Inauguration Of Jefferson Davis To Be Re-enacted At Alabama State Capitol
The whitewashing of the history of the Confederacy continues:
The 150th anniversary of Jefferson Davis’ inauguration as president of the Confederacy will be marked Saturday with a re-enactment of his swearing-in ceremony.
The sesquicentennial event — the Confederate Heritage Rally 2011 — in the state’s capital also includes a parade up Dexter Avenue to the state Capitol and a re-enactment of the raising of the first Confederate flag.
Saturday’s event is being sponsored by the Sons of Confederate Veterans to commemorate the founding of the Confederate States of America. The SCV has about 800 chapters throughout the world — including Australia, Brazil, British Isles — and about 60 in Alabama.
Jefferson Davis was sworn on the steps of the Capitol — there is a bronze star marking the spot.
The sponsors of the event, the Sons of Confederate Veterans, are well-versed in the art of disinformation when it comes to the Confederacy:
A lot of people don’t keep up with history,” he said. “We are an organization that honors our ancestors because we felt they were fighting for independence,” Gayle said. He hopes the younger generation “learns a little bit. All you hear about in the paper is that the Civil War is all about slavery.
“We have been misrepresented for a lot of years. (The Civil War) was more about taxation than anything else. The federal government raised the taxes on exports, and that’s what we were making down here at that time — cotton. It jumped from 15 percent to 40 percent.”
The problem that Gayle faces is that his theory is completely at odds with the language of the secession resolutions of the southern states, and the words of Alexander Stephens, who went on to become the Vice-President of the Confederacy:
Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner- stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth. This truth has been slow in the process of its development, like all other truths in the various departments of science. It has been so even amongst us. Many who hear me, perhaps, can recollect well, that this truth was not generally admitted, even within their day. The errors of the past generation still clung to many as late as twenty years ago. Those at the North, who still cling to these errors, with a zeal above knowledge, we justly denominate fanatics. All fanaticism springs from an aberration of the mind from a defect in reasoning. It is a species of insanity. One of the most striking characteristics of insanity, in many instances, is forming correct conclusions from fancied or erroneous premises; so with the anti-slavery fanatics. Their conclusions are right if their premises were. They assume that the negro is equal, and hence conclude that he is entitled to equal privileges and rights with the white man. If their premises were correct, their conclusions would be logical and just but their premise being wrong, their whole argument fails. I recollect once of having heard a gentleman from one of the northern States, of great power and ability, announce in the House of Representatives, with imposing effect, that we of the South would be compelled, ultimately, to yield upon this subject of slavery, that it was as impossible to war successfully against a principle in politics, as it was in physics or mechanics. That the principle would ultimately prevail. That we, in maintaining slavery as it exists with us, were warring against a principle, a principle founded in nature, the principle of the equality of men. The reply I made to him was, that upon his own grounds, we should, ultimately, succeed, and that he and his associates, in this crusade against our institutions, would ultimately fail. The truth announced, that it was as impossible to war successfully against a principle in politics as it was in physics and mechanics, I admitted; but told him that it was he, and those acting with him, who were warring against a principle. They were attempting to make things equal which the Creator had made unequal.
There were many factors that led to the Secession Crisis of 1860, but at the root of it all was the institution of slavery, and its protection and expansion. For that reason, it is not worthy of being commemorated. Shame on you Alabama.
H/T: Dave Weigel on Twitter