Dada is the sun, Dada is the egg. Dada is the Police of the Police.

1/20/2005

Let's re-fight the civil war!

More illogic from favorite target of mine Libertarian Girl. Using Bush's reference in his speech today to Abe Lincoln as a jumping-off point to make some bizarre comparison between the days of the Civil War and the present, ahem, "situation" in Iraq, she makes the following comment:
In 1865, Lincoln addressed only half the nation, which was fighting a war against the other half. The purpose of the war was to free the slaves. (Despite what hate-America leftists say, the Civil War was about slavery.) Abraham Lincoln's message was to stay the course because we were doing the right thing.

God only knows what the fuck she is talking about here. I doubt she even does. What "hate-America leftists" (incidentally, anyone who uses that phrase should be shot) claim the civil war wasn't about slavery? Last time I checked, it was batshit-crazy un-Reconstructed Southerners who make that claim. You know the type -- they call the civil war "the war of Northern aggression" and still distrust anyone who hails from somewhere north of Virginia.

One of Libertarian Girl's readers who goes by the handle "Old Blind Dog" also takes issue with her statement about leftists who think the Civil War wasn't about slavery, albeit from a significantly different perspective than my own:

Slavery was nothing but a pretext for war and an effort by the North to villify the South. The actual cause for the war was states rights.

Well, okay ... it was about the states' right to engage in slavery, right? You'll have to pardon me for being wary of arguments about "states' rights"; in my experience, 9 times out of 10 when someone uses the phrase "states' rights" they are in the middle of saying something hideously racist. (The other 1 out of 10 they are advocating the criminalization of abortion.)

Many Southerners seem to be in denial about the history of racism in the South. Neo-Confederates (and I don't know whether Blind Dog is one of them) will swear up and down that the reason they want the Stars 'n' Bars flying over the state capitol or whatever isn't racism; it's their pride in Southern heritage.

Guess what?

The South's heritage is racism.

Old Blind Dog, on his blog, makes the point that the South by no means had a monopoly on slavery and racism, and he's right. But the reason people associate the South with racism and slavery isn't because of the Civil War: it's because both of these institutions remained in place well into the twentieth century. Jim Crow laws and the lack of any meaningful civil rights for blacks in the South meant a kind of de facto slavery was in effect there until possibly the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The fact that a group of white men could beat Emmitt Till to death without facing any legal consequences attests to that. This is the heritage you wish to celebrate??

It is beyond me how anyone takes any "pride" in the shameful history of the American South.

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