Monday, April 26, 2010

Confederacy Not Deserving Of Honor

Recently, there has been a big hullabaloo made about Southern politicians honoring those who fought for the Confederate States of America in the Civil War. This is really nothing new in the South. For years there have been Confederate apologists who don't mind re-writing history to fit their own viewpoint.

These people always overlook the real reason the Confederacy was created and the Civil War was fought. They will tell you it was to protect Southern "heritage and values" or to defend "states' rights". But none of them, including the recent proclamations by Southern politicians, will mention slavery. They'd like for people to think their ancestors weren't traitors (as they really were), but defenders of the South.

Frankly, that's a gross and ridiculous misrepresentation of history. Here in Texas, the people of the state voted on whether to secede from the Union or not. At that time, there were 604,215 people in the state (30% of whom were slaves). The vote to secede was won by a 76% majority of Texas voters.

To learn the reason the people voted to secede, just look at this direct quote from a document the state published in 1861. It's called "A Declaration of the Causes which Impel the State of Texas to Secede from the Federal Union":

"That in this free government all white men are and of right ought to be entitled to equal civil and political rights; that the servitude of the African race, as existing in these States, is mutually beneficial to both bond and free, and is abundantly authorized and justified by the experience of mankind, and the revealed will of the Almighty Creator, as recognized by all Christian nations; while the destruction of the existing relations between the two races, as advocated by our sectional enemies, would bring inevitable calamities upon both and desolation upon the fifteen slave-holding states."

I don't see anything there about "states' rights". But it clearly states that Texas is leaving the Union because it believes that white men are the only ones that should have equal rights and the institution of slavery needed to be continued and protected. In fact, they even try to claim this is the "revealed will" of christianity's god, and slavery is good for both the slaves and slave-owners.

In my mind, the only saving grace is that not all Texans in 1861 (or now) wanted to defend slavery or leave the Union. The governor, Texas hero Sam Houston, resigned his office and left the state when the people voted to secede and join the Confederacy. There were also 24% of the voters who voted to stay in the United States. They did not support slavery or the traitorous actions of the secessionists. In four counties, a majority of voters voted against secession, and dozens of Union supporters were hanged by secessionists in one of those counties (Cooke county).

But the majority of Texans at that time voted to join the other Southern states in committing treason by seceding from and fighting against the United States. None of these states did this to protect their heritage or defend states' rights. They committed this treason for only one reason -- to continue enslaving and abusing their fellow humans.

Where is the honor in that? How can there be any honor in slavery or treason?

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