~~ Random thoughts ~~
When I was a boy, my Father instilled upon me a sense of history … a story … of my Country. I was born in Brooklyn. Grew up on Long Island. I am a Yankee. Though, if truth be told, I am a Dodgers fan and have lived in North Carolina since late 1991. Back to His Story. Forts William Henry & Ticonderoga and Gettysburg were places he loved to take the family. At Gettysburg, I was exposed to my first Confederate flag. Racism wasn’t part of my experience. It was “just” a flag that Americans fought under in a terrible & bloody war.
States rights were at issue, and on that point, I am very sympathetic with the Confederacy. The Federal Government is far too big, out of all Constitutional proportion.
After this war, slaves were free. But they had no skills. Many thought they were actually worse off being free. White soldiers – most of whom never owned a slave – came back from the war damaged, many missing limbs. They were poor when they went off to war, more so now that they were back. The land was ravaged by Union soldiers, pillaged & burned in many places … as scarred as the men who came home. Many just wandered with no purpose. Their economy was broken, and all suffered. Economically, whites & blacks in the South were now somewhat on equal footing. Reconstruction had begun.
It all was growing pains for a fledgling Nation … all part of the story.
In the end, Americans, north & south, black & white, died, were maimed, suffered. The men who fought the great battles that decided this war and reshaped a Nation deserve to be honored … preserved land, monuments … and perhaps most of all, those banners … the flags they gave their lives for should be flown anywhere, by anyone, who chooses to. And, it should be done without the “flyer” being branded as a racist.
That’s tolerance. That’s America.
No Confederate Flag I know of has ever slid down its pole and killed anyone. No gun that I know of has ever come down off its gun rack and gone off on its own and killed anyone. A mentally unbalanced & disturbed person? Now there’s something that could happen. He/she COULD go off and kill someone, on their own, with or without a gun; with or without any knowledge of a Confederate Flag – or any other flag – even ever existing. So what does Governor Haley of SC do? Caves. Caves like Amazon, Apple, the Memphis, TN City Council, TV Land and so many others. She makes the “hard” choice and orders the Flag taken down from the SC State House property. That’s what passes as crisis resolution in today’s wimpy society. It may or may not have been a good choice at another point in time, but right now, in my opinion, the brave choice, in these times, would have been for her to propose a bold and innovative mental health initiative in her State. That may actually have helped to fix a problem. Now, though, everyone can feel all warm & fuzzy for accomplishing nothing that had anything to do with a mass murder. All the politicians who voted in support of her Flag decision would never, ever get my vote again if I lived in SC. What a joke … and not a very funny one at that!
The issue of the Confederate flag flying from State buildings or on their grounds should, in my opinion, be up to the people of those individual States. My fear is that it is but a foot in the door, and one-by-one – as we have already begun to see – all symbols of the Confederacy – one half of America at the time – will be eradicated. I don’t really believe that it has much to do at all with slavery, but more with the belittling and continued humiliation of the American South … the Republican American South. Has the South not suffered enough? Does it not end until it is beaten into submission? Reminder – that already occurred, 150 years ago. Since that time, great, great strides have been made in repairing racial relations. You find the flag offensive? Look elsewhere. I find Al Sharpton more than offensive – he has surely done more to damage racial relations in recent times than any Confederate flag may have done in that same period … and he gets to sit with our Divider-in-Chief at the White House – excuse me, the Rainbow House. We, as a Nation, have welcomed into our society many enemies of the past [some not so “passed”] … integrated them into our fabric. Japanese, Germans, Russians, Italians, Mexicans, Muslims … What a wonderful thing. Blending their heritage, their music, their foods, their holidays, their FLAGS in with ours. One day, as I watched a baseball game, I learned that it was Japanese Heritage Day … and there they were, in the stands, watching our National Pastime, hundreds of Japanese-Americans … waving their little Japanese flags … very similar, if not exact, to those on the planes that bombed Pearl Harbor. Nobody was offended Yet, now, 150 years after the most tumultuous time in our history, there is a vocal, self-proclaiming “tolerant” and “open-minded” segment of our society that STILL can’t forgive and forget and accept the heritage of millions of their FELLOW Americans. Instead, in their giddy little posts about rainbows, they still spew hate toward the American South. It’s all mainly driven by political forces. “Y’all” should be ashamed of yourselves.
Oh my gosh. I hate to sound like I’m saying, “some of my best friends are Black,” but I guess, to a certain extent, I am. Eddie and Sydney were two of my brothers working on the psychiatric wards for the criminally “insane”- among others – and we trusted our safety with each other. Joanne was a Hussy Busser [long story]. Wayne & Steve were both bandmates. Many others. Not only friends, but some of my favorite customers, while working as a record store manager and later for the USPS, were Black.
I have to say all that because I know the way many people think these days, and saying I am against the removal of the Confederate Flag from the SC State House, maybe in Mississippi [update: NOT!], and definitely from Wal-Mart shelves [sure this is just the beginning of a great tsunami] will cause some to think – maybe even say – that I am a racist. It has happened before. If you really know me, then you know that not to be true. I am a great champion of American heritage & history, and I do not like to see it destroyed, whatever the part we might be discussing. The totality of our heritage is what we are today. The Confederacy was a part of one of the most tumultuous eras in our formation. They were Americans, White AND Black. Was slavery an issue? I cannot say no to that question, but it became THE issue ONLY after it became politically expedient. Sound familiar? Oh, the Union had its share of Abolitionists driving that cause, but the war was steeped in the overall issue of State Rights versus large Federal Government. Gee, much like today. Thousands of good, hard-working, family men – some of great heritage going back to the Revolution and before – lost their lives slugging it out on American soil. Half fought under the Confederate battle flag. I won’t give you a history lesson. Consider though … slaves were sold to European traders by BLACK African lords and traders; many slaves were held in northern states – though the institution was abolished by the time of the Civil War – so what makes the American Flag any less evil? Why is one an accepted symbol, the other not? The fact is, both sides had slaves, one just gave them up sooner. We all owe it to one another, as Americans, to hold together all the traditions that were a part of the journey that made us great. Not to pick & choose. What someone today chooses to have that flag represent is largely irrelevant. What it meant to the average Confederate soldier in the 1860s was that it served as a symbol of their defense of the homeland. Blacks were not the only slaves in history. You do know that. Whites were slaves, Jews were slaves, American Indians adopted slaves. Africans held their own slaves. It’s not just a sin of American White folks many years ago. It has been a human sin that few cultures are not guilty of. A sad day it is when we try to erase the memory of our past so that someday it will be no more. Peace, brothers & sisters. To learn from the past you must remember the past. But who can remember it in the future if we destroy it now?
If you are paying attention you will see that the removal of the Confederate flag in Columbia is not a singular event. There is a coordinated effort going on to erase all reminders of the Confederacy … and more, now expanding toward Jefferson, the American flag, etc. This had to be in the works; just waiting for the moment to spring it. It is, like I mentioned yesterday that it would be, a tsunami. As always, the focus is on race. How about Heritage? I know the progressive left is behind this all. That is not surprising. What is would be how easily Republicans are going belly up on it. When will we learn that our “national conversations” are simply about giving in to the left. Our Constitution is under attack. 2nd Amendment here they come!
I guess we just owe everybody … About slavery: Slavery in America “only” lasted 222 years – Muslims have been enslaving whites and Christians and Jews since around 600 A.D. – Whites have been enslaved “From Virginia to Barbados” – the English enslaved Irish/Vikings and Scots by the millions – Whites [and Americans] were enslaved by the millions by North Africans and Muslims forcing the USA, under President Jefferson, to build a navy and go to war to stop the enslavement – In the English colonies of early America, prior to 1640, most sugar grown was done by forced white labor – Legal white slavery in Massachusetts in 1658 – In England, in a 1765 report, a 90% mortality rate for slave children in “workhouses” was recorded – The word slave derives from slav, a Caucasian ethnic group so often taken and enslaved by Muslim Ottoman empire – Blacks in America [and first slave holder Anthony Johnson] owned whites as slaves – As white slaves and indentured servants decreased from Scotland/Ireland/Germany, the need for African slaves increased – By around 1756, it became mostly black slavery – According to John Adams, white labor was preferred by most to black labor at that time.
… and that just touches the surface. Turns out, really, that America isn’t the big, bad racist, slave holding, complex that many tout us as being. As I have said here 47 zillion times … and counting … it is a part of the history of mankind …. war, subjugation, the whole kit & kaboodle. So, what other nation went to war, at least in part, to free slaves from bondage at the cost of 620, 000 killed and maybe another million wounded and missing? America is the greatest country ever, and perhaps the only that was founded on ideals: 1. Rights come from God, not government 2. All political power emanates from the people 3. Limited representative republic 4. Written Constitution 5. Private Property Rights
“As a man is said to have a right to his property, he may be equally said to have a property in his rights.” — James Madison
For those who still think it was all about the “flag” … sickening. I think we should remove all – everything – reminders of anything in our past. It’s all evil. Every bit of it. Take it all down, from Columbus to Obama’s last words. Blank slate. And keep it blank, so that no one ever knows what has ever happened. Freaking lunatics. Historical monuments were constructed to preserve history. Now, we are destroying it. ISIS-like. Do you feel better now? Will it benefit future generations in any way. I am so pee’d off my eyes could shoot blood. Ridiculous!
Why? Why can’t they let a dead man rest? And his wife? This kind of overreaction is insane … I mean that literally. It all stems from a mass murder in Charleston, SC. How do we get from that to this? At best, a very weak link. The odd thing? Confederate and Union veterans often met at anniversaries of certain Civil War events. Men who would have bludgeoned one another on the battlefield now hugged, shook hands, exchanged stories, shared camaraderie. They were the ones who put their lives on the line, and they could forgive. Not today’s extreme progressives. No. They, collectively, have got to be the biggest bunch of hate filled hypocrites in the Country. Think of it, too … most all these monuments, national cemeteries, memorials, commemorated sites, etc. were established during, or not very long after [relatively speaking], the Civil War was fought. Hatred might have been expected to be waxing at that time. But, to the contrary … All of it was done to remember … the errors, the horrors, the heritage, the history. Why, oh why, can’t people realize that? Why are some people enveloped in hate 150 years after, when the people who were there could see it for what it was and protect it for the sake of our National well-being? We are far too self-righteous in this day and age. You know, sometimes, the people who preceded us knew better. We are not always “the Bomb”. As usual, Abe says it best:
“Four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation: conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war. . .testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated. . . can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate. . .we cannot consecrate. . . we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us. . .that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion. . . that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain. . . that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom. . . and that government of the people. . .by the people. . .for the people. . . shall not perish from the earth. “
Erasing the “scars” [i.e. digging up graves] is the antithesis of Lincoln’s words.
The Civil War was a war fought in which the issue of slavery did not become the driving force until mid-stream, when, much like today, an issue became politically expedient. The North fought to preserve the Union. The South called the war the War of Northern Aggression [which should tell you why they fought]. That rotten scoundrel Confederate general … what was his name? … oh, Robert E. Lee … “racist” Southerner that he was … was probably the best General in all the land. He was asked, by the North, to be in charge of the DC defense as a Major General at the war’s outset. He politely declined, stating that he could not fight against his fellow Virginians. That was the war in a nutshell, but don’t let spin get in your way.
We have these monuments and gravesites, battlefields and banners the battlers fought under. It’s called Preservation of History And that keeps our story straight for other generations … like a wampum belt, if I may. Does destroying these things change the History?
Better question: When I look in the mirror these days I no longer see the young man I once was; I see, instead, an aging geezer. Should I smash the mirror? Will that make me look & feel younger? I think not.
No … everything will be exactly the same.
I’ll let President Lincoln have the last word:
“My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union. I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause.” … Abraham Lincoln
A good read:
Were Confederate Generals Traitors? — by Walter E. Williams