The Confederacy, Or At Least Confederate Memorial Hall, Still Stands

Nearly two years ago I wrote about Vanderbilt University’s effort to erase, literally, a part of its past by removing the word “Confederate” from Confederate Memorial Hall, a building that had been constructed in the 1930s with the assistance of $50,000 donated by the United Daughters of the Confederacy. (See here.) At the time I noted that it was both odd and typical (and that that itself was odd) that Vanderbilt’s sandblasting away its own history was done in the name of “diversity.” As I wrote in the second of those old posts,

Whatever the justifications for such politically correct erasures may be (and I agreed there are some), enhancing “diversity” isn’t one of them. Such measures are aimed at producing uniformity, not diversity.

A lower court gave Vanderbilt permission to sandblast away, but now the Tennessee Court of Appeals has sided with the UDC. According to an article today in the Chronicle of Higher Education,

In May, the court ruled that Vanderbilt could not remove the chiseled name unless it reimbursed the UDC with today’s equivalent of the $50,000 the organization raised during the Great Depression for the dormitory, which was built in 1935.

Vanderbilt decided not to appeal, not to pay, and simply to leave the offensive word there and declare victory. In a spin that should win some chutzpah award, Michael J. Schoenfeld, a Vanderbilt spokesman, defended the university’s effort to create a more “welcoming environment.”

“We disagree with the legal matter, but the university has achieved what it set out to achieve — we have addressed a divisive issue on campus and brought attention to it,” Mr. Schoenfeld said. “We have addressed this very aggressively and very positively from the beginning, and we’re now going to use this as an educational opportunity.”

Mr. Schoenfeld did not explain why Vanderbilt thought it needed to bring attention to “a divisive issue on campus” — doesn’t being “divisive” mean an issue is already the subject of sufficient attention? — but university administrators around the country will no doubt be pleased to learn that universities can never really lose a lawsuit. All such apparent losses do is create a new “educational opportunity.”

Say What? (49)

  1. actus July 13, 2005 at 11:57 pm | | Reply

    “Such measures are aimed at producing uniformity, not diversity”

    Depends. Are people driven away in either (keep the confederacy / dump the confederacy) scenario? I’d say 1 does less of that.

  2. Stephen July 14, 2005 at 8:49 am | | Reply

    I was born in Illinois, less than 50 miles from New Salem, where the Great Emancipator grew up.

    So, I am keenly aware of Abe’s philosophy in this regard. He was born, of course, in Kentucky, so he was (as I am) both a Southerner and a Northener.

    Abe struggled throughout his life to find a way to keep the South in the Union, and to reintegrate Johnny Reb into the Union after the Civil War. He argued against vengeance, and he honored the sacrifice of Southern soldiers.

    We should follow Honest Abe’s example.

    And, I’ve posted today, reflections on the endlessly verbose commenter who must be an expert on foreign policy and who insists that we live in a perpetual civil rights crisis.

    http://www.HarleysCars.com

  3. actus July 14, 2005 at 9:29 am | | Reply

    “The Confederacy, Or At Least Confederate Memorial Hall, Still Stands”

    And something tells me that this is about having the confederacy stand, not memorial halls.

  4. Thomas J. Jackson July 14, 2005 at 9:39 am | | Reply

    Vanderbuilt demonstrated what it is when they refused to honor their pledges, now they are only negotiating the price.

  5. notherbob2 July 14, 2005 at 1:13 pm | | Reply

    actus, you really need to have that “something” checked out. It could be malignant.

  6. KenS July 14, 2005 at 1:47 pm | | Reply

    Poor Vanderbilt! They are held to an agreement made between dead white men and dead white women.

    Today, when courts know the Constitution is living, can’t they also see that Vanderbilt is a living institution that must be freed from the inconvenient.

    Sure Vanderbilt could easily pay the $50,00 and interest. Then they could be rid of the building. But that would be wrong – universities are supposed to get money not give it.

  7. notherbob2 July 14, 2005 at 3:23 pm | | Reply

    Reader KenS is obviously unfamiliar with the power of compound interest. Any actuarial types out there care to enlighten him? Seems like I remember that @ 7% an amount doubles every 10 years. Hmmmm

  8. actus July 14, 2005 at 4:10 pm | | Reply

    “actus, you really need to have that “something” checked out. It could be malignant.”

    The something is the quoted piece.

  9. Nels Nelson July 14, 2005 at 5:36 pm | | Reply

    The judgement states that Vanderbilt doesn’t have to pay interest, but that it does have to pay the current equivalent – almost $750,000 – of the initial gift.

  10. KenS July 14, 2005 at 7:28 pm | | Reply

    I acknowledge going too fast in my previous remarks about poor Vanderbilt.

    They might be hard pressed to pay roughly 70 years of interest on $50K at 7% compounded. But I never suggested that rate – the ruling of $750K was quite equitable and payable.

    At 3.6% – which is much closer to the actual real estate rates since the 1930s – interest could easily be paid.

    My objection is that Vanderbilt just doesn’t seem to believe that obligations exist if they dislike the history associated with them. They are not alone is this attitude.

  11. Chetly Zarko July 14, 2005 at 10:08 pm | | Reply

    The judgement was only 750K? And that was too much of a price for diversity? I think it proves a point about the expediency of university values.

    I had assumed 70 years of compounding interest would be incredible (doubling every 10 years at the traditional inflation rate would be 2 to the seventh power or 128 times, which would be closer to 5 million – but I guess if you use 3-4% you’d get doubling every 12-15 years, or 5 doublings, which is far more payable).

  12. Cobra July 14, 2005 at 11:06 pm | | Reply

    “Confederate Memorial Hall?” Come on, folks. This is 2005. But nonetheless,

    I tracked back to one of John’s links on this discussion in 2003. As usual, Laura provided the most sage wisdom then:

    >>>Richard, I had a discussion about this with my sixteen-year-old daughter the other day. Let me tell you what I told her.

    The Confederate States of America was a different country than the United States. Not a region, another country; that was the point of the Civil War. And under the laws of that country, black people (except, in some respects, those who had been emancipated) had no human rights. Not just no civil rights, but no human rights. If the CSA had existed long enough, that might have changed, but it didn’t. Now, I told her, suppose there were another country where, if we lived there, she and her dad and I would be owned by someone; someone who could rape her every night, and neither her dad nor I could do anything about it. Then suppose that she looked at the statehouse, or the courthouse, or the state flag where she lives, and saw the flag of that country displayed there. Would she not feel uneasy? Like she didn’t really belong? Like at any time her rights could be taken away?

    We want black people to stop talking about four hundred years of oppression, let go of the past, and get with the program. I think we have to do the same.

    Posted by: Laura on October 12, 2003 08:18 PM”

    I can’t add a thing to that post, Laura, save vigorous applause.

    –Cobra

  13. notherbob2 July 15, 2005 at 3:52 am | | Reply

    Cobra, you are being too modest. You can (and have) add that

  14. Thomas J, Jackson July 15, 2005 at 6:34 am | | Reply

    Cobra:

    As always the same thoughtless, moronic Zinn type statements. Pray tell what was the diffrence between the Condfederacy and the Union prior to 1861. Most northern states didn’t allow blacks to legally reside and most allowed slavery.

    As far as resentments of blacks toward slavery I’ll be the first to honor the wishes of any living black slave. When you find one let me know. Till then the festering resentments black voice carry the less weight than the involuntary servitude of the Jews under pharoh. Perhaps in fact blacks owe Jews for their servitude.

  15. Thomas J, Jackson July 15, 2005 at 6:35 am | | Reply

    Cobra:

    As always the same thoughtless, moronic Zinn type statements. Pray tell what was the diffrence between the Condfederacy and the Union prior to 1861. Most northern states didn’t allow blacks to legally reside and most allowed slavery.

    As far as resentments of blacks toward slavery I’ll be the first to honor the wishes of any living black slave. When you find one let me know. Till then the festering resentments blacks voice carry less weight than the involuntary servitude of the Jews under pharoh. Perhaps in fact blacks owe Jews for their servitude.

  16. actus July 15, 2005 at 8:28 am | | Reply

    “As always the same thoughtless, moronic Zinn type statements. Pray tell what was the diffrence between the Condfederacy and the Union prior to 1861″

    Fugitive slave laws? Something tells me there was a reason for the south to leave, and it didn’t pop up in 1861 all of a sudden.

  17. TJ Jackson July 15, 2005 at 2:45 pm | | Reply

    Actus:

    One can always count on Actus to demonstrate the meaning of stupidity. Are we to understand that you believe fugitive slave laws were the province of the South and not passed by the US COngress and the law of the land?

    Hello?

  18. Cobra July 15, 2005 at 2:57 pm | | Reply

    Thomas Jackson writes:

    >>>As always the same thoughtless, moronic Zinn type statements. Pray tell what was the diffrence between the Condfederacy and the Union prior to 1861. Most northern states didn’t allow blacks to legally reside and most allowed slavery.”

    First of all, there was nothing “thoughtless” or “moronic” about Laura’s wonderful post, IMHO. Second, “as always” is not an accurate definition of what you’re trying to accuse me of alleging. Anybody who’s read my posts for the past year knows I’m an equal opportunity basher of white supremacist ideology, regardless of the location or time period. That’s why I not playing your “who do prefer to be eaten by most: shark or crocodile” game comparing white racists in the Union vs. those of the Confederacy.

    –Cobra

  19. Claire July 15, 2005 at 4:28 pm | | Reply

    Are you lot condemning the Confederacy or the practice of slavery? Because if you are condemning the practice of slavery, then I agree that it is a horrible practice that ought to be stopped. I had slave ancestors on both sides of my family, and in three different colors: black African, white Irish, and red American Indian.

    If you are condemning the existence of the Confederate States of America, then you are condemning a significant part of American history that should not be forgotten. And I have news for many of you: slavery was only a side issue of the war, and only grew in importance as a rallying point toward the end and in the aftermath. I for one would definitely NOT like to erase this part of our history.

    Why, you say? First, it was at its heart a true moral debate, in the context of the times. Slavery was an accepted economic practice dating back to Biblical times, and don’t doubt that Biblical Jews themselves kept slaves – at least until they got their own noses rubbed in it and decided it wasn’t a good thing to do after all.

    Side note: If slavery is so especially evil, why isn’t there a specific Commandment against it? I’ve always wondered that. Is it really worse to think lusty thoughts about your neighbor’s wife that to own another human being? But I digress…

    If we erase the past as if it doesn’t exist, or cover up the ugliness and pretend it didn’t happen, then we eliminate the lessons to be learned from the debates, the mistakes, and the heroic choices that were a consequence of that past. And as is commonly quoted, we may be ‘doomed to repeat’ these mistakes.

    Today’s constant attempts to whitewash or even erase the ugly realities of the past do a disservice to ourselves and to our descendants, by depriving them of the opportunity to learn and grow, morally and spiritually. And that is true for religious and non-religious persons both.

    Slavery was an ugly thing in its time, and it is an ugly thing that still exists in many places of the world. Slavery as it was practiced in the U.S. during and prior to the Civil War actually was developed internally within the various nations and peoples of Africa, where it still exists today much as it did 200 years ago. Instead of spending our money and energies trying to erase the evidence of events of the past, why don’t we focus on trying to end the practice of slavery in Africa and other nations of the world today? That would be actual proof that we have learned the lesson of the past.

  20. Kens July 15, 2005 at 8:07 pm | | Reply

    The comments about fugitive slave laws and erasing uncomfortable history seem pretty sensible to me.

    In their final form those laws were absolutely infuriating in the North because bounty hunters (not federal agents) could operate without restraint by the local courts.

    If a runaway was found in Boston he could be seized and taken without any hearing. Thus even blacks who were not runaways could be kidnapped and had no real protection.

    Fugitives were less than property. If missing property (say jewelry) was found in another state it could only be recovered by legal officals – outsiders couldn’t just show up and take it.

    As to erasing things like “Confederacy” off buildings. It is up to the owner of the building. Vanderbilt was under a constraint set decades ago.

    Courts don’t like eternal obligations and nearly always disolve them at the request of either party. But this does not mean one party gets everything.

    I am surprised that Vanderbilt was ordered to repay more than the original $50K. The $750K either comes from statute instuctions or case law in Tenn. It seems a reasonable computation.

    My attitude about razing unpleasing plaques, buildings, books? I think what exists confirms what you read.

    When I visited Peru what I saw agreed with old histories said to be written centuries before.

    Without seeing Peru I could make less sense of the histories and had less reason to believe them. But without those histories I would have been more perplexed by what I saw in rural Peru.

    So when you destroy landmarks you make it easier for new generations of liars.

    About compound interest – I have used the 72 rule for years. Divide 72 by the interest percent to get the years for doubling. It isn’t perfect but suffices for a wide range of interest rates.

    The case tells us more about Vanderbilt and the thinking that reaches convenient answers than it tells about slavery, the CSA, or courts.

  21. Nels Nelson July 15, 2005 at 10:09 pm | | Reply

    Claire wrote:

    And I have news for many of you: slavery was only a side issue of the war, and only grew in importance as a rallying point toward the end and in the aftermath.

    The notices of secession – declarations of independence, if you will – issued by the Southern states barely make mention of anything but the inalienable, literally God-given right to enslave Africans. While the Civil War wasn’t fought over slavery, the Confederacy was most certainly formed to preserve it.

    Condemning something is hardly the same as forgetting or erasing it. In fact, if done consistently and honestly, it’s almost the opposite. A memorial is not a museum; the plaque erected at the dormitory conveys little beyond the dates of the war. If I had a vote on the issue, and I don’t, it would be for Vanderbilt to pay back the UDC and post within the entrance of the building two constitutions, those of the U.S. and the Confederacy, as well as the U.S. Declaration of Independence and the Southern declarations of secession, so that students could judge for themselves what the Confederacy represented.

  22. Laura July 15, 2005 at 10:23 pm | | Reply

    Thanks, Cobra. I did post that two years ago, and I feel the same way now.

    I read Uncle Tom’s Cabin for the first time a few months ago, and one realizes that it’s fiction, but it’s still pretty effective ~150 years later. Lots of food for thought in it, and after reading it statements about how slavery wasn’t so bad really make me want to throw up.

    As to what the difference was between the what became the Union and the Confederacy prior to 1861: well, for one thing, slavery was more profitable in the South, and it’s a sad commentary on human nature that … I’ve said this before, haven’t I? I don’t think Southerners, or white Southerners, of the time, were inherently bad people any more than white Northerners were. But people tend to support the status quo when they think it benefits them, and close their eyes to the wrongness of it when necessary. The difference was that the United States of America did repudiate slavery, and make it illegal, and extend civil rights to black people, and the CSA never did. Maybe it would have, but we’ll never know.

    I am a Southerner, and I’m glad to be one. But those years between 1861 and 1865, I could do without.

  23. actus July 15, 2005 at 10:55 pm | | Reply

    “If a runaway was found in Boston he could be seized and taken without any hearing. ”

    Complaining about this was known as “violating the south’s state’s rights.” Ie: failing to allow their bounty hunters on your land violated them. Red state whining and victimhood mythologies are not new.

  24. Chetly Zarko July 16, 2005 at 1:23 am | | Reply

    I disagree with the assertion that “slavery was a side issue” in the Civil War. Although I’ll agree that there were other philosophical reasons for the War, slavery was so important a cause that if slavery had not existed or if both sides had agreed in favor of slavery, that the Civil War would not have occurred. That is, state sovereignty alone would not have been a sufficient cause to ignite the War. The question of slavery was the subject of division since before the Constitution, and 3/5th Compromise, were written.

    On the other hand, I agree that the causes of and history of the Civil War should never be forgotten, but we should have some balance in talking about it. Hundreds of thousands of northerners died honorably, most for the purpose of dealing with the slavery question. Yes, the history of American slavery is a stain of dishonor upon the nation – but there was also an honorable movement within America that was willing to fight against it. The history of humanity (and America) is that of non-linear progress – not regression (although the old saw of one step forward, two back occasionally factors in). The Civil War was part of that progress.

  25. KenS July 16, 2005 at 1:30 am | | Reply

    Thanks to several for good comments. I can’t agree that slavery was a side issue although it certainly was not the only issue.

    Two facts probably made secession inevitable.

    First, the Constitution was not clear. Some states always felt they could secede. That thought itself is not exactly evil; countrys split and combine for various reasons.

    Second, the Dred Scott decision in 1857 removed any chance that legislation at the state or federal level could settle the slavery issue.

    The decision made slavery “bullet proof” – only a constitutional amendment would reverse it. And there was no chance of an amendment because the southern states would not ratify.

    So, secession might or might not be allowed, and no level of government could change slavery.

    The actual secession came when (using a southern phrase) the South “pitched a hissy fit”.

    It made no sense; the law – right or wrong – was totally proslavery. Lincoln himself was against slavery but clearly said, more than once, that he had no power to end it. He asked them to stay.

    It was all useless. The South was mad to the point of demanding that people must not even speak against slavery in the North.

    Then, finally, they fired on Union troops on federal land. Taking federal land was war by any definition and a fatal mistake. Lincoln could now make war upon them.

    Lincoln was brilliant in waiting until the law was on his side. It was the only way.

  26. Stephen July 16, 2005 at 7:59 am | | Reply

    “Anybody who’s read my posts for the past year knows I’m an equal opportunity basher of white supremacist ideology, regardless of the location or time period.”

    There is no white supremacist movement. Simply doesn’t exist, except in your imagination. However, a racist demogogue named Al Sharpton ran for President as a Democrat in the last election. Sharpton is the author of the Tawana Brawley fraud, and he incited a riot that resulted in the murder of five people. The Democratic Party openly courts black racists.

    Shoe’s really on the other foot. White folks don’t need to defend themselves against you. You need to explain why you won’t condemn black racism.

    When will you cease to be an apologist for black racism? When will you get rid of the pseudonym that connotes violence and revenge?

  27. Laura July 16, 2005 at 10:38 am | | Reply

    “The South was mad to the point of demanding that people must not even speak against slavery in the North.” This brings up another point. It’s true that some of our founding fathers had slaves and expressed feelings of unease about it. Patrick Henry of “give me liberty or give me death” fame, for instance – how’s that for irony. But by the mid-19th century, slavery was the subject of great controversy. The abolitionist movement was growing stronger and stronger and there were lots of people, even white Southerners, who were convinced that it was evil and had to end. I don’t think that the idea that slavery was just part of the culture of the day was really an excuse.

  28. notherbob2 July 16, 2005 at 11:24 am | | Reply

    Yes, Cobra, when will you stop being an apologist for black racism?

  29. Cobra July 16, 2005 at 1:54 pm | | Reply

    Stephen writes:

    >>>When will you cease to be an apologist for black racism? When will you get rid of the pseudonym that connotes violence and revenge?”

    Notherbob2 writes:

    >>>Yes, Cobra, when will you stop being an apologist for black racism?”

    You guys are precious. Congratulating Laura on a great post makes me an “apologist for black racism?”

    You two need to take this comedy act on the road.

    Stephen writes:

    >>>The Democratic Party openly courts black racists.”

    Well, please allow me to give you a news update, Stephen.

    >>>MILWAUKEE (Reuters) – The head of the Republican Party issued a sweeping apology to American blacks on Thursday for a decades-old practice of writing off their vote and using racial polarization to win elections…

    Republican Chairman Ken Mehlman said civil rights legislation pushed by Democratic President Lyndon Johnson in the 1960s solidified black support for that party for decades after that “and we Republicans did not effectively reach out.”

    “Some Republicans gave up on winning the African-American vote, looking the other way or trying to benefit politically from racial polarization,” he added. “I am here as Republican chairman to tell you we were wrong.”

    http://today.reuters.com/news/newsArticle.aspx?type=politicsNews&storyID=2005-07-14T213429Z_01_N14343200_RTRIDST_0_POLITICS-USA-POLITICS-NAACP-DC.XML

    Hmmm….

    Do you think that an incendiary figure like Rev. Al Sharpton is more acceptable in the African American community due to the ADMITTED racial polarization strategies of the GOP, and moreover, the vigorous defense of Confederate symbolism by many white Americans?

    Food for thought on a hot summer day.

    –Cobra

  30. notherbob2 July 16, 2005 at 3:43 pm | | Reply

    If the Republicans can get over their racism, why can’t you?

  31. actus July 16, 2005 at 6:18 pm | | Reply

    “If the Republicans can get over their racism, why can’t you?”

    Ask willie horton.

  32. Stephen July 16, 2005 at 6:52 pm | | Reply

    Every group seeking revenge imagines that it is only retaliating for past injustices. Thus, actus and Cobra. Also the IRA, and a million other political movements.

    The Democratic Party ran the South during the Jim Crow era.

    The vigorous defense of the Confederacy is not at all what this is about. A very large percentage of Americans continue to honor the men in their families who fought for the Confederacy. Erasing the Confederacy from memory means erasing those men from memory. Johnny Reb was one of the most distinguished and brave fighting men in the history of the world. He deserves to be honored and remembered.

    Every political group wants to set forth its martyrs. Thus, actus and Willie Horton. If the martyrs don’t exist, that political group will invent them. It’s the phoniest of political tools.

    You continue to avoid answering the question of why, Cobra, you adopted a pseudonym that connotes violence and revenge. Is your answer that you are entitled to violence and revenge, but that I am not? That seems to be it.

    Well, you’re in good company there. As I said, every political movement in the world imagines that it alone is entitled to violence and revenge. That’s precisely what keeps the cycle of violence and revenge in motion. You are not different than any of the others.

  33. Stephen July 16, 2005 at 7:05 pm | | Reply

    The answer to the riddle of all of this: This game of revenge is the childhood game that goes like this:

    “Dad, he hit me first,” says Kid #1.

    “No, he’s lying. He hit me first,” says Kid #2. “I only hit him because he hit me.”

  34. Laura July 16, 2005 at 7:12 pm | | Reply

    Willie Horton? The convicted killer who was released from prison on furlough to rape and kill again? That Willie Horton?

  35. Cobra July 16, 2005 at 7:45 pm | | Reply

    Stephen writes:

    >>>You continue to avoid answering the question of why, Cobra, you adopted a pseudonym that connotes violence and revenge. Is your answer that you are entitled to violence and revenge, but that I am not? That seems to be it.”

    Whom do you seek to commit volence and revenge upon? Your affection for the Confederacy is apparent in this line:

    >>>Erasing the Confederacy from memory means erasing those men from memory. Johnny Reb was one of the most distinguished and brave fighting men in the history of the world. He deserves to be honored and remembered.”

    Geez, Stephen you sound just like the preamble from the “Daughters of the Confederacy” website.

    http://www.hqudc.org/main.html

    Am I surprised? C’mon. You’ve never fail to illustrate my arguments, Stephen.

    Notherbob writes:

    >>>If the Republicans can get over their racism, why can’t you?”

    Are you agreeing with the RNC Chairman that Republicans employed racism in their campaigns? Now THAT would be a surprise.

    –Cobra

  36. actus July 16, 2005 at 7:49 pm | | Reply

    “Willie Horton? The convicted killer who was released from prison on furlough to rape and kill again? ”

    Rather, the maker of the commercial.

  37. Stephen July 16, 2005 at 8:13 pm | | Reply

    That was your most deliberately dishonest and deceitful post yet, Cobra, and that’s saying something.

    Saying that the soldiers who fought for the Confederacy should be remember and honored was the position of none other than Abraham Lincoln. This isn’t about politics. It’s about families remembering their kin, something which you are practically fanatic about. You are alway seeking to deny to others precisely what you demand for yourself. What a con game!

    You are the world’s biggest walking double standard. For you, remembering the grievances of your ancestors is a religion. If whites remember their ancestors, they are demons. If you want revenge, it’s because you are entitled as a result of past injustices. If others want revenge, it’s because they are closet racists.

    I have no grudge, no fondness for the Confederacy, and no desire to wreak revenge on anybody. You do.

    I would suggest you drop the silly trope of “you illustrate.”

    When are you going to give up trying to get over, Cobra? I won’t play your game. Anything you’re entitled to, I’m entitled to. You have no grievance that I don’t have. I flat out refuse to play this game with you. If you are entitled to revenge, then so am I.

    In fact, you have had all the advantages for our entire lifetime. You’ve always gotten a preference in hiring and academic admissions, and I’ve still beat you. I don’t need to whine much about this, because no matter what advantages are given to you, your mentality will continue to defeat you. After a lifetime of preferences and handouts, you’re still complaining. I’m not, and I’m still beating you.

    When will you get the message that the whining and complaining, and the focus on revenge, are precisely what are holding you back in life? I’m speaking to you with some measure of compassion when I tell you that you need to find something else to occupy your time.

  38. KenS July 16, 2005 at 8:36 pm | | Reply

    Laura. re your 10:38 comment. Did you agree with me?

    You are right, abolition movements were growing everywhere. But in the South of 1860 they were roughly as effective as pacifists were eighty years later during the London blitz.

    Knowing time was against them just made the slavers angry and crazy. Adding to this “states rights” had been a southern mantra for eighty years.

    We seldom remember that some slave states stayed in the Union. Virginia hesitated for months and West Virginia split off and stayed. Louisiana was not enthralled.

    But overall it happened: Southern Gentleman mobilized to defend that pinnacle of gracious civilization – Dixie.

    Martial madness and rousing marching songs drive judgement away. And maybe marital madness is worse.

  39. Cobra July 16, 2005 at 9:01 pm | | Reply

    Stephen writes:

    >>>In fact, you have had all the advantages for our entire lifetime. You’ve always gotten a preference in hiring and academic admissions, and I’ve still beat you. I don’t need to whine much about this, because no matter what advantages are given to you, your mentality will continue to defeat you. After a lifetime of preferences and handouts, you’re still complaining. I’m not, and I’m still beating you.”

    For a man who’s, according to your own words, “beating me”, you seem awfully pre-occupied with my screenname, messages, and mentallity. I mean, you said it yourself… that inspite of ALL the purportedly insurmountable advantages I as an African American is supposed to have over you, you are still “winning.” (in your words)

    I find this another intriguing aspect of not only your posts, but a large portion of the anti-affirmative action statements here.

    The connotation being…

    Too much is never enough.

    Hey, look at the situation here. This is a thread about removing “Confederate” from a campus building. Last time I checked, the Civil War ended 140 years ago. It’s not as if a museum is being torn down, statues desecrated, or the Manasas battlefied is being paved over for a strip mall. The name of a building is being ALTERED. That’s it! People are still allowed to perform their Civil War re-enactments. You can still legally buy the Stars and Bars flags. Charlie Daniels and Lynyrd Skynyrd are still on tour. “Dukes of Hazzard” is not only still in syndication, but has a summer movie coming out. In other words, what’s changed by this name on a building being altered?

    Yet it’s not enough for somebody like you, even after declaring “white victory” or whatever you were trying to get at in your post. You’re not satisfied with just being on “top”. You’re not satisfied with JUST feeling superior to those you disagree with ( an unapologetic African-American like myself). Apparently you, and I’m afraid too many others like you need constant reassurance and validation of these superiority feelings… in this case, the nostolgia for a by-gone era where such superiority feelings were never dared questioned.

    There are code words for this…”traditional values”, “embracing Southern Heritage”, yadda yadda yadda. But I’m sorry, Stephen…you ONCE AGAIN illustrate my posts so vividly people might suggest you’re on my payroll.

    –Cobra

  40. Laura July 16, 2005 at 9:21 pm | | Reply

    Willie Horton made a commercial? Then you’re not talking about the rapist/murderer. How exactly did racist Republicans wrong Willie Horton, commercial maker?

    Ken, I think I was agreeing with you. We Southerners have one really strong quality that’s with us still, and that is that can’t nobody tell us what to do. We will bite our nose off to spite our face, rather than do the right thing if somebody else tries to make us. I guess that kind of thing can be a strength, but in the case of fighting the Civil War, it was a weakness. Realistically, the South couldn’t win, and it almost destroyed us economically. And in the case of defending slavery, it was extremely immoral, wrong, and stupid. In the case of waving the Confederate flag in the face of black people in 2005, while simultaneously telling them to get over slavery and Jim Crow, it’s incomprehensibly dumb.

  41. notherbob2 July 17, 2005 at 1:35 am | | Reply

    >>>>Are you agreeing with the RNC Chairman that Republicans employed racism in their campaigns? Now THAT would be a surprise.

    Cobra, obviously you are a liberal. When the RNC chairman says they employed racism in their campaigns in order to apologize for it I believe that their statement can be accepted as fact, even in this day and age. Liberals like yourself do not start with the facts. You start with the liberal agenda and reason back to the

  42. Thomas J. Jackson July 17, 2005 at 7:32 am | | Reply

    Actus:

    Besides being an uneducated moron your nothing more than an equal opportunity racist. When one ignores the parameters of history there is nothing to compare or evaluate. But to understand parameters one must demonstrate a knowledge of history beyond what one acquires in a federal hospitality institution.

    The desperation of Leftist racists is revealed when in an effort to salvage their sinking electorial chances they must appeal to felons. Worst of all is when race pimps like Jessie and AL have to solicit black males to vote democrat. Since over 20% of all blacks will reside or have resided in such facilities why should they denied the right to vote for reasons as minimal as rape. assualt, robbery, child molesting or other actions which society has deemed unacceptable.

    Why professional racists are never created they have it bred into them. That’s why the Left wages war on all hertiages but communism.

  43. actus July 17, 2005 at 10:04 am | | Reply

    “The desperation of Leftist racists is revealed when in an effort to salvage their sinking electorial chances they must appeal to felons.”

    What is the problem with returning the franchise to those who have paid their debt to society?

  44. Cobra July 17, 2005 at 10:33 am | | Reply

    “If the Republicans can get over their racism, why can’t you?”

    Posted by notherbob2 July 16, 2005 03:43 PM

    Perhaps, notherbob2, you can clarify exactly what you mean by this question, and THEN, pinpoint exactly where I ever, in the course of all my posts, I’ve labeled you a “white racist.”

    The rest of your analysis is actually quite funny.

    –Cobra

  45. notherbob2 July 17, 2005 at 1:01 pm | | Reply

    The past racism I refer to is the Republicans

  46. Claire July 18, 2005 at 11:13 am | | Reply

    The American Civil War was, at its heart, a conflict about states’ rights vs. federal rights, and about the economic survival of the South. Slavery was the mechanism by which the South was able to survive economically, largely through the labor necessary to grow crops.

    By proposing freeing slaves, the industrial North was proposing to basically destroy the econony of the South. Even many who would agree that slavery was wrong would still support it, if only to protect their own best interests. Most people do a very good job of looking out for themselves at the expense of others when threatened, and the movement to free slaves was a direct treat to the wellbeing and lifestyles of white Southerners. That the criticism was coming from outside was almost certain to ensure opposition, and add in the general mindset of the preeminent Northern states: predominantly settled by persecuted religious groups, with an extremely strong Puritan base and attitudes – ‘live and let live’ was definitely NOT in their belief system – and you had a recipe for conflict.

    Yes, slavery was mentioned as the primary reason for states’ secession, but the UNDERLYING reasons for the support of slavery were primarily both economics and the political one of states’ rights, not any moral position on the rightness or wrongness of slavery itself. That particular position arose as a primary point of dissension AFTER the war began.

    Again, I wonder: If slavery is such a horrible, evil thing, why don’t we see more condemnation of its ongoing practice in Africa today? Yes, there was the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa. But was the reason that that was so reprehensible solely because there were also whites involved? Is black-on-black slavery somehow more acceptable? I’d really like to know.

  47. Laura July 18, 2005 at 1:19 pm | | Reply

    Claire, do you base whether slavery is a horrible, evil thing on whether other people condemn it?

  48. Chetly Zarko July 18, 2005 at 11:43 pm | | Reply

    Claire,

    Of course black-on-black slavery isn’t morally better (or worse) than historical American slavery, and every civilized nation in the world today condemns slavery, even if it happens underground (the most prominent modern slavery is the underground female sex trade) and more difficult to completely combat. I would also note that these other types of slavery, practiced by and against blacks, demonstrate that the moral failing giving rise to practice isn’t racially based (which is also the case for American slavery – which started off including whites, but became morally justified over time with the lure of theories of racial inferiority).

    You are correct that the underlying cause of slavery was economic. Of course, this doesn’t change the immorality of slavery, or the fact that slavery was a necessary condition for the civil war (note, I didn’t say the only, or even most important, but I think it was the most important). That’s like saying that the cause of bank robbery is mostly economic rather than mostly the decision of the bank robber to commit the crime. Most things are caused in some way at some level by economics. If slavery wasn’t economically beneficial or at least perceived as such (there are many that argue that the Southern dependence on slavery actually weakened their economies relative to the North because it depressed the free market for paid labor – ironically, this is also the same mechanism by which slavery harmed “poor whites” in the South, who couldn’t earn a fair wage because of artificially lowered demand for labor), it wouldn’t have been practiced at all.

    You mention the Puritan and religious tendencies of certain northerners is this a case where the “religious right” and religious values served a positive role in American history (as opposed to their modern popularization by the left). Or do you think they were “meddling” in the affairs of the South. (I think the Abolitionist movement found its roots in more than just religious beliefs, not the least of which were the growing more secular notions of human rights spawned by the infectious writings of the Revolution, although there is no question that religion played large roles as well)

    As an aside: Do you believe the Civil War was bad for America? Do you believe the North “caused” it? I think the answer is no to both, except perhaps in the purest sense that war generally is bad.

  49. Cobra July 19, 2005 at 10:02 am | | Reply

    Good comments, Chetly, re: July 18, 2005

    11:43

    –Cobra

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