Continuing the Discussion of Confederate Symbols

History matters.

Confederate Flag Flies in South Carolina PrimaryTa-Nehisi Coates has a piece at The Atlantic online on the ongoing issue of the Confederate battle flag that is worth reading:  Brad Paisley and the Politics of Offense and Offense-Taking.

The piece is especially useful for those who want to tell themselves that the flag is naught but a symbol of southern pride:

If you accept that the Confederacy fought to preserve and expand slavery, then you might begin to understand how the descendants of the enslaved might regard symbols of that era. And you might also begin to understand that “offense” doesn’t even begin to cover it. Reading Penthouse while having Christmas dinner with your grandmother is offensive. Donning the symbols of those who fought for right to sell Henry Brown’s wife and child is immoral.

It is important to speak this way. Nothing is changed by banishing the Confederate Flag out of a desire to be polite or inoffensive. The Confederate Flag should not die because black people have come to feel a certain way about their country, it should die when white people come to feel a certain way about themselves. It can’t be for me. It has to be for you.

Indeed.  This is certainly a route I have personally taken.  As a child growing up in Texas I was never as enamored of the battle flag as many in the truly deep south still are, but I did, at one point, own a small battle flag (along with several small flags I collected at the time).  I thought it looked “cool” and accepted, even into my twenties, the notion that the flag, even with its ugly associations, could be a symbol of southern pride.

However, even if many southern whites think of the flag that way even now (and many do) its basic and fundamental association with a government whose very existence was founded on defending and perpetuating slavery mean that it is utterly impossible to divorce the symbol from its origins and transform it into some generic, innocent symbol of southern-ness.  That white-washing (pun more or less intended) is made all the more difficult when one recognizes that the battle flag was a symbol of resistance to integration in the 1950s and that today it is a favorite of neo-confederates and white supremacists.

And for those who will continue to insist that the confederacy and the civil war were not about slavery, but about economics, states rights,* and so forth, I have a reading challenge.  Read the following rather key documents from the era, all associated with the founding of the Confederacy, and then make an argument that slavery wasn’t central.   (I will agree, by the way, that war was very much about economics—but the central economic issue was the ability to keep slaves and to expand a slave-based economy into the west).

Here are the readings:

I really do not understand how one can read these (and other) documents from the time and then pretend like symbols of the Confederacy can be used in some innocent fashion as generic southern symbols.

Having discussed this with defenders of the battle flag (and the Confederacy in general), I recognize that minds are hard to change on this topic.  Still, perhaps these observations are useful for folks who have not thoroughly thought through these topics to their logical conclusions.

*BTW, I think a lot of people who assert the “states’ rights” argument are not trying to defend the Confederacy as much as they engaging in pure denial.  If the CSA was about “states’ rights” in some abstract sense, then it is not necessary to confront, directly, the slavery issue and the history of racism that flowed from it.

FILED UNDER: *FEATURED, US Politics
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. Ron Beasley says:

    I just finished the book 1493, Uncovering the New World Columbus Created by Charles C. Mann. There was a section on why slavery became the norm in the Western hemisphere – one word, malaria. Bringing indentured servants from Europe was really more economical or would have been if most of them did not die in the first year from malaria or yellow fever. The slaves from equatorial Africa had a resistance to both and did not die. Malaria and yellow fever were a real problem in the South not so much in the North – the Mason Dixon line. Hence little slavery in the North. Some what off topic but interesting.

  2. Mark Ivey says:

    “and that today it is a favorite of neo-confederates and white supremacists.”

    The elephant in the room when arguing on this subject with the “good old boys” from southern states.

  3. Stonetools says:

    There is really not much difference between the Confederate flag and the Nazi Swastika in terms of the evilness of the causes they espoused.
    I’m a World War 2 buff and I am struck by the bravery with which the Germans fought for their Lost Cause. Guderian and Rommel were in many ways as brilliant on the battlefield as Bobby Lee and Stonewall Jackson. But there aren’t statues of Guderian and Rommel all over Germany, because the Germans understand that it would be glorifying the cause they fought for.
    I expect it is going to be a while before Southerners come to the same understanding the Germans did. For one thing, there has been a century of Hollywood mythology prettifying the Lost Cause, starting with “Birth of a Nation”. Luckily, modern historians have moved past the mythology so there’s hope for the next generation.

  4. michael reynolds says:

    They know full well that the flag is a racist symbol. They intend it as a racist symbol. It comes down to the fact that racists think as long as they avoid using the “N-word” (I do that solely for the filter) they can’t be found out as racists. They won’t get “caught” as long as they play the dog whistle game.

    Of course this doesn’t work except for racists and idiots. (But I repeat myself.)

  5. Ernieyeball says:

    I am a citizen of the United States of America.
    The Confederate Flag is the banner of some other country.
    I am certain that those who claim the Confederate Flag is theirs and represents them will be glad to display their Green Card upon demand to United States authorities!

  6. @michael reynolds: The thing is: there are those who extol the symbol without really coming to grips with its history–that’s my point. I think that if we just say “if you like the symbol you are a racist” we make it more difficult to get the symbol relegated to its appropriate place.

    Denial is not going to be solved by simply calling the symbol racist–education is necessary.

    Now, the hardcore racists are not going to be dissuaded, of course.

  7. JKB says:

    Oddly, slavery was a state’s rights issue for the Northern Democrats but there is no real question that for Southern Democrats slavery was to be preserved and expanded. (Let us stipulate that the preceding is Democrats of 1860 and does not inform, necessarily about the Democrats of today)

    Colonel Ingersoll in a speech about Lincoln, given I believe in the late 1880s, describing the situation prior to the war:

    Both of the great political parties were controlled by greed and selfishness. Both were the defenders and protectors of slavery. For nearly three-quarters of a century these parties had control of the Republic. The principal object of both parties was the protection of the infamous institution. Both were eager to secure the Southern vote and both sacrificed principle and honor upon the altar of success.

    At last the Whig party died and the Republican was born. This party was opposed to the further extension of slavery. The Democratic party of the South wished to make the “divine institution” national while the Democrats of the North wanted the question decided by each territory for itself.

    Each of these parties had conservatives and extremists. The extremists of the Democratic party were in the rear and wished to go back ; the extremists of the Republican party were in the front, and wished to go forward. The extreme Democrat was willing to destroy the Union for the sake of slavery, and the extreme Republican was willing to destroy the Union for the sake of liberty.

    Neither party could succeed without the votes of its extremists.

    This was the condition in i858-60.

  8. CSK says:

    @Stonetools:

    And one wonders about the extent to which Rommel and Lee and Jackson believed in the causes for which they were fighting. Lee regarded slavery as “a moral and political evil.” Jackson said he wanted the hackles cast off every slave. Rommel was part of the plot to kill Hitler, and disobeyed orders to kill Jewish soldiers.

    Lee believed in the union, he said, but he “could not raise his sword against Virginia.”

    Cognitive dissonance.

  9. Matt Bernius says:

    @Ron Beasley:

    There was a section on why slavery became the norm in the Western hemisphere – one word, malaria.

    I would really caution against these types of easy/’freakonomics’ answers to complex problems. While disease probably played some part, slaving began with Columbus and long before malaria became a huge issue.

    This type of argument ignores the fact that the initial colonizers didn’t import slaves so much as enslave the existing populations. In fact, the “slave trade” initially flowed out of the Americas and into Europe (see the Las Casas/Supelvadia debates). It was only later that African slaves actually entered the loop.

    Further this ignores many of the socio-economic and cultural differences between the different slave zones of North America.

  10. JKB says:

    @Stonetools:

    Where are these monuments to the Confederacy you speak of? I grew up playing in Civil War battlefields, every monument I saw was for Union regiments. Well, until I was 25 and happened upon the Confederate monument in Norfolk, VA. There were Confederate cemeteries and still are.

  11. michael reynolds says:

    @JKB:

    Walk ten feet in any direction in Richmond, Virginia.

  12. hk says:

    @Stonetools: The history there is much more complicated, especially if you dig beneath the surface. Alaric Searle has a fascinating book on the role played by former Nazi-era generals in West German rearmament in 1950s. Even if there were no public paeans to great Nazi-era generals (incidentally, Rommel is always an exception–that he died because of his opposition to Nazis makes him immune. Of all the Nazi-era generals, he is the one example that is and has always been publicly lauded. It does seem, though, that, unlike the Southerners, Germans generally didn’t have a habit of turning their military heroes to demigods. I suppose one could make an exception for Hindenburg, but that was during a very peculiar period…) a great deal was whitewashed and the myth of “apolitical” regular army doing its duty, as opposed to evil Nazis, was created to justify it. Only after the end of Cold War did much-closer-than-hoped-for connection between the regular army and the Nazi regime begin to surface in earnest.

  13. @JKB: One that immediately comes to mind: Stone Mountain in Georgia that is a rather huge monument to Jackson, Lee, and Jefferson Davis.

    Photos here.

    Also: two of the High Schools in Montgomery, AL: Jefferson Davis HS and Robert E. Lee HS (and those are both rather common names for schools across the south).

  14. JKB says:

    @Ron Beasley:

    I would recommend listening to this lecture from MR University and then comparing the similarities of the Spanish Americas to the type of labor/economics of cotton and to some extent sugar versus the differences with the small farms of the northern US and the small labor requirement for wheat and other farming of the Great Plains. The timing of the settling of the Great Plains would probably have impacted it as well as the new farming technology permitted the family farm instead of the plantation organization.

  15. Matt Bernius says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    The thing is: there are those who extol the symbol without really coming to grips with its history–that’s my point. I think that if we just say “if you like the symbol you are a racist” we make it more difficult to get the symbol relegated to its appropriate place.

    This.

    I also tend to think that many (white) people are actually being quite “honest” when they say they don’t understand why the flag might be seen as racist. The issue is an empathy gap.

    It also fits into a larger issues of blame and guilt that factors into all modern discussions of race. One of the challenges is finding ways to have these discussions without assigning blame.

    Unfortunately, because racism is evil with a capital “E” its all but impossible the problem with any nuance because people are immediately placed on the defensive. And losing the argument (coming to see the stars and bars as a symbol of racism) has a LOT of implications under those stakes.

  16. @Matt Bernius:

    I would really caution against these types of easy/’freakonomics’ answers to complex problems. While disease probably played some part, slaving began with Columbus and long before malaria became a huge issue.

    Good point. European colonizers (and their descendants) who sought, among other things, to extract agricultural wealth from their colonies needed cheap labor. If we look to Latin American we see that where there was a sedentary native population to exploit for labor, there was not a massive importation of slaves (e.g., Peru and Boliva) but where population died due to conquest and disease (e.g., Haiti) or were semi-nomadic (e.g., the coast of Brazil), slaves were imported.

  17. JKB says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Now, are we talking the South or the Cotton Belt. I expect there are some monuments. Just as Jefferson Davis’s mansion in Mississippi is a tourist attraction (or was, I don’t know the impact of Katrina). I also just recently hear of Jefferson Davis parkway? in, I believe a report on the Navy Yard attack. But they are all over.

    But people do name things foolishly. There are plenty of schools named after one of the greates mass murders of all time, Rachel Carson. Interestingly, her killings were/are targeted at those of African descent as well.

  18. Gustopher says:

    I think we did a much better job reconstructing Germany after WWII than we did reconstructing the South after the civil war.

    (Although, even with Germany, I’m still upset that Volkswagon continues to exist. The fruits of their immoral actions should have been destroyed, or turned over to the survivors and their families.)

  19. @JKB: I am now unclear on your original point. You first claimed, I thought, that there weren’t really any monuments to confederates (like there were no such monuments to Nazis). However, you now seem to be saying that, sure, there will be such monuments in the south. However, the presence of such monuments in the south indicates, as the previous poster was noting, that we, as a country, have not done a good job of dealing with our past or the “Lost Cause” narrative.

  20. In a couple weeks, I’m going to be going to the local Liederkranz to celebrate my southern German cultural heritage.

    I think everyone would be rather upset if someone showed up wearing a Nazi flag, claiming it was just a symbol of their cultural heritage.

    Likewise, I have to wonder why people who are supposedly proud of their Southern culture, of all the aspects of that society they could choose to highlight, want to make the Confederate flag the foremost symbol of their heritage.

  21. Matt Bernius says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    I am now unclear on your original point.

    I think he was once again proving that “anecdote” does not equal substantive “data” on topics like this.

  22. wr says:

    @JKB: “There are plenty of schools named after one of the greates mass murders of all time, Rachel Carson”

    And like a snake shedding its skin, JKB sloughs off the last tiny traces of his sanity and slithers away into the swamps of madness.

    Oh, and if anyone is still wondering why people respond to trolls, sometimes it’s simply because the troll message posted — in this case the accusation of mass murder against Rachel Carson — is so vile and so loathesome it can’t be allowed to stand unchallenged.

  23. Matt Bernius says:

    @wr:

    Oh, and if anyone is still wondering why people respond to trolls, sometimes it’s simply because the troll message posted — in this case the accusation of mass murder against Rachel Carson — is so vile and so loathesome it can’t be allowed to stand unchallenged.

    Ok, but I’m at a loss to understand how writing “And like a snake shedding its skin, JKB sloughs off the last tiny traces of his sanity and slithers away into the swamps of madness.” is *actually challenging* anything that @JKB wrote.

    Insulting him, yet.

    Challenging it? Not so much.

    (For the record, substantively challenging the actual opinion @JKB expressed was going to take too much time for me to immediately do it, so that’s why I ignored the entire thing).

    UPDATE: Practicing what I preach, On the slandering of Rachel Carson — beyond the fact that it’s a gross oversimplication to give sole credit for the international ban on DDT to Carson (or any one individual), the article also demonstrates that (a) DDT is still in use in some places, (b) that mosquitoes became DDT resistant in many cases, and (c) that what Carson actually wrote about DDT was “Practical advice should be “Spray as little as you possibly can” rather than “Spray to the limit of your capacity.”
    See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DDT#Criticism_of_restrictions_on_DDT_use

  24. stonetools says:

    @Matt Bernius:

    (For the record, substantively challenging the actual opinion @JKB expressed was going to take too much time for me to immediately do it, so that’s why I ignored the entire thing).

    The problem, of course, Matt , is that if you let it stand unremarked, uninformed readers may somehow think that this Rachel Carson statement is true and/or that posters here agree with it.
    JKB”s statements are of course not so much troll bait as typical of what right wingers say day in and day out all over the Internet and right wing radio. It’s why the attempts of you, Doug, and James’ suggestion that “both sides do it” drew such a strong response. In fact, one side started it and still does it 10 times as much as the other side.

  25. Matt Bernius says:

    @stonetools:

    The problem, of course, Matt , is that if you let it stand unremarked, uninformed readers may somehow think that this Rachel Carson statement is true and/or that posters here agree with it.

    I appreciate this comment.

    However, it seems like a lot of people confuse “insulting” with “challenging.” Nothing in @wr’s comment did anything to actually challenge @JKB’s point in the way that you think is important.

    Likewise, while you took a bunch of lines to deride me for “both sides do it” (which, btw, I have always written as “both sides do it, but not the the same amounts”), I note you didn’t actually take any time to actually provide evidence against what @JKB actually said either.

    I’m not trying to start a flame war here (and this definitely wasn’t the one I expected for this thread), but I think too much time is spent on insulting people expressing “trollish” views rather than actually debunking the “trollish” view itself.

    BTW, I will note that @WR’s insult based challenge also got more “likes” than my fact based challenge. While I don’t particularly care about the “likes”, I think that gap suggests that while some may say they care about winning the hearts and minds of people who might think X is true, what people actually reward (if one accepts a “like” as a reward) has little to do with substance.

  26. James Joyner says:

    @JKB: Rachel Carson, the marine biologist and conservationist? I think you’re referring to Margaret Sanger, the eugenicist and progenitor of Planned Parenthood.

  27. James Joyner says:

    @Matt Bernius: Ah. But that argument strikes me as just silly beyond words. Even if it’s true that “banning DDT killed more people than Hitler,” and even if we assign 100 percent culpability to Carson, it doesn’t make her a killer. There’s no mens rea there.

  28. Spartacus says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Denial is not going to be solved by simply calling the symbol racist–education is necessary.

    I’m not sure I understand this.

    By definition, denial is a refusal to accept as true things that are facts. Anyone who is in “denial” has already been presented with the facts. That is, they’ve already been educated and have rejected the knowledge that was given to them in favor of things that are known to be false. I can think of no other plausible reason for people to deny these facts about the Confederacy other than the influence of racism.

    It may be their own racist views or the racist influences around them, but in both cases it’s still racism. As TNC points out, it is healthy to clearly identify these influences as racist.

    Now, there are people who are uninformed about the Confederacy and they definitely need to be educated, but the efficacy of that education will still be directly impacted by racism.

  29. Dorothy Davis says:

    Am curious that you are so anxious to disavow the VA Battle Flag, yet display it quite prominently at the head of your “article”. Is it that you need to *remind* us what it looks like, in case we have forgotten….or something?

  30. Dave D says:

    @JKB: Please explain to me a.) How naming schools after the generals and perpetrators of a failed nation based upon the ownership of other human beings is at all equatable to naming a school after an ecologist? b.) Is there a mountainside carving of her somewhere? c.) What the hell does she have to do with the Confederate States of America? d.) If you had intended Margret Sanger a cursory google search only returned one result for a high school named after her in the liberal paradise that is Texas.

  31. @Spartacus: My point is that there is a difference between the following two approaches:

    Approach 1: “The Battle Flag is racist and you are a racist because you like it.”

    Approach 2: “The Battle Flag is racist, and here’s why….”

    Approach 1 will only garner defensiveness. Approach 2 may also fail, but at least there is the chance for dialog.

  32. Spartacus says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Okay, I now see and agree.

  33. @Dorothy Davis: The simple answer is that I needed a graphic for the post and I couldn’t think of another one.

    Beyond that, however, I am not suggesting that the flag never be seen, just that it not be used as symbol of pride.

    Are you suggesting that it never be displayed?

    (Although I suspect by the usage of the formulation “article” that you are not a fan of my argument).

  34. Liberal Capitalist says:

    @JKB:

    Where are these monuments to the Confederacy you speak of?

    The google… It makes facts simple: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confederate_monuments

    Monuments specifically to the Confederacy are located in:

    Alabama
    Arizona
    Arkansas
    Delaware
    Georgia
    Kentucky
    Mississippi
    Missouri
    Montana
    North Carolina
    Pennsylvania
    Tennessee
    Texas
    Virginia
    West Virginia

    (and there are plenty specific locations listed.)

    An interesting coincidence to consider: Of all the states listed, only Delaware, Pennsylvania and Virginia did not fall into the Romney column in 2012… And the folks that were counting were definitely surprised that Penn went blue. Looking back, it was the Latino vote that helped it happen.

    So, to paraphrase a great American comedian…

    If you have a monument to the confederacy in your state… you might just be a closet racist redneck.

  35. Matt Bernius says:

    @James Joyner:

    But that argument strikes me as just silly beyond words. Even if it’s true that “banning DDT killed more people than Hitler,” and even if we assign 100 percent culpability to Carson, it doesn’t make her a killer. There’s no mens rea there.

    Exactly, but that’s the problem with the talking point style arguments like this one. While they are completely nonsensical, the people deploying them have no interest in actually making a real argument. They’re just interested in scoring a point at all costs.

    BTW, this is an argument regularly heard within Conservative Media. Here’s an example from early this year on the Rush Limbaugh show. The archive title of the segment was “When Liberal Ideology Results in Mass Death”:

    RUSH: This is a real sore spot with me, Rachel Carson. For those of you who don’t know, there is this pesticide called DDT, and it virtually wiped out malaria. But Rachel Carson came along one day and claimed that DDT corrupted the eggs recently laid by birds, it was leading to the death, it was killing birds and other animals. DDT was a pesticide killing animals in nature, and so DDT was pulled. The most effective weapon against malaria ever, and one book by a liberal activist, Rachel Carson, which was fraud in and of itself — and, by the way, Vickie —

    CALLER: Yes.

    RUSH: — Rachel Carson’s fraud has been known long before since last week or last year. But it’s still active. DDT is still not permitted. It’s still subject to all of the denigration that was heaped upon it. Her words are still gospel.

    CALLER: Yeah. And it’s killed millions of citizens on the continent of Africa.

    RUSH: Right.

    CALLER: Because they quit using the DDT.

    RUSH: Exactly. Millions of young Africans are dead because of Rachel Carson, who is now herself dead.

    http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2013/04/29/when_liberal_ideology_results_in_mass_death

    BTW, there is significant amounts of scientific evidence that clearly demonstrate that DDT is, in fact, toxic to numerous animals including humans. (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DDT#Environmental_impact ) While it is true that this was not settled science when Carson wrote her book, the fact is her predictions about the toxic nature of DDT, for the most part, largely correct.

  36. MarkedMan says:

    @JKB: just for the record: the Rachel Carson thing is typical Fox News BS. DDT has never been banned in most of Africa. It was certainly on sale in Ghana when I lived there in the late 80’s decades after it was banned in the US and I have no reason to think its not available today. So given that this Fox News / Limbaugh trope has been publicly debunked for, what, 10 or 20 years, and given that the so-called conservatives have been immune to the facts and continue to trot it out, well, that tells you just how much their “arguments from facts” are really worth.

  37. Liberal Capitalist says:

    @Dorothy Davis:

    Am curious that you are so anxious to disavow the VA Battle Flag, yet display it quite prominently at the head of your “article”. Is it that you need to *remind* us what it looks like, in case we have forgotten….or something?

    Agreed ! +1 !

    Must be a slow news day….

    After displaying the confederate flag, we will then discuss:

    * banning guns entirely,
    * outlawing all abortions,
    * expanded rights for immigrants,
    * the self-evident case of the USofA clearly being a center right country, and (of course)
    * the existence of god and his/her/their obvious work in writing the Constitution.

    Or, as we call it: Outside The Beltway, trolling for comments.

  38. @Liberal Capitalist:

    Mustbe a slow news day….

    Well, no. I read an essay and combined with a passing conversation I had with a child of friend a few weeks ago, I had something to say.

    Or, as we call it: Outside The Beltway, trolling for comments.

    ?

    While I like comments and conversation, I never write anything for the purposes of generating comments.

  39. Michael C. Lucas says:

    Cherry picking slavery does not support the war was solely or centrally over slavery, but instead demonstrates an agenda to present an ideology to condemn and vilify Southern Americans who sought independence in defense of themselves from oppression of a Republican Government clearly intent on domination of the United States. Slavery was an issue that was constitutionally protected by both the United States and Confederate States. People do not have wars over what they agree with and slavery was not the prevailing issue as much as expansion and greed of power was. The emancipation of slavery in the United States evolved centrally at the time as a war measure period. Clearly chattel slavery would have ended in due time regardless of the war as world history of developing nations around the world demonstrates. The Confederate flag was never intended to be a symbol of hatred and truly the only hate it evokes is from its detractors such as presented in the article above and by Ta-Nehisi Coates articles and others in the Atlantic. The problem with comprehending the Civil War and a majority of the discussion about its complexity is simply due language usage. To understand the Civil War takes resolve to be objective in reviewing all sides involved, sadly our history has become so politicized by academics and social reform agendas overtly distorting the past. If you want to stop hate and ignorance then stop being bigoted and posting articles intent on that rhetoric. Flags do nothing, the hatred is on you and only you can stop being a hater.

  40. @Michael C. Lucas:

    Cherry picking slavery does not support the war was solely or centrally over slavery

    I never said “solely.” However, to deny “centrally” means you did not read the documents linked.

  41. @Michael C. Lucas: I would note that you are totally ignoring more contemporary usages of these symbols. First, they became central to the political discourse in the 20th century as symbols of opposition to desegregation. Second, they are currently the favorite, as I noted, of white supremacists and neo-confederates. Neither is the work of “academics and social reform agendas”–indeed, quite the opposite.

  42. Michael C. Lucas says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: That is false white supremacist have their own flags and symbol inclusive of the United States flag as well. But thanks for clarifying that you are an equal opportunity offender stereotyping Confederate symbolism with hate groups. It’s very apparent you haven’t been following the historical or political discourse over the past 30 years. The historical chronology documents academic and social reforms intent on distorting the past to suit politically correct agendas.

  43. anjin-san says:

    I can’t see any way to view the confederate flag as something other than a racist symbol. No amount of attempted historical revisionism can change that. There simply was nothing nobel about the cause. It was the south’s 1%ers defending their property rights, and a lot of average guys who got duped into fighting for them.

  44. JKB says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    I will admit to a bit of childhood localization in my opinion there. I literally had Civil War battlefields and monuments in my local “play” area as a child. I do remember asking why all the monuments in the South were for Yankee regiments. So mea culpa on that.

    And now that you mention it, I do remember a visit to Stone Mountain, there was some train that circled it or something with distant views of the carving. A carving I just learned that was privately funded and on private land until the state purchased it much later. Is it your contention we should obliterate it? Should it not be left but in context of the time and place it was created as a lesson of those times?

  45. Michael C. Lucas says:

    @anjin-san: Well then according to your opinion that makes you a blissful bigot and likely a racist just the same especially if you only consider that symbolism solely with white supremacy.

  46. wr says:

    @Matt Bernius: And I will not dignify JKB’s slander with a rebuttal — even if he had supplied a single “fact” to be rebutted. I will say that he is a lying, vicious madman (or words to that effect) so that it not simply seen as accepted on this blog that one of the great writers and great environmentalists of the last century was a mass murderer.

    You may engage in the debating society if you choose, and you may certainly disapprove of my response if you choose, as well. As Woody Allen says in one of his movies, a well-constructed argument is fine, but with Nazis you really want baseball bats.

  47. anjin-san says:

    if you only consider that symbolism solely with white supremacy.

    Where did I say “solely”? It also has connotations of treason, and, as I mentioned about, patriotic young men being used as cannon fodder to protect the interests of the rich (though that of course is hardly unique to the confederate experience)

    I am interested in how you read me as a racist. Is this just more Faux “you are the real racist” claptrap? Not very original…

  48. Phillip says:

    @Michael C. Lucas:

    Clearly chattel slavery would have ended in due time regardless of the war as world history of developing nations around the world demonstrates

    Clearly. Clearly, any day now, conservatives will realize something similar in regards to gay marriage, universal health care, global warming, etc.
    I wonder if we can afford to wait around for their “due time” to arrive.

  49. wr says:

    @Matt Bernius: Every time I’m in the Bay Area and see a pelican diving for fish, I’m always amazed at their beauty, and all too aware how we almost killed them off with DDT when I was a child.

  50. JKB says:

    And yes, Rachel Carson did not pull the trigger on anybody, that I know of. She simply perpetrated a fraud that became a cause for others the foreseeable outcome being the deaths due to the ban on DDT, both legal or as a condition of food aid.

    There are those here who do not see it that way. We are only approaching the 50 year mark. In another 100 years, some may look back and wonder how we could name schools after her….

  51. al-Ameda says:

    Here we are about 150 years after the Civil War and it seems that there is no consensus among White people in the South that the Confederate flag is a symbol of racial oppression, slavery, segregation and apartheid. At this point I’m not sure any amount of persuasion that can change minds on this issue. The South will remain an angry, resentful and aggrieved region of the country for years and decades to come.

  52. An Interested Party says:

    Perhaps those who argue that the Civil War wasn’t about slavery might have a better case if the traitorous Southerners of that time didn’t destroy that argument with their own words

    “Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery— the greatest material interest of the world,” proclaimed Mississippi. “… [A] blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization.” Northern abolitionists, Mississippi went on to complain, have “nullified the Fugitive Slave Law,” “broken every compact” and even “invested with the honors of martyrdom” John Brown—the radical abolitionist who tried to lead a slave uprising in Virginia in 1859.

    Once the Confederacy formed, its leaders wrote a new constitution that protected the institution of slavery at the national level. As historian William C. Davis has said, this showed how little Confederates cared about states’ rights and how much they cared about slavery. “To the old Union they had said that the Federal power had no authority to interfere with slavery issues in a state,” he said. “To their new nation they would declare that the state had no power to interfere with a federal protection of slavery.”

    Their founding documents show that the South seceded over slavery, not states’ rights. But the neo-Confederates are right in a sense. Slavery was not the only cause. The South also seceded over white supremacy, something in which most whites—North and South—sincerely believed. White southerners came to see the 4 million African Americans in their midst as a menace, going so far as to predict calamity, even race war, were slavery ever to end. This facet of Confederate ideology helps explain why many white southerners—even those who owned no slaves and had no prospects of owning any—mobilized so swiftly and effectively to protect their key institution.

  53. Argon says:

    The cool thing about the Confederate flag is that nobody proposes that burning it is a crime.

  54. anjin-san says:

    @JKB

    In another 100 years, some may look back and wonder how we could name schools after her….

    Without a doubt, if we don’t kill ourselves off first, there will still be an ample supply of foolish, gullible people 100 years from now.

  55. Grewgills says:

    @JKB:

    There are plenty of schools named after one of the greates mass murders of all time, Rachel Carson.

    Huh? Do you really equate pointing out that DDT and other polycyclic organic pesticides are environmental nightmares is equivalent to genocide and slavery? That seems like quite a leap.

    I am assuming you don’t realize that the ban is for ag use and that public health usage in the developing world is exempt, so your claim of her being a mass murderer or even a party to mass murder is ludicrous on it’s face.

    Additionally

    Malaria Foundation International states, “The outcome of the treaty is arguably better than the status quo going into the negotiations.For the first time, there is now an insecticide which is restricted to vector control only, meaning that the selection of resistant mosquitoes will be slower than before.”

    Which makes the all to often marched out anti-environmentalist claim even more ridiculous.

  56. @Michael C. Lucas: If you are going to tell me that white supremacists have not appropriated the Confederate battle flag, then I will suggest that you are not as well informed as you think you are.

  57. @al-Ameda:

    Here we are about 150 years after the Civil War and it seems that there is no consensus among White people in the South that the Confederate flag is a symbol of racial oppression, slavery, segregation and apartheid. At this point I’m not sure any amount of persuasion that can change minds on this issue. The South will remain an angry, resentful and aggrieved region of the country for years and decades to come.

    The only hope is that we slowly persuade the persuadable and, also, not perpetuate the problem with our kids.

    I am no Pollyanna, but things have gotten better, and will continue to do so. Still, progress is slow.

  58. Grewgills says:

    That white-washing (pun more or less intended) is made all the more difficult when one recognizes that the battle flag was a symbol of resistance to integration in the 1950s

    That has been the main bone of contention for me with the historicity argument. The Confederate flag had disappeared from above state houses and only returned in opposition to integration. If the flags had been their uninterrupted, rather than coming back as a second racist stand again veiled as states rights the argument might have half a leg to stand on.

  59. Michael C. Lucas says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Well Steven you might consider reading your document links again without presentism, and in context with the chronology of events before 1861. In fact if you haven’t, you should read Charles C. Mann’s 1491, 1492 and 1493 to begin with. If you’re really spunky begin with Western Civ and Mesopotamia…put expansion all in context with what past events led to the Civil War and you will certainly see a pattern. The war was over expansion and greed, economically and politically, slavery was not the sole central factor. Though certainly integral within the economics of that expansion, slavery was certainly political and racially integral as well. An often overlooked racist perspective is that of many northerners who were against sharing expansion, because they were opposed to an increase in the African population as well. Northerners are hardly ever considered within the white supremacists aspect as much as they should be. Its far more complex than generalizing solely over slavery. The arguments which focus on slavery and racism are because it reflects upon the sociopolitical issues which remained post war and those we still face socially today.

  60. anjin-san says:

    @ Michael C. Lucas

    You might want to take a look at Steven’s bio. Assuming you are the only educated person in a discussion is the hallmark of a second rate mind.

  61. al-Ameda says:

    @Michael C. Lucas:

    that makes you a blissful bigot and likely a racist just the same especially if you only consider that symbolism solely with white supremacy.

    Oh god, yet another variation of the current conservative talking point of “you’re a racist if you deign to mention racism.”

    So someone is a racist if they consider the Confederate flag to solely be a symbol of racism? It really is predominantly a symbol of racism, and White Southerners still try to finesse this by saying that it is a symbol of State’s Rights. Of course it is – the State’s Right of Southern states to main the institution of slavery.

  62. Grewgills says:

    @wr:
    If your only response is name calling it is easily dismissed. If you add facts, you show the reasonable reader, even one previously misinformed, that the other commenter was wrong and why they were wrong. To my mind, that is a much better tack to take.

  63. Michael C. Lucas says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: I am sure you believe that… http://www.rulen.com/kkk/ Not to mention the overwhelming documentation that proves my point.

  64. Michael C. Lucas says:

    @anjin-san: Well if you feel second rate that’s your problem.

  65. anjin-san says:

    @ Michael C. Lucas

    Mistaking a weak counterpunch for a blow that actually does damage is another sign. Sorry Charlie, you come off as a semi-bright 19 year old overcompensating for an inferiority complex. I think I have burned enough daylight on you.

  66. Grewgills says:

    @Michael C. Lucas:
    How do you read the documents Dr Taylor linked (with our without ‘presentism’) and not see that the preservation and expansion of slavery was central to Confederate secession? The direct quotes of the leaders of the Confederacy place it front and center.
    The resurgence of the Confederate flag on Southern state houses in opposition to integration also places it firmly in the racist symbol camp. How do you square that with your argument?

  67. Latino_in_Boston says:

    That’s exactly right, Dr. Joyner, the past is not dead, it’s not even past.

    Without the neo-confederate ideology that masks itself as “freedom” and “state’s rights”, I’m certain the United States would have a much better and more efficient safety net. We would have fixed some basic problems like healthcare a long time ago.

  68. Dorothy Davis says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    And who decides if the flag is a “symbol of pride”?

  69. al-Ameda says:

    @Dorothy Davis:

    And who decides if the flag is a “symbol of pride”?

    Each and every one of us decides if that flag (any flag) is a symbol of pride. Any symbol means different things to the beholder.

    To most “Northerners” and Blacks everywhere, the Confederate flag is a symbol of racism, to most White Southerners that flag symbolizes State’s Rights, the bravery of soldiers defending the Southern way of life, and a lot of other things except racism. No one can deny the power of that symbol.

  70. Tyrell says:

    Confederate flags are still seen around here, usually on cars. There are some towns that still have a Confederate memorial at the town square. Most of these were placed well before 1950. Some of the high schools have the team named “Rebels”. I haven’t heard anyone complaining, no one seems to notice or say anything about it.The public library’s Civil War books are usually checked out. When I was a child there were plenty of people who had known Civil War veterans. With all that and WWII just a few years over we heard a lot of history. Many of the small towns that are not close to the highways have been slower to change. When I was a child I was always begging my father to take me to battlefields and plantations. My favorite was Vicksburg. Another fascinating place was the actual location that John W. Booth was killed. One of my history teachers was Civil War hobbyist and brought in a lot of real artifacts: posters, swords, letters, and battlefield souvenirs. History seemed to come alive.

  71. Dorothy Davis says:

    Now I see the elephant in the room at this site: Elitist Liberalism, Califronia bred.

  72. @Grewgills:

    That has been the main bone of contention for me with the historicity argument. The Confederate flag had disappeared from above state houses and only returned in opposition to integration. If the flags had been their uninterrupted, rather than coming back as a second racist stand again veiled as states rights the argument might have half a leg to stand on.

    Indeed. In fact, the realization of this fact (that flag was not popular in an uninterrupted line of pride from the 1860s to the present, but rather was brought out in the 1950s in opposition to integration) that very much shaped my current views.

  73. @Dorothy Davis:

    Now I see the elephant in the room at this site: Elitist Liberalism, Califronia bred.

    This you will have to explain. I look forward to the elucidation of the theory.

  74. @Michael C. Lucas: Yes, the US flag has been abused in any number of ways. However, it was never solely and only flag dedicated to maintaining a government founded on the core principle that slavery was an essential institution and nor was it revived as a symbol opposing the equal treatment of all citizens.

    The US flag has a mixed history, the battle flag has a wholly and completely tarnished one.

  75. @Michael C. Lucas:Whether one reads the documents with presentism or not, the cold hard facts are quite clear: the founders of the CSA themselves saw their cause as creating a government dedicated to the preservation of slavery and their main argument with the north was that northern politicians wanted to end the institution.

    One does not need a specific historical point of view to discern this fact.

    The war was over expansion and greed, economically and politically, slavery was not the sole central factor.

    Yes, it was over economics. The central economic issue was slave labor, upon which the southern economies relied. Was slavery the sole issue? No. Was it the most important? Unequivocally yes. (I love how the defenders keep arguing that if slavery wasn’t the “sole” or only issue that somehow that undercuts the points being made. Yes, the Civil War was complex, but it boils down fundamentally to issues in and around slavery).

  76. Ron Beasley says:

    Human beings are by nature tribal animals. The Confederate flag is a tribal symbol. Was the civil war about slavery? Yes and no. Slavery was not economical and was going to end soon anyway. Tribes consider members of other tribes to be less than human – blacks from Africa were less than human. That attitude still exists today in the US of A. For over 20% of the US population Obama is not a legitimate President because he is from the wrong tribe.

  77. al-Ameda says:

    @Dorothy Davis:

    Now I see the elephant in the room at this site: Elitist Liberalism, Califronia bred.

    Would you care to explain that zero-content talking point?

    You actually believe that it is elite liberalism to see the Confederate flag as symbolic of racism? I would say it is common sense logic to see the Confederate flag as symbolic of the South’s desire to protect their institution of slavery, as well as the social and legal system of segregation and apartheid.

    The elephant in this room are Southerners and others who continue to deny that the Confederate flag was symbolic of racism.

  78. Michael C. Lucas says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: @Steven L. Taylor: Like most arrogant bigots with degrees the fly in the buttermilk is with academic fallacy when ones bias blinds the broader perspective of truth. You can’t see the forest for the trees. The cold hard fact is you cherry pick to suit your politically correct agenda. Its likely you wouldn’t have an opinion on the subject except to be a harpy putting your two cents in on the discussion to say you have an opinion. You do not care about facts or truth. The Confederate flag is red white and blue and no less a symbol of freedom than the Stars and Stripes, slavery was and is an equal opportunity offender. The United States Government is not always right, the 13th Amendment does not abolish slavery in fact it provides the caveat that the government can enslave those who are imprisoned by it. Slavery remained in American territories even after the war, Choctaw and Cherokee Indians had slaves years after the war in Oklahoma territory. Slavery exist today within the beltway of human trafficking around D.C.. So as your sitting there grasping your thoughts together hate mongering the Confederate flag, understand you are no less guilty for supporting a government that has condoned slavery from 1776 to the present. Slavery is inherent within human nature, there are masters and slaves and always will be between haves and have not’s… and if you think you’re above being either you would be incorrect. The only cure for hate is education, tolerance understanding and you’re not teaching the latter by blogging your rhetoric here.

  79. Tony W says:

    @Latino_in_Boston:

    Without the neo-confederate ideology that masks itself as “freedom” and “state’s rights”, I’m certain the United States would have a much better and more efficient safety net. We would have fixed some basic problems like healthcare a long time ago.

    Which is why we should get back to the idea of cutting loose what Michael Reynolds calls ‘America’s club foot’

  80. Tony W says:

    @Tyrell:

    History seemed to come alive.

    The white-South does seem to hold an immoral and romanticized view of that dark portion of our nation’s history. Maybe that’s a natural result of the racism everyone is talking about on this thread…

  81. Tony W says:

    @Michael C. Lucas: So the confederate flag is not a racist symbol because slavery exists outside its area of influence?

  82. Barry says:

    @JKB: “Let us stipulate that the preceding is Democrats of 1860 and does not inform, necessarily about the Democrats of today”

    Not ‘stipulate’, but rather ‘lead, repeated several times in the middle, and then end with’.

    Anybody who equates the Democratic Party of the of the Civil War era to today’s Democratic Party disqualifies themselves from serious consideration.

  83. Barry says:

    @JKB: “But people do name things foolishly. There are plenty of schools named after one of the greates mass murders of all time, Rachel Carson. Interestingly, her killings were/are targeted at those of African descent as well. ”

    Wrong. For those who are wondering wht JKB is lying about, there’s been a major (tobacco-funded) effort to paint Rachel Carson, the author of ‘Silent Spring’, as a murderer for her work’s influence on controlling the use of DDT.

    This has been extremely well debunked by Tim Lambert, on this blog ‘Deltoid’ (see: http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/?s=DDT).

  84. @Michael C. Lucas:

    The cold hard fact is you cherry pick to suit your politically correct agenda.

    Just because you keep saying “cherry pick” does not make it so. You have provided no comprehensive response to the documents provided and the arguments they contain.

    Really, despite the fact that you are arguing with my thesis, you seem to be confirming it: the Civil War was very much about slavery, but you are excusing it with statements like “Slavery is inherent within human nature, there are masters and slaves and always will be between haves and have not’s.” As such, I am not sure what your objection is to my position.

    Beyond that: why is my criticism of the battle flag’s deployment (especially in the face of its use as an anti-integration symbol in the 1950s) undercut by the fact that the US government has done horrible things under its flag. This is an argument to be more critical of the US, not an argument to excuse the CSA.

    The only cure for hate is education, tolerance understanding and you’re not teaching the latter by blogging your rhetoric here.

    What hatred do you suppose that I am promoting here? And what hate is ameliorated by displaying the battle flag?

  85. Kari Q says:

    I recently had a discussion with someone about the causes of the Civil War at another site. I linked the same documents that Steven did (I’m glad to know that I chose well), pointing out that these are the words of the actual leaders of the Confederacy saying that slavery was central to their cause.

    The response was that they only mentioned slavery as an “excuse” for an action that they had already decided on. I asked what real reason could possibly have made a less worthy explanation than their chosen one of slavery? I never heard; they decided to stop talking to me because I had “attitude.” I still wonder: What do those people think the Confederacy was planning that was so bad that they would rather say they were fighting to support and expand slavery?

    I presume the real reason was tribalism that would not allow them to admit that the ancestors who fought for the Confederacy were fighting for a government based on and determined to continue slavery. I’m afraid that until we get past that tribalism far enough for them to admit that the leaders of the Confederacy were not pure souls defending liberty but flawed human beings defending slavery, we will never even begin to break through the denial about the symbol of the flag.

    Oh – and the DDT thing? Whether or not DDT was fatal to birds, the fact remains that it is extremely toxic, at very low concentration, to fish, including trout, pike, bass, salmon, and walleye. Since my conservative friends are also the most dedicated fishers that I know, I like to bring this fact up periodically.

  86. thomm says:

    As someone born in NJ and moved to jackson and Lee’s hometown and burial place when I was 12, I always enjoyed the squirm when using simple follow up questions to the various excuses given by csa apologists. Questions such as, “states rights to do what?” or, “Why would those tarrifs be so ruinous?”; and my favorite, “what property right was so important to start a war over?” (the traitors did fire the first shot remember). As we see above even source documents are waved away one way or another, but probing the basis ofbthe excuses creates difficulties. For all of the complaints of Lincoln’s tyranny, he was amazingly merciful to the south. Lee, Davis, and others did not swing from the end of a rope like many other rebels had and have throughout history. Even the perpetrator of the fort pillow massacre was allowed to return home. Oh..and if slavery was so close to being doomed…why was there a low level civil war in the midwest prior to secession? Bloody Kansas comes to mind. It would have been artificially propped up for agriculture for at least another gen and a half and for households much longer.

  87. al-Ameda says:

    @Michael C. Lucas:

    The Confederate flag is red white and blue and no less a symbol of freedom than the Stars and Stripes

    I’m sure that most Blacks would disagree with you. But then again, like so many arrogant people, I’m cherry picking on what to speculate on here.

  88. Pinky says:

    Coates is entitled to state what the Confederate flag represents to him. He doesn’t get to change what it represents to others. He has no interest in agreeing to disagree; his only cause is to get others to see things his way. That doesn’t work. Symbols don’t have objective meaning. If in a hundred years, some movement or organization wants to use a swastika as a symbol for something they respect, I wouldn’t have the moral authority to say they can’t. I’m not even sure how to put this; it’s one of those things that’s so patently obvious that I don’t know how to enunciate it. To claim that your offense overrides another person’s lack of offense is an act of bullying. It’s an act of pride. We shouldn’t deliberately antagonize others, but we can’t be held responsible for others’ opinions where no offense is intended.

  89. Tyrell says:

    @Tony W: Well, I don’t know about the romanticized aspect. Battles always seemed interesting to kids our age back then, did not matter what war. My personal interest has always been the War of 1812. Most adults would not be able to tell one fact about it, but the US was almost defeated. For a short war it had a large impact on the future of this country. As usual, a lot of people stepped to lead, particularly James Madison. And Andrew Jackson, who led a motley crew in one of the most incredible victories in military history at New Orleans.
    “In 1814 we took a little trip…we fired our guns and the British kept a ‘comin,” (Horton)

  90. Tony W says:

    @Tyrell: And it inspired our national anthem!

  91. Grewgills says:

    @Pinky:
    The problem with that is offense was intended when the Confederate flag made it’s resurgence as a symbol of the South. It was explicitly a statement that one race was inferior to another and should be kept separate. That was more than enough for me to want to distance myself from it as a teen born and raised in the deep South, though I still bought into some of the other mythologizing about the ‘War of Northern Aggression’ until I was in my 20s and had read more.

  92. SC_Birdflyte says:

    @Michael C. Lucas: This kind of obfuscation from one of my students would get an “F” for sloppiness and selective use of facts. So says one who teaches in South Carolina, the state that puts “deep” in the term “Deep South.”

  93. Matt Bernius says:

    @Pinky:

    If in a hundred years, some movement or organization wants to use a swastika as a symbol for something they respect, I wouldn’t have the moral authority to say they can’t.

    But what if someone starts using the Nazi Swastika (versus the san scrit character) today? Especially if its in relation to an anti-Isreal cause? Or how about if it was used to represent “German Pride”?

    Because that’s what happened when the Stars and Bars returned to prominence in the 1950’s and 1960’s. It was being used to signal resistance to the end of institutionalized Racial Discrimination. And even if we were to say it’s come to represent a pride in “Southern History”, then it still invokes the slavery issue as well.

  94. Pinky says:

    @Matt Bernius: It’s a common thing to see symbols or words change meanings. I can think of several that have been “taken back” – previous insults, now espoused by the group they were directed at. This is different, but I think the intention is similar. Or at least I have no reason to assume bad faith on the part of those who say that their intention is to honor the South.

  95. mannning says:

    As a Southerner I hold opposing views of the Confederate Flag: it is a symbol of the spirit and pride of the men who fought in the war; and, it is a reviled symbol of the slavery and racism that permeated the Old South. I can appreciate both aspects very well indeed, from a family history perspective in particular.

    However, for a large majority of Americans it is the latter view that prevails, hence I do not support raising the Confederate Flag in public ceremonies or emblazing it on publically seen surfaces for any reason. That this is done here in Richmond yearly, with the monuments to Lee, Stuart and Jackson placed under Confederate honor guards with the flag flying, is an event to be avoided if possible. The spiritual symbolism will not die easily here.

  96. anjin-san says:

    @ Pinky

    previous insults, now espoused by the group they were directed at.

    When you start seeing black folks with confederate flag stickers on their cars, let us know.

  97. Michael C. Lucas says:

    @SC_Birdflyte: This is not a paper, but my position is soundly based on the factual chronology of documents and events, let alone historical and anthropological method. So keep flying! Otherwise be objective and question what is it you do not understand, I will gladly clarify what you subjectively cannot comprehend.

  98. al-Ameda says:

    @Michael C. Lucas:

    Otherwise be objective and question what is it you do not understand, I will gladly clarify what you subjectively cannot comprehend.

    Okay, let me inquire: How is that seemingly you cannot comprehend how so many people have come to believe that the Confederate Flag is primarily and predominantly a symbol of the struggle to preserve the institution of Slavery, as well as the social and legal structures that supported and sustained Slavery, and later segregation and apartheid?

  99. mantis says:

    @mannning:

    it is a symbol of the spirit and pride of the men who fought in the war

    There is no spirit or pride in treason in defense of slavery. There is only shame, and the delusions of those incapable of same.

  100. Raider says:

    The Battle flag is a piece of American history.

    Johnny Reb fought bravely with a lot of spirit on the battlefield. The union army had great respect for them because they were no joke. The majority of southerners were not fighting and dying to preserve slavery. They were fighting because the Union army had invaded various southern states.

    To bad there’s no serious fighting spirit like there was in the civil war days. No, we just continue to watch and allow the usurped Federal government to continue suppressing and stealing the rights and wealth away from the American people.

  101. mantis says:

    @Raider:

    Johnny Reb fought bravely with a lot of spirit on the battlefield. The union army had great respect for them because they were no joke.

    Same goes for the Nazis. They still fought for evil.

    The majority of southerners were not fighting and dying to preserve slavery.

    Yes, they were.

    They were fighting because the Union army had invaded various southern states

    After the south started the war. Oops, you forgot that detail!

    To bad there’s no serious fighting spirit like there was in the civil war days. No, we just continue to watch and allow the usurped Federal government to continue suppressing and stealing the rights and wealth away from the American people.

    Yes it’s too bad you and the rest of the cowards like you don’t have the “spirit” to start killing your fellow citizens. Actually, scratch that. It’s a good thing you are chickensh!ts.

  102. @Raider:

    To bad there’s no serious fighting spirit like there was in the civil war days. No, we just continue to watch and allow the usurped Federal government to continue suppressing and stealing the rights and wealth away from the American people.

    And this, in part, is part of my argument about why romanticizing the Civil War and the Southern Cause is problematic: it pretends like politics ought to be reduced to some sort of fight, and especially that contemporary politics can be understood as the feds impinging on states’ rights.

    After, if only we had a “serious fighting spirit” like we had back “in the civil war day” How much better we would be!

  103. Raider says:

    Mantis and Steve, as far as this present time goes, enjoy watching, because watching is exactly all that’s being done, the private Federal Reserve continue printing out of thin air, 85 billion dollars a month of so called money which is not backed by anything.

    When the resulting American financial collapse occurs because of the Rothschild controlled Federal Reserve, will you still be content with your belief that watching was better than fighting back?

  104. @Raider:

    “the Rothschild controlled Federal Reserve”

    *sigh*

  105. anjin-san says:

    The Battle flag is a piece of American history.

    So are the Japanese internment camps. Bad history. Something to be learned, but not venerated.

  106. @Michael C. Lucas: The thing is: it is wholly unclear on what your actual argument is, save that you are in some way defending the battle flag.

    If you want to argue, as an objective fact, that there has long been slavery in the world and, therefore, there were historical antecedents to the development of slavery in the American south, then we have no argument. If you want to say that the slaver-holders at the time did not see any moral quandary with their slave-holding, I will agree that many did not. However, we have plenty of evidence to show that many (two prominent examples would be Washington, who acted honorably at least upon his death and Jefferson).

    However, none of that, nor anything else you have written, is justification for extolling that era or its symbols. And, further, you are utterly avoiding the fact that the symbols in question went dormant and then re-emerged int he 1950s as symbols of opposition to integration. Or, to put it another way, symbols in support of the notion that whites were superior to blacks.

  107. @anjin-san: Indeed: as is the lynch mob’s noose and the burning cross.

  108. Matt Bernius says:

    @Michael C. Lucas:

    This is not a paper, but my position is soundly based on the factual chronology of documents and events, let alone historical and anthropological method.

    All of this is a sourceless assertion in the face of conflicting *source documents* used to make a case against your position. No offense sir, but the *sharable* facts on paper beat the *unsubstantiated* facts in your head.

    Without actually bringing sourced evidence all you have is your *opinion.* And from the utter lack of evidence you’ve provided thus far (not to mention your general lack of a coherent argument), it seems that said opinion isn’t particularly grounded.

  109. al-Ameda says:

    @Raider:

    When the resulting American financial collapse occurs because of the Rothschild controlled Federal Reserve, will you still be content with your belief that watching was better than fighting back?

    LOL!
    Did you know that the Jews control an entire continent? Antarctica – it’s nothing but icebergs!

  110. mannning says:

    @mantis:

    You have voiced your opinion, but you are most uncharitable to the many families that sent their men to fight a war they didn’t want, didn’t start, and didn’t care about the issue of maintaining slavery, but did care about their own land and their own people. They did not view themselves as fighting for slavery at all, these farmers and mountain boys. Yet they fought hard for their perception of a southern homeland, and a way of life much if not most of the time entirely divorced from the slave issue.

    It is no sin to honor their courage, their fortitude, and their dedication to the South. Johnny Reb was not a slave owner; that was the upper class in Old South society, the senior officers, the merchants and the plantation owners. And they died in droves, did Johnny Reb, and others came home horribly wounded and maimed. Southerners recognize all of this and salute their ancestors for what they contributed to the South: themselves. Slavery was not uppermost in Johnny Reb’s mind.

  111. Ernieyeball says:

    @Raider: so called money which is not backed by anything.

    Apparently you do not cash the paychecks you get (if you work) since the so called money they represent is not backed by anything. Instead of letting them pile up just sign them over to me. I will be glad to take all that “so called money” off your hands.

  112. Ernieyeball says:

    @mannning:..but did care about their own land and their own people.

    Before the Insurrectionists started the war “their own land” was The United States of America” and “their own people” were United States Citizens.

  113. Ernieyeball says:

    @al-Ameda: …nothing but icebergs!!!

    Somebody call David Letterman! This guy is a real comedian!

  114. anjin-san says:

    It is no sin to honor their courage, their fortitude, and their dedication to the South

    Hmm. I’m a Californian. Lived here my whole life, and I really and truly love this amazing place. I am a lucky dude to be able to make my home here.

    But I’m an American. My dedication is to America. Not to California, not to the west. To America.

  115. MarkedMan says:

    @mannning: I don’t pretend to know what was in the hearts and minds of the farmers and clerks who went off and fought and died. But Manning’s viewpoint seems very valid to me. Arguing about the confederacy or the confederate flag assuming that everyone is a history buff and a logician seems pointless. Today there are millions of people across the South who just view the flag as a banner for people who are on the same team, from the same place. Many of those who are ignorant about the greater freight these symbols carry mean no harm by hoisting it high. They don’t know, and aren’t motivated to complicate the issue with history they feel is no longer relevant. My own opinion is that it is right to argue that it is too soon to declare it unlinked from that despicable symbolism, but it would betray a willful ignorance of my own to state that all those who wave the banner de facto hold the views it originally symbolized.

  116. Michael C. Lucas says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: A common fallacy of academics over the past 60 years has been downplaying Confederate perspectives as lost cause distortions, which is an overt generalization in order to vilify the Confederacy. There are numerous archives of letters and documentation from Southerners, and Northerners, which argue the war was not over slavery. Slavery is more of a red herring of the war, post war revisionism intent on blaming slavery and African Americans in order to have reunification. Subsequently rolled over into the 20th century with Jim Crow, eugenics and white supremacy as a national ideology. There has never been a break in Confederate remembrance or the Confederate flags use… Todays civil rights issues are even more diverse, the bigoted roles are equally visable and subjective rhetoric is currently commonplace promoting hatred for the Confederacy, Confederate symbolism, and Southern descendants who for the overwhelming majority do not advocate white supremacy. It’s also rather hypocritical to accept the unity within certain ethnic groups, African American, Chinese, Hispanic, etc… but then condemn Caucasians who consider maintaining ethnic unity without the same leniency. The Confederate flag does not symbolize slavery or racism for the majority of Confederate descendants. Just because some people who advocate racism wear FUBU and Air Jordan shoes, doesn’t make FUBU or Air Jordan shoes racist though they were primarily marketed for African Americans. Not every southerner who had a Confederate flag in the 1950’s carried it specifically as an anti-integration symbol though they surely identified with the States Rights argument.

    Now Slavery happens even today, whether one considers it is immoral or amoral, it’s an inherent naturally human phenomenon to dominate over another for the purpose of whatever ones survival depends or desires. The Colonies and United States had been formed from slavery Confederates were bound with it in that development. Their agenda was to defend themselves from persistent “Northern Aggression” and independence for development and national growth, which slave power had been increasingly strangulated from sharing with the rest of the nation because of anti-southern, anti-slavery factions legislation. By the 1850’s the Republicans had become overtly radicalized against Southern political power. Republicans were intent on controlling the government according to their ideology no matter what the cost. That Slavery was a factor is without dispute, we may agree it was entwined with several factors, culminating under States rights. Our views differ otherwise though considering slavery as the central impetus for the war, which was over expansion of power, such as all other wars prior. 400 years of American expansion began with Europeans expansion of mercantilism, monarchial domination, which was inherited by Colonial Americans after the Revolution, facilitating the war of 1812, Mexican war, Indian Wars and the Civil War. This expansionism was reinvented in the late 19th century as imperialism. African slavery did not produce these ideologies or conflicts but was a product of and commodity for expansionism, dominated first by African kingdoms, Islamic held North Africans and Semitic tribes, Asian, Indonesian and lastly European conquest. The foremost factor is expansionism and the sectional divide over who would have control of the nations development and subsequent wealth, superseding the moral piety that culturally defined United States sectionalism, as with all changing times sectionalism continues today.

  117. @MarkedMan:

    Today there are millions of people across the South who just view the flag as a banner for people who are on the same team, from the same place. Many of those who are ignorant about the greater freight these symbols carry mean no harm by hoisting it high.

    Except they aren’t ignorant, saver being willfully so. There is no American citizen who doesn’t have access to basic information on the Civil War and its most fundamental elements. IT takes willfully saying it was about “states’ rights” without filling in the blank as to what right was paramount to claim ignorance on this topic.

  118. @Michael C. Lucas:

    A common fallacy of academics over the past 60 years has been downplaying Confederate perspectives as lost cause distortions,

    I am confused. When I cite source documents written by confederates at the time, I am cherry-picking. Now I am ignoring confederate perspectives?

  119. @Michael C. Lucas:

    It’s also rather hypocritical to accept the unity within certain ethnic groups, African American, Chinese, Hispanic, etc… but then condemn Caucasians who consider maintaining ethnic unity without the same leniency.

    This clarifies where you are coming from. You are one of these heritage/”kith and kin” types who is quite concerned about white identity, yes?

  120. @Michael C. Lucas:

    The Confederate flag does not symbolize slavery or racism for the majority of Confederate descendants. Just because some people who advocate racism wear FUBU and Air Jordan shoes, doesn’t make FUBU or Air Jordan shoes racist though they were primarily marketed for African Americans.

    This is a monumental non sequitur.

    Do you have some information that would suggest that Air Jordan’s have ever been used consistently as symbol for white power? We know this to be the case for the battle flag.

  121. @Michael C. Lucas:

    Now Slavery happens even today, whether one considers it is immoral or amoral, it’s an inherent naturally human phenomenon to dominate over another for the purpose of whatever ones survival depends or desires.

    Even if I stipulate your assertion, does that mean we cannot have a moral assessment of that action?

    Procreation is a human instinct required for survival of the species. Does that condone rape? (even though it happens daily?).

    Food and water are needed for survival, may I kill to take your food and water?

  122. @Michael C. Lucas:

    Our views differ otherwise though considering slavery as the central impetus for the war, which was over expansion of power, such as all other wars prior.

    Yes, because you are ignoring the documentary evidence, among other things,

    But even if slavery was only one of several factors in what the CSA saw as “states’ rights” (never mind that most of the other rights in question linked back to slavery) then romanticizing the CSA is to romanticize a regime that was pro-slavery. What would be the justification of doing that?

  123. mantis says:

    @Michael C. Lucas:

    Slavery is more of a red herring of the war, post war revisionism intent on blaming slavery and African Americans in order to have reunification.

    Written with no awareness of the irony…

  124. Rob in CT says:

    I’d just like to point out that the figure 5% of the white population owned slaves obscures more than it reveals.

    We’re talking about heads of households at the time of the census here, folks. Not % of the white population that would ever own/control slaves. Take a family that owned a slave, consisting of father, mother and 3 kids. Only daddy would be counted as a slave holder – 1 of the 5 whites in the household.

    If memory serves (I’ll have to check my copy of The Battle Cry of Freedom at home), something like 1/4 or 1/3 of the white population owned a slave or lived in a household the owned slaves. If you figure some who didn’t own or grow up with slaves aspired to own some in the future, you being to realize the magnitude of the distortion contained in the 5% statistic.

  125. pylon says:

    Just because some people who advocate racism wear FUBU and Air Jordan shoes, doesn’t make FUBU or Air Jordan shoes racist though they were primarily marketed for African Americans.

    Oops. I think your bigotry is showing.

  126. anjin-san says:

    @Michael C. Lucas:

    Earlier in the thread you were telling Steven his arguments were invalid due to lack of basic education, and directing his towards Western Civ 101. Now you are arguing he is wrong because he is an academic.

    Is the comedy intentional?

  127. Grewgills says:

    @Michael C. Lucas:

    There are numerous archives of letters and documentation from Southerners, and Northerners, which argue the war was not over slavery.

    If these are so numerous link them. You have been shown multiple documents and could be shown many from the leaders of the Confederacy that show that slavery was the central issue that caused them to break from the United States. You have replied with opinion and hearsay rather than anything concrete.
    I am certain that some who fought for the Confederacy did so to protect home and family, but the reason there was a war that necessitated them fighting for home and family was because their leaders wanted to preserve the institution of slavery. To ignore this is to be willfully ignorant.

    There has never been a break in Confederate remembrance or the Confederate flags use…

    You also ignore the timing of the resurgence of the Confederate flag as a symbol of Southern unity and states rights (this time the right of states to continue an apartheid system). The Confederate flag was not on statehouses in unbroken remembrance since the war*. It disappeared from use, only to return in response to racial integration being forced on an unwilling South in the 50s and 60s. It returned to popular use shortly after Brown vs Board of Education. It was raised over the South Carolina state house in 1962, Georgia incorporated the battle flag into its state flag in 1956, it was raised over Ole Miss specifically as a statement against desegregation, To ignore all of this is again to be willfully ignorant.

    Now Slavery happens even today, whether one considers it is immoral or amoral, it’s an inherent naturally human phenomenon to dominate over another for the purpose of whatever ones survival depends or desires.

    That in itself is an inherently amoral statement. Beyond that, just because an immoral action continues does not divorce symbols of that immoral act without from their immoral roots. Again this requires willful ignorance.
    You have displayed a remarkable imperviousness to facts in this thread, so I have no doubt you will continue to ignore all facts that don’t fit your world view, while simultaneously failing to contribute anything beyond your unsupported assertions.

    * Note also that it was a battle flag (more specifically a navy jack), NOT the flag that flew over the Confederate States state house.

  128. @anjin-san:

    Earlier in the thread you were telling Steven his arguments were invalid due to lack of basic education, and directing his towards Western Civ 101. Now you are arguing he is wrong because he is an academic.

    Is the comedy intentional?

    It is rather confusing, isn’t it?

  129. Grewgills says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Arguing about the confederacy or the confederate flag assuming that everyone is a history buff and a logician seems pointless. Today there are millions of people across the South who just view the flag as a banner for people who are on the same team, from the same place. Many of those who are ignorant about the greater freight these symbols carry mean no harm by hoisting it high. They don’t know, and aren’t motivated to complicate the issue with history they feel is no longer relevant.

    Ignorance is a feeble excuse. I grew up in Alabama in the 70s and 80s and I was able to find the facts and knew what the civil war was really about, despite the mythologizing that was common then and continues today. Today there has been far more public controversy surrounding the flag, so the excuse is weaker still.

  130. Matt Bernius says:

    @mannning:

    It is no sin to honor their courage, their fortitude, and their dedication to the South. Johnny Reb was not a slave owner; that was the upper class in Old South society, the senior officers, the merchants and the plantation owners.

    But again, if we believe the modern conservative concept of “Trickle Down Economics/I Built This” the fabric of a society is intimately tied to it’s upper class and the wealth that they generate.

    And if that wealth was being created and maintained through slavery — remember it’s that wealth that makes the rest of the society possible — then regardless of whether or no Johnny Reb owned slaves himself, unless he had totally gone Galt and didn’t take money or goods from anyone else, his way of life was enabled through the web of slave economics.

  131. Michael C. Lucas says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Michael C. Lucas:

    A common fallacy of academics over the past 60 years has been downplaying Confederate perspectives as lost cause distortions,

    Steven says > “I am confused. When I cite source documents written by confederates at the time, I am cherry-picking. Now I am ignoring confederate perspectives?”<

    Yes Steven it is clear that you’re dazed and confused, by the source documents you cite and cherry-pick quotes by your presentism bias, you’re only concerned with slavery. In my opinion it appears as many do, that you perceive slavery out of context with its usage, and a consideration of the signers reasoning and overall theme of the document within the context of the discourse. How much of a threat to them the Republicans support of Radical Abolitionists presented, it would be as if Hamas support for Al-Qaeda, ran for our executive office.

    Michael C. Lucas: blockquote>It’s also rather hypocritical to accept the unity within certain ethnic groups, African American, Chinese, Hispanic, etc… but then condemn Caucasians who consider maintaining ethnic unity without the same leniency.

    Steven says > “This clarifies where you are coming from. You are one of these heritage/”kith and kin” types who is quite concerned about white identity, yes?”

    Your latter comment clarifies your bigotry in stereotyping me within certain parameters because of my ancestry and ethnicity that you cannot reason objectively.

    Michael C. Lucas: blockquote>The Confederate flag does not symbolize slavery or racism for the majority of Confederate descendants. Just because some people who advocate racism wear FUBU and Air Jordan shoes, doesn’t make FUBU or Air Jordan shoes racist though they were primarily marketed for African Americans.

    Steven says > “This is a monumental non sequitur. Do you have some information that would suggest that Air Jordan’s have ever been used consistently as symbol for white power? We know this to be the case for the battle flag.”

    Here is an example of Steven’s inability to comprehend what he reads. What part of “some people” suggests white people are the only racist referenced to in my comment. This clearly denotes that you view racism and supremacism only as a white phenomenon, which is monumentally false.

    Michael C. Lucas: blockquote>Now Slavery happens even today, whether one considers it is immoral or amoral, it’s an inherent naturally human phenomenon to dominate over another for the purpose of whatever ones survival depends or desires.

    Steven says > “Even if I stipulate your assertion, does that mean we cannot have a moral assessment of that action? Procreation is a human instinct required for survival of the species. Does that condone rape? (even though it happens daily?). Food and water are needed for survival, may I kill to take your food and water?”

    By all means have a moral assessment; just be objective and fair-minded in observing the opposing moral assessments of those whom you assess. Confederates were no less moral, immoral or amoral than Unionists. Tragically whether its rape or slavery both are condoned on a daily basis in numerous complex forms, of mans inhumanity to man and women, which extends even into the quote free world. Your bigotry is no less inhumane than any other persons. Yes, food and water are necessary for survival if you have no other recourse you may try to kill me, though at your own peril…

  132. @Michael C. Lucas: Instead of pretending like making assertions about cherry picking is some a mode of argumentation, perhaps you could deign to deal with the actual words of the confederates in question, such as the above quoted “Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery– the greatest material interest of the world.”

    What does that mean (I mean aside from the plain English language reading of the words).

    You cannot refute the evidence by simply asserting that I am cherry picking. You actually have to make an argument that deals with the words cited.

  133. @Michael C. Lucas:

    In my opinion it appears as many do, that you perceive slavery out of context with its usage,

    And what context is it that you are concerned with? That the whites at the time (at least some of them) thought it was morally acceptable is not disputed. However, that does not take away what it was: one human being owning another as property and all that that entailed. And it wasn’t as if “in context” the evils of the institution were not clear to many.

  134. @Michael C. Lucas:

    Your latter comment clarifies your bigotry in stereotyping me within certain parameters because of my ancestry and ethnicity that you cannot reason objectively.

    I am responding to your words. Feel free to correct me (although it does not appear to me that you are actually refuting my claim).

    My assessment has noting to do with you color or ancestry and everything to do with your ideas.

  135. @Michael C. Lucas:

    Here is an example of Steven’s inability to comprehend what he reads. What part of “some people” suggests white people are the only racist referenced to in my comment. This clearly denotes that you view racism and supremacism only as a white phenomenon, which is monumentally false.

    What, pray tell, does this have to do with Air Jordans and whether or not the battle flag has been consistently used by white supremacists?

    That there are bigots of varying hues does not excuse white supremacy.

  136. @Michael C. Lucas: BTW, as best as I can discern (and it is a guess because your arguments are difficult to follow) you seem to saying that since slavery existed before the confederacy that, therefore, they really didn’t know any better and we should judge them on their own terms.

    Even if we accept such a position, that is no argument for romanticizing those symbols in the modern era nor does it excuse their usage as anti-Civil Rights symbols in the 50s and 60s.

  137. Grewgills says:

    @Michael C. Lucas:
    If he is indeed cherry picking, then it should be quite easy for you to document with many other sources that he is incorrect. I await your barrage of links to source documents that show how wrong we are.

  138. anjin-san says:

    @ Michael C. Lucas

    Please tell me what you are smoking. I want to make sure to avoid it…

  139. slimslowslider says:

    Flaggers > Brithers

  140. Matt Bernius says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    [Michael C. Lucas] seem to saying that since slavery existed before the confederacy that, therefore, they really didn’t know any better and we should judge them on their own terms.

    What this line of thought fails to acknowledge is that the act of Secession was not simply the continuation of an existing line of slavery. It was a radical political act that self-consciously reaffirmed the institution of slavery (see the source documents that Steven linked to) at a time when other areas of the US were attempting to stop the spread of/end the practice.

    In that historical moment, when faced with the decision of preserving the Union or preserving the Institution of slavery, the leaders of the Confederacy chose the latter. And that moment was a time where clearly others “knew better.”

    So it’s a #logicfail as well.

  141. @Matt Bernius: I concur. I am just trying to be as charitable as possible in terms of trying to discern what the alleged argument is supposed to be.

  142. Rob in CT says:

    Plus, it ignores the expansionist ambitions of many of the Firebreathers. There were dreams of taking over Mexico, Cuba and other Central American/Carribean territories, as they were “ideally suited for slavery.”

    They wanted to expand their slave empire. And it was the refusal of the Republican party to allow further expansion that set off secession. Not “we will keep what we have” oh no. It was “this is a positive good – the best way to organize a society available, and we must expand it. If you try to stop us, we will foment rebellion.”

    Tossers.

  143. Rob in CT says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    The argument is nothing more than “stop being mean to me because I defend horrible things. I’m a good person and you’re a bigot because you disagree with me. Also, your cherry picked facts are oppressing me, maaaaaan.”

  144. @Rob in CT: The expansion issue is rather important, yes.

    @Rob in CT: So it would seem.

  145. Matt Bernius says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: @Steven L. Taylor:
    I understand the attempt at charity. But the “continuation” of slavery excuse just was one I couldn’t let pass.

  146. @Matt Bernius: Fair enough.

    Partly I am just trying to figure out what the actual argument is alleged to be.

  147. Michael C. Lucas says:

    @Matt Bernius:

    [Michael C. Lucas] seem to saying that since slavery existed before the confederacy that, therefore, they really didn’t know any better and we should judge them on their own terms.

    Matt says > “What this line of thought fails to acknowledge is that the act of Secession was not simply the continuation of an existing line of slavery. It was a radical political act that self-consciously reaffirmed the institution of slavery (see the source documents that Steven linked to) at a time when other areas of the US were attempting to stop the spread of/end the practice.In that historical moment, when faced with the decision of preserving the Union or preserving the Institution of slavery, the leaders of the Confederacy chose the latter. And that moment was a time where clearly others “knew better.” So it’s a #logicfail as well.”

    Where Matt’s line of thought fails, is by not considering the Northern interest in expansion regardless of where slavery existed elsewhere. Northerners were more than compliant with slavery interest elsewhere and put their investments into the very ventures of Mexico and Cuba as much as anyone else. Slavery was constitutionally protected within the United States, so no matter what other States citizenry did they had no authority to change things, and any attempt to was unconstitutional. Radical acts beget radical defiance, Northern support of radical abolition made very clear their tyranny and hostility. The physical hostility of Northern radicals was not within the view of charity and presented little recourse for Southerners to just surrender 400 years of an institution they were intrenched within, that had provided a viable means for our nations development and made the Industrialism of the North possible and wealthy. Had Northern zealots been more considerate and less hostile there may not have been a war. Another fail is in not considering the leniency from which slavery had evolved from when it began. But the presentism and ethnocentric bias maintains ignorance and bigotry as the comments on this blog prove.

  148. pylon says:

    Shorter Lucas: The South should have gotten to keep their slaves.

  149. Rob in CT says:

    @pylon:

    Yup. In the end, it boils down to an argument that the leaders of the North, particularly its abolitionists, were just so unfair and unreasonable to oppose the expansion of slavery (which, lest we forget, was their actual political aim, since they fully understood that abolition wasn’t on the table via the normal political process), and hope to see its end.

    The argument of course ignores the moderate attempts made to phase out slavery, both by native Southerners and by Northerners. It ignores the general attitude of the Founding Fathers towards slavery (sad, but temporarily necessary evil we should hope to rid ourselves of). It ignores the radicals of the South who did more than their fair share of provoking (whether it be via the Fugitive Slave law, the attempted coup in Kansas, the beating of Sumner and the firebreather response thereto), the repeated demands to be able to bring their slaves anywhere in the Union (overriding local abolition laws), backed by the Dred Scott decision. It places the blame for the war on the North, despite the South’s aggressive acts (including, but not limited to, taking over US military installations by force, culminating in the assault on Ft. Sumter).

    One might even say Lucas is cherrypicking. But that would be a presentist, ethnocentric, bigotted thing for me to say. LOL.

  150. Rob in CT says:

    It is amusing to see someone accusing someone who keeps citing primary source material as “presentist.” Yeah, ok. One can rather easily read the Lincoln side the the L-D debates, for instance, and get a solid sense for the political debate in the North circa 1858. One can read the speeches of various politicians. One can read De Bow’s review. And so forth. And one can do that, understanding that everyone involved was invested in white supremacy and lived their lives in a country that condoned and protected slavery. One can do all of that and condemn the firebreather’s decision to rebel and establish the CSA, without being guilty of “presentism.” My evidence? LOTS OF PEOPLE BACK THEN DID PRECISELY THAT.

    Lastly, this is breathtaking:

    Another fail is in not considering the leniency from which slavery had evolved from when it began

  151. @Rob in CT: Indeed. it is pretty stunning all around.

  152. Grewgills says:

    @Michael C. Lucas:

    Northern support of radical abolition made very clear their tyranny and hostility. The physical hostility of Northern radicals was not within the view of charity and presented little recourse for Southerners to just surrender 400 years of an institution they were intrenched within, that had provided a viable means for our nations development and made the Industrialism of the North possible and wealthy. Had Northern zealots been more considerate and less hostile there may not have been a war.

    So if the North just hadn’t been so mean about trying to stop the continuation and expansion of slavery there MIGHT not have been a war?

  153. Michael C. Lucas says:

    @Rob in CT: Oh Rob, In the end it boils down to your failure to consider other resources, which condemn your position, and the leaders of the North including Abolitionist Zealots who were bent on seizing greed of power and expansion for themselves and not solely the abolition of slavery, but the end of Southern political and economic power. If you ignore all the other sources and perspectives then you will never understand the fuller picture. American Slavery of the 1850’s was not the same as slavery of the 1550’s. Evidence demonstrates the complexity of the circumstances, that overall those still holding on to the institution of slavery had taken many strides towards improvement, enlightened empathy for humanity and emancipation prior to the war. The revolutionary war was a motivating factor for much of that, even in the south. That does not excuse the inhumanity of it or those individuals guilty of abuse. Neither does it excuse abolitionist zealotry for murder or the needless carnage and pillaging over Northern expansion for domination of the nation because of Northern greed. My evidence? LOTS OF PEOPLE BACK THEN DID PRECISELY THAT.

  154. Rob in CT says:

    I’ve read forthright defenses of slavery from the time, Michael. I considered them. I rejected them. As did various folks in the United States, North and South, before the Civil War.

    I’ve considered modern defenses of the CSA and/or the Old South before. I haven’t ignored them. I’ve considered and rejected them.

    American Slavery of the 1850′s was not the same as slavery of the 1550s

    Slavery where in the 1550s? Not in what became the United States. What are you talking about?

    As for it getting better in the US over time, oh bullshit. You’ve been taken in by the self-justifications of slavers. All the talk about rubbing off the rough edges was just that: talk. The people who walked the walk freed their slaves or at least put some effort into finding solutions to the problem. They were, unfortunately, few in number.

    The positions of those in the planter class on slavery hardened (got worse) from 1820 to 1860, not the other way around. Talk of figuring out a way to get rid of the institution was replaced by arguing that it was a positive good and the proper basis for superior society.

    LOTS OF PEOPLE BACK THEN DID PRECISELY THAT

    Oh, how cute. You think reversing my statement is an argument.

    I wrote that specifically about your absurd charge of “presentism.” I am not accusing you of presentism, Michael, so turning that around on me is pointless. I know full well lots of folks in the 1850s thought slavery was just fine. This has nothing to do with my argument. I’m pointing out that one need not project 21st century values back on the 19th century in order to side with Lincoln (who did not, of course, hold 21st century values). Indeed, Lincoln and his fellow Republicans were elected in 1860.

  155. @Rob in CT:

    I wrote that specifically about your absurd charge of “presentism.” I am not accusing you of presentism, Michael, so turning that around on me is pointless. I know full well lots of folks in the 1850s thought slavery was just fine. This has nothing to do with my argument. I’m pointing out that one need not project 21st century values back on the 19th century in order to side with Lincoln (who did not, of course, hold 21st century values). Indeed, Lincoln and his fellow Republicans were elected in 1860.

    Exactly.

  156. Michael C. Lucas says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: The charge of presentism has nothing to do specifically with the slavery issue and the Confederacy, except in your mind, but its your view of the past in general. Ignoring other perspectives from the period in question, because you’re satisfied with your thesis, tells me that you have a presentists perspective. Well the past was not established with such clarity of the Republicans or Abolitionists position as your presentism suggests, as well as your evident despotism for the Confederacy. Anyone who views the past needs to consider every variable and perspective with equal justification as well as condemnation of the time in order to comprehend it. If you cannot objectively observe the maxims of perspective of every angle, then you are biased with presentism and therefore cannot fairly assess the data you claim to comprehend. History is broader than between the leaves of two binders.

  157. Rob in CT says:

    Care to actually link to (or reference in any way) things you think Steven or others have ignored?

    Others have linked to primary source material. I mentioned others, including De Bow’s review – a pro-slavery publication from the time.

    Yet you go ’round accusing others of ignoring things. It sure sounds like a case of projection.

  158. @Michael C. Lucas:

    The charge of presentism has nothing to do specifically with the slavery issue and the Confederacy

    Odd, because that is the topic under discussion, and for which source documents from the period have been provided.

  159. Grewgills says:

    @Michael C. Lucas:

    Oh Rob, In the end it boils down to your failure to consider other resources, which condemn your position, and the leaders of the North including Abolitionist Zealots who were bent on seizing greed of power and expansion for themselves and not solely the abolition of slavery, but the end of Southern political and economic power.

    Link the documents. You have claimed the prevailing view was different than the many documents linked showing the opposite of what you claim. If the prevailing view is as you say, you must have read about it somewhere. Provide a source, or we will have to assume that you are talking, or rather typing, out of your ass. You have been asked repeatedly for ANY evidence other than your bald assertions and have at every turn ignored those requests. It is long past time to put up or shut up.

  160. Michael C. Lucas says:

    @Grewgills: Read Team Rivals that’s an acclaimed source. 1. Lincolns objective was to preserve the Union at all cost. Two the United States Constitution protected Slavery. 3. The main contention was over expansion otherwise slavery was safe where it was. The E.P. did not affect the Slave States Not in “rebellion” or otherwise already occupied within Union hands. Do some damn research.

  161. MarkedMan says:

    I’ve sometimes thought that excessive liberalism is a fault of those unable to imagine that people can be different then they are, while excessive consevatism comes from the opposite cause: being unable to imagine yourself in someone else’s shoes. And although Mr. Lucas seems capable of imaging himself as a white Southerner, it really seems outside his worldview that there were millions of men, women and children living in the South that were not white. It would be instructive to put yourself in their shoes and see if you can say “I am better off as a slave. Being sold as cattle and having my spouse and child ripped from my arms is a fair price to pay so as not to cause undo harm to the lifestyle of my master.”

  162. Rob in CT says:

    @Michael C. Lucas:

    Read Team Rivals…Do some damn research.

    Pathetic.

    This is non-responsive to the topic actually under discussion.

    None of the things you mentioned (the supremacy of the preservation of the Union amongst Lincoln’s goals, the goal of stopping the spread of slavery rather than abolishing it where it existed and the limited scope of the Emancipation Proclamation) are surprises to anyone here. We all know those things. So what? The argument has never been that Lincoln and the North in general were pure by 21st century standards. In fact, people have gone out of their way to say this is not so. The whole thread is about flying the Confederate Flag (Naval Jack, whatever) and glorifying the Confederacy in general. Any glorification of the Union of 1860 is happening in your own mind, not here.

    Flying the Rebel flag glorifies the Confederacy, a (failed) independent Republic created in 1860 for the express purpose of defending slavery from “Yankee aggression” (funny how you note Lincoln/the GOP’s more modest goal of stopping its spread, but not the Old South’s leadership’s interpretation of that goal as an apocalyptic assault on their Constitutionally protected property rights, and their crazed reaction).

    If there was a thing about people flying a US flag with the # of stars on it that corresponded to 1860 (or 1865 for that matter) in order to signal some special reverence for the Union of that period, I’d think it mighty odd. The US flag that we fly today stands for all that came before – good and bad. The Rebel flag, on the other hand, doesn’t have the last 150 years of history going for it (indeed, it’s a symbol of resistance to significant progress made during that time: emancipation in the 1860s and the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 60s).

    Crawl back under your rock. You’re out of your depth, accusing others of your own faults. Do some damn research, indeed.

  163. @Rob in CT: I second this response, which is spot on and saves me the trouble of writing something similar.

  164. Rob in CT says:

    By the way, I happened to come across this bit from Lincoln today (which I’ve seen before, but having one’s memory jogged is always good):

    “I think I have no prejudice against the Southern people. They are just what we would be in their situation. If slavery did not now exist amongst them, they would not introduce it. If it did now exist amongst us, we should not instantly give it up. This I believe of the masses north and south. Doubtless there are individuals, on both sides, who would not hold slaves under any circumstances; and others who would gladly introduce slavery anew, if it were out of existence. We know that some southern men do free their slaves, go north, and become tip-top abolitionists; while some northern ones go south, and become most cruel slave-masters.

    “When southern people tell us they are no more responsible for the origin of slavery, than we; I acknowledge the fact. When it is said that the institution exists; and that it is very difficult to get rid of it, in any satisfactory way, I can understand and appreciate the saying. I surely will not blame them for not doing what I should not know how to do myself. If all earthly power were given me, I should not know what to do, as to the existing institution. My first impulse would be to free all the slaves, and send them to Liberia,—to their own native land. But a moment’s reflection would convince me, that whatever of high hope, (as I think there is) there may be in this, in the long run, its sudden execution is impossible.”

    This is Lincoln the moderate, torn between his moral intuition and his realism, tempered with compassion and empathy. Here he is, as usual, fantasizing about resettling ~4 million people in Africa, but he’s got that nagging sense that it’s utterly unrealistic. He doesn’t want to punish, but he also doesn’t want to accept the awful status quo.

    This is the guy whose election drove the firebreathers mad.

    I largely agree with his generous assessment of the situation. So when I think back to some guy in 1861 deciding to fight for the Confederacy, I tend to be sympathetic, even though I think the decision was wrong. Deciding in 2013 that you are going to fly the Rebel flag is much less defensible. That’s what’s so funny about the “presentism” charge. We’re talking about present-day behavior. People in the 21st century are being held to 21st century standards and don’t like it. Boo effing hoo.

  165. Michael C. Lucas says:

    @Rob in CT: Thanks again for proving your incapable of comprehending anything beyond the primary certitude of your ignorance. My response was to Grewgills comment not yours, and the source I cited is considered a fair history for that inquiry, and you have not presented any documentation to contradict it or my thesis of the facts stated. I particularly like Stevens response because he couldn’t even think of one response worthy for himself. There was nothing modest about the contempt and jealousy of Republicans, abolitionists and fellow Northerners with their crazed intentions of imperialism for their self-serving domination over the United States, which is visible even to this day. All your hate mongering hostile rhetoric proves is you think you can bully over anyone, just as they did, who does not agree with your 21st century “presentist” perspective. As for the Confederate flag its a flag that represents a legacy of over 150 years of freedom in the face of adversity, for a diverse ethnic group of Americans from the Southern states, some are certainly better than others but they are Americans none the less, whose consideration deserves equal and fair representation within the diversity of our nation without malice. Your presentism regarding the history and symbolism of the Confederate flag shines through clearly. You’re a bigot no better than any other white supremacists.

  166. Rob in CT says:

    Sad.

  167. @Michael C. Lucas:

    the source I cited is considered a fair history for that inquiry

    Not to speak for someone else, but his statement of “pathetic” struck me as an assessment of your assertion, not the quality of the book in question. Just saying “read Team of Rivals” isn’t really a citation and you certainly did not provide any evidence from the book in question.

    particularly like Stevens response because he couldn’t even think of one response worthy for himself.

    You’ll have to clarify that. If you mean that I have not cited more documents, I would respond that you have not adequately addressed (if you can be said to have addressed them at all) the information I have already presented. It would be nice if you wish to be taken seriously, that you do so.

    Asserting “presentism” does not make it so, especially since you a) provided not evidence that that is what is being done here (save that you think we are) and b) as noted above, my posts are about now (2013) not then (the 1860s). You keep refusing to address that.

    I am not holding southerners in contempt. I am not saying the north was a land of perfection and angels. We are talking about these symbols in the present.

    Your presentism regarding the history and symbolism of the Confederate flag shines through clearly. You’re a bigot no better than any other white supremacists.

    Funny, while it clear that we do not agree with you, it seems to me that we have tried to engage in fairly polite, and even time-consuming, interchange. Where, pray tell, is the bigotry? Most important of all: you show yourself to not take things like white supremacy seriously if you compare concern over symbols that have been used to support both slavery and segregation with white supremacy.

  168. Moosebreath says:

    @Michael C. Lucas:

    “As for the Confederate flag its a flag that represents a legacy of over 150 years of freedom in the face of adversity, for a diverse ethnic group of Americans from the Southern states, some are certainly better than others but they are Americans none the less” (emphasis added)

    Pray tell, which ethnic groups are “certainly better than others”?

  169. @Moosebreath: Good catch. I skimmed past that.

  170. Tillman says:

    @Michael C. Lucas:

    My response was to Grewgills comment not yours, and the source I cited is considered a fair history for that inquiry, and you have not presented any documentation to contradict it or my thesis of the facts stated.

    Okay. Take a deep breath.

    What is your thesis? I’ve read this whole thread and I have no godly idea what it is. Slavery’s an institution that predates the South. Men always desire power over others. Most Southerners didn’t fight for slavery but for their homeland. Northerners are douchebags. Somehow this excuses the Confederate battle flag as a racist symbol. And, most perplexing of all, somehow Doris Kearns Goodwin’s book Team of Rivals is a source for all these viewpoints.

    But Goodwin wasn’t writing about slavery or the Civil War in general, she was writing about Abraham Lincoln. Despite his position of power, he was one dude. In this thread, you’ve had writings from several committees’ worth of dudes asserting the continued existence of the institution of slavery as their prime motivation for secession and war presented to you. Note that I say “motivation.” That’s the big thing here. The reasons we go to war can be wrapped in complex economic realities and cultural impetus, but the dudes writing for secession were motivated to defend slavery from a North that increasingly couldn’t tolerate the legal and moral issues surrounding it. They raised the battle flag to defend it. You haven’t pointed out where this is inaccurate in the slightest, and really I don’t know what you’re talking about half the time.

    Like, I can see occasional flashes of a thought process in there that I can sympathize with. Slavery was an institution in ancient Mesopotamia long before it was in the South (it’s in the Bible, for crying out loud). The ordinary Johnny Reb probably did fight for his homeland and not slavery, even though slavery was an institution of his homeland and he knew that. Men constantly desire power over others and do terrible things to each other. Northerners are unabashed dicks.* Doris Kearns Goodwin did write a pretty neat book.

    I want to know: what is your thesis? As best you can, use one sentence.

    * Except the ones I know. Rest of y’all are “damn Yankees.”

  171. Grewgills says:

    @Moosebreath:
    To be fair, I think that bit was just sloppy grammar and the meant some people in the South are better than others rather than some ethnicities are better than others.

  172. Grewgills says:

    @Michael C. Lucas:

    Read Team Rivals that’s an acclaimed source.

    It seems like a good book; I’ll add it to my list. From what I can see it does not address Southern motivations for secession. Since you have a copy and apparently are drawing some of your conclusions on motivations for Confederate secession from it, perhaps you can supply some quotations from it that support your assertions.

    1. Lincolns objective was to preserve the Union at all cost.

    That is true and he was willing to let slavery to continue to preserve the union, though he was morally against the practice. That does not address Southern motivations. It also fails to address the motivation for the resurgence of the battle flag in the 1950s, nearly 100 years later.

    Two the United States Constitution protected Slavery. The main contention was over expansion otherwise slavery was safe where it was.

    However, the expansion of slavery was in question at the time and Southerners feared that when free states outnumbered slave states that the protection afforded that institution would not continue. This still does not address Confederate motivations.

    3. The E.P. did not affect the Slave States Not in “rebellion” or otherwise already occupied within Union hands. Do some damn research.

    Again, how does this address Southern motivations? We all realize that the North was not pure by today’s standards. That does not change the fact that the Confederacy, by the words of its founders and leaders, was formed to protect the institution of slavery in the South. That does not change that the institution of slavery was ended in the United States because the North won the Civil War. It does not change the fact that racists in the South that wanted to preserve an apartheid system in the South raised it over statehouses and waved it in protest against integration being forced on them from without. THAT is the imperialism you are speaking of: the imperialism of refusing the extension of slavery into new territories in the 1850s, the imperialism of ending segregation in the South and elsewhere and the imperialism, and the imperialism of recognizing that separate but equal was/is not equal.

  173. Rob in CT says:

    y’all are “damn Yankees

    I resemble that remark. 😉

    By the way, dollars to donuts most of the people who like to fly the rebel flag are more patriotic than thou types. You know, the folks who were sneering at the unAmerican libruls ’round about 2003.

    About a decade ago, I happened to be at a country line dancing bar up here in CT (my wife likes the dancing, what can I say?). It was my first time there, and unbeknownst to me, every night at the same time everybody does a quick hand-over-heart thing to honor America. A friend and I were playing pool and never noticed the announcement and change in everyone around us. We were chatting. Some dude got in our faces about shutting up and respecting the moment or whatever. I was apologetic (I really hadn’t heard). Then, after having been chastised, I looked up. Directly above us was a Rebel flag about 25 feet across, hanging from the ceiling. Yeah, ok. Excuse me while I roll my eyes at your performance of patriotism.

  174. @Grewgills: Perhaps so. It is hard to follow.

  175. Michael C. Lucas says:

    The Confederate flag is only a racists symbol by those who claim it is a racist symbol, which does not make it one since it was not designed for that intention. The Confederacy did not secede for slavery, people do not seceded over what they have legally protected, no legislation had been passed to steal or end slavery in the United States, in fact it was Constitutionally protected. Southern motivation was for their independence same as the United States, for their security from a hostile sectional party intent on dominating the United States. Cherry picking “Slavery” out of context does not define the declarations of secession or ordinances of secession were written to project the preservation of slavery solely or centrally, but centrally the preservation of themselves, regardless of the institution they were identified with which was not a question, but their self-preservation was their objective period. If slavery was what the Confederacy seceded and fought for then it was what the Union fought for as well. But few Unionist claimed that at the time or after until after the reunification and the revisionism post war. If the Confederate flag is a racist symbol it is no less racist than the United States flag which has been carried and used by Supremacist longer than the Confederate flag ever was. To cast a negative perspective upon an inanimate object designed by one group of people as symbolic of their nationality is bigoted. Calling a inanimate symbol or product racist does not make it so. In that sense that would be equivalent to saying that VW is racist, because it was designed by a racist intended for racist people, so far I haven’t heard anyone crying that VW’s are racist, if anything they admire the sturdiness of the “peoples car.” Any flag used by people opposing their subjugation by a Government is a “Rebel flag” thus the U.S. flag is a rebel flag. If you feel that you fit the criteria of someone opposed to the Confederate flag because of your perspective that it is racist then you are a bigot. If you despise it because in your opinion it determines one ethnic culture or races supremacism, then you are a racist, as well as a supremacist because you think you’re better than they are. If you oppose the Confederate flag because it symbolizes those who disagree with your nationalist domination then you are the oppressor. A flag or symbol is only empowered with what we empower it with, be it the creators pride and artistic license, if we accept it as representative of people who honorably defended their inherent rights, as Americans have done on numerous occasions, then it remains a viable symbol of American determinism. If you determine that it is negative, that it inspires your sense of hatred, your malice, then you empower it to do so because of your bigotry and intolerance of it. As Smokey the bear would say “only you can prevent forest fires” only you can stop being a bigot, a racist or an oppressor.

  176. @Michael C. Lucas: Black is white and up is down.

    Gotcha.

  177. @Michael C. Lucas: To repeat something I posted at another thread:

    That’s not how symbols work. The meaning is imbued based on their linkage to ideas and actions. You can’t just create a symbol and tell people what it means. Do you think that the Romans designed crucifixion as a Christian symbol? Or, might it be that a certain set of actions led to the symbol accumulating the meaning that is now has? Show a guy crucifix in 100 BC, it doesn’t have the same meaning as it does today, yes? How did that meaning accrue to the symbol? Did New York Yankee pinstripes evoke championships when they were first donned?

    Even if one sat down to purposefully create an offensive (or patriotic or whatever) symbol, the only way to communicate your meaning would be to use symbols that already had established meanings. Symbols are language, after a fashion.

    You keep trying to present yourself as a deep thinker, and questioning everyone’s capacities, but you are whiffing on a pretty straightforward, albeit somewhat abstract, concept here.

  178. Michael C. Lucas says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: The cross was not widely used in mainstream Christianity until the time of the Roman emperor Constantine—about 300 years after Christ established His Church.

    According to the book Babylon Mystery Religion, the cross originated among the ancient Babylonians of Chaldea. From there, it spread to ancient China, India, Mexico, parts of Africa and other places, centuries before Christianity was born.

    Notice: “Ages ago in Italy, before the people knew anything of the arts of civilization, they believed in the cross as a religious symbol. It was regarded as a protector and was placed upon tombs. In 46 B.C., Roman coins show Jupiter holding a long scepter terminating in a cross. The Vestal Virgins of pagan Rome wore the cross suspended from their necklaces, as the nuns of the Roman Catholic church do now” (p. 51). Source here http://rcg.org/questions/p096.a.html

  179. @Michael C. Lucas: You are totally missing the point.

    You keep claiming that a symbol’s meaning is determined by it maker (for example, above you note: “The Confederate flag is only a racists symbol by those who claim it is a racist symbol, which does not make it one since it was not designed for that intention.”).

    But the Roman method of execution used to kill Jesus of Nazareth was not designed as a symbol of Christianity. It only acquired that meaning latter.

    If you cannot understand this basic point about symbols and how they acquire their meanings, it is little wonder we are having such difficulties in this discussion. I really don’t know what else to say.

  180. Michael C. Lucas says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: “But the Roman method of execution used to kill Jesus of Nazareth was not designed as a symbol of Christianity. It only acquired that meaning latter.” The point is the method was religiously based already, it only became Christianized by the Jesus’s crucifixion and that became symbolic because of the Romans making it so. So yes the Romans determined its religious affiliation with Christianity.

  181. Tillman says:

    @Michael C. Lucas: This…what? You’re confusing a cross and a crucifix. A cross could very well have been an ancient religious symbol. A crucifix was something Romans nailed traitors to in order to give them a prolonged painful death in public as a message to would-be rebels. Don’t you realize that you’re killing semioticians with this stuff?

    Hey, since we can only ever use things as they were originally designed (since symbols are pretty damn basic and everything else, like our technology, is subordinate to the ability to understand symbols and language), doesn’t that mean Viagra should be a great blood pressure medication?

  182. Rob in CT says:

    The Confederate flag is only a racists symbol by those who claim it is a racist symbol, which does not make it one since it was not designed for that intention. The Confederacy did not secede for slavery…

    You are either dumb, or you think we are. Either way, I can only laugh at you.

  183. Tillman says:

    I think a comment got caught in moderation for talking about Viagra. Does it pass muster?

  184. @Michael C. Lucas: You are being obtuse, whether willfully or not, I cannot say.

    The Romans did not design the cross as a Christian symbol. The logic is inescapable: crucifixion predates Christianity. One cannot design something to represent something that does not exist, lest one is a time traveler.

    You are just proving yourself to be intellectually dishonest by clinging to your positions even in the face of irrefutable logic and evidence.

  185. Michael C. Lucas says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: NO we are in agreement it is your perspective which is obtuse. Romans were responsible for manifesting the Crucifix (Jesus on a Cross) as a Christian symbol as Roman Catholicism came to power. Romans did not originate the cross or practice of crucifixion, but they certainly made use of them.

  186. pylon says:

    The Confederate Flag Swastika/White Hood/Celtic Cross is only a racists symbol by those who claim it is a racist symbol, which does not make it one since it was not designed for that intention.

  187. pylon says:

    “If it is right to preclude or abolish slavery in a Territory, why should it be allowed to remain in the States?… In spite of all disclaimers and professions there can be but one end to the submission by the South to the rule of a sectional Antislavery Government at Washington; and that end, directly or indirectly, must be the emancipation of the slaves of the South….the people of the non-slaveholding North are not and cannot be safe associates of the slaveholding South under a common Government.”

    – Delegates at South Carolina’s secession convention explain why the state should split from the Union, 186060

  188. Grewgills says:

    @Michael C. Lucas:
    So, you see the cross has changed meaning by it’s use. Christians have made the cross a central symbol of Christianity and imbued it with meaning. That meaning is now part and parcel of what people see when they see a crucifix; it now stands for Christianity and the suffering of Jesus, despite its earlier usage. So you do understand at some level that symbols are given meaning by how they are used. You are one short step away from understanding what we have been trying at length to explain to you.

  189. pylon says:
  190. al-Ameda says:

    @Michael C. Lucas: Southerners, by their actions, are responsible for the Confederate Flag being viewed as far more symbolic of slavery and racism than of the bravery of Confederate soldiers and State’s Rights.

  191. Michael C. Lucas says:

    @pylon: Cherry Picker again you can’t see the forest for the trees. Your link is revisionists theory based on politically correct propaganda to demand slavery be the sole central cause it is not. As I already explained earlier in this thread. No matter how many times slavery is stated in these documents they do not preclude that slavery is the cause but that it is a factor. The cause is in their self defense and independence from Northern political, economic, and western expansion, and domination against the Southern States. “State Rights”!

  192. pylon says:

    LMFAO. A seceding state writes a paper saying “here’s our seasons for seceding (we are afraid of losing our slaves) and you want to look the other way. Who’s they cherry picker?

  193. pylon says:

    “Probably 90 percent, maybe 95 percent of serious historians of the Civil War would agree on the broad questions of what the war was about and what brought it about and what caused it,” McPherson said, “which was the increasing polarization of the country between the free states and the slave states over issues of slavery, especially the expansion of slavery.”

    That’s a lot of cherry pickers.

  194. pylon says:

    I wonder why I would consider a document called “Declaration of the Immediate Causes Which Induce and Justify the Secession of South Carolina from the Federal Union “ a fairly critical exposition of the reasons for the civil war.

  195. pylon says:
  196. pylon says:
  197. Michael C. Lucas says:

    @pylon: McPherson is the foremost Politically correct revisionist and the followers of that doctrine are no less guilty of distorting the past for that agenda. It was a conflict over the expansion of power not slavery itself, slavery is a factor it is not the central factor but one of many. I concur there are a lot of cherry pickers…

  198. al-Ameda says:

    @Michael C. Lucas:

    politically correct propaganda to demand slavery be the sole central cause it is not. As I already explained earlier in this thread. No matter how many times slavery is stated in these documents they do not preclude that slavery is the cause but that it is a factor.

    The South seceded to preserve its State’s Right to slavery. It’s no accident that most people outside the South, and Black people, view the Confederate Flag as symbolic of slavery and racism.

  199. pylon says:

    McPherson and the rest of the 95% of serious historians.

    I suggest you quit making pseudo-intellectual arguments and show me the quotes that refute the quotes I’ve cited by secessionist leaders that say explicitly what they were doing and why.

  200. pylon says:

    William L. Harris, – at the speech to Atlanta’s secession convention :

    “Sink or swim, live or die, survive or perish – the part of Mississippi is chosen. She will never submit to the principles and policies of this Black Republican administration. She had rather see the last of her race, men, women and children, immolated in one common funeral pyre than see them subjected to the degradation of civil, political and social equality with the Negro race.”

  201. Michael C. Lucas says:

    @pylon: Its a matter of your perspective because you choose not to consider the preexisting evidence leading up to the Civil War. Slavery is a factor not the cause. Expansion of domination is the cause.

  202. pylon says:

    “Our deliverance from this great danger, in my opinion, is to be found in the reserved right of the states to withdraw from injury and oppression.” So said Gov. John J. Pettus of Mississippi in his own capital on Nov. 26, 1860. The “injury” he alluded to was the election of Abraham Lincoln as president. The “oppression” was Lincoln’s avowed opposition to the expansion of slavery to any new states – a stance that was the organizing principle of the newly formed Republican Party.

    Secession, Pettus insisted, was the only way of escaping “Black Republican politics and free Negro morals,” something he assured his fellow Mississippians that would turn Mississippi into “a cesspool of vice, crime and infamy.”

  203. Michael C. Lucas says:

    @al-Ameda: Its no accident you believe this propaganda neither.

  204. pylon says:

    Henry L. Benning, Georgia politician and future Confederate general, writing in the summer of 1849 to his fellow Georgian, Howell Cobb: “First then, it is apparent, horribly apparent, that the slavery question rides insolently over every other everywhere — in fact that is the only question which in the least affects the results of the elections.” [Allan Nevins, The Fruits of Manifest Destiny pages 240-241.] Later in the same letter Benning says, “I think then, 1st, that the only safety of the South from abolition universal is to be found in an early dissolution of the Union.”

  205. pylon says:

    Lawrence Keitt, Congressman from South Carolina, in a speech to the House on January 25, 1860: “African slavery is the corner-stone of the industrial, social, and political fabric of the South; and whatever wars against it, wars against her very existence. Strike down the institution of African slavery and you reduce the South to depopulation and barbarism.” Later in the same speech he said, “The anti-slavery party contend that slavery is wrong in itself, and the Government is a consolidated national democracy. We of the South contend that slavery is right, and that this is a confederate Republic of sovereign States.” Taken from a photocopy of the Congressional Globe supplied by Steve Miller.
    Keitt again, this time as delegate to the South Carolina secession convention, during the debates on the state’s declaration of causes: “Our people have come to this on the question of slavery. I am willing, in that address to rest it upon that question. I think it is the great central point from which we are now proceeding, and I am not willing to divert the public attention from it.” Taken from the Charleston, South Carolina, Courier, dated Dec. 22, 1860. See the Furman documents site for more transcription from these debates. Keitt became a colonel in the Confederate army and was killed at Cold Harbor on June 1, 1864.

  206. pylon says:

    Alfred P. Aldrich, South Carolina legislator from Barnwell: “If the Republican party with its platform of principles, the main feature of which is the abolition of slavery and, therefore, the destruction of the South, carries the country at the next Presidential election, shall we remain in the Union, or form a separate Confederacy? This is the great, grave issue. It is not who shall be President, it is not which party shall rule — it is a question of political and social existence.” [Steven Channing, Crisis of Fear, pp. 141-142.]

  207. pylon says:

    Atlanta Confederacy, 1860: “We regard every man in our midst an enemy to the institutions of the South, who does not boldly declare that he believes African slavery to be a social, moral, and political blessing.”

  208. pylon says:

    Go ahead though – celebrate those sentiments and wave your flag proudly!

  209. pylon says:

    Why oh why are those Civil war era secessionist leaders revising history?

  210. Michael C. Lucas says:

    @pylon: Everything you have cherry picked denotes slavery as a factor and taken as a whole within full context together is the greater issue of the sectional conflict, of the greater factors, of domination for political, economic and western expansion.

  211. @Michael C. Lucas:

    NO we are in agreement it is your perspective which is obtuse. Romans were responsible for manifesting the Crucifix (Jesus on a Cross) as a Christian symbol as Roman Catholicism came to power. Romans did not originate the cross or practice of crucifixion, but they certainly made use of them.

    Your whole argument has, to this point, been that symbols gain their meaning from those who design them. It is impossible for the designers of the cross to have designed it to be a Christian symbol because Christianity did not exist prior to the crucifixion.

    Time flows in one direction and so if a symbol is designed at time T, but it acquires meaning at T+X, that means that the meaning comes after the design.

    Are you really so incapable of admitting that you are wrong that you will argue against the basic mechanics of temporal causality?

    Plus you are hedging: having “religious meaning” is not the same as Christian meaning (not to mention you are confusing a generic cross with the cross used as an execution tool).

  212. @Michael C. Lucas:

    cherry picked

    You know, if after a day of picking you find that your basket is full of cherries, it might just be that you have been picking from a cherry tree all along.

  213. (In other words, maybe it is so easy to find all these quotes about slavery because, you know, it was pretty central to the Confederate cause).

  214. @pylon:

    That’s a lot of cherry pickers.

    When life gives you cherries, make a cherry pie!

  215. Michael C. Lucas says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: You really need help.

  216. @Michael C. Lucas: Perhaps. But I at least understand basic causality.

  217. Grewgills says:

    @Michael C. Lucas:
    Quite a few of these ‘cherry picked’ quotes have been offered into evidence here and you have yet to offer a single historical document or quote from the time that would show the opposite. Once again I put it to you, if we all here have been cherry picking quotes that appear damning to the Confederate cause, show us the quotes that show we are wrong. If we have been cherry picking you should have access to bushels of quotes from leaders of the Confederacy and the rank and file of the Confederate South to show us we are wrong. It has been the better part of a week since I first asked and you have yet to offer even a single quote from a politician on either side of the divide in the 1850s and 1860s that supports your position. I am beginning to think it is because they do not exist.

  218. mannning says:

    @Matt Bernius:

    And if that wealth was being created and maintained through slavery — remember it’s that wealth that makes the rest of the society possible — then regardless of whether or no Johnny Reb owned slaves himself, unless he had totally gone Galt and didn’t take money or goods from anyone else, his way of life was enabled through the web of slave economics.

    Well, JR’s way of life was quite varied at that time, and I believe largely disconnected from the grand issue of the day. He was most likely to be unaware, or vaguely aware, that his society was propped up by slavery, and much more aware that he hadn’t much of anything to do with it, and didn’t feel responsible for it, or for slave economics, even if he was a part of that economy to some small degree. When he was told that his own local way of life was threatened, and the call for troops was made, he joined up, obeyed orders and fought.

    It is hard to fault the Johnny Rebs for the slave economy he existed in under the powers that were. There were innumerable people “above” him, however, that were far more fully aware, and fully behind secession and the slave economy. Johnny Reb was one of their tools to preserve their fiefdoms I believe.

  219. Michael C. Lucas says:

    @Grewgills: You cannot see what you refuse to open your mind too. No matter how many quotes you post you refuse to put yourself in their predicament. You also cannot fathom the morality of slavery from trader to the master and slave which has many diverse variables. The majority of comments here refuse to consider the planter,overseer, trader, Merchantmen, African Kings perspectives, with any empathy or objectivity, within the cultural matrix. The distortion is so much so that anything presented to argue their position is immediately repudiated as immoral and unjustifiable, if not plausible. Well if you can’t conceive slavery morally or justifiably, then how can you begin to conceive their perspective fully? In order to be objective you have to observe the reasoning of the latter.

  220. Grewgills says:

    @Michael C. Lucas:
    I have repeatedly asked you for quotations from leaders of the Confederacy that demonstrate that continuing and expanding slavery were not the primary causes of the Civil War as you claim. You claim that the quotes that support the position were cherry picked (ie they were not representative of what most Confederate leaders were saying). If that is so, educate me, show me the quotes that are more representative of the thinking of the Confederate leaders. Absent that you are merely stating opinion, rather than putting forth an argument based logically on facts.

    Well if you can’t conceive slavery morally or justifiably, then how can you begin to conceive their perspective fully?

    Under what circumstances to you find slavery morally justifiable?

  221. Grewgills says:

    @mannning:
    I can agree with that. It is more or less how my family, who were poor farmers, ended up fighting for the Confederacy. It is the modern romanticizing of the Confederacy and of a symbol that was resurrected to signal support for an apartheid system that bothers me most.

  222. MarkedMan says:

    @Michael C. Lucas: Did you really mean to say that we should accept that slavery was/is moral? I certainly accept that the world is complicated and not all, or even many, rebels were monsters. I can accept that if I stood in their shoes I may not have acted differently (I hope I would have, but can never really know). But that is a far, far cry from saying that slavery was/is moral.

    A good corollary to today might be the tobacco farmers and processors, as well as the cigarette manufacturers. I’ve worked in tobacco country and have met many people who supplied that industry and haven’t met anyone who was a cackling sociopath. In fact, most were at least likable. But that doesn’t make it a moral endeavor. The fact that it is common, that it’s been going on for a long time simply doesn’t change the underlying immorality.

  223. Michael C. Lucas says:

    The problem with perspective it is inherently incomplete, and will never be fully comprehended but if we only condemn, label and vilify we lose an opportunity to consider whats right under you nose. Southerners were no less moral than Northerners. Its often said they were in fact more moral because they more often took better care of there slaves because of capitol investment in them. Slavery wasn’t some Uncle Remus utopia, but not every slave was beaten, not every slave was sold down river, not every slave family was sold and ripped apart, not every slave girl was raped. But those are some of the broad brush perspectives which the Confederate flag has been painted with its association. Likewise not every Confederate flag flying during the Civil Rights era was intended or used for intimidation purposes. The Civil War Centennial occurred at the same time so there was a great resurgence of interest in the period. Confederates and Confederate flags have served and been carried by servicemen in every period of our Military History since the Civil War. Thousands of people have Confederate flags and flag related paraphernalia that have no ill will until they face bigotry for their choices to acknowledge it as a symbol of pride. To paint the Army of Norther Virginia Battle flag as a symbol use primarily for hate and ignorance along with everyone who has one as racist is bigoted. On the other hand i think those who abuse the symbolism and use the flag need to consider other perspectives as well.

  224. @Michael C. Lucas:

    Southerners were no less moral than Northerners.

    Part of the problem is that you keep acting like that is the argument that is being made, but it isn’t,. I never claimed that one group was inherently more moral than the other, or that the given representative northerner was superior to the given representative southerner. We have, however, noted repeatedly, that the CSA rather clearly was founded to protect, preserve, and expand slavery.

    Its often said they were in fact more moral because they more often took better care of there slaves because of capitol investment in them.

    This is absurd, and even by your own formulation, they weren’t treating them well because of morality, but because they were investments.

    No, not all slaves were beaten, raped, or separated from their families. But, many were and, above all else, they were human beings being held as property having to engage in forced labor. The fact that you can even attempt this line of argument explains why you aren’t so concerned about what these symbols means. After all, if you can explain away slavery in such a fashion, no wonder you don’t see the problem.

    Likewise not every Confederate flag flying during the Civil Rights era was intended or used for intimidation purposes.

    No, but many were, especially the very prominent ones flown at the behest of state governments opposing integration.

    You are making severe logical errors here: you seem to think that the only way something can be condemned is if 100% of that something was done for the wrong reasons. That’s not how it works.

    And the people you always ignore in these interchanges: contemporary African-Americans, many of whom are also southerners and who have a different view of the heritage represented by that flag.

  225. @Michael C. Lucas:

    You also cannot fathom the morality of slavery from trader to the master and slave which has many diverse variables.

    And what morality would that be? If you are now going to start arguing about the morality of slavery. then I can fully understand why you don’t understand the discussion. But if you are now going to assert that there was, at least at one time, a morality of slavery, then I am not sure what your claims about cherry-picking mean. Just fully embrace your position.

    if you want to argue that there was a system (economic, political, social) surrounding slavery that can be understood in an academic sense, I certainly agree. That is different than saying a moral judgment of the actions in question require that I take on the views of those being judged. The regime in North Korea, no doubt, justifies its behavior to itself with its one internal “morality” but that doesn’t mean I can’t make normative judgments about the regime.

  226. Also: if your goal is taking into account the panoply of views from the time, I think you are leaving put the perspectives of the group most affected: the slaves themselves.

  227. Michael C. Lucas says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: You would be correct and no I’m not leaving them out, but you should be more wary of your conceited arrogance… stop being the little hypocrite embrace your bigotry and inner racist. Maybe then you will find some humility in your humanity.

  228. @Michael C. Lucas: You are going to have to explain how my position is either bigoted or racist.

    Just making assertions does not make it so anymore than crying “cherry picking” makes an avalanche of evidence into a mole hill.

  229. @Michael C. Lucas:

    o I’m not leaving them out

    True, you have noted how many of them were not beaten and that they were treated well because they represented capital investments.

  230. al-Ameda says:

    @Michael C. Lucas:

    @Steven L. Taylor: You really need help.

    You really are beyond hope.

  231. pylon says:

    a. Longwinded posts with no actual content – check.

    b. Accuse people gathering actual evidence of cherry picking without providing any contrary evidence – check.

    c. Accuse people arguing with your racist opinion of being racist themselves.

    d. Resorting to ad hominem insults like “you need help” (AKA “I have no serious response”) – check

    e. Repeating over and over that people don’t understand your argument – check.

    Never go full wingnut, Mikey.

  232. Grewgills says:

    @Michael C. Lucas:

    Its often said they were in fact more moral because they more often took better care of there slaves because of capitol investment in them.

    Who is it that often says this?

    Slavery wasn’t some Uncle Remus utopia, but not every slave was beaten, not every slave was sold down river, not every slave family was sold and ripped apart, not every slave girl was raped. But those are some of the broad brush perspectives which the Confederate flag has been painted with its association.

    Wow! So as long as not every slave was abused in those particular ways then slavery is a-ok? How can you fail to realize that keeping people is property, even if you are nice to them? That doesn’t make the owners of sweat shops or company towns good people, but seriously man, you have gone a long ways out there with your (still evidence free) argument.

    Likewise not every Confederate flag flying during the Civil Rights era was intended or used for intimidation purposes.

    Enough of them were, particularly the high profile ones that made their way back on top of state houses.

    Thousands of people have Confederate flags and flag related paraphernalia that have no ill will until they face bigotry for their choices to acknowledge it as a symbol of pride.

    They may intend no ill will, but if they and you fail to understand why someone would be upset by their choice of symbol it is because of their own willful ignorance. And to call someone whose people suffered at the hands of people flying that flag bigots for being upset that it is being displayed requires some amazingly twisted logic.

  233. Grewgills says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:
    You are clearly bigoted against Southerners and I for one am deeply offended. You are also clearly racist against white people, so I am doubly offended.

  234. @Grewgills: Sorry about that, bro. 😉

  235. pylon says:

    until they face bigotry for their choices

    Criticism of the use of a racist and traitorous symbol = bigotry, eh?

  236. pylon says:

    Michael C. Lucas is superdestroyer in nicer clothes.

  237. pylon says:

    Check out the comments about 3/4 of the way down on this blog:

    http://cwmemory.com/2011/02/17/the-heart-of-the-confederacy/

  238. Michael C. Lucas says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:
    Steven L. Taylor says:
    Friday, September 27, 2013 at 10:46

    @Michael C. Lucas: You are going to have to explain how my position is either bigoted or racist.

    Just making assertions does not make it so anymore than crying “cherry picking” makes an avalanche of evidence into a mole hill.”

    Well the evidence of your hate for white-Southerners because you’re ignorant of them painting all those who revere their heritage by respecting the Confederate flag is bigoted, that you insists on associating that reverence as white-supremacists is racist. The assertion is the fact that you’re a Human animal either accept it or keep living the delusion that your something you’re not. You”re prone to fallacy, and anything you consider someone else to be, you are capable of being as well. Unless you except humility in your own fallacy, then you at least have hope of enlightenment, but you’re still only human.

  239. pylon says:
  240. @Michael C. Lucas:

    To which I can only say that I am not sure you understand the definition of the words “hatred” or “bigoted.”

    Since you, yourself, have defended the slavery of the south and the flag, you are actually making my argument for me. I don’t state that out of any sense of hatred. It just is.

  241. Michael C. Lucas says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: That is a LIE. I do not defend slavery, I defend humanity. War and slavery, are inherent factors of survival which humanity has to come to terms with to weigh compromise and tolerance for each other and blogs such as yours do not help, you encourage bigotry and hatred playing on political bullshit to keep bigotry alive and well. It just isn’t it doesn’t have to be but keep feeding the bullshit pile with your bigotry.

  242. @Michael C. Lucas: Oh, my apologies. I thought you were the Michael C. Lucas who was excusing slavery in the context of the CSA. I didn’t realize there were two of you on this thread. Perhaps you should take to task that other Michael C. Lucas who tried to minimize slavery because slave owners took good care of their capital investments.

    Also, he seems to think that because slavery has a long history that that fact somehow expunges the CSA’s guilt on this topic.

  243. @pylon: Indeed.

  244. Michael C. Lucas says:

    You’re a bigot and a damn liar, which is par for the course with people of your mentality… No I do not think the inherent issue of slavery expunges anything that is inherent within humanity, it is “inherent” such is war, only tolerance, humility to compromise will keep what is inherent at bay. But what is fact is you certainly think the Unions War was justified to expunge the USA’s guilt on this topic. Two wrongs do not make one right, the hypocrisy that the war and subsequent events was justified for a self-righteous idealism of lies about freedom and equality, of broken Constitutional trusts, which all the latter documents provided to this forum and elsewhere reveal, does not support your position. Nothing expunges the Northern interests in the slave trade, or the war made on fellow Americans (Southerners) left holding the blame for a slavery that was inherent from the course of events. Northerners no less still to this day should still shoulder the blame for their part in manifesting the institution of slavery, racism, murder, fratricide, Civil War, rape, pillaging, occupation, lies, Jim Crow, exploitation etc…. Politically correct academics however propagandize the war to suit current agendas for social reforms that are inherent to fail because they take things out of context and they lie. They mean well, but that doesn’t make them right for condemning one group of people to suit their idealism. I’m sure you’re familiar with at least one 20th century Germanic culture who followed that path and that didn’t work out too well for them. Your position does not expunge you of your distortion and bigotry, you are a source of the problem, you want a problem it feeds your blogging interest. There isn’t a problem with the Confederate flag the problem is with you.

  245. @Michael C. Lucas: I am just basing my conclusions on your own words. Your problem is that you are so caught up in trying to square a circle that you have tied yourself in knots.

  246. @Michael C. Lucas: I would make one suggestion to test your hypothesis about the flag: wear it in a gathering of predominantly African-American southerners and politely ask them what the symbol means to them and get back to us.

  247. Michael C. Lucas says:

    Steven L. Taylor says:
    Friday, September 27, 2013 at 17:45

    “@Michael C. Lucas: I am just basing my conclusions on your own words. Your problem is that you are so caught up in trying to square a circle that you have tied yourself in knots.”

    No your intent on twisting my words into knots, I’m intent on speaking where apparently few dare, because its not a settling subject. Its a debate such as a war of perspectives, you might say its a civil war.

  248. @Michael C. Lucas:

    So I am guessing it was the other MIchael C. Lucas who wrote:

    Southerners were no less moral than Northerners. Its often said they were in fact more moral because they more often took better care of there slaves because of capitol investment in them. Slavery wasn’t some Uncle Remus utopia, but not every slave was beaten, not every slave was sold down river, not every slave family was sold and ripped apart, not every slave girl was raped.

  249. (And the other Michael C. Lucas who doesn’t understand that a mountain of evidence is not “cherry picking”).

    Look: you are entitled to your position, as I am mine. I am engaging you because I think it is instructive to others who are reading (but at this point that may only be you and me),

    Still, you are minimizing the role of slavery in the civil war and, more importantly, you are in denial about the role played by the battle flag in the segregation movement (which is really the central pillar of my concern on this issue). You are also in denial about the white supremacist uses of this symbol. You also have strange definitions of bigotry and hatred.

    Also: you don’t seem to include African Americans in the definition of “southerner” and, therefore, come across like someone who subscribes, consciously or not, to white identity thinking.

  250. Michael C. Lucas says:

    I’m not minimizing nothing, I am maintaining history within its factual context rather than propagandizing the past to suit some sociopolitical agenda.

    I’m not in denial of anything pertaining the use of flags during the Civil Rights era, or wherever, which again you are propagandizing to suit a sociopolitical agenda. Were Dixiecrats using the flag in recognition of Southern nationalist identity sure, were the Dixiecrats a segregationist platform, yes. So it appears you support segregating white southerners from their cultural past in American diversity, just not white southerners segregating others from themselves, correct. That sounds rather genocidal, some kind of ethnic cleansing, so are you a socialist?

    The Confederate flag is no more a white supremacist flag than the United States flag has been, that is an historical fact. Do you really want to argue the white supremacist history of the United States? Lets ask some of my AIM friends, NAACP friends, Mi Amigos, etc…. need I continue before we spill this can of hypocritical worms.

  251. @Michael C. Lucas: ok, so the NAACP is an example of white supremacy? Gotcha.

  252. @Michael C. Lucas:

    So it appears you support segregating white southerners from their cultural past in American diversity, just not white southerners segregating others from themselves, correct. That sounds rather genocidal, some kind of ethnic cleansing, so are you a socialist?

    By the way, this makes no sense whatsoever. I want to include all peoples in the conversation, and you want to segment off white southerners from others, yet you accuse me of supporting segregation.

    White and black and up is down and we have always been at war with war with eastasia.

    Got it.

  253. Michael C. Lucas says:

    Steven L. Taylor says:
    Friday, September 27, 2013 at 21:46

    Steve L. Taylor says @Michael C. Lucas: “ok, so the NAACP is an example of white supremacy? Gotcha.”

    Um Steven thanks for another fine example of your misinterpretation and your distorted manipulation of my comments, you know very well as an organization the NAACP is supportive of their own ethnic preservation the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Though nationally the NAACP openly condemns Confederate history, Confederate descendants heritage groups and symbolism, there are many members who are more moderate and considerate within the organization that recognize the rights of Confederate descendants to preserve their ethnic rights as well, even in the face of condemnation from the NAACP and other anti-Confederate organizations and/or individuals against them.

  254. Michael C. Lucas says:

    Steven L. Taylor says:
    Friday, September 27, 2013 at 22:29

    Michael C. Lucas:”So it appears you support segregating white southerners from their cultural past in American diversity, just not white southerners segregating others from themselves, correct. That sounds rather genocidal, some kind of ethnic cleansing, so are you a socialist?”

    Steven says: “By the way, this makes no sense whatsoever. I want to include all peoples in the conversation, and you want to segment off white southerners from others, yet you accuse me of supporting segregation. White and black and up is down and we have always been at war with war with eastasia. Got it.”

    Michael says: Another fine example of Steven’s misinterpretation and distorted manipulation of my comments.

  255. @Michael C. Lucas: That you cannot make yourself clear is not my fault..

    Cheers.

  256. Grewgills says:

    @Michael C. Lucas:

    Were Dixiecrats using the flag in recognition of Southern nationalist identity sure, were the Dixiecrats a segregationist platform, yes.

    At least you can recognize how the battle flag returned to prominence. Do you really see no problem with this? There are many Confederate flags other than the naval jack. Why stick so firmly to the one that returned to prominence as a statement against desegregation. If you want to celebrate the confederacy, which I find somewhat problematic, but don’t want to celebrate the anti civil rights sentiment associated with the naval jack, why not choose another one of the Confederate flags? You could choose one of the flags that actually flew over the capital or one of the many other battle flags instead. Why are you and your organization so invested in this particular flag?

    So it appears you support segregating white southerners from their cultural past in American diversity

    No, we just find certain symbols with some very ugly associations to have, well, very ugly associations.

    just not white southerners segregating others from themselves,correct

    The problem is more with white southerners that wanted to keep others segregated and the symbol they chose to show that.

    That sounds rather genocidal, some kind of ethnic cleansing, so are you a socialist?

    No one on our side here has suggested any sort of violence, nor have economic concerns come up, other than the holding of others as property. If you haven’t directly condoned slavery as in some cases moral, you have come very very close to doing so. By your own words, “some people say” that Southern slave holders were more moral than Northern factory owners, because some of them treated their slaves better than some factory owners treated their workers. Sweat shops are bad, but regardless of what ‘some say’ slave owners are worse.

    The Confederate flag is no more a white supremacist flag than the United States flag has been, that is an historical fact. Do you really want to argue the white supremacist history of the United States?

    The US has a long and troubled past with race relations and that issue is dealt with honestly by most modern historians. In fact, if you go to many US historical sites now, there will be explanations of those problems at the monument sites. Unfortunately you do not see those same honest appraisals at Confederate monuments. A big part of the problem I have (and I believe this is also one of Steven’s sticking points) is the lack of honest appraisal by the groups that are preserving Confederate history. You and your group should be up front about the centrality of slavery to the Confederate South and the politics surrounding the battle flag’s resurgence. Tackling those problems head on, rather than trying to rationalize them away, is the only way to move past them. That and you might want to choose a less problematic symbol. For instance this one, that doesn’t have the latter day political associations. Is there some reason to not make that switch?

    Lets ask some of my AIM friends, NAACP friends, Mi Amigos, etc…. need I continue before we spill this can of hypocritical worms.

    The NAACP doesn’t tend to look favorably on the Confederacy or the battle flag. Native Americans may have a less visceral reaction since most had been forcefully relocated prior to the Confederacy.

  257. Michael C. Lucas says:

    @Grewgills:

    Grewgills ask: If you want to celebrate the confederacy, which I find somewhat problematic, but don’t want to celebrate the anti civil rights sentiment associated with the naval jack, why not choose another one of the Confederate flags?

    Because that would be yielding to ignorance. Besides anything symbolically Confederate is threatened and condemned by bigoted people regardless of what it is.

    Grewgills ask:You could choose one of the flags that actually flew over the capital or one of the many other battle flags instead.

    I repeat because that would be yielding to ignorance. Besides anything symbolically Confederate is threatened and condemned by bigoted people regardless of what it is.

    Grewgills ask:Why are you and your organization so invested in this particular flag?

    What organization are you referring to? My only organization is for the preservation of history. Regardless, I repeat because that would be yielding to ignorance. Besides anything symbolically Confederate is threatened and condemned by bigoted people regardless of what it is.

  258. Michael C. Lucas says:

    @Grewgills: In regards to the “Slavery Question” I’m not going to asks what slavery is, I’m going to take a stretch and hope we will agree with the OED definition to suffice, but slavery has many parallels within that definition. My questions to you are how can slavery be moral and justified? I have an answer for this, its not an easy one to consider, but its something that everyone is susceptible to either being a “Master or Slave”. Google it? I have my own perspective of it, I do not not condone holding the wolf by the ears, but I feel confident in that it is an inherent part human nature.

  259. @Michael C. Lucas: Look, you are an apologist for the CSA and for its present day glorification. Further, you think that the aggrieved parties here are white southerners, both then and now–then because of the war, and now because they aren’t allowed to celebrate their “heritage.” I get it. I suspect we all get it by now.

    And yes, dating back to the ancients (folks of your ilk often like to quote Aristotle, for example), there have been theories and pronouncements about master/slave dichotomies and the “natural” order of things. Referencing this line of thinking only underscores where you are coming from, as does acting like the NAACP is the black equivalent of a white supremacist group. Whether it is conscious (and you simply haven’t voiced it in this conversation) or whether it is unconscious, you have been heavily influenced, if not have bought into, white identity/white nationalism.

    Hallmarks include:

    1. A big focus on “heritage” for southerners.
    2. That focus on heritage embraces some alleged and ill-defined values about the CSA (“states’ rights” and “fighting against tyranny”) but ignores or downplays the obvious negatives (slavery and then Jim Crow later).
    3. Sees any group that sought to advance African-Americans as somehow supremacist or hate groups.
    4. Frequently deploys some pseudo-philosophy about master/slaves and the natural order of things.
    5. The arguments all cluster around the rights and grievances of whites.

    You help bolster the position by insisting that persons who disagree with you are “bigots” or filled with “hatred.” You do this because these are the charges that have been, often rightly (see, again, slavery, Jim Crow, et al.) been sent white southerns’ way.

    Ultimately, you are apologist for slavery in the CSA because you make the argument that 1) since at the time the slavers didn’t see anything wrong with the institution that their POV is as valid as the slaves themselves, as well as the abolitionists, and 2) slavery is a “natural” part of human domination.

    You add to all of this by trying to divert attention from the south by trying to point out that the north was bad too.

    So, despite the confusing nature of many of your comments, I do understand where you are coming from.

    You think all of this sums to the CSA and its symbols being deserving of honor in the 21st century, and I don’t.

    QED

  260. Michael C. Lucas says:

    Your real id@Steven L. Taylor: WRONG AGAIN!

  261. Michael C. Lucas says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: By all accounts in my opinion, by your assumptions, your train of thought is specifically why you cannot learn anything, you politicize everything to your narrow way of thinking. Lord knows what you’re not teaching let alone are. You’re a step in line self-righteous, sanctimonious, bigoted socialist stooge. Have you ever had a free thought? Get your head out of the BOX!

  262. @Michael C. Lucas: as rebuttals go, not too helpful. However, that’s fine because this conversation has long passed being useful.

  263. Everything in my list is derived from your comments. If you don’t like what they sum to, perhaps you should reevaluate your position.

  264. Grewgills says:

    @Michael C. Lucas:

    Because that would be yielding to ignorance. Besides anything symbolically Confederate is threatened and condemned by bigoted people regardless of what it is.

    Nonsense. If you chose another symbol it would not be associated with the later evil of Jim Crow. Whether you like it or not the naval jack is a symbol of Jim Crow, because the supporters of Jim Crow chose it and used it as such.
    I have always found the naval jack an odd symbol to chose, since the best part of the rather weak and quickly defeated Confederate navy was French. Why choose a flag of the weakest, most foreign, and most quickly dispatched part the Confederate fighting force as your symbol to glorify their cause? One would think that when choosing a symbol to glorify one’s history that one would choose a symbol under which some impressive victory was won, rather than a symbol of quickly crushed collusion with the French. The current choice seems more one for a Francophile (and you know, they are far more socialist than we) or one who is obsessed with lost causes.

    we will agree with the OED definition to suffice, but slavery has many parallels within that definition.

    I’m going to assume you mean by that that because the OED include such uses as “my mom is such a slave driver, she makes me do the dishes AND the laundry”, you are trying to broaden the definition to include non-slavery metaphoric uses of the term. We are not speaking of metaphorical slavery, we are speaking of actual chattel slavery, the owning of people. Weak efforts to expand the definition to the point that it has little useful meaning are just that, weak.

    My questions to you are how can slavery be moral and justified?

    Quite simply, it cannot.

    I have an answer for this, its not an easy one to consider, but its something that everyone is susceptible to either being a “Master or Slave”.

    I have given my answer and asked for yours more than once. I await your answer.

    I have my own perspective of it, I do not not condone holding the wolf by the ears, but I feel confident in that it is an inherent part human nature.

    What do you mean by this?

  265. Michael C. Lucas says:

    @Grewgills: Michael C. Lucas > “My questions to you are how can slavery be moral and justified? Quite simply, it cannot.<

    Then explain the 13th Amendment and why slavery is condoned as a "moral justification" for prisoners of the government.

  266. Michael C. Lucas says:

    @Grewgills:

    Michael C. Lucas >we will agree with the OED definition to suffice, but slavery has many parallels within that definition.I’m going to assume you mean by that that because the OED include such uses as “my mom is such a slave driver, she makes me do the dishes AND the laundry”, you are trying to broaden the definition to include non-slavery metaphoric uses of the term. We are not speaking of metaphorical slavery, we are speaking of actual chattel slavery, the owning of people. Weak efforts to expand the definition to the point that it has little useful meaning are just that, weak.<

    NO the base definition is fine, however how it's defined within context does matter.

  267. Michael C. Lucas says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: What your list tells me is you have a closed mind.

  268. @Michael C. Lucas: Your inability to respond makes me think you don’t have a response.

    Again: the list is based on your own comments.

  269. Michael C. Lucas says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Drink a beer you have way too many brain droppings to comprehend the discourse.

  270. Michael C. Lucas says:

    @Grewgills: I have my own perspective of it, I do not not condone holding the wolf by the ears, but I feel confident in that it is an inherent part human nature.

    What do you mean by this?

    Thomas Jefferson said “But, as it is, we have the wolf by the ear, and we can neither hold him nor safely let him go. Justice is in one scale, and self-preservation in the other.”

  271. Grewgills says:

    @Michael C. Lucas:
    I know the reference, but what do YOU mean by it in the context of this conversation. Who is the wolf? What is the danger present in your mind? Who will be attacked by the ‘wolf’?

  272. Grewgills says:

    @Michael C. Lucas:

    Then explain the 13th Amendment and why slavery is condoned as a “moral justification” for prisoners of the government.

    I think you are misunderstanding the language of the amendment:

    Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
    Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

    Slavery is made illegal and and involuntary servitude is only legal as punishment for a crime when one has been convicted with due process of law. The state does not own the prisoner. That distinction matters.

  273. Michael C. Lucas says:

    @Grewgills: Your ignoring the hypocrisy of the moral justification for slavery in the 13th amendment. Besides that example there is the empathy of the victor over the subjugated, for the Victor to offer a choice of life versus death is in the same context of the 13th Amendment. Regardless the 13th Amendment is hypocritical, it selectively condones the institution allowing the Government to have the powers to enslave prisoners. Well not every prisoner is guilty, and not every politician is honest. As history within our own governments fallacies can attest.

  274. Grewgills says:

    @Michael C. Lucas:
    Prisoners are not owned by the state. People and families are not born into incarceration. Prisoners have been found guilty of a felony if they are subjected to hard labor. You are ignoring some very important distinctions.

  275. Michael C. Lucas says:

    @Grewgills: Keep believing that hypocrisy.

  276. Grewgills says:

    @Michael C. Lucas:
    This beyond pot and kettle, more like pot and cast iron skillet.

  277. @Grewgills: Indeed.

  278. Michael C. Lucas says:

    More like you really have no comprehension of inherent human nature, war or slavery.

  279. @Michael C. Lucas:

    More like you really have no comprehension of inherent human nature, war or slavery.

    No, we disagree with yours.

    Still, when these topics come up, which you mostly dance around, we get closer to your fundamental beliefs on this topic. Indeed, part of why I keep engaging you is to dig through to the foundation of your position.

    This view about human nature is why that, despite your protestations to the contrary, you are very much an apologist for the CSA and it is why your defenses of the symbols of the CSA as simply celebrating “heritage” are so problematic.

    That you so vociferously object to the “cherry picking” about slavery and the CSA and yet keep making arguments about slavery being inherent to human nature and history means you are not arguing from a position of intellectual honesty and clarity. As I have done before, I will allow, out of charity, that perhaps that this is unconscious, but I suggest you think through your position. At a minimum, you need to embrace the obvious logic of your position, which is that human nature drives slavery, and the CSA was simply acting in according with human nature when it sought to found a state on that institution. This means, therefore, that when you celebrate the CSA you are celebrating slavery as part of that heritage. Now, from your perspective, the CSA’s slavery is just an example of humans being humans (which is what an argument about inherent human nature means) and is therefore a historical fact and void of a normative element.

    That is the position you are basically presenting, if one takes out all the logical contradictions presented in your and if one ignores the countless “cherry picking”charges.

    BTW, I think you play the cherry picking game for one of two reasons. One is denial: you don’t want to face the implications of the evidence (and note: you have never provided any counter-evidence on this point). The other is that you know the truth, but understand how badly it hurts your position, so you try to deflect (so you assert that there were other factors of importance). Indeed, the whole “the north was bad, too” or the “US flag has been a symbol of oppression” lines of attack are also diversions. Even if those assertions are true, they do not take away the guilt of the CSA nor the way their symbols resonate in the current era.*

    Now, myself and others think that a) you cannot ignore the normative aspect of the CSA’s raison d’etre, and nor can you ignore b) the contemporary and widespread usage of the symbol by segregationists (something you have never adequately addressed, even in a convoluted manner)

    And while you are free to respond with denial and vituperation, I will pre-respond by noting that such is no response at all. Either explain how I am wrong (with an actual argument with logic and evidence) or perhaps it is time to end the discussion.

    *If I am pulled over for speeding, and can point out that the four cars in front of me were speeding too, the officer that pulled me over does not put his ticket book away. The malfeasance of others does not cancellation out my malfeasance.

  280. Michael C. Lucas says:

    Ohh this is fun!!! Be right back at you in a bit!!! :-). I really liked your closing point “The malfeasance of others does not cancellation out …(ones)… malfeasance.” Thus the malfeasance of the Confederacies support of slavery thus, does not cancel out the malfeasance of the Unions support for slavery, regardless of emancipation! Understood. So in other words we agree that symbols can have multiple meanings, but its the majority of mob rule or powers that be, who get to dictate the normative of what something means versus the actual creators intent. The creator thus apparently has no free will, and is subjugated with the enslavement of their creation by mob rule or from the powers that be, what they choose the normative of all time should be, because they say so, never mind the actual intent of the creator. Gotcha. So being gay has nothing to do with joy, but only homosexuality. Clearly!

  281. @Michael C. Lucas:

    Thus the malfeasance of the Confederacies support of slavery thus, does not cancel out the malfeasance of the Unions support for slavery, regardless of emancipation!

    First, no one here (save you) has tried to say that the bad action of X obviates the bad action of Y.

    Second, you are being obtuse if you cannot see the difference between country A being founded on slavery as a central feature of its existence and Country B that once allowed slavery but then abolished it.

    we agree that symbols can have multiple meanings

    No one has said otherwise. Yet, some meanings are more dominant than others. You pretending that all meanings are equal is the main problem.

    but its the majority of mob rule or powers that be, who get to dictate the normative of what something means versus the actual creators intent. The creator thus apparently has no free will, and is subjugated with the enslavement of their creation by mob rule or from the powers that be, what they choose the normative of all time should be, because they say so, never mind the actual intent of the creator. Gotcha. So being gay has nothing to do with joy, but only homosexuality. Clearly!

    This is largely word salad.

    Although the gay example does help: the word has clearly acquired a dominant meaning, which is homosexuality, not joy, and likewise the dominant meaning of the battle flag is slavery and segregation.

    (I note, btw, you are utterly avoiding the content of my previous comment).

  282. Grewgills says:

    @Michael C. Lucas:

    Thus the malfeasance of the Confederacies support of slavery thus, does not cancel out the malfeasance of the Unions support for slavery, regardless of emancipation!

    One nation did something bad, later acknowledged that action was bad, reversed it, and apologized for the bad action. The other nation was formed primarily because they saw a threat to the continuation of that bad action, enshrined it in their constitution, never acknowledged that, never apologized for it, and supporters of that failed nation still try to rationalize away culpability. Do you really see no moral distinction there?
    Let’s say you have three children, two of them horribly mistreat the third. One of the children that mistreated the one child admits that what they did was wrong, apologizes, and tries to make amends. The other child refuses to admit they did anything wrong and continues to try to rationalize their decision saying it was just human nature. Do you see any difference there?

    So in other words we agree that symbols can have multiple meanings

    Yes, but the dominant meaning matters. Illustrative examples have been mentioned before.
    Recognizing that the crucifix has changed meaning over time to become the symbol of Christianity, rather than just a symbol of torture is not submitting to ignorance, rather it is demonstrating a lack of ignorance about its historical use. Recognizing that the swastika has changed meaning from a symbol of luck to a symbol of a genocidal regime is not succumbing to ignorance, rather it is demonstrating lack of ignorance about its historical usage. Similarly recognizing that the Confederate naval jack now represents a regime founded on the continuation of chattel slavery and resurrected in opposition to desegregation is not succumbing to ignorance, it is demonstrating a knowledge of its historical usage.

    but its the majority of mob rule or powers that be, who get to dictate the normative of what something means versus the actual creators intent.

    Symbols acquire meaning by how they are used. All of the words on this page are symbols and many of them have changed meanings over time. It is their current usage that conveys their meaning in this current context. For instance, using the more original intended meaning, I find your argument the nice explanation of a natural man. Without the explanatory clause, my statement would not convey the intended meaning. It is not submitting to ignorance for me to realize that the meaning of that symbol (word) has changed meaning over time and to instead use a different symbol (word) that conveys my intended meaning to a modern audience.

    The creator thus apparently has no free will, and is subjugated with the enslavement of their creation by mob rule or from the powers that be, what they choose the normative of all time should be, because they say so, never mind the actual intent of the creator.

    Every artist understands this. Once a thing is created its meaning is not static. The symbol you so stridently cling to did not originally mean the things you now choose to confer upon it. It was designed as a symbol that said in essence, All Confederate vessels and guns recognize me as one of your own and don’t shoot me. You and yours are, in your words, a mob that is determined to place a meaning you choose to be the the normative of all time, because you say so, never mind the actual intent of the creator. The difference between you and us, is that we look at how the symbol has been used and recognize that the flag’s use by a regime intent on the continuation of slavery and later by racists intent on continuing a policy of apartheid matters.

    * Because my wife read this and is an academic as well, I now feel compelled to point out that in our argument when we say symbol what we are actually indicating is a sign rather than a symbol.

  283. @Grewgills: Agreed and all well said.

  284. Michael C. Lucas says:

    @Grewgills: I will resond in kind later. You need to compare those two Constitutions again and within the context of the period… Before the 13th, 14th or 15th Amendment.

    The only one conferring negative symbolism on the Confederate Flag is ilk like you who have intentionally made that case, by the distortions and misinterpretations of a people you have been indoctrinated to hate.

  285. Grewgills says:

    @Michael C. Lucas:

    You need to compare those two Constitutions again and within the context of the period… Before the 13th, 14th or 15th Amendment.

    One of those constitutions changed, the other did not. I don’t fly the United States flag of that time; I fly the current flag. If I were flying a US flag with only 36 stars you might have a point. I do not, so you don’t.

    The only one conferring negative symbolism on the Confederate Flag is ilk like you who have intentionally made that case, by the distortions and misinterpretations of a people you have been indoctrinated to hate.

    Wrong again, unless by my ilk you mean people who have read and understand the history of its use, particularly it’s use in the mid 20th century forward. I have not distorted nor have I misrepresented anything. Finally, had you read and absorbed my earlier comments you would see that the people you seem to think I hate include my own ancestors who fought alongside the people you revere. That they were on the wrong side of history and I can recognize that does not mean I don’t love them, nor does it mean I don’t respect them for other things. I have family that to this day hold bigoted views. I can disagree with them and love them at the same time. You are the one projecting here, not me.

  286. Michael C. Lucas says:

    @Grewgills: We can agree to disagree on what side of history the Confederacy or the Union was on that’s non negotiable, as both sides came to blows because of failure to compromise for the better angels of their nature. My perspective is to be fair minded with objective analysis, where as yours presents a sense of good vs evil, which is not objective. Your comments are intent to vilify Confederate Americans who fought in good conscience for their inalienable right of self defense and white Southerners who today carry on that tradition to defend the honor their history and ethnicity. Unlike you who would rather brown nose to suit a bigoted politically correct agenda to further distort history and truth.

  287. @Michael C. Lucas:

    their history and ethnicity

    Which ethnicity?

    What is the southern ethnicity?

  288. Grewgills says:

    @Michael C. Lucas:

    …white Southerners who today carry on that tradition to defend the honor their history and ethnicity.

    Happy to see you out of the closet. How does the sunshine feel?

  289. Michael C. Lucas says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Southern ethnicity is traditionally a combination of a diverse number of influences of various American Indian Tribes, European, and African cultures combined. Today that of course is becoming more culturally diverse to include Asian, and Middle Eastern influences… @Grewgills: Lame dude very lame…

  290. @Michael C. Lucas: We are back to denial or dishonesty at this point.

  291. Pylon says:

    You specifically referred to white southerners when you talked about ethnicity

  292. Michael C. Lucas says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Bingo and when people such as yourself stop denying the truth the world will be a better place. @Pylon: Learn to read!!!!

  293. @Michael C. Lucas:

    hen people such as yourself stop denying the truth the world will be a better place

    What truth am I denying?

  294. @Michael C. Lucas:

    @Pylon: Learn to read!!!!

    You wrote:

    Your comments are intent to vilify Confederate Americans who fought in good conscience for their inalienable right of self defense and white Southerners who today carry on that tradition to defend the honor their history and ethnicity.

    Despite your response to me, you clearly identify “white southerners” as an “ethnicity” who are represented by the flag under discussion.

    Like i noted: white nationalism.

    The thing is, you fit exactly what we have been describing as the type of person who flies that flag: you are trying to extol whites as an ethnicity, you apologize for the CSA’s slavery and you link it to southern heritage (meaning white heritage.

    Really, you are agreeing with us about the flag and the other symbols of the CSA. The only difference is that you don’t see any of this as a problem.

    (And note: telling people that they are “denying the truth” requires elucidating and demonstrating what truth is being denied and tell someone to “Learn to read” really requires pointing out the error and explaining what point that you were trying to make is being missed).

  295. Interestingly, as I (andf grewgills) have analyzed and spelled out your position in my last several longer comments, your comments have gotten shorter and consist most of simplistic denials or things like “Lame dude” and “Learn to read!!”

  296. pylon says:

    Like I said, when wingnuts’ arguments fail , they resort to denial, insults and projection (“I’m not the bigot – you are”).

  297. pylon says:

    Oh, and they add extra exclamation points as well. That is a winning strategy.

  298. Grewgills says:

    @Michael C. Lucas:
    I have to give you some small credit; it took a lot longer for you to show your implicit racism explicitly than most CSA apologists. Congratulations sir.

  299. Michael C. Lucas says:

    @Grewgills: LOL you can believe what you will, but that doesn’t make it so and everything within my thesis has come to fruition. You’re as consistent as most have been and I really appreciate it. You have a lot to consider in this thread, but you have proven your inability to reason with any of my positions because of your normative ethnocentrism and primary certitude over, over, and over again. You all need to recognize the human animals you are, and consider how your perspectives are skewed with presentism of the past vs the chronology of causality leading up to the Civil War, and the progression of that in regards to the Civil Rights era. First in regards to Slavery, then the Civil War, Reconstruction, Reunification, Jim Crow, Eugenics, Segregation, Civil Rights, to the present and of your bigotry of Confederate symbolism of today.

  300. @Michael C. Lucas:

    Southern ethnicity is traditionally a combination of a diverse number of influences of various American Indian Tribes, European, and African cultures combined. Today that of course is becoming more culturally diverse to include Asian, and Middle Eastern influences…

    It struck me later how ridiculous this response is: right after talking about “white southerners” and “their ethnicity” you then claim that southern ethnicity is multi-ethnic! (which, of course, is a problem in and of itself).

    The very fact that you are going to ethnicity points to the racism inherent in your position, as it makes a way for you to write about color without being direct about it.

  301. @Michael C. Lucas:

    but you have proven your inability to reason with any of my positions

    No, you have never done much in the way of defining the terms you use nor have you defined your argument.

    For example, what do you mean by this?

    You all need to recognize the human animals you are

    Further, you sling “presentism” around without ever proving your claim.

    Also: you do not respond to direct arguments, but rather ignore them.

  302. @Michael C. Lucas:

    For example, where I am wrong when I @wrote the following?

    The thing is, you fit exactly what we have been describing as the type of person who flies that flag: you are trying to extol whites as an ethnicity, you apologize for the CSA’s slavery and you link it to southern heritage (meaning white heritage.

    Really, you are agreeing with us about the flag and the other symbols of the CSA. The only difference is that you don’t see any of this as a problem.

  303. How about this: what is it about “southern ethnicity” that you are specifically celebrating with the flag in question?

  304. @Michael C. Lucas:

    Southern ethnicity is traditionally a combination of a diverse number of influences of various American Indian Tribes, European, and African cultures combined. Today that of course is becoming more culturally diverse to include Asian, and Middle Eastern influences…

    And BTW: how do you reckon that the battle flag represents this mosaic you have identified?

  305. Grewgills says:

    LOL you can believe what you will, but that doesn’t make it so and everything within my thesis has come to fruition.

    I have reread some of what you wrote and I cannot find a coherent thesis. Perhaps you could point it out for me and explain how exactly it has come to fruition.

    You’re as consistent as most have been and I really appreciate it. You have a lot to consider in this thread, but you have proven your inability to reason with any of my positions because of your normative ethnocentrism and primary certitude over, over, and over again.

    Once again you have offered nothing of substance, though I see you have taken a few introductory humanities courses and learned a few buzz phrases. I have reasoned with your position, such as it is, and have consistently pointed out the flaws in your rather circular and self contradictory arguments. You and I and Steven for that matter have the same ethnicity and are further from the same geographic region and have similar socioeconomic backgrounds. So your talk of our normative ethnocentricism relative to yours as a reason for or differences is quite simply put nonsense. As to my argument from primary certitude I and others have made evidence based arguments with citations to primary source material. You have provided weak apologetics with sociological buzz words that you apparently don’t understand. Stop using terms you don’t understand to try and dress up your argument. When you use them in an argument with someone that knows them or even knows how to google them it will only make you look the fool.

    You all need to recognize the human animals you are,

    I am virtually certain I understand humans on a biological level better than you do.

    and consider how your perspectives are skewed with presentism of the past vs the chronology of causality leading up to the Civil War, and the progression of that in regards to the Civil Rights era. First in regards to Slavery, then the Civil War, Reconstruction, Reunification, Jim Crow, Eugenics, Segregation, Civil Rights, to the present

    That is priceless. The symbol you cling so tightly to as sign of our Confederate ancestors is more a symbol of Jim Crow, Segregation, and opposition to Civil Rights up to the present than it is a symbol of the Confederacy. It didn’t fly over a statehouse until the 50s, then they started springing up, not coincidentally shortly after Brown vs Board of Education. This is an historical fact that you have studiously ignored throughout this thread. You have, in fact, yet to provide a single citation to any of the primary source material from either the Civil War or the Civil Rights era that in any way supports your position. You simply think saying ‘presentism’ is a get out of jail free card. And once again your buzzword explains your own position. You are the one that is blinded by thinking that just because you and some people you know now might not explicitly mean it as it is perceived by most people that view it, that it should be fine and they should get over it.

    and of your bigotry of Confederate symbolism of today.

    Well, let’s start by defining the term

    Bigotry is the state of mind of a bigot: someone who, as a result of their prejudices, treats other people with fear, distrust, hatred, contempt, or intolerance on the basis of a person’s ethnicity, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, disability, socioeconomic status

    We share the same ethnicity. I grew up going to a protestant church, I’m guessing not unlike you. We are both, not just from the United States, but both from the deep South. We are both male and I am guessing again both heterosexual, though if you are not I am certainly not going to judge you for it. I don’t believe you have any relevant disability and if you do, that is not my issue here. I would guess we are of similar socioeconomic status, given how much time we both have to argue on the internet. I am guessing the same is true of Steven. Your charge of bigotry is also nonsense. We do understand the history of the symbol you proudly display and are considerably less proud of it than you, but that doesn’t make us bigots.

  306. Michael C. Lucas says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Steven L. Taylor says:
    Monday, September 30, 2013 at 19:16

    @Michael C. Lucas:

    For example, where I am wrong when I @wrote the following?

    “The thing is, you fit exactly what we have been describing as the type of person who flies that flag: you are trying to extol whites as an ethnicity, you apologize for the CSA’s slavery and you link it to southern heritage (meaning white heritage.

    Really, you are agreeing with us about the flag and the other symbols of the CSA. The only difference is that you don’t see any of this as a problem.”

    Well first you need to learn the difference between what a race is versus an ethnicity, one is genetically evolved, the other is culturally. The problem is on both sides of the equation, the flag isn’t the issue, its the bigotry of both sides that is the issue. The hardline that everyone should agree on one perspective and not consider each others point of view needs to end, that alone stipulates that the Confederate Flag is a complex symbol and cannot be defined as just one thing. That also defines the issue of Slavery in the same way. The similar fact of varying perspectives over causality prove multiple causes and factors of the Civil War is no different. For Academics to maintain that slavery was the sole central factor is a fallacy period and feeds bigotry. African Americans still use Slavery and Segregation as an excuse to milk empathy, and maintain white guilt, while ignoring that they share the same inherent nature of bigotry. Confederate descendants are a part of of our cultural diversity they are not going away, and the memory of our past good and bad isn’t either.

  307. Michael C. Lucas says:

    @Grewgills: I guarantee my knowledge of our early American history and the Civil War, is more than you will ever know, no matter how much you google it. As far as my reference to “You all need to recognize the human animals you are” and your rebuttal
    Grewgills says “I am virtually certain I understand humans on a biological level better than you do.”
    Explain how you presume to know this? Whats your background? While you’re at it why hide behind a false identity, that says a lot about your character. If we’re going to compare backgrounds where did you grow up and how old are you? Don’t be so bashful.

  308. Michael C. Lucas says:

    @Grewgills: Your position is clearly identified with bigotry of the Confederacy, the Confederate flag and confederate descendants who identify with it. You may be a descendant as well, but that doesn’t mean you understand a broad view of the South, by your apparent disdain for it. Let alone your own history and ancestry, I hope this generates some interest for you to reflect on it broader than you have.

  309. @Michael C. Lucas:

    Well first you need to learn the difference between what a race is versus an ethnicity, one is genetically evolved, the other is culturally. The problem is on both sides of the equation, the flag isn’t the issue, its the bigotry of both sides that is the issue.

    A) Nothing in what I said has anything to do, ultimately, with definitions of race and ethnicity. And if it did, it is incumbent upon you to make an argument as to how. You are avoiding the issue.

    B) The discussion is about the flag, and has been from the beginning and it would appear that you are ultimately unable to defend your position.

    C) Again: just tossing the word “bigotry” about does not make it so.

  310. @Michael C. Lucas:

    I guarantee my knowledge of our early American history and the Civil War, is more than you will ever know, no matter how much you google it.

    That’s nice. But how about dazzling us with some of that knowledge to back up your position?

  311. @Michael C. Lucas:

    Your position is clearly identified with bigotry of the Confederacy, the Confederate flag and confederate descendants who identify with it.

    Again with the notion that saying “bigotry” makes it so.

    And you still have not defined exactly what these descendants are identifying when they fly this flag. You refuse to answer the fundamental question as to what heritage and history of the CSA you wish to extol.

    I think this is because if you were direct about it, it would further reveal the white nationalism at the heart of your position.

    For example, what does this mean?

    but that doesn’t mean you understand a broad view of the South

    What broader view are you suggesting? And, as I have asked before: what specific element of southern heritage is specifically celebrated by the flying of this specific flag?

    As long as you refuse to address that directly, you are dancing around your real position, and it is impossible for us to directly address it.

    There are all kinds of elements of southern culture, broadly defined, to include religiosity, hospitality, certain foods, specific literature, and so forth, that can be celebrated. And, further, the celebration thereof is not augmented in the least by the battle flag. Indeed, the flag detracts from the celebration of these things because of the slavery of the CSA and the subsequent segregationist deployment of the flag.

    Fundamentally, in claimed that flag as a specific symbol of your southern identity is to say that either you embrace slavery and segregation or, at best, that you do not care about those associations. And as bad as the former is, the latter is still pretty damning.

  312. @Michael C. Lucas:

    Well first you need to learn the difference between what a race is versus an ethnicity, one is genetically evolved, the other is culturally

    BTW: you are the one that introduced, and then refused to define, what you mean by “southern ethnicity”–it is not my fault that you will not clarify your position.

  313. MarkedMan says:

    I’ve finally reached the point where I’m going to unsubscribe to this, but before I do I have to ask – Steven, why are you continuing this discussion? You are essentially arguing with a bot, or one of those “the end is coming” guys you see in the park wearing a bed sheet. You seem well aware that there is no chance he is going to suddenly say “hey, Steven is right – I haven’t really presented any evidence and I’ve been using big words to spout semantically null content; let me fix that in this next post”.

    Steven, it’s time to give up. I’ve been as guilty of this as you, but sometimes we just need a friend to point out we are acting like the dogs in “Up”, and by that I mean – “SQUIRELL!”

  314. @MarkedMan: Perhaps so.

    There is certainly no doubt that Mr. Lucas is never going to get it. But, of course, that was obvious some time back.

    I was actually going to cease and desist a while back, but was intrigued by the fact that he has started to reveal his racism, which I thought was instructive.

    Of course, I wasn’t sure if anyone else was on the thread at this point!

  315. Michael C. Lucas says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: All of the elements you describe “There are all kinds of elements of southern culture, broadly defined, to include religiosity, hospitality, certain foods, specific literature, and so forth, that can be celebrated.” This is what the South “Confederacy” was and is ethnically. Whether you want to associate with Confederate connotation of not, many other Southerners however do not distinguish any difference with for that is what the Confederacy was about slavery was only one factor within Southern cultural development. Slavery did not define the culture it contributed to it, though be it by circumstances dictated a series of unfortunate and fortuitous. Before you respond consider where would the Slaves have gone if they had not been brought here? How were slaves maintained in the African Kingdoms that were not exported?

  316. pylon says:

    Mr. Lucas has gone from defending the Confederate Battle Flag as an unobjectionable symbol of ergional pride to defending slavery and the right of “white Southerners” to protect their “ethnicity”.

  317. Michael C. Lucas says:

    @pylon: And your point is what? My positions our certainly feasible for understanding the existence and causality in understanding this localized divisiveness with the Confederacy within the overall spectrum of inherent nature of all of humanity. All one needs do is measure the continuity in our society with the chronology of expansion of western civilization. let alone human development around the world to see this phenomenon is repetitive. Regardless of how enlightened you think you are, you’re human or you’re a sinner nonetheless, and are predisposed to inherent fallacies. The test is dependent upon our circumstances of how we react to our own fallacies, when faced by challenges for our survival, our needs, or desires to be maintained. As an Iraqi interpreter once confided in me you cannot teach or have democracy through the tyranny of oppression. The United States does not hold the patent on what freedom should be defined as, and certainly when it has condoned policies of oppression itself for the select few in control to profit from it.

  318. pylon says:

    My point is that you are a racist.

  319. Steve V says:

    Please don’t stop this thread! It is my favorite on the entire site, I can’t put it down.

  320. Michael C. Lucas says:

    @pylon: Wow lol funny so you forfeit then, ok Hitler!

  321. Grewgills says:

    @Michael C. Lucas:

    This is what the South “Confederacy” was and is ethnically. Whether you want to associate with Confederate connotation of not, many other Southerners however do not distinguish any difference with for that is what the Confederacy was about slavery was only one factor within Southern cultural development.

    No, the Confederacy was a short lived rebellion for the express written and spoken by it’s leaders purpose of defending the institution of slavery. This has been shown to you multiple times from primary sources. You have never shown it to be otherwise. You have offered up exactly nothing but your opinion and sociological buzz words that you wield in a way that leads one to believe you don’t understand them or their accepted use. Then again, perhaps you think they mean something else and feel that it is just me trying to force my normative bias on those words and their definitions.
    This symbol that you claim symbolizes Southern ethnicity, represents one narrow band of white southerners, not the diversity you mentioned when pinned down to define southern ethnicity.

    Before you respond consider where would the Slaves have gone if they had not been brought here?

    I was wondering how long it would take for you to trot this one out. The Africans brought here and held as slaves, the ones lucky enough to survive in the holds of the slave ships, are lucky to have been brought here. How deep into the fever swamp do you have to sink to pull up that moral relativist tripe?

    As an Iraqi interpreter once confided in me you cannot teach or have democracy through the tyranny of oppression.

    The nerve it takes to claim tyranny of oppression when defending a government founded on the principle that it was their divine right to hold people as slaves due to accident of birth is mind boggling.

    Over 300 comments in and you have yet to cite a single primary source that supports your position and dozens have been provided in direct contradiction to your thesis. With how much time you have spent arguing this point her and elsewhere with similarly fact free, buzz phrase filled circular logic, one has to come to the conclusion that despite your efforts you have been unable to come up with one single credible primary source that supports your position. You have accused us of cherry picking these dozens of quotes and you have not come up with even the pit of a single cherry. You have failed utterly to construct a logical, fact based argument to support your position. You are simply an apologist and not a very good one.

  322. Grewgills says:

    @Michael C. Lucas:

    Explain how you presume to know this? Whats your background? While you’re at it why hide behind a false identity, that says a lot about your character. If we’re going to compare backgrounds where did you grow up and how old are you?

    I have answered most of this in earlier comments. I grew up in Alabama in the 70s and 80s in a protestant church. I have an advanced degree in biology and teach at a university. I use a pseudonym because my work is separate from my politics and I chose to keep it that way.

  323. Michael C. Lucas says:

    Author: Grewgills
    Comment:
    @Michael C. Lucas:

    Grewgills says >No, the Confederacy was a short lived rebellion for the express written and spoken by it’s leaders purpose of defending the institution of slavery. This has been shown to you multiple times from primary sources. You have never shown it to be otherwise. You have offered up exactly nothing but your opinion and sociological buzz words that you wield in a way that leads one to believe you don’t understand them or their accepted use. Then again, perhaps you think they mean something else and feel that it is just me trying to force my normative bias on those words and their definitions. This symbol that you claim symbolizes Southern ethnicity, represents one narrow band of white southerners, not the diversity you mentioned when pinned down to define southern ethnicity.<

    When you read the declarations of secession, the secession ordinances you are focused on the subject of slavery and not the context in which it is used. I have not denied their intent to preserve slavery, you however have denied their inherent right to defend themselves. That slavery is central to their argument is because its central to their existence which you ignore that existence is their cause to defend. Slavery is not the primary factor but their overall right to existence is what slavery is integral to. The physical threat to slavery and their existence compelled them to secede. How you can suggest that millions of Confederate Americans were just a "narrow band" and ignore the overwhelming majority of Southerners who voted in agreement for secession, town, county, statewide, who served primarily in the Confederate Army, defending themselves as a narrow band is a blatant example of denial. There were pockets of Unionists who did not agree, who did serve the Confederacy but they were in truth the narrow band.

    I've travelled through every State in the South and consistently find the majority identify the Confederate flag symbolizes the South period with or without slavery. American by birth and Southern by the grace of God.

    Before you respond consider where would the Slaves have gone if they had not been brought here?

    Grewgills says > I was wondering how long it would take for you to trot this one out. The Africans brought here and held as slaves, the ones lucky enough to survive in the holds of the slave ships, are lucky to have been brought here. How deep into the fever swamp do you have to sink to pull up that moral relativist tripe?<

    Well either you're in this to find answers or you're not, that doesn't mean every answer is one you will like. It may contradict your sensibilities but its fact nonetheless, I feel their in lies the humility we need to consider.

    As an Iraqi interpreter once confided in me you cannot teach or have democracy through the tyranny of oppression.

    Grewgills says > “The nerve it takes to claim tyranny of oppression when defending a government founded on the principle that it was their divine right to hold people as slaves due to accident of birth is mind boggling.”

    I agree it is mind boggling, but honestly just about every government has been founded on slavery,

  324. @Michael C. Lucas:

    When you read the declarations of secession, the secession ordinances you are focused on the subject of slavery and not the context in which it is used. I have not denied their intent to preserve slavery, you however have denied their inherent right to defend themselves. That slavery is central to their argument is because its central to their existence which you ignore that existence is their cause to defend.

    Ultimately you are saying they founded their government and fought the war to defend slavery, And you here admit slavery was “central to their existence.” This is what we have been saying and that the symbols we have been discussing were created to represent a government for which slavery was central.

    I’ve travelled through every State in the South and consistently find the majority identify the Confederate flag symbolizes the South period with or without slavery. American by birth and Southern by the grace of God.

    Anecdotes aren’t data. It might have something to do with whom you are associating. Beyond that, however, I will agree that there are a number of southerners who have no trouble with the flag–and in many cases it is because they haven’t thought through the implications.

    I agree it is mind boggling, but honestly just about every government has been founded on slavery,

    You keep saying things like this as if they are arguments or evidence and never really explain yourself. Without trying to decipher your position, one thing is certain: there are few states that were founded for the express purpose of maintaining chattel slavery. The CSA is the only one I can think of, and if there are others, it is the most prominent example. That is the bedrock bottom line on that issue.

  325. MarkedMan says:

    Ok, now this is fascinating. @Michael C. Lucas:

    Since you hold that it is OK to engage in war to defend your lifestyle, including the holding of other human beings as slaves, would you also support the right of those slaves to kill their masters in order to gain their freedom?

    Further it appears that you consider it honorable to throw in with the cause of the confederates and help them kill northerners to defend their way of life. Would you also concede it would be honorable to throw in with the cause of the slaves and kill Confederates who tried to keep them in bondage?

  326. @MarkedMan: Hey! Aren’t you the one that told me to walk away? 😉

  327. @Michael C. Lucas: Here’s a question: why should the symbol of southerners be one that represents roughly 4 years of a multi-century history? Why make that the symbol of the south, especially given, as you admit, the CSA was founded to defend slavery?

  328. MarkedMan says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: guilty as charged;-)

  329. pylon says:

    Lucas: I forfeit nothing. I just don’t need to bury my point in a word salad like you. The point that you are a racist is based on:

    1. Your acceptance of slavery as moral (even viewed through the lens of the time in question).

    2. Your inadvertant slip up on “white Southerners” defending their “ethnicity”.

    3. Your staunch refusal to accept the past and present use of the Battle Flag as a symbol widely used as racist.

    BTW, is this you in this pic?

    http://thehistoricstruggle.blogspot.ca/2011/11/what-does-battle-flag-mean.html

  330. pylon says:

    the secession ordinances you are focused on the subject of slavery and not the context in which it is used”

    LMAO – let’s ignore the actual wording and look at their feelings.

    ” I have not denied their intent to preserve slavery, you however have denied their inherent right to defend themselves.”

    Assuming, arguendo, that there was actual defence and not simply a reaction to laws they disagreed with, there was no need to defend themselves unless they wanted to maintain slavery.

    That slavery is central to their argument is because its central to their existence which you ignore that existence is their cause to defend. Slavery is not the primary factor but their overall right to existence is what slavery is integral to.

    a. Slavery wasn’t essential to their existence. It appears those states are still there.
    b. At least you concede that slavery was the central right they were intent on keeping.
    c. If slavery was essential to their existence they ought not to exist.

    “The physical threat to slavery and their existence compelled them to secede. “

    No it didn’t. Assuming(again arguendo) that there was a physical threat initiated by the USA, there was another choice.

  331. Michael C. Lucas says:

    MarkedMan says:
    Wednesday, October 2, 2013 at 08:37

    MarkedMan says: >Since you hold that it is OK to engage in war to defend your lifestyle, including the holding of other human beings as slaves, would you also support the right of those slaves to kill their masters in order to gain their freedom?Further it appears that you consider it honorable to throw in with the cause of the confederates and help them kill northerners to defend their way of life.Would you also concede it would be honorable to throw in with the cause of the slaves and kill Confederates who tried to keep them in bondage?<

    Yes to the first part as alternative courses were possible. NO! To the latter, I do not advocate war except in defense and again no great slave revolt occurred that does not deny the slaves inherent desire for emancipation. Besides that is not the sole factor for what the North fought for either… Northerners were just as diverse as Southerners in their reasoning to fight. Republican interests for domination, political, economic, and western expansion, National patriotism of Unionism, Abolitionists Zealotry, and to subjugate what they viewed as Southern Slavocracy, which breaks down into many other reasons that have been obscured.

  332. Grewgills says:

    @Michael C. Lucas:

    When you read the declarations of secession, the secession ordinances you are focused on the subject of slavery and not the context in which it is used. I have not denied their intent to preserve slavery, you however have denied their inherent right to defend themselves. That slavery is central to their argument is because its central to their existence which you ignore that existence is their cause to defend. Slavery is not the primary factor but their overall right to existence is what slavery is integral to. The physical threat to slavery and their existence compelled them to secede.

    Thank you for finally admitting what we have been saying all along. Keep in mind when you say slavery was central to their existence that over 1/3 of the CSA population was slaves. Now, whose existence was imperilled by the abolition of slavery? Was it the lives and lifestyle of the African American slaves? Was it the lives of the poor white farmers and shopkeepers? Or was it the life and lifestyle of the white slave owners?

    How you can suggest that millions of Confederate Americans were just a “narrow band” and ignore the overwhelming majority of Southerners who voted in agreement for secession

    Because it was a relatively narrow band of white southern slave owners whose lifestyle was emperilled by the ending of slavery. You have now admitted that was the primary reason for secession.

    I’ve travelled through every State in the South and consistently find the majority identify the Confederate flag symbolizes the South period with or without slavery. American by birth and Southern by the grace of God.

    You have repeatedly accused us of ‘presentism’. Even if we accept your anecdotes as evidence, ignoring the self selective nature of your engagement with people on your travels, this ignores the history of the symbol and it’s associations in favor of what some people now think it means to them. That is the very definition of a presentist argument. It seems that your arguments amount to reflecting previous criticisms that you have received.

    Well either you’re in this to find answers or you’re not, that doesn’t mean every answer is one you will like. It may contradict your sensibilities but its fact nonetheless, I feel their in lies the humility we need to consider.

    You lack the empathy or humility to see what the symbol you are clinging to means to the vast majority of people around you. Will you tell us next how lucky the Jews were that Hitler drove their ancestors out of their homes in his attempt to exterminate them, because now they live in America and Israel thanks to him? That is basically the ‘humble’ argument you are making in regards to African Americans and slavery.

    I agree it is mind boggling, but honestly just about every government has been founded on slavery

    Which other nations were founded explicitly to preserve and/or expand chattel slavery?

  333. Michael C. Lucas says:

    @Grewgills: Gotcha! Again a clear example of taking things out of context, slavery is not central but integral to their existence which is central to their defense. You saw it the way you wanted to see it. That is why I worded it that way and therefore proves my position, you read it the way you wanted to read it feeding into your own bias. You cherry picked slavery and central totally ignoring the point that it was not central as a factor but integral as a factor to the centrality of their existence. Their existence was dependent on far more than slavery alone but slavery is all you comprehend it to be.

  334. Michael C. Lucas says:

    @MarkedMan: MarkedMan says:
    Wednesday, October 2, 2013 at 08:37

    Since you hold that it is OK to engage in war to defend your lifestyle, including the holding of other human beings as slaves, would you also support the right of those slaves to kill their masters in order to gain their freedom?

    YES! to engage in ones self-defense is inherently a natural right. There was however no great slave revolt of African Americans to liberate themselves… Why is that? What other reason are there besides such resistance was squelched, what other reasons apply? Even during the Civil War, after the Republicans recognized the use of Slaves as a viable war measure…African Americans continued to serve as slaves and support Confederate efforts…. Why is that?
    How can we ignore the sustained growth of free black populations within a society wherein their own ethnic let alone familial subjugation was integral? What about free blacks who owned slaves? What about slaves who were complaisant? What about slaves who defended their masters? Slaves had many other means of emancipation and resistance, manumission was opportune by either the masters will or in many cases the slaves own means (purchase) for their own manumission. There was Slave resistance, and there were certainly pockets of servile insurrections. None of which were fulfilled, and all of which contributed to hindering emancipation efforts. There were other alternatives for Slave liberation than murder and war.

    http://www.bowdoin.edu/~prael/lesson/tables.htm

    http://slaverebellion.org/index.php?page=united-states-insurrections

    Further it appears that you consider it honorable to throw in with the cause of the confederates and help them kill northerners to defend their way of life.

    NOT offensively, but, YES! Logically in self-defense, what has been obscured by propaganda is the complexity of Southern diversity and ways of life. Distorted by overt generalization by Northerners and politically correct Academic propagandists along with African Americans intent on Retribution and Reparations by vilifying Southerners and the Confederacy as one massive institution of slavery.

    Would you also concede it would be honorable to throw in with the cause of the slaves and kill Confederates who tried to keep them in bondage?

    Yes by other non-violent means. NO! by any other. But again no great slave revolt occurred that does not deny the slaves inherent desire for emancipation. Besides that is not the sole factor for what the North fought for either… Northerners were just as diverse as Southerners in their reasoning to fight. Republican interests for domination, political, economic, and western expansion, National patriotism of Unionism, Abolitionists Zealotry, and to subjugate what they viewed as Southern Slavocracy, which breaks down into many other reasons that have been obscured.

  335. @Michael C. Lucas:

    You cherry picked slavery and central totally ignoring the point that it was not central as a factor but integral as a factor to the centrality of their existence.

    So,your devastating “gotcha” moment is some nuanced reading of the difference between “central” and “integral”?

  336. Michael C. Lucas says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: >So,your devastating “gotcha” moment is some nuanced reading of the difference between “central” and “integral”?< This phenomenon is apparently often the case in regards to the discourse of this subject.

  337. @Michael C. Lucas:

    This phenomenon is apparently often the case in regards to the discourse of this subject.

    This sentence comes across as someone trying to sound smart while saying nothing.

    If you really think that there is some profound point to be made, make it.

  338. Michael C. Lucas says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Your response is arrogant. You’re apparently not smart enough to figure it out!

  339. @Michael C. Lucas: I will stipulate my arrogance for the sake of argument and still insist that you are not explaining yourself very well.

    The fact that you are trying to play a “gotcha” game by what you seem to think is some clever wordplay rather underscores that you are not really attempting to clearly articulate your position (or, perhaps, that you cannot)..

  340. Grewgills says:

    Gotcha! Again a clear example of taking things out of context, slavery is not central but integral to their existence which is central to their defense… You cherry picked slavery and central totally ignoring the point that it was not central as a factor but integral …

    According to Websters

    Integral
    1a : essential to completeness
    Central
    1 : containing or constituting a center
    2 : of primary importance

    Your gotcha is a distinction without a difference. If it was integral (ie essential) to their continued existence as you claim then that makes slavery the central reason for secession. You have conceded our points and shown your own position to be bankrupt and you still can’t see it.

    Their existence was dependent on far more than slavery alone but slavery is all you comprehend it to be.

    What pray tell is this ‘far more’? How does that ‘far more’ support of the heritage of the nearly 40% of the population that was held as property by another segment of the population? It seems here that the only heritage you are concerned with preserving amounts to privileged white members of the tapestry that is the South. You cling to that and call anyone who disagrees with your narrow interpretation a bigot. Your lack of empathy for the 40% of the population that was held as slaves and the roughly 25% of the population in the South that is descended from those slaves is truly remarkable. Your utter disregard for the prominent usage on the tops of state houses, and other public buildings as a direct statement against desegregation and what that means to the descendants of those slaves that live in the South now shows the kind of man you are.
    I note as well that you have not addressed the central planks of my argument or Steven’s preferring instead to play semantic games. That also shows the weakness of your position. You have still failed to cite a single primary or even secondary source and instead continue on with your weak opinion based apologetics sprinkled with projecting your own failings and biases on others.

    You keep claiming that this was a war of self defense by the Confederacy, completely ignoring the fact that the first shots were fired by the Confederacy. Demonstrating once again your lack of understanding of history.

  341. Michael C. Lucas says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: The fact is that most of the contributors here such as Grewgills, are playing the “gotcha game” to suit their egotistical bias rather than reevaluate their perspectives to consider my argument in reflection of the most commonly cited sources that they have submitted.

  342. Grewgills says:

    @Michael C. Lucas:
    Congratulations on finally contributing some actual data to the discussion. Unfortunately for you, it does more to harm than to help your position.

    How can we ignore the sustained growth of free black populations within a society wherein their own ethnic let alone familial subjugation was integral?

    From the sources you provided, The free black population in the Deep South was 1.1% and in the Upper South a slightly better 3.1%, relative to the 43.1% and 20.5% enslaved. That is your ‘sustained growth’.

    There was Slave resistance, and there were certainly pockets of servile insurrections. None of which were fulfilled, and all of which contributed to hindering emancipation efforts. There were other alternatives for Slave liberation than murder and war.

    So, slaves by trying to throw off their shackles hindered their own emancipation. How very short sighted of those slaves to fight for their freedom and hinder their eventual freedom.

    NOT offensively, but, YES! Logically in self-defense

    Again, Confederates fired the first shots in the Civil War. It was not a war of self defense for the South. It was a war to defend a particular lifestyle that not coincidentally relied on chattel slavery.

    Distorted by overt generalization by Northerners and politically correct Academic propagandists along with African Americans intent on Retribution and Reparations by vilifying Southerners and the Confederacy as one massive institution of slavery.

    There is bold is the nub of your argument. Egg headed yankee academics and the colored attacking your cherished institutions. That has been the cry of virtually all of the racists that have raised that flag. You seem to be at home among them and you jump to defend them and minimize their sins at every opportunity.

    But again no great slave revolt occurred that does not deny the slaves inherent desire for emancipation.

    No great slave revolt happened because the small ones were brutally crushed before they could spread.

    Besides that is not the sole factor for what the North fought for either

    The North primarily fought to preserve the Union.

    Republican interests for domination, political, economic, and western expansion,

    What exactly was this interest in domination? Is that simply your code for wanting to preserve the nation whole and unbroken? Confederate secession, would not have appreciably slowed Western expansion. The US had already expanded to the West Coast and the vast majority of the Western population chose the union side over the Confederacy. That was a primary bone of contention between North and South before secession. There were not going to be enough slave states added to match free states and Southern slave holders saw that as a threat to the continuation of the institution.

    Abolitionists Zealotry, and to subjugate what they viewed as Southern Slavocracy

    That is effectively one issue split and misrepresented. They were not intent on subjugating the Southern Slavocracy, they were intent on freeing those that were subjugated by that Slavocracy. Once again you only see the oppression of ‘your people’ and give short shrift to the subjugation of others. You are up in arms about the ‘subjugation’ of the South, which amounts to some lost property (mostly in terms of lost slaves) and being looked on unfavorably by some, yet you brush aside the subjugation of the slaves that were being held as ‘human nature.’ Can you not see the massive difference in scale of injustice there? Are you really that blinded by your own prejudices?

  343. Michael C. Lucas says:

    @Grewgills: Websters Sucks! The OED is God’s gift to the English Language.

    integral |ˈintigrəl, inˈteg-|
    adjective
    1 necessary to make a whole complete; essential or fundamental: games are an integral part of the school’s curriculum | systematic training should be integral to library management.
    • [ attrib. ] included as part of the whole rather than supplied separately: the unit comes complete with integral pump and heater.
    • [ attrib. ] having or containing all parts that are necessary to be complete: the first integral recording of the ten Mahler symphonies.
    2 Mathematics of or denoted by an integer.
    • involving only integers, esp. as coefficients of a function.
    noun |ˈɪntɪɡrəl|Mathematics
    a function of which a given function is the derivative, i.e., which yields that function when differentiated, and which may express the area under the curve of a graph of the function. See also definite integral, indefinite integral.
    • a function satisfying a given differential equation.
    DERIVATIVES
    integrality |ˌintiˈgralitē|noun,
    integrally adverb
    ORIGIN mid 16th cent.: from late Latin integralis, from integer ‘whole’ (see integer). Compare with integrate and integrity.

    In other words, just because something is integral does not define it as central. Slavery is integral, it is a factor in combination with the list of factors in the seceding states grievances that Republicans had and did threaten.

  344. Grewgills says:

    @Michael C. Lucas:
    The definition 1a from Websters is essentially the same as definition 1 from the OED.

    1a : essential to completeness

    vs

    1 necessary to make a whole complete; essential or fundamental

    You have again attempted to forge a minor distinction in verbiage with no substantive difference into a distraction from your failed argument. Why am I unsurprised by another weak semantic response that once again ignores the substance of the argument.

    In other words, just because something is integral does not define it as central. Slavery is integral, it is a factor in combination with the list of factors in the seceding states grievances that Republicans had and did threaten.

    You keep saying there were other, more important, factors; yet every one you list turns back on defending the institution of chattel slavery. What are all of these non slavery related reasons?

  345. Michael C. Lucas says:

    @Grewgills: OMG ! LOL you dumb Cracker! You’re a classic example of the product of indoctrination.

  346. Pylon says:

    Lucas has now descended into parsing and calling posters dumb. A clear sign of frustration that his actual argumentshave failed.

  347. Grewgills says:

    @Michael C. Lucas:
    That is a brilliant response. You are truly a master debater.

  348. Michael C. Lucas says:

    @Grewgills: Well I know your indoctrination is integral (central) and consistent with the ignorance of your popular responses.

  349. @Grewgills: It was a true bravura performance. I am not sure which was the most impressive part, the gotcha! moment, the slamming of Websters with the OED, or the name-calling.

    I weep for your (and my) indoctrination and bigotry.

  350. Grewgills says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:
    I will do my best to soldier on.

  351. Michael C. Lucas says:

    @Grewgills:

    Grewgills > Congratulations on finally contributing some actual data to the discussion. Unfortunately for you, it does more to harm than to help your position.

    Michael > Unfortunately for you, you’re still a dumb arrogant eggheaded academic cracker.

    Michael > How can we ignore the sustained growth of free black populations within a society wherein their own ethnic let alone familial subjugation was integral?

    Grewgills > From the sources you provided, The free black population in the Deep South was 1.1% and in the Upper South a slightly better 3.1%, relative to the 43.1% and 20.5% enslaved. That is your ‘sustained growth’.

    Michael > Compared with the estimated totals of free blacks prior to that census the growth is substantial. Of course you’re too busy being an arrogant ass to differentiate the slightest significance in changes from when African slaves began to be imported here to 1860.

    Micahel > There was Slave resistance, and there were certainly pockets of servile insurrections. None of which were fulfilled, and all of which contributed to hindering emancipation efforts. There were other alternatives for Slave liberation than murder and war.

    Grewgillls snarky remark > So, slaves by trying to throw off their shackles hindered their own emancipation. How very short sighted of those slaves to fight for their freedom and hinder their eventual freedom.

    Michael > Less short-sighted than your ignorant dumb arrogant eggheaded academic cracker response.

    Michael > NOT offensively, but, YES! Logically in self-defense

    Grewgills > Again, Confederates fired the first shots in the Civil War. It was not a war of self defense for the South. It was a war to defend a particular lifestyle that not coincidentally relied on chattel slavery.

    Michael > Well actually the Confederates fired the first shots in defense of a violation of the truce by the incursion of United States forces against the States of South Carolina to reinforce Fort Sumter and Florida at Fort Pickens. And those are the two significant incursions that led to the firing on Fort Sumter because of a subsequent resupply. Like most people I bet you didn’t know there was a truce prior to Fort Sumter, wonder why that’s not mentioned in your golden reader text book… Chew on that. I’m sure all you scalawag yankee apologist will hoot rant but I really don’t give a damn about your pious platitudes, and bigotry. History is not politically correct, just because you can’t handle the truth, doesn’t make it less true.

  352. @Michael C. Lucas:

    Unfortunately for you, you’re still a dumb arrogant eggheaded academic cracker.

    A most convincing argument.

  353. Michael C. Lucas says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Dude the academic arrogance permeates the larger part of this discourse. A Phd does not prove your position, regurgitating the same crap any fifth grader knows doesn’t improve your position. You’re a pc white apologist and you can’t dare to consider anything that contradicts the status quo.

  354. @Michael C. Lucas: You haven’t made your case and you have resorted to name-calling. This is the hallmark of a lost argument.

    You have not provided evidence for your position, avoid directly asked question that bear directly on that position, and you have ultimately predicated the foundation of your argument on an alleged key distinction between the words “central” and “integral.” This after over three hundred comments in the thread.

  355. Michael C. Lucas says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Your perspective is why bigotry remains, your article is nothing more than a lost argument of vindictive ignorance which you label, your name calling things, which you have no comprehension of. If you do not understand you are to blame not I for maintaining hatemongering that is your loss. My argument is your bigotry is the problem and this thread reveals that you have no inclination to consider your own hypocrisy for continuing to feed it.

  356. Pylon says:

    Shorter Lucas: I know you are but what am I?

  357. Michael C. Lucas says:

    @Grewgills:

    Michael > But again no great slave revolt occurred that does not deny the slaves inherent desire for emancipation.

    Grewgills > No great slave revolt happened because the small ones were brutally crushed before they could spread.

    Michael > Your position is that they should of just let slaves murder them? Well aren’t we glad your family were the lucky ones to survive the brutality of a Slave insurrection, who knows maybe your gene pool would have forked, if they hadn’t stopped them.

    Grewgills >The North primarily fought to preserve the Union.

    Michael > Republicans fought for their own interests for domination, political, economic, and western expansion. The average Billy Yank may have believed he was fighting for Union that was likely typical patriotism of the youthful men.

    Grewgills >What exactly was this interest in domination?

    Michael > Greed of Power and Wealth.

    Grewgills > Is that simply your code for wanting to preserve the nation whole and unbroken?

    Michael > It’s not a code word, code words are you and Stevens forte, that anything Confederate or Southern white is racist, but I digress for as you infer the Republicans wanted the nation as whole and unbroken under but solely under their control, dictated by their determination.

    Grewgills >Confederate secession, would not have appreciably slowed Western expansion.

    Michael > The point is attempts of Southern expansion into Western territories were directly countered for the intent purpose of denying States to be formed as Pro-Southern “Slave” States. Kansas would have been a “Slave” state but Free-soilers were intent on opposing it, a mass call went out to rally men and families to settle the Kansas –Nebraska territory in opposition of Slave state migration. It wasn’t just a race for land opportunities; western expansion of the latter territories became a sociopolitical race for expansion of legislative power.

    Grewgills > The US had already expanded to the West Coast and the vast majority of the Western population chose the union side over the Confederacy. That was a primary bone of contention between North and South before secession. There were not going to be enough slave states added to match free states and Southern slave holders saw that as a threat to the continuation of the institution.

    Michael > You’re partly correct here, but oh God forbid your ancestors have their rights suffer because they practiced to improve their lives by the means at hand inherit of their time. But you really don’t care about their perspective, they were just evil misguided slave holders I guess. As if they had no empathy of concern for nothing but themselves, how considerate and charitable of you to condemn your ancestors to be vilified for perpetuity.

    Michael > Abolitionists Zealotry, and to subjugate what they viewed as Southern Slavocracy

    Grewgills > That is effectively one issue split and misrepresented. They were not intent on subjugating the Southern Slavocracy, they were intent on freeing those that were subjugated by that Slavocracy.

    Michael > NO GREAT NATIONAL CRY OF URGENCY WAS MADE TO EMANCIPATE SLAVES UNTIL THE SOUTH SECEDED AND THREATENED THE NATIONAL ECONOMY AND NORTHERN INDUSTRIALISM. NORTHERNERS WE’RE INTENT TO “SAVE THE UNION” FROM DEFAULT AND REPUBLICANS WERE INTENT TO DOMINATE SOUTHERN STATES FOR CONTROL OF THE NATION. Lot of good that’s helping us now….

  358. Grewgills says:

    @Michael C. Lucas:

    Your position is that they should of just let slaves murder them? Well aren’t we glad your family were the lucky ones to survive the brutality of a Slave insurrection

    It is entirely unsurprising where you place blame here. In your world the slave fighting for freedom deserves to be beaten and hung to save the life and comfort of the slave owner. Thank you for making it even more clear exactly where your sympathies lie.

    It’s not a code word, code words are you and Stevens forte, that anything Confederate or Southern white is racist

    No, there are plenty of things Southern that are not racist. However a regime based on the preservation of slavery of one race and founded on the principle that one race is superior and the other inferior is inherently racist.

    Republicans wanted the nation as whole and unbroken under but solely under their control, dictated by their determination.

    Because, of course, the Republicans would have complete and unbroken control of the union from that point in time forward.

    The point is attempts of Southern expansion into Western territories were directly countered for the intent purpose of denying States to be formed as Pro-Southern “Slave” States. Kansas would have been a “Slave” state but Free-soilers were intent on opposing it, a mass call went out to rally men and families to settle the Kansas –Nebraska territory in opposition of Slave state migration.

    So, I see that you not only support the continuation of slavery by the Confederacy, but the expansion of slavery into other territories. Very few Confederate apologists go so far.

    You’re partly correct here, but oh God forbid your ancestors have their rights suffer because they practiced to improve their lives by the means at hand inherit of their time.

    The means to improve their lives being slavery and those rights being the right to own slaves, Again, few Confederate apologists go so far in their support of slavery.

    NO GREAT NATIONAL CRY OF URGENCY WAS MADE TO EMANCIPATE SLAVES UNTIL THE SOUTH SECEDED AND THREATENED THE NATIONAL ECONOMY AND NORTHERN INDUSTRIALISM.

    Bolded all-caps is the sign of an excellent argument by a rational actor.
    Of course there was considerable abolitionist sentiment and activity in the North prior to the Civil War, which is why the Confederate states feared that their particular institution was threatened. If there were no organized national movement for emancipation, the Confederate states wouldn’t have feared the end of their slave based economy and wouldn’t have felt the need to break the union.

    NORTHERNERS WE’RE INTENT TO “SAVE THE UNION” FROM DEFAULT AND REPUBLICANS WERE INTENT TO DOMINATE SOUTHERN STATES FOR CONTROL OF THE NATION. Lot of good that’s helping us now….

    Of course it is 150 years later, so causation seems to be missing, unless you are referring to the fact that Confederate states today are generally sucking at the government teat (ie, they receive more from the federal government than they pay in).

  359. Michael C. Lucas says:

    @Grewgills:

    Michael

    Your position is that they should of just let slaves murder them? Well aren’t we glad your family were the lucky ones to survive the brutality of a Slave insurrection

    Grewgills > It is entirely unsurprising where you place blame here. In your world the slave fighting for freedom deserves to be beaten and hung to save the life and comfort of the slave owner. Thank you for making it even more clear exactly where your sympathies lie.

    Michael > If this was 1860 My sympathies would have been Unionist, until that Union threatened to invade Virginia. But whether Master or Slave to murder was and is in violation of the law, let alone divine law. So it is you who has made it clear that you would rather murder or be murdered than resolve to seek more amiable measures for emancipation of slavery.

  360. Grewgills says:

    @Michael C. Lucas:

    But whether Master or Slave to murder was and is in violation of the law, let alone divine law. So it is you who has made it clear that you would rather murder or be murdered than resolve to seek more amiable measures for emancipation of slavery.

    The slaves did not have more amiable measures available to them. They had been held in bondage, as had their parents and their grandparents and great grand parents. There was no end in sight short of violent action and in the end that is what it took.
    I put to you a scenario and hope you will answer it honestly.
    Your family, parents, wife, children, etc are taken hostage, enslaved, and forced to work hard labor. During this time you know your wife could be raped and beaten at the whim of those who are holding you in bondage. You know that when your daughter reaches adulthood, she will be looking forward to the same treatment. Let’s further stipulate that for some reason, this is legal where you are being held. What would you do? Would you wait and hope some legal remedy came to free you and yours? or would you do whatever you had to to free your family?
    Now consider that when you condemn African American slaves for attempting revolt and consider it when you condone them being beaten and hung for attempting that revolt.

  361. Michael C. Lucas says:

    @Grewgills:

    Michael

    It’s not a code word, code words are you and Stevens forte, that anything Confederate or Southern white is racist

    Grewgills > No, there are plenty of things Southern that are not racist. However an regime based on the preservation of slavery of one race is inherently racist.

    Michael > The United States was also based on slavery as a racist nation, built not only slaves, but treason against their fellow countrymen, and the forced removal, and genocide of indigenous people, which it continued to carry out until the 1890’s. The Confederacy was determined to resume their State sovereignty as a measure of defense from a Republican usurper intent on the Republicans domination of the United States, which it fulfilled its conquests.

  362. Michael C. Lucas says:

    @Grewgills:

    Michael > But whether Master or Slave to murder was and is in violation of the law, let alone divine law. So it is you who has made it clear that you would rather murder or be murdered than resolve to seek more amiable measures for emancipation of slavery.

    Grewgills > The slaves did not have more amiable measures available to them. They had been held in bondage, as had their parents and their grandparents and great grand parents. There was no end in sight short of violent action and in the end that is what it took.

    Michael > Grewgills, That is false! Manumissions did occur throughout the South and the evidence of nearly half a million free blacks in the United States in 1860 testifies that empathy for the slaves’ plight for manumission was growing without the necessity for violence to end it.

    Grewgills > I put to you a scenario and hope you will answer it honestly.
    Your family, parents, wife, children, etc are taken hostage, enslaved, and forced to work hard labor. During this time you know your wife could be raped and beaten at the whim of those who are holding you in bondage. You know that when your daughter reaches adulthood, she will be looking forward to the same treatment. Let’s further stipulate that for some reason, this is legal where you are being held. What would you do? Would you wait and hope some legal remedy came to free you and yours? or would you do whatever you had to to free your family? Now consider that when you condemn African American slaves for attempting revolt and consider it when you condone them being beaten and hung for attempting that revolt.

    Michael > I would hope that I would realize lord willing someway to protect and keep that from happening, to stay my hands from violence. To persevere in effort and hope of a merciful emancipation, and to seek any means necessary available to me by non-violent means to achieve emancipation. Thousands of Slaves did just that without the necessity of violence. If violence is measured between men that is one thing, if it is in defense it is another, and yet again in offense quite a distinction exists, especially in the killing of innocents women and children, in order to make a show of force that was hopelessly bound to failure. Those who plot such courses have made their obligations with their maker clear.

  363. Grewgills says:

    @Michael C. Lucas:
    The history of the United States did not end in the 1860s. The history of the CSA did. The CSA was founded explicitly so that the Southern states could continue keeping African Americans as slaves in response to fears that the institution would end if they continued on in the Union. It lasted less than half a decade. The symbol of that short lived state that you cling to was never raised over a state house until it was raised in protest on several in direct protest to desegregation being forced on them because of Brown vs Board of Education. There was a lot of talk about states rights then too, and again it was specifically the right of the states to treat African Americans as inferior to European Americans. It is not the South in general that I don’t want to celebrate. It is the symbol of two shameful moments in a rich history that I don’t want to celebrate. It is people like you holding on to symbols with this clear racist baggage that are conflating support for and respect of the South with celebration of the Confederacy.

  364. Grewgills says:

    That is false! Manumissions did occur throughout the South and the evidence of nearly half a million free blacks in the United States in 1860 testifies that empathy for the slaves’ plight for manumission was growing without the necessity for violence to end it.

    1% of the population vs over 40% of the population in the Deep South. For every freed slave more than 40 remained property. It is far easier to tell a slave to be patient their time will come or if not for them, maybe for their grandchildren; than it is to wait in hope as a slave, watching your children held as slaves, knowing that any of you could be beaten or sold away at any time at the whim of another man, knowing that any of them could be raped at the whim of their owner.
    The unbridled lack of empathy you show for those held as slaves is appalling and your continued defense of beating them and killing them when they attempted freedom is no better. Your continuing apology for a system that makes this not only commonplace but sets it as divinely ordained is difficult to understand. You talk of people buying slaves as you would about someone buying an air conditioning unit and don’t seem to place any more moral burden on the purchase of one over the other. Your moral relativism seems to stop when it comes to the defense of the slaves held by those same people. There is no moral relativism for the man fighting to free his family from slavery. Why is it you find it so much easier to condone slavery along with all of the violence and abuse inherent in that system, than you find it to condone violence in escaping or helping others escape that system?

    If violence is measured between men that is one thing, if it is in defense it is another, and yet again in offense quite a distinction exists, especially in the killing of innocents women and children, in order to make a show of force that was hopelessly bound to failure. Those who plot such courses have made their obligations with their maker clear.

    That is quite a powerful argument against secession and the following war. Millions died for a cause that was doomed to failure from the start.
    You neglect again to consider all of the violence and brutality associated with the institution of slavery in the Confederacy. You sweep the forced labor, beatings, rapes, and lynchings under the rug, but those rare in comparison violent slave uprisings are morally reprehensible. That you continually try to rationalize away the sins of the white southerners of the Confederacy, while maximizing the sins of the Union and of the African American slaves fighting for their own freedom is illustrative of your character.

  365. Grewgills says:

    BTW, for anyone who is still reading and wondering why anyone would continue to engage, I have continued this exchange to get Mr Lucas to publicly admit what his position really amounts to. He spends quite a bit of time as an apologist for the Confederacy and its symbols and he always tries to pretend his position is more moderate at the beginning. He has stayed engaged here long enough to have explicitly endorse the Westward expansion of slavery into Kansas and Missouri and the preservation of slavery by the South as a “practiced to improve their lives by the means at hand inherit of their time” and potential ending of slavery as subjugation of the slave owners rights. He has defended the keeping of slaves by Southerners as superior to the hiring of employees by Northern factory owners, while heaping scorn on any African American that rose up against his master to fight for his freedom. I am hopeful that his public admissions here will effect his credibility elsewhere, but won’t hold my breath.

  366. Michael C. Lucas says:

    @Grewgills: @Grewgills:
    Grewgills says > The history of the United States did not end in the 1860s. The history of the CSA did. The CSA was founded explicitly so that the Southern states could continue keeping African Americans as slaves in response to fears that the institution would end if they continued on in the Union. It lasted less than half a decade. The symbol of that short lived state that you cling to was never raised over a state house until it was raised in protest on several in direct protest to desegregation being forced on them because of Brown vs Board of Education. There was a lot of talk about states rights then too, and again it was specifically the right of the states to treat African Americans as inferior to European Americans. It is not the South in general that I don’t want to celebrate. It is the symbol of two shameful moments in a rich history that I don’t want to celebrate. It is people like you holding on to symbols with this clear racist baggage that are conflating support for and respect of the South with celebration of the Confederacy.

    Michael says > The past is never dead. It’s not even past. The Confederacy is not for us to condemn either all good or all bad. You can scream all you care to, that the CSA was founded explicitly for the perpetuation of slavery, but that is a lie, and the insurmountable evidence of it’s complexity undermines you persistence to narrowly define the CSA by your bigoted perspective. Regardless of wherever the Confederate flag has flown far more atrocities have occurred in the name of freedom under the United States flag, yet you do not have the humility to compare the weight of each symbol objectively to see them comparatively. You have some zealot reasoning for your pursuit and condemnation of the Confederacy rather than to gain tolerance and knowledge. I have no racist baggage, I greatly appreciate the sacrifices of African Americans and have great empathy for their ancestral sufferings, it is evident however by your rant that your zealots agenda is based on politically correct distortion, as well as your admitted attempt to malign my character. The primary factor I am glad we have established is when it comes to the Confederacy at the least, and myself that you’re a bigot.

  367. Grewgills says:

    @Michael C. Lucas:
    You have brought nothing to the argument but weak apologetics and circular semantic arguments. You haven’t engaged the substance of a single argument put to you.
    You celebrate a society that condoned brutal slavery and lynchings, while you claim that any slave revolt is murder and indefensible. It is apparent where your empathy lies. Calling me a bigot or an ignorant cracker doesn’t hide that obvious fact.

  368. Michael C. Lucas says:

    @Grewgills: Humans amaze the hell out me because after 40 years of studying them, I realize a humans indifference to treat one group with inhumanity, versus another ebbs and flows upon its ignorance of itself, the lack of humility to see the human animal within. We would like to believe that all of the advances mankind has created, decidedly those intent to bring about a more peaceful existence would succeed as the cure to end our affliction of conflict. The one thing that would have to be done in order for that to happen would likely be to remove ourselves completely out of the equation, because humanity does not endure peacefully, it is too dependent upon others. Human existence is dependent on survival, first in needs and second in desires. Our needs have evolved to embrace greed for our desires, this is inherent in our human nature.
    What audacity and hypocrisy we have to condemn an entire society, ethnicity, race for the very essence of our own humanity, human nature. Ignorance must truly be bliss, then why aren’t more people happy? Are they too preoccupied condemning others, for the very things they are themselves? I wonder if the epiphany of enlightenment isn’t based partially on the arrogance of competition to be dominant? In any case until we recognize the humility to see ourselves in others and others in ourselves peace will remain a shortlived delusion. So while you may be content in the arrogance you are better than your forebears, better than anyone else, the truth of the matter evades you that you are no different than those you condemn. Thus all mean are created equal. A preference of paint on the wall, picture half cocked, or flag on a pole, will not change the inherent fallacies of human nature. Confederate Americans are no less American than anyone else is any more human than another. If other nations evolved to embrace emancipation without out a bloody conflict it stands to reason that the Confederacy would have as well, regardless of the time necessary to do it, it would have been far less worse than the effusion of blood.

  369. @Michael C. Lucas:

    Confederate Americans

    What,moray tell, is a “Confederate American”?

    Understanding and acknowledging history is one thing, making a specific, finite set of events part of your identify is another, especially one so very specifically tied to slavery.

    This would be like calling oneself a “Trail of Tears American” because one’s ancestors served in the US military during the displacement of Native Americans.

    There is a lot more to being southern (or even a white southerner) than the CSA, and yet you choose to rather deeply identify with that entity. To cleave so heavily to that one aspect of southern history is why I have stated your position is one of white nationalism, not some attempt at “real” history or just trying to understand human nature.

  370. Michael C. Lucas says:

    Free your mind Steven… as I stated Confederate Americans are no less American than anyone else is any more human than another. A Confederate American is a politically correct term or connotation equivalent to say an African American, Native American etc… or any other preferable connotation used by any individual, group, ethnicity, which chooses what it resolves to be… you know that little thing we like to call the American Dream…

  371. @Michael C. Lucas:

    Free your mind Steven

    Not an argument. Indeed, it is an empty formulation.

    A Confederate American is a politically correct term or connotation equivalent to say an African American, Native American etc… or any other preferable connotation used by any individual, group, ethnicity, which chooses what it resolves to be

    I understand the parallelisms involved. That. however, is not a definition. For someone who likes to argue via dictionary, you are not very good at defining your terms. The definition of terms is central to a strong argument as well as to basic communication (yes, there I go again with the academic arrogance).

    Let me help you: are all whites who live in former Confederate states “Confederate Americans”? Do they have to be descendants of Confederate veterans?

    What specific aspects of Confederate society does one have to extol in order to be a “Confederate American”?

    What cultural signifies separate out plain ol’ white folks from the specific ethnicity, “Confederate Americans”?

    Of what demographic, analytic, or policy purpose is this particular classification?

    On the one hand, people can self-identify however they wish. I expect that somewhere someone identifies as “Klingon American” and more power to them. If they do so, however, I am likely to think that they are, at a minimum, a bit nerdy, given what Klingons represent.

    Likewise, if one is going to consciously self-identify as “Confederate American” that comes across as, at a minimum, identifying with a country explicitly founded on slavery.

    I am unclear on why one can’t just be “southern” or why this conversation has to be about ethnicity, unless what one is trying to do is separate oneself from persons of other racial categories as part of you identity. Note that you are not just identifying certain biological aspects of your person, but are strongly identifying with a very specific, well-defined, historic/political entity.

  372. pylon says:

    Nazi Americans are no less American than any other Americans I suppose. They are still bigotted and it’s appalling that they are around.

  373. Grewgills says:

    @Michael C. Lucas:
    You love to wax moral relativistic when it comes to “Confederate Americans.”Why is it that moral relativism ends for you when speaking about Northerners (Union Americans), who you have made clear you find morally inferior because among other things you feel they started the bloody Civil War. That moral relativism is also lacking when you speak about slaves that revolted to gain their freedom. To you they are murderers and THEY are the ones that extended the duration of slavery. I might believe you to just be some sheltered man that hasn’t grasped the weaknesses of the moral relativist position if you utilized it evenly. The problem is you do not. You simply use it to rationalize away the culpability of “Confederate Americans” on the issues of slavery and apartheid. When it comes to Lincoln and other Republicans, they are war mongers intent on power and greed. When it comes to slaves fighting for their freedom, they are murderers. Where did all those squishy morally relative arguments go? It seems they disappeared with your empathy, which only seems to extend to those you like and agree with.

  374. Grewgills says:

    @Michael C. Lucas:

    If other nations evolved to embrace emancipation without out a bloody conflict it stands to reason that the Confederacy would have as well, regardless of the time necessary to do it, it would have been far less worse than the effusion of blood.

    See, here again you have let go of your moral relativism on one side of the equation. It may well have been better for the slave holders for slavery to have continued on several more generations until it finally wound down and then settled into an apartheid state for however long it took for them to finally let that go. That, however, ignores the position of the slaves. They are the ones who suffer for those generations that the slave owners are afforded the luxury of their labor. They are the ones who it remains legal to beat and to rape and to tear apart their families on a whim. Why is it you find a short period of war that effects all of a society so much worse on a moral and ethical level than you find generations of slavery and brutality to ~40% of a society?

  375. Michael C. Lucas says:

    @Grewgills:

    Michael > If other nations evolved to embrace emancipation without out a bloody conflict it stands to reason that the Confederacy would have as well, regardless of the time necessary to do it, it would have been far less worse than the effusion of blood.

    Grewgills > See, here again you have let go of your moral relativism on one side of the equation. It may well have been better for the slave holders for slavery to have continued on several more generations until it finally wound down and then settled into an apartheid state for however long it took for them to finally let that go. That, however, ignores the position of the slaves. They are the ones who suffer for those generations that the slave owners are afforded the luxury of their labor. They are the ones who it remains legal to beat and to rape and to tear apart their families on a whim. Why is it you find a short period of war that effects all of a society so much worse on a moral and ethical level than you find generations of slavery and brutality to ~40% of a society?

    Michael > I think if you peruse back through the thread I have consistently argued that no one is without sin. The position of the slaves was hardly ignored, it was of constant concern and debate. Laws were in order not only to control, or protect the slave holder but slaves themselves. I recommend you read “Israel on the Appomattox” by Melvin Ely
    http://www.amazon.com/Israel-Appomattox-Southern-Experiment-Freedom/dp/0679768726

    Grewgills > “They are the ones who it remains legal to beat and to rape and to tear apart their families on a whim.”

    Michael Umm I don’t think you realize the moral relativity of Southerners, let alone slave holders was quite diverse. As you like to use that broad bigoted brush to vilify slave holders… What part of reconstruction and Jim Crow was unlike an apartheid system?

    Like many you have quite a narrow view of the complexity of slavery, as if all Slave holders, overseers were beating, raping, murdering and selling families off without any more empathy or concern than livestock, certainly for many less than favorable persons this is true, but not everyone took it to the extremes which have been overtly propagandized.

  376. Grewgills says:

    @Michael C. Lucas:

    Like many you have quite a narrow view of the complexity of slavery, as if all Slave holders, overseers were beating, raping, murdering and selling families off without any more empathy or concern than livestock, certainly for many less than favorable persons this is true, but not everyone took it to the extremes

    Yet it was legal and the society condoned it and you have explicitly defended it’s practice and it’s expansion into Western territories. Your lack of empathy for the slaves is evident in who you choose to defend (Southern slave holders) and who you choose to vilify (Northern abolitionists and rebellious slaves).

    I think if you peruse back through the thread I have consistently argued that no one is without sin.

    The problem is you excuse the sins of some (slaveholders) and hold up as intolerable the perceived sins of others (abolitionists and members of slave revolts). You have implicitly called those in the North that engaged in the Civil War murderers and explicitly called rebellious slaves murders. There are no such judgemental terms coming from you in reference to Southern slave holders, it is all kumbaya and you have to understand where they were coming from. Your empathy and rationalizations are all entirely one sided, that sir makes you a bigot.

    You have repeatedly cast the Civil War as the fault of Republicans intent on domination and ‘subjugation’ of the South and Southerners. You state that slavery would have naturally wound down in the South if only the uppity African Americans that had the temerity to rise up for their freedom would only have been patient. You ignore the overwhelming evidence that the Confederate states seceded, in the words of their founders and leaders, primarily to ensure the continuation of chattel slavery of African Americans, which they saw as God’s will*. The abolitionist movement was gaining traction in the North and the West. Had the Confederate States not broken from the Union, it would not have been long before free states outnumbered slave states and at that point the institution of slavery would have been doomed. With someone like Lincoln in office that would have likely meant payments to slaveholders to give up their slaves. The founders and leaders of the Confederacy found that proposition intolerable and so broke away from the Union to preserve and expand slavery.

    If you and your family were enslaved and forced to hard labor. How much patience would you have? If you saw the chance for freedom for your children melt away with the breaking of the union, would you really sit idly by and hope that maybe your grandchildren or their children or their great grandchildren would some day be free?
    I certainly would not stand for my wife and daughter to be held as slaves, to be beaten and raped at the whim of an overseer or slave master and I would do whatever I could to free them regardless of whether or not I thought I was doomed to failure.

    * You repeatedly say that this was not the case and claim a mountain of evidence to the contrary, yet somehow you (someone who has dedicated considerable time to celebrating this short lived regime) have been unable or unwilling to cite a single document, much less a mountain of them supporting that position.

  377. Michael C. Lucas says:

    @Grewgills: Author: Grewgills
    Comment:
    Michael C. Lucas >Like many you have quite a narrow view of the complexity of slavery, as if all Slave holders, overseers were beating, raping, murdering and selling families off without any more empathy or concern than livestock, certainly for many less than favorable persons this is true, but not everyone took it to the extremes

    Yet it was legal and the society condoned it and you have explicitly defended it’s practice and it’s expansion into Western territories. Your lack of empathy for the slaves is evident in who you choose to defend (Southern slave holders) and who you choose to vilify (Northern abolitionists and rebellious slaves).

    My empathy is not based on a presentists perspective such as yours, I do not advocate to be a slave owner or that “all” slave holders were evil doers. I do not vilify all Northerners, “all” Abolitionists or “all” rebellious slaves, for their transgressions and for any Southerners, Confederates, Slaveholders etc… who enacted transgressions against their fellow man I also condemn them for their trespasses, which I hope they paid duly for. I do not condemn Slaves who rebelled, but those who did so without any justification or violence, the law and morality should be condemned for those who slaughtered innocent women and children. You however repeatedly state “All” should be condemned and you sir are a bigot because you are ignorant to generalize that “All” Southerners, “All” Confederates, or “All” Slaveholders etc… or that the Confederate flag wholly symbolizes slavery, or racism. That “All” should be condemned is your forte! To ignore Republicans political and economical motivations for the causation of the war is to overtly distort history.

  378. Grewgills says:

    @Michael C. Lucas:

    What part of reconstruction and Jim Crow was unlike an apartheid system?

    Jim Crow was an apartheid system and one that was disproportionately supported by the ex Confederate states. Some of those states raised the symbol you are clinging to in support of Jim Crow and against desegregation.

  379. Grewgills says:

    @Michael C. Lucas:

    for their transgressions and for any Southerners, Confederates, Slaveholders etc… who enacted transgressions against their fellow man I also condemn them for their trespasses, which I hope they paid duly for.

    I note you don’t seem to include the holding of another person as property as a transgression against one’s fellow man, nor to you include supporting laws that allow for the ownership of other humans and allowing those owned humans to be beaten, raped and killed on a whim.

    I do not condemn Slaves who rebelled, but those who did so without any justification or violence

    How can you not see someone holding you as property as a justification for rebellion. How can you not see the abuses committed against slaves by slave owners as justification for revolt?

    You however repeatedly state “All” should be condemned and you sir are a bigot because you are ignorant to generalize that “All” Southerners, “All” Confederates, or “All” Slaveholders etc

    Point to where I have said that all Southerners should be condemned. Point me to where I have said that all Confederates should be condemned. On the other hand all slaveholders do deserve some condemnation as do all murderers, torturers, and rapists. Being a slaveholder and condoning the holding of slaves are deserving of condemnation.

    or that the Confederate flag wholly symbolizes slavery, or racism

    Not wholly, but primarily.

  380. Michael C. Lucas says:
  381. Michael C. Lucas says:

    @Grewgills: Say do you own anything made in a third world country? Wonder how much support you have given to slave labor for your own selfish desires? While we are on the subject of being inhumane, what about how many Chimpanzees, monkeys, dogs, cats, frogs, etc… have you dissected recently? How many heinous inhumane things have biologists as well as yourself ever done to establish your credentials, to sustain your career? All for the benefit of mankind, how kind of you to deny freedom, to torture, and murder innocent lives for the betterment of mankind. Bet you love payday though, and I’m sure you donate to animal rights causes, bet it gives you a warm fuzzy feeling… Truth is your a human animal, can you handle it?

  382. Grewgills says:

    @Michael C. Lucas:

    Say do you own anything made in a third world country? Wonder how much support you have given to slave labor for your own selfish desires?

    I do my best to buy local and buy fair trade when I can, but some of my clothes come from the third wold, so I have some complicity in unfair and predatory business practices and maybe even sweatshops, though I do try not to. There is a considerable difference in degree between that and support for chattel slavery.

    While we are on the subject of being inhumane, what about how many Chimpanzees, monkeys, dogs, cats, frogs, etc… have you dissected recently?

    In the past year a few cats to help train nurses in anatomy. The cat’s were euthanized at shelters after not being adopted out. My wife gives to programs that fix and feed feral cats. I think as a couple we come out ok on that front.

    How many heinous inhumane things have biologists as well as yourself ever done to establish your credentials, to sustain your career?

    Some biologists have done some heinous things, but the study of biology was not founded on being inhumane to other humans, nor is it now a profession devoted to continuing inhumane treatment of other humans. On the other hand, biologists have done quite a bit of good: modern medicine, drought resistant crops, vaccines, better understanding the living things we share the planet with. Can you point me to any similar accomplishments for the CSA?
    Beyond the cat for every 4-5 nursing students and parts of other animals that were slaughtered for meat, not much. Most of my field research has been on sessile marine invertebrates (corals, sponges, etc). I have chipped bits off of living animals without any anesthetic, but they did not have central nervous systems. Being without central nervous systems, I fear they will never forgive me.

    All for the benefit of mankind, how kind of you to deny freedom, to torture, and murder innocent lives for the betterment of mankind.

    You seem much more concerned about the treatment of laboratory animals than you do about the treatment of human slaves. I find that remarkable.

    Bet you love payday though,

    I probably make less than you, but I love what I do.

    and I’m sure you donate to animal rights causes, bet it gives you a warm fuzzy feeling…

    We mainly donate to Kiva and it does give me a warm fuzzy feeling to help someone in the developing world start a small business.

    Truth is your a human animal, can you handle it?

    I am daily amazed by the tremendous complexity of life and enjoy teaching future nurses about the physiology of the human body. In short, I am content about my status as a human and as a primate, virtually the same as other primates, but for a little processing power and a much more complex society. The base instincts are all there. That we are all flawed is no excuse for murder, torture, rape, or slavery, no matter how you dress it up and your selective use of moral relativism is is intellectually bankrupt.

  383. Michael C. Lucas says:

    @Grewgills: Well if you have a smidget of humility to comprehend your fallacies, what makes you think that Southern slaveholders were any less capable of it? Slavery was and has been normative within societies since social groups came into being and still exists to this day. So do we or I agree its inhumane YES, it can be! Understanding it from the point of its advocacy and within the context of the period and the cultural normatives is essential to rationalizing why it existed and persists even today. Is slavery justifiable YES, as the 13th amendment notes it can be. Can it be humane, I think it can be, if given the choice between life and death, a slave has at least been given the chance to live and fight for another day. I cannot believe that every slave holder was intent upon brutality of their slaves, their objective was primarily to use their labor for whatever resource they were after, chiefly for mining, agrarian practices and servants. This we can be sure presented circumstances for further abusive exploitation of people, people have these tendencies regardless with or without legalized slavery. The haves always dictate the have nots. But at least by condemning that practice legally, it has led to further strengthen legislation against other inhumane physical, and sexually abusive acts, not only for humans but people as well. I take my stand to establish the discussion to point out that everyone is subject to being the slave or master. I feel those who point fingers generally have little insight into the complexity of humanity, and my intent is to present reasoning for humility in our understanding of ourselves to bring these fallacies to light and hopefully at bay. There is method to my madness. The only way to fight these things within ourselves is to first recognize they exists first and foremost by our own means. I cannot condemn my ancestors for their struggles, I cannot condemn them for their humanity, and I cannot condone the arrogance of another to condemn them for something they did not conceive themselves and were nonetheless products of their time. I do condemn the hypocrisy of those who do not see their own fallacies of inhumanity while condemning others, that is what the Abolitionists and Republicans did, and what politically correct historians, with far right conservatives and far left liberals do. Today our society is no less guilty of being controlled by similar circumstances, we have a nation now that has proven it cannot handle the greed of capitalism. Our nation is broke, we are in debt and are producing very little export for the world market, meanwhile we are consuming imported products and feeding the rest of the world today, in fact you might say we are now enslaved by our debts to the world at large, to what some say is the “New World Order.” Do I revere the Confederate flag YES, because like the United States flag it to bears the weighted paradox of good and bad of a people in the struggle for their humanity. The Confederate flag has presented us with an opportunity of reflection and education and where ever it snaps in the breeze, it can be just that a tool for opening the discourse of what our humanity means.

  384. Michael C. Lucas says:

    I’m reposting this which I edited for a typo.
    Well if you have a smidget of humility to comprehend your fallacies, what makes you think that Southern slaveholders were any less capable of it? Slavery was and has been normative within societies since social groups came into being and still exists to this day. So do we or I agree its inhumane YES, it can be! Understanding it from the point of its advocacy and within the context of the period and the cultural normatives is essential to rationalizing why it existed and persists even today. Is slavery justifiable YES, as the 13th amendment notes it can be. Can it be humane, I think it can be, if given the choice between life and death, a slave has at least been given the chance to live and fight for another day. I cannot believe that every slave holder was intent upon brutality of their slaves, their objective was primarily to use their labor for whatever resource they were after, chiefly for mining, agrarian practices and servants. This we can be sure presented circumstances for further abusive exploitation of people, people have these tendencies regardless with or without legalized slavery. The haves always dictate the have nots. But at least by condemning that practice legally, it has led to further strengthen legislation against other inhumane physical, and sexually abusive acts, not only for humans but for animals and other forms of life as well. I take my stand to establish the discussion to point out that everyone is subject to being the slave or master. I feel those who point fingers generally have little insight into the complexity of humanity, and my intent is to present reasoning for humility in our understanding of ourselves to bring these fallacies to light and hopefully at bay. There is method to my madness. The only way to fight these things within ourselves is to first recognize they exists first and foremost by our own means. I cannot condemn my ancestors for their struggles, I cannot condemn them for their humanity, and I cannot condone the arrogance of another to condemn them for something they did not conceive themselves and were nonetheless products of their time. I do condemn the hypocrisy of those who do not see their own fallacies of inhumanity while condemning others, that is what the Abolitionists and Republicans did, and what politically correct historians, with far right conservatives and far left liberals do. Today our society is no less guilty of being controlled by similar circumstances, we have a nation now that has proven it cannot handle the greed of capitalism. Our nation is broke, we are in debt and are producing very little export for the world market, meanwhile we are consuming imported products and feeding the rest of the world today, in fact you might say we are now enslaved by our debts to the world at large, to what some say is the “New World Order.” Do I revere the Confederate flag YES, because like the United States flag it to bears the weighted paradox of good and bad of a people in the struggle for their humanity. The Confederate flag has presented us with an opportunity of reflection and education and where ever it snaps in the breeze, it can be just that a tool for opening the discourse of what our humanity means.

  385. @Michael C. Lucas: The amazing about the way this thread, and your argument, has evolved is that have gone from accusing us of cherry picking to prove that the CSA was fundamentally about slavery to pretty much affirming, justifying, and apologizing for the slavery in the CSA.

    And, as such, you agree that the flag represents a state which contained within in it the protection of chattel slavery as one of its founding tenets.

    Really, the only thing we then disagree about on these specific topics is whether that flag, therefore, ought to be flown as a symbol of southern pride.

  386. Also, I notice you never gave me a definition of “Confederate Americans”

  387. BTW, I also find it amusing that when it comes to the slavery of the south you want us to adopt the viewpoint of the most beneficent of slaveholders, and yet when talking about anyone else (the north in general, abolitionists, rebellious slaves) you want us to use a far harsher standard.

  388. Grewgills says:

    @Michael C. Lucas:

    Slavery was and has been normative within societies since social groups came into being and still exists to this day.

    The same is true of rape and murder.

    So do we or I agree its inhumane YES, it can be!

    No, it inherently is.

    Understanding it from the point of its advocacy and within the context of the period and the cultural normatives is essential to rationalizing why it existed and persists even today.

    If one’s aim is rationalizing away the inhumanity of the practice

    Is slavery justifiable YES, as the 13th amendment notes it can be.

    You are (deliberately) conflating forced labor of convicts with chattel slavery based on race and continuing over generations. Among other things, the state does not own the prisoner and the state does not own the prisoner’s offspring.

    Can it be humane, I think it can be, if given the choice between life and death, a slave has at least been given the chance to live and fight for another day.

    Would you say the same of rape or a severe beating, after all they can stop short of murder, so the victim has at least been given a chance to fight another day.

    I cannot believe that every slave holder was intent upon brutality of their slaves, their objective was primarily to use their labor for whatever resource they were after, chiefly for mining, agrarian practices and servants.

    For the vast majority of slave owners, I would think their intent was not sadism. However, if the slave talked back, if a male slave looked at the slave mistress wrong, if the slave refused to work, etc beatings or worse were, as you would say, normative in that society. The slaves were held and forced to do that labor on constant implicit or explicit threat of brutality.

    This we can be sure presented circumstances for further abusive exploitation of people, people have these tendencies regardless with or without legalized slavery.

    Legalized slavery, makes the abuses of those people legal.

    The haves always dictate the have nots. But at least by condemning that practice legally, it has led to further strengthen legislation against other inhumane physical, and sexually abusive acts, not only for humans but for animals and other forms of life as well.

    Yes, abolition is one step among many in moving towards a more fair, equitable, and less inhuman society.

    I take my stand to establish the discussion to point out that everyone is subject to being the slave or master.

    The only way I am subject to slavery is to be taken hostage while somewhere on vacation. I am not a likely candidate for that. I will never personally hold a slave.

    I feel those who point fingers generally have little insight into the complexity of humanity, and my intent is to present reasoning for humility in our understanding of ourselves to bring these fallacies to light and hopefully at bay.

    But, you only do this for one specific group. Your rationalizations fade away when talking about Republicans of that era*, abolitionists, and rebel slaves.
    * though I am guessing you make exceptions for current elections

    I cannot condemn my ancestors for their struggles, I cannot condemn them for their humanity, and I cannot condone the arrogance of another to condemn them for something they did not conceive themselves and were nonetheless products of their time.

    You condemn others from that same time. Your rationalizations begin and end with that one group.

    I do condemn the hypocrisy of those who do not see their own fallacies of inhumanity while condemning others, that is what the Abolitionists and Republicans did

    Two points:
    1) Apparently you find hypocrisy a more serious offense than chattel slavery with all of its associated brutality; since you can condemn one, but not the other.
    2) To use your own words, hypocrisy “was and has been normative within societies since social groups came into being and still exists to this day.”

    Today our society is no less guilty of being controlled by similar circumstances, we have a nation now that has proven it cannot handle the greed of capitalism.

    So the greed of capitalist slave holders is somehow equivalent or less bad than the greed of current capitalists that want to avoid paying taxes?

    Our nation is broke, we are in debt and are producing very little export for the world market, meanwhile we are consuming imported products and feeding the rest of the world today,

    We export considerably less manufactured goods, that is not the same, there are other export products (intellectual property to name one). That we are able to feed so much of the world, should tell you in and of itself that we are exporting.

    in fact you might say we are now enslaved by our debts to the world at large, to what some say is the “New World Order.”

    Most of our debt is internal, ie to Americans. Foreign and international debt are about 30%.

    Do I revere the Confederate flag YES, because like the United States flag it to bears the weighted paradox of good and bad of a people in the struggle for their humanity.

    What did the Confederacy do in the 4 years of its existence that was worthy of reverence?

    The Confederate flag has presented us with an opportunity of reflection and education and where ever it snaps in the breeze, it can be just that a tool for opening the discourse of what our humanity means.

    Do you feel the same about the Nazi flag?

  389. Michael C. Lucas says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: @Michael C. Lucas: The amazing about the way this thread, and your argument, has evolved is that have gone from accusing us of cherry picking to prove that the CSA was fundamentally about slavery to pretty much affirming, justifying, and apologizing for the slavery in the CSA.

    What I find amazing is what you interpret from what I posted, which proves its a matter of perspective. I accuse you of cherry picking which is affirmed because your not seeing the broader perspective of may argument. 2. Arguing about cherry picking slavery, and what context it is used or what slavery is does not affirm you argument that the war was over solely or centrally over slavery. 3. Slavery is justifiable as the 13th amendment states that the government may enforce slavery upon its prisoners as it deems slavery fit as punishment, basically if you are imprisoned you are enslaved at the governments whim. Of course in your mind set everyone the government thereby imprisons is guilty of a crime and therefore should be enslaved. So you think its ok for the government to enslave people as prisoners of the state? How many contracts bind people to perpetual agreements, who then for whatever subsequent chain of fortunate or unfortunate events, change their minds or with criminal intent, are then subject to legal penalization, or domination, wherein their incarceration subsist slavery by the state?

    Steven says > And, as such, you agree that the flag represents a state which contained within in it the protection of chattel slavery as one of its founding tenets.

    Michael > Yes Steven the United States Constitution affirmed the protection of slavery which was written exactly so inferring the preservation of slavery within its founding tenets. So therefore the United States flag remains a symbol slavery and hypocrisy.

    Steven says > Really, the only thing we then disagree about on these specific topics is whether that flag, therefore, ought to be flown as a symbol of southern pride.

    Michael says > No more so a disagreement than with any flag that should be flown accepting it with the good, the bad and the ugly of it.

    Steven L. Taylor says:
    Saturday, October 5, 2013 at 09:21

    Steven says: Also, I notice you never gave me a definition of “Confederate Americans”

    Michael says hows this appeal to you: A Confederate American: 1. A politically correct connotation for anyone born or a descendent of a citizen of the Confederate States of America of Southern ethnicity. A person of American descent who politically acknowledges and advocates the right of existence for the Confederate States of America as an Independent nationality and embraces Southern ethnicity.

    Steven L. Taylor says:t
    Saturday, October 5, 2013 at 09:27

    Steven says > BTW, I also find it amusing that when it comes to the slavery of the south you want us to adopt the viewpoint of the most beneficent of slaveholders, and yet when talking about anyone else (the north in general, abolitionists, rebellious slaves) you want us to use a far harsher standard.

    Michael says > Did you mean to say beneficent of slaveholders or benevolent of slave holders? As far as having a harsher standard for “the north in general, abolitionists, rebellious slaves.” I would appreciate that all actions and personages be objectively viewed independently, rather than generalizing everyone as being good or evil. And to acknowledge that killing someone is no less if not more inhumane than enslaving them. A chance of life is still more than no chance at all with death.

  390. @Michael C. Lucas: A side note: the blockquote function would make it easier to read your responses.

  391. Michael C. Lucas says:

    @Grewgills: Slavery itself is not inherently inhumane, just because slavery is subject to the domination under a masters power over the slave, and I hate to quote a movie line but the wisdom’s meaning is no less valid. “With great power comes great responsibility”, this perspective is repeatedly referenced within the bible, koran, and various historical text. History has just as many stories of benevolent masters as it does of those who are condemned for their brutality.

  392. @Michael C. Lucas:

    I accuse you of cherry picking which is affirmed because your not seeing the broader perspective of may argument.

    You have not made the case for a broader perspective. Indeed, most of the recent interchanges with grewgills has been pure apology for slavery.

    2. Arguing about cherry picking slavery, and what context it is used or what slavery is does not affirm you argument that the war was over solely or centrally over slavery.

    You have not only not made this case. I will allow that it was not “solely” over slavery, although it was pretty close thereto given that almost every issue under dispute links back to slavery.

    It was clearly central–you certainly haven’t made a case otherwise.

    3. Slavery is justifiable as the 13th amendment states that the government may enforce slavery upon its prisoners as it deems slavery fit as punishment, basically if you are imprisoned you are enslaved at the governments whim

    This, as has been pointed out, an asinine position. Imprisonment with forced labor as the result of criminal conviction is not slavery. Regardless of where it is good policy, it is ownership and, as has been pointed out, it is not inter-generational.

    A Confederate American: 1. A politically correct connotation for anyone born or a descendent of a citizen of the Confederate States of America of Southern ethnicity. A person of American descent who politically acknowledges and advocates the right of existence for the Confederate States of America as an Independent nationality and embraces Southern ethnicity.

    I am not sure how this is “politically correct.”

    This sounds more like the basis for membership in the Sons of the Confederacy than it does a coherent group.

    How is an American different from a “Confederate American”?

    Your definition of “Southern ethnicity” here excludes blacks, Native Americans, hispanics, and so forth. Again, your white nationalism is showing even though for some reason you will not just fess up to it.

  393. @Michael C. Lucas:

    Slavery itself is not inherently inhumane, just because slavery is subject to the domination under a masters power over the slave

    But, of course, you are not an apologist for slavery.

  394. Michael C. Lucas says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: objective reasoning is not being an apologist.

  395. Michael C. Lucas says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Steven says > Your definition of “Southern ethnicity” here excludes blacks, Native Americans, hispanics, and so forth. Again, your white nationalism is showing even though for some reason you will not just fess up to it.”

    Your racist presumption that I’m a white nationalist reveals you’re a bigot when will you fess up to it?

    As for defining Southern ethnicity I already stipulated it is absolutely is inclusive of European, African, American Indian, Hispanics, and so forth. Man you’re really fishing….

  396. @Michael C. Lucas: Making the normative judgement that “Slavery itself is not inherently inhumane” is to apologize for slavery. It is not an objective statement.

    An objective statement would be “Not all masters beat their slaves.” This is empirically true.

    However, to define ownership by one human or another as not inherently inhumane is to apologize for it. Slavery inherently values one human over another, and, indeed, dehumanized the slave. It is inherently inhumane.

    Why are you defending slavery?

  397. @Michael C. Lucas: I am using your definition: ” anyone born or a descendent of a citizen of the Confederate States of America of Southern ethnicity”

    Persons who fit that description are white by definition.

    As for defining Southern ethnicity I already stipulated it is absolutely is inclusive of European, African, American Indian, Hispanics, and so forth

    You have asserted such, yes. However, for someone who likes to appeal to dictionaries, you aren’t very good at actually defining your terms. Assertions are not definitions.

  398. Grewgills says:

    @Michael C. Lucas:

    Slavery itself is not inherently inhumane…

    You must have an interesting definition of inhumane. Slavery inherently dehumanizes someone and places them at the whim of another. Even if the slave owner is as kind as can be, they still own another human being and are taking away the inherent rights of that human being. In the case of chattel slavery in the Confederate States, those rights were taken away merely because of accident of birth and extended to the children of the enslaved. That you can defend this as somehow humane, is remarkable. Given how one-sided your moral relativism is, I would hazard a guess that if it were your ancestors that had been enslaved rather than owning slaves, your argument and apologia would be entirely different.

  399. Grewgills says:

    @Michael C. Lucas:
    Your reasoning is not objective. You demand a moral relativist forgiveness for one side while condemning others as hypocrites. It is rather amazing that you can condemn abolitionists as hypocrites, while missing the inherent hypocrisy of slave owners complaining that their rights* are being subjugated. Your arguments, such as they are, have been pure apologia without any evidence cited that supports your position.

    * That right being to subjugate African Americans and hold them as slaves.

  400. Michael C. Lucas says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Steven L. Taylor says:
    Saturday, October 5, 2013 at 18:15

    @Michael C. Lucas: Making the normative judgement that “Slavery itself is not inherently inhumane” is to apologize for slavery. It is not an objective statement.

    An objective statement would be “Not all masters beat their slaves.” This is empirically true.

    However, to define ownership by one human or another as not inherently inhumane is to apologize for it. Slavery inherently values one human over another, and, indeed, dehumanized the slave. It is inherently inhumane. Why are you defending slavery?

    @Steven: What I stated stands objectively and it is not an apology for slavery. That you cannot conceive it is objective is your arrogant ignorance of the subject. To define ownership of one human or another as not inhumane is not apologizing for slavery. Slavery does not inherently dehumanize a slave. What is inhumane is how someone treats another without compassion for misery or suffering; cruel. Slavery is not necessarily cruel, many slaves throughout history were treated exceptionally well and even became empowered as leaders, kings and queens.

  401. @Michael C. Lucas:

    Slavery does not inherently dehumanize a slave.

    At least we have a clear statement from you on this subject.

  402. Grewgills says:

    Slavery does not inherently dehumanize a slave.

    If you cannot see that the chattel slavery system of the slave states in the 1800s did not inherently dehumanize the slaves, then you have blinded yourself to reason.

    many slaves throughout history were treated exceptionally well and even became empowered as leaders, kings and queens

    That was not happening in the CSA.

  403. Grewgills says:

    @Grewgills:

    If you cannot see that the chattel slavery system of the slave states in the 1800s did not inherently dehumanize the slaves, then you have blinded yourself to reason.

    Should read:
    If you think that the chattel slavery system of the slave states in the 1800s did not inherently dehumanize the slaves, then you have blinded yourself to reason.

  404. Michael C. Lucas says:

    @Grewgills: I think that dehumanizing humans in general is a normative part of politically correct propaganda. Its nothing new except for the grandious self-righteous spin to blame everyone else but ourselves for not looking deeper within to face our own biases and stop dehumanizing each other period. As is the case in attacking the Confederate flag, and dehumanizing and vilifying Confederates, interestingly enough I visited the location the other day and nobody there was causing a fuss.

  405. @Michael C. Lucas:

    As is the case in attacking the Confederate flag, and dehumanizing and vilifying Confederates

    Ok, so according to you, slavery isn’t dehumanizing, but suggesting that the battle flag is offensive is dehumanizing?

  406. Grewgills says:

    @Michael C. Lucas:
    Which was more illegal in the CSA killing your slave or killing your neighbor’s horse?

    After answering that question honestly, tell me again how calling the Confederate naval jack a symbol of racism is more dehumanizing than slavery and how hypocrisy of the Unionists and Abolitionists was a greater crime than slavery.