It has come to my attention that a blogger from up north got wind of us and wrote three separate blog posts about our blog posts. Yeah, a Yankee. A young lady, who was enraged at some of our coverage surrounding the Confederate statues and how we used bad words and called people names like “racist” and “white supremacists.”
Then I started really taking a look at her. This young lady is someone who was born in a Union state, lived in a Union state her entire life, and now identifies as a Conservative. On her social media pages, she has pictures of and speaks lovingly of Union statues in the north. She also compares Union statues in her state to the Confederate here in the deep south. It dawned on me, that this young lady is very confused.
In Texas, we have more conservative blogs than I can count. Most of them ignore me
However, this Yankee blogger took it to a whole new level.
She called me extremely wrong and offensive, (obviously so enraged at my blog post, that she threw all of the adverb-rules of writing away).
adverbs terms she used in the exact same 700-word post to describe my blog: repeatedly, simply, completely, actually, likely, mindlessly, falsely, clearly, necessarily, inappropriately, negatively, entirely, and finally.
Ly-adverbs are fine to use, I am in no way an adverb snob. Adverbs have their place, however, they should be used in moderation, (because emphasis isn’t needed in every sentence). That’s usually something taught in writing classes. This young lady claimed to have gone to Harvard for 3 years to get a BA in Philosophy, and now she’s a billing specialist, so she likely never took a writing class.
But, that’s not important.
Neither is what she said in her attacks. What is important is how this young Yankee is angry over things she knows nothing about, like what the deep-south is like for BIPOC. The statues are not a representation of art, they’re a representation of what the Confederacy stands for and the millions who have suffered over the last 155 years as a result.
Anyone who would compare a Union statue to a Confederate statue doesn’t understand that. So, let’s talk about it.
What did the Confederacy represent?
A pamphlet titled “Four Essays on the Right and Property of Secession by the Southern States,” by a member of the bar in Richmond, VA in 1861 opens with “The abolitionists and their allies in the northern and eastern states, have been engaged for more than 20 years in the cruelest, unnatural, and unholy warfare upon the peace, safety, and property of the southern states.”
It continues, “Their preachers, presses, and politicians have habitually denounced the people of the south as the people of sinners, in the daily practice of iniquity, because of the existence of African slavery among them. Our slaves have been excited to insurrection, by the denunciation of their owners, and the denial of the title of their owners.”
Another passage says, “In the resolutions of Virginia, instructing her delegates to declare the colonies independent, one of the acts cited and relied upon, was the enticing our slaves by every artifice, to leave us, and then turn against us.
Has it not been declared, by every non-slaveholding state, that we have no just title to our slaves; that the holding of them is a sin which is a duty of the holy thieves to purge us of? Have we not been denied our equal rights in the common property of the nation?”
Southern states seceded over slavery.
Civil War-era pamphlets served as the Op-Ed pieces of the 1860s and provided an outlet for people to express their views and then have them distributed to their communities. They were used as a way to spread propaganda and share their ideas. This particular pamphlet, which was about 50 pages long was an entire argument as to why the southern states should secede. The author made it very clear that the northern states were attacking and interfering with their rights to have slaves. Which deprived them of the Constitutional rights, more specifically the ‘Fugitive Slave Clause.’
The Fugitive Slave Clause was part of the initial documents of the American Constitution, in Article IV, Section 2, Clause 3. It said, “No person held to service or labor in one state, under the laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in consequence of any law or regulation therein, be discharged from such service or labor, but shall be delivered up on claim of the party to whom such service or labor may be due”
What that meant is if a slave ran away from their master, then the master had the right to retrieve them, even if that is from another state. When the abolitionist movement took place in the northern states and slavery ended, it created a safe-haven in the north for run-away slaves. So, when a slave ran away from a southern master, they could find peace and freedom in the north without fear of being returned to their once slaveholder.
Not only did southerners see this as an infringement of their Constitutional rights, but they also saw it as aggression from the north against their property. The 13th amendment made this clause invalid. Although the 13th amendment wasn’t passed until 1865, the freedom of all slaves was an election issue that Abraham Lincoln spoke about during the 1860 presidential election.
Can we all agree that slavery was a bad thing?
Even the staunchest of Texas conservatives would agree with that statement, I would assume that little miss Yankee would agree with it, too.
After the Civil War was over and Lincoln was assassinated, Andrew Johnson became the VP. Some may dispute this, but Andrew Johnson was the worst president America ever had and we are still paying the consequences for the things he did over a century ago. It wasn’t because he was a racist and a drunk or because he was impeached. The reason he was the worst was that he pardoned all of the Confederate soldiers (except Davis and Lee), restored their constitutional rights, and sent them back to the south to unleash a reign of terror.
In turn, many of the Confederate states implemented Black Codes which were specific laws written to deprive the newly freed Black citizens of their civil rights.
Black Codes restricted Black people from owning property, conducting business, buying or leasing land, or occupying public spaces. After the end of the Civil War, southern white Americans still held beliefs of Black inferiority and that Black people were destined for servitude. This ideology of the Confederacy was culturally embedded.
Black Codes evolved into Jim Crow laws.
Between 1865 and 1915 nearly all of the government in the south were ex-confederate soldiers. This included governors, senators, police, judges, and every other position of authority.
Others became historians rewriting history and some began racist organizations that eventually grew to astronomical proportions.
The 30 years after the Civil War ended, Andrew Johnson’s pardoned Confederates spread all over the south. Many of them planted their own seeds that prolonged and preserved the legacy of the Confederate States.
Reconstruction in the south failed.
While this is a well-known fact down here, it may be less known to our Yankee friend. This 1870 newspaper clipping is just one of a billion examples from the proof that after the Civil War, white southerners were intentionally and actively implementing a white man’s government.
The entire reason the 15th amendment was ever a thing in the first place is that after Black people gained their freedom, white people in the south still stopped them from voting. Black people were regularly intimidated and even killed in the south for voting, even all the way up to the 1940s only 1% of Black people in Mississippi were able to vote. In 1955, a Black man named Lamar Smith was shot and killed on a courthouse lawn in Mississippi for encouraging Black people to vote.
Some of the most heinous anti-voting laws were put in place by ex-Confederates like Alexander Terrell.
THIS was the Confederate legacy.
Thousands of Black people were murdered by white supremacists.
Between 1882 and 1968, nearly 5,000 known lynchings took place. Likely, the actual lynchings that took place were three or four times higher. As we have uncovered previously unrecorded lynchings here in Texas in both Kaufman and Parker Counties. This doesn’t include the Black people who were shot, stabbed, drowned, or disappeared during that time frame.
THIS was the Confederate legacy.
The pardoned Confederates who became police officers and judges looked the other way and in some cases even participated in terrorizing Black people for decades. When they became old, their children who they taught white supremacy to, took over to become a new generation of police officers and judges, who looked the other way when it came to terrorizing the Black community.
Black Southerners had no rights.
Louisiana, Texas, South Carolina, Mississippi, and Florida passed laws that prohibited freedmen from any employment, except field hands. After slavery was over and the plantation owners and former slaveholders were suddenly left with fields that need plowing, so this was a way for them to continue to have Black people harvest their lands, and they gave them little wages. In some states, Black people were able to work other jobs if they paid an annual tax, which was $10 to $100.
The white legislators of the south did not see a reason to treat Black people equally and feared that if the freedmen did not work for the white landholders, that the entire economy of the South would collapse.
Mississippi and South Carolina both had laws that stated a Black man must have written proof of employment each January for the coming year. If they quit their job before the end of the year, they could face fines or arrest. Their terms of employment and wages had to be in writing and signed by a judge.
The South Carolina law said that freedmen were referred to as servants, but the white men were still referred to as masters. The servants had to live on the master’s land, had to work every day except Sunday, from sunup to sundown, and they were not allowed to leave the property or have visitors without permission. It also said that if they missed work due to being ill, their time lost would be deducted from their other wages.
THIS was the Confederate legacy.
Every southern state passed some form of vagrancy laws. A vagrant is someone who is unemployed. In Virginia, the vagrancy law said if a Black man is unemployed for more than 3 months, he would be arrested and forced to work with no compensation, often wearing a ball and chain. These vagrancy laws only applied to Black men. In many of the states, like South Carolina, if a white man was unemployed, he could take an oath of poverty and not be punished for being unemployed.
Many white southerners, angry at their loss of the war, directed their anger towards Black people. These fears and beliefs carried on for decades.
The south successfully created a system where Black men were arrested, then lent out to the local government and local farms and plantations for free labor.
Although, when freed Black people did not stop working, they started demanding time off. Like a shorter day on Saturday and women wanted to be home with their children more. Because the newly freed Black population put value into leisure and family time more than money, many in the south said they possessed non-capitalist behavior.
If a Black man had a farm, in nearly every state, it was a crime for him to sell his produce after dark. However, in Mississippi, Black families were only allowed to lease land in the city, which prevented them from having a farm as a source of income.
Some states passed laws that required apprenticeships for Black children, which would take them away from their families and send them to work for their former slaveholders.
THIS was the Confederate legacy.
The Ku Klux Klan were instrumental in placing the Confederate statues all over the south.
The United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) and the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV), had close and deep ties with the Ku Klux Klan from the early 1900s and likely still do. The stated intentions of these groups were to tell the story of the Confederate soldiers, to make sure their memory was never lost. In sense, this was the Conservative’s first large disinformation campaign. Ironically, in the modern era, Conservatives still use mass disinformation campaigns to sway the opinions their way.
The United Daughters of the Confederacy romanticized the old South, often spoke and wrote about how the slaves were happy and dedicated to their masters. Most importantly, these women painted a picture that secession of the southern states was Constitutional, therefore, the Confederacy was patriotic and not treasonous.
The UDC wanted to use the past to shape race in the south during the post-Reconstruction era. An early UDC historian-general, Mildred Lewis Rutherford, according to the Encyclopedia of Virginia, firmly believed that African Americans needed to behave as faithful “servants” if the New South were ever to approximate the Old (and supposedly racially harmonious) South.
The United Daughters asserted that slavery was not that bad, and white people were always honorable and acted in the best interests of Blacks. The Lost Cause is a societal belief in which white people belonged at the top of the order and Black people at the bottom. THIS is Confederate ideology. THIS is white supremacy.
The UDC rewrote history.
The UDC took up the task of rewriting history in these textbooks so the Lost Cause could be passed to future generations, so they would believe themselves the “good guys” in the Civil War.
Between 1889, when the government started counting how many children were enrolled in public schools, and 1969 when history textbooks began telling the truth about the Confederacy and the Civil War, there were nearly 70 million children enrolled in elementary schools in southern states. That means 70 million people in America believed the Lost Cause mythology because that is what they were taught in school. Those 70 million people became adults, they influenced the beliefs of their own children, and they themselves became teachers and lawmakers. The Lost Cause mythology is by far the most effective disinformation campaign in American history.
The Lost Cause is what kept white supremacy so prevalent in the south for decades.
Between the 1910s and the 1930s, the UDC erected hundreds of Confederate monuments. During the Jim Crow era, these monuments were intended to terrorize Black people. By the 1920s, they also put up a monument to the KKK to commemorate the terror they inflicted during the Reconstruction era.
It wasn’t just the entire education of millions of Americans for decades that were shaped by the white supremacist ideology or the memorials dedicated to murderers and rapists, there were dozens of other actions they were involved in that showed the complete and utter depravity of these women.
In 1913 when unveiling a statue called Silent Sam in North Carolina, the man they chose to be the speaker at the dedication ceremony was Julian Carr. Carr was the son of a slaveholder, a Confederate soldier, a supporter of the KKK and white supremacy, celebrated lynching, and often spoke favorably about killing Black people. The Silent Sam statue was torn down by protesters in 2018.
The most controversial movie ever made was The Birth of a Nation, which was based on the book The Clansman, a historical romance of the Ku Klux Klan. This movie was based on the Lost Cause, which the UDC spent years beating into the conscience of America.
Is the yankee blogger capable of being empathetic to the brutalization BIPOC have suffered from in the deep-south for centuries?
Did I ever tell you, I have the best friends? We all had some good laughs over this young lady’s blog and they encouraged me to clap back with the same energy she directed at me. However, knowing that she’s a Yankee and has compared Union and Confederate statues to one another, just shows that she is just ignorant to what other parts of America have been like to people who do not share her same skin color.
This history lesson was needed.
I would encourage everyone, not just this one Yankee, to learn the truth about the history of these statues and what they represent.
In 2020, if you are still supporting the Confederacy and all that they did and stood for, you are supporting white supremacy and racism. Period. Full stop.
(Oh, and if you’re wondering why I didn’t name this young lady’s blog or give y’all a link to it. It’s because her site isn’t safe.)