Criticisms of Confederate Heritage: Way Too Far?

Looking at this recent criticism of Confederate heritage, one can easily understand the resentment and outrage such a commentary would spark.  It’s a cheap laugh.

But what do you make of this critical assessment?

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45 thoughts on “Criticisms of Confederate Heritage: Way Too Far?

  1. Bill Newcomer April 13, 2012 / 4:21 pm

    The problem with a short video like this is there is not time to prove or assess the assumptions. A statement is made that many people in the southern heritage movement are dis-connected from their real heritage; Irish, Scot or whatever.. That may or may not be true, and I am not sure how you would prove it. Maybe some graduate student could do his/her master’s thesis on it sometime. Nor can we totally discount regional history in examining our heritage. Can I, or should I deny the family heritage I received from my Michigan and Ohio Union Veteran ancestors? It is one thing to say their is no southern heritage. It is another thing to say their is a southern heritage, but that southern heritage includes much more then confederates and the confederacy. . That is where the dis-connect is with some of the SH people. Yes, affirm the historical reality of your southern heritage in all of its totality, confederates, southern unionists, Africans and all.. .

  2. Sharryn April 13, 2012 / 8:42 pm

    Does this guy live in a bird house?
    The point he is making……Hertiage or Culture!

    • MikeD April 14, 2012 / 10:48 pm

      Might you state your point using intelligible English syntax?

  3. John Foskett April 14, 2012 / 9:10 am

    In his own simple way this guy makes a valid point. The SH pushers aren’t talking about “family heritage”. They’re talklng about something that is supposedly “regional” and inevitably ends up being tied to the ACW/Confederacy.. Personally I think the whole thing is a shell game. What’s “Southern”? Does it include folks in states that didn’t secede and in which there was much pro-union sentiment, such as Maryland and Kentucky? (Recall the Confederacy’s futile effort to recruit during its invasion of Kentucky in late summer/fall, 1862). How about the reaches of western NC, eastern Tennessee, and northern Alabama where substantial populations were opposed to the Confederacy? Are we talking about cuisine? If we are, where does New Orleans fit? There seems to be no “eastern” heritage, “northern” heritage, “western” heritage – only “southern”. And the same problems lurk for “southern” culture. I won’t even touch the obvious racial issues which go to “whose” heritage/culture. As I said, shell game.

    • MikeD April 14, 2012 / 10:56 pm

      If it’s regional it must, perforce, include those elements of the regional culture that take into account the inextricable contributions of African-descended peoples to that culture. But you and I both know those elements are not intended for inclusion in these clowns’ definition of “southern heritage.” They mean white people. Period. The guy was correct in his assessment of “closet racists.”

      • Connie Chastain April 15, 2012 / 1:23 am

        Mike D, the contributions of African-descended people to the United States and to the South are not under attack, are not targeted for erasure. They are, in fact, celebrated and trumpeted.The contributions of whites to Southern regional culture is defined by critics solely as “racism” and is deemed fit for dropping down the memory hole for that reason. Southern heritage advocates deem that its “racist” component is no worse than the “racist” component of U.S. culture, and is not sufficient reason for the smearing of Southern heritage for the purpose of targeting and eventually erasing it from the national memory. See?

        • Brooks D. Simpson April 15, 2012 / 10:01 am

          Connie Chastain constructs a strawman. We don’t see advocates of Confederate heritage celebrate African Americans’ struggle for freedom and equality. Certainly Connie doesn’t, as her all-white cast of heroes and heroines in her own “books” demonstrates. The remainder of her comment is pure illogical nonsense. No one’s for eradicating southern culture and heritage: we’re just interested in reminding people that properly understood, that story is the story of many people of various backgrounds, not simply white Confederates. It’s people like Connie who want to whitewash southern heritage by reducing it to the Confederacy and defining southern history as for whites only.

          • Forester April 18, 2012 / 11:44 am

            I’ve never read her books, though I wouldn’t criticise too much for the casts being all-white. White is the target demographic, after all. And a storyteller shouldn’t be forced to shoehorn other ethnicities in just to “prove” something.

            So far, I haven’t used any black characters in my current comic strip, for example. Due to the WW2 setting, the only roles in the city of Norfolk for them would be maids and shoe-shine boys. It seemed more sensitive just to omit them than to display them as subserviant (and to give them anachronisticly progressive roles would dishonor the real people held back by segrogation). If Connie were a true racist she would probably be making blacks look bad, not just being neutral.

          • Brooks D. Simpson April 18, 2012 / 11:59 am

            Observing the color of the cast of characters in Connie’s writing (which she admitted, because I haven’t read what she’s written … I’ve just read what she writes about what she has written) is just that: an observation. That you may take it as a criticism is your business. However, it is a bit of a stretch to say one is writing “pro-southern” literature if the South one imagines lacks people of color.

            Racism comes in many forms.

        • John Foskett April 15, 2012 / 10:40 am

          More beans hidden under shells, Connie. What “contributions of African-descended people … to the South” are “celebrated and trumpeted” by your “Souhern/Confederate heritage” spin, Connie? Their “service” as slaves?

          • Connie Chastain April 15, 2012 / 12:28 pm

            Why repeat what’s already being done by others? Our concern is with that part which is under attack. What is there about that that’s too difficult for you to grasp?

          • Brooks D. Simpson April 15, 2012 / 7:45 pm

            I think Connie found your question a little too difficult to answer, so she pretended that she didn’t understand it. Maybe the real problem is that she didn’t understand it. I don’t think it would make a lot of difference in how she responded.

          • John Foskett April 16, 2012 / 8:25 am

            Connie, you didn’t answer the question for one simple reason – you can’t without conceding the point. I’m getting concerned that even you no longer understand what you mean by “Confederate”/”Southern” “Heritage”. Unless, of course, it’s just “Southern and Romantic Fiction”. By the way, Mr. Wallace has weighed in here. I’m breathlessly awaiting your response to him. . .

          • Brooks D. Simpson April 16, 2012 / 10:53 am

            Connie’s reduced herself to ranting in the comments section here. To date I’ve allowed her replies to others to go through. But I think we’ve exhausted that topic.

          • John Foskett April 16, 2012 / 1:31 pm

            Referring to those as “replies” is generous. Connie gave up on substance and merits a ways back – for good reason, because we all know where that inexorably leads..

        • Hunter Wallace April 16, 2012 / 4:16 am

          The real Confederates (not to be accused with Baby Boomers) believed that the North was insufficiently committed to racialism and white supremacy.

          They believed that the conservative men of the North (predominantly from the Scots-Irish dominated Lower Midwest) were outnumbered by Black Republican radicals who wanted to elevate the negro to social and political equality with White people.

          Rainbow Confederates who equate Northern racism with Southern racism are grossly ignorant of the subject. Blacks were citizens with voting rights in five New England states.

          There were never anti-miscegenation laws in New York and New Jersey. Pennsylvania repealed its anti-miscegenation law during the American Revolution.

          Stick with “heritage” as you define it in your fantasy world.

  4. Connie Chastain April 14, 2012 / 5:39 pm

    We know what we mean, Mr. Foskett. That you lack the ability to understand doesn’t make it a shell game….

    • Brad April 14, 2012 / 9:15 pm

      Who is we? If you know what you stand for, please verbalize, but without resort to cliches or a script.

      • Brooks D. Simpson April 15, 2012 / 10:02 am

        Connie likes to speak as the royal “we.” However, she speaks for herself, and, as she’s complained, not even many Confederate heritage advocates listen to her … or read her “books.”

    • John Foskett April 15, 2012 / 7:41 am

      Oh, I definitely understand, Connie. It’s a shell game in which the white racial supremacy bean gets moved around out of sight. You’re proving to be “galactically” dense on this issue. Do we need Mr. Wallace to jump in here and school you yet again in “Confederate History 101”?.

      • Hunter Wallace April 15, 2012 / 2:59 pm

        Today’s lesson in Confederate History 101:

        http://www.occidentaldissent.com/2012/04/15/confederate-history-month-2012-the-races-of-men-1860

        We’re moving on from the secession commissioners to explore the discourse found in the Southern Literary Messenger and DeBow’s Review. Eventually, we will take it down to the level of newspaper editorials.

        The ideas that motivated secession and which drove Confederate nationalism are more interesting than the military battles. You will search in vain for the “Rainbow Confederacy” in contemporary documents.

  5. Connie Chastain April 15, 2012 / 12:56 am

    Brad, please refer to the comment I was replying to, and you’ll see.

  6. marcferguson April 15, 2012 / 9:39 am

    Connie wrote: “the contributions of African-descended people to the United States and to the South are not under attack, are not targeted for erasure.”

    What was Jim Crow other than an attempt to erase/exclude African American culture and participation in the political, social, and cultural life of the United States?

    • Brooks D. Simpson April 15, 2012 / 10:03 am

      You’re being kind, Marc, in not mentioning Connie’s favorite social order organization during Reconstruction.

    • Connie Chastain April 15, 2012 / 12:31 pm

      Ah, Marc, you might be happy to find out Jim Crow ended decades ago….

      • Marc Ferguson April 15, 2012 / 3:20 pm

        Guess what, Connie, unlike some who comment here I actually know something about Jim Crow and the Civil Rights Movement. I teach the subjects/periods, and would put up my knowledge against yours any day. Perhaps Jim Crow ended decades ago at least legally through court orders and forced integration, but you should probably let some of your Southern Heritage friends and foes, such as Hunter Wallace on his racist blog “Occidental Dissent” know because I get the sense that there are, unfortunately still too many Southerners, and probably Northerners as well, who either don’t know that or long for a return to those more comfortable (for them) days.

        good luck with your continuing efforts to promote multicultural Southern and Confederate heritage.
        best wishes,
        Marc

        • Connie Chastain April 15, 2012 / 6:43 pm

          My. Such indignation in presenting your Jim Crow credentials….

          Because YOU “get the sense” that there are “too many Southerners” who don’t know Jim Crow ended, or who long for its return — *I* should let them know? First, I don’t act your whim or on what you “sense.” If you’re so concerned about it, YOU “let them know.” Second, I don’t know that many Southern heritage folks who long for a return of Jim Crow, anyway, and I notice your “sense” doesn’t specifically identify any.

          Frankly, what *I* believe is that your pleasurable indignation over the (imagined) racism of Southern heritage folks helps you deal with your ambivalence about your own views of race — or provides you with a heady notion that you’re “better-than”…. Perhaps both.

          I’m not sure who you’re getting me mixed up with but I don’t put forth any efforts to promote a multicultural South and Confederate heritage. Multiculturalism is an insidious fabrication of the left that accompanied the rise of authoritarian political correctness in the last half of the 20th century. It didn’t exist when the Confederacy existed.

          • Brooks D. Simpson April 15, 2012 / 7:41 pm

            I’m glad to see that Connie Chastain admits that she promotes a whites-only view of southern and Confederate culture. None of that multiculturalism or tolerance for her.

          • Brad April 16, 2012 / 3:39 am

            Yes, that was a rather revealing comment. Regardless of what you call it, getting along with people who are different than you is the hallmark of a civilized person. Unwittingly, her comment is in the best tradition of Jim Crow, or maybe she’s advocating colonization 🙂

          • Khepera April 16, 2012 / 8:35 am

            Well, she *is* on record as stating that when she says southern “heritage” she’s speaking of “southern white” folks.

          • Brooks D. Simpson April 16, 2012 / 10:51 am

            Connie Chastain’s exclusion of non-white people from southern heritage as well as Confederate heritage is a matter of record. Apparently to quote her is to lie about her, however. So let’s leave her to stew in her own juices. She’s what one might call the burden of Confederate heritage advocacy.

  7. marcferguson April 15, 2012 / 10:05 am

    Watch the Ron Paul video on secession. Pardon my language but he is an idiot. He rehashes the tired old arguments about the tariff, for example that the South paid 90% of the tariff, and therefore supported the bulk of the government, and that’s what Southerners were really upset about. It goes without saying that the historical record does not bear this out. If it were true, why didn’t they talk about it in their speeches and the secession documents. The Secession Commissioners, didn’t’ talk about it in their attempts to convince the Border states to secede and follow the lower South. He also claims that the Founding Fathers accepted the legitimacy of secession. Now I have read through most of the speeches at the Constitutional Conventions and through the Federalist Papers, and have concluded, as have others, such as the Constitutional scholar Akhil Amar, that were this true, then the promoters of accepting the new Constitution would have pointed this out, as it would have been a very powerful argument to ease the concerns of those fearful of the Constitution. They did not, and I challenge anyone to point out anything to the contrary. What we do have, for example is James Madison, who knew something about the Constitution, wrote to Alexander Hamilton: “The Constitution requires an adoption in toto, and for ever. It has been so adopted by the other States.”

    http://www.constitution.org/jm/17880720_hamilton.htm

    • John Foskett April 15, 2012 / 10:45 am

      Ron is, unfortunately, like a lot of others who bloviate without doing any research. It’s actually quite simple. He should take 2 hours and read the late 1860-early 1861 correspondence from the Secession Commissioners of the seven States which seceded first to the representatives of the States which were still on the fence. They were speaking honestly and making the argument which they found most compelling. As we know, they weren’t lasered in on the Morill Tariff. They were focused on something else.

  8. Marc Ferguson April 16, 2012 / 2:01 am

    Connie wrote: “Because YOU “get the sense” that there are “too many Southerners” who don’t know Jim Crow ended, or who long for its return — *I* should let them know? First, I don’t act your whim or on what you “sense.” If you’re so concerned about it, YOU “let them know.” Second, I don’t know that many Southern heritage folks who long for a return of Jim Crow, anyway, and I notice your “sense” doesn’t specifically identify any.”

    Really? You don’t know of any Southern heritage folks who long for a return of Jim Crow? I have seen Hunter Wallace take you to task numerous times for your insufficient racism, which seems to indicate, at least to him, that your understanding of “Southern heritage” is flawed or insufficient. I don’t need to merely state that I “get the sense” that there are, and have been too many Southerners (indeed Americans) who long for the comforting days of Jim Crow. I have seen the footage of Bull Connor turning the hose on anti-segration activists, and blacks who merely wanted to be treated as human beings. Your fellow Southern heritage activist, Mr. Wallace explicitly asserts that they aren’t human beings, not in the sense that white people are anyway, and because I believe they are, I am accused by him and his followers of being a N***** lover. I have never seen you stand up against this kind of garbage, and I don’t expect to, which leads me to believe that you agree with it.

    best of luck trying to convince anyone, except perhaps Hunter Wallace, that you don’t subscribe to the virulent racism characteristic of most Confederate Romantics, after all it’s the Cornerstone of the Confederacy you long for.

    Marc

  9. Connie Chastain April 19, 2012 / 5:58 am

    Marc sez, “I have never seen you stand up against this kind of garbage, and I don’t expect to, which leads me to believe that you agree with it.”

    Marc, you’re not omniscient. You don’t know/see everything. And I don’t give a flyin’ fig what you believe….

  10. marcferguson April 19, 2012 / 2:07 pm

    Connie,
    I never claimed omniscience. However, I have read your exchanges with Hunter Wallace on his racist blog and your exchanges with people here, and have never seen you disavow white supremacy or Wallace’s racist claims. By his standards, then, you, like me would be a N***** Lover and probably a resident of some “Whiteopia,” and he probably would advise you, as he has me, to move to an area inhabited by dark-skinned people, who are evolutionary retrogrades and incapable of creating or sustaining “civilization,” (to understand what he might mean by that I would refer you to episodes of “Eyes on the Prize,” particularly the ones that feature the murders of Emmitt Till and Medgar Evers, and Bull Connor turning the hoses on civil rights activists protesting in front of white owned stores that won’t hire blacks. That is apparently his idea of “civilization,” at least as practiced in the white South of the 1950s. Rather than gratuitously accusing me of claiming to be omniscient, which I do not, you could have taken the opportunity to make a clear statement of where you stand on racial equality, the right of blacks to civil and human rights, and their right to be treated with human dignity.

    I await your unequivocal statement on this subject,

    Marc

    • John Foskett April 21, 2012 / 7:38 am

      Crickets. Whenever Connie actually has to take a stance on this issue, it’s crickets.

        • Brooks D. Simpson April 21, 2012 / 5:22 pm

          I find it is noteworthy that you have never taken an opportunity to disavow pedaphilia. I find it noteworthy that you have never taken the opportunity to disavow torture by the CIA and the U.S. military. I find it noteworthy that you have never taken the opportunity to disavow the U.S. government killing its own citizens (Waco, Ruby Ridge, Kent State). I find it noteworthy that you have never taken the opportunity to disavow Mike Nifong’s attempted railroading of three innocent young men for rape.

          And neither has Connie. So I’m sure she has a point to make … or she thinks she does. Interesting to see where she went first.

          For Rob Baker’s view on Connie’s recent rants, see this. For someone who wants to be left alone, Connie sure seems rather visible. However, she’s reduced herself to a mere distraction verging on an amusement. I’d suggest moving on.

  11. marcferguson April 19, 2012 / 3:27 pm

    Connie,
    My reply that was waiting for approval appears to have disappeared. So, I will try to replicate its spirit and content, if not its exact words. I never claimed omniscience. I have read your exchanges with Hunter Wallace on his racist blog “Occidntal Dissent” and your replies to other commenters here on “Crossroads” however, and it is noteworthy that you have never taken an opportunity to disavow white supremacy. I can easily imagine that Mr. Wallace would include you, as he has me, among those who are N****r Lover, and that I probably live in some “Whitetopia,” and should take my kids to live in a minority neighborhood, where I would learn that non-whites are evolutionarily inferior to whites, and have never created, nor been able to sustain a real “civilization.” For anyone wondering what this “civilization” might be, I would refer you (yes, you, Connie, and anyone else who is not certain what this might mean) to the episodes of the documentary “Eyes on the Prize,” especially the ones featuring the murders of Emmitt Till and Medgar Evers, and Bull Connor turning the fire hoses on activists protesting white businesses that refused to hire blacks. Examples of “civilization” in the segregated American South. For the record, Hunter Wallace accuses me of being a N****r Lover because I believe that African Americans are human beings, and should be accorded full civil rights, and treated with human dignity. Do you?

    I await your disavowal of this, Mr. Wallace’s, style of racism

    • Hunter Wallace April 20, 2012 / 12:19 pm

      For the record, I agree that blacks are “human beings.” Their humanity has never been in dispute. We can interbreed with them.

      But so what? A bulldog can interbreed with a cocker spaniel. A great dane can interbreed with a golden retriever. A chihuaha can interbreed with a poodle. Races are subspecies.

      Is it a denial of “canine dignity” to observe that there are physiological and behavioral differences between different breeds of dogs that are biological in origin? Is that “racism”?

      Of course it is. For some reason, “racism” is only controversial in the case of modern humans. I say modern humans because the official story is that racial differences drove human evolution for 2 million years until a miracle happened approximately 50,000 years ago when the grace of equality descended from the clouds and bestowed this “human dignity” upon us.

      Why is it so controversial to talk about racial differences in the case of modern humans alone? If evolution sculpted every species in the world into its present form, why are we so touchy about modern humans, but not other species?

      The answer, of course, is that anti-racism and belief in “human dignity” is really on the same level as geocentrism. Once upon a time, mankind believed it was the center of the universe; humans had been created in the image of god, and the world had been created for us.

      That’s not what actually happened. When Galileo and Darwin pointed out that the truth was otherwise, their findings were regarded as blasphemous for knocking mankind off its pedestal.

      Darwin addressed the subject of race in Origin of Species and The Descent of Man. The subtitle of Origin is “or the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life.” Race is the mechanism of speciation and the lynchpin of his whole system.

      Human equality is absurd from a Darwinian perspective. Natural selection operates upon hereditary inequality. There is no equality within races, between races, within or between species. Humans are carnivorous predators that have enslaved (I.e., domesticated) other species for our benefit.

      I will note in passing that Chastain denies the existence of macroevolution – it is pretty funny really, watching the secular creationists arguing with the religious creationists over “equality,” something which doesn’t exist anymore than angels on the head of a pin, or giving someone the “evil eye,” or Leprechauns and Big Foot.

        • Hunter Wallace April 22, 2012 / 2:12 am

          We can breed with them and produce offspring. So yes, blacks are human beings.

          Then again, there is mounting evidence that we could and did interbreed with Neanderthals too. It is not clear anymore whether Neanderthals were a separate species or a closely related race. Either way, they were exterminated.

          My position is consistent: humans evolved from earlier species, race is the mechanism of speciation, equality is biologically impossible, and “human dignity” doesn’t exist because the same forces that produced human beings also produced dolphins and elephants.

          Humanity isn’t any different from the humble sea cucumber. Therefore, there are no “human rights” derived from any “human nature,” which we know from the archaeological record doesn’t even exist, and which we know from evolutionary theory can never be stable or uniform.

          Taking this back to the Confederacy, you can read article after article in the Southern Literary Messenger and DeBow’s Review that describes negroes as “a permanent variety of the human race.” This is the foundation of the Confederate worldview.

          Stephens, who was of an intellectual bent, argued that the Confederate government was based on the proposition that all men are not created equal. He explained how nineteenth century racialism had discredited eighteenth century egalitarianism within his lifetime and how this posed a challenge to republican political theory.

          In fact, the humanity of the negro was disputed at the time. There were theories of polygenesis in the air. Darwin published Origin of Species in 1859. While Darwin rejected polygenesis, he embraced racialism and explained how species diverge into races and thereby into new species.

          Darwin and Galton also laid the foundation for the postwar repudiation of Reconstruction. The triumph of Darwinism goes a long way toward explaining why the North retreated from racial equality in the early twentieth century.

          See Charles Francis Adams, Jr. repudiating the hateful memory of Reconstruction in Virginia in 1908:

          http://books.google.com/books?id=gP3DbiRcbPAC&pg=PA364&lpg=PA364&dq=charles+francis+adams+the+unsteady+march&source=bl&ots=69tF3v7XJp&sig=mV89833U8of_ENK6l92LfaimY10&hl=en&ei=ZWrlTvqGFsHd0QGzsKzmBQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CB0Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=adams&f=false

          I will also note that Stephens claimed the Confederacy was based on “the higher law” which he defined as the law of nature or the law of god.

          He was right: just as a military conflict or manmade laws cannot overcome, say, gravity or the tidal forces produced by the moon, 150 years of social engineering has failed to achieve the desired goal of racial equality.

          Truth is eternal. The principles that the Confederacy was based on are still valid in our own times.

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