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Great Civil Rights
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There aren't many people who have the time to keep up with public affairs even in their own time and place, let alone what happened over the course of centuries in places far away from their own home towns and states. So it's pretty easy for propadandists without a conscience to tell people who can be persuaded to put their trust in them all kinds of lies about such things and to get away with it.
For some three centuries, many of our European Christian ancestors believed that, if they had the might to enslave and brutalize felow human beings simply because they belonged to a darker race, their god gave them the right to do so.
George Mason was one of the most important of the founding fathers. He is creditted with authoring the Constitution of Virginia, which inspired the U.S. Constitution. He refused to sign the original 1987 version of that document, however, because it did nothing to eliminate slavery or to guarantee individual rights vs. government authority. Thanks to the demands of the "Anti-Federalists" like Mason, however, the ten first ammendments (now known as "the Bill of Rights") were agreed to in 1791, and he signed that version.
George Mason demonstrated in the quotes below that he saw more clearly than most how evil slavery was:
"[Slavery is a] slow Poison, which is daily contaminating the Minds & Morals of our People. Every Gentleman here is born a petty Tyrant…. And in such an infernal School are to be educated our future Legislators & Rulers. . . .
"Every master of slaves is born a petty tyrant. [Slaves] bring the judgment of heaven on a Country. As nations cannot be rewarded or punished in the next world they must be in this. By an inevitable chain of causes & effects[,] providence punishes national sins, by national calamities."
And yet, it wasn't just the slave-owners of the deep south who were not ready to view black humans as the equal of white humans. George Mason owned more slaves than everybody but George Washington in his county of Fairfax, Virginia, and yet he didn't even free them when he was alive, nor even in his last will and testament, as George Washington did.
Even if the awful Civil War was God's punishment for our nation's mistreatment of so many of its residents, that was not enough to persuade all of America's white people.
And when others questioned that "right", many of them had been willing to fight to the death, with the blessing of many of their clergy to perpetuate that imagined right.
With all of the immorality that has surrounded what some call America's "original sin" for so long, it is hardly surprising that there are still so many immoral consequences of that monstruous sin in our own times. This web page deals with at least four of those moral controversies, namely:
Being such "good Christians", Southerners swear on their Bible Belt that they love their "negra" neighbors and always have. Many of them deny that their ancestors waged a Civil War with the United States of America mainly to defend and perpetuate the enslavement of black people who had been captured in Africa and brought to our shores to work for nothing on their plantations. Or they claim that few of their ancestors had anything to do with slavery, and that there was slavery in the North as well as the South at the time.
There's no question that there were beneficiaries of the practice of slavery and slave-trading in the Northern states as well. But were the people in the North willing to fight to the death to perpetuate slavery there? Or did they see slavery as the evil that it was, ban it in most of their own states, and then fight to the death to end it in the rest of the United States of America?
It's amazing that a careless moment could have brought down Senator Trent Lott, the powerful Republican Leader of the U.S. Senate in Dec., 2002, when he said at the celebration of the 100th birthday of Sen. Strom Thurmond, that America would have faired better in the latter half of the 20th century if, instead of electing the Democrat, Harry Truman, or the Republican, Tom Dewey, it had elected Dixiecrat Strom Thurmond President of the United States of America! Most Americans outside of Dixie may only have a fuzzy idea of what supporting Strom Thurmond meant in 1948, but Southerners who know anything about their history know full well exactly what that meant. For Southerners, fighting for "states rights" meant fighting for the right of the former Confederate States to perpetuate segregation and "Jim Crow laws" in the 20th century, just as fighting for "states rights" had meant fighting for the right of states to perpetuate the enslavement of black human beings in the 19th century, When Southerners, Republicans and "Christian conservatives" try to deny that, show them that you have "the smoking gun", one of many documents that show what they know to be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth:
Since the vast majority of Southerners were too poor to actually own slaves personally, their betters, who did own the slaves, and who made all the important decisions for the community, including the one to wage a war of secession against the United States of America, didn't come right out and tell them "We want you to go to war and risk your life, to protect our right to own slaves." In most cases, the vast majority of those who actually fight in wars stand to lose much more than they stand to gain, and it's necessary for the rich and powerful to fool the masses into risking their lives for the benefit of those pulling their strings. The soldiers who fought heroically and/or lost their lives on the front lines may be honored because they believed that they were fighting for some noble cause, but the leaders of the Confederacy spelled out how important slavery was to their rebellion against the United States of America.
Don't take my word for the real reason the South fought a war to create a separate confederacy of states. Here's what the President of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis, said about that when he addressed the Confederate Congress in the aftermath of the fall of Fort Sumter:
President Jefferson Davis'
The "Cornerstone Speech" of
Each of the Confederate states succeeding from the Union had to make an
official proclamation called their "Declaration of the Immediate Causes
which induce and Justify the Secession from the Federal Union."
See how crucial the perpetuation of their exploitation
of African slavery was to them in the examples below:
[ from : http://www.civilwar.org/education/
South Carolina's (Dec. 24, 1860 ) Declaration :
The following is the climax of South Carolina's argument :
Mississippi's (Jan. 9, 1861) Declaration :
In the momentous step which our State has taken of dissolving its connection with the government of which we so long formed a part ( i.e. the United States of America) , it is but just that we should declare the prominent reasons which have induced our course.
Georgia's (Jan. 29, 1861) Declaration :
"The people of Georgia having dissolved their political connection with the Government of the United States of America, present to their confederates and the world the causes which have led to the separation." (followed by a long declaration laying out Georgia's case for perpetuating slavery within its borders. )
Texas' (Feb.2, 1861) Declaration :
"And, finally, by the combined sectional vote of the seventeen non-slave-holding States, they have elected as president and vice-president of the whole confederacy two men (mainly Abraham Lincoln) whose chief claims to such high positions are their approval of these long continued wrongs, and their pledges to continue them to the final consummation of these schemes for the ruin of the slave-holding States.
Since the original declarations were based on hatred of Abraham Lincoln and everything that he represented, and the party now in firm control of all of the former "Confederate" states claims to be "the Party of Lincoln", why haven't these proud members of Abe's party ever repudiated all of the official anti-Lincoln declarations of those Confederate states?
They haven't, and they never will, because of the obvious fact that - contrary to their dishonest claim - they only gained control of the Old Confederacy by becoming the successor to the Party of Jefferson Davis - the mortal enemy of Abraham Lincoln, and of the original Republican Party.-
In 2007 a Georgetown University History professor named Chandra Manning published the results of an extensive study she had done of a multitude of letters written by lowly soldiers of both sides in the Civil War. The book, called "What This Cruel War Was Over", The most surprising outcome of her research was how high a priority the issue of slavery was for most of these soldiers, whether they came from the North, South, East or West and regardless of their economic or cultural background.
Some in the South may have labored under the illusion that slavery was morally defensible, but not General Robert E. Lee, who spoke for many others, even in the South, when he said "There are few, I believe who will not acknowledge that slavery as an institution is a moral and political evil."
Here are some interesting observations made by someone with actual experience of the South:
"I have spent a lot of time in the South, and as the Civil War is an interest of mine, I spend a lot of time visiting the battlefields. It always surprises me how little interest there is in the South in the history of the war. It seems ironic to me that people display the battle flag and defend that by saying it is historical, but then have no interest in the actual history. Visit any battlefield in the South and you will see 99 out of a 100 license plates are from the North. Ask people in any town near a battle field for directions and see how many people drive by a battlefield everyday and have no clue what it is about. Yet there are battle flags and decals all over town.
The battle flag became popular during the civil-rights struggle and has been used as a symbol of resistance to integration and voting rights. We can debate this or you can ask me for "proof" but that is a bunch of nonsense. All one needs to do is to ask people who display the flag what their reasons are for displaying it. They will tell you, providing they think it is safe to do so. So why play games and pretend? No white person can claim to be unaware of this. So whom are we kidding?"
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