Yet Another Example of Neoconfederate Racism and Lunacy

Over at The Gift That Keeps On Giving, a member posted a link to this article from the News-Press, a paper in Southwest Florida, which includes Fort Myers.  The article, written by a person named Quentin Fairchild, has such gems as, “Rebuking the spirit of respect and reconciliation practiced by Presidents Lincoln and Roosevelt, local NAACP President James Muwakkil has decided to cast his stone at the portrait of Robert E. Lee hanging on the wall of the Old County Courthouse. But if our county commission were to give in to his demand and remove the painting, would they not be surrendering to a destructive logic that would also bring down the county that bears Lee’s name and countless other markers to our history and heritage?”

Oh, do tell us:  “During the war, there was no greater collaboration in the Confederacy than that between Lee and Stonewall Jackson, but right here in Downtown Fort Myers, Lee and Jackson Streets still run side-by-side as if the war had never ended. Must these roads be renamed? Must our county commissioners lie awake at night worrying that someday Mr. Muwakkil will realize that Fort Myers was named for Abraham Myers, who during the Civil War served as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Confederate Army?”

So let’s see, now.  Let’s say the two streets are renamed.  So what?  How about Fort Myers?  It appears as though Fort Myers was named in the 1830s, well before the Civil War.  But let’s humor him.  Let’s say Fort Myers gets renamed.  So what?  What does that “bring down?”

The author is just warming up, though:  “He tells us that Lee’s portrait ‘is a symbol of racism,’ but if we hunt after all the old ghosts of American history, we will find buried everywhere we look the bones of white racism. The Civil War was a war for independence fought by a slave-holding republic, but then so was the Revolutionary War, as a slave-holding general named George Washington led an army from 13 slave-holding colonies. Should we dynamite the slave-holding half of Mount Rushmore to meet the modern moral standards of Mr. Muwakkil? Will he demand drone strikes on the Washington Monument?”  Well, Mr. Fairchild doesn’t understand the history he’s writing about.  The confederacy specifically seceded and was formed to preserve slavery and white supremacy, so those who fought for it were automatically fighting for those twin goals.  The United States was not formed in order to preserve slavery and white supremacy, so his analogy falls apart.

Mr. Fairchild continues to mischaracterize history:  “Slavery is an incomprehensible evil to all of us, but wouldn’t it have been as common to Lee as abortion and migrant wage slavery appear to us today? Do we hold, say, General Petraeus responsible for our country’s current moral failings?”  Again, the confederacy’s goal in attempting to be independent was to preserve slavery and white supremacy.  The United States was not formed or is fighting in Afghanistan in order to preserve abortion or the treatment of migrant workers.

So, where does the racism come in?  In the reactions in the SHPG to this article, to wit:

Has Michele Obama and the New Black Panthers finished the next American History book for the Government schools?”

The next genius contributes, “Yeah. It starts with reading ‘Uncle Toms Cabin’. Followed up by watching ‘Roots’, ‘Mississippi Burning’ and the Spike Lee collection.  Probably has a section devoted to ‘national heroes’ such as Trayvon Martin, Rodney King, and OJ.”

Then we have, “I haven’t visited the “Peace Monument” in 12 years. There is no peace and those who can’t see that should see their opthamologist [sic] asap. History is no longer studied objectively. Most contemporary historians are lying sacks of **** who have agendas or have been brainwashed since childhood. I have as much use for them as the last piece of cow manure that I stepped in. I have come to realize that this country won’t be around much longer and that the only good thing I can say about that is that when it finally happens I probably won’t be around to see it. And finally, I have come to the conclusion that 150 years ago, the wrong side won.”

Followed by:  “Yes, the public schools do still teach ‘History’-their form of it. Unfortunately there is so much either changed or left out that the only thing that parents that want their children to know the truth can do is to make sure to teach their children (and any others that will listen) the truth (or homeschool them like we have chosen to do)

Gee, why would anyone think these folks had racist tendencies?

Here are a couple of other gems on the same thread:

It’s revisionist history designed to steer the thinking into one particular direction.  Example: The Civil War was fought because the Southern states wanted to maintain slavery therefore they rebelled against the US govt by seceding.  They seceded because Lincoln was elected President and he was going to free the slaves.  Lincoln fought the war because he believed that all people should be free.  Therefore if you’re of Confederate heritage you should be ashamed because your ancestors were white supremacists who wanted to enslave an entire race of people.   Another example:  The Great Depression was caused because the Republicans were in charge of both the White House and Congress.  They were a bunch of rich fat cats who only cared about their wealthy pals.  But Franklin D Roosevelt was elected and he saved America from the Depression by instituting the New Deal.”  Notice that this person has heard the truth but has decided in his own mind that he’s not going to believe what the secessionists themselves have said about why they were seceding.  I guess he thinks they were all a bunch of liars.  Then he advances a strawman regarding Lincoln and then shows that he gets his personal identity from people who lived 150 years ago and whom he never met rather than establishing his own identity.  I won’t comment on his view of the Great Depression, or rather what he fancies is the view of historians regarding the Great Depression.

Finally, there is this laugher:  “Gettysburg is one of the BIGGEST celebrations of Union victory and tyranny going. I wouldn’t go there on a bet.”  A celebration of tyranny?  LOL  You can’t make this stuff up, folks.



  1. George Purvis · · Reply

    You are right you can’t make this stuff up. It takes a person like you to sit down and dream up a up such comments about an article. Slaverydoes not equal racism and the war had nothing to do with slavery. To remove Lee’s portrait is nothing more than racism.

    George Purvis
    Southernheritage AdvancementPreservationand education

    1. Slavery as used around the world doesn’t necessarily equal racism, George, but slavery in the United States was race-based so it is intertwined with racism. The Vice President of the CSA said that the cornerstone of the confederacy was slavery and white supremacy. Your claim that the war had nothing to do with slavery merely shows your own lack of knowledge. Had there been no slavery there would have been no war. Removing Lee’s portrait is up to the good folks in Lee County, Florida. If the case against removing it can be made without historical blunders then that would be fine. If people who support keeping the portrait can do so without making racist comments, then that would be fine as well. Have a terrific Sunday.

      1. Elizabeth Del Greco · · Reply

        How was slavery race-based when some of the biggest slave holders in America were blacks who owned other blacks? Say it aint so? Look it up! Doesnt fit the “great myth”, does it?

        1. Thanks for your comment, Ms. Del Greco.
          First of all, your claim is just wrong.

          List of the largest American slave owners

          The list below is compiled from the 1860 United States Slave Census Schedule.
          1.Col. Joshua John Ward of Georgetown, South Carolina: 1,130 slaves.
          2.Dr. Stephen Duncan of Issaquena, Mississippi: 858 slaves.
          3.J. Burneside of Ascension, Louisiana: 753 slaves.
          4.Meredith Calhoun of Rapides, Louisiana: 709 slaves.
          5.William Aiken of Colleton, South Carolina: 700 slaves.
          6.Gov. John L. Manning of Ascension, Louisiana: 670 slaves.
          7.Col. Joseph A. S. Acklen of West Feliciana, Louisiana: 659 slaves.
          8.Gov. Robert Francis Withers Allston of Georgetown, South Carolina: 631 slaves.
          9.Joseph Blake of Beaufort, South Carolina: 575 slaves.
          10.Jno. Robinson of Madison, Mississippi: 550 slaves.
          11.Jerrett Brown of Sumter, Alabama: 540 slaves.
          12.Arthur Blake of Charleston, South Carolina: 538 slaves.
          13.Jno. J. Middleton of Beaufort, South Carolina: 530 slaves.
          14.Elisha Worthington of Chicot, Arkansas: 529 slaves.
          15.Daniel Blake of Colleton, South Carolina: 527 slaves.
          16.J. C. Jenkins of Wilkinson, Mississippi: 523 slaves.
          17.J. Harleston Read of Georgetown, South Carolina: 511 slaves.
          18.Jno. Butler of McIntosh, Georgia: 505 slaves.
          19.Charles Heyward of Colleton, South Carolina: 491 slaves.

          None of these folks were black.

          There were black slave owners. The large majority of blacks who owned slaves were those who had acquired ownership of family members who, due to southern manumission laws, could not be emancipated because the law required they be sent away from the state or a large payment be made. Some people of African descent did own slaves who were not family members, primarily in Louisiana. Mrs. C. Richards, for example, owned 152 slaves on the Louisiana sugar plantation she inherited from her white husband. Antoine Dublucet owned more than 100 slaves at his Louisiana plantation. There were actually six people of African descent who owned more than 65 slaves in Louisiana. These owners were all very likely light-skinned mulattoes. There were 125 people of African descent in South Carolina who owned at least 10 slaves, with William Ellison being the largest, owning 63 slaves. I say “of African descent” because these were almost assuredly all mulattoes also. [Ronald E. Hall, An Historical Analysis of Skin Color Discrimination in America: Victimism Among Victim Group Populations, p. 43.]

          Other black slaveowners were mulattoes whose fathers had been slave owners. These slave owners self-identified with their white parent, so really shouldn’t we consider them to be white?

          Secondly, you misunderstand what race-based slavery means. It doesn’t refer to the race of the owners. It refers to the race of the enslaved people. In order for a person to be enslaved, they had to first be legally defined as black. A child got their status of slave or free from their mother [and thus the family of any white man who impregnated one of his slaves wouldn’t normally have to worry about that offspring trying to get a part of their inheritance and his actions in impregnating his slaves acted to increase his own personal wealth], so the United States developed the “one-drop rule.”

          Also, Louisiana was a more cosmopolitan place than the rest of the south, primarily due to its history being a French and Spanish colony. There was much freer racial mixing there that didn’t apply to the rest of the American south.

          So really, the “great myth” does appear to be what’s in your belief system regarding this particular issue, Ms. Del Greco. Please, don’t be a stranger. I’m interested in more of what you think.

      2. Captain George's Niece · · Reply

        Ummm… If the war was about pure racism the why are there thousands of documents stating there were white, Chinese, indian and other nationalites listed as slaves? My very own great great grandparents are listed in the 1860 census as having 5 slaves from Ireland. Hmmmmm and not to mention the Black slave owners. Plenty of those. Plus, why would thousands of poor white farmers in the south drop everything, leave their families to open dangers to go fight to the death for some rich plantation owner to keep his slaves, Hmmmm makes you think. And yes I do know how my ancestors thought and their daily life because I have copies of their diaries and hundreds of copies of their letters. Did they “own” slaves? Yes a few but they referred to them as family which happened to live inside their house. (Proof? the 1860 census and their letters in their own handwriting) They stated in letters when they each died, how heart broken they were and where they were buried, which was in the family grave yard in with the other family. (proof, my own eyes, their letters and documented in the cemetery records. Oh I must mention they still lived with them after the war.I also have one of their “slave” narratives speaking of how much they loved them, after the war.
        Have you actually read the Lincoln Douglas debates?How about lincoln’s inaugural address? Or even more interesting how he sponsored a bill called the Corwin amendment that insured that slavery would never be erased? There is a ton of documents that support the truth that the victors missed in changed after the war to hide the atrocities that lincoln committed. And while they were changing them this quote happened by then President Grant, “If the war was about slavery, I would have never fought in it.” As he brought along his slaves into the white house.

        hmmmm there are plenty plenty plenty more. If you just deeply research them. I do not believe anyone who believes otherwise is “stupid”. They are just brainwashed by the public school system. I was at one time until things had to be proven for myself. I did my deep research and I got mad, very mad that I was lied to. Makes you wonder what else we have been lied to about.

        1. Thanks for taking the time to comment, Ms. Thomas. I appreciate the effort you went through.
          Nobody I know of has claimed the war was about racism, so I’ll leave you to the care and feeding of your straw man. I will say this, though. You appear to confuse slaves with indentured servants. Regarding black slave owners, I’ll direct you to my response to your cohort, Ms. Del Greco.

          You ask, “Why would thousands of poor white farmers in the south drop everything, leave their families to open dangers to go fight to the death for some rich plantation owner to keep his slaves?” A third of all families in the south were slave owning families. That’s a huge chunk of the population. Additionally, there were the folks who didn’t own slaves but rented them. They had an interest in maintaining slavery. There were those who derived their living from directly supporting the slave system, such as members of slave patrols, overseers, and the like. They also had a direct interested in maintaining slavery, even though they may not own slaves themselves. There were those who dreamed of improving their economic and social status, and the way to do that was to become a slave holder. They had an interest in maintaining that system. Finally, they all knew their economy and their social system was based on slavery. While there were slaves, the poorest white man was higher on the social rung than someone else. As you can see, there were plenty of reasons someone who didn’t own slaves would fight to keep slavery intact. J. D. B. DeBow, editor of DeBow’s Review, published some of those reasons as you can see here.

          I will submit to you that you really don’t know what your ancestors thought about many things. All you know is what they chose to write down.
          I’m heartbroken every time one of my pets dies. I see some of that in your post.

          I’ve read all of Lincoln’s speeches. I think I know the point you’re trying to make, but I’ll let you develop it yourself. Lincoln didn’t sponsor the Corwin Amendment, and the Corwin Amendment did nothing more than codify the existing constitutional interpretation that slavery was a state matter and the Federal government could do nothing about slavery in the states in which it existed. Lincoln and most Republicans accepted that. The Corwin Amendment said absolutely nothing about expansion of slavery. Lincoln and the Republicans sought to cut off slavery’s expansion. While they would not do anything directly against slavery in the states in which it existed, they would also cut off its expansion and surround it with a “cordon of freedom.” Lincoln would be in favor of following the law regarding the Fugitive Slave Law, but he made the point that the Constitution doesn’t say who is responsible for enforcing that law. He would get the Federal government out of the slave catching business and leave it up to the slave owner to retrieve those slaves. Lincoln was anti-slavery, and that was enough for the cotton states to attempt to secede just because he was elected President.

          Your claims about Ulysses S. Grant are completely false. Grant never said what you claimed he said. Any survey of his writings shows the opposite.

          Grant never took any slaves into the White House. Grant had owned one slave in his life, a man named William Jones, before the war. At a time when he needed money and he could have gotten $1,000 for selling Jones, Grant freed him outright.

          If you’re mad at being lied to, then you should be furious at whomever told you what you are thinking now, especially about Grant.

          Come back any time.

    2. Then there’s this charming fellow:

      I remember coon [Martin Luther] king. Just know his FBI file is sealed til 2027. If it is ever opened the world will know he ain’t the saint they wish him to be. They will remove his holiday and street names but I will be too old to rejoice. I dated the cousin of James Earl Ray. They were good folks. We sang “Take that Night Train to Memphis” when king got popped. One of the best times I ever had.

      Yes, one of the admins rebuked him in strong terms for that comment. But it is fair to ask why (1) that person thought such views as his would be welcomed there — and he’s not new to the group, having joined months ago — and (2) why the group continues to have him as a member. There doesn’t seem to be opprobrium for the man’s views, only that he posted them where it made the group look bad.

      1. One thinks that a reasonable conclusion is they agree with him.

  2. I’m guessing there are a lot of people’s portraits not hanging in county courthouses.

    I like the way the author sets out a list of future targets for renaming.

    1. Nice of him to provide that list. 😉

    2. Can we maybe agree that the painting should be removed because it’s simply awful artwork? It’s a amateurish at best, regardless of the subject matter.

      1. Any image of St. Bobby, though, must be revered, apparently. 😉

    1. jfepperson · · Reply

      Removing the painting would be doing a service to Confederate heritage and memory.

    2. It looks like the love child of Santa Claus and the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz.

  3. You charming gentlemen love to spin lies so well you qualify for [modern politics edited out] and stir up just as much hate. The truth of the matter is written by this poster to the article about Gen Lee Portrait and Fort Myers. (Myers was a confederate-confederates built the place)

    Robert Rex Edwards · Follow · Wallace Community College
    I would if I was you to look at who is involved in this. Here is a background on “James Wallace Mathis alias Brother James Muwakkil. I am the president of the Fort Myers Coalition for Injustice, Inc.”
    HE IS NOT REPRESENTING THE TRUTH And that is not the portrait in the conflict as you can see.

    1. Hello again, Ms. Bass. How are you? It’s so nice to see you again.

      So you are accusing people of lying? Let’s see what you’ve provided us. First, something from a website called “” Ah, certainly a credible name, right? Let’s take a look at what it says. It purports to quote Mr. Muwakkil as saying, “I am the president of the Fort Myers Coalition for Injustice, Inc.” Since he is the president of the Fort Myers Coalition for Justice, not Injustice, and since he would no doubt know which organization he presided over, that casts doubt on the veracity of the website.

      Mr. Muwakkil’s office is 3903 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., Suite K, Fort Myers, FL 339, not what is in the article you provided. That casts further doubt on the veracity of that article.

      Your second link is to a mug shot that you claim is of Mr. Muwakkil. The mug shot is accompanied by this identifying information: Approximate Age: 28 Arrest Date: 2/20/2007 at 12:45 Birth date: 10/13/1980. This would make him 32 years old as of today.

      Mr. Muwakkil appears to be 52 years old, not 32 years old, and he doesn’t look anything like the person in the mug shot.

      Your third link says, “In addition The Florida Crime Prevention Association selected James Muwakkil to receive the Community Leadership Award. Chief Daniels nominated Muwakkil for the award. ‘James Muwakkil has established himself as a civic leader and a man driven to organize troubled neighborhoods in cooperation with the Fort Myers Police Department. He has helped bridge gaps to reestablish positive relationships between citizens and law enforcement.’ ” The column is from some bloviator who doesn’t appear to have much in the way of credibility on his side.

      Your last link, which you claim to be the portrait in question, has a photograph, not a painting. You really ought to learn the difference between a photograph and a painting. Here is a story from the local NBC News affiliate that shows the painting, and as you can see, it IS the portrait in the conflict.

      It appears, ma’am, as though you are the one who is spinning lies.

      As always, you are welcome to return, but please know that if you are going to call people liars, then you will likely find yourself embarrassed.

      1. Well, Mr. A. Mackey maybe so maybe no; You really didn’t dig very deep for the truth about this naacp leader with the funny name. Just because you say it is so doesn’t make it so. I binged it and came up with some fodder, it will take a good bit of time and energy to connect dots, that I don’t feel compelled to do so for now I accept the Ripoff Report that he is really James Wallace Mathis, and has a Jr. with the police report you cited. There appears to be a brother in North Carolina and a Miss Naacp of 2012 in Detroit. Whatever he is up to no good and should leave Gen. Lee’s portrait alone. After all it is an antique possible a 100 years old and needs a face lift, painting do from time to time have to be cleaned and restored. I am sure you know that you just wanted to make any kind of slur on Gen. Lee. You could have said the city needs to clean and restore that painting, alas, me thinks I expect too much from you.

        1. Hello again, Ms. Bass. A pleasure as always. I dug enough to see what you had posted was incorrect on all counts.

          Now, if I were someone with the same name as a fish I wouldn’t talk about other people having funny names. 😉

          I’ve shown that he can’t possibly be the person at your link. You are certainly free to believe what you want, but that says more about you than it says about him.

          I don’t think he’s asking that the portrait be burned. Perhaps it should be placed in a museum where it can be cleaned up and preserved, although being cleaned isn’t going to help it become a good painting.

          I didn’t make any slur on R. E. Lee whatsoever, and it’s not very honest to accuse someone of doing something they didn’t do, is it?

          1. John Wilson · ·

            James Wallace Mathis = James X Muwakkil

            Lee County NAACP president James Muwakkil didn’t heed Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s call until 32 years after the death of the civil rights leader.

            He was 8 when King was killed April 4, 1968, in Memphis.

            Muwakkil says he didn’t embrace King’s importance until he was 40.

            “Many people in the black community didn’t have TVs then,” he says about life in the late 1960s.

            “But I remember this one house on Pauldo Street. I saw my mom sitting on the floor in front of the TV and crying. There was a lot of people there watching his funeral. The adults were very quiet, grieving.”

            The former James Mathis is a late bloomer.

            “I did not use drugs until my early 20s,” he says about his criminal past. “I didn’t get out of prison until 1996.”

            Convicted of manslaughter, Muwakkil got his act together behind bars and emerged a changed man.

            He started the Fort Myers Coalition for Justice and 15 months ago was elected president of the local NAACP chapter.

            He brings a reasonable approach to race relations in Lee County.

            “It took a long time for King’s work to manifest itself in the Deep South,” he says. “We were too busy worrying about meeting life’s demands — food, clothing and housing.”
            One year after Muwakkil left prison, a University of Michigan study tagged Fort Myers as the most segregated city in the South.

            “It was a true study,” he says. “I remember when we couldn’t go downtown. My granddad would bring me to the railroad tracks and flag down a white policeman.”
            Muwakkil says Carlton C. Cain cleared his destination with the cop before going west of the great black-white divide.

            “I didn’t understand that then,” he says, “but I understand it now.”

            Muwakkil, 50, says race relations have improved significantly, but not everywhere in Lee.

            “The school district is more than 40 percent minority population, yet no person of color has ever been elected to the school board,” he says. “No person of color has ever been elected to the county commission. Those two entities represent about every household in the county.”

            Source: (link is no longer active as NP archives articles after a certain amount of time).

            — This is only being posted to set the record straight on the person in question. His son is the JR with the police mugshot and is currently serving time in FL state prison until 2024. The RipOff report posting is indeed fake as it is the Fort Myers Coalition for Justice (and not Injustice) and if you do a quick Google there is a release stating that someone was using Muwakkil’s name without his knowledge to post that.

          2. Thanks for posting this.

  4. Mr. Mackey

    First I like to thank you for the time you invest in your blog. I have been following it for a few months now and feel like I take away some good thoughts each time. I have been reading for awhile now on the Civil War and American Society during that time period and just now feel like I know very little about a whole lot. Right now I am about to finish Mr. Freeman’s books on R.E. Lee and genuinely enjoyed reading them, although he seems to be a little enamored with the General. What really interest me with this situation today is how this particular part of American History still causes much emotional distress today. Tempers and emotions flare up still today from that War. I went to the newspapers website about the NAACP president’s request and there were over 190 comments just on that article!! From my reading I am convinced that to understand some of the present situations in the U.S. you have to read and understand that War ( I believe Shelby Foote said that somewhere so I may be stealing that from him). Anyway I am just baffled that 150 years ago still conjures such emotions today and I am not real sure anything has really been resolved from that time.

    Thank you again for your hard work.

    1. Thank you for your kind words. The problem, as I see it, is first of all [as difficult to believe as it is] there are several people who depend on that time period for their identity today. Secondly, there are a number of well-meaning folks who just don’t know their history and have been misled by charlatans posing as experts and by websites that purport to give history. Thirdly, and related to the first two, many folks aren’t interested in history. Instead, they’re interested in “heritage.”

      I also thoroughly enjoyed Freeman’s biography of Lee. I read the whole 4 volumes and loved every minute of it. I wasn’t so impressed by Lee’s Lieutenants, but those three volumes were still pretty good.

      Thanks again for your contribution and your kindness.

  5. Fish Gotta Swim, Birds Gotta Fly……Floggers Gotta Flog

    I’m responding to this:

    Yet Another Example of Neoconfederate Racism and Lunacy

    Al Mackey asks, “Gee, why would anyone think these folks had racist tendencies?”

    Why would anyone think that? Um, because they’re bigots, maybe?

    Seriously, why does Al automatically assume that any discussion of race must flow from “racist tendencies”? For that matter, what is a “racist tendency”?


    1. Hi Connie, always nice to see an old pal. How have you been? By the way, since I don’t meet your definition of a “flogger,” then you really shouldn’t put me in that group. 🙂

      I think it’s pretty clear what “racist tendencies” are. I highlighted them in my post.

      As anyone can tell, I don’t automatically assume any discussion of race flows from racist tendencies. What I highlighted in my post was not simply a discussion of race, as is abundantly clear.

      Don’t be such a stranger. You never commented once on what happened at Gettysburg or on any of my book reviews or my discussion of what happened at the CWI. As always, I’m interested in what you think. Have a great week.

  6. Good heavens, a zillion words have been written about Gettysburg. I’m sure anything I would say has already been said.

    Aw, don’t be so modest, Al. Of course you meet the definition of a flogging blogger. This very post qualifies you.

    Yes, it was a discussion of race. Because people hold viewpoints about it different from yours doesn’t mean it isn’t a discussion of race. A lot of “racist tendencies” exist in the eye of the beholder/commenter. I actually identified passages you pasted from the SHPG that had not a syllable about race in them.

    1. But how would I know, out of all those zillion words, what you thought?

      Sorry, Connie, but you gave me the definition awhile back and I don’t fit it. I’m not a historian and I don’t bash the south. I do point out where certain people, the kind Prof. Robertson calls “professional southerners,” are deficient in their history or logic or when some of those folks demonstrate their racism. But they aren’t “the south.” This post in no way bashes the south.

      No, I must disagree with you. It was not a discussion of race. It was bashing African-Americans because of their race.

      Yes, there were a couple of comments I added in that didn’t mention race, and that’s why I identified them as “other gems.” Since they were comments on the same article, I included them in the post, but set them off from the other comments.

      Hope you’re doing well and staying cool this summer.

      1. Answering you on my blog because I say things you almost certainly would not allow in your blog comments.

        1. I took a look at your comments, Connie, and they would be allowed here. The modern politics referenced are directly related to the post I made, and the comments are suitable for all. I’m not going to engage in cross-blog comment hurling, so I guess if you want an answer you can post your comments here and I’ll be happy to answer them.

  7. Now that Kevin is ignoring Connie, I think she has her sights on you Al.

    1. Connie’s an old pal, Rob. We get along famously. 🙂

      1. Must be the hair.

  8. Michael C. Lucas · · Reply

    How does this reflect all sides in this discussion? What about the anti-Confederate bigotry, and race baiting being instigated here, let alone by the NAACP, but by so called historians. I can’t say that I’m not disappointed in some of the comments at SHPG, but that ignorance needs to be placed in its context with their reasoning and purpose overall. That stated the current PC movement to change things to suit a certain few is nothing more than cultural genocide, which certain mainstream historians have perpetuated in articles such as the latter. Anyone supporting such ignorant pc acts is no less guilty of racism and furthering bigotry. Historians should be striving for tolerance, understanding and education for peace in our society. Most Historians like to boasts they are contributing to social understanding by their means and methods, but in actuality most are just fueling the fires of discontent and bigotry with their personal, moral-immoral pc bias. These historians do this by teaching absolutism in generalizations that have become institutionalized distortions, rather than teaching humility in expanding perspectives of a much larger and complex history of humanity to infuse tolerance and understanding. Why not try that Al Mackey?

    1. Thanks for your thoughts, Michael. I find your opinions on what historians do interesting but inaccurate. If you read the post, you’ll see that its purpose was not to be a book to highlight every possible aspect of the issue of race in America but rather to highlight one particular part, and in this case I’ve allowed them to speak for themselves. You’re perfectly free to make your own contribution in your own writings. I find the term “PC” to be without any meaning. “PC” to you isn’t “PC” to someone else, and what you consider to be a belief on your part is “PC” to someone else. So basically, all the term “PC” means when someone uses it is “doesn’t agree with me.” It’s an attempt on your part to try to either silence or just wave away people you disagree with without actually having to deal with their arguments.

    2. You wrote:

      “I can’t say that I’m not disappointed in some of the comments at SHPG. . . .”

      But you’re not “disappointed” enough to go to SHPG, where you used to be both a member and an officer — and publicly criticize them. To the contrary, your higher priority is to complain about someone who actually does take the time to call it out publicly.

      That, Michael, is the fundamental nature of Confederate Heritage™ today — it quietly tolerates that sort of rancid nonsense within its own ranks, but reserves its greatest disdain for those who call attention to it.

  9. Michael C. Lucas · · Reply

    Al, if I thought you could see the inaccuracy I would not have commented, I recommend you take a breather and study the historiography of the subject. The entire reason for attending schools of higher learning is to gain an education from various disciplines to have a broader perspective. When Historians narrow their perspectives to cherry picking for sociopolitical bias without considering the broader views including those they oppose they are thus blinded by their own bigotry. Which is clearly what your article presents proof of.

    1. Michael, you really shouldn’t try to string together words you’ve heard others use like that. It doesn’t make you look good at all. I know you wanted to sound like you knew what you were talking about, but to tell you the truth, the result is quite the opposite. My best advice is just say what you want to say and don’t try to sound like what you think a professor sounds like.

  10. Rev. Dr. William H. Swann · · Reply

    Mr. Mackey: I wasn’t nearly as offended by your article as I am about your replies to the various messages. You made one HUGE misstatement of fact, “nearly 1/3 of all Southerners were slave owners”. Since most of your statements are at least close to factual, that complete prevarication is beneath you. According to the 1860 Census, only about 5% of those who responded to the census owned slaves. This discounts the thousands of hill folks who never were included in any census prior to 1900 but certainly didn’t own slaves.

    Factually the War was like every war in history, dress it up any way you choose, use whatever noble language you choose to describe their motives, then remember that history is written by the winners. I dare you to point to a single book, authoritative paper, or written history produced by the winners ascribing their victory as anything other than the purest of motives and noblest of intent. As a dedicated student of history, I’ve never seen any such history written where it says, “they had an asset we wanted and since we were stronger, we simply took it away from them”. Not the Union, not England, not Spain, not France, and not Germany. Someone has something, someone else wants it, they take by force, but they did it for the good of those they defeated, certainly not for monetary or land gain. Take the War of Northern Aggression, Slavery was a bone of contention between the North and South, but so were the tariffs placed on all Southern Exports or imports from England and France. The Northern business interest produced inferior goods but sold then at such high prices that even after fair tariffs all the products imported from overseas were more valued than the junk produced in the North. Without the Southern people there was no market for Northern Products. The South had all that cotton money after all, so why not take it from the new fledgling nation which had no army, navy or way to defend itself. While it was not as easy as initially thought, and the cost in lives was horrific, the Southern People were defeated, themselves virtually enslaved through the “Reconstruction Process” and the Southern people were still paying the war debt until the 1970’s. Don’t believe me, check the freight charts for goods going North to South versus North to anywhere else.

    Nothing noble or right has ever been achieved by invading another people’s country or land. Just ask the dead if they feel benefitted by their new circumstances and rulers? Oh, that is right, they can’t answer.

    1. Thank you for taking the time to reply, Mr. Swann. I’m afraid you didn’t read for content. I said that 1/3 of all FAMILIES in the confederacy were slave owning families. Counting only the legal slave owners is a phony way of looking at the pervasiveness of slavery in the life of people in the confederacy. It obscures their sons, daughters, and wives, all of whom directly benefited from the institution. That figure is typically used by those who want to deceive others, so I would encourage you to eschew it. Did you know, for example, that around 40% of the Army of Northern Virginia came from slave owning households?

      The claim that history is written by the winners is intellectually vapid. Such is not the case from the Early Modern Era onward unless the vanquished are all illiterate or have all been killed. I imagine you may possibly have seen books by Jefferson Davis, Alexander Stephens, James Longstreet, John Bell Hood, John B. Gordon, Jubal Early, Walter Taylor, and so on. If so, then you know history isn’t written only by the victors, and in so saying you told a deliberate falsehood. As to a “history written by the winners ascribing their victory as anything other than the purest of motives and noblest of intent,” I guess you’ve never read a history of the Indian Wars or the Mexican War. I guess you’re not as dedicated a student of history as you thought, sir.

      The tariff is a red herring. Georgia, your home state, in her Declaration of Causes, even tells us the tariff issue was solved. Perhaps you were involved in producing the video from the Georgia SCV that was the subject of this post.

      Your claim about southerners being virtually enslaved by Reconstruction is another falsehood. I suggest you need to be quite a bit more dedicated a student of history.

      As to “nothing noble or right has ever been achieved by invading another people’s country or land,” I guess that would mean you don’t think ending slavery was noble or right. Somehow, looking at your affiliations, I’m not surprised. Yes, I know the primary goal was to preserve the Union, itself something both noble and right, but the end of slavery was definitely an achievement caused by the Union victory.

      Have a nice day, sir.

      1. Rev. Dr. WIlliam H. Swann · · Reply

        Want to discuss the Indian Wars, I’m part Cherokee, my Grandmother was FBI I assume you know what that means, nothing to do with the Government. Want to discuss the Small Pox infected blankets given to the Sioux, or just the massacres like Sand Creek. Part of my extended family walked the Trail of Tears, others including my Grandmother’s parents hid in the Mountains of NC.

        Slavery ended and that was good, I’ve never defended the institution, in anything I’ve ever written, it ended in almost every other civilized nation in the world too, and it didn’t take a war to do it. Some of the biggest advances in medicine are also discovered during wars, isn’t that great, I’m sure you feel that that end justifies the means using your own if-then logic.

        You pointed out the books written by the vanquished Southern Leaders or Generals, name one quoted in any American History book published today. Publishing a book doesn’t make history, our exchange is being published, but it certainly isn’t history. Accidental benefits discovered by making wars doesn’t hide the actual causation, the South had money and no way to protect it. The North invaded the South, the North won, they plundered the South financially and culturally. The problem now is people are not happy with the total destruction of a people and culture, they want to destroy the memories of our Ancestors too.

        I no longer bother writing to blogs like yours, I foolishly thought reading your article that you were an academic that we might have an actual civil discourse. While I’m a member of the Son’s of Confederate Veterans I have never had any role in the leadership, planning or producing any articles or videos. The only office I’ve held is that of Chaplain. My other “affiliations” were with the US Army where I was wounded in Vietnam and the “Baptist Church”. Irony here is that I fought so you could disparage my heritage and tonight I have to pray for you because you have caused me to lose my temper. Not what you wrote about the South, I’ve seen much worse, but your criticizing my history studies. Unfortunately I’m still a long work in progress for GOD, I tend to act and then consider my actions and consequences thereof. Thank you for reminding me of my place. Goodbye Sir, and may the good LORD take a Liken to Ya.

        1. Welcome back, Mr. Swann. So you’ve read histories of the Indian Wars? Then you’ve read histories where the winners did not, to use your words, “ascribe their victory as anything other than the purest of motives and noblest of intent.” So then that’s another of your claims that was not true. By the way, the stories about smallpox-infected blankets have been shown to be myths. That’s not to excuse any of the other treatment, which was bad enough.

          So then now you admit that something good came out of the invasion of the south. So that’s another of your claims that wasn’t true.

          Your claim that “it ended in almost every other civilized nation in the world too, and it didn’t take a war to do it.” isn’t quite true, either. The pattern in the Western Hemisphere, from the American Revolution on to the Paraguayan War, was that slavery ended as the result of war. It’s what led to emancipation in the Northern states, in Puerto Rico, in Cuba, and in Brazil. In Haiti, slavery ended as the result of a massive slave revolt and war against the French.

          You say, “name one quoted in any American History book published today.” Every one of them gets quoted all the time. You should read more, sir.

          You see the south as a bunch of victims. I see the south as much more than that. I guess I like the south more than you do. 🙂

          Nobody can destroy memory, Mr. Swann. You just go from one ridiculous statement to another.

          Thank you for your service in Vietnam, and welcome home. I’m glad you didn’t have anything to do with that video, because it was nothing but a pack of lies.

          Now, you, sir, were the one who claimed to be a serious student of history, yet you came out with one false claim after another regarding history. So with all those erroneous claims, how can I take seriously your claim to be a serious student of history.

          Oh, and what have I said about the south? You don’t think you are the south, do you?

          Thank you for the kind wishes. The Lord has been very kind to me and I am and will always be eternally grateful for that and will remain His humble servant.

          1. Wasn’t Lord Jeff Amherst involved in a plot to infect Native Americans with smallpox in 1763 with Col. Bouquet?

          2. This is what I was referring to, Pat.

            Amherst and Bouquet did participate in such a plot [documents here].

            The big question is, could smallpox in actuality have been transmitted by blankets? I’m not sure the virus can live outside the body for too long a time, and how long would it take to gather the blankets, transport them, distribute them, and then have the Indians actually use them?

          3. Oh, and by the way, Mr. Swann. Next time you accuse someone of “complete prevarication” you’d best make sure of your own glass house first. You remember that “he who is without sin” statement, don’t you? What does the Bible say about bearing false witness? I suggest you review it. Have a nice day, sir.

        2. Might want to stop reading the Lost Cause Bible which you have obviously used to state everything about the Confederacy and the Lost Cause. Do you even stop to think about what you said? Your entire argument is something that could easily have been said in 1964 at the centennial. You haven’t advanced anything in that argument at all. The reality of the situation is that everything you brought up has been shredded by historians for a long time. Nothing you said is original and none of it is true.

          You distort history. Your failure to do any research into the Civil War beyond the erroneous lie that makes up the lost cause makes me question you [edit]. You then got the smallpox infected blanket story wrong by an entire century. [edit] If you think you’re going to hold up the Bible and hide behind it while referencing God is on your side you need to really think about it [edit]. [edit] [edit] It reminds me of the preachers in the South prior to the Civil War who used the Bible to justify slavery. [edit] So I’m sure you’ll use it to justify any position you want as long as it fits in with your personal interests.

          [Please forgive the edits, Jimmy. I think Mr. Swann’s been chastised enough for the time being and we should focus on his claims. Thanks in advance for your understanding on this.]

    2. Jimmy Dick · · Reply

      What high tariff? The one that didn’t pass until 14 senators left the US Senate which was the ONLY reason that tariff passed and did not become law until AFTER Jefferson Davis ordered the attack on Ft. Sumter? The tariff that saw the port of New York City collect more tariffs than ALL of the combined ports of the south by a factor of about 10 in 1859? The tariff that existed to protect Southern agricultural interests? How about the tariff that had how many sentences devoted to it in all those secession documents while slavery practically filled every sentence? Or was it the tariff that was the subject of Alexander Stephen’s Cornerstone Speech? (Good luck finding that subject in that speech)

      1. Jimmy Dick · · Reply

        That last line should read (Good luck finding that subject to be the cornerstone in that speech). Sorry, thought faster than I could type.

        The bottom line is the tariff is a Beardian concept for causing the Civil War. It has been completely debunked as the cause of the Civil War. If anything, the South hurt themselves because they needed the North more than the North needed them economically speaking.

    3. You write:

      “According to the 1860 Census, only about 5% of those who responded to the census owned slaves.”

      Narrowly true, but extremely misleading. That refers to the individual recorded as the owner, usually the male head of the household. In fact, across the eleven states of the Confederacy, between one-quarter and one-third of white households were slave-holding. The ratio of slaveholders to households varied from a low of about 20/100 in Arkansas to 49/100 in Mississippi.

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