Tag Archives: Confederate

A Must Hear Reality

Never before in the history of America has such vial despicable language been espoused against a sitting president. PLEASE LISTEN as the honorable Minister Farrakhan exposes the hate-filled rhetoric and writings of right-wing conservative elected officials and influential members of American society directed at President Barack Obama and his family.

Forget what you may perceive as the Ministers politics – this is the reality of truth.


The Civil War – Beware the Facts Might Change!!!

The prolific French writer, historian, and philosopher Voltaire said, “History is a pack of tricks we play upon the dead”. This statement could not be more profound. I refer to history as His-Story.

If you are not aware, we are about to enter into five years of untruths, unreal assessments, and in some cases out and out lies, as we mark the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. This was a critical point in time because a divided nation faced a crisis. It started in the early morning hours of April 12, 1861, when Confederate batteries fired upon federal troops occupying Fort Sumter. Union forces surrendered the next day after 34 hours of shelling; the bloodiest war in the nation’s history had begun.

There is no question this was a significant event in the country’s history. However, we should be candid about its causes and not allow the distortions of contemporary politics or long-standing myths to cloud our understanding of why the nation fell apart. There will be a lot of misinformation that will surely come, as both sides of the debate relive this chapter of American history. So be prepared for the revisionists to create many illusions pertaining to the facts as they relate to the realities of Civil War history.

It’s already begun with a surge of activity, especially among conservatives, to adjust the story to reflect contemporary political positions. One prominent effort occurred in Texas when the state school board revised social studies standards to increase study of Confederate leaders and reduce emphasis on the Founding Fathers’ commitment to separation of church and state. Some wanted to stop referring to the slave trade and substitute a euphemistic phrase, the “Atlantic triangular trade.” Thankfully, after opposition, that idea was dropped.

There was a case in Virginia where the Department of Education conceded its error in allowing a misleading textbook to be used in classrooms. They, against opposition, allowed the history book to continue to be used and the offending passage remained. Even after admitting that the inaccurate passage was “outside of accepted Civil War scholarship.” The disputed passage was a gross falsehood that says two battalions of African American soldiers fought for the Confederacy under famed Gen. Stonewall Jackson. The department would go on to say that it anticipates teachers “will have no difficulty working around one objectionable sentence”.

Also in Virginia, a few years ago, the new Governor signed a proclamation honoring the Civil War and made no mention of slavery, which again after considerable controversy he revised the proclamation. Let me add that Richmond, Virginia was the home of the Confederate capital. Sure the First Amendment protects the Confederate sympathizers’ right to write this nonsense but it is up to us to do our due diligence to understand, although we were never taught the truth, that it is untrue.

Before I go any further, let’s be clear, the war was NOT fought to free the slaves. That narrative came much later when the north was not winning and needed a reason to allow colored solders to fight. Abraham Lincoln, Honest Abe, although not a proponent of slavery, had no desire to end slavery at the onset of the war. He was for the free-labor ideology of equal opportunity and upward mobility. The issue of slavery, as he stated, “was the morality and future of the slaves and of slavery”. He believed if the nation remained divided on the issue of slavery, the nation would not last. If you recall he borrowed a statement made by Jesus to support this position; “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”

Actually, Honest Abe was considering the option of sending the slaves back to Africa or somewhere outside of America to solve the problem. IN FACT, as an experiment, he sent thousands to Haiti and the Dominican Republic. This experiment was not successful because many became ill and died causing him to reevaluate the decision. He also had another plan, which was to acquire land in South America to host this unwanted population to include other locations as well.

On the other side, the south, secessionist, saw it this way. Their leader Confederate President Jefferson Davis, a major slaveholder, justified secession in 1861 as an act of self-defense against the incoming Lincoln administration. Abraham Lincoln’s policy of excluding slavery from the territories, Davis said, would make “property in slaves so insecure as to be comparatively worthless . . . thereby annihilating in effect property worth thousands of millions of dollars.”

The Confederate vice president, Alexander Stephens said, “Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea… Its foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the Negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical and moral truth.” These guys were very straightforward in their belief that the proper status of the Negro in America’s form of civilization, if free, would be the immediate cause of the rupture.

Views such as this continue today, from various quarters, because there remains enormous denial over the fact that the central cause of the war was our national disagreement about race, slavery, or more specific states’ rights. The historian Douglas Egerton says, “The South split the Democratic Party and later the country not in the name of states’ rights but because it sought federal government guarantees that slavery would prevail… routinely shifted their ideological ground in the name of protecting free labor.” I believe it was all about states’ rights similar to today’s conservative perspective.

Let’s be clear slavery was about one thing – economics. The institution and the economics derived from it built America and that wealth made America a powerful force in the world as a result. Therefore, those who try to rewrite or obscure the reality of this evil do so wishing the greatest crime ever inflected upon a people had never ended or that it would return. I suggest that you listen carefully to those who use the code word “States Rights” and hear what they are not saying.

The Confederacy broken up the United States and launched a war that killed 620,000 Americans in a vain attempt to keep 4 million people in slavery does not confer honor upon their lost cause. It’s been 150 years of folks, like back then and now, trying to change the narrative to justify why the war was fought. Some say slavery. Some say tariffs. Others say the Constitution. I found this quote where one captured Confederate soldier, as he was being marched off to prison, was asked, “Why are you fighting?” He is said to have grunted, “Because you’re here.”

If I can remind you this sounds very similar to what the Tea Baggers and the conservatives are saying now! And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

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The Law of Unintended Consequences

The incomparable Jackie (Morganfield) Lambert the great niece of the legendary blues man Muddy Waters has done it again. Jackie offers her powerful commentaries on “LET’S TALK ABOUT IT” every Tuesday night at 9:00 PM (est) on Spreaker.com with me and the Wild & Wonderful Brenda White. You must join us on the fastest growing political talk show on the air where we talk about the political news of the day. Oh, and all the crazy goings-on in our country. It’s a blast!!!

The Law of Unintended Consequences

In January 2010 the Supreme Court held that the First Amendment prohibits the government from placing limits on independent spending for political purposes by corporations and unions. This case is commonly known as Citizens United. In plain English, it means that the gloves are off and moneyed interests are free to buy elections through their Political Action Committees. Let’s not forget that they have been free to use their mega bucks to buy favorable legislation for years.

Now, fast forward to January 3rd, 2012. Tonight, in Iowa, the Republican Presidential caucus is being held. One notable candidate in the field has been complaining loudly and bitterly about how outside groups have tanked his campaign through a barrage of negative ads. That candidate would be Newt Gingrich.

What I find so remarkable about this is that Mr. Gingrich is one of the founders of scorched earth politics – even going so far as to draft a memorandum to his Republican colleagues in the house of representatives to give them the most incendiary words to use in order to vilify their Democratic opponents. Mr. Gingrich was also a stalwart supporter of the Citizens United decision.

I am sure that Mr. Gingrich never envisioned that his toxic political tactics coupled with unlimited corporate contributions would combine to bite him right in the uh… Well, you know.

http:johntwills.com


Whistling Dixie – Same Old Tune!!!

I like to think of myself as a historical junky, not that I know all things about everything, but I do know most political issues have an agenda that contains a subliminal messages designed to alter reality. Thought Provoking Perspectives is a vehicle that provides me a forum to express a point of view and this issue is one that begs commentary. The new Conservative Republican Virginia Governor, Robert F. McDonnell, this week issued a proclamation proclaiming April as Confederate History Month. However, he excluded any mention of that “little thing” called slavery, which was the primary reason the war was fought.

As a result, an immediate a barrage of nationwide criticism came for the exclusion causing the Governor to modify the proclamation conceding that it was “a major omission” acknowledging the states complicated past. I must admit, my first reaction to the initial proclamation was, this was just another veiled attempt to rewrite history like what is being done in Texas where the Conservatives are rewriting text books about history to fit their agenda? I am not opposed to rewriting history but I am not a proponent of HIS-story, which is what this was designed to do.

McDonnell said he left out any reference to slavery in the original proclamation because he wanted to include issues he thought were most “significant” to Virginia. He also said the seven paragraph document was designed to promote tourism in the state because next year marks the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War. In the first paragraph of the proclamation it says “the people of Virginia” joined the Confederacy in a war “for independence” and “fought for their homes and communities and Commonwealth.” The proclamation urged reflection on their “sacrifices” because it was too bad they were “ultimately overwhelmed” by the North’s “insurmountable” resources.

How does one, anyone, interpret this statement or his decision to declare April Confederate History Month? Was he referring to the, nearly 50% of Virginia’s population at the time, who were owned and held in bondage as beasts of burden, raped, beaten, starved or taken away from their families and sold? Or maybe he though being a slave was an honorable duty. How could he not realized the insensitivity of this action would cause a firestorm as national media, and rightly so, to descend upon Richmond as Democrats and African Americans accusing the new governor of ignoring the state’s role in slavery. After all it was the home of the Confederate Capital.

As the usual suspects were paraded out to voice their displeasure concerning the governor’s position he issued a mea culpa for the document’s exclusion of slavery. “The proclamation issued by this Office designating April as Confederate History Month contained a major omission. The failure to include any reference to slavery was a mistake, and for that I apologize to any fellow Virginian who has been offended or disappointed.” He didn’t quite say it explicitly but it sure sounded like the same old racist position of state’s rights. There is no other way to interpret it.

To that point: “There was a right side and a wrong side in the late war, which no sentiment ought to cause us to forget.” — Frederick Douglass, 1878.

I wondered; does he really believe his original position or was he furthering the conservative’s mission as to what Virginia’s Republican Party stands for when it comes to the state’s African American and other minority citizens. Was this a formal admission that effectively endorsed the South’s cause in the Civil War with the suggesting that it will rise again? Nowhere did the original statement did it condemn or even acknowledge the fact that the South was fighting primarily to defend a society based on slavery, as the Confederacy’s own leaders said at the time.

To Donnell’s credit, he did admits to the lack of any reference to slavery was a “major omission.” He did amend the proclamation to say that “the institution of slavery led to this war, and was an evil and inhumane practice.” It must be stated that he only modified the original proclamation under severe pressure from almost all quarters when he added a vital new paragraph clarifying his original proclamation for the Confederate History Month, which in reality was treason as a result of their succession.

It is crucial that we not, from my perspective, afford any admiration to the Confederacy with the explicit admission that it fought for a repugnant cause. Here’s a historic parallel. I’d say that during Hitler’s rein the holocaust was the worst crime administered by an abhorrent government and one of the worst crimes known to man. In my opinion, the Confederacy ranks a few notches down from Nazism in the hierarchy of immoral regimes and dare I say crimes against humanity.

It’s important to keep in mind that, for many Virginia conservatives, tea bagger, and wingnut today’s struggles against or acceptance of a Black Man as President of the union they succeeded from is really a continuation of the efforts by Jefferson Davis and other secessionists. In a Washington Post interview the first lieutenant commander of the Virginia Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, which lobbied McDonnell to issue the proclamation said, “They were fighting for the same things that people in the ‘tea party’ are fighting for now.”

The modern day Rebel also said, “he’d favor seceding again and tonight is not soon enough” — because of high taxes, illegal immigration and energy legislation. He called today’s government as a “War of Northern Aggression”. This is pretty far out particularly when he stated that the Confederacy and slavery was a “tired old argument” regardless of the historical facts. This is a pretty good indication that one would consider this as a group’s on the political fringe with talk of secession.

I would just remind him of this vivid account provided by the Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens in 1861. He said, the Confederate government’s “foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his natural . . . condition.” Quotes like that make me wonder whether it’s ever justified to honor the Confederate “heritage” at all particularly as I know the KKK was born from this linage.

“Governor McDonnell’s decision to designate April as Confederate History Month without condemning or even acknowledging, the pernicious stain of slavery or its role in the war disregards history. It is insensitive to the extraordinary efforts of Americans who died trying to eliminate slavery and bind the nation’s wounds, and offends millions of Americans of all races in all parts of our nation” – not to mention all sane reasonable thinking human beings.

It is a matter of truth that a full accounting of the era must include a discussion of slavery and its lingering effects. So for all those who think this is now a post racial society and that racism no long exists – think again.

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