Monday, August 9, 2010

The Lie that will not Die

We mark the 150th anniversary of the Civil War in 246 days.

While April 12, 1861 saw the initiation of a shooting war accruing from hostility that had simmered for decades. Tension between North and South reached the boiling point almost 30 years before the first shots were fired on Fort Sumter. Andrew Jackson's smackdown of nullification and almost three decades of ensuing compromises and appeasements couldn't prevent the inevitable cataclysm for one and only one reason.

Slavery caused the war.

Governor McDonnell's proclamation of Virginia's "Confederate History Month" four months ago set off a firestorm and a well-earned Presidential rebuke. McDonnell forgot to mention why the war was fought as he eagerly pandered to the Sons of Confederate Veterans and other denialists. Realizing that Virginia's black voters outnumber her white idiots, a chastened McDonnell issued an apology. Analysis of his law school thesis reveals that McDonnell is a Christian extremist, a misogynist and likely a bigot. His apology is therefore a fraud.

Which brings up a question regarding big states of denial. Could any denialism top McDonnell's unpardonable proclamation? Only if proclaimed by the Texas State Legislature.

Texas elected officials saw fit to enshrine the lie that will not die by proclaiming "April is the month in which the Confederate States of  America began and ended a four-year struggle for states' rights, individual freedom, and local government control...".

Did they really say "individual freedom"?

Texas brushed off slavery with liberal use of legislated ignorance: "the morally abhorrent practice of slavery has in the minds of many Texans become the prime motivation of Southern soldiers, despite the fact that 98 percent of Texas Confederate soldiers never owned a slave and never fought to defend slavery; and WHEREAS, Politically correct revisionists would have Texas children believe that their Confederate ancestors fought for slavery when in fact most Texans joined the Confederate armed forces to defend their homes, their families, and their proud heritage as Texans..."


Because only 2% of fighting Texans - over 2,100 men - were slave owners, Texas can disavow slavery as the cause of the war? The founding documents of the Confederacy explicitly cite the preservation of slavery as raison d'ĂȘtre. Texas was an acknowledged, belligerent member of the Confederacy. Therefore, Texas has ownership of slavery as the cause of the war. Notions of "proud heritage" in context of the Civil War are simply execrable.

Andy Hall, guest blogger at theAtlantic and purveyor of the insightful Dead Confederates, provides expert analysis of a deeper lie. The two-percent figure is an exercise in profound ignorance. Andy is a Civil War scholar with a Texan's intolerance for bullshit. His guest post on theAtlantic explains why slavery is the only root-cause of 600,000 Americans killed in a titanic struggle that redefined war itself.

Hop on over, give it a read and introduce yourself. You can mention TheRaven, they know me there.

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