Yes, Slavery Caused the Civil War But a Liberal Journalist Shows His Own Ignorance

In this video which has been all over social media, Colonel Ty Seidule presents a concise summary of why slavery caused the Civil War. In less than six minutes, Colonel Seidule, the head of the Department of History at the United States Military Academy, demolishes the ignorant neoconfederate claims that slavery had nothing to do with the Civil War.

Some of my blogging colleagues have already highlighted this video. See here, here, and here.

I have yet to see a Civil War historian who doesn’t like the video. Not all folks, however, are approving it. In this article from The Nation, Richard Kreitner demonstrates that the young, college-age Bill Clinton was not the only one who loathed the military, and in Kreitner’s case, that loathing isn’t in the distant past. Kreitner writes, “Setting aside for a rainy day the creepiness of an American military man instructing ordinary Americans about the finer points of history—whatever the truth and belatedness of the actual lesson being taught—I couldn’t help but wince at something Seidule says near the end of the video, after he has already reiterated and thoroughly demolished the usual counter-arguments. It’s to America’s everlasting credit that it fought the most devastating war in its history in order to abolish slavery,’ he intones. ‘As a soldier, I am proud that the US army—my army—defeated the Confederates. In its finest hour, soldiers wearing this blue uniform—almost 200,000 of them former slaves themselves—destroyed chattel slavery, freed more than four million men, women and children from human bondage, and saved the United States of America.’ ”

Let’s look at this again: “Setting aside for a rainy day the creepiness of an American military man instructing ordinary Americans about the finer points of history … ” Colonel Seidule has a Ph.D. in history and is the Head of the Department of History and a Professor of History in an accredited modern American university [Kreitner only has a BA in Philosophy from McGill University]. Why should his instructing ordinary Americans about the finer points of history be “creepy” or even unusual? It’s only because he’s wearing the uniform of the American military Kreitner obviously loathes that makes it “creepy” to Kreitner. Kreitner’s insult to the American military is just as disgusting and offensive as anything the most rabid neoconfederates put out.

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7 comments

  1. Creepy???? Sigh.

  2. It’s been a bad couple days for a couple of journalists on the left. There’s this faux pas and then there’s also this one: http://washingtonspectator.org/the-story-of-the-other-racist-flag/

    Rick Perlstein called the POW-MIA flag “racist” and had to back off, removing the term from the article and adding in an apology for using it, as well as the editor of the Washington Spectator also adding in what is essentially an apology.

  3. Jimmy Dick · · Reply

    I posted the video on Connie’s wall of racism, but I noticed it is like her comments about the capture of Megan Everett and arrest of another flagger; that is to say not appearing anywhere on the site.

    I would love to see her or Jesse Sanford rebut Dr. Seidule’s statements and use facts to do so. I will not be holding my breath because they have no facts to do so with. Even George would fail, but I’m sure he would come up with something lame that would end up blowing up in his face like so many of his other attempts.

    I love the video. I’ve dropped it into a few conversations already and it really angers people who would prefer that facts be left out of the conversation. I posted about it on my blog as well. Apparently, Colonel Seidule was not aware that Pranger was the unaccredited rightwing entity that it is. Pranger is trying to claim Seidule as a member of its faculty, but I get the feeling that is Pranger trying to use the colonel’s position to enhance its own. Stars and Stripes ran a story on this. http://www.stripes.com/news/viral-video-about-civil-war-s-cause-puts-west-point-close-to-right-wing-group-1.362622

    1. Thanks, Jimmy. They obviously can’t rebut it because they don’t have a clue about actual history.

  4. Charles Persinger · · Reply

    Whenever I see articles about the Civil War or the Confederate flag and its done by mainstream journalists or right or left wing activists- It seems they have a very limited grasp on the issue.

    1. I agree. I’ve noticed journalists and partisans of either side don’t have a good grasp of history and tend to try to use it to further their own agendas.

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