The Washington Poop, I mean Post:
Fake News AND Fake History
by Gene Kizer, Jr.
The Washington Post article, "Destroying Confederate monuments isn't 'erasing' history. It's learning from it."1 by African American associate professor Keisha N. Blain of the University of Pittsburgh, proves that not only does the Washington Post peddle in fake news, it peddles fake history.
Professor Blain's contention in the short article is that "Confederate monuments, as well as Confederate-named Army bases, are modern inventions meant to distort history and celebrate a racist past" because:
These symbols serve one primary purpose - to honor figures of the past who upheld an undemocratic vision of America. They were created by white supremacists. And they function as a balm for white supremacists who long to return to a period when Americans regarded black people as property.
This is a silly, self-important view of history by a person obsessed with race.
Whether Prof. Blain likes it or not, the culture and institutions of America came from white Europe. Great Britain is our Mother Country.
We were founded because Europeans were looking for resources and wealth. The Virginia Company, the Massachusetts Bay Company, we were founded by capitalist companies out to make money and create markets, which creates opportunity for average people.
Europeans were Christians, Jews, Protestants, and their culture was derived from Greek democracy, ancient Athens and Sparta, the Roman Empire, the Catholic Church, the Protestant Reformation, the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, the Bible, English Common Law, Magna Carta, the philosophy of John Locke, which found its way into Thomas Jefferson's Declaration of Independence.
There was a scientific revolution to go along with the industrial revolution. This was great progress for mankind.
That was the dominant culture from white Europe. It is more accurately described as American, not just white. White doesn't do it justice.
Professor Blain's characterization is racist. White supremacy? If you go to Africa you have black supremacy. In Central America, Hispanic supremacy. In Asia, Asian supremacy. If you go up by the North Pole, you have Eskimo supremacy.
Whatever the dominant culture is, that is what is supreme.
White supremacy in America when we were founded by white Europeans is not too profound an observation, so big deal.
The problem in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries for blacks and whites was the bringing together of two diametrically opposite cultures: the tribal culture of Africa, and the advanced industrializing scientific civilization of Europe that had evolved and become strong and confident and was exploring the world looking for resources, markets, wealth, and opportunity. There was great competition among European nations for expansion, to spread their innovative cultures.
Africans in Africa knew about capitalism too because they knew they could make money selling other Africans into slavery first, to the British, then later to Yankees, mostly New Englanders, who were America's slave traders.
The tribal chieftains of Africa built slave forts like the one on Bunce Island off modern Sierra Leone, and the barracoons Zora Neale Hurston, the famous African American anthropologist, wrote about in her book, Barracoon. It describes African tribal warfare and their slave trade in great detail.2
The goal of white European culture was not to have slaves. It was to build great cities and nations and wealth for all. There was some opportunity for blacks even during slavery because people like William Ellison, the famous black cotton gin maker in Sumter County, got rich and became one of the largest slave owners in South Carolina.
Once slavery ended and the decades long rebuilding of the Southern economy was complete, more opportunity was created. We have continued to evolve until we have, today, unlimited opportunity for everybody from sea to shining sea.
There is nothing holding anybody back in America today. Anybody can achieve anything they want with the right attitude and willingness to work hard. Opportunity is all over the place for blacks, whites, women, men, everybody.
People just have to solve their individual problems, get the education or training they need, develop a strong work ethic then do like Sam Walton said and "get after it." Develop an intense determination to succeed.
Those who buy into the false narrative of the left, that America is a horribly racist place founded on racism and slavery: you ain't going nowhere. You can drown in your misery or you can shake off that nonsense and get to work.
We have had a two-term black president in America, no matter how mediocre and divisive he was. That proves America is not a racist nation in the least.
The Democrat Party's false charge of racism against anybody who disagrees with them, promotes real racism, and so does their war on the past.
Southerners did not secede because of slavery. They seceded because they were fed up with the Northern hate Republicans used in the election of 1860 to rally their votes.
John Brown's terrorist raid at Harper's Ferry had been a wakeup call for the South. It proved Northerners were serious about murdering Southerners since Brown was financed by Northerners, then celebrated in the North as a hero when he was brought to justice. Two Union states, Ohio and Iowa, protected Brown's sons who were wanted for murder in Virginia. Protecting fugitives from justice when wanted by another state was unconstitutional. This was yet another Northern violation of the Constitution.
Brown's mission had been to create a slave revolt like Haiti's that would result in thousands of Southern men, women and children brutally murdered.
Republicans also used Hinton Helper's The Impending Crisis, as a campaign document. It called for the throats of Southerners to be cut in the night.
This was the future for Southerners in the Union.
So, ask yourself, if you were a Southerner in 1860, would you let Lincoln's terrorist, money thieving party rule over you?
Or would you secede and form a new nation more to your liking as was your sacred right laid out in the Declaration of Independence where it states:
Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
Prof. Blain also accuses Southerners of being traitors.
The idea that Southerners were traitors when they had the right to secede and exercised it properly, again, shows Prof. Blain's ignorance of history.
The New England states threatened to secede many times more than Southerners. Horace Greeley believed in the right of secession ("let our erring sisters go") until he realized it would affect his money then he wanted war like the rest of the North.
Three states - New York, Rhode Island, and Virginia - demanded the right of secession in writing before joining the Constitution. All the other states accepted the reserved right of secession of New York, Rhode Island, and Virginia, thus giving it to them as well, because all the states are equal with the exact same powers.
Prof. Blain's statement that Confederate monuments, Confederate-named bases, etc. serve "one primary purpose - to honor figures of the past who upheld an undemocratic vision of America" shows that she knows nothing about Southern history and probably has never cared to trouble herself with it.
What Southerners did by calling conventions of the people (their secession conventions) to debate, then vote on the one issue of secession, is the most democratic thing to ever happen on American soil.
It goes straight back to the Founding Fathers when they required that states call conventions of the people to ratify the Constitution rather than having it ratified by their legislatures. This was a far sounder foundation for the country than a legislative vote that could be rescinded by a later legislature.
Each Southern state called a convention, elected delegates as secessionists or unionists, debated the issue thoroughly, then voted.
Seven states seceded and formed a new democratic republic on this earth - the Confederate States of America - very similar to the one formed by our Founding Fathers but with States' Rights thoroughly protected.
Four states rejected secession at first. Prof. Blain skips over this. She says only "By June 1861, four more states had seceded."
The reason they seceded had nothing whatsoever to do with slavery though Prof. Blain does not tell you that because she, herself, does not know it.
The four states that had rejected secession seceded because Lincoln called for 75,000 volunteers to invade the South. They were horrified that Lincoln would use the Federal Government to invade sovereign states and murder their citizens. The Federal Government was supposed to be the agent of the states, not their master.
In those four states - Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee and North Carolina - lived 52.4% of white Southerners, therefore a majority of white Southerners seceded over nothing to do with slavery. They seceded over unconstitutional federal coercion.
Prof. Blain does get one thing right. She says Lincoln "made no such promise in 1860" to end slavery. She's right. Lincoln and the North supported the Corwin Amendment which would have left black people in slavery forever, even beyond the reach of Congress, in places where slavery already existed.
Not a single Confederate monument went up to honor whatever Prof. Blain means by white supremacy.
All went up with pennies from school children, and such, in the war-impoverished South to honor their dead from a war in which 750,000 died, and over a million were maimed. Is that not enough suffering for Prof. Blain to understand that the region wanted to honor those souls who were their blood and kin in a permanent way?
Basil Gildersleeve, a Confederate soldier from Charleston, South Carolina who is today "still regarded as the greatest American classical scholar of all times."3 describes the sentiment well in 1892, 27 years after the war. He writes:
A friend of mine, describing the crowd that besieged the Gare de Lyon in Paris, when the circle of fire was drawing round the city, and foreigners were hastening to escape, told me that the press was so great that he could touch in every direction those who had been crushed to death as they stood, and had not had room to fall. Not wholly unlike this was the pressure brought to bear on the Confederacy. It was only necessary to put out your hand and you touched a corpse; and that not an alien corpse, but the corpse of a brother or a friend.4
Not a single Confederate monument went up out of fear that black people were raising themselves up, another of the absurd assertions of Prof. Blain.
If you what to know why Confederate monuments went up, straight from the mouth of Confederates, all you have to do is read the original Confederate Veteran magazine from any of its 40 year run.
The raising of the money for all the Confederate monuments is in it, day by day, penny by penny, a massive work of love and patriotism.
You can read the stories of the veterans organizations, the United Confederate Veterans, The Sons of Confederate Veterans, the United Daughters of the Confederacy and others.
Read original stories of battles, speeches at dedications, look at pictures, read a lot of poetry. It is the most warm and wonderful thing you can imagine, exciting, dignified, extremely patriotic, by wonderful, decent people, and you can see that there is nothing the least bit racist about them.
Prof. Blain has no idea what she is talking about. Her understanding of history is abysmal, bless her heart.
What has happened to Southern history since the 1960s is a national disgrace, it is a "cultural and political atrocity" as Eugene Genovese said, especially what has happened in the past month with the Democrat Party's violent mobs and riots destroying historical monuments around the country.
But unlike flighty liberals, Southerners know our history and are solidly grounded. We will immediately begin a new round of monument building across America so we end up with a net increase, and the new ones will be more magnificent than ever.
We have one of the greatest historical records of all mankind, and throughout all of history, especially of valor, bravery and self-government. Here's how Basil Gildersleeve sums it up and is why we will make our history more known to the future than ever before:
All that I vouch for is the feeling; . . . there was no lurking suspicion of any moral weakness in our cause. Nothing could be holier than the cause, nothing more imperative than the duty of upholding it. There were those in the South who, when they saw the issue of the war, gave up their faith in God, but not their faith in the cause.5
1 Washington Post, "Destroying Confederate monuments isn't 'erasing' history. It's learning from it." by Professor Keisha N. Blain, June 19, 2020, https://www.WashingtonPost.com/outlook/
2020/06/19/destroying-confederate-monuments-isnt-erasing-history-its-learning-it/, accessed June 22, 2020.
2 Zora Neale Hurston, Barracoon, The Story of the Last "Black Cargo" (NY: Amistad, 2018).
3 Clyde N. Wilson, Abstract, The Creed of the Old South by Basil L. Gildersleeve, Society of Independent Southern Historians, http://southernhistorians.org/the-societys-southern-life-recommended-reading/11-southern-literature/11-09-southern-literature-southern-view-of-southern-culture/11-09-04/, accessed 10/11/2014.
4 Basil L. Gildersleeve, The Creed of the Old South (Baltimore: The Johns hopkins Press, 1915; reprint: BiblioLife, Penrose Library, University of Denver (no date given), 26-27.
5 Gildersleeve, The Creed of the Old South, Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press, 1915; reprint: BiblioLife, Penrose Library, University of Denver (no date given), 26-27.
EXCELLENT article. You nailed it and said exactly what I’ve been saying for years. Too many people are indoctrinated with 150+ years of Marxist rewritten “history”. Besides the Corwin Amendment, Crittenden-Johnson Resolution, and Morrill Tariff proving the War of Northern Aggression was not about slavery, the fact that there were more than 429,000 slaves in the Union AFTER the South seceded proves the war was not about slavery. If, as the historically ignorant contend, the war was all about “freeing the slaves”, why did the Union not first free the ones they held in bondage? We are supposed to believe that the Union was on some “righteous campaign” to end slavery, while at the same time they held hundreds of thousands in bondage. The anti-Confederates and unbelievers seem to not let facts get in their way.
You nailed it too! None of those Union slave states ended slavery before 1865. Most had slavery until a couple months before the war ended, and two had slavery way beyond the war, all the way to December, 1865 when the 13th Amendment kicked in.
Thanks for writing!
Can you send me this comment in e-mail format so that I may send it to others?
I am a native South Carolinian now living in occupied Mount Pleasant.
Your kinship with our Abbeville Institute is much valued.
Thank you for your good work,
Thanks for writing! There is a place at the bottom of the email you received that you can click on and forward to several people at one time.
Here’s a link you can cut and paste in an email: https://www.charlestonathenaeumpress.com/the-washington-poop-i-mean-post-fake-news-and-fake-history/
Let me know if this helps.
The fact is, destroying a statue is erasing history – it is censoring art, censoring its intention, censoring the people who created & displayed it, & changing the provenance of the art or object.
I absolutely agree. What’s gone on around the country by violent leftist mobs is a disgrace. Our cowardly city council here in Charleston just removed the John C. Calhoun monument. We fought like crazy to keep that 125 year old monument but council are disgraceful cowards and part of the mob along with our horrible politically correct newspaper, the Post and Courier.
You are so right. A monument is a wonderful gift from the past to the future. Tearing it down or moving it because of the political attitudes at a certain moment in time, is unconscionable. We live in a time, today, of a lot of historical ignorance, and a lot of cowardice, when people are afraid of the mob and afraid of being called a racist.
Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment. Please write anytime.
You did”nt even mention the Morrell tariff!
Good point! The Morrill Tariff, along with the loss of the North’s manufacturing market when we seceded, was the one-two punch that threatened their economy with collapse and caused Lincoln to start the war. Of course, a better man would have negotiated a new relationship with the South but Lincoln figured he could win easily because of the overwhelming advantages of the North. Too bad his thinking killed 750,000 or more and maimed a million good men.
Thanks for writing!
This needs to go viral and reach every American, to let them know ‘ There is another side to this story ‘.
I can’t wait to get Volume II of my book out there and make it go viral! Gonna finish this year with a bang!
All the best to you!
When I started reading this, I expected that your essay would follow the well worn channels of our own version of one-sided history…that the South was not “racist”…that slavery played no part in the South’s decision to secede…that the Confederacy was some kind of politically correct vision of diversity.
But what I found instead was a very thoughtful and forthright essay, an adult’s take on history very much at odds with the silly fantasies of the Neo-Confederates.
But you are too kind:
“Prof. Blain has no idea what she is talking about. Her understanding of history is abysmal, bless her heart.”
What Dr. Blain understands is that she hates White people, that she and others like her can give free rein to their hatred of White people without feel of opposition and that she and the vast majority of her race (with a few resplendent exceptions) can turn the Whites’ guilt trip into an endless cornucopia of loot…loot which never mitigates their contemptuous attitudes toward Whites, loot that never requires a “thank you”, loot that the Whites give in the expectation that this will set things right and bring a guilt to the hate propaganda.
But Whites are wrong in their delusion that the psychological war and the shake-down will ever end. In their phenomenal stupidity the White egalitarians are often living evidence against the idea that Whites are superior to Blacks in intelligence. In this strange way the Social Justice Warriors and other deluded Whites prove their case.
The only quibbles I have with your splendid and rich essay is the idea that the North would have left slavery in place forever and that you cite Lincoln’s purported position on slavery in 1860 as evidence of what he actually believed and would have done.
Senator Toombs of Georgia was correct when he said that the Republican Party was a marriage of cupidity with fanaticism. The Party of Lincoln was driven by greed (the desire of the industrialists for tariffs and cheap imported labor) but also by the crazed fanaticism of the abolitionists like Garrison and Governor Andrew of Massachusetts.
The fanaticism is evidenced by the support given by the Republican Party to the John Brown Raid which you – correctly and in contrast to the silly Neo-Confederates like the Kennedy brothers) – mention.
As for Lincoln:
As you will know almost beyond anyone else every statement Lincoln made, every action he took, must always be placed into the immediate context of what he needed politically at the precise moment.
Lincoln hadn’t the slightest intention of heading off civil war when he made the meaningless gestures over slavery at the outset of the war that he instigated.
After all, Lincoln refused to make any calming statement whatsoever as State after State seceded after his election. When Alexander H. Stephens asked Lincoln to make a public statement that would help Southern unionists avert secession, Lincoln refused in writing to do so.
As efforts were being made between Lincoln’s election and his inauguration to piece together yet another compromise, Lincoln expressly instructed the Republicans in Congress to have none of it.
Why would Lincoln make no effort to avert secession while it was happening but then posture as having no intention to interfere with slavery once the war he had contrived was breaking out?
The answer is pretty obvious:
1. Lincoln and his party needed a war to cement their control over the government.
2. Once the war they needed was nigh or underway, Lincoln needed the support of the Northern Democrats for his war. He needed to “cast the nets wide.” He needed to present the war as being about Union and patriotism so as to garner maximum support. The time was not yet ripe to make abolitionism part of the package.
The fanatics in the Republican Party were shrewd enough to go along with this because they knew that Lincoln would give them what they wanted when the time was ripe.
It’s distressing to me as a Southerner when I witness Southerners who embrace the tired old narrative that “if only Lincoln had lived”, Reconstruction would have been mild and constructive.
Had Lincoln lived Reconstruction would have been every whit as bad as it was and probably worse.
Almost his last act before Booth put an end to him was to scold the rump government set up by the federal troops as the purported “government” of Louisiana for not giving the franchise to Blacks.
Just as Lincoln and his party needed what they thought would be a quick, easy war in 1860-61 to fasten their control on the nation, they needed Black votes if they were to be able to contend with Democrats in the South.
Lincoln was Machiavelli on meth…or on Methodism, a denomination whose crazed Northern members gave him and the abolitionist crusade vehement support.
Thanks for your thoughtful comment!
You are right. It will never end. Nothing is ever enough.
I also agree that Lincoln started the war for the wealth, power and control of the country by the Republican Party. His economy was about to be annihilated. That’s why he started the war. It certainly was not to free the slaves. That is provable beyond the shadow of a doubt.
I think Lincoln would have been as bad as the rest of them during Reconstruction. It could be that if Lincoln had not been assassinated, there would have been less hatred, but then, Republicans still needed to control blacks in the South so they could keep winning elections, and they would have done any corrupt thing they needed to do to maintain their control.