For Those Who Go Beyond Boundaries

Slap In the Face

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I happened to comment on a friends Facebook page, in regards to a very interesting events that took place recently. Even though the one month out of the year set as side to commemorate African American contributions and achievements is marked on February, I found that ‘we’  have unknowingly shared this very month with another group of interest.

It seems that a group called the Confederate Descendants or Sons of Confederate Veterans, in the company of Civil War (confederate) re-enactors decided to mark the 150 anniversary of our nations inaugurated Confederate President Jefferson Davis on the 19th of February. They dawned confederate solider uniforms and hooped skirts, as they marched down the main avenue of Montgomery, AL this past Saturday.

No big deal right?

Well, its not the idea that they even decided to hold the march, its the timeframe and locations in which they choose to do so. The controversial march started at a historical water fountain where slaves where once bought and sold. From there they moseyed their sweet southern asses past the church that Martin Luther King Jr. led his congregation during the Montgomery Bus Boycott; and ended the march on the Montgomery Capital steps. X marks the spot where former Gov. George C. Wallace proclaimed “segregation forever” in 1968; and where King concluded the historic Selma-to-Montgomery voting rights march in 1965.

The Son’s of Confederate Veterans members, are individuals who’ve trace their history to ancestors who fought in the war. And they’ve some how conveniently renamed the Civil War “A War Between the States” or the “War of Secession“. And they’ve chosen to do so because they feel that its origins have been ‘distorted’ by modern historians. One member stated that the groups over all mission was to “send a message that the war was fought over states rights, slavery was an issue, but it was not the main issue”. Another was quoted saying “yes, it was about slavery, but it was more so over the states rights to purchase, own, breed, and sell slaves”. 0_o?

I want to make something clear here; I have no problem with any group demonstrating a pride in their heritage. I’ve always considered myself to be an advocate of any human beings individual rights to peaceful assembly, freedom of speech, and national pride. Even those of which I beg to differ. But this over all demonstration of ‘pride’ is in my personal opinion linked to a level of bigotry and ignorance that’s a blatant abuse of the civil rights and liberties provided by the United States Constitution/Bill of Rights; in which many proud countrymen, women and myself served in the Armed Forces to preserve and defend. I have to admit that I’m not surprised at the audacity of those whom claim ‘Southern Pride’, for I’m a Southerner and would take offense to anyone whom dare call me Yankee. BUT! I’m not stupid….

I personally understand the significance in their choosing the locations and time for their mockery of such historical monuments; the same in which I’m able to decipher Mr. Glenn Beck‘s need to hold his rally on the Washington Monument during the day of MLK’s historical “I Have a Dream” speech. I even understand the need for Beck to have one of Kings family members present, to ensure he’s not seen as being racist or insensitive to the message of harmony preached by the Nobel Peace Prize winner.

I  understand the symbolism that leads these small minded village idiots to not only draw attention to themselves, but to show disrespect towards individuals who want nothing more than to have their peoples accomplishments and contributions to this grate nation be recognized and celebrated nationally ONE month out of twelve.

And I’m smart enough to know that this small sector of uncivilized population does not speak for the remainder of society over all. Lets be honest, no one can stop them; nor can they be restricted to what days and/or locations they chose to wave the rebel flag in our faces.

What perplexes me is the fact that these people would have the nerve to try and rename the Civil War, while seeking to tweak the true reasoning behind the war itself. Now, they are right that there was several reasons that lead up to the Civil Wars initial beginnings. But Slavery was the cornerstone of every aspect of this war that drove the wedge between the north and south. In the North, the economy was based upon factories wages; everyday people voluntarily worked in factories. Where as the Southern states economy was based heavily upon cotton and tobacco plantations; where slaves were forcefully ’employed’ with out pay. Yes, they where given food and shelter, if your count the left over remnants of slaughtered hogs, wooden shacks and rags for clothing. In the Midwest, wheat was the number one cash crop, and it was harvested by machines so not many workers nor slaves where needed to maintain and harvest the fields. These different economies and methods for growth is one of the issues that caused divisions within the United states. Not to mention the settling of new territories that lead the South to desire these new lands to be admitted to the Union as slave states. And this was a plan concocted by the Southern states to keep escaping slaves from fleeing to ‘free’ territories. The North wanted these territories to be ‘free’ states, thus making it difficult for Southern slave owners to go after escaped and free slaves.

Where states rights comes into play is some people feeling strongly about these new territories having the right to vote on whether they desired to be ‘free’ or slave states. Bear in mind that most of these new territories where actually lands stolen from Native Americans, and these indigenous people had no say if they could keep their land or be ‘free’ or slave states.

An agreement was reached during the Compromise of 1850, which lasted for about three years. During this compromise, fugitive slaves were ordered to return to their owners. The abolitionist felt this law was unjust and should not be followed by slaves who where technically free. South Carolina immediately seceded from the Union when Abraham Lincoln stated that slavery should be abolished, and six more states followed suit forming the Confederte States of Ameria (CSA). Many in the south felt that the abolishment of slavery would hurt their economy and their way of life. And they felt that each state had the ‘right’ to vote on any laws that would have an adverse affect on such factors. Yet the slaves themselves had no rights to vote, because according to the Constitution of the United States of America during those times, African slaves where not even classified as being a full human being.

So you can imagine tickling sensation experienced in my funny bone when House Republicans proposed to read the Constitution on the floor, yet only reading the portions in which they felt applied to current times. Its amazing how some people want things to go back to the era the Constitution was originally drafted (in its original form) yet they’re not racist and promote women’s rights and racial harmony.

The fact that one of the members who partook in the festivities  felt that the war itself wasn’t about slavery; to me demonstrates that our nation still has along way to go when it comes to racial togetherness. No matter how the Sons of Confederate Veterans want to classify the Civil War, or what name they seek to give it, its foundation still rest heavily upon the backs of African slaves forced into slave labor for economical gains.   This grate nation was formed upon the territories stolen from Native Americans, built upon the blood, sweet and tears of the African Slave, and prospered on the exploitation of immigrates who rest upon our nations shores it search of a better life.

With that being said,
Happy Presidents Day 😉



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