What You Choose To Forget

Some people are trying to remove anything and everything that has a connection with the Confederate flag and the Confederate Army. Is it safe to rewrite history even when that history may be identified as being racist? It’s an important question to ask.

Recently, the Oklahoma City branch of the NAACP has galvanized its forces in an attempt to have the Confederate uniform General Robert E. Lee wears in a portrait displayed at the Lee County Commission Chambers painted out on the basis that General Robert E. Lee was a racist leader.

Amazon, in its mass move to remove all things related to the Confederate Army removed non-fiction historical author Michael Dreese’s books related to the American Civil War on the basis that, in Amazon’s opinion, his books promoted the Confederate battle flag.

Walmart, Sears, Target, Etsy, and eBay determined that the Confederate flag was toxic to their sales and they removed all Confederate merchandise from their shelves and their websites.

Even zoos such as the Saginaw Zoo in Michigan removed a carousel horse after receiving complaints because the historic image this particular horse was painted with was the Confederate flag.

It seems that the focus obliterate even the slightest thing that’s related to the Confederate Army of the American Civil War is well underway as a wave of hysteria sweeps across the United States.

The problem with the Confederate flag and the Confederate uniform is that it’s part of history that helped shape the United States of America. Some believe that history should never be forgotten; others believe that history should never be spoken of again.

The matter really isn’t about racism, although racism has been associated with the Confederate flag. However, racism can be associated with any flag arguments can be made successfully that any flag can be considered racist. Wherever oppression can be proven, racism can also be proven.

Now most people are under the mistaken belief that the American Civil War was fought to free the slaves. Wrong. The North went to war to hold the Union together in light of the Southern states seceding from the Union. And while the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 ended Confederate slavery, slavery in borders states that hadn’t seceded were unaffected by the Emancipation Proclamation. This is because there was a loophole in the Act that stated that the proclamation only applied to states and territories that were “in rebellion against the United States.”

That’s right, readers: Slaves in Delaware, Kentucky, Tennessee, and New Orleans weren’t subject to the freedom promised in the Emancipation Proclamation.

What’s worse is the fact that the North had racist laws that prevented black people from becoming citizens! But while black people in the North were exempt from the draft to fight in the American Civil War, those who weren’t exempt — these people being white people — took exception to the loophole and that unrest culminated into the biggest riot ever seen North or South of the Mason-Dixon line!

Yes, readers, the draft targeted all white man between the ages of 20 and 35, and all unmarried white men between the ages of 36 and 45, and because the Conscription Act excluded African-American men from the draft, the inequity of the draft became the fuse that lit a powder keg of violence that last four days one hot July in 1863, and took 4,000 federal troops to quell.

But the South saw the Emancipation Proclamation as something else: By making it unlawful to own slaves, the Act struck at the heart of commerce where the economy relied heavily on cheap labor to drive their economy which was heavily reliant on the cotton industry. By seceding from the Union, those states who were dependent on such a work force believed they were protecting their businesses. They were, after all, used to living in high cotton. And so, this is most likely why so many believe the American Civil War was only about freeing slaves.

So does the right thing to do lie with removing all things related to the Confederate Army? Edmund Burke once said, “Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.”

George Santayana said the same thing when he wrote, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

Even Jesse Ventura was quoted as having said, “Learn from history or you’re doomed to repeat it.”

At the rate the deep cuts are being made to remove anything that addresses slavery of the 19th century in the United States, how long will it be before Coca-Cola is targeted?  And how long before Solomon Northup’s “Twelve Years A Slave” and Alex Haley’s “Roots: The Saga Of An American Family” are yanked from library and bookstore shelves?  I’m just asking the reasonable questions based on what’s happened over the last few weeks.

Elyse Bruce

SUGGESTED READING

Amazon Takes Down Historical Book On Confederate Flag
http://jonathanturley.org/2015/07/20/this-flag-never-goes-down-amazon-takes-down-historical-book-on-confederate-flag-due-to-confederate-flag-on-cover/

Busted: Civil War Myths
http://www.livescience.com/18863-civil-war-myths.html

Civil War Veteran Invents Coca-Cola
http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2012/03/this-day-in-history-civil-war-veteran-and-morphine-addict-john-pemberton-invents-coca-cola/

Dangerous Precedent Set
http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2015/07/20/dangerous-precedent-author-angry-after-his-historical-book-about-the-confederate-flag-goes-missing-from-amazon-author-page/

Walmart, Amazon, Sears, eBay Stop Selling Confederate Flag
http://www.cnn.com/2015/06/22/politics/confederate-flag-walmart-south-carolina/

What Does The Confederate Flag Mean
http://news.yahoo.com/history-of-the-confederate-flags-190828285.html

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: