The Washington & Lee Controversy Rolls On

We viewed the start of this controversy this past April, when the SHPG and other so-called “confederate heritage people” showed their racism and lack of class.

W&L President Ken Ruscio has responded to the students’ concerns in a thoughtful and, in my opinion, outstanding manner.  He took their concerns seriously, studied the situation, and I believe came up with a wonderful solution.  You can read his letter in its entirety here.  Some press coverage is here.  The press, as usual, is mediocre in their coverage of the situation and the response.

As before, Kevin Levin is all over this story.  See here, here, and here.  Andy Hall has also offered some coverage, including coverage a racist over at SHPG here.  Brooks Simpson highlights the ravings of one particular mental case here.

Reaction from the professional southerners has been predictable.

Here’s the post that Andy highlighted for us.  It has since been removed.

Pratt1

He claims to be “deleting” his application to W&L.  Judging from the semiliterate quality of his writing, he’s not qualified to attend anyway, so his “deletion” of his application merely increases the average IQ of W&L applicants, if indeed he’s telling the truth about having applied.  In addition to being a racist [“7 dark students,” etc.], he also has no clue about actual history, which is ironic as he claims others need a history lesson when it’s obvious he’s the one desperately in need of one.  Here are two examples.  He claims, “General lee [sic] owned no slaves.”  That’s ridiculously false.  Lee inherited slaves from his mother and thus owned slaves of his own.  He rented his slaves out.  There are records of one slave he rented to his cousin, Hill Carter, in the Berkeley Plantation Papers.  Secondly, he claims, “…nor did he fight the war for slaves.”  I wonder what General Lee would say if we asked him?  Lee wrote to Secretary of War James A. Seddon soon after Lincoln released the Final Emancipation Proclamation:

“In view of the vast increase of the forces of the enemy, of the savage and brutal policy he has proclaimed, which leaves us no alternative but success or degradation worse than death, if we would save the honor of our families from pollution, our social system from destruction, let every effort be made, every means be employed, to fill and maintain the ranks of our armies, until God, in His mercy, shall bless us with the establishment of our independence.” [R. E. Lee to James Seddon, 10 Jan 1863]

Here is Robert E. Lee saying that he and the other confederates are fighting to maintain the institution of slavery [“our social systems”] and to maintain white supremacy [“degradation worse than death” and “honor of our families from pollution”].

We could go on for hours more highlighting more stupidity in that missive, but I think the point has been made.

The responses from the heritage of hate folks shows they didn’t understand what the demands were, and they don’t understand what President Ruscio is doing.  No surprise there.  These mental midgets would rather have the knock-off replicas in the chapel than have original battle flags in the museum.  They’ve never been particularly bright, and this is no exception.

We hear whining about “PC” and “spineless university president.”  I guess for them it beats actually learning and thinking about a subject.  For them, it’s more of the same; however, for individuals with IQs above room temperature this has been a model for how to deal with complaints.  Take them seriously, investigate, and come up with a fair solution that addresses valid complaints and explain why any unmet demands won’t be met.

Well done, President Ruscio.  Well done.

Edit July 11, 2014:  Here’s a story from NPR with an interview of President Ruscio.

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75 comments

  1. I love that this Pratt character is a captain in his little fanboy “battalion.” How come these clowns are never privates or corporals?

    1. A psychologist would have a field day with that bunch.

  2. The other Susan · · Reply

    I should love to know more about the court case were Lee fought to keep the slaves his father in law had freed on his deathbed. I could read a whole book on the subject if there was one.

    1. Check out Elizabeth Brown Pryor’s description here.

      The will can be seen here to compare it with Pryor’s account.

      Douglas Southall Freeman describes it here.

      Emory M. Thomas describes it here.

      My personal view is that Lee didn’t go to court because he wanted to keep the Arlington slaves enslaved for as long as possible, but rather because he wanted to resolve what he considered to be contradictions in what he was supposed to do as the executor of the will.

      1. The other Susan · · Reply

        Well I take it he wanted it resolved in a manner that gave his family more money and the slaves a delayed freedom.

        1. I don’t think delaying freedom was his motivation, but I do think maximizing the financial situation of his family played a large role. If such could be done without delaying freedom, I see no reason why he wouldn’t do that. It just happened that maximizing his family’s financial situation meant that delaying freedom would be a byproduct.

          1. The other Susan · ·

            Well I don’t imagine that anyone in the south had slaves for the fun of it, they had slaves so that they could maximize their family’s financial situation. If they could have found better ways to get rich than slavery I’m sure they all would have jumped on it.

          2. I absolutely agree. Lee, though, had a duty to perform, and that involved manumitting the enslaved people at Arlington in addition to raising the legacies provided for in the will and making Arlington a profitable plantation. I really don’t think he thought beyond that to keeping them enslaved just to keep them enslaved or to live off their labor beyond the requirements of the will.

  3. Jimmy Dick · · Reply

    It is all stuff straight from the Lost Cause Handbook.

    1. Zenshin Roshi True Dharma Eye · · Reply

      In place of an argument it is always easy to use an epithet instead. Lost causer’s neo-Confederates, that way you don’t have to address their arguments. First of all you excuse the typos in my text as I use a voice recognition software due to the neurological effects on my hand eye coordination from carcinoid cancer.
      George Washington Custis left his property including his slaves not to Robert E Lee or to his wife but to his grandchildren. Arlington for instance was left to Rooney Lee. The will stated that the slaves were to be emancipated when all conditions of the will were fulfilled and within five years. The major friction came because the slaves believed they were emancipated immediately and could just leave. Also, we rented the slaves out to other plantations in order to acquire the money to pay the two $10,000 gifts left to two of Lee’s daughters. Virginia law would have prohibited them even if you wanted to to sell any of the slaves or grant them manumission before the conditions of the Will were met. This had nothing to do with Robert E Lee’s character or his lack thereof it was the conditions of the will which he met. However, most the slaves had already moved north during the war so that was a moot point.
      Virginia law at the time required all freed slaves to leave the state within one year I doubt if the slaves were aware of the fact why they may have gained their freedom their economic security was far from assured.

      1. As I’ve always been addressing their arguments, your comment has no validity here. Arlington was left to Mary Custis Lee during her life, and after her death it was to go to GWC Lee. I’ve already posted a link to the will. Go see for yourself. Your understanding of the will is a little bit flawed. Take this opportunity to look at it closer.

      2. It is easy to use an epithet like “Lost Causer” and “neo-Confederate” because students of history like Al, Jimmy, and others at these Civil War blogs, have been demolishing these arguments for years now. Lost Causers have responded, and their responses have been demonstrated incorrect by the historical record–again and again. It is difficult to respect those who demand proof, and then deny that proof; who come up with the same, tired arguments, have those arguments demolished by the historical record and context, and respond with “Well, of course that’s your opinion–you’re a Liberal/Yankee/Marxist” or worse. I don’t know which side started the name-calling, but believe me, Jimmy is (A) correct; and (B) being very kind here.

  4. I love it when you floggers focus on and swell up over something inconsequential like one of a zillion posts on flippin’ Facebook,for cryin’ out loud. Oh, well. I guess you Confederacy-haters gotta get your warm fuzzes of moral and intellectual superiority (smirk) wherever and however you can find ’em….

    1. Ah, Connnie, so nice to see your smiling avatar again. By your own definition, I’m not what you term a “flogger.” That smirk may come from gas. You should try some Tums. As we both know, there aren’t a zillion posts at the SHPG Facebook site, and this particular post had 18 “Likes” in that group when I looked at it, including one from your good friend Mr. Rodent. That’s a significant number of the active folks in that group. I notice you have to attack those who point out racist behavior. Is it enjoyable for you to defend racists, Connie?

      1. I simply don’t define “racist” like you leftists, for whom the term is so fluid and elastic you can stretch it to cover whatever beliefs, statements or behavior you wish. There’s lots and lots and lots of racism you apparently accept, or at least don’t get all upset about. Far more than you’ll find in the Southern heritage community.

        1. I’m not a leftist. So what is your definition of racism?

          1. Hatred for someone solely because of their race.

          2. Thank you for providing that. It seems to me that it’s limited to only one part of what racism is.
            rac·ism [rey-siz-uhm] noun
            1. a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one’s own race is superior and has the right to rule others.
            2. a policy, system of government, etc., based upon or fostering such a doctrine; discrimination.
            3. hatred or intolerance of another race or other races.
            http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/racism

            One may put members of another race down without specifically hating them. Believing they have some inherent inferiority or another race has some inherent superiority is racism as well.

          3. I don’t defend what I perceive to be racism, Al.

            The dictionary definition is not what a lot of leftist types use when they try to smear others with the label. As I said, their concept is so fluid and elastic, they can stretch “Racist!” to cover whatever beliefs, statements or behavior they wish. It’s entirely possible that I will defend someone against such phony accusations of phony racism.

          4. I’ve seen you defend people who were racist by the dictionary definition, Connie, and more than once.

          5. What racist (by MY definition) do you imagine I have defended? Oh, heck, who do you imagine I’ve defended using the dictionary definition?

          6. Well, Connie, you come along to defend Mr. Pratt in this very post, doing so by trying to attack me.

          7. Al, please. I did not defend Mr. Pratt. I showed how misplaced flogger attention is. (If you see that as an attack on you, you perhaps need to toughen up your skin.)

            I made no mention of Mr. Pratt OR his post, except to characterize it as inconsequential. Now, when/where have I defended racists, according to MY definition?

          8. Connie, your definition, as I showed, only takes in a small part of the actual definition. Yes, you defended him by attacking those who pointed out his racism.

          9. But Al, you still haven’t shown where I’ve defending anyone according to MY definition.

            I said his post is inconsequential. It is. That’s not defending racism. It’s pointing out the penchant of the civil war left for focusing on the inconsequential — a post on an anonymous Facebook group. I haven’t seen a one of you yet take on Bill Dennison’s letter… Skeered?

          10. Because your definition isn’t complete. His post is yet another post showing racist tendencies among a certain group. To which letter do you refer? Do you have a link to it?

      2. “That’s a significant number of the active folks in that group.”

        So what? It’s a flippin’ anonymous Facebook discussion group. Its not a chartered 501C3 organization or anything.

        1. It shows the mindset of that significant number of active people in that group.

          1. So? It’s not the U.S. Congress or the Trilateral Commission or even the local Rotary Club. It’s an anonymous flippin’ Facebook group, What does that group mean to you that you are soooo interested in what people post there?

          2. And this blog isn’t the US Congress or anything else, so why are you soooo interested in what I post here?

          3. Zenshin Roshi True Dharma Eye · ·

            You’re free to respect or honor whoever or whatever you want, but you’re not free to offend others.
            j
            . Your arguments are not arguments they are simple ad hominems.

          4. If that’s what you think, then I suggest you look up the definition of ad hominem.

          5. It’s possible (but not likely) that you sincerely believe what you think of the VaFlaggers and Southern heritage folks … but that doesn’t make it right.

          6. You mean confederate heritage folks, not southern heritage folks. I don’t post anything I don’t believe is the truth, Connie. For instance, after many years of observation and interaction with a number of people on the internet, I’ve come to some conclusions regarding neoconfederates.

        2. I wrote precisely what I mean. You don’t get to decide what heritage is to me. And I’ve come to some conclusions about floggers, the civil war left, and critics such as yourself.

          1. Then you’re not being totally honest, Connie. The folks you’re referring to are confederate heritage types, not southern heritage types–unless you don’t believe black folks are southerners, unless you don’t believe southern anti-confederates are southerners, unless you don’t believe southerners who don’t care about the confederacy at all are southerners. I note that none of them focus on any aspect of southern history beyond the four small years of the confederacy, so if you were being totally honest then you would be unaware of any southern history outside those four years.

  5. Zenshin Roshi True Dharma Eye · · Reply

    . Go taking example of one person and tarring all members of any Confederate heritage organization as racists. I am a member of the Sons of Confederate veterans and I am also a Buddhist. I have also had family who graduated from Washington and LEE which has about a 17% acception rate. It is been one of the top 10 at 12 liberal arts colleges in the country for many years. To imply that all members of either United daughters of the Confederacy or the Sons of Confederate veterans are racists reveals an extreme bigotry and locked of knowledge of any individuals involved. Many of the members of the group that I belong to also belong to the Sons of Union veterans of the Civil War, also many of us belong to the Sons of the American Revolution.
    To state that the Confederate flag is racist are priori is as nonsensical as it is to say that for some people it is not a symbol of racial hatred. It is a symbol and for many people it is a symbol of their ancestors sacrifice and fighting in a war of independence. And those ancestors in fact had ancestors who did fight in the war of independence.

    The only place I know of where there are Confederate flags is behind recumbent statue of Robert E Lee where it has his general staff flag and other historical flags of the era. I also know that it flies in a lot of fraternities. I’m not so much interested in symbolic issues as and relations. The real issue in Washington and Lee certainly isn’t academics it’s a huge number of alcohol-related issues. I don’t know exactly what the circumstances were but if they remove the Confederate flags from behind leaves tomb that would be inappropriate. The great clip clucks clan rallies of the 1920s all flew the American flag, the American flag was the flag of slavery from the time that George IV brought in slaves up until the 13th amendment. I have known African-Americans who feel that the American flag is the flag of slavery. I grant you that they are Afrocentric and often times racist.

    It fascinates me that President Rusio would take action about Confederate flags on the campus, as I said they are not flying on the campus per se. Yet he has done little or nothing but the various serious issues about alcohol but of led to the death of several students.. The alcohol problem is so severe that they have a little bus that goes around it picks up drunken students and they call this bus Traveler. I wrote a letter to the president asking him why he named it Traveler since that noble steed never carried a drunk on his back. I suggested that he might want to rename it Cincinnatus after General Grant source was much more accustomed to the smell of whiskey.

    We have now come to a point in history where there are some groups of people who because of their historical grievances feel they have the right to dictate to other people what symbols they can respect or honor. The same people and I’m talking about a minority of the black community don’t seem to understand the First Amendment very well. And a time when the leading cause of death for young black males is homicide by other black males the pursuit of removing the battle flag of northern Virginia from all areas public and private seems like what it is a distraction. Yes my great-grandfather fought for the Confederacy in the Stonewall brigade and he came from Lexington. I had other relatives one who actually owned slaves in Delaware who fought for the Federals. I would assume they were white supremacists just like Abraham Lincoln, William Tecumseh Sherman, Robert E Lee and about 95% of people in the 19th century.
    Since the time of the Civil War the Sons of Dixie have soaked the battlefields of the world with their blood. Many of these martyrs held the Battle flag flag in their heart as a kind of tradition of the South, having nothing to do with anything else. The highest ranking general among the allies that was killed in action in the Western theater was Nathan Bedford Forrest the third, the highest ranking general killed in the Pacific theater and Okinawa was Simon Bolivar Buckner Junior. When I see the battle flag I am reminded of my grandfather whose father was starved at Point Lookout and Fort, Delaware who surrendered at Appomattox with Robert E Lee and lived out his life as a good American citizen.

    One of my uncles who also loved the flag as heritage was badly wounded at Omaha Beach, my brother fought at Chozen Reservoir and my father was in the Navy. Harry S Truman was a member of the Sons of Confederate veterans as our 30,000 other people whom I’m sure you know quite well and can vouch for their white supremacist attitudes. There is a balance between sensitivity for other people’s feelings and you’re right under the First Amendment. If we go too far either way we do this country a disservice. In a lot of places the Sons of Union veterans and the Sons of Confederate veterans at annual parties together go to veterans of vents together and so on.

    Now there are things about the SCV that I’m not wild about I love my local membership but I hate the modern politics. I’m really not interested in right-wing politics any more than I am in left-wing politics. To call all SCV members and all the ladies in the UDC racists is hyperbolic, and frankly every bit as prejudiced as someone who is racist.

    1. One problem you have is that this has been going on over time with several members, so it’s not just taking one member of a group, but rather it has come to a significant portion of at least one group, and members of that group agree with what was written. Another is that I’ve consistently written that context is key. Where context is absent, the message is open for any interpretation. Either way, the flag is a flag of treason against the United States, and was carried by armies that fought for an entity dedicated to the preservation and extension of slavery and white supremacy.

      You’re completely wrong about a group of people trying to “dictate to other people what symbols they can respect or honor.” You’re free to respect or honor whoever or whatever you want, but you’re not free to offend others.

      Your comments show you have a lot to learn.

      1. Not free to offend others? Where is that guaranteed in the Constitution? What about those who are determined to be “offended” (for political reasons) whatever you say or do? No, there is no right to not be offended.

        1. It’s basic humanity, Connie. Perhaps you ought to acquaint yourself with it.

          1. Then you and your flogger buddies and followers (Jimmy Dick being among the worst) lack basic humanity. You all not only deem yourselves free to offend others — you delight in it. Oh, yes, you all offend me, but unlike some of the some of the thin-skinned folks you champion, I don’t need to be protected from it. I have thick skin, backbone, and the knowledge to tell when you are wrong.

          2. Once again, Connie, you fail to understand. I’d try to explain it to you, but I don’t believe you will ever understand.

          3. I understand, Al. I don’t wear leftist blinders, so I understand perfectly.

          4. I believe you sincerely believe you understand, Connie.

          5. I know I understand. You are describing as “basic humanity” something your flogger buddies ignore and violate all the time.

          6. I believe that is what you sincerely think.

    2. Three things here, Mr. Roshi:

      First, your feelings toward W&L are not material here. The fact that you have a relative who attended W&L is not material here. It’s not your school, you didn’t go there, and you don’t go there currently. This is an issue taken up by the students–and it is their university. Rightly or wrongly, they have made it an issue, and they have more right to call attention to it than you or I ever will.

      Second, the Confederate flags were put in the chapel by a political group, that had a political agenda (specifically, the attempt to legitimize the Confederacy). Those flags certainly weren’t put there by request of Robert E. Lee. Why is that political agenda pushed by the UDC years ago more important than the current students’ political agenda (the attempt to remove a symbol of racism from public display at the university they attend)? Because this is a political issue, make no mistake. Racism is as much a political issue as a societal issue.

      Third, you may not agree that the CBF has become a symbol of racism, but for millions upon millions of Americans, it has. This process is very well-documented. It is also the flag of the army of a rebellion that tried to destroy this country–over the issue of slavery. You must at least see that.

      In addition, it appears you didn’t read the president’s message very carefully. While they are indeed removing the replicas (I’d love to know if they were cheap, made-in-China replicas! Oh, the irony!), they are restoring actual flags flown by the Army of Northern Virginia. That is certainly NOT what the Committee asked for. Yet it is being done in the spirit of education, not politics. It sounds like a bunch of grown-ups discussing issues of concern and coming up with mature, grown-up resolutions to me.

      I’m sorry that the removal of some replicas makes you sad. But students have a right to shape their learning environment above and beyond the political agenda of you or I.

      1. It’s easier to simply be outraged by a headline than to take the time to read what was actually in President Ruscio’s response.

      2. The UDC is not a political group. Commemoration of soldiers is not a political act (although it can be politicized; that still doesn’t make it a political act). The “public display” is barely visible, even to people in the chapel. Regardless of the role slavery played in secession and war, it did not justify the union’s military invasion and brutal war on the South — particularly when the north was still wallowing armpit deep in the economic benefit of slavery.

        1. The UDC is quite political. They engage in political lobbying all the time. Displays are political acts as well as commemorative acts. The so-called “brutal war” was not a war on the south. It was a war started by the confederates.

        2. A “brutal war” it was. But Southern slaveholders brought that war on themselves when they seceded. It was slaveholders who dominated the conventions that took their states out of the Union, and (mostly) slaveholders that were elected to the state legislatures, and slaveholders who ran the Confederate gov’t. You want to lay responsibility for the war at the feet of someone? That seems obvious to me. You should embrace this fact, since it lets all those brave Southern boys who didn’t own slaves off the hook (although its been shown that great numbers of these men also had a vested interest in slavery, but let’s let that go for now.)

          Secession was deemed illegal by the vast majority of Northerners. You can blame Lincoln all you want, but in fact he was merely expressing what most Americans believed. Leave aside for the moment that the great majority of Constitutional scholars agree with Lincoln’s interpretation of the Constitution, since (as Al has pointed out elsewhere) that is theory after the fact. The consensus of Americans was to reject secession as unconstitutional. Lincoln represented that deep belief. If he wasn’t truly representative, then his call for volunteers to put down the insurrection would have been laughed at.

          1. The South (for which slave holders is not a synonym) seceded — that is, some states seceded — primarily over slavery, and other things. But the fighting started because the north didn’t want the South to leave. That is emphatically NOT the South bringing brutal war on itself.

            A woman tries to leave a bad relationship and her partner beats the crap out of her. She didn’t bring it on herself. Nothing MADE or FORCED the partner to beat her up.

            Nothing in the Constitution prohibited secession, regardless of what most people in the north believed. They just didn’t want their cash cow to get away.

          2. This is why nobody gives you neoconfederates any credibility, Connie. The south didn’t secede. Eleven states in the south seceded, but four southern states remained loyal, and one part of a southern state legally split off and was admitted to the Union as a loyal state. The fighting started because the confederates started the fighting. Your analogy is incompetent. It has no relation whatsoever to the secession crisis. The Constitution prevents any ordinance of secession from ever having any validity for a number of reasons. The makeup of the Union is a Federal power, not a state function. Additionally, the Constitution itself says that no state can declare the Constitution and US Laws no longer apply to it. Your “cash cow” comment simply shows you don’t know much about the time period.

          3. Southern slaveholders dominated the politics of the South, and it was they who led the secessionist conventions, and it was they who took their states illegally out of the Union. You dispute this? Therefore, Southern slaveholders brought the war on all Southerners, rich and poor, white and black, alike.

            Poor analogy. Stick to the facts. There was no “tyranny”, and so there was no “right to revolution. Southern slaveholders lost an election, and they panicked, and they tried to flee. And why did they panic? Because they feared Northern Republicans were going to get rid of slavery. All this is well-documented. I’m surprised you haven’t read the any of the millions of pages written on it. It’s a much more interesting narrative than the neo-Confederate tripe. More importantly, it’s more historically accurate.

            Again, I recommend you embrace this scholarship. It would mean you could cheer on the Confederate soldier with a clear conscience, and put the blame where it belongs: on the planter aristocracy of the South.

          4. But Chris, it’s all about heritage instead of history. 🙂

          5. A wink’s as good as a nudge to a blind bat. Ay? Ay?

          6. Michael Rodgers · ·

            In his 4 July 1861 address, President Abraham Lincoln explained why Congress should authorize him to put down the rebellion, i.e. reject the secession ordinances of the states that declared secession. President Lincoln made a powerful speech and Congress granted his request. If Congress had decided against President Lincoln, there would not have been a war at that time. In my opinion, President Lincoln’s speech was compelling and Congress’s decision was correct. Some other people then and today disagree.

  6. Pat Eakin · · Reply

    Whether or not a Southerner owned slaves or what he fought for during the war does not change the facts. The people responsible for creating the Confederate states, and the attack on Ft Sumter were slave owners. Their goal was the preservation of slavery. So far I have seen no evidence of any nonslave owning citizens of the South giving a hoot about secession until after the slave owners put the idea in their heads.
    I have posted quotes, for example, from Lawrence Keitt, the congressman from South Carolina to verify that slavery was the Dominant reason for secession. I asked, “if tariffs were really the big issue then why didn’t Howell Cobb try to do something about it when he was the Sec of Treasury?
    Where are the names of these “non slave” political leaders? What Confederate leader objected to Alexander H Stephens emphasizing the dominance of slavery in his “Cornerstone speech”?

    Please, stop trying to change history. What happened, and who did what, after shots were fired at Ft Sumter does not erase the fact slavery was the reason for secession, and opposition to secession led to the war.

    1. The other Susan · · Reply

      Just thought I’d throw this into the discussion.

      “He said, truly, that the non slaveholders of Georgia were as much opposed to the policy of the Abolition Party, to carry out their designs of Negro equality as the slaveholders were. They were as truly loyal to the Constitution, as it stood in this particular, as any class in the Commonwealth, and were as ready to defend the principles of that Constitution, by defending the Sovereign Right of Secession, even with the rope around their necks as their slave holding neighbors…
      This I state in reply to the Judge’s idea, that it was a movement gotten up by what he calls a Slavery Oligarchy, at the South. The truth is no such Oligarchy existed.”
      http://books.google.com/books?id=5H0sAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA128#v=onepage&q&f=false

      1. And what do you propose this represents, Susan? How are we to evaluate this viewpoint?

        1. The other Susan · · Reply

          I haven’t really studied the opinions of salveholders or non slaveholders in Georgia to be able to interpret it for you as to the truth of his statements. But hearing so often the argument that most of the South didn’t own slaves therefore the war couldn’t have been about slavery. I thought it interesting to find people of that time arguing that the non slaveholders were just as, if not more so, against what they feared was the “policy of the Abolition Party to carry out their designs of Negro equality” and just as eager for secession to prevent that as “their slaveholding neighbors.”

          1. See DeBow’s Review. James DeBow wrote of the common interests of the slave holder and nonslaveholder in perpetuating slavery.
            http://books.google.com/books?id=4uYBAAAAMAAJ&dq=debow+slavery+non-slaveholder&source=gbs_navlinks_s

          2. Also, Susan, it’s important that this book was published in 1868. You’ve highlighted one of the timbers used to build the rickety edifice of the Lost Cause.

          3. The other Susan · ·

            Fair enough. As I have not yet found that speech elsewhere I can’t assume the original meaning hasn’t been tampered with.

      2. “The truth is Gov. Stephens is a dissembler.”

        Although, his comment that non-slaveholders also supported slavery, if true, would not surprise me at all. The thing about a slave society is that it affects every aspect of that society. And poor whites in 1860 Georgia would be about as willing to have large numbers of free blacks around as poor whites in southern Illinois.

  7. Pat Eakin · · Reply

    How about letting the Confederate battle flag be displayed, but only if it has a large sign next to it that says, “Our Southern leaders were wrong. They truly believed that one race should remain subservient and they used that to justify slavery. We now know through observation and scientific research and analysis that race alone does not determine intellectual ability.
    They may have been good and nobe persons, but they were wrong.”

    1. Personally, I like President Ruscio’s decision to display the original flags in the museum with information on their backgrounds.

  8. Incidentally, Al, there’s no such thing as a neo-Confederate. And there won’t be one until the Confederacy exists again. That’s just a pejorative close-minded civil war leftists use.

    1. Yes, Connie, there are neoconfederates.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neo-Confederate

      1. Yes, Al. Wikipedia confirms it is a TERM. IOW, a LABEL. A made-up pejorative.

        1. The entry says some people believe it to be. They are mistaken, just as they are mistaken in so many other things. You may not realize this, Connie, but every word in every language was made up at some point. Calling it a made-up word simply reflects badly on you.

    2. The other Susan · · Reply

      Have you recently fallen and hit your head Connie?

      ” I’m writing Neo-Confederate and its two prequels, Little Sister and Sweet Southern Boys, simultaneously to make sure there are no continuity issues.”
      http://mybacksass.blogspot.com/2012/01/tentative-new-cover-design-for-neo.html

      “I’m a “neo-Confederate,” Mr. Wise”
      http://mybacksass.blogspot.com/2013/04/backsass-totim-wise.html

      “Then there’s the little matter of my being a neo-Confederate”
      http://mybacksass.blogspot.com/2014/01/more-fun-than-bparks_22.html

  9. Pat Eakin · · Reply

    Al, I think you are right. Follow President Ruscio’s plan for displaying Confederate flags.

    I found an article in the Weekly Standard of Raleigh North Carolina, printed in Nov. 1860. The publisher of the paper was former NC governor William Holden. It announced the election of Abraham Lincoln, and the only issue referred to was slavery. “North Carolina will never allow Lincoln or his party to interfere in the institution of domestic slavery.”
    Wouldn’t a former governor and newsman have known about all of the “other reasons” for secession? If so why did he only refer to slavery? If that was only his opinion, then it should be easy for a pro Southern researcher to find another November 1860 Southern paper that would cite tariffs or some other nonslavery issue as a reason for secession. I’ll keep checking to see if any such papers can be found.

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