Fighting for others
States rights, slavery, protection of wealth, economy, abolition, the hatred of a president are just some of the reasons given for the War between the States. Some say slavery had nothing to do with fighting the war, but in every secessionist paper written by each of the Southern states and in particularly Georgia, the protection of slavery was the foremost reason given. Southerners, many of whom had nothing, were rallied to war with elusive reasoning -- heritage, hatred, bravery, cowardice, fear, adventure, promised wealth, or entry into a society for which they were not privileged. Uneducated and rooted in certain beliefs, they were easily manipulated into fighting and dying to protect the rights and riches of others to own slaves, who after an initial investment, became free labor.
Wages for those jobs could have been paid to Southerners to break the cycle of poverty and to educate children further raising their standard of living. Instead, Southerners went to war to fight against their own best interests. Sound familiar?
It all boils down to a simple statement. Over 700,000 people died and more than $25 trillion in the worth of today’s money was wasted so that approximately 23,000 plantation owners did not have to pay wages. The South has long since become the party of Lincoln, the very president it hated and fought against, and has remained steadfast in that Union, yet refuses to give up the flag of the Confederate South claiming it as the flag of Southern heritage with some sort of elevated reverence that realistically has nothing to do with what it stood for. I don’t mind people flying all the flags they want, although I don’t agree that they should be flown on government property. Otherwise, please fly them as large and as high as possible. It will alert the rest of us to those who have never learned the lessons of the Civil War and would, in fact, like to fight another one for pretty much the same reasons no matter the cost.
-- Pat Fair
Your holidays, my holidays
While raising my children I learned that the more I told them not to do something the more they wanted to do it and usually would end up doing it. Erick Erickson wrote about the Confederate battle flag and how Northern liberals ranting about it will cause young Southerners to go out and buy the flag. Contrary to what some people think, this was not the flag that flew over the Confederate States of America but was the flag that was carried into battle. It replaced the original battle flag because the original one looked too much like the flag of the North, the flag that is the symbol of the U.S. today.
Many, like Erickson, claim the Confederate battle flag is a symbol of oppression. Well, I could say the same about the U.S. flag. It was flown by those of the North fighting against my ancestors, many who died in battle. It also was flown by the carpetbaggers from the North who swooped in and stole properties that belonged to the people of the South after the war ended.
I could rant and rave and say, “Take down the U.S. flag because it is a symbol of oppression,” but I won’t do that. I could also say that the symbol of Abraham Lincoln on our current coins and currency is a symbol of oppression because he allowed Gen. Sherman to rape, pillage and murder the South. Everyone thinks Lincoln was so great but what he wanted to do was send blacks back to Africa or to South America to set up colonies there. If he had not been assassinated, he probably would have succeeded. If you read the history of America he only freed slaves in the South in his Emancipation Proclamation. The North still had their slaves. There were also free blacks who owned slaves and Gen. Grant didn’t free his slaves until after he became president.
The War of Northern Aggression, the War Between the States, the Civil War, or any other name you call it was a battle for states’ rights. Every day the states are losing their rights. Take for instance the recent decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court. Several states had voted against same-sex marriage, the murdering of babies through abortion, immigration issues, tax issues and Obamacare. The states’ right to vote and enact on those issues were stolen from them and that is also depressing and oppressive.
The trouble is that whenever a tragedy occurs, liberals want to make big changes across the country. Obama made it an issue when speaking at the funeral of the state senator who was killed in South Carolina which was certainly not the place to do that. A funeral is a somber occasion and not one to raise contention.
Former Mayor C. Jack Ellis is trying to jump on the bandwagon and bring attention to himself by suggesting all Confederate statues in Macon-Bibb be brought down or moved to a cemetery or museum. He also wants all street names changed that have something to do with the Confederacy, but he wants to leave other things that will “remind people of what it was like before integration.” He thinks this action will make people vote for him in the next mayoral race. It’s all politics.
Still others want to do away with memorial days and any other celebrations of Confederate history. To that I say, blacks have their Martin Luther King Jr. birthday, Black History Month, MLK boulevards, Rosa Parks Memorial, Juneteenth celebration and other events to celebrate black history, so why shouldn’t others be allowed to celebrate their history and heritage.
Where will it stop? Racism will stop when it stops being forced on people. Like the child being told to do or not do something, it will have the same effect. If you force me to do or not do it, I will rebel. Force is never good. If people would quit playing the race issue at every turn, racism would quit being an issue. I have many friends who are black who feel the same way. For the sake of our country we must all stand together and not against each other but it must first begin with the individual.
-- Ruby Jacobs
I’m sitting in my recliner having my first cup of coffee of the day, reading the newspaper and thinking what a good day this is. As I read a letter on the Opinion Page, however, I realize it’s not just a good day, it’s a great day, because I’m reading one of the most well-crafted, logical and thought- provoking letters I’ve ever read in The Telegraph.
I have now read the letter a couple of times and I must say, “Thank you Lewis Costello” for such a well-written piece. The Opinion Page is often littered with letters whose authors want us to believe they speak for God and who tell us what God thinks and wants. I agree with you, however, that no one knows what God thinks or wants.
For the sake of brevity I won’t reiterate all of the points you expressed so well, I will only add that your words and thoughts found a welcome reception in my home.
-- David Price
It’s been awhile since I have posted an opinion about anything. I don’t claim to be a genius. I feel this country is going to hell in a hand basket. We have judges legislating from the bench. This is the same as saying you have a right to vote. Nowhere in The U.S. Constitutions does it give anybody the right to vote. We have an election coming up next year, if it indeed happens. If my memory of history serves me, in the event that martial law is imposed, all elections will be put on hold. The last several decisions handed down by the Supreme Court have divided this country in a way I haven’t seen in my lifetime. The Affordable Care Act being upheld. The right of gay couples to marry. The ruckus over the Battle Flag of Northern Virginia. These are all things people are passionate about and on very different sides of each issue.
I sincerely believe the current administration in power is purposefully trying to divide the country. Should my fear of martial law come to fruition, I hope all Americans rise up and oppose it so we can get back to having a great country again.
-- Wayne Overholt