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 Post subject: Celebrating the Seccession Without Slaves
PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 12:45 pm 
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I was reading this New York Times article about how the South and it got my squishy-pink thinking thingy going. The article: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/30/us/30confed.html?_r=1&hp

Quote:
The Civil War, the most wrenching and bloody episode in American history, may not seem like much of a cause for celebration, especially in the South.

And yet, as the 150th anniversary of the four-year conflict gets under way, some groups in the old Confederacy are planning at least a certain amount of hoopla, chiefly around the glory days of secession, when 11 states declared their sovereignty under a banner of states’ rights and broke from the union.

The events include a “secession ball” in the former slave port of Charleston (“a joyous night of music, dancing, food and drink,” says the invitation), which will be replicated on a smaller scale in other cities. A parade is being planned in Montgomery, Ala., along with a mock swearing-in of Jefferson Davis as president of the Confederacy.


And...

Quote:
Not everyone is on board with this program, of course. The N.A.A.C.P., for one, plans to protest some of these events, saying that celebrating secession is tantamount to celebrating slavery.


What do you guys think? Part of me says "Well, the South should have every right to be proud and celebrate their history". But the other part of me says "If these ceremonies are offending people, they shouldn't be happening".

And it sounds like they are really leaving slavery completely out of the picture. Which is understandable, but I don't know if we should be making history into what we want it to be or what is PC.

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 Post subject: Re: Celebrating the Seccession Without Slaves
PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 1:12 pm 
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Yes, but let us not forget that the Civil War was more about state's rights than about the ending of slavery; even though that is all people seem to remember. Secession happened because the states decided that the Federal government was interfering in their rights under the Constitution. Once they decided that, then secession was the next logical step for them. The rest of the states did not see that interpretation and so went to war to bring them "back into the fold", as people would say. Slavery was just a convenient issue and if it hadn't been that, then it would have been something else; because the north and the south were becoming more divergent in they saw themselves.


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 Post subject: Re: Celebrating the Seccession Without Slaves
PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 2:00 pm 
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Which "state's rights," exactly, were the southern states concerned about?

The causes of the Civil War might indeed be complex, but of course it was about slavery. Maybe other things as well. But I think it's reprehensible for southern states to have a mock swearing-in of Jefferson Davis and all the rest.

Their culture was built on and supported by slavery.

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 Post subject: Re: Celebrating the Seccession Without Slaves
PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 2:08 pm 
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FootFace wrote:
Their culture was built on and supported by slavery.

Whose culture? The entire country? Slavery was practiced in the North as well.

Please don't let this thread turn into a big the South sucks thread. I know many people think Southerners are a bunch of backward idiots. Having lived in both NYC and NC recently I am more than tired of the stereotypes perpetuated on both ends. And they are perpetuated with regularity to me because I am apparently either not Southern enough or too Northern.

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 Post subject: Re: Celebrating the Seccession Without Slaves
PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 2:17 pm 
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pandacookie wrote:
I am apparently either not Southern enough or too Northern.


You were Northernized.

I wouldn't say their culture was built on slavery but from what I can remember, their economy certainly was. A large agricultural economy run by slavery. I also think the North tended to have more immigrants which could take some of the less desirable jobs. I'm certainly not a history scholar though.

As for celebrating secession? I'm not too keen on that idea. It does rub me the wrong way because even though the Civil war wasn't just about slavery, in my mind it was a large part of it.

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 Post subject: Re: Celebrating the Seccession Without Slaves
PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 2:28 pm 
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New York City was also a huge slave port and a lot of their economy was through that. People in New York state fly the confederate flag.

I would not say I was Northernized. I would say people are applying their stereotypes of how a Southerner should sound and act to me and in my case they fail. And they do for many people because there are racist, classist crassholes everywhere. It doesn't come with a Southern drawl.

I see no need to celebrate seccession. It would be nice to have an open discussion about the history of the civil war as a whole but our country has yet to effectively address issues of class and race and I don't see it happening at the swearing in of Jefferson Davis.

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 Post subject: Re: Celebrating the Seccession Without Slaves
PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 2:31 pm 
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Yes, I don't want this to be a "The South sucks" thread either. I actually have family in NC (not the deep south, I know) and was very, very surprised how false the stereotypes are and how they were, dare I say, more progressive than my home state.

This is a very complex issue and there are any easy answers. I don't think that the celebrations endorse racism or slavery. Perhaps it's a cultural celebration? Then again, I'm not from the South and what I know about these events and those involved comes only from this one article.

Quote:
It would be nice to have an open discussion about the history of the civil war as a whole but our country has yet to effectively address issues of class and race and I don't see it happening at the swearing in of Jefferson Davis.

I liked this :-)

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 Post subject: Re: Celebrating the Seccession Without Slaves
PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 2:37 pm 
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pandacookie wrote:
New York City was also a huge slave port and a lot of their economy was through that. People in New York state fly the confederate flag.

I would not say I was Northernized. I would say people are applying their stereotypes of how a Southerner should sound and act to me and in my case they fail. And they do for many people because there are racist, classist crassholes everywhere. It doesn't come with a Southern drawl.

I see no need to celebrate seccession. It would be nice to have an open discussion about the history of the civil war as a whole but our country has yet to effectively address issues of class and race and I don't see it happening at the swearing in of Jefferson Davis.


Sorry, I was joking about the Northernized portion.
And I can understand that other parts of the US at the time benefited from slavery. Again, from my understanding, a large part of it seemed to be the agricultural society of the south vs the industrialization in the north which meant that the north was having a natural shift of sorts in their economy. At the same time, the north needed the south despite seemingly having the majority of power. I can understand the reasons that the south wanted to secede at the time with or without slavery as a factor.

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 Post subject: Re: Celebrating the Seccession Without Slaves
PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 2:45 pm 
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Ha! I know you were joking. But I had so many supposedly well educated and of course never racist or classist people in NYC comment on how I seemed too smart to be Southern. And here people will cringe when I say I moved from Brooklyn. It's funny to see both sides of it cause I certainly grew up with an anti-North bias but then it was really just the same thing there. But if you bring up race or class it never seems to be a problem for anyone. Cause who the hell will admit to being a racist? or classist?

I think this quote sums it up for me. I apologize for derailing this thread a bit.

“We don’t know what to commemorate because we’ve never faced up to the implications of what the thing was really about,” said Andrew Young, a veteran of the civil rights movement and former mayor of Atlanta.

“The easy answer for black folk is that it set us free, but it really didn’t,” Mr. Young added. “We had another 100 years of segregation. We’ve never had our complete reconciliation of the forces that divide us.”

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 Post subject: Re: Celebrating the Seccession Without Slaves
PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 2:50 pm 
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Would the South have seceded if it didn't have slavery? I think it's unlikely.

Personally, I don't think celebrating secession is the most sensitive thing to do, especially if it involves major white-washing (to be fair, any celebration concerning a historical event does this).

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 Post subject: Re: Celebrating the Seccession Without Slaves
PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 2:53 pm 
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And I grew up in California which is a whole different story... but no North/South stuff. It was more like California vs everyone else.

Anyway, I agree that the Civil war didn't resolve issues for slaves, former slaves and their descendants. We still have many issues today that are due to classism and racism.

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 Post subject: Re: Celebrating the Seccession Without Slaves
PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 3:13 pm 
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In the leadup to the war, I don't think anybody was ambigious on which particular state right the Southern states were interested in defending. The entire conflict was centered on disagreement on the institution of slavery. Were proponents of a federal income tax (or name any other federal power you can think of) barred from speaking in the South? The idea that the Civil War was about something else was a smokescreen at the time and a myth perpetuated after the war by people who want to do things like these celebrations.

I'm from the South and I don't think there is anything inherently anti-Southern in saying that there are many (white) people in the South who are very invested in validing historical events that are troubling. Seriously, armed rebellion against the government? Many people celebrating this aspect of the Civil War are the most opposed to even unarmed resistance against the government in other contexts -- let alone raising arms against American soliders.

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 Post subject: Re: Celebrating the Seccession Without Slaves
PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 1:18 pm 
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FootFace wrote:
The causes of the Civil War might indeed be complex, but of course it was about slavery. Maybe other things as well. But I think it's reprehensible for southern states to have a mock swearing-in of Jefferson Davis and all the rest.


Reprehensible, but sadly not at all surprising. Everyone around here isn't into this sort of thing, of course, but there is undeniably an element of loudmouthed crassholes who are all about "southern heritage", which glosses over completely ignores the suffering faced by slaves and in their minds makes events like the mock swearing in of Jefferson Davis or secession celebrations and things like flying the Confederate battle flag fine and dandy. I don't buy the "heritage, not hate" argument at all.


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 Post subject: Re: Celebrating the Seccession Without Slaves
PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 1:26 pm 
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I think that loudmouthed is really the key. I don't really think there are all that many people who agree or will participate in things like this in the grand scheme of the population of the south. I don't know anyone personally who would. Well one guy, but he's from California and I'm not really sure I understand him. It's just that those who would participate are very vocal about it and really proud of waving their confederate flags.

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 Post subject: Re: Celebrating the Seccession Without Slaves
PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 1:44 pm 
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These celebrations are probably mostly about generating some revenue for the states/cities they'll be held in, not because the people throwing them really want to celebrate a war. I'm not saying that makes it any better or worse, but that's generally why things like this happen.

I don't understand celebrating a war you didn't win, though. Do modern Nazis celebrate the anniversary of the end of Hitler's regime?

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 Post subject: Re: Celebrating the Seccession Without Slaves
PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 12:50 pm 
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mrsbadmouth wrote:
I don't understand celebrating a war you didn't win, though. Do modern Nazis celebrate the anniversary of the end of Hitler's regime?

Do they celebrate the anniversary of the Berlin wall coming down? You'd figure they would.

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 Post subject: Re: Celebrating the Seccession Without Slaves
PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 4:55 pm 
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nickvicious wrote:
And it sounds like they are really leaving slavery completely out of the picture. Which is understandable, but I don't know if we should be making history into what we want it to be or what is PC.

Oh, I don't think that's PC. I think it's just that they're too cowardly to acknowledge the single most important factor in the creation of the Confederacy. That isn't an attempt not to offend, it's an attempt to whitewash.

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 Post subject: Re: Celebrating the Seccession Without Slaves
PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 2:09 am 
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I think that while pretending the Civil War wasn't about slavery is absurd, pretending that it was only about slavery and the only effect it had was abolishing slavery is equally absurd. A war happened, right here in our country. The United States took decades to heal. But if we can't get past the fact that people condoned slavery right here in America, we'll never be able to see how the Civil War fits into the larger picture of US history, and another part of American history will go unexplained in school.
If these societies don't commemorate the war, people will just start pretending it never happened, and frankly I'd rather people have at least some idea that a massive war that tore the country apart happened all around where I grew up than watch them pretend it was just a scuffle that had no significant impact on the US. So they want to celebrate the fun parts? Let them. They can remind us that women wore ridiculous hoops under their skirts and all sorts of political stuff that didn't relate to slavery specifically happened, and we can all go on remembering that slavery happened too without having to celebrate that part--just like even though we know that American colonists tarred and feathered tax collectors, but some other nifty stuff happened and THAT is what we celebrate, without worrying about the bad stuff because everyone knows but it's not like we can change it.

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 Post subject: Re: Celebrating the Seccession Without Slaves
PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 9:05 am 
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just mumbles wrote:
nickvicious wrote:
And it sounds like they are really leaving slavery completely out of the picture. Which is understandable, but I don't know if we should be making history into what we want it to be or what is PC.

Oh, I don't think that's PC. I think it's just that they're too cowardly to acknowledge the single most important factor in the creation of the Confederacy. That isn't an attempt not to offend, it's an attempt to whitewash.

Fiddle-dee-dee! As long as we're talking about whitewash, it's gonna be mighty hard to get everything ready for the joyous secession ball without any slaves - er, "darkies" - to help out. I mean, who's supposed to serve all those mint juleps, and hang all that bunting?!
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 Post subject: Re: Celebrating the Seccession Without Slaves
PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 5:04 pm 
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I've always thought this was interesting:

http://www.comm.unt.edu/histofperf/tony ... n_page.htm

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 Post subject: Re: Celebrating the Seccession Without Slaves
PostPosted: Sat Jan 08, 2011 10:12 pm 
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Yes, yes, it's an old thread. But I just saw this on today's (well, tomorrow's, technically) washingtonpost.com (all emphasis mine):

article about Southern secession myths wrote:
(Myth number)1. The South seceded over states' rights.

Confederate states did claim the right to secede, but no state claimed to be seceding for that right. In fact, Confederates opposed states' rights -- that is, the right of Northern states not to support slavery.

On Dec. 24, 1860, delegates at South Carolina's secession convention adopted a "Declaration of the Immediate Causes Which Induce and Justify the Secession of South Carolina from the Federal Union." It noted "an increasing hostility on the part of the non-slaveholding States to the institution of slavery" and protested that Northern states had failed to "fulfill their constitutional obligations" by interfering with the return of fugitive slaves to bondage. Slavery, not states' rights, birthed the Civil War.

South Carolina was further upset that New York no longer allowed "slavery transit." In the past, if Charleston gentry wanted to spend August in the Hamptons, they could bring their cook along. No longer -- and South Carolina's delegates were outraged. In addition, they objected that New England states let black men vote and tolerated abolitionist societies. According to South Carolina, states should not have the right to let their citizens assemble and speak freely when what they said threatened slavery.

Other seceding states echoed South Carolina. "Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery -- the greatest material interest of the world," proclaimed Mississippi in its own secession declaration, passed Jan. 9, 1861. "Its labor supplies the product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of the commerce of the earth. . . . A blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization."


The South seceded over slavery. They opposed "states rights," when the states in question were northern states.

(http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/07/AR2011010703178.html)

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 Post subject: Re: Celebrating the Seccession Without Slaves
PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2011 12:39 am 
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I think others have already covered it, but the civil war was about slavery period, the whole "states rights" stuff was all due to non slave states refusal to send slaves back to the south. It isn't about bashing the "south" but they need to wake up and stop trying to white wash their history,* they should deal with their history how Germany did with the holocaust, I mean could you imagine the outrage if nazi flags where still flying in some German states and people where defending it as part of their history and their "state rights" like some southern states do with the confederate flag (or the loser flag as I like to call it).*

*sorry I know that people don't like to bring up nazi Germany, but I think it is a valid point in the point I am making*

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 Post subject: Re: Celebrating the Seccession Without Slaves
PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 11:05 am 
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veganskater wrote:
I think others have already covered it, but the civil war was about slavery period, the whole "states rights" stuff was all due to non slave states refusal to send slaves back to the south.
It isn't about bashing the "south" but they need to wake up and stop trying to white wash their history,* they should deal with their history how Germany did with the holocaust, I mean could you imagine the outrage if nazi flags where still flying in some German states and people where defending it as part of their history and their "state rights" like some southern states do with the confederate flag (or the loser flag as I like to call it).*
*sorry I know that people don't like to bring up nazi Germany, but I think it is a valid point in the point I am making*

Comment 1: As noted earlier by pandacookie, bashing between the North and South does still occur and it is totally based around ridiculous stereotypes. Northerners think we are all not only ignorant, but just plain stupid rednecks. (The Research Triangle Park in NC has the nation’s highest concentration of PhDs. And, no, I don’t know if they migrated here.) Southerners think of Yankees as uppity city folk (as though there were no working class persons, e.g. the Rust Belt, or rural areas).

Comment 2: Pointing out bad ‘sections’ of history might not necessarily be “bashing,” but it is an embarrassment in any society. And again, most of history is whitewashed, not solely below the Mason-Dixon Line. Colonialism, sir—it was global.

Comment 3: The Third Reich’s aftermath is a different case from that of the Antebellum South. Germans had to deal with the Holocaust immediately; a good number of them didn’t even know the specifics of death camps. Slavery in the U.S. was an economic system ‘slowly’ built up and was perpetuated through a much longer time period than a little more than a decade—it is/was an entrenched system of racial privilege (don’t forget the Amerindians!). Also, it was explained to me that after the Civil War, reformers did pretty much everything except the one thing that could have fixed the economic disadvantage of former slaves: land reform. (Added to this were the establishment of the Jim Crow laws in the Reconstruction period, but this is another story entirely.)

In sum: No, we (i.e. the entire U.S.) have not come to terms with the various systems of privilege that exist in our society. With regards to race, we still have de facto segregation and white flight. Thus, we are not very good at talking about white privilege.

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 Post subject: Re: Celebrating the Seccession Without Slaves
PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 11:19 am 
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veganskater wrote:
I think others have already covered it, but the civil war was about slavery period, the whole "states rights" stuff was all due to non slave states refusal to send slaves back to the south. It isn't about bashing the "south" but they need to wake up and stop trying to white wash their history,* they should deal with their history how Germany did with the holocaust, I mean could you imagine the outrage if nazi flags where still flying in some German states and people where defending it as part of their history and their "state rights" like some southern states do with the confederate flag (or the loser flag as I like to call it).*

*sorry I know that people don't like to bring up nazi Germany, but I think it is a valid point in the point I am making*


It isn't the people don't "like" bringing up the Nazis -- it's just that it hardly ever advances the conversation. Also, if we "deal" with our history the way the Germans did in the wake of World War II, it would mean that it would literally be illegal to fly the Confederate Flag and advocate the value of slave-holding. Is that what you'd like to see happen here?

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 Post subject: Re: Celebrating the Seccession Without Slaves
PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 11:36 am 
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Now that I think about it, one could counter my third point by saying that Jews were not highly regarded across much of Europe and were also part of a perpetuated racial privilege system. To this I must agree, and add that they are still viewed w/ suspicion across world (e.g. all that Zionist malarkey). However, the point still remains that Third Reich’s version of mass death was much quicker than the drawn out suffering of slaves and their decedents.

Also, I still think it is important to note that social movements don’t eradicate the long-standing grievances they hope to address. Indeed, such movements are often “victims of their own success,” in that they achieve some visible or widely felt success and then support dwindles. Don’t worry, though! It’s suggested that the race debate around Obama’s election might be one of those events that helps to spur a sort of ‘second wave’ of the Civil Rights Movement.

Edit: Sort of off topic, I know.

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