Another Confederate Heritage Clown

Georgia State Representative Tommy Benton is the latest in a long line of confederate heritage advocacy clowns. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution gives us this story about this doofus. See also here.

In an episode emblematic of what we’ve come to expect from these racist idiots, Mr. Benton actually defended the Ku Klux Klan. He claimed the KKK “was not so much a racist thing but a vigilante thing to keep law and order. It made a lot of people straighten up. I’m not saying what they did was right. It’s just the way things were.”

The KKK was a white supremacist terrorist organization during Reconstruction. It was completely racist. But this fool has no clue about history.  Benton is, apparently, a retired middle school history teacher, which helps explain the sad state of history knowledge among Americans. His students never stood a chance of learning anything remotely accurate about American history.

Benton holds the typical ahistorical neoconfederate beliefs about the Civil War. “James Cobb, professor emeritus of history at the University of Georgia and a former president of the Southern Historical Association, said Benton position that the Civil War was not caused by slavery is not one held by most historians. ‘There just is an overwhelming body of evidence to suggest otherwise,’ he said. For example, Georgia politician and Confederate Vice PresidentAlexander Stephens said slavery was the ‘cornerstone’ of the Confederacy, Cobb said. After the war, Stephens and other southern statesmen would argue that the fight was for state’s rights, while working to reestablish political white supremacy across the South through segregation, he said. ‘There was even an academic school (of thought) at one time that held that it was economic reasons that brought about the war,’ Cobb said. ‘There is certainly a heritage to that line of argument, but it is a line of argument that has been thoroughly and repeatedly refuted by historians. As Rep Benton says, people are going to believe what they are going to believe.’ ”

The racist representative has also started attacking Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy. “Benton has also introduced a bill that would require streets in Georgia that once honored veterans but have since been renamed to return to their original name. If it were to pass, the would result in a portion of Martin Luther King Boulevard in Atlanta reverting to its earlier name of Gordon Road, in honor of Gen. John B. Gordon, a Confederate general and former governor and senator for Georgia who was a leader in the Ku Klux Klan. The bill does not mention King, but it does set 1968 — the year of King’s assassination — as the time period from which renamings would be reversed.”

One can’t go broke betting on the racism or the stupidity [or both] of neoconfederates.

Brooks Simpson, as we might expect, is all over this story.

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5 comments

  1. bob carey · · Reply

    Al,
    I’m sure you know that it is senseless to try to debate these people. Permit me to relate a story from my youth.
    I grew up in a heavily Irish Catholic section of Albany and local legend has it that the Klan came around in the 1920’s and they were in the process of burning a cross on one of the hilltops which overlooked the neighborhood. Well a few of the lads from the neighborhood decided to attend the ceremony and luckily for the Klan there was a hospital close by. Sort of the Klan meets the IRA. This story was told to me by an old WWI vet and confirmed by my father, I never knew either of them to lie, they may have embellished a few times but they never lied. Sometimes I think that this is the only way of dealing with these people.
    As I said over on Crossroads, you should be commended in your diligence in exposing the Bentons of the world. Keep up the good work!!! Thank you.

  2. From the AJC:
    _____

    House Resolution 1179, which Benton, R-Jefferson, dropped in the House “hopper” Wednesday, assures that the “heroes of the Confederate States of America … shall never been altered, removed, concealed or obscured in any fashion and shall be preserved and protected for all time as a tribute to the bravery and heroism of the citizens of this state who suffered and died in their cause.”

    It also requires the park around the mountain to be kept as “an appropriate and suitable memorial for the Confederacy.”

    If passed, the resolution would go to voters as a statewide referendum before it could be added to the constitution.

    Benton also is behind a second bill, House Bill 855, requiring the state to formally recognize Lee’s birthday on Jan. 19 and Confederate Memorial Day on April 26. State employees have long received these as paid vacation days, but this year Gov. Nathan Deal had them listed on state calendars as generic holidays.

    _____

    Entirely apart from Benton’s understanding of the historical record, legislation like his is fundamentally counter to the notion of self-determination that the Confederate heritage folks are always yammering about. It’s big government — in this case, that of the state — imposing its will and overriding the wishes of local communities. The heritage folks yammer a lot about the oppressive, heavy-handed “tyranny” of the federal government, but are quick to use that same process to strip away the autonomy of citizens at the local level and to impose their wishes on counties and towns. They will drop a supposedly cherished and core principle like a hot iron when they think it will get them what they want.

    1. Thanks, Andy. Hypocrisy goes way back to the actual confederates and before then. These are the folks who yammered about state rights and demanded the Federal government overturn state laws that impinged on the ability to kidnap black people into slavery.

      1. In the words of another “great” Southerner (through the eyes of Hollywood),”My hypocrisy knows no bounds.” Indeed, Doc. Indeed.

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