This article tells us about a recent piece of neoconfederate public stupidity.
Alabama’s Secretary of State, John Merrill, in talking about calls to remove confederate symbology from government buildings, said, “The next question that has to be asked is so what’s the next thing you are going to do? Are you going to take a bulldozer to the monument and forget what people fought for to preserve a way of life that makes us special and unique?”
That way of life, of course, was based on enslavement of what they regarded as an inferior race.
Merrill claims, “the ‘way of life’ he celebrates is based on Confederate soldiers’ independent spirit, not their advocacy for slavery.”
In explaining his view, Merrill said, “When we have things happen in our state, we don’t rely on the federal government to come take care of us. We take care of ourselves. For example, after the tornadoes in 2011, or after the massive flooding we had. That’s who we are. That’s who these people were. I’m proud of that.”
Alabama is ninth most reliant on Federal aid of all the fifty states. “As for the 2011 tornado damage Merrill mentioned, an auditor recently found that the state improperly received about $1.2 million in federal aid that it now must pay back.”
And, of course, Alabama prior to the Civil War was built on the backs of enslaved people, which was how the slave owners “took care of themselves.”
This is another example of how neoconfederates, especially neoconfederate politicians, can never be trusted to give an accurate view of history. He tries to minimize the impact of slavery and ends up looking like a fool because in grasping at straws he neglects basic facts. Alabama is dependent on Federal aid. Merrill claims they don’t rely on the Federal government, but they do. They can’t survive without it.
The confederacy, as we know, existed to protect and perpetuate the institution of slavery based on white supremacy. That’s why “In Alabama and across the country, people have been demonstrating against the continued state display of Confederate memorials and flags. At a protest in DC in September, a group of students of color told ThinkProgress they feel ‘genuinely afraid”’ when they encounter such symbols. ‘I feel scared when I see it,’ said Winter Brooks, an African-American student at American University. ‘It’s a symbol of hate, of pro-slavery, anti-blackness, anti-minorities. It’s frightening.’ “