Archive for Sunday, February 20, 2011

South shouldn’t celebrate racist history

February 20, 2011

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Nathan Bedford Forrest was a cotton planter and a trader in horses, cattle and black people. At the outbreak of the Civil War, Forrest, whose business dealings had made him wealthy, raised a cavalry unit to fight for the Confederacy. He is remembered as an instinctive military genius whose daring and unpredictability gave Union forces fits.

He is also remembered for leading a rebel band that overwhelmed a Union stronghold, Fort Pillow, Tenn., massacring 300 mostly black soldiers and civilians, including children, after the soldiers had dropped their weapons. According to official reports, black soldiers were nailed to logs, buried alive, gunned down where they stood.

Finally, Forrest is remembered as a founder and the first “Grand Wizard” of the Ku Klux Klan. The Klan, of course, is America’s pre-eminent terrorist group; in its various permutations, it has been responsible for countless acts of violence against African-Americans and others it deemed inferior, including the notorious 1963 church bombing in which four little black girls were killed.

This is the legacy of Nathan Bedford Forrest. At this writing, the state of Mississippi is considering whether to honor that legacy through the issuance of vanity license plates.

And perhaps an observer might be forgiven for wondering what in the world there is to consider. The request to honor Forrest was made by the Mississippi branch of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, a group often found neck deep in attempts to rewrite and sanitize the odious history of the Confederacy. For what it’s worth, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour has said he doesn’t think the state legislature will approve the vanity plate. But he rejected a call by the Mississippi NAACP to denounce the idea. “I don’t go around denouncing people,” he said, piously.

Presumably, he would be equally nonjudgmental if his state were to consider similar honors to Osama bin Laden, convicted spy Robert Hanssen or Columbine killers Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. Their legacies, after all, are combined in Forrest: terrorist, traitor, mass murderer.

On April 12, it will be 150 years since the Civil War began. That is the distance from telegraph lines to smart phones, from steam engines to space shuttles, from Lincoln to Obama. And yet even after all that time, some of us are still unable to conquer the moral cowardice exemplified by Gov. Barbour and the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

The South fought in defense of racism and slavery. It was soundly defeated, racism and slavery soundly repudiated. You’d think from that loss the South would have learned signal lessons of human rights and human dignity.

The past exists for one overriding purpose: to prepare us for the future. It is the great and wise teacher, though its lessons are often purchased at monstrous cost. Such was surely the case with the Civil War: 620,000 lives — 2 percent of the population — lost, the South left devastated.

Yet sometimes, you wonder if the South even knows it lost.

Because, instead of learning those costly lessons and moving forward, too much of the South has spent too much of the last century and a half denying them and looking backward. It did so first through the expedient of lynch mob violence and Jim Crow laws. Now it clings to discredited 19th-century symbols like driftwood, obsessively reworks history trying to make the facts other than what they are.

But the facts are immutable.

You wish the South would finally accept that and move on. Instead, too many in that storied region are still absorbed in fighting a war that ended in 1865, seeking to vindicate a cause long ago lost. A man who betrayed this country, founded a terrorist group and committed mass murder is a man unworthy of honor.

It is pathetic that that even needs to be said.

— Leonard Pitts Jr., winner of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for commentary, is a columnist for the Miami Herald. He chats with readers from noon to 1 p.m. CST each Wednesday on www.MiamiHerald.com.

Comments

Liberty_One 4 years, 2 months ago

"A man who betrayed this country, founded a terrorist group and committed mass murder is a man unworthy of honor."

He's right. Why do we celebrate Lincoln's birthday?

gogoplata 4 years, 2 months ago

Not to mention the fact that he too was a racist.

Liberty275 4 years, 2 months ago

LOL. The first people I thought of at that sentence was lincoln and sherman. Lincoln would make a fine bin Laden and sherman would fit the role of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed nicely. Only difference I can really see is that sherman directed his efforts directly at women and children while Mohammed aimed his at whoever was in certain buildings.

FloridaSunshine 4 years, 2 months ago

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FloridaSunshine 4 years, 2 months ago

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FloridaSunshine 4 years, 2 months ago

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pace 4 years, 2 months ago

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tomatogrower 4 years, 2 months ago

Liberty believes the South were a bunch of self made men trying to get free from an oppressive government that was trying to tell them how to run their lives. Of course these self made men didn't do a whole lot. They had their slaves do it. Just like Liberty's heroes, men like Sam Walton. He made his billions off the work of his workers who don't get a living wage and have to go on welfare. But god forbid those workers unite and fight the man. They would just be whiners.

tomatogrower 4 years, 2 months ago

Of course his workers aren't starving to death. His managers make sure they know how to get food stamps. People were doing quite well before Sam came along. In the 60's life was booming for most people. I own a small business, just like all those small businesses that were around before Walton came along and destroyed them. They created probably more jobs than Walton did, and had workers who didn't need to get food stamps. Workers used to be assets, but people like Walton think they are just a pain, and would like to find a way to run things without them, so they can keep more of the money.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 2 months ago

Walton certainly did have vision and leadership.

But his legacy at Wal-Mart is a very mixed bag. Sure, they dominate the retail market, and sell at somewhat lower prices than their competitors, and perhaps offer a greater selection of consumer items than might otherwise be available in many places they have stores.

But that isn't the whole story. They are able to do that because of the near-collapse of American manufacturing sector, which has been shifted overseas, creating a massive trade deficit which is a major contributor to the budget crises at the national, state and local levels.

Simply put, the Wal-Mart miracle isn't sustainable. Its race-to-the-bottom formula for success is eventually going to hit bottom. Hard.

FreeMarketsRule 4 years, 2 months ago

Now that this discussion has turned to economics, I am compelled to refer to Tomato's original comment. (by the way - Pitt's comments are spot-on -- he is not re-living the war - just stating clearly how some in the South need to get over it and stop celebrating those who fought for slavery. Atrocities were committed on both sides - but Lincoln took the high road against slavery - and should forever be remembered as a hero because of it).

What would you have Sam Walton do, Tomato? Not build the world's largest company employing millions at a market wage, providing value-based products to every community in America? Now consider the alternative -- He decides to inflate his wages by 50% - pay a minimum $12.00/hr. In addition, he decides to only sell American-made products. What happens now? Walmart is not competitive in the market. Yes, everyone wants to work there, but there are no stores to work for because foreign owned stores have entered the scene and pay what it takes to sell products at competitive prices that people actually want to buy! In addition, those stores source their products from countries that make cheaper products. The result? No higher wages, no American products, and now all the PROFITS go overseas. So before you respond that we should mandate that every company pay a higher "living" wage, then think through the result of that -- even fewer American jobs, because with higher wages, more "Walmarts" close, more products are sourced overseas, and there are not millions of Walmart employees who benefit from having a job, owning their company's stock, and continuing to live in their communities - many of which were dying as our economy became less agrarian-based. Now, I expect you'll want to talk about the evils of corporate farming, huh?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 2 months ago

But the free market you want to celebrate depends on cheap labor overseas in countries that are anything but "free" for the workers that Wal-Mart depends on for its business model.

FreeMarketsRule 4 years, 2 months ago

Great point....we can't fix everything in one discussion. But those overseas workers have jobs they might not have otherwise, as their countries develop and economies grow. As consumers we place tremendous pressure (as we should) on companies like Wal Mart to buy from countries (and suppliers) that avoid child labor and respect human rights. You could say...what about China? Well, they are simply too big to ignore, also as a customer for American products. Pressure to increase human rights there by our government and companies is moving them in the right direction. Unfortunately, there's no quick fix. You can't call a company evil when it's trying to move things in the right direction, and they do so much good otherwise.

cato_the_elder 4 years, 2 months ago

"On April 12, it will be 150 years since the Civil War began."

An intriguing comment from the Pittster, since his columns routinely demonstrate that he's still fighting the Civil War just as actively as some of the Southerners he routinely criticizes are.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 2 months ago

Transalation: "Yea, well so are you. And your mother wears army boots."

Very weak cato, even for you.

voevoda 4 years, 2 months ago

cato_the_elder, Leonard Pitts is not fighting the Civil War. He is advocating racial equality. In this column, he objects to the lionizing individuals who were responsible the perpetuation of violence against blacks. I'm not surprised that you don't understand this point, cato_the_elder. After all, the real Cato the Elder, whom (apparently) you revere, also owned slaves, and bragged about it; cf. Plutarch: "He [Cato] owned many domestics, and usually bought those prisoners of war who were young and still capable of being reared and trained like whelps or colts." Pitts sympathizes more with the slaves than with the slave owners. What about you?

cato_the_elder 4 years, 2 months ago

It's also quite intriguing that people who advocate government enslaving people economically and otherwise through confiscatory taxation and controlling how they obtain their health care, for example, can be so smug in criticizing the practice.

tomatogrower 4 years, 2 months ago

Obviously you know nothing about the history of the two political parties and the changes that have happened over the years. Lyndon Johnson changed the Democrats and lost the support of southern democrats when he lead the fight for Civil Rights. Of course a lot of posters on here are still angry about that. They don't like uppity black men especially when they are better educated and more successful than they are. They want to return to the old days of oppression.

Their inner inferiority complexes make them have a need to belittle people who belong to a "group" that is not the same color, religion, or political persuasion than theirs. Not unlike how Hitler and his followers tried to make out that Jews were less than human. It made them feel better about their own failures as a nation during the first World War. Fortunately they don't have enough power to do anything about getting rid of those they deem inferior. They just like to blame others for their own failures, like "I should have got that promotion, but they had to give it to the black guy." Never mind that the black guy was better educated and harder working than the whiner. They are convinced that they are superior self made men.

FloridaSunshine 4 years, 2 months ago

tomatogrower...your first line in answer to KUrolls is disgusting and condescending...no one deserves to be "talked down" to like that...all KUrolls asked was a question...and no question deserves to be answered as you did!!

Also, do not...and I repeat...DO NOT...lump all southerners together as you have...I have been a southern democrat all of my adult life and what you stated in your post is degrading to me. I have stated on this forum...more than once...that I was part of the civil rights movement while in college in Atlanta...and have been ever since (as anyone who knows me personally can attest)...

You do not know me...you do not know my heart...until you know every person who is of the south, you can keep your thoughts to yourself. I've about had it with people like you who ASSUME so many things about so many people. HOW DARE YOU USE THE NAME HITLER WHEN YOU ARE GENERALIZING ABOUT SOUTHERNERS!!!???? You are including ME in that generalization and I take that SO SERIOUSLY...you have NO idea how seriously!!!

I know there are southerners and northerners (believe it or not) who are evil to the core in regards to people who are different in their looks or beliefs from themselves. But to lump some of us, who have spent our whole adult lives trying to fight prejudices, in with the evil ones is evil in itself to me. I am appalled at your arrogance and your ignorance.

cato_the_elder 4 years, 2 months ago

Just_another_bozo_riding_the_T_on_someone_else's_dime, "Transalation (sic)?" Also, Bozo, it's not "army boots." It's "combat boots." Did your daddy send you away to military school instead of exposing you to the normal public schooling that the rest of us had?

Aside from that, your snarky comment doesn't even attempt to refute the point that I made. If Pitts is going to criticize those who are in his mind still fighting the Civil War, he might want to think first about turning his own swords into plowshares instead of re-fighting the Civil War in virtually every column he writes.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 2 months ago

Apparently you didn't actually read the article.

"At this writing, the state of Mississippi is considering whether to honor that legacy through the issuance of vanity license plates."

And what would those proposed vanity license plates do? They would commemorate Nathan Bedford Forrest.

"Presumably, he (Gov. Barbour) would be equally nonjudgmental if his state were to consider similar honors to Osama bin Laden, convicted spy Robert Hanssen or Columbine killers Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. Their legacies, after all, are combined in Forrest: terrorist, traitor, mass murderer."

You seem to think the thing to do would be for every African American in Mississippi to get one of these plates so they can turn "their swords into plowshares."

You continually amaze me with your utter cluelessness.

cato_the_elder 4 years, 2 months ago

"You seem to think the thing to do would be for every African American in Mississippi to get one of these plates so they can turn 'their swords into plowshares'."

No, Bozo, I never said that in any way, shape, or form, but that's never stopped a leftist twit like you from libeling your fellow posters on this forum.

Your complete cluelessness isn't amazing at all. You're simply an unemployed, left-wing hater.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 2 months ago

So what is your point? Pitts has one. A very good one, at that.

But you completely ignore it and instead accuse him of continuing to fighting the Civil War.

Sorry, but that's cluelessness. If you don't like that being pointed out, I suggest getting a clue.

cato_the_elder 4 years, 2 months ago

For your edification, Bozo, Pitts says, and I quote: "Instead, too many in that storied region are still absorbed in fighting a war that ended in 1865...." I simply pointed out that Pitts does the same thing all the time, which, in addition to making him terminally boring, also makes him a hypocrite.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 2 months ago

"I simply pointed out that Pitts does the same thing all the time, "

You're wrong.

cato_the_elder 4 years, 2 months ago

A non-responsive, feeble attempt at a put-down that's nowhere near the equivalent of any from the wit of great American hero and fellow conservative, the late Bo Diddley, in his song "Say Man." Samples from memory: "Your chick is so ugly she needs to sneak up on a glass of water to get a drink;" or, one of my personal favorites that seems particularly apropos to you, Bozo, "The stork that brought you into the world ought to be arrested."

cato_the_elder 4 years, 2 months ago

I'm not defending anyone in Mississippi. I'm talking about Pitts, no more, no less.

cato_the_elder 4 years, 2 months ago

See my response to Bozo posted at 12:07 p.m. It's really not that complicated. Perhaps you're not as dense as he is.

cato_the_elder 4 years, 2 months ago

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cato_the_elder 4 years, 2 months ago

Calling forth that much babble in response to one simple, common-sense observation I made is remarkable. Pitts made a statement in his piece that clearly demonstrated his own hypocrisy. If you don't understand that, then you haven't followed his columns.

cato_the_elder 4 years, 2 months ago

Markoo, you either still don't grasp what I said or are as blind as Pitts is. I was referring to one specific statement he made that shows him to be a hypocritical fool. Had he not said that I wouldn't have commented at all, because Pitts complaining about racism is like Glenn Beck complaining about communism.

tomatogrower 4 years, 2 months ago

Of course, if the governor allows this license plate, at least they could tell who the racists are.

Getaroom 4 years, 2 months ago

Obviously, Leonard Pitts article has fallen on deaf ears, as is evidenced by his "usual suspects" critics (minus Tom Showmom). So, you on-going critics of Pitts think that this proposed action in the South, should go on unopposed, unacknowledged and uncommented upon, or you simply do not like Pitts because(he is black) and he brings up uncomfortable issues that you clearly chose to read and then criticize? Perhaps you feel slavery was just fine - so leave it alone - is that it? Racism is alive still in this country and Liberty_One is a perfect example of it. "The South Shall Rise Again" and then what, start all over with the inhumanity of slavery and rampant disregard for human life and basic freedoms? Excuse me, but who the hell do you think brought unwilling slaves to this country? Like they came over for a cruise and vacation?

How about this, if you continually make negative comments on 99.9% of Pitts articles, you stop reading them and move on to your next agenda.

tomatogrower 4 years, 2 months ago

"Excuse me, but who the hell do you think brought unwilling slaves to this country? Like they came over for a cruise and vacation?"

Good point. The creep was a kidnapper too. Why would anyone want a kidnapper on their license plate?

Liberty275 4 years, 2 months ago

"Excuse me, but who the hell do you think brought unwilling slaves to this country? Like they came over for a cruise and vacation?"

The English and Spanish?

tomatogrower 4 years, 2 months ago

Tom's awake. You forgot liberal, Tom. Go drink some coffee.

mom_of_three 4 years, 2 months ago

"Yet sometimes, you wonder if the South even knows it lost."

"Confederates in the Attic" - no, some in the South don't think the war is even over.

The South does have a predicament. How can you honor your history, when they were slaveholders. But then again, so were Jefferson and Washington. However, Jefferson and Washington didn't fight against the US and kill black soldiers who had surrendered.
Robert E. Lee would not have done it, however, Jefferson Davis wanted to enslave captured black union soldiers or hang them for treason.
but this isn't a new story. "Lies across America" exposes Southerners honoring their racist heritage, instead of those who tried to do right and are considered traitors during the war. It also lists travesties like this across the country.

seriouscat 4 years, 2 months ago

They still present Christopher Columbus as some kind of hero in first grade social studies classses....we still have a long way to go indeed.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 2 months ago

This is likely a first for you, Tom, but you actually make a good point.

It really depends on what the process is for creating vanity plates in Mississippi. If the criteria are broad enough to allow these racists to get their own plate, they probably can't be denied.

But as tomatogrower points out, at least it'd be easy to spot the full-out racists by their license plate.

It should also be pointed out the Barbour isn't condemning this plate because he depends on the racists as a key constituency.

Liberty275 4 years, 2 months ago

Does that mean all affirmative action programs are unconstitutional?

Oh, nevermind, it's only racist if liberals say so.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 2 months ago

Affirmative action is certainly problematic on many levels.

But it's nowhere near as problematic as reversing 5 centuries of institutionalized racism.

Liberty275 4 years, 2 months ago

How much good institutionalized racism is usually needed to counter bad institutionalized racism?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 2 months ago

The racial/racist history of the US is not a pretty one. But Lincoln is in no way comparable to Forrest. That's a simplistic view, and the only purpose it serves is to promote the view that everyone is just the same, except you, and therefore your simplistic notions of how the world should operate are unassailable.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 2 months ago

It was a civil war. The forces that led to that war were much greater than Lincoln or any other single individual, even if he did have many of the same racist notions that were prevalent on both sides of the Mason-Dixon line.

To suggest that Lincoln is responsible for all of the carnage of that war is yet another of a long line of simplistic notions from you.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 2 months ago

WTF? There is nothing in your whole post that isn't a rewrite of history.

Lincoln was president. As such he bears much responsibility for the nation going to war. But he was one man, and if there wasn't a good deal of support for going to war, on both sides, there would have been no war.

The motivation for the South to go to war was about 99.9% a matter of defending chattel slavery, which was just as violent and abhorrent as the war itself.

And your point over the lack of a declaration of war is pretty silly. The country was at war with itself (that's why it's called the Civil War.) There was really no point in it declaring war on itself, and the constitution doesn't provide any requirement to do so.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 2 months ago

Actually, many governors in the north were already building up their militias in preparation for war in advance of any decision by anyone to go to war.

mom_of_three 4 years, 2 months ago

Lincoln is responsible for the war he did not start? Didn't the confederates fire on fort sumter and not the other way around?
Southern generals did burn and pillage their way through the South as a way to defeat the Southern moral. However, the Southern troops also burned their own cities at the end to keep them out the Northern's hands.
And Fort Pillow is pretty unforgivable and uncomparable.

purplekansas 4 years, 2 months ago

That is a supremely twisted way of looking at it. I do not understand why you continue to give us, your fellow conservatives, a bad name by distorting facts in order to support racism. Lincoln was not the perfect national hero we make him out to be, but Neo-Confederate rewriting of history has to stop.

"It is indisputable that the Civil War was Lincoln's war of choice." That is absurd.

The fort in question was fired upon and subsequently captured by confederate forces. The fighting starts then and there, by the south, not by Lincoln.

The comparison to North Korea makes absolutely no sense. South Carolina was in the same country as Fort Sumter, under the same rightful government, until they revolted. Obviously, Lawrence was never part of North Korea.

If the south hadn't committed treason and revolted against its own government there wouldn't have a been a war. That is indisputable.

Disputes about the level of Lincoln's racism, his real motivations, and war time atrocities notwithstanding, I can't believe you are seriously arguing this.

purplekansas 4 years, 2 months ago

You're right, I should given you the chance explain your reason for bringing up Lincoln in an article that clearly was written to denounce racism and the rewriting of history, which you then participated in (the rewriting).

You are not "pointing out the truth" so much as using some version of it to suit some purpose that I cannot fathom.

Please, explain your reason for trying to derail and obstruct the column.

My logic went like this: Column denounces racism, poster attempts to undermine and discredit column, therefore, poster must support racism. A leap, yes, but not illogical.

You have the opportunity to explain.

Wait, are you a liberal? an anarchist? a libertarian? Do you mean that "libertarians" are wholly unrelated to conservatives, and so object to the main grouping of liberal vs. conservative? Are you a Neo-Confederate?

mom_of_three 4 years, 2 months ago

Lincoln was not a white surpremacist. Now, we can look at him in our terms and perhaps say that, but you have to judge people in the time that they lived and not in current terms. Lincoln in no way supported slavery, but thought like many others that blacks were not equal. But he was going to keep slavery where it existed if it kept the country together.

But he IN NO WAY was a white supremacist. Learn your history and then get back to me.

Mike Ford 4 years, 2 months ago

We are dealing with a historically disconnected think tank following bunch of deniers who go coward and attack the messenger instead of knowing the history that should fess up to. Part of my ancestors were pows in the the 3rd MS Rifle Battalion and were taken to Camp Douglas, the Union equivalent of Andersonville, near Chicago. I went up to a Confederate re-enactor at South Park and told him I do not acknowledge losers fighting for racism a couple of years ago. I told him those people were as wrong as the state's rights people of today. I love how these clowns say that they're fighting for freedom...what freedom?...the freedom to have a country steal the Five Tribe's land so that a small class of lazy plantation owners can have free labor and be the envy of every poor white farmer in the south who couldn't afford free labor and yet wanted to be like the owners. Gee, it totally sounds like the Big Business/Small Business owner model of today's GOP. Wait it is....Have the big owners and their FOX pawns belittle working union people while non union car plants in the south pay peanuts compared to union workers and keep unknowing people on the hamster wheel known as Wal-Mart going nowhere and dumb enough to defend the right to do so. As a country that has got progressively dumber since Reagan some of you deserve the apocolyptic outcome that your small minded religiousness calls for. No self-fulfilling proficies.....none at all....just keep whistling dixie your country away with your going in reverse stupidity. And while you're at it tell Mr. Dudley Do Right Barbour to get a speaking coach so maybe even people in MS can finally understand him.

Bob_Keeshan 4 years, 2 months ago

STATES RIGHTS!!11!!1!!

What a bunch of buffoons.

The real kicker is so many of them think they have "discovered" the truth. All they are doing is trotting out the same tired revisions that have been used since Reconstruction ended.

The Civil War was not fought in a historical vacuum. Some people, sadly, think "new facts" are available, as if it were fought in ancient Egypt.

Ralph Reed 4 years, 2 months ago

@puddle. re: your 1248: You said, "Most people don't know that Abe Lincoln was fully committed to the post-war mass expulsion of African-americans and the plan was solidly underway when he was assassinated." This is almost verbatim from Tom Dixon's 1905 "The Clansman." In his book, Dixon gave a portrayal of Lincoln that was far from the actual Lincoln. Now, which would you have us believe. The historical Lincoln, or the Lincoln described in a racist novel? (Curious about what kind of literature you're reading.)

mom_of_three 4 years, 2 months ago

Yeah, neo-confederates have a completely different version of the"truth" that they like to believe

Ralph Reed 4 years, 2 months ago

Sorry Bob, the above was meant for Puddleglum.

puddleglum 4 years, 2 months ago

you go Liberty One.

we are on the same page (see, it happens)

Most people don't know that Abe Lincoln was fully committed to the post-war mass expulsion of African-americans and the plan was solidly underway when he was assassinated. Yet, history is normally reconfigured to assign him as a human rights advocate, suggesting equality for all. Early in his involvement with the issue, he routinely was adverse to Douglas and his stance of 'let sleeping dogs lie', certainly it was also made clear that abolitionist-sympathy was a matter of his political aspirations. But in office, the Emancipation proclamation was quite a galvanizing attempt to thwart the separatists threats within the Union itself by claiming a victory for a cause that has 'broadened with time' to include not only the strength and future of the Union but also the freeing of mankind (and that means slaves) ONLY IN THE STATES IN REBELLION. Slavery continued in Missouri (yet another reason to love mizzou) Kentucky and Maryland....

but anyway, I'd love to point out a little fact about war.

Just because one side 'wins' the other side may be forced to accept unconditional terms-however, you cannot always impose your will, your way of life, nor your viewpoints upon said 'losers'...in fact, doing so typically recharges sentiment and reinforces a galvanization amongst said peoples, helping them to 'never forget'.

So you can wave your flag, take your victory lap or whatever, but unless you completely eliminate your enemy from the face of this earth...there will always be those who continue to aspire to a notion that their 'side' may have lost the war, but that doesn't make the victor 'right'.

oh look, kind of like what we have accomplished by planting that seed in IRAQ and AFGHANISTAN lately.... how idiotic of Pitts to surmise: they lost a battle that ended in 1865, seeking to vindicate a lost cause..... this is the kind of "shut-up, I don't want to hear your viewpoint" crap that I hear routinely on FOXnews. not that I watch it routinely, but it is routinely observed.

Kirk Larson 4 years, 2 months ago

Oh, MSNBC pundits often have to say, "We asked so-and-so (conservative) to come on our show and explain their position, but they declined" probably because they know they will get real questions rather than the nonsense FOX serves up (eg. Could Obama be the Antichrist? Do Democrats want to destroy America?)

Ralph Reed 4 years, 2 months ago

@puddle. re: your 1248: You said, "Most people don't know that Abe Lincoln was fully committed to the post-war mass expulsion of African-americans and the plan was solidly underway when he was assassinated." This is almost verbatim from Tom Dixon's 1905 "The Clansman." In his book, Dixon gave a portrayal of Lincoln that was far from the actual Lincoln. Now, which would you have us believe. The historical Lincoln, or the Lincoln described in a racist novel? (Curious about what kind of literature you're reading.)

mom_of_three 4 years, 2 months ago

I tried to read the neo-confederate stuff, but it was so twisted the actual facts to fit their ideal reality that I couldn't finish it (Myths of American Slavery and the South was right - yuk)

Mike Ford 4 years, 2 months ago

exactly, Faux invites thinking people on their Network/propaganda tool to frame their reality the way they frame everything so that their lemmings like shewmon can repeat the garbage as fact because faux told them so. The reason there aren't more dumblicans on MSNBC is because they want control over the way their mythology is framed and the people on MSNBC want softball their coward a$$es. I love how AZ Rep Franks couldn't handle the heat in the kitchen as Chris O'Donnell on MSNBC hammered his a$$ about standing up with the NRA for 30 round clips that contributed to the massacre of the crowds at the Giffords constituency and not acknowledging the blood on his hands. These people are always conversation framing reality avoiding cowards.

Liberty275 4 years, 2 months ago

"30 round clips"

Their is no such thing. Your illiteracy strikes again.

Flap Doodle 4 years, 2 months ago

tushy, your "$" key is sticking. You might want to have somebody check that out.

rtwngr 4 years, 2 months ago

Leonard Pitts is a bigot in his own right. No, Forest shouldn't be honored but let's not forget the actions of the North that were as heinous as any the South could come up with.

mom_of_three 4 years, 2 months ago

Man, you people sure like making up your history.
Lincoln was not perfect but in no way is as bad as jefferson Davis or Forrest.

but let me know when you all return to school to study Civil war history and then tell me what you think the truth is.

mom_of_three 4 years, 2 months ago

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mom_of_three 4 years, 2 months ago

You are a numnut. Lincoln was not a white surpremacist. He thought as most during this time. BUT he also thought that those who fought in the war should be allowed to vote, as well as those were educated.
But he was not a white surpremacist. I have studied with Lincoln scholars, and although he didn't believe in equality from the get go, his views was not much different than the majority of those in the North. He did think about colonization, but didn't push it as much as you believe.

mom_of_three 4 years, 2 months ago

You can't take current terminology and apply it to an era which it does not belong. All good historians know that, and obviously, liberty, you read bad ones.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 2 months ago

The current thinking on Lincoln is that before he took office he was, like many if not most people of the time, somewhat of a white supremacist. The myth of black inferiority had been strongly reinforced by supporters of slavery in order to legitimize that brutal institution, and it had an effect on how whites viewed blacks-- even among northern whites who had rarely if ever known any black people, free or otherwise.

But "white supremacist" is a modern term, used to describe a modern phenomenon. Using it to describe Lincoln is a misuse of the term.

Most Lincoln historians now believe that Lincoln's views towards blacks evolved considerably over his time in office, due in very large part because to his relationship with Frederick Douglass, who Lincoln came to view as his intellectual equal.

http://www.mrlincolnandfreedom.org/inside.asp?ID=69&subjectID=4

cato_the_elder 4 years, 2 months ago

Mom_of_three, it's "numbnut." Being a Mom, you can be forgiven for not knowing that.

jessanddaron 4 years, 2 months ago

Lumping all southerners in with seceding racists is like saying everyone in Kansas lives in Dodge City and has a six-shooter. My grandmother marched with Dr. King as a southern white woman in the 60's. What you guys don't see is the absolute disgust by most of the people in the city when the small few who still cling to the confederacy come march with their KKK robes downtown. Sure there are lunatics, just like everywhere else, but by no means do they represent millions of people.

Pitts generalized way too much in this article.

mom_of_three 4 years, 2 months ago

I agree that not all Southerners believe Forrest should be on a vanity plate, but there are still parks and streets named for him and other racist Southerners.
There are Southerners who believe in equal rights and did so during the Civil War. The Grimke sisters of South Carolina were abolitionists who could never step into South Carolina again for fear of their lives. Abolitionists' material could not be sent through the mail.
Pitts does make some general remarks, but I don't believe he thinks all Southerners are the same. But there are some who believe the war is not over. And those are the ones we should be frightened of.

xfitter 4 years, 2 months ago

Forrest was like Lincoln and most others of the time that were brought up with a certain way of thinking on everything, including who the people "beneath" them were. Just like you're "cant label a person with terms of today for a different era in history" argument, the same applies for people like Forrest, whether you like it or not. History is remembered in the books by those that won, doesn't make those accounts accurate 100% because it isn't in the general best interest for people to know what it took for the pieces to fall the way they did. Even today our government has people in private sectors that go and do disgusting unimaginable things so you can sleep at night with comfort that you're living a "free life" in a "free country" but most don't want to think about that, Lincoln obviously had to do some of those same things in order to preserve The Union.
Pitts doesn't generalize anyone outside of White southerners in this article, but hey read it for how you want. Everyone else will too.

mom_of_three 4 years, 2 months ago

I know Lincoln was not perfect and I know I do not agree with his thinking. But his was a different time in history. He stretched the laws to help the union (with a Southern supreme court) and although his actions would not be upheld today, he did what was needed to save the union. He never believed in slavery, and wasn't the great emancipator everyone held him up to be, although he did end slavery. but he isn't a white supremacist., never was and never will be.

true_patriot 4 years, 2 months ago

Anyone who thinks racism isn't alive and well in this country is willfully ignorant or just ignorant via lack of exposure. I am so happy to see how the youngest generations have made real strides away from racism despite the best intents of some racist parents to install those destructive values in their children.

KansasPerson 4 years, 2 months ago

Please remember that pretty much anyone can bring a request to their state legislature if they try hard enough. If it's ridiculous enough, it makes the national news. That doesn't mean that those few people represent the majority of people in that state or region. Don't forget that there are lots of people in other parts of the U.S. who think, after reading their newspapers, that all Kansans want to genetically test their newborns. It's easy to generalize without actually being there.

Mike Ford 4 years, 2 months ago

shewmon, this isn't fox, and I'm sorry your fox reality denial button doesn't work here. if you bait people all day with your stupid borderline racist comments and repeated arguement flipping bs ala Bill O' Reilly you will have to deal with people like me who will confront you with empirical facts with the same fervor as fox's loudly stated lies. welcome to the antidote to conservative shukha anumpa (hogwash) in the Choctaw language.

Liberty275 4 years, 2 months ago

is there a difference in meaning between "clip" and "magazine" in choctaw?

true_patriot 4 years, 2 months ago

Anyone who thinks racism isn't alive and well in this country is willfully uninformed or just uninformed via lack of exposure. I am so happy to see how the youngest generations have made real strides away from racism despite the tendency of some parents to install those destructive values in their children.

Mike Ford 4 years, 2 months ago

keyu, tanampo chitto (no, big or many shots). tanampo chito was also a code word used by Choctaw soldiers in the American Expeditionary Forces in World War One when surrounded by Germans on the French-German border as part of the Lost Battalion in the woods. Chahta was here before English, Oklahoma is a Choctaw word.

Mike Ford 4 years, 2 months ago

I'll throw one to the anti Lincoln crowd...anyone remember the largest mass hanging in US history in 1862 when 38 Dakota tribal warriors were hung in response to the New Ulm Massacre that occurred when Dakota peoples in southern Minnesota grew sick and tired of illegal European squatters violating the Fort Snelling treaty of 1851 and invading their lands and their agent withholding food rations allowing them to starve and telling them to eat grass. In response to a charge of cattle theft due to intentional starvation by the Indian Agent, a couple of the Dakota leaders decided enough was enough and they went on the path and killed like 6 or 700 settlers over a couple of days. The Indian Agent who withheld their food rations was found dead with grass stuck in his mouth. Hundreds of Dakota peoples were rounded up to be executed by the US Government and a minister who worked with the Dakota people, Henry Whipple, begged for leneincy for the people and 38 were executed instead of 3 or 400 Dakota people. With the exception of a couple small parcels of land, the Dakota and Ho-Chunk or Winnebago peoples were ethnically cleansed from southern Minnesota sent to Crow Creek in South Dakota and Santee in Nebraska and next to the Omaha rez.. The rest fled to the Canadian prairies where their descendants live to this day. I brought this up with a Lincoln book writer on KCUR and on NPR Talk of the Nation. Sorry to say neither writer had dealt with this history. More uncovered history brought to you by Tuschkahouma,

voevoda 4 years, 2 months ago

Lberty_One finds in the historical record the information he wants to "prove" his preconceived ideas, and he ignores the rest. There's no way to win an argument with him, because he'll just continue to insist that his opinion is the only accurate reading of the past, no matter how much he leaves out or distorts. His assessment of Lincoln on this forum is a case in point.

Mike Ford 4 years, 2 months ago

it takes a dummy to make a snide comment about real history ignored by George Will readers. How American of you Tom.

jaywalker 4 years, 2 months ago

"It is pathetic that that even needs to be said"

What's pathetic is using that line to (30) your column when you knew it before you made your first key stroke. But then you couldn't sleep walk through another waste of column inches, Mr. Pitts, so instead it's the grand finale.

Of course Forrest doesn't deserve any type of legacy or honor and I feel fairly confident that the state of Mississippi will kill this move appropriately. If they don't, well, it's their funeral. But please, let's not pretend any of that needed to be said.

FloridaSunshine 4 years, 2 months ago

Just so that everyone knows, my comments to Liberty_One were deleted, as were his to me. I never wrote one curse word...and yet I'm seeing now, and have seen in the past, several posters using WTF, etc. Do the guardians of this forum not know what certain expressions mean? If those "sayings" are accepted and mine were not, something is VERY wrong here.

Liberty_One and I hammered each other...but certainly not any more than a lot of you do with each other. I see you guardians have left many of Liberty-One's dialog with others.

I am deleting myself off this forum...I have been sorted out for some reason that I don't understand because I've read much worse things than I wrote to Libery_One...and he to me!! I'd say you guardians of this forum are tremendously biased. It's absurd that my writings have been deleted along with Liberty_One's. Maybe it's that I'm a "new-comer"...well, guardians, you all can have your LJW.

My only regret is that I thoroughly enjoyed so many of you and your comments...I hope you know who you are!!

I've never been censored like this in my entire life...I feel very strange...this isn't the U.S. A. This feels like a dictatorship. Why would I want to be a part of that? I worked in politics for more than 30 years of my life and never had anything like this happen to me. This I will never forget...it leaves me with a really bad taste for all that is Kansas...but I will try to understand that it has nothing to do with the wonderful people I've met on this forum. I feel a great emptiness in leaving you all...I will truly miss you!

Well, toodles, y'all...it's been a great time 'til now...

Kathy Getto 4 years, 2 months ago

Take your ball and go home, then Florida - this IS a dictatorship as this is a private forum.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 2 months ago

Here's an interesting link to the thoughts of someone who really is an expert on Lincoln, rather than one who just pretends to be one on this forum. (And be forewarned that it is on government radio, so if you're a true libertarian, you may be contaminated by socialism if you listen/read.)

Tracing President Lincoln's Thoughts On Slavery by Eric Foner

http://www.npr.org/2011/02/21/133372512/tracing-president-lincolns-thoughts-on-slavery

tunahelper 4 years, 2 months ago

pitts doesn't know his history and is only tell half-truths at best. He failed to tell the whole story about Nathan Bedford Forrest. First, Forrest did not direct the Fort Pillow Massacre, his troops got out of control and killed the black Union soldiers. However, he was the commander and is responsible for the actions of his soldiers. Second, Forrest was a founder of the KKK, but left the KKK after he saw the violence the KKK was doing to the black population. pitts is a great writer of fiction.

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