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Spoiled Immortality and Immortal Spoils

Robert Franklin

Posted on January 4, 2020 00:39

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A nation, and its people, can learn much about themselves and obtain valuable insight into modern issues by peering into their past objectively. Americans have, historically, poorly undertaken this task.

It's important to remember that while there are some events and movements within American history that are subject to interpretation (such as, say, the Second Great Awakening's overall cultural impact, for better or worse), there are parts of our history that are objectively truthful, and attempts to diminish or side-step those objective truths are, at best, harmful.

For example, one would be hard-pressed to find someone supportive of chattel slavery. It's far easier to come across others sporting Confederate imagery or admiring and defending statues of Confederate leaders.

Now, it is objectively true that, generally, no country who pacified an insurrection pays tribute to the actors of that insurrection after the fact. Secondly, it is objectively true that these statues of Confederate leaders were largely erected in the 20th Century by the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) for the memorialization of Confederate soldiers and leaders, who themselves are objectively traitors.

UDC promotes the Lost Cause narrative of southern history, is a notable actor in white power movements, and has a history of lauding the efforts of the Ku Klux Klan.

Further, the Confederate States of America was an insurrectionist nation composed of political and military leaders violently concerned with preserving a way of life hinged almost entirely on the ownership of another race of people. The so-called "Confederate flag" most commonly seen on trucks, tattoos, and hanging outside the occasional southern front porch, is the battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia, and the image is also included on both the "Stainless Banner" and "Blood-stained Banner" national flags.

It is objectively Confederate imagery. It is objectively imagery synonymous with a nation whose entire existence is owed to a group of people who believed chattel slavery to be the cornerstone of their economics and identity, and further, were willing to shed blood and tear asunder the national government to preserve it.

These are all objective truths about the Confederacy, its role, and its aftermath in American history. The Confederacy is, in many ways, the perfect example of this larger point: ignorance of one's own history can leave one prone to persistent malignancies rooted in that ignorance, as well as manifest additional cultural toxicity as time marches on.

The failure of Americans, on the whole, to acknowledge the idealization of the former Confederacy plays out strongly in our politics and cultural identities. One may be hard-pressed to find someone who believes the "Confederate flag" is symbolically comparable to the Nazi swastika, unless that someone runs hard in white supremacist circles. The difference between the two really comes down to whether one views American subjugation and enslavement of Africans to be a worse, or even lesser, crime than German subjugation and internment of Jews, gypsies, and the "genetically defective."

Though, at the end of the day, most people one would meet would find both slavery and the Holocaust deplorable actions committed by deplorable men, even though images from one apparently make an acceptable bumpe rsticker.

Robert Franklin

Posted on January 4, 2020 00:39

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Source: The Blaze

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) has taken the first step in having the statue of Virginian and Confederate General Robert...

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