As we commemorate (not celebrate) the 150th anniversary of the civil war in America, I ponder the words of the great southern historian and author, Shelby Foote, who once said, “You can’t know America unless you understand the civil war.” He was very accurate in his assessment. Many people lambaste African-Americans for “whining” about slavery. The truth of the matter is, the vestiges of this “peculiar institution” are with us to this very day. That’s why will NEVER be a post-racial society. Race and class are embedded in our DNA.
The first shot of the civil war at Fort Sumter is still being heard all over America. Our media, our co-workers, job and mortgage applications all want to know our race, ethnic background etc. It’s interwoven deep within our core as Americans. We are color-struck to the 10th power and don’t want to acknowledge or recognize it.
This past Friday, February 18 marks the 150th anniversary of the swearing in of Jefferson Davis as the president of the Confederate states of America. All over the South there will be grand balls, commemorations and most importantly civil war battle reenactments. As a liberal Republican, I’ll pass on any of the festivities.
Let me first say that I have no doubt about the sincerity of the South and their justification for secession from the union which ultimately led to the great Civil War. There is no doubt that many young men gave their lives valiantly for what they believed in. However, they were on the wrong side of history. There is no reason in the world to justify killing other human beings to preserve the peculiar institution of slavery. As an Obama Republican, I can’t register my protest any stronger.