lunacy in the georgia senate.

i don’t normally write about politics. i can’t stand the inevitable name calling, screaming, accusations and histrionics that follow. but every now and again something comes up that i at least believe needs some comment.

before i begin, i believe it is always important for a writer who is about to comment on something like this to describe where they are coming from. i am a white kid from the upper middle class suburbs, and was raised with all of the privilege that comes along with that. my father’s family are all post civil war immigrants and on my moter’s side i am descended from two families that settled in the american south before the revolutionary war. my ancetors on my mom’s side owned slaves and fought for the confederate states of america. i am certainly not proud of this, but i also don’t feel like the sins of the father should be visited on the son.

with that out of the way, i am sure that you can guess that i am about to comment on this:

A bill that would permanently establish April as Confederate History and Heritage Month in Georgia sailed through a Senate committee Thursday without any opposition.

Sen. Jeff Mullis (R-Chickamauga), the sponsor of Senate Bill 283, told the Senate Rules Committee that the proposal would help promote tourism in the state and preserve an important part of the state’s and the nation’s history.

yup, that’s right, a bill to establish a confederate history and heritage month. let’s put aside the vacuous suggestion that this would somehow promote tourism for a second and ask what this is really about?

Senate Bill 283, if approved by the Senate and the House, would encourage Georgians each April to honor the Confederacy, its history, soldiers and the people who “contributed to the cause of Southern Independence.”

so in honor of this lunacy, i’d like to suggest that we allow people like senator mullis to have their wish. by all means let’s let them honor their confederate heritage. ALL of it. i have the following program in mind for them:

1. they will get the opportunity to go work in a field from dawn until dusk doing horrible, menial labor.
2. if some sadist decides they aren’t working fast enough they will be whipped and beaten
3. at the end of the day, whatever wages they might have expected will be given to the naacp
4. at night we’ll put them in a bunkhouse where they can sleep on the floor in a space as big as the living room of a post apartment with 50 other people
5. we’ll take their kids away from them and sell them to the highest bidder in an auction
6. should they dare try to escape this fate, we’ll drag them back in chains and punish them with a brutal and savage beating

sadly, i am guessing that it is not this part of confederate heritage that senator mullis and his supporters want to honor.

it’s time we as white southerners stop this nonsense. slavery was a horrible and atrocious institution. let’s admit it and move on. why do we continue to feel the need to try to deny the obvious or dress it up in words like “state’s right,” and “honoring our heritage?” why do we continue to try to hide this portion of our history?

let’s admit that slavery was a disgusting insitution. that our ancestors perpetuated it and even went to war defending it.

i don’t exactly truck with the apology thing that the naacp is pushing. i didn’t do it and i don’t feel the need to apologize for it.

BUT to HONOR it is absurd in my opinion.

this is similar to a bunch of germans proposing a nazi heritage month to honor the creation of the autobahn, the jet engine, rockets and the signifcant contributions of the nazi party to german history.

(okay, i know it’s not the same in scope or scale. but it’s an analogy designed to point out the absurdity of honoring an institution that perpetuated a vast evil by only focusing on the good things it did)

as always if you really want to lose your faith in humanity, go read the comments section of the article. here is a fun gem from someone called ‘southern american female’:

HALLELUJAH!! Thank you Chris for bringing out what should have been said LOONG before now– Anytime someone even BREATHES the word “Confederate”–everybody starts hollering SLAVERY!! Good grief ya’ll–black-white–in between… SHUT UP! I am so freaking tired of SLAVERY issues— it is dead–let it die! As my shirt says “If my flag offends you—you need a history lesson” We were NOT treasoners, hellfighterr or Godless… we were merely standing for our beliefs as we are taught from birth! I also have a bumper sticker that shows a Confederat BATTLE flag and states, ” Southerners– fighting terrorism since 1861!

sigh.

i’ll give senator mullis credit for one thing. at least he showed us how far we still have to go.

7 Comments so far

  1. Sarah O'Connor (unregistered) on March 18th, 2007 @ 3:13 pm

    James? Do you or have you ever owned a FORD? Henry Ford was a super Nazi sympathizer And a personal friend of Hitlers’.

    We ,all geneologies have skeletons and sins in our closets – however most of us hold a pride in our good heritages, as do the Southern Americans.

    Geo. Washington owned slaves – dismiss his holiday.

    While we’re at it – abolish Black History month – There’s a recent history of abhorrent violence in their past also:
    Mzungu Aende Ulaya — Mwafrika Apate Uhuru”. (MAU MAU) This Swahili phrase translates in English to, “Let the white man go back abroad so the African can get his independence.” Here’s a list of nastiness – African civilians killed 1826 African civilians wounded 918; Asian civilians killed 26, Asian civilians wounded 36; European civilians killed 32, European civilians wounded 26; African security forces killed 534, African security forces wounded 465; Asian security forces killed 3, Asian security forces wounded 12; European security forces killed 63, European security forces wounded 102, civilian Missionaries killed 57.

    Personally, my heritage is 100% Irish American. I loathe the violence still ocurring in the birthplace of my father and all my grand-ancestors, but it will never stop my celebrating St. Patricks’ Day nor will it decrease my pride in a peoples who overcame improvisement and slavery at the hands of another.

    And by all means – let us Americans celebrate our Independance in July – but let us NOT think about the Native Indians tribes and nations we destroyed by doing so. Is That ok because we now enjoy religeous freedom?

    My point: There would be no holidays commemorating ANYONE if we never got past our skeltons and sins.


  2. Sarah O'Connor (unregistered) on March 18th, 2007 @ 3:15 pm

    James? Do you or have you ever owned a FORD? Henry Ford was a super Nazi sympathizer And a personal friend of Hitlers’.

    We ,all geneologies have skeletons and sins in our closets – however most of us hold a pride in our good heritages, as do the Southern Americans.

    Geo. Washington owned slaves – dismiss his holiday.

    While we’re at it – abolish Black History month – There’s a recent history of abhorrent violence in their past also:
    Mzungu Aende Ulaya — Mwafrika Apate Uhuru”. (MAU MAU) This Swahili phrase translates in English to, “Let the white man go back abroad so the African can get his independence.” Here’s a list of nastiness – African civilians killed 1826 African civilians wounded 918; Asian civilians killed 26, Asian civilians wounded 36; European civilians killed 32, European civilians wounded 26; African security forces killed 534, African security forces wounded 465; Asian security forces killed 3, Asian security forces wounded 12; European security forces killed 63, European security forces wounded 102, civilian Missionaries killed 57.

    Personally, my heritage is 100% Irish American. I loathe the violence still ocurring in the birthplace of my father and all my grand-ancestors, but it will never stop my celebrating St. Patricks’ Day nor will it decrease my pride in a peoples who overcame improvisement and slavery at the hands of another.

    And by all means – let us Americans celebrate our Independance in July – but let us NOT think about the Native Indians tribes and nations we destroyed by doing so. Is That ok because we now enjoy religeous freedom?

    My point: There would be no holidays commemorating ANYONE if we never got past our skeltons and sins.


  3. james (unregistered) on March 18th, 2007 @ 4:03 pm

    1. no i have never owned a ford.

    2. the senator did not propose a ‘southern heritage month.’ he proposed a ‘confederate ‘heritage month.’ there is a huge difference between celebrating our collective identity as southerners (i am one too) and celebrating confederate heritage.

    3. blacks are just as much a part of this heritage as i am or anyone else. let us not forget that they have been here as long as any white person. the ships were rolling across the atlantic as soon as the plantations were established. for them the ‘heritage’ of the confederacy is one of forced servitude, disrupted families and most of all a complete denial of there humaniy. if the state is going to recognize this ‘heritage’ they should recognize what it means for ALL southerners.

    4.by all means lets celebrate our southern heritage; the good; the great; the bad and the ugly. this is not equivalent to celebrating the secession of 13 states from the united states predicated on the principle that people are property.

    5.forget st patrick’s day for a second. let’s say that the protestants in northern island decided to make a national holiday called “ulster unionist heritage month.’ not something they celebrate but an actual LAW celebrating something that means occupation for half the citizeny. do you think that would be fair?

    i agree with everything you say. of course everyone has skeletons in their closet. every culture at some point has imposed its will on another. that doesn’t mean we should celebrate the SPECIFIC INSTITUTIONS that were created to promote that imposition.

    once again, if this bill represented a ‘southern heritage’ thing i would be totally fine with it. but it doesn’t. it celebrates the confederacy. and in the opinion of this author, and i hope many others, the confederacy is not something to celebrate.


  4. Chintan (unregistered) on March 19th, 2007 @ 8:20 am

    When does the 9-11 Hijackers Day bill come out of committee?


  5. Rashid Z. Muhammad (unregistered) on March 19th, 2007 @ 8:42 am

    Oh come on, the Mau Mau movement and Black History Month have less to do with one another than Christmas and the IRA. Black History Month is overwhelmingly about slaves and their descendants in the country, the Mau Maus were in freaking Kenya where few, if any, American slaves originated.

    I have a bit of a problem with the idea of giving the Confederacy and slavery a 1:1 relationship. They are inextricably linked to be sure, but I think that there were significant moral issues on both sides. There seems to be a tendency to let the north slide when they profited immensely from slavery and had no interest in ceasing the use of its spoils to fund their own development.

    I would personally welcome a Confederate History Month. Mainly because there is nothing in the legislation that says that all aspects of Confederate history and heritage can’t be displayed. There is significant opportunity to counter-demonstrate here and if the ugliness of the Confederacy truly outweighs its nobility (and I suspect that it does) this thing can be exposed for the farce that it is and possibly rescinded in a few years.


  6. d.ortiz (unregistered) on March 19th, 2007 @ 9:50 am

    Sarah, you write like the Confederacy did something good for America, and would have been a fine institution were it not for that little rebellion thing. See, it’s not that the Confederacy *had* skeletons and sins — it *is* a skeleton and a sin. Yes, because the Confederacy fought to sustain an immoral economy, but also because it was an *armed insurrection against the state of which we are all members.*

    If we’re going to celebrate them, I see no reason why we shouldn’t also have a Branch Davidian Day as well.


  7. jack (unregistered) on March 19th, 2007 @ 7:43 pm

    I just sent this to the entire GEORGIA legislature. THE CONFEDERACY WAS ESTABLISHED FOR 1 THING AND 1 THING ONLY: TO CONTINUE THE WHITE SUPREMACIST ENSLAVEMENT OF BLACK FOR ECONOMICS PURPOSES. THAT IS CONFEDERATE HERITAGE:

    GEORGIA IS TALKING ABOUT A MONTH LONG CONFEDERATE HERITAGE CELEBRATION.

    ARTICLE 4, SECTION 3 PARAGRAPH 3 OF THE CONFEDERATE CONSTITUTION SAYS:

    In all such territory THE INSTITUTION OF NEGRO SLAVERY, as it now exists in the Confederate States, shall be recognized and protected by Congress and by the Territorial government; and the inhabitants of the several Confederate States and Territories shall have the right to take to such Territory any slaves lawfully held by them in any of the States or Territories of the Confederate States.

    A HERITAGE CELEBRATION? FOR WHO? IT CAN’T BE FOR BLACK GEORGIANS, NOR CAN IT BE FOR AMERICA, THE AMERICA THAT THE CONFEDERACY ATTEMPTED TO CEDE FROM IN ORDER TO CONTINUE TO PRACTIVE WHITE SUPREMACY VIA BLACK ENSLAVEMENT.

    IT CAN ONLY BE TO CELEBRATE AND STILL WISH FOR SLAVERY, AND THE SEPARATION FROM THE UNITED STATES IN ORDER TO CONTINUE TO PRACTICE THE ENSLAVEMENT OF BLACK BY WHITES.

    YOU WANT TO CELEBRATE THAT HERITAGE? DO YOU REALLY WANT TO CELEBRATE 300 YEARS OF WRONG, WHICH IS WRITTEN IN TO THE CONSTITUTION. READ THE CONSTITUTION.



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