Some People Don’t Like Ed Ayers

Next time you hear one of these bozos saying, “It’s heritage, not hate,” remember this and remember that their heritage is a heritage of hatred. Some of these people are truly despicable in wishing bodily harm and even death for Professor Ayers, who is truly a wonderful gentleman.

Crossroads

Ed Ayers is a Civil War historian who currently serves as president of the University of Richmond. Most recently he also helped advise the University of Mississippi on how to address its connection with Confederate heritage. Ed’s a southerner by birth, but I guess he’s not a True Southron (TM) in the eyes of some people, given what popped up about him in a recent Facebook thread:
Flaggers Ayers One
Flaggers Ayers Two
Oh my.

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29 comments

  1. I personally love Ed Ayers, but I’ll be darned if you can locate an actual thesis statement in “In the Presence of Mine Enemies.” He’s a heckuva writer and thinker, though.

    1. I agree he’s terrific, Jarret. I think the idea with In the Presence of Mine Enemies is to show the similarities and key differences between the communities and how the war affected them in same and different ways.

      1. Well, that and the whole “deep contingency” thing always seemed more like a theme than an argument to me, but regardless, his stuff is definitely worth reading.

  2. By the way, the fact that one of those Facebook trolls insults Ayers by calling him a “civil rights activist” reveals loads about the type of world-view those people hold.

    1. Some of them will tell you they aren’t racists, and then make those statements.

      1. Jimmy Dick · · Reply

        They are proudly displaying their George Wallace for President bumper stickers 46 years later.

    2. I believe the term was rabid civil rights activist….

      1. That’s only one of the mildest terms used.

  3. When I read a book by Edward Ayers I know I can cross referrence his research. He always has a bibliography and an index. When I read what the trolls have to say they never list any names, events, or give me any information to validate any of their claims. I was on a pro-Confederate site a few years ago. I asked for some proof, and their leader replied, “We know, but were not telling you”.
    I knew that was total BS, but I asked if they would discuss my questions after I quit. They never responded and the next day the site was locked so that only members could read.

    Have you ever read anything from a neoConfederate that was really worth reading? I once recommended “Causes of the Civil War” by the late Kenneth Stampp. It contains essays from both the North and the South, but those dedicated to ignorance wouldn’t take the time to even look at it.

    1. I was on a pro-Confederate site a few years ago. I asked for some proof, and their leader replied, “We know, but were not telling you.” I knew that was total BS, but I asked if they would discuss my questions after I quit. They never responded and the next day the site was locked so that only members could read.

      They work hard at preserving the narrative and shutting out anything that challenges it. There’s at least one Facebook group that warns its members as explicit policy to avoid blogs like this one, and prohibits members from posting references or links to them. For all their bluster about The Truth, they’re very insecure and function almost entirely in a self-referential bubble.

  4. By the way, Al, your blog is less and less about learning about the Civil War, and more and more about “neo-Confederates.” When are you going to change the name and admit what your true interest is?

    1. Well, let’s check out your claim, Connie. Excluding the post I’m about to make, we’ve had in the past month, in reverse chronological order:

      East Cavalry Field With Ranger John Nicholas
      Destiny at Fort Sumter
      Some People Don’t Like Ed Ayers
      Archer’s Brigade and Pickett’s Charge
      Culp’s Hill With Gettysburg National Military Park Ranger Jim Flook
      Propaganda, Not History
      Neoconfederate Racism and Defense of Slavery
      William Barker Cushing, a Hero of the Civil War
      The Battle for Little Round Top
      The Reconstruction Era
      Black Politics in Civil War Washington
      Rethinking Appomattox
      These Honored Dead
      Did Lee Say This?
      Kevin Levin at the Crater Sesquicentennial
      Gary Gallagher and James McPherson Discuss the War Presidents
      Nature’s Civil War
      Manassas Sesquicentennial
      Slavery Depictions in Cinema
      The Gray Ghost
      The Disappearance of Union from Memory of the Civil War
      Cemetery Hill With Ranger Jim Flook
      Yet Another Problem Neoconfederates Have
      The First Battle of Bull Run
      Days of Darkness: Gettysburg Civilians
      McClellan’s Way
      Robinson’s Division on Oak Ridge, July 1, 1863

      So in the past month we’ve had 27 posts, with only 4 of them dealing with neoconfederates. And according to you that’s “less and less about learning about the Civil War and more and more about neoconfederates.” Tell me, Connie, do you just make things up as you go along or are you really that unaware of things?

      1. Jimmy Dick · · Reply

        Great posts. Great comeback. You really do have a good site which I use for some of my CW comments. That’s the difference between history and heritage. One is taught in the classroom. The other complains about what is taught in the classroom.

        1. Thanks, Jimmy, and that’s a great commentary on heritage and history.

  5. When you started this blog, you hardly ever mentioned neo-Confederates. Now you’re going to have five posts about them in a month… Seems like an increase to me.

    1. Connie, you’re simply unaware of a great many things. I started the blog on June 30, 2012. That year I had nine posts on neoconfederates, four in October and two each in November and December. I was mostly busy with setting up the blog and putting up posts on things I had thought about posting on when I was thinking about starting a blog. So it seems to me that taking all that into consideration nine posts in 6 months is roughly comparable, since I’ve completed posting what I had set out to post, and it was in reality nine posts in three months. In January of 2013 I had five posts on neoconfederates, and in February I had six. So from October 2012 to February 2013 I had twenty posts on neoconfederates, out of 111 posts in that time period, or 18%. In the past month just under 15% of my posts are about neoconfederates. I must be getting bored with you folks. I’ll have to post more about you to get my average back up.

      When the dumb things you folks do or say catch my eye, I’ll write about them. If it appears to you (wrongly) that I’m particularly focusing on neoconfederates, it’s your own paranoia. If anything, I’m actually posting less about you folks. Maybe your conscience is getting to you. Either way, if less than 20% of my posts are about neoconfederates, then this blog isn’t about, and has never been about, neoconfederates. Fear not, though, Connie. I’m sure one of you will do or say something incredibly stupid that deserves some attention really soon. I find it a very teachable moment when I can point out the silly things you folks believe and show how it has nothing at all to do with actual history. Maybe some day some actual history will sink into some of your folks and they’ll see the light. I’m a glass-half-full kind of guy, after all.

      If you think your folks are being ridiculed, then perhaps the solution is to educate them on actual history instead of the mockery of history they believe now. Oh, wait, I forgot for a second. Nevermind. 😉

      1. No, because if historical ignorance were a cause for ridicule, you wouldn’t concentrate your ridicule on “neo-Confederates.” The whole country is abysmally ignorant of its history — including civil war history (my gosh, Mika Brzezinski said Lincoln was a Founding Father) — and grows moreso all the time. I guess that’s okay with you folks who make up the civil-war left, as long as y’all can civil-war blog in order to ridicule “neo-Confederates.” Southern heritage folks aren’t omniscient and infallible about history, far from it, but neither is the civil war left. It’s not about history for you folks, anyway. Otherwise, you’d simply correct those who are mistaken. But the need to ridicule reveals true motives. And, frankly, judging by things I’ve read from certain civil-war left bloggers that I monitor, none of you have the moral authority for the derisive criticism y’all love to wallow in.

        1. Since I’ve also taken history professors to task on this blog, you show once again how unaware you are, Connie. You’re simply obsessed with defending the indefensible, whether it’s racists or the historically ignorant, aren’t you? And since I’m not a leftist, that’s another falsity in which you’re engaging. As to correcting those who are mistaken, I’ve done that here and here, and the same errors persist. So my obvious conclusion is that they don’t wish to learn and thus deserve any ridicule they receive.

        2. Jimmy Dick · · Reply

          Connie, in order for you to say we are wrong about history you would have to actually learn what history is and not that Lost Cause mythology you devoutly believe in. The facts do not support the Lost Cause lie. Now if you want to believe in the Lost Cause, the Loch Ness Monster, UFOs, and garbage like that, be my guest. However, when you try to pass it off as real then you will be called out for the lies.

          If you want to support the racism of Southern Heritage and help kidnappers that’s your choice. You can do all that you want. So when you whine about moral authority I just laugh because you don’t even know what it is.

  6. I don’t agree you corrected mistakes. You offered your opinion. You are too biased to be a teacher, sorry.

    1. One day, Connie, you should learn the difference between fact and opinion. You do have a habit of projecting, don’t you?

  7. I once wrote to the Sons of Confederate Veterans. I asked them to explain AH Stephens’s Cornerstone Speech, Mississippi’s declaration of Secession, and statements made by Lawrence Keitt, and some other facts on why I believe that slavery was the cause of the Civil War.

    One of their distinguished members responded. He explained that the differences over the right to own slaves was the reason for secession, but not the reason for the war. The WAR was fought over a state’s right to leave the Union.

    I thought I could make a continuous link. Slavery led to secession, secession led to Unionist opposition to secession, and that led to war. Or could we just say, slavery led to war. Am I using faulty logic?

    1. No. The reason they wanted their independence was to protect slavery

    2. Jimmy Dick · · Reply

      I had somebody say that to me as well. I asked them right back, “Do you mean to tell me that the South started the bloodiest war in the history of the United States just to test the theory of secession? If so, that is one of the stupidest things I have ever heard.” I then asked him to show me the primary sources where the people of the South said so. Just like the state’s rights they supposedly seceded over and accompanying documents, I am still waiting on these sources.

  8. Al, Jimmy, thanks for conforming my sanity. Al, I was thinking, maybe you need to stop calling them “neo-Confederates”. How about “whining cry babies who are not willing to take the time or effort to do the necessary research to verify their beliefs” ?

    Please don’t stop you anti neo Confederate post. I see that Connie Chastain made no effort to defend those that you were belittling. Instead of going online, or to the library to do some research all she could do was whine about your post. Keep the pressure on. Don’t let their fantasies pass for history.

    1. Pat, that’s the same as “neoconfederates.” 🙂

      1. Jimmy Dick · · Reply

        Like!

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