Confederate Myths: It Wasn't About Slavery
Confederate Myths: It Wasn't About Slavery
I've been blocked by the Old Dixie Pride Facebook page.
I'm sure you can guess how much that hurts me.
The Old Dixie Pride page posts all sorts of stupid images promoting Confederate Flags. My friend, Ryan, and I have been having a great time educating this group of ignorant people about the history they claim to be so proud of.
Many Southerners have managed to convince themselves of a completely fictitious history. It makes sense psychologically though. They don't want to admit to themselves that their ancestors, and their identity as a Southerner, is associated with such a monstrous period in our history. So, when someone tells them a lie about their history and that lie lets them believe a nicer version of history, they latch on to it.
I've decided to post a series of entries going through each of the Confederate Myths that have been perpetuated by Southerners in order to make themselves feel better about their history.
"It Wasn't About Slavery"
Confederate Flaggers are desperate to have you believe that slavery wasn't really an issue, it was kind of a side point. The most common response will be to claim it was just about State's Rights. They'll do this with a straight face and never admit that the Right they wanted was the Right to own black people. Don't believe me? Let's ask the Southern slave-owning States themselves! (emphasis mine)
In the momentous step which our State has taken of dissolving its connection with the government of which we so long formed a part, it is but just that we should declare the prominent reasons which have induced our course.
Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery-- the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth.
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. For the last ten years we have had numerous and serious causes of complaint against our non-slave-holding confederate States with reference to the subject of African slavery. They have endeavored to weaken our security, to disturb our domestic peace and tranquility, and persistently refused to comply with their express constitutional obligations to us in reference to that property,
Texas abandoned her separate national existence and consented to become one of the Confederated States to promote her welfare, insure domestic tranquility [sic] and secure more substantially the blessings of peace and liberty to her people. She was received into the confederacy with her own constitution, under the guarantee of the federal constitution and the compact of annexation, that she should enjoy these blessings. She was received as a commonwealth holding, maintaining and protecting the institution known as negro slavery--the servitude of the African to the white race within her limits--a relation that had existed from the first settlement of her wilderness by the white race, and which her people intended should exist in all future time.
We hold as undeniable truths that the governments of the various States, and of the confederacy itself, were established exclusively by the white race, for themselves and their posterity; that the African race had no agency in their establishment; that they were rightfully held and regarded as an inferior and dependent race, and in that condition only could their existence in this country be rendered beneficial or tolerable.
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.
The right of property in slaves was recognized by giving to free persons distinct political rights, by giving them the right to represent, and burthening them with direct taxes for three-fifths of their slaves; by authorizing the importation of slaves for twenty years; and by stipulating for the rendition of fugitives from labor.
We affirm that these ends for which this Government was instituted have been defeated, and the Government itself has been made destructive of them by the action of the non-slaveholding States. Those States have assume the right of deciding upon the propriety of our domestic institutions; and have denied the rights of property (ed. by "property" this means "black people") established in fifteen of the States and recognized by the Constitution; they have denounced as sinful the institution of slavery; they have permitted open establishment among them of societies, whose avowed object is to disturb the peace and to eloign the property of the citizens of other States. They have encouraged and assisted thousands of our slaves to leave their homes; and those who remain, have been incited by emissaries, books and pictures to servile insurrection.
Mississippi? Slavery. Georgia? Slavery. South Carolina? Slavery. Texas? Super-duper Racist Slavery.
The other Confederate States either didn't bother with a formal declaration of secession or didn't bother to explain why they were seceding. FYI: It was slavery.
These States didn't secede when the North tried to march South and forcibly free all of their slaves. The precipitating event that caused these States to secede was the election of Abraham Lincoln! They believed, and stated explicitly in their Declarations, that the election of an abolitionist was a clear sign to them that their right of slavery was about to be taken away. They wanted to keep their slaves, so they pre-emptively seceded.
Because it was about slavery. Don't let them tell you otherwise.
Next time we'll talk about the real Confederate Flag and the super racist shit the designer said about his intentions for creating a symbol of White Supremacy!