Friday, February 1, 2013

Secession from Stereotypes...

I want to dedicate this post to Jon- he'll probably find the following conversation more delightfully entertaining than anyone else I know.

The individual did not respond further after this. You know, when my friends 
talk about sports I shut the **** up. When my engineer friends talk about engineering, 
I shut the **** up. Why speak on stuff I clearly don't know about?

Mention the words Confederacy or secession to most black people and instantly their brains populate with notions of Southern, white, slave-owning, racists. Those who know me well or well enough know that I don't beat around the bush with the truth. Every soldier in the Confederate army wasn't pro-slavery and anti-Black. Who do you think was on the front lines? Rich, land-owning slave masters?

The Confederate draft exempted those who owned twenty slaves or more, however, arousing resentment amongst the poor whites who constituted the vast majority of the army. Abraham Lincoln instituted a draft on the Northern states a year later, likewise calling on all able-bodied 18-35 year old men to serve. There were exemptions in the North, too, if those drafted could pay a significant fee or provide a substitute.

There you have it. If you think every poor white man in the Confederate army was fighting to maintain slavery you are either stupid or ignorant of the facts. Some of these men had impoverished families they were forced to leave behind for a war that largely did not benefit many of them. Attempting to avoid the draft or deserting after being drafted carried harsh consequences if found out. For many, it was a lose-lose situation.

I'm not saying none of those drafted to the Southern army didn't want to be there. I'm just not a fan of gross generalizations. People should think before they so freely judge the dead. Poor people of all colors have been drafted to wars that mostly benefited the wealthier members of their societies for hundreds of years...

For those of you into good should check out Cold Mountain with Nicole Kidman and Jude Law. A lot of what I just discussed underlies the love story in this film. As far as the Zora Neale Hurston quote, I have been able to find it but she more or less expressed respect for Robert E. Lee because he felt obligated to protect the people of his state, not necessarily slavery. Let's end with a quote, no?

In this enlightened age, there are few I believe, but what will acknowledge, that slavery as an institution, is a moral & political evil in any Country -Robert E. Lee

P. Maestro

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1 comment:

  1. If one cannot understand why Confederate generals are honored then you display your ignorance. Lee was so highly thought of that Lincoln offered Lee the command of all union armies. He refused because he couldn't bear the idea of bearing arms against his native state. Can one point to an individual today who would sacrifice promotion and fame on a point of honor.

    I realize honor is meaningless today, but it is so because we have a people who are dead at heart and believe in nothing.

    Jackson ran a Sunday school for slaves. Cleburne urged slaves be freed if they fought for the Confrdrtacy, though a native of Ireland he gave his life for the south.

    Lincoln had to pay bonuses of a thousand dollars to fill up the ranks of the Union army. To put this into perspective a private earned earned $13 a month. Yeah northerners were just so eager to fight in Mr. Lincoln's war.