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QsOTD: Celebrating Treason In Defense of Slavery Edition

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Coates:

A lot of you have e-mailed me to note that Virginia governor Bob McDonnell has decided to honor  those who fought to preserve, and extend, white supremacy. I don’t really have much to say. The GOP is, effectively, the party of willfully unlettered Utopians. It is the party of choice for those who believe global warming is a hoax, that humans roamed the earth with dinosaurs, and that homosexuals should work harder at not being gay.
That the party of unadulterated quackery also believes that Birth Of A Nation is more true to the Civil War than Battle Cry Of Freedom, is to be expected. Ignorance does not respect boundaries. It is, at times, qualified and those who know more, often struggle to say more. But people who believe that the Census is actually a covert attempt to put Americans in concentration camps, are also likely to believe that slavery was incidental to the Civil War.

This is who they are–the proud and ignorant. If you believe that if we still had segregation we wouldn’t “have had all these problems,” this is the movement for you. If you believe that your president is a Muslim sleeper agent, this is the movement for you. If you honor a flag raised explicitly to destroy this country then this is the movement for you.

McPherson:

As James McPherson, dean of Civil War scholars, commented on learning of Mr. McDonnell’s proclamation: “I find it obnoxious, but it’s extremely typical. The people that emphasize Confederate heritage and the legacy, and the importance of understanding Confederate history, want to deny that Confederate history was ultimately bound up with slavery. But that was the principal reason for secession — that an anti-slavery party was elected to the White House. . . . And without secession, there wouldn’t have been a war.”

Serwer:

I don’t totally understand why Republicans seem to think that the Confederacy’s willingness to wage war against the United States in order to preserve the institution of chattel slavery is something that should be lionized. But it seems to me that if you’re going to “honor” what Confederate soldiers fought for, you should at least have the honesty to acknowledge what exactly that was — the “freedom” to own black people as property. Anything less is cowardice.

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