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The Confederacy Won the Peace

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Jefferson-Davis-Highway-markers

The statistic at the end of the second paragraph says it all:

The Confederates won with the pen (and the noose) what they could not win on the battlefield: the cause of white supremacy and the dominant understanding of what the war was all about. We are still digging ourselves out from under the misinformation that they spread, which has manifested in both our history books and our public monuments.

Take Kentucky. Kentucky’s legislature voted not to secede, and early in the war, Confederate Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston ventured through the western part of the state and found “no enthusiasm as we imagined and hoped but hostility … in Kentucky.” Eventually, 90,000 Kentuckians would fight for the United States, while 35,000 fought for the Confederate States. Nevertheless, according to historian Thomas Clark, the state now has 72 Confederate monuments and only two Union ones.

Another excellent example is the fact that if you drive from Seattle to Vancouver you do so in part on the Jefferson Davis Highway. Given that Washington not only didn’t secede, but didn’t exist, during Davis’s brief period heading the treasonous slave state I think we can safely chalk this up to 100% hate, 0% heritage. A bill was proposed to get rid of it in 2002, but it generated intense Republican opposition and was ultimately killed in the Senate:

The opponents describe the highway change as a needless affront to Davis, who remains revered in some quarters and for whom plenty of schools are named in the South.

Now Representative Thomas M. Mielke, a Republican from Battle Ground, has taken up their cause and is opposing the bill, expected to come up for a vote on Thursday.

Mr. Mielke circulated an e-mail message to his colleagues on Tuesday night, attaching a biography of Davis and calling him ”an outgoing, friendly man, a great family man who loved his wife and children and had an infinite store of compassion.”

“Sure, he was a traitor who believed that slavery was a cause worth dying for and supported the establishment of apartheid police states in the South after the civil war, but he was a nice guy.” Hey, maybe Mohamed Atta remembered to call his mother every birthday, we could start naming roads after him too! I’m afraid when it comes to public monuments I’m in the “Nice guy? I don’t give a shit. Good father? Fuck you, go home and play with your kids” school. The fact that Republican legislators in states that had nothing to do with the Confederacy are willing to make such transparently silly arguments to preserve the monuments to the slave power is highly instructive.

Returning to Loewen:

Perhaps most perniciously, neo-Confederates now claim that the South seceded for states’ rights. When each state left the Union, its leaders made clear that they were seceding because they were for slavery and against states’ rights. In its “Declaration Of The Causes Which Impel The State Of Texas To Secede From The Federal Union,” for example, the secession convention of Texas listed the states that had offended them: Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan and Iowa. These states had in fact exercised states’ rights by passing laws that interfered with the federal government’s attempts to enforce the Fugitive Slave Act. Some also no longer let slaveowners “transit” through their states with their slaves. “States’ rights” were what Texas was seceding against. Texas also made clear what it was seceding for: white supremacy.

And there are plenty of other illustrations. Uniform support of the Fugitive Slave Act by the slave power in itself reveals the “states’ rights” argument as a con. Any “strict constructionist” would look at the wording of the Fugitive Slave clause and its placement in Article IV and construe the return of fugitive slaves as a state, not federal, responsibility. And perhaps the single most important issue in the dissolution of the Democratic Party was the unwillingness of Congress to impose a proslavery constitution on Kansas that its citizens didn’t want. The Confederate Constitution did not permit states to abolish slavery. 99% of arguments about “federalism” are really arguments about policy substance, and attempts by Confederates and their apologists to claim they were motivated by “states’ rights” are particularly fraudulent.

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  • Matt Stevens

    Another excellent example is the fact that if you drive from Seattle to Vancouver you do so in part on the Jefferson Davis Highway. Given that Washington not only didn’t secede, but didn’t exist, during Davis’s brief period heading the treasonous slave state I think we can safely chalk this up to 100% hate, 0% heritage.

    I have to say, I don’t follow the reasoning here. Maybe Southerners settled in the state?

    This is much more convincing. Just to indicate it’s the argument, not the conclusion, I have issues with.

    • efgoldman

      I have to say, I don’t follow the reasoning here.
      This is much more convincing.

      Well, yeah, young Dyllan did, after all, live and do his evil in the very center of the Traitor Confederacy.
      But Scotts’ point, I think, is the pervasiveness of this evil culture for the whole breadth of the country. Washington state? Really?
      (Anecdata: We see plenty of traitor flags decals, t-shirts, etc here in New England, too.)

    • tsam

      Maybe Southerners settled in the state?

      There were TONS of Confederate refugees out West. I believe it’s an integral part of our gun fanaticism, which is pretty strong.

      And you’re right, that is a dumb argument. Vancouver actually removed all the signs in their area with Davis’ name on them at one point.

    • Roger Ailes
  • dilan

    Whenever one of these guys gets labeled a good father or good family man, I always wonder how many kids he fathered with his slaves.

    • ralphdibny

      You mean how many women did he rape? Yeah, I wonder that too.

      • dilan

        Exactly.

    • Bitter Scribe

      And how many of those kids were themselves enslaved, often by their own fathers?

      • dilan

        Yep. And even the ones that weren’t enslaved were almost never acknowledged by their fathers.

        Saying that Casey Confederate was a “good family man” generally only works because Southern historians pretend that the white wife and her white kids were the only “families” these people ever started.

  • Warren Terra

    Another excellent example is the fact that if you drive from Seattle to Vancouver you do so in part on the Jefferson Davis Highway.

    And of course Seattle is in King County, which was named after William Rufus King, an Alabama politician, Vice President for a month (while dying of tuberculosis), a slave-holder whose political career was dedicated to the protection and expansion of slavery within the union.

    In an inspired bit of historical reconsideration in 1986, King County was dedicated instead to Martin Luther King. This could easily be done with the Jefferson Davis Highway – name it after Miles Davis, or after Jefferson Airplane/Starship. Heck, name it after Geena Davis; I’m not a fan, but that pales in comparison to how much I’m not a fan of Jefferson Davis.

    • efgoldman

      I’m not a fan, but that pales in comparison to how much I’m not a fan of Jefferson Davis.

      Hell, in Virginia they could just revert to “US 1”

      • Colleen

        I think they should rename EVERYTHING with the name Jefferson Davis to Montgomery Meigs. How about admiring competence, decency and honest for a change instead of romanticizing failure?

    • jim, some guy in iowa

      they could just drop “Davis” and still get a lot of their racist on

      • dilan

        The thing is, despite the very troublesome records of some of the founders on issues of slavery, my impression is that blacks are not nearly as bothered by stuff named after founding fathers of this country as they are by confederate bullshit. I think the fact that confederates explicitly fought to enslave blacks, and thus the explicit relationship between confederate nostalgia and white supremacy, puts it in a different category than naming something after Thomas Jefferson.

        Although to be clear, if enough blacks indicated they WERE offended by stuff named after Thomas Jefferson, I would favor that we don’t name stuff after him.

        • jim, some guy in iowa

          we have Jefferson Road in Jefferson Township here. I like to think they’re named after George

          • Jefferson Airplane -> Jefferson Starship -> Starship -> Airplane -> Pickup Truck -> Jefferson Pickup Truck.

    • rea

      William Rufus King
      \
      Buchanan’s boyfriend.

      • A proud gay American! The south should celebrate its Southern Gay Heritage.

      • LeeEsq

        Your being anachronistic. Back than people had gentleman callers not boyfriends.

        • rea

          Hardly a gentleman caller–they lived together.

  • efgoldman

    The Confederates won with the pen (and the noose) what they could not win on the battlefield

    I’ve noted before that my kids (daughter, SIL, granddaughter) live about five miles from Capitol Hill and closer to Arlington National Cemetery and the Pentagon.
    They live on Lee Highway, where it intersects with Custis Highway. The hotel we usually use when we visit is on Jefferson Davis Highway (US 1 in that part of the world.) Some other regulars here live in the same neighborhood.
    I don’t think there’s much of a move, in VA, to change it.

    • Davis X. Machina

      The “Lee” and “Custis” bits at least — I’m being charitable — refer to various parts of the George Washington family tree.

      • Manny Kant

        There were a number of Lees prominent in the founding of the US – Richard Henry Lee was a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and Robert E. Lee’s father Lighthorse Harry Lee. The Lee and Custis families also used to own much of Arlington, including the cemetery itself. This doesn’t seem quite as bad to me as some other cases.

      • Here a Lee, there a Lee, everywhere a Lee, a Lee . . .

        • Theobald Schmidt

          That was the most revolting display I have ever witnessed.

      • Ahuitzotl

        Oh … its not named for Lee Ho Fooks?

        • toberdog

          [wanders around Soho, in the rain]

          [looks up]

          “Oh, there it is!”

  • Murc

    And perhaps the single most important issue in the dissolution of the Democratic Party was the unwillingness of Congress to impose a proslavery constitution on Kansas that its citizens didn’t want.

    You mean Whig Party, right? I think? The Democrats didn’t dissolve at all.

    • Davis X. Machina

      The 1860 split in the Democratic Party — two conventions, two nominations, was Kansas-driven. Douglas was unacceptable to the South, because he was anti-Lecompton.

      • Manny Kant

        And the Whig Party broke up over the Kansas-Nebraska Act, not imposing a proslavery constitution on Kansas, which came later.

  • Bruce Vail

    Confederates also won the monuments arms race in Baltimore, the leading city in another slave state that failed to secede.

    We have four public monuments in the city devoted to the Confederacy but only one to the Union.

    Maybe the Union should get a bonus point for its statue of Frederick Douglass (he also had strong local ties).

    Offsetting points to both sides for its monument to Roger Taney, author of the Dred Scott decision but a Union supporter throughout the war.

    • efgoldman

      Offsetting points to both sides for its monument to Roger Taney, author of the Dred Scott decision but a Union supporter throughout the war.

      I wonder (not a historian) if he realized how much one promoted the other.

      • Bruce Vail

        We also have the USCG vessel “Roger Taney” in our maritime museum.

        The “Taney” was actually in Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941 (under a different name) and is said the only surviving US naval vessel still afloat.

        • Bruce Vail

          oops, made a mistake. The vessel was commissioned as the ‘Taney’ in 1936 as a Coast Guard cutter, so it has always carried that name was never officially a US naval vessel.

          BTW – a visit to the ship is a bit of a let-down for history lovers. It was used by the CG for decades after the war, and was modified/rebuilt extensively over the years. There is little or nothing left of the vessel as it existed in 1936 or 1941.

          • rea

            Coast Guard cutters tend to be named after Secretaries of the Treasury, which Taney was in the 1830’s

      • timb

        I wonder why the North didn’t kick him out, until I remembered Lincoln woulda been a nobody w/o his terrible decision.

        Sitting in Springfield and whispering how he could have been a contender, but Seward beat him to it

    • AcademicLurker

      On the up side, thanks to the events of the last few weeks there is now finally serious talk of renaming Robert E. Lee park.

      • Bruce Vail

        Yes, and there was a small demonstration yesterday at the Lee-Jackson statue across the street from the Baltimore Museum of Art.

        Re-naming the park seems like a done deal. Not sure whether the demand to remove the statue will be as easy…

    • SgtGymBunny

      Well, at least the Severna Park Chamber of Commerce “violated” the “heritage” of the Maryland Sons of Confederates by kicking their asses out of the Independence Day parade this weekend. And they were gonna spread some Confederate good will… Dang…

      Not much, but it’s nice for a Hump Day.

      Though it’s private, you can also visit the Confederate Hill section of the Loudon Cemetery in Baltimore. And you can adopt-a-confederate so that he can have a nice head stone.

      • so-in-so

        Only if we get free-speech rights as to what appears on the stone.

        “Here lies a traitor who escaped hanging.”

      • rickhavoc

        When I lived in Silver Spring, I pretty much daily drove by the Dead Confederates monument on Georgia Avenue just inside the Beltway.

    • rickhavoc

      To up the ante, Baltimore is also home to a Frank Zappa monument. And MD also gives props to Thurgood Marshall at the airport and in Annapolis.

  • jim, some guy in iowa

    there’s a “Jeff Davis” road in this county. When we went to named rural streets and roads back in the early 90s, most were named for landmarks or local history. Dunno if I could find the story behind that one. Am pretty sure current county government would collectively shrug

    • jim, some guy in iowa

      come to think of it I do know how it’s historically justified: in the 1830s Davis was stationed at Ft Crawford (Prairie du Chien WI) and his commander, Zachary Taylor, sent him to this side of the river to oversee a sawmill and keep him away from Taylor’s daughter (take your pick as to which was higher priority)

    • ralphdibny

      Yeah, there’s a Jefferson Davis Middle School in Houston that people are justifying by saying that it’s named that because Davis fought in the Mexican/American War. I’ll believe that story as soon as I see a Winfield Scott Middle School.

      • timb

        Why would you erect one to the genius strategist of that immoral war when Jeff was a little known and little regarded middling officer

        • rea

          Davis did pretty well at Monterrey, and became fairly well-known for his role in the battle. Unfortunately for the Confederacy, it went to his head, and he fancied himself a great military leader.

  • cleek

    The Confederacy Won the Peace

    hardly. a few scattered references is not a win.

    one of the main streets in my home town was Burgoyne ave. doesn’t mean the British won the peace after the rev.

    • Origami Isopod

      Please. These references are “scattered” all over the damn South.

      • cleek

        yes indeed they are.

        and they hold no office, and control no money, and win no arguments. they do nothing but decorate signs that most people won’t give a second thought. and they’re being replaced one by one, slowly. and there aren’t any new ones going up.

        i don’t imagine that’s a ‘win’ Davis would’ve been proud of.

        • KmCO

          You’re taking issue with the title of the post, not the substance, and acting as if you’ve settled some kind of argument. Pretty weak.

          • cleek

            oh, my bad. i didn’t realize certain parts of posts were off-limits to criticism!

            • King Goat

              Those trees blocking your view of the (I presume Beford) forrest again?

        • Malaclypse

          and they hold no office, and control no money, and win no arguments.

          Are we pretending there are no neo-Confederates in the Republican Party?

          • Steve LaBonne

            Are we pretending there’s anyone else in the Republican Party?

    • Davis X. Machina

      I’m not so sure. Sure, chattel slavery is gone, but the rest — white supremacy, a minarchist but bellicose state, a preference for economies based on extractive industry, low-or-no regulation, taxation, social provision… used to be a regional model, but it’s embraced by one of the major parties as a blueprint for national government.

      ‘Win’ might be an overstatement — it’s no better than a draw, though.

      • cleek

        anti-black racism isn’t exactly limited to the south.

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2015/04/28/the-most-racist-places-in-america-according-to-google/

        and i don’t think the confederacy invented conservatism.

        it’s no better than a draw, though

        that also seems hyperbolic.

        • Rob in CT

          For a time (a long time, 90+ years), they were able to roll back or at least dilute efforts towards equality. Whenever changes were made and enforced, the former Confederates and, later, neo-confederates resisted, at times quite successfully.

          That does not, in fact, add up to winning. You’re correct on that point.

          I get that you get upset when you perceive someone is taking shots at the South. That’s fair. But this isn’t an attack on The South. It’s an attack on Confederates and their ideological descendants (wherever they may be geographically – many are in the North).

          I mean, hell, the OP references Kentucky and Washington.

          • cleek

            For a time (a long time, 90+ years), they were able to roll back or at least dilute efforts towards equality.

            and those times are over.

            no doubt the Confederacy and its descendants made a huge mess. and the cleanup has been far too slow, but it is happening. there’s a lot of stuff to get to, but we’re getting to it. the Confederacy lost; it’s not winning.

            But this isn’t an attack on The South.

            my reference to the South was a reply to the previous comment, not to Lemieux.

            • Shakezula

              and those times are over.

              Indeed. No less an authority than Supreme Court Chief Justice John Robert’s said so in his ruling on Shelby County and look what happened there.

              • KmCO

                And have you heard? Racism is dead, too!

                • King Goat

                  And corruption and the appearance of corruption!

              • I hear that we’re allowed to ignore SCCJ Robert Johns because he’s from the east coast and went to an Ivy.

            • Charlie S

              Hoe many Southern states have expanded Medicare under the ACA? Wonder why? States rights?

              But those times are over.

            • efgoldman

              and those times are over.

              So Roberts is right, and we have reached The Jubilee?
              I know you know better.

    • Bitter Scribe

      They “won the peace” in the sense that they got the rest of the country to acquiesce in Jim Crow for decades and managed to obstruct anti-lynching laws, voting rights and other civil rights for even longer. Those monuments, flags, etc. are the symptom, not the disease.

      • Aimai

        The fact that the South fought the peace is the real issue. They saw it as a continuation of the war, while the North saw the war as ended after Reconstruction, indeed, after Lincoln’s Assasination. This is a point made by the book Writing With Scissors, which examines the scrapbooks kept by northern and southern men and women during and after the war–with a section on specifically African American uses of scrapbooking. Its clear from those books that Northerners considered the war ended with Lincoln’s assasination. After that very few Northerners were willing to keep fighting the war and fighting for control of the narrative of the war (see also, e.g. David Blight’s work on Reunion) while the South had nothing better to do and spent a whole lot of money and time crafting a narrative in which they do not lose the things that matter to them: control of the story of the war, control of the idea of race and power.

        We needed a prolonged period of de-nazification and a serious and concerted effort at re-education of Southern whites and new immigrants on the significance of the civil war. If we’d done that, though of course there wasn’t enough national white will to do so, we wouldn’t ahve found pockets of these motherfucking confederate daughters seeding their memorials to treason all around the country. Fascinating co-optation or use of the female gender to do what the male gender (the sons of the confederate war) couldn’t do!

        • The greatest trick the South ever pulled was convincing the country that the Civil War was over.

        • cleek

          no doubt, we’d all be better off it the north could’ve worked harder to stamp out every last ember of the Confederacy.

          • witlesschum

            Yes, enforcing democracy on the south and not allowing terrorism and murder of loyal citizens by ex-Confederates would probably have led to a better U.S. nowadays. I’ll go out on a limb and predict that.

            • Richard Gadsden

              Sure. Might have been one of the rare cases where the second amendment would have helped, especially if it was made clear that traitors don’t get to keep or bear arms; they are contraband and the US Army will hand them over to loyal citizens in the area.

              That’s right, massa, the only people with guns now are the ones that used to be your slaves.

      • cleek

        i get your point. but i see it as their having delayed their ultimate defeat. what the Union army couldn’t do in 1865, public opinion (and MLK, LBJ and many others) eventually got done. the Confederacy ultimately lost. and we’ll clean up the lingering symbolic debris in due time.

  • c u n d gulag

    You know what?

    I’d take their “heritage” and “lost but noble cause” bullshit a lot more seriously if there were white slaves, too.

    But there weren’t, were there?
    FUCK NO!!!

    There were poor white farmers and shareholders who ended up getting wounded and dying, fighting for the their wealthier white landowners right to own black people as slaves, and do with them whatever they felt like!

    Take down the name of anything named after a treasonous traitorous Secesh rebel!
    Rename all of the military bases, parks, highway’s, etc., after Union leaders, Abolitionists, Civil and Women’s Rights leaders.

    You want to celebrate something Southern that’s worthy of celebrating?
    How about your great literature, poetry, plays, music, arts and crafts, and food (which, admittedly, will shorten your life, but is SO YUMMY!!!), etc., instead of 4 years of treasonous traitorous treachery and rebellion, all just to own black men, women, and children, as slaves.

    Outside of those 4 years of Civil War, you have a lot to celebrate.
    Why do you want to celebrate that?

    Oh yeah.
    Never mind.
    SATSQ:
    Racism.

    • Lee Rudolph

      Putting together your post and the one (at the moment) directly above it, by Davis X. Machina, I can foresee a new plank for the Republican platform!

      • c u n d gulag

        Yeah.
        Stupid, ignorant, bigoted, evil, and crazy, just aren’t enough for the base anymore.

        Like junkies, they want more!

        Someone will bite the head off of a chicken on stage, and take the lead.

        Then, someone will bite the head off of a rat on stage, and take the lead.

        The first one to bite the head off of a minority child during a debate, will then take the lead for good!

    • c u n d gulag

      In the “Cold Civil War” we’ve been fighting for 150 years, I’ll gladly take the “victory” of taking down their hideous flag.

      I won’t celebrate, because it took the lives of 9 black people praying in a church to finally make happen what should have happened the moment that flag of Secesh rebellion make its reappearance – just after Truman integrated the military, and just as the Civil Movement began to make some real progress.

    • King Goat

      “I’d take their “heritage” and “lost but noble cause” bullshit a lot more seriously if there were white slaves, too.”

      I’d take their heritage bs seriously if they gave equivalent (of course it should be primary or exclusive) honors to figures in Southern or (or national history) that, you know, actually made the right decision on a no-brainer like supporting slavery and stopped owning slaves, became abolitionists, supported the Union, etc. There’s plenty of those people. The fact that the focus is on the traitors and slavery supporters instead of these honest to goodness excellent representatives of ‘heritage’ blows that argument out the water imho.

      • c u n d gulag

        Well said, King Goat!

        • West of the Cascades

          George Henry Thomas should be first and foremost among the Southern figures honored because of his prowess as a general and his loyalty to the Union despite the personal (familial) pain that caused him. When I see statues of Thomas in every little town in Virginia honoring the memory of that great Virginian, I’ll believe that the South is honoring the better side of its heritage.

  • Canada Day seems an apt occasion to head up to San Juan Island and visit the national park at American camp and celebrate the career of that fiercely loyal U.S. Army officer and Pig War booster, Captain George Edward Pickett.

    • Bruce Vail

      Pickett has a very nice memorial at his grave site in the Holly-Wood Cemetery, Richmond, Va.

      Holly-Wood is one of the most extreme examples of pro-Confederate iconography anywhere. I suppose that is fitting (in a way) since Jefferson Davis is interred there.

    • JustRuss

      Been there. I’d like to see all Washington spaces named after Confederates renamed for Pig War heroes.

  • Jeff R.

    Thankfully I live in Massachusetts where we don’t put up with any of that b.s. What’s that you say? Walpole Rebels? I’m sure I have no idea what you’re talking about.

    • Davis X. Machina

      Why in God’s name did they throw in with those rebels?

      Captain Parker’s men gathered on the green at Lexington — just up the road a piece — would have done nicely.

      • Monte_Davis

        Or homage to Daniel Shays!

    • MAJeff

      One of my friends teaches at Curry College, in the Boston area, who have a remarkably Colonel Sanders-ish mascot (although less confederate-style than it apparently once was)

      Similar to Wallpole having a coach from Tennessee introduce the name, it appears there were Southern Trustees (or something like that) at Curry who influenced the selection of name and mascot.

  • UncleEbeneezer

    The Confederate Constitution did not permit states to abolish slavery.

    Why isn’t this the automatic rebuttal anytime the bullshit “States Rights” card is played?

    • JustRuss

      +1865

    • politicalfootball

      I didn’t know that!

      Wikipedia fills us in on the actual language of the Confederate Constitution:

      Article I Section 9(4)

      No bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law denying or impairing the right of property in negro slaves shall be passed.

      Article IV Section 2(1)

      The citizens of each State shall be entitled to all the privileges and immunities of citizens in the several States; and shall have the right of transit and sojourn in any State of this Confederacy, with their slaves and other property; and the right of property in said slaves shall not be thereby impaired.[31]

      Article IV Section 3(3)

      The Confederate States may acquire new territory; and Congress shall have power to legislate and provide governments for the inhabitants of all territory belonging to the Confederate States, lying without the limits of the several states; and may permit them, at such times, and in such manner as it may by law provide, to form states to be admitted into the Confederacy. In all such territory, the institution of negro slavery as it now exists in the Confederate States, shall be recognized and protected by Congress, and by the territorial government: and the inhabitants of the several Confederate States and Territories, shall have the right to take to such territory any slaves lawfully held by them in any of the states or territories of the Confederate states.

  • Simple Mind

    I live in the South and in recent days some locals have taken to flying the Confederate flag from the box of their pickup trucks. (Another common sight is a sticker over the tailpipe reading “Prius repellent”…but that’s another discussion).

    While residing in western NY, some asshole in an otherwise stately mansion not far from the Civil War cemetery had a huge (12 feet wide) Confederate flag draped over the entrance. And the Rochesterians put up with it!

    Meanwhile “Fires in Black Churches, Possibly Caused by Arson, in Ohio, Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, and …”

    Still mired in racist viciousness after generations…

  • Linnaeus

    I think “the Confederacy won the peace” to be overstating things a bit. The ideologies that allowed for the establishment of Jim Crow in the South, and the tolerance of it in the North (not to mention the North’s own problems with racism) long predated the Confederacy and it’s therefore not surprising to me that such ideologies would retain considerable influence after the Confederacy’s demise. We can certainly argue that the fight against that legacy has taken too long and is still an ongoing fight, but I don’t see that as an indication that the Confederacy won anything.

  • D.N. Nation

    Here in Georgia, we have a Jeff Davis County, which is a veritable metropolis, home to our state’s great thinkers, movers, and shakers. Have a look!

    http://i.imgur.com/64rxF6m.png

    Also, what the hell on that Cornfedrut bozo having his name on something in *Washington state*. Homina homina herpa derpa doo all you want, wingnuts, but wouldn’t the ultimate trump card be that he didn’t have a single thing to do with that area? If you want to name it after a family man (ha ha, sure), why not name it after a local?

  • timb

    Slightly off topic, but Katie Pavlich, lost soul, wants you libtards to TAKE THIS

    In wake of the Charleston massacre in South Carolina, many on the left want us to believe America is a racist nation dominated by white supremacy and hatred for blacks. — They’re wrong. —

    I have no idea why the dashes are there, but I feel so much better about America that I can forget that just yesterday in my office a white dude told me all blacks were lazy and why Mike Pence is an acquaintance.

  • texasdiver

    What I’ve noticed here in Texas is that the Confederate flag wavers are switching over to the “come and take it” flag https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Come_and_take_it and the Gadsden flag which basically serve the same tribal identity purpose but add an element of NRA guns nonsense to the discussion. Oh, and of course they all fly giant Texas State flags which I don’t see anyone ever doing in any other state. In fact, in Texas all school kids say two pledges every morning, one to the US flag and one to the Texas flag which both hang in every classroom.

    • timb

      And, since Texas has seceded twice, one of those pledges must be meant more than the other

    • wjts

      Oh, and of course they all fly giant Texas State flags which I don’t see anyone ever doing in any other state.

      Texas takes it to a whole other level, obviously, but I’ve seen the relevant city and state flags flown pretty prominently in New York, Chicago, and Pittsburgh. And when I lived in Texas, I hung a Massachusetts flag in my window as a matter of principle.

      (On the Texas Tech campus in Lubbock, flagpoles always came in threes with one flying the American flag, one the Texas flag, and one flying the university flag which looked like something a comic book artist would have created for a fictional Eastern European dictatorship with a name like “Doomgaria“.)

      • texasdiver

        Texas takes it to a whole other level, obviously, but I’ve seen the relevant city and state flags flown pretty prominently in New York, Chicago, and Pittsburgh. And when I lived in Texas, I hung a Massachusetts flag in my window as a matter of principle.

        By ordinary people or by institutions? I can understand the New York city flag flying outside government office building and police stations and the like, but are they hanging outside of dorm room windows at NYU like one will find over at A&M? I kind of doubt it.

        • wjts

          More by institutions, admittedly, but it goes beyond government offices like courthouses, state and municipal buildings, etc. The Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania flags are flown in front of the Carnegie Museum, and the flags of Chicago, Illinois, and the U.S. line the Michigan Avenue Bridge. (The Chicago flag is pretty common all over the city, actually.)

    • Richard Gadsden

      Every time I see a Gadsden flag, I tell them they can damned well take down my family flag. Never helps, but it doesn’t half make me feel better.

      If I ever become armigerous, I intend to get the Gadsden flag as my achievement, and then I can at least use the courts of heraldry to keep the bloody things out of this country.

  • rea

    The Jefferson Davis Highway in the state of Washington is the same Jefferson Davis Highway that is in Virginia–highway naming conventions were different a century ago:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jefferson_Davis_Highway

    • Srsly Dad Y

      Bizarre. That goes in the category of “facts that sound like bullshit but are actually true.”

    • toberdog

      Highway 30 through the north/central part of the country was called the Lincoln Highway, which I knew but which the Wikipedia article confirms. The Wikipedia article further notes that the Jeff Davis highway was planned to go across the southern part of the country and promoted by the Daughters of the Confederacy. So this highway definitely seems like one example of the Confederate die-hards trying to win the peace.

      • Rob in CT

        IIRC, Jefferson Davis was a big proponent of a transcontinental railway line that went through the South. Various others were pushing for a Northern route or a route in the middle. This was a big political fight in the decade leading up to the war. Congress was basically deadlocked on the issue along sectional lines. Once the slavocrats seceeded, that broke the deadlock, and the middle route was chosen.

        So, in a sense… oh, fuckit. No.

  • Just_Dropping_By

    The Confederate Constitution did not permit states to abolish slavery.

    Is that really an accurate reading of the Confederate Constitution? The text is here: http://avalon.law.yale.edu/19th_century/csa_csa.asp

    Article I, Section 9(1) does state that no “law denying or impairing the right of property in negro slaves shall be passed,” but that part of the document concerns the powers of the Confederate Congress, not the states. Article I, Section 10 is a list of powers that are expressly denied to the states and there’s no reference to slavery one way or another there.

    Further, Article IV, Section 2(1) states: “The citizens of each State . . . shall have the right of transit and sojourn in any State of this Confederacy, with their slaves and other property; and the right of property in said slaves shall not be thereby impaired.” If the individual states of the Confederacy did not have the power to abolish slavery, then what would be the point of the emphasized language protecting property interests in slaves during “transit and sojourn” in a different state? Article IV, Section 2(3) similarly states that a slave is not discharged from service by moving or escaping to another state, which again would be redundant if the individual Confederate states were prohibited from abolishing slavery.

    The closest thing I can find is Article IV, Section 3(3) which recites that in the event the Confederacy acquired new territory, the Confederate Congress and Territorial Government must recognize and protect slavery in the territory, but that doesn’t address existing states.

    • How can you abolish slavery in a state if you allow people to bring and keep slaves there? This reads more like belt-and-suspenders reinforcement of slavery than an implicit acknowledgement that some states can ban it.

      • Just_Dropping_By

        I’m not a Confederate constitutional legal scholar (and I doubt there even is such a thing), so I don’t know for sure how the issue would have been ruled on had it come up, but I think “gradual abolition” of the sort used in some northern states, i.e., current slaves would have remained slaves, but their children would not be slaves, wouldn’t conflict with Article IV, Section 2(1). That wouldn’t have completely abolished slavery, but it would have forced residents of a state to continually import new slaves from other jurisdictions (and Article I, Section 9(1) did expressly prohibit importation of slaves from anywhere other than “slaveholding States or Territories of the United States of America,” meaning there was a very limited area to draw from).

        In any event, if the intention of the drafters of the Confederate Constitution was to prohibit states from abolishing slavery, they did a lousy job of it — Article I, Section 10 already contains a number of express prohibitions on state action. Why not expressly recite that states may not abolish slavery or otherwise make it clear? Your contention about “belt-and-suspenders” makes no sense unless the drafters thought it was actually legally possible for a state to in some manner impair slave owners’ property interests.

        • Just_Dropping_By

          The edit window expired before I could add this point:

          I’ll emphasize that I am not claiming any of the Confederate states likely would have abolished slavery. I just was wondering what the exact language was that Lemieux was referring to because I agree with “Uncle Ebeneezer” above that, if the Confederate constitution did indeed prohibit the abolition of slavery, that would be a powerful rebuttal to the states’ rights argument about secession.

        • UncleEbeneezer

          That wouldn’t have completely abolished slavery, but it would have forced residents of a state to continually import new slaves from other jurisdictions (and Article I, Section 9(1) did expressly prohibit importation of slaves from anywhere other than “slaveholding States or Territories of the United States of America,” meaning there was a very limited area to draw from).

          Wasn’t part of the Confederate plan to take: Mexico, Cuba, Central America as US territories? Not saying it’s in the Conf Constitution or that it would have actually happened but I don’t think the traitors’ saw their future supply for slaves being as limited as you suggest.

          [Added: I would also like to see an interpretation of that Constitution from someone with legal expertise.]

      • Richard Gadsden

        Transit and sojourn is a specific reference to Lemmon v New York (the State), originally before the Superior Court of the City of New York, and appealed to the Supreme Court in 1860, but never heard because of the outbreak of the Civil War.

        In a world where Lincoln didn’t win the 1860 election, it would have been the follow-up case to Dred Scott. The substance of the case was very simple – slaves were transported from Richmond, VA to Texas, accompanied by their owners, via New York, and the claim was that, while conducting interstate commerce, no state law could free the slaves.

        T&S, in the Lemmon context, would only apply in the case where the slaveowner transporting his slaves was temporarily in the free state and staying there as part of travel. In particular, such a slaveowner would need to be a citizen of a slave state, and could not be permanently resident in the free one.

        Your position, however, was greatly feared in the North after Dred Scott – that Lemmon would be decided in 1861 by SCOTUS and establish a right of citizens of slave states to travel through free states with their slaves, and to stay “temporarily” in the free states without having to free the slaves. This was seen as completely undermining the idea that these were free states, not inaccurately!

        Exactly how the CSA constitutional provision would have been interpreted is impossible to know; there’s no conlaw jurisprudence to work with.

    • Barry_D

      Why have the repeated language?

      Why do coffin lids have more than one nail?

  • solidcitizen

    Lane County – home of Eugene and Springfield, OR – is named after Joseph Lane, VP for John Breckinridge on the deep-South pro-slavery ticket in 1860. Haven’t heard much talk about a name change, but maybe it’s time to get some going.

    • Do we have to wait for Phil Knight to day to rename the county after him?

      • solidcitizen

        Hmmm…guy who wanted to make the continued enslavement of non-white people a reality v. guy who exploited non-white workers in near-slavery conditions.

        On the one hand, Lane was also the first governor of the Oregon Territory, on the other hand Knight has also donated a lot of money to the UO athletic department.

        This is a hard call!

        Who else would we have? DeFazio County? Morse County? Morse County might do.

        • Mariota County. Or hey, maybe Packwood County!

          Morse County would be good.

          • rea

            Maybe James Henry Lane (the Union one!) County?

          • solidcitizen

            Joey County. I know Mariota was better and won the Heisman, but I get the sense that Joey is still the more-loved QB.

  • Drexciya

    I don’t know. I feel like a white-centric conception of the south and an excessive emphasis on its Confederate sympathizers and monuments does considerably more to marginalize black people because it pretends that what political force we exert here (and the trying struggle behind that exertion) is meaningless while drastically understating the substantive benefit of slavery’s end and our persistence despite its many efforts at clever reconstitution. And I find a focus on the Confederacy to have a deflective quality, where monuments and flags are magically separate from the politics and actions of actual white people – actions, one should note, that northern whites engaged in with just as much rigor and violence. White supremacy isn’t radiating from those monuments, they’re not shifting a political dynamic that isn’t and wouldn’t already be there. That dynamic is merely reflected, not created or influenced by such symbols. Furthermore:

    The Confederates won with the pen (and the noose) what they could not win on the battlefield: the cause of white supremacy and the dominant understanding of what the war was all about. We are still digging ourselves out from under the misinformation that they spread, which has manifested in both our history books and our public monuments.

    Who, exactly, is “we” supposed to be here? What did they win with the noose that the north didn’t win with redlining? What did they win at all? If we want to discuss symbols in the south and what those symbols mean, the black president I (and people I helped register, despite the impediments) voted for twice said he woke up this morning listening to Outkast’s Liberation. Why is what the south means supposed to be dominated by what particularizes the white people of the south to other regions of white people? I don’t even disagree with much of Scott’s comments or the rest of the commentary here, but I can’t shake the vague sense that something’s missing. I am not in chains. We’re still here.

    • wjts

      That dynamic is merely reflected, not created or influenced by such symbols.

      Symbols play an extremely important role in legitimating, reinforcing, and otherwise influencing existing ideologies. This is Anthro 101 stuff.

      • Drexciya

        wjts: Nothing I said suggests otherwise, but overstating what the Confederate flag and Confederate monuments’ influence only serves to understate the insufficiency inherent to its removal. White southern governors who’ve been propelled by white state houses will remove it and still be white and will still be loyal to the explicitly racist sentiments of the electorate that places them in power. White supremacy is nothing if not flexible and it’s strange to view this one as its (or even a) dominant form or to think that it can’t and won’t encompass and temporarily incorporate a Confederate flag-less future. Perhaps I’m numb to it, perhaps the Confederate flag has grown to symbolize racist whiteness instead of an especially evil Civil War faction for me and is thus aptly symbolized in other ways that are neither being challenged or undermined, but I find all of this incredibly hollow, especially as an end point to terrorist murder.

        If the eradication of white supremacist symbolism is our goal, it’s much more strongly challenged by refusing to assume that white symbols do and should dominate the narrative of the south. The emphasis on the Confederacy only shows the degree to which its removal shifts very little about who these conversations grant agency and attention to. At its most fundamental, the Confederate flag is an open, shameless reminder of the violent, white consolidation of power and who that power decides to center, and it’s unclear to me why I’m supposed to view white liberal handwringing about it in white centric arenas as much different.

        Without an attendant correction on who becomes centered in discussions of the south, the removal of white symbolism leaves only the fact of whiteness, and that fact is visible, unchanged, and as far as I can tell, unchanging. White supremacy isn’t corrected by nicer whiteness. It’s not challenged by saying it’s there and taking it down. It’s challenged by saying it’s there taking it down and then taking the affirmative step of replacing the conception of the south with the black people who embody and reveal everything good and bad about it. This isn’t a first step to anything. It’s putting socks on and calling it traveling.

        • wjts

          Nothing I said suggests otherwise…

          Oh, bollocks. You said “That dynamic [of white supremacy] is… not… influenced by such symbols [as the Confederate battle flag]”, which any reasonable person will read as you suggesting that the dynamic of white supremacy is not influenced by such symbols as the Confederate battle flag. Which is patently false.

          White southern governors who’ve been propelled by white state houses will remove it and still be white and will still be loyal to the explicitly racist sentiments of the electorate that places them in power.

          White Southern governors like Nikki Haley?

          If the eradication of white supremacist symbolism is our goal, it’s much more strongly challenged by refusing to assume that white symbols do and should dominate the narrative of the south.

          Fair enough, but White supremacist (and more specifically Confederate) symbols do dominate the narrative of the South, and not just from the perspectives of White Northern liberals. As such, eradicating White supremacist (and more specifically Confederate) symbols is a fairly important step towards challenging the notion that these symbols are necessarily dominant in the narrative of the South, even if that step is only analogous to putting on one’s socks. (You can’t go anywhere until you put your socks on. You get blisters otherwise.)

          • Drexciya

            wtjs: your remark was general and mine was specific to the Confederate flag and the nature of white supremacy. Nothing I said implied that symbols aren’t important for influencing existing ideologies. I intentionally highlighted a bit of southern-connected symbolism that I highly valued. But the triumphalism surrounding discussions of the Confederate flag’s removal and the rhetoric undergirding its criticism tends to come with assumptions that significantly underestimate how overdetermined and flexible white racism, especially in the south, is. The removal of the Confederate flag, like the defeat of the Confederacy, like the semi-breaking up of the KKK, like the breaking of the all white line of Presidents does not end or address racism, especially in isolation. Without sufficient programs, without transfers of power, without functional efforts to challenge and remove white power, without substantive protection that specifies and problematizes anti-black treatment, they simply provide an impetus to reshape the forms preexisting racism takes.

            So it has been with everything else in this country, so it will be with this. White supremacy isn’t influenced by a symbol from one region. White supremacy is influenced by white people and its domination predates the Confederacy’s existence and marked us, undefeated and triumphant, long after it ended. I’m not saying symbols aren’t important, but I think with this topic there’s an unintentional reliance on symbolism to avoid communicating (and, indeed, obscuring) how unaffected the systemic dynamics and the systemically determined victims are by such practices. Especially when that symbolism comes in packages that don’t actually replace the already-default, already-empowered whiten people that were entirely responsible (and before a couple weeks ago, were entirely fine) with their presence.

            White Southern governors like Nikki Haley?

            White Southerners like Alabama’s very own Governor Bentley who, I assure you, is not magically less racist now that he took it down. Nor is the state government less overwhelmingly white and overwhelmingly oppositional to policies and proposals that significantly disadvantage, disenfranchise and exile its black and brown residents.

            Fair enough, but White supremacist (and more specifically Confederate) symbols do dominate the narrative of the South, and not just from the perspectives of White Northern liberals.

            I don’t really agree with this. The media environment is obsessed with intra-conversations between white people. The media environment is too white not to reflect those dynamics. The extent to which whiteness dominates the narrative of the south and northerners’ conception of it is to the extent that many of them tend to let white Republicans speak to and represent what southerness means, what southerners say, and what southerners get highlighted.

            Liberals bear an incredible responsibility for how wholly black people are smudged from narratives about the south (which I consider tantamount to smudging the south’s powerful history of progressive action and thinking), and I consider the Confederate flag conversations to be a pretty lame aside to conversations I frequently have with southern black people. Don’t get me wrong, we hate the flag too, but after the police shootings? After the videos? After BlackLivesMatter? After the riots and how the media frames us? After the thousandth non-indictment? After Charleston? The confederate flag is a faded period at the end of a long, long paragraph of frustration, horror and outrage.

            I’m not going to claim to speak for anyone but myself, but I’m totally detached from these conversations and I don’t see the substance of the racism I experience represented in them. The confederate flag isn’t going to shoot me and its removal isn’t going to address why certain parties would or why they’d get away with it.

            • Drexciya

              Nor is the state government less overwhelmingly white and overwhelmingly oppositional to supportive of policies and proposals that significantly disadvantage, disenfranchise and exile its black and brown residents.

              My bad.

            • wjts

              your remark was general and mine was specific to the Confederate flag and the nature of white supremacy. Nothing I said implied that symbols aren’t important for influencing existing ideologies.

              So your argument is yes, symbols can influence existing ideologies, but, no, the symbol that is Confederate battle flag does not influence the ideology of American White supremacy?

              The removal of the Confederate flag, like the defeat of the Confederacy, like the semi-breaking up of the KKK, like the breaking of the all white line of Presidents does not end or address racism, especially in isolation.

              How on earth can you argue that the defeat of the Confederacy, the semi-breaking up of the KKK, and the breaking of the all white line of Presidents did nothing to “address” racism?

              …Governor Bentley who, I assure you, is not magically less racist now that he took it down.

              Agreed, but Nikki Haley still isn’t white. By which I only mean to point out the weird, multifaceted nature of American racism.

              The extent to which whiteness dominates the narrative of the south and northerners’ conception of it is to the extent that many of them tend to let white Republicans speak to and represent what southerness means, what southerners say, and what southerners get highlighted.

              I don’t disagree, but my point is that White Southerners of a variety of political stripes vociferously propound (sometimes purportedly*) Confederate values and symbols as wholly representative of “Southernness”. White Southerners of a variety of political stripes have an interest in making sure that their vision of Southernness is the one that dominates the national discourse on the subject, regardless of what we Northern White liberals might think about the subject.

              *Politeness, hospitality, and delicious food are not uniquely Confederate values.

              • Drexciya

                So your argument is yes, symbols can influence existing ideologies, but, no, the symbol that is Confederate battle flag does not influence the ideology of American White supremacy?

                It’s a very low-order influence if that, yes. The north doesn’t require it. It wasn’t necessary prior to the Confederate flag’s establishment. I don’t see much point in pretending it’s some significant, causal influence now. The Confederate flag and the adoration of Confederate monuments is a result of dynamics that its removal doesn’t address. White people’s sentiments for and relationship to black people doesn’t require or even necessarily involve the flag. It’s all about money, power, access, perceptions of who warrants it and who’s marked for subjugation.

                How on earth can you argue that the defeat of the Confederacy, the semi-breaking up of the KKK, and the breaking of the all white line of Presidents did nothing to “address” racism?

                I’m willing to remove “address” and change it for “undermine”. I don’t think whether racism is claimed to be addressed is central to my point and I can abandon it for something less inflammatory. My point is to note its flexibility and how results that conform with x period’s racist priorities tend to get executed, regardless of what’s opposed in polite company. It’s how you get slavery after slavery. It’s how you get a system of economic and residential results that enforce and maintain segregation after Jim Crow. It’s how you get exceptionally, amazingly disparate results in criminal justice enforcement, imprisonment and execution. It’s how you get Stop and Frisk and its various regional flavors. It’s how you get street executions in black neighborhoods in the absence of an equally open KKK. It’s how you get a combination of gerrymandering and Voter ID laws after poll taxes are banned. White supremacy has an exceptional talent for subsuming swiftly abandoned half-measures. Its response is to primarily change the manner of its execution.

                Something is being addressed, I guess. Whatever it is doesn’t seem to last very long, it doesn’t seem to fix the underlying consequences and doesn’t seem to make the broader public particularly swift to connect strikingly similar dynamics with rather recent forms of oppression that people claim to oppose. There’s a core that keeps getting untouched.

                • wjts

                  It wasn’t necessary prior to the Confederate flag’s establishment. I don’t see much point in pretending it’s some significant, causal influence now. The Confederate flag and the adoration of Confederate monuments is a result of dynamics that its removal doesn’t address.

                  I disagree. The Confederate flag was reestablished (which, I think, is probably more important than its initial creation for the purposes of the business at hand) as an important symbol of White supremacy and “Southernness” within living memory. Its continued presence in any number of different social contexts helps to reinforce and legitimate those ideologies, and removing/diminishing it helps to dismantle those ideologies. It’s not a silver bullet, obviously, but it’s also not… I dunno, throwing pebbles at the Wolfman and assuming that will end the problem of lycanthropy once and for all.

                  I’m willing to remove “address” and change it for “undermine”. I don’t think whether racism is claimed to be addressed is central to my point and I can abandon it for something less inflammatory.

                  Fine, but I don’t believe that changes my point all that much. I will grant that the defeat of the Confederacy, the semi-breaking up of the KKK, and the breaking of the all white line of Presidents were all things that failed to completely dismantle the entrenched power structures of White supremacy in the U.S.A. That said, I don’t think it’s possible to argue that all of those things did not diminish the entrenched power structures of White supremacy in the U.S.A. And while I agree that White supremacy is a particularly adaptive and persistent ideology, I’m not sure it’s accurate to say that it has only changed in its manner of execution over the last 150 years: chattel slavery privileged Whites over Blacks in a different way (contrasted, to my mind at least) than Jim Crow privileged Whites over Blacks just as contemporary America privileges Whites over Blacks in a different way than Jim Crow did.

                • Drexciya

                  Its continued presence in any number of different social contexts helps to reinforce and legitimate those ideologies, and removing/diminishing it helps to dismantle those ideologies.

                  Can we tease this out a little? How?

                  Its removal isn’t signaling or saying that white supremacy is wrong. It’s obligating no parties to honor black people and centralize black life in its place. It’s placing no responsibility for decisions descended from Confederate-sympathetic politics in the hands of those who, prior to two weeks ago, were at best indifferent to its presence. It’s not embracing material consequences for that support.

                  Its removal is just creating a new, empty thing that white people can point to in order to say they’re no longer racist while continuing to maintain the substance and results of their racism. It’s the formation of another means of disassociation where racism is reduced to an ethnic slur, an impolite framing or a Confederate flag and everything short of that is magically neutral; something that those mean, crazy racists over there do.

                  We can’t afford to accept a bar this low.

                • Malaclypse

                  We can’t afford to accept a bar this low.

                  I don’t think anybody is suggesting that getting rid of the dixie swastika is an endpoint, but rather an achievable next step.

                • sibusisodan

                  Its removal is just creating a new, empty thing that white people can point to in order to say they’re no longer racist while continuing to maintain the substance and results of their racism.

                  I agree that some white people are going to do exactly that.

                  But I can’t agree – and I don’t see how you can argue – that the only effect of removing this flag will be so that it can be repurposed as a(nother) fig leaf.

                  That doesn't seem to be how flags work, in general, in society. If the display of an image is deemed acceptable socially, then this lends general credibility to the ideology or movement represented by the flag.

                  De-normalising the display of an image will have an effect on the acceptability of the ethos it represents. It won't change the world by itself, but it's a necessary step on the way.

                • Steve LaBonne

                  The thing I like about this conversation is that both sides are right. Symbols are important, but it’s also important to remember that too often symbolic victories get palmed off as substantive ones and that this can be detrimental to real progress.

    • tsam

      No–I disagree. That flag flying over the SC capitol and the slobbering reverence for all the assholes that led the campaigns and killed 600,000 Americans sends a strong message that says racism and white supremacy are tolerated and encouraged here, rather than something we feel should be left behind.

    • Vance Maverick

      I think with a little charitable reading of hyperbole you’d find the post fairly congenial. Of course it’s not all black and white, with a virtuous North versus a South still stuck in 1861. There are many shades of confederate gray.

      • Drexciya

        I dislike the article Scott linked and this genre of commentary more than Scott’s post, which is inoffensive and whateverish to me.

    • kayden

      So what do you say to the Black Americans who want the Confederate flag to be taken down in S.C.?

      • Drexciya

        I say it’s cool to want it taken down and that it’s cool to take it down and that Bree Newsome is awesome.

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  • Jason Lee

    So there’s a road named after Jefferson Davis in a state named after a famous slave owner? Rename the state and rename the Washington Post while you’re at it. Tear down all of President Washington’s monuments, burn all the $1 bills and melt down all the quarters. Let’s go all the way. We have lots of work to do. Lots of evil white history to erase.

    • Malaclypse

      Dumbprints, Jennie.

      • efgoldman

        Who was Jason Lee? Marse Robert’s ne’er do well grandson?

  • Manju

    A bill was proposed to get rid of it in 2002, but it generated intense Republican opposition and was ultimately killed in the Senate:

    Just for fun, I thought I’d fact check this…for the Party-Affiliation claim.

    I see (from the NYTimes) that the main person on Team Good is a Dem (Dunshee) and the main person on Team Evil is a Repub (Mielke). So far, so good.

    Then the NYTimes tells me that Team Evil is made up of “few others in the Legislature, mostly Republicans”. This seems ok, but just how large a % is “mostly”? And what’s up with “few”?

    The NYTimes also tells me that “Democrats outnumber Republicans by 50 to 48 in the House and 25 to 24 in the Senate”. Now I’m a little more suspicious.

    Wiki claims; “In 2002, the state’s House of Representatives unanimously approved a bill that would have removed Davis’ name from the road.”

    “Unanimously”? Just how intense was this “Republican opposition”?

    Wiki continues, “However, a committee of the state’s Senate subsequently killed the proposal.” Well, this sounds like a familiar scenario…but that’s another story.

    So, did “intense Republican opposition” in the Senate Transportation Committee kill the bill? Well, I can’t find a record of the vote, and I’m guessing that there was none. The committee appears to be Dem-controlled, they were in the majority and the chairwoman at the time, Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen, is a Dem.

    Haugen apparently had the power to kill the bill herself (from komonews.com):

    Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen, D-Camano Island, the chairwoman of the Senate Transportation Committee, said leadership asked her to kill the bill at Monday’s cutoff. Many senators supported naming the highway after Stewart, she said, but they didn’t want to vote against Davis. “They got too many ugly letters and too many nasty phone calls on both sides of the issue,” Haugen said. “I’ll sign the bill next year, but you need to let it cool down. It just was far too controversial.”

    And at least one other Dem on the committee was on or in JFK-like collaboration with Team-Evil (from Heraldnet.com, via an academic paper):

    “It’s not a priority for me,” said Sen. Georgia Gardner, vice chairwoman on the Transportation Committee and a Democrat. The marker is in Blaine, her home town.

    Gardner complained that Dunshee was just trying to grab publicity with his bid to rename the highway. Dunshee, also a Democrat, is up for election in a recently redrawn district with many new voters.

    “He’s got to get his name around,” Gardner said.

    Gardner defended Davis, saying he accomplished good deeds as a soldier, U.S. Senator and Secretary of War before he led the South in the Civil War

    As for Scott’s claim, I tentatively and respectfully call bullshit.

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