When White Americans Whitewashed History

The current brouhaha about the fate of Confederate monuments is a result of the time when white Americans whitewashed a portion of America’s history. In an article for Politico magazine, Joshua Zeitz describes that whitewashing. Here is an excerpt from his article.

“Southerners may have lost the Civil War, but between the 1890s and 1920s they won the first great battle over its official memory. They fought that battle in popular literature, history books and college curricula, but also on hundreds of courthouse steps and city squares, where they erected monuments to Confederate veterans and martyrs. These statues reinforced the romance of reunion.

Now, a century and a half after the Civil War, Americans are finally confronting the propriety of celebrating the lives of men who committed treason in the name of preserving slavery. That these statues even exist is unusual. When armies are defeated on their own soil — particularly when those armies fight to promote racist or genocidal policies — they usually don’t get to keep their symbols and material culture.

. . . In the late 19th century, Southern veterans of the Civil War essentially concluded that it made little sense to persist in their argument that slavery had been a just, benign social and political system. That argument was simply no longer credible in the eyes of most Northerners — many of whom might have conceded the point before the war— or most civilized nations. ‘However brave’ rebel soldiers might have been on the field, argued a report for the Grand Camp of Confederate Veterans of Virginia, tethering the Lost Cause to the memory of slavery would ‘hold [Confederate veterans] degraded rather than worthy of honor … our children, instead of revering their fathers will be secretly, if not openly, ashamed.’

Instead, Confederate organizations — particularly the United Confederate Veterans, the United Daughters of the Confederacy, and the Sons of Confederate Veterans, whose local chapters funded and organized the construction of many of the monuments that are now in contention — de-emphasized the ideological origins of the war and instead promoted a powerful but vague cult of Southern chivalry, battlefield valor and regional pride. They recast the war as a battle over the principle of states’ rights and Southern honor. Hundreds of cities across the U.S. commissioned monuments to their war dead — statues that were usually situated directly in town squares or by county courthouses, and which paid homage to men who fought and sometimes died to preserve chattel slavery — an institution that [Confederacy] Vice President Alexander Stephens called the ‘cornerstone’ of the Confederacy. Not only did these organizations erase slavery from the narrative. They also brushed over the topics of rebellion and treason.”

The aforementioned brouhaha will persist as long as there are people who insist on embracing a false romantic notion about the Confederacy. The real heritage of the Confederacy is a heritage of anti-black racism, not a heritage of chivalry and honor. There is nothing about that real heritage to be proud of. An American displaying the Battle Flag of the Army of Northern Virginia with pride is akin to a German displaying the Nazi flag with pride.

Come to think of it, both of those flags were displayed with pride by white supremacists at that recent infamous rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Gee, I wonder why?

You Have The Right To Be Offended [And Open Thread]
A Rich Man's War. A Poor Man's Fight.
  • Sky__Captain

    And the one-man train wreck continues…

  • jim_m

    When will Kevin intercede and stop this crap?

    • Brett Buck

      I’ve never seen anything like this. It will not end well.

      • WHO’S THE BUSTER

        How is killing the site? He is, by far, the most prolific contributor. I don’t understand how often there are calls to ban him from this high paying position.

        He provides a platform for many to vent, while also ridiculing David for not actively engaging the commenters. He is, by the way, engaging the commenters, by continually posting on a subject that has proven to elicit a certain amount of vitriol.

        If there are no posts, what will many of you comment about?

        • You do realize your support is a prime indicator that the problem is real?

          • WHO’S THE BUSTER

            Pithy.

        • Sky__Captain

          1) David is prolific in the same way the needle playing an old vinyl record would get stuck. This is not a good thing, although if you like the skip noise it could be. Most intelligent people find it annoying.

          2) Currently, David is only getting ridiculed. He is not engaging anyone, only posting more and more of his diatribe. Engaging commenters would require posting in the comment threads, which David does not.

          3) Wizbang does need more authors, which I for one lack the writing skills to do so. I do lament my failings in this, as I feel there are many things that are deserving of comment.
          These include:
          NFL players disrespecting the National Anthem
          Trump’s Afghanistan speech
          Acceptance by Demcraps of violence by Anti-First Amendment “protesters”

        • Brett Buck

          He’s killing the site by driving people to check, see David’s name, and moving on, or the impending boycott. No one wants to be lectured by someone that would fail Jr. high history on several levels – poor command of the fact, no understanding of the meaning or relevance of the events, and a simplistic prose style.

          • WHO’S THE BUSTER

            I don’t believe anyone will boycott the site. Why would they? To what end?

            Skip his posts. But again, it has provided a platform for many to offer their opinions on the matter, which is kind of the point.

          • Brett Buck

            I think you overestimate the tolerance of decent people to being equated with midnight cross-burners for objecting to the destruction of public property and historical artifacts by rampaging mobs.

      • jim_m

        I think Kevin would be happy to have the site die. His neglect speaks volumes.

        • Scalia

          I think Kevin is on vacation. I’ve not been able to reach him.

  • Retired military

    And David writes yet another white guilt piece. Can someone buy the man a clue.


    The current brouhaha about the fate of Confederate monuments is a result of the time when white Americans whitewashed a portion of America’s history”

    Well sorta. It is about democrats whitewashing their part in the history of keeping down African Americans. It is only in the headlines now because Trump is President. Did you notice under Obama that the daily death counts were never mentioned that were a part of the Bush Presidency. This is just another play by dems to distract people and play hide the rabbit and play the racism card. If this issue was so pressing why wasnt it handled 8 years ago when Obama was President had a supermajority in the House and Senate. Only an idiot cant see what the dems are doing.
    David go see a shrink about your white guilt.

  • Retired military

    Here you go David. Try reading this

    http://thefederalist.com/2017/08/21/nazi-hunting-fantasies-unhinged-left/

    You are being delusional. Answer my question from the last pathetic thread.

    How many people in Chicago have confederate statues killed recently? Dont we as a country have more pressing issues than discussing something that has been collecting pigeon poop for the past 100+ years?

  • Retired military
  • Sky__Captain

    Suggested reading material for David:
    http://www.ushist.com/general-information/10_causes_of_the_war_between_the_states.shtml

    Maybe it will help cease his insipid diatribes on the matter.

  • Vagabond661

    Just wanted to comment so my avatar would show up.

  • Vagabond661

    David put a sign “END SARCASM” at the end of this post. He should have put a sign 4 posts ago “BEGIN STUPIDITY”.

  • Vagabond661

    I didn’t read this post. I won’t read anymore posts from David about the confederacy. It is a waste of time that I will never get back.

  • Vagabond661

    Maybe we should all change our avatar to a confederate flag.

  • Retired military

    Gee at least one author has been paying attention to what is actually going on nowadays. Too bad it isnt the author who posts here with the racist avatar.

    http://thedeclination.com/on-manufactured-outrage/

  • Hank_M

    Since Wizbang is on a “The South Sucks” crusade for the time being, some might find the following links interesting.

    https://fredoneverything.org/fun-with-slavery-dark-spots-in-a-shining-sea-of-twaddle/

    One thing Reed mentions is that “it is worth noting that the Emancipation Proclamation of January 1, 1863, now also sold as a moral measure by the sainted Lincoln, in fact freed not a single slave. It applied only in the Southern states, where it was intended to ignite a revolt. Slaves in the North remained in slavery.”

    And more importantly, this book on Amazon, “Complicity: How the North Promoted, Prolonged, and Profited from Slavery.”

  • pennywit

    This is probably the most pertinent of David’s multiday exegesis on the Confederacy. He should have compacted the whole thing into one post.

    • Retired military

      And then not posted it.

      • pennywit

        I respectfully dissent, RM.

  • TheyTukRJobz

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/aed97b148825da5af26609f9cf4f632ed956cc4d68f1a94ebaf56b522d58c85a.jpg

    Uh oh. It looks like there’s yet another flag of hate and oppression that we must declaim and distance ourselves from because the KKK used it.

  • jim_m

    Another antifa flag. But David thinks that Antifa are the good guys and that they are different from the Nazis. I think David sides with antifa and believes that only speech he agrees with is constitutionally protected. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4760dc631cb22df92e510e6b86857f29de42eed784038733f52cbac2ba2ad048.jpg