View single post by booklover
 Posted: Sat Oct 6th, 2007 05:52 am
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booklover
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First let me say that I should never write anything on the fly. Albert, if for a moment it sounded like I was calling you a racist, I apologize. As I stated earlier I don't know you at all to be able to make such a judgment, nor would I presume to say such a thing without any evidence (and from your posts, I don't see any). That said, let me try to answer the posts as I promised to do.

First, to Bama46.

Whether racism is a 20th or 21st century notion that never existed in the 19th century is begging the question. We use the term racism today to mean what happened then--the idealogical notion that blacks were inferior to whites and therefore whites had the power to hold them in subjugation and, as Roger Taney put it, that blacks have no legal rights that any white man was bound to respect. Whether it was called racism or prejudice or whatever, to me at least, is irrelevant to the argument as to what Confederate symbols meant then and what they mean today.

As to the winner writing the history, that is always the argument of those who can't seem to get their views accepted by the general population. There exists a wide body of "history" written by the losing side in this case. It's called the Lost Cause and its views are very prevalent among several different people (sadly enough).

OK, now to Albert.
Reenactors have always fascinated me, simply because no war that America fought except the Civil War has people who want to relive it in this way. No one goes to a re-fighting of the Battle of the Bulge nor do they want to re-fight the Vietnam War. Yet because the Civil War involved only Americans, and because we choose to remember it in a certain way, we have battles probably every weekend of the year. To me this is harmless enough. But I can see why those who portray Confederate soldiers have to argue that slavery wasn't the cause but rather it was state's rights. No one will argue that fighting for state's rights was wrong. But the war, in my opinion, was not about state's rights. State's rights for what? It was about the South's fear that Abraham Lincoln and other Republicans would do what the abolitionists wanted and take their slaves away. You are absolutely right, Albert, that the majority of Confederate soldiers did not own slaves. However, to say that they weren't fighting to keep that system alive is, in my opinion, wrong. Do you honestly believe that if the Southern states had achieved their independence then slavery would have been abandoned? Southern independence would have done to slavery what the invention of the cotton gin did--make it grow unimaginably. The symbols of that nation--yes, indeed all symbols of that nation--represented only one thing--the perpetuation of slavery. You can look at it as a heritage thing, and no amount of discussion from me will change your mind. I too own a Confederate flag, but I don't fly it. I keep it as a reminder of what I never want to see happen in my country again.

Albert, I don't think in any way, shape or form you are a racist. But I also don't think your flags are innocent symbols either. They are looked upon by the ancestors of people who were enslaved by Southern men as symbols of oppression and, yes, by some as symbols of hate. Whether they have been bastardized by others is another argument. As I said earlier, I don't see that showing a Confederate flag to school students is wrong, as long as it's done in such a way as to not promote what I feel it stands for. You will disagree with me, and that's fine. I respect your opinion. I also hope you won't stop coming here and participating in a free form discussion. That's the only way knowledge and understanding will ever come about. Again, if I insulted you, I apologize.

Best
Rob

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