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The Long Arm of Treason in Defense of Slavery Nostalgia

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An African-American couple in California is rightfully upset about the middle school their child will attend having a long-standing “Civil War Ball.”

Chris Jackson and Vicki Snowden-Jackson were not happy when they heard about the Civil War Ball their sixth-grade son would be attending in two years, at Ranchos Middle School.

“No one is telling us why you have to have a ball, because that is a celebration,” Snowden-Jackson said.

“What is there to celebrate, all the people that died, North and South, everywhere,” Jackson said? “The South was destroyed, I mean, for the war, so what is there to celebrate.”

The couple worried about glorifying a time where African Americans had no equal rights, let alone freedom.

“Think about the climate and what’s going to be on that campus when you’re doing this,” Snowden-Jackson said.

District Superintendent Andy Alvarado says, the event celebrates the end of the war, and nothing students recite or create is inappropriate. Alvarado continuing to say there are several disgraceful, inhumane events in American history, and those should still be taught.

Parents there Friday, say the complaint taints the entire community.

“The kids all dress as either Confederate or Union soldiers, the girls all dress in ball gowns,” parent Michele Stephens said. “There will be children singing, reciting poems, doing all sorts of things inside the gym.”

What in the living hell? Why does this exist in 2018, in California no less? Having 13 year old kids dressing up in Confederate uniforms and cotillion ball gowns is not “learning history.” It’s engaging in pure, uncut Treason in Defense of Slavery nostalgia. I can think of lots of ways to teach the Civil War. Having my students play dress up is definitely not one of them. But this is the long reach of Confederate nostalgia and the idea that the Civil War was this grand ol’ time, not a struggle that killed 750,000 Americans over the fate of slaves and the nation.

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