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Tuesday, September 3, 2013
It is indeed unfortunate that the Flaggers have been driven to extreme measures in Richmond in order to honor the Southern soldier who fought for many reasons, the least of which was to eternally perpetuate slavery.
The display of the Confederate battle flag in a proper historical context has been persecuted by a bigoted press and the civil rights industry as if somehow its prohibition will solve the multiple problems destroying the black community today.
In spite of discrimination, profiling and attempts to deprive its members of their First Amendment rights, the heritage community grows.
Opponents of the battle flag drag out the old excuse of the Ku Klux Klan carrying it. The KKK also carried the U.S. flag. Neither banner is protected from such outrageous usage, and people of good will reject letting the KKK or The Roanoke Times define what either flag stands for.
The only thing disingenuous is the ill-informed and historically ignorant repetition by The Times and others of the myth that the yeomen Southern soldier fought to preserve slavery and the noble Yankee soldier fought to free the slaves.
Historians with intellectual integrity and the courage to write the truth today understand and will tell you why 1 million Southern men fought.
With 90 percent never owning a slave and having no personal interest in slavery, they fought for nobler reasons.
William Davis, James McPherson, James Webb and recently Thomas Fleming are in such a group of honest historians who understand historical context and why these men fought.
Our nation, including responsible Southerners, had long recognized the evils of slavery and wrestled with emancipation solutions. Virginians of good will like Robert E. Lee, John Floyd, Thomas Jefferson, William Henry Roane, Edward Coles and Thomas Jefferson Randolph spoke out and worked between the dilemmas of compensation and the fear of servile massacre that had accompanied emancipation in the Caribbean. They desperately searched for gradual emancipation.
Pouring gasoline onto this smoldering ember were men like William Lloyd Garrison, Theodore Dwight Weld and other arrogant New England abolitionists, who poisoned any dialogue by their condescending hatred of the South. They succeeded in driving men of reason from the table.
John Brown’s raid to arm slaves and indiscriminately murder whites was financed by abolitionists and exalted in the Northern press.
This created a very real fear in the South.
It was this Northern-inspired environment of hatred that caused Southerners to finally say that “we cannot live together.”
They took up arms to defend their homes and families from a feared abolitionist-inspired slave uprising.
In spite of this, Virginia initially voted to stay in the Union.
Now the other inconvenient truth not portrayed in Hollywood propaganda: The average Northern soldier, like all Americans of the period, including Abraham Lincoln, was blatantly racist.
Not really caring about ending slavery and also not wishing to live alongside free blacks, the Northern soldier was, however, dedicated to preserving the Union.
This is what the soldiers fought for, not emancipation.
Like the Vietnam veteran, the Confederate soldier did his duty as he understood it to be in his era.
Confederate, Union and Vietnam soldiers were all American soldiers, and all deserve to be honored by us irrespective of what we today think of their wars or the governments that asked them to fight.
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