One of the things societies organized around the defense of evil often do when they lose a war is try to salvage their dignity by blaming “the politicians” while trying to valorize military heroes. It is too unbearable to face the fact that so many people you loved were killed, not even for nothing, but for less than nothing–for evil. So you come up with mythologies to explain that while you may have lost and you may even have been a tad wrong (all because of that Jeff Davis), but still and all your heroes were great and honorable men who were fighting for noble reasons.
It’s a coping mechanism. But the day has to come, sooner or later, where you have to admit that and stop lying to yourself and everybody around you. Like this:
The historical record, alas, doesn’t support his claim. Lee owned or managed slaves for over thirty years — in April 1861, he oversaw roughly 200 slaves — and always sought to maximize the value of his human property. Lee may have complained about the “peculiar institution,” but he and his family benefited from it tremendously.
It is long past time the myths of the Confederacy were laid in the grave and people admitted that it fought for evil and its heroes are not worthy of the honors and lies that protect their memory. That’s why the statuary of the Confederacy, expressly erected to enforce Jim Crow and keep a subject population in line, needs to go. Robert E. Lee killed more Americans than Adolf Hitler in the defense of owning human beings. That is what the Confederacy fought for.
As the MAGA Cult is so fond of yelling at African-Americans who still suffer from the structures of sin the Confederacy bequeathed them, “It’s been a century and a half. Move on! Get over it.”
William Faulkner, himself a Southerner who understood the powerful warping pressure of history in the Christ-haunted South remarked, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” That’s because the sons and daughters of the Confederacy were never really able to do what, for instance, the people of Germany did after WWII and what the children of Israel did after the Babylonian Exile: say forthrightly, “We and our fathers sinned.” Instead, for a full century the children of the Confederacy lied and denied and glorified the “Lost Cause” and romanticized their murderous revolt in defense of a slave regime.
For instance, from 1889 to 1969, American history textbooks used in the South required the approval of the United Daughters of the Confederacy before they could be used to brainwash 69 million children for 80 years that slaves were “indentured servants” and that white supremacy was right and proper:
The constitution of the UDC’s North Carolina Division, for example, said the group aimed to insure that “the portion of American history relating to [the Civil War] shall be properly taught in the public schools of the State, and to use its influence towards this object in all private schools.” That barebones concept was given flesh by Division President Mrs. I.W. Faison, at the group’s annual convention in Wilmington, North Carolina, in 1909:
We must see that the correct history is taught our children and train them, not in hatred towards the North who differed from us, but in knowledge of true history of the South in the war between the States and the causes that led up to the war, so that they will be able to state facts and prove that they are right in the principles for which their fathers fought and died; and continue to preserve and defend their cause, until the whole civilized world will come to know that our cause was just and right. … There is an expression often used by our people as the “Lost Cause.” Let us forget such, for it is not the truth. …No, our cause was not lost because it was not wrong.
A few years earlier, national UDC President Mrs. James A. Rounsaville put it this way at the group’s annual convention in Charleston, South Carolina:
It has ever been the cherished purpose of the Daughters of the Confederacy to secure greater educational opportunities for Confederate children, and by thorough training of their powers of mind, heart and hand, render it possible for these representatives of our Southern race to retain for that race its supremacy in its own land.
All that matters because with the passage of the Civil Rights Act in 1964, the white racist Dixiecrats, in vengeance against LBJ, fled the Democrats and were welcomed with open arms by the GOP. Republican strategist Lee Atwater, in 1982, explained how the tailored their message to appeal to the white supremacist vote that is now the backbone of MAGA:
Which brings us down to today and the white supremacist Panics du Jour about the 1619 Project and the hysteria over CRT being taught in schools. In addition to the alleged Party of Free Speech trying to outlaw discussion of our racist history, they are also trying, in Texas, to revive the old Confederate control of textbooks with the absurd 1836 Project.
Here’s the glorious history of Texas in brief:
1830: Mexico attempts to end slavery in the territory of Texas
1835: the territory of Texas goes to war with Mexico to keep its slaves
1845: the Republic of Texas goes broke and joins the United States
1861: the State of Texas goes to war with the U.S. to keep its slaves
There’s a reason real worship begins with a penitential rite and antichrist MAGA worship begins with “We are freaking AWESOME!”:
“Critical Race Theory argues that racism is structured into the law. So, with these laws banning Critical Race theory, they’re explicitly structuring racism into the law by attempting to ban discussions of it.” – Victor Ray, Professor of Sociology at the University of Iowa, pointing out the irony of red states banning CRT.
Hong Kong has ”National Education” classes. Perhaps Greg Abbott can visit and get some inspiration for his communist education project.
For all of the GOP whining about “socialism” and totalitarianism, they borrow very heavily from the Soviet playbook.
The GOP becomes *very* libertarian when it comes to social security and *very* statist when it comes to miltary expenditure. I am not taking their ”freedom from government” propaganda seriously. I myself prefer a different allocation of resources and make no secret of my preference for governmental intervention in such matters.
Yup. All true and well stated, Mr. Shea.
That said, in rightly condemning the logs in our ancestors’ eyes, we need to remember to give due repentance to our own. Modern-day wage slaves exist today, working for Amazon, Wal-Mart, and any other number of corporations. A hundred years from now, will our descendants condemn us for allowing this? Probably. I sure hope so.
Also from Goebbels or goring or himmler. I cannot remember which. I do not see the difference.
I find it amusing all the focus we place on (rightly, but rather cheaply) condemning slave owners in the past when we are all slave owners ourselves—ones who can’t even, unlike Antebellum slave owners, look our slaves in the eye.
Who do you think picked the cotton to make your Nike shoes?
I’m a total fool if I think that my 401(k) doesn’t invest money in companies that use literal slave labor—not in centuries past, but RIGHT NOW—and even more of a fool if I pretend the products I use every day that were bought at a cheap price (including the one I’m using now) weren’t made with slaves.
Gets worse. Enjoy shrimp this summer? It was almost assuredly harvested by child slaves in Thailand.
Russia ended slavery the same time the USA did and the descendants of the serfs ar just as poor as the serfs. This puts the lie to the racist nationalist claim that oppression cannot continue for 150 years
The stuff about Lee is wrong. He really was against slavery and manumitted the ones he personally inherited and whose status he was completely in control over. The incident that the article in the link refers to is when Lee was the executor of an estate, the estate had debts and giving away assets, like giving the slaves themselves or their freedom, a slave was like a cow per estate accounting, couldn’t happen until the debts were paid off, which they eventually were by the cash raised by the selling land in the estate.
Though I’d guess Lee being ‘complicated’ might be too much to think about, so he has to be made into a character in a comic book level history.
Posts that try to make their points with “it wasn’t over when the germans bombed pearl harbor” type history aren’t going to be all that persuasive.
Well, since he really needed the money, I guess beating his cattle within an inch of their lives was okay, because he was complex.
You realize you aren’t really making the Big It’s Complicated Flex you think you are, right?
None of this is true.
Lee “opposed” slavery in the way many Southerners did by saying that owning slaves was bad for white people but better for black people who weren’t ready for their freedom and were better off as slaves, opposing emancipation but saying that the institution might somehow disappear in some distant future when black people were ready for it.
There is no evidence at all Lee freed his own slaves and clear evidence he still owned slaves by emancipation.
The issue of the inheritance is the worst. There were no debts – the “debts” were large legacies which would require the land to be sold to pay for them. Lee didn’t want to sell the land, so although the will provided that all the slaves be freed, because it only required this to be done within 5 years, Lee didn’t free any of them but instead tried to make enough money to pay off the legacies by sending slaves away from their homes and families to be hired out to other farms. The slaves rebelled against this and frequently attempted to escape, because they knew they had been freed in the will and Lee had no business doi g this, and Lee on a number of occasions had them savagely beaten in retaliation. Lee even attempted to find a way of not freeing the slaves at all so that he could sell them off and keep the land, until he was obliged to free them by court order.
All this is well documented:
I do realize that I didn’t make any sort of big complicated flex, as you put it. I pointed out how ‘101’, as in Does One Know Anything At All, it is, making this point directly in the last two sentences.
The end result of doing that over and over is no one will care, in the sense of it being actually right, what one has to say.
The Lee thing is interesting in a way though. It’s rather new, 20 years ago no one anywhere thought whatever else he did, Lee viewed slavery as portrayed here. It’s like watching the Galileo story as it’s commonly told and believed, and is wrong, gel in real time. So maybe it will get to be just as true as the Galileo story.
If you wanted to say, “It is not until recently that people have finally abandoned the lie that Lee was some sort of sympathetic hero in his brutality toward the human beings he owned and profited from” you should just say that.
I suppose that’s so, but since what’s within the quotation marks is bass ackwards wrong, at least with regards to Lee personally, he very briefly did own slaves via inheritance, and freed all of them after he educated them, 3 R’s level, at his own expense, why should one want to say it ?