Roland Martin of CNN denounced the proclamation from Virginia’s Governor Bob McDonnell making April Confederate History Month. Martin has decided that confederate soldiers were no better than al Qaeda terrorists. In order to do this one must make the leap that the civil war was only about Slavery; and it was not. There were many other factors that caused the civil war in this country.
Some of those factors include state rights as well as economic factors. The reality is that fewer than 5% of people in the south owned slaves. The other 95% of the south didn’t go to war to protect that 5%. Slavery was a despicable practice and no one is trying to defend it, but it is part of our history. Virginia has a great deal to offer to people who are history buffs. I actually live relatively close to one of the civil war battlefields, Bull Run. This particular battle was a real turning point in the war and as such drives a great deal of tourism for Northern Virginia. It also serves as a reminder of what could happen if we allow ourselves to be so divided.
One of the problems that we have in this country today is an effort to rewrite our history. We fought a civil war almost 150 years ago; slavery was part of the reason that we fought that war. But, it was not the only reason. Roland Martin can try a turn this into a racial argument all that he wants to, but it still will not make it so.
“As a matter of conscience, I will not justify, understand or accept the atrocious view of Muslim terrorists who view their actions as representing a just war. They are reprehensible, and their actions are a sin against humanity.”
“And I will never, under any circumstances, cast Confederates as heroic figures who should be honored and revered. No, they have been, and forever will be, domestic terrorists.”
There was an initial dust up with the proclamation because it didn’t mention slavery at all, then McDonnell made yet another mistake by saying that he was focusing on the issues that were important to Virginia, saying that slavery wasn’t important to Virginia. But, that being said, it still doesn’t excuse the mentality that Martin is portraying. We have a history, and not all of it is good.
It is time that we have the difficult conversations and study the history for what it is. The war was fought for a variety of reasons, not all of them had to do with racism or slavery. We cannot white wash our history for future generations. Teach them every side and allow the facts to guide the determination of what happened. By acting like the confederacy didn’t exist is nothing more than the liberal elitists turning our history into something that it is not. The south has a very rich history, the confederacy, slavery, and the civil war are only small parts of that history; there is nothing wrong with celebrating and examining that history without resorting to calling southerners terrorists.