Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Ft. Sumter Pile-On

Last one on's a rotten egg!

No sooner had Virginia's Governor, target-of-the-day du jour,[1] apologized his way out from under the pile than a new target showed up, another big pile o' brick in the harbor mouth,[2] as't twere, and Eugene Robinson pointed him out: Mississipps Governor Hale Barbour.

Gov. Barbour's crime? Why, he said "it should go without saying," that "slavery is a bad thing." And by "go without saying" he doesn't mean "don't say it," but that it's obviously bad. Which is obvious to everyone except Mr. Robinson, who launches into a high-and-mighty polemic about how there's no way no how nobody should ever, ever honor the soldiers of the Confederacy. (Who, he tells us, were fighting solely to preserve slavery, which would have come as a surprise to most of them). ...On that basis, somebody needs to get over to Germany, stat, and wipe out all of their military cemeteries from WW II, too....

Readers are also treated to a Harriet Beecher Stowe-esque litany of the horrors endured by slaves, as though those were the issue. No, wrong; the immorality here is treating humans as property, an injustice from which privation and cruelty, to a greater or lesser degree, must inevitably follow. There's not a damn thing he, you or I can do to for the individuals who suffered under slavery; they're all dead. But there's something we can do about the conditions and attitudes that made their suffering possible and we have done it: the institution of slavery is now seen throughout this land as unspeakably grotesque.[3]

And as for the young men -- and older ones, too -- who died in the terrible rift, they went to war thinking they were doing right; like you, me or most syndicated columnists, they wanted to preserve their world, even make it better. Some of 'em were on the losing side. All of them are just as dead as the last freed slave and the society they all molded is the one we've got today. It seems worthwhile to set aside a day, a week, a month to stop and remember, to bring to mind the entire history and all the people who died in bringing it about.

There is no honor in dissing the dead.
1. That's a joke, a joke, I say.
2. Like, say, Charleston harbor.
3. Well, mostly: 13th 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."And y'know, it's possible we might wanna revisit that clause. You'd think a guy like, oh, gee, Eugene Robinson, with deep-rooted feelings on the topic an' a place from which to get word out, would take that cause up, wouldn't you. ...Wouldn't you? [...crickets...]


Ken said...

No, wrong; the immorality here is treating humans as property, an injustice from which privation and cruelty, to a greater or lesser degree, must inevitably follow.

What about treating them as tax batteries?

Tam said...

"What about treating them as tax batteries?"

Keep pulling that wagon, Kulak!

Anonymous said...

The problem is that Gov. in Ol' Virginny is honoring evil men.

It is akin to the head of Saxony-Anhalt or Hesse declaring to have an SS Memorial Day cause those SS troopers were doing what they thought was right.

The South was fighting to preserve slavery. From South Cackalacky to Joe-juh to Tejas it's up on the walls of their museums.

We CAN do something for those that suffered under slavery. We can ensure that those that fought to defend it are never honored and shame those politicians that attempt to defend the crimes of the CSA. And we can remind the world of the evil that was the CSA (and Nazi Germany).

Never forget,

Shootin' Buddy

Tam said...

"The problem is that Gov. in Ol' Virginny is honoring evil men."

That's right!

It's only good to honor secessionist slave-holding Virginians in February! Everybody knows that, duh!

excitedVulcan said...

"1. That's a joke, a joke, I say."


Love. It.

Dr.D said...

You folks could not be more wrong about the honorable soldiers who fought and died for the Confederacy. They were noble men, men who were fighting for their homes and their families. Robert E. Lee was one of the finest gentlemen that has ever lived, a much more civilized man than the brutal, drunkard Grant.

Your Yankee bias is quite clear, and it muddies your thinking. We are far removed in time from those days, and the actual facts are much obscured today. There is very, very little hard information available today as to what really happened, what attitudes were like, who did what to whom, etc. But there is one thing that is still available as evidence: Look at the Southern people. They are far kinder, more gentle, more humane than the people that live in the North (I have lived in both the South and the North, and I currently live in Iowa). The people today are the descendants of the people you are accusing of doing these awful things, of being uniformly bad people. That is grossly unfair. If anything, they are far nicer, more friendly, helpful people than the folks up North.

tjbbpgobIII said...

Shooting buddy just don't get it does Ms. X?

Roberta X said...

Dr. D: Um, like Andersonville?

I'm pretty sure both sides were composed of human-type people, a wildly assorted lot: heroes, villains and people tryin' to muddle through.

Part of the problem then -- as it is today -- was the assumption that some folks are inherently more civilized than others. "Civilization" is, pretty much by definition, a culturally-transmitted parameter, not genetic.

Dr.D said...

Roberta, your last paragraph makes my point quite nicely. That is why I object so strongly to the idea that Confederate dead should be honored. They fought for a cause they believed in, and their decendants today still honor them. They were not "evil men" but rather they were good men, doing what their nation call them to do.

Just in passing, it is the fact that Mr. Lincoln broke States rights that has led us to the sorry pass of socialism on a national scale today. Without that, we would not be where we are today. Our long slide to the Left began at that point. If we are to throw off the yoke of socialism, we must undo the damage done by Lincoln, we must do what the South tried to do in the 1860s.