Bigotry Is Still a Part of Confederate Heritage

We have this story out of Georgia.

On the day the city council of Griffin, Georgia declared a confederate heritage month and a confederate memorial day, there was an exchange in which a major confederate heritage day supporter who is a former elected official for the city showed the true colors of many in the confederate heritage movement. He publicly used the “n-word” not once, not twice, but three times in an encounter with a black member of the city’s board of commissioners.

“The tense exchange between the two men happened on the same day that the Atlanta suburb of Griffin, Ga., declared April as Confederate History Month. While speaking about the declaration during the public comments portion of the meeting, Larry Johnson, a former member of the board who is white, immediately turned his attention to Rodney McCord, who appears to be one of two black officials at the table. What began as harmless reminiscing of their differences back when they were serving as city officials together quickly escalated when Johnson reminded McCord of a conversation he said they once had about race. ‘I told you at that time that there were white folks, and there were black folks when I was growing up,’ Johnson said, speaking to McCord from the podium. ‘There was white trash — my family — and there was n—–town. I lived next to n—–town.’ The comment immediately caught McCord off guard, while the other board members sat quietly. ‘You lived next to what town?’ he asked Johnson. And Johnson’s matter-of-fact reply: ‘N—–town, son. I’m telling you son, now that changed. I’m no longer white trash … ‘ ” Notice the white members of the current board–a board which supported the confederate heritage declaration–didn’t try to stop Johnson, didn’t protest Johnson’s use of the racial slur, and didn’t seem at all upset about Johnson’s use of the word. Johnson, by the way, claims he doesn’t think slavery was the root cause of the Civil War. Of course not.

“Earlier during the meeting held last week, the board declared April as Confederate History Month and April 26 as Confederate Memorial Day for the city. In 1861, Georgia seceded from the Union and joined the Confederacy, which the declaration described as a fight for ‘states’ rights, individual freedom, and local government control.’ Georgia became the last Confederate state to be readmitted to the Union in 1870, several years after the Civil War ended.” Not only is there bigotry connected with confederate heritage here, but also massive lying about history. The confederacy was fighting for the opposite of individual freedom. They were not fighting for local government control, and they were extremely happy to trample all over state rights if it meant they were serving slavery by doing so. By the way, no state was readmitted to the Union. They had never left the Union. They were readmitted to representation in Congress.

Fortunately, at least someone is pushing back. “McCord decried the proclamation, saying it sends a message that the city is ‘willing to offend’ its black residents to ‘make other people feel good.’ ‘A proclamation to these very anti-Americans who did not want to be a part of America and now we are going to celebrate — that is the most un-American thing that I’ve ever heard,’ he said. Those who supported the proclamation said the objections were based on misinformation and argued that the Confederacy was about heritage, not about racism, slavery or hate. But many historians reject the notion that the war had nothing to do with slavery. ‘In 1861, they were very clear on what the causes of the war were. The reason there was no compromise possible was that people in the country could not agree over the wisdom of the continued and expanding enslavement of millions of African Americans,’ Stephanie McCurry, a history professor at Columbia University, told The Washington Post’s Philip Bump last year.”

Once again we see confederate heritage supporters pushing lies, and while not every confederate heritage supporter is a racist, the racists sure seem know where to find support for their views and where they are most comfortable.


One comment

  1. Sadly, still spot on! They do indeed, “know where to find support for their views and where they are most comfortable.” Why anyone with any kind of integrity can continue to support and defend what is so obviously racism and anti-American values is just beyond my comprehension. But in the bigger picture, it certainly explains the deep division and continued animosity in this nation. Hate cannot be driven out if it is never even acknowledged.

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