-02-18 12:47 pm (UTC)
Or as Lincoln once said "I don't know who my grandfather was; I am much more concerned to know what his grandson will be."

Of course, that may be another reason the Lincoln-haters hate him.
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