As thousands of politicians rush like Lemmings to erase any semblance of the Confederacy, somebody should tell them to slow down and learn a little American history. Children, from kindergarten to college graduation, are taught that the Civil War was fought to abolish slavery, and all Southerners were dastardly SLAVE OWNERS keeping people in chains.
The “Emancipation Proclamation” was an executive order (we’ve seen a lot of those lately) issued by President Lincoln in 1863. It was not a “law” passed by Congress, which is the only body that can make laws. It did not outlaw slavery and it did not make citizens of freed slaves. It was, for all practical purposes, a declaration of war against the southern states. It is ironic because while there were perhaps 3 million slaves in the south, which was primarily agricultural, there were about a million slaves in the northern states.
As a side note, it is interesting that our current President made the statement that “Muslims have a long history in the United States.” And that is true, because most of the slaves were captured and brought here by Muslims to be sold to American slave traders.
The Emancipation Proclamation broadened the goals of the Civil War. While slavery had been a major issue that led to the war, Lincoln’s only mission at the start of the war was to maintain the Union, (see Wikipedia) and his proclamation was never challenged in court. But there is an underlying reason for the civil war and it is never considered by those who now want to erase any vestige of what we in the south call “The War between the States.”
It could never be stated more succinctly than by a North Carolinian Confederate soldier who was captured by the Union forces. When asked why he was fighting against them, he replied, “Because you are here.” And that is at the heart of that terrible conflict. North Carolina had fewer slaves than any other southern state, and yet provided more soldiers for the Confederacy than any other state.
Quite simply, the south was invaded – and fought back. Was slavery wrong? Not at the time, and in many parts of the world, including most Muslim countries, it is a common practice that exists to this very day.
Nimrata Nikki Randhawa Haley, (you didn’t know that was her full name, did you?) the governor of South Carolina is the daughter of immigrants from India, and of course has no heritage in the south. But being a sharp politician she is adept at “going with the flow, whichever way the wind blows.” I’m surprised that she didn’t climb the pole herself to remove the Northern Virginia Battle Flag, which has come to be known as the Confederate Flag.
And now Memphis rushes to scrape out the dusty bones of Nathan Bedford Forrest, before they tear down the statue to that brave man. Forrest enlisted in the Army of the Confederacy as a Private, and rose to rank of General. It is likely too much to ask those Tennessee politicians to read Forrest’s farewell address to his soldiers. There has never been a more benevolent and peaceful admonition to a broken army. What he said, in essence was – you fought bravely, now go home and honor the government’s wishes and be good citizens. But…wait! Forrest was a member of the Ku Klux Klan! Oh, my God! Yes he was, briefly, and then he distanced himself from that group. So was Senator Robert Byrd who served in Congress for forty-seven years (there are pictures of him in his Klan robes) but West Virginia, the state Byrd represented, has more guts than Tennessee. Well, Memphis still has Graceland so maybe they can replace the statue of Nathan Forrest with one of Elvis.
It is not my intention to refight the Civil War. But this hysteria over memorabilia from that conflict is just that. It is irrelevant and silly. But, since it serves the agenda of politicians who would rape their mothers if it wins them a vote, it will continue. However, if you rabble rousers come to remove the carving of Robert E. Lee from Stone Mountain, you will quickly learn why Southerners are still called – Rebels.