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Don’t Use Our Tax Money To Support The Confederacy

Confederate Commemorations Can’t Continue

Georgia taxpayers should not be forced to support the legacy of the Confederacy.

This summer, sociologist Mark George and Reverend Floyd Rose sent an open letter to Governor Nathan Deal and all Georgia legislators imploring them to do several things: stop endorsing Confederate events and holidays, stop managing Confederate sites and monuments, and change all state roads and highways named after Confederate leaders.

Currently, Georgia observes two Confederate holidays: Robert E. Lee’s birthday (January 19) and Confederate Memorial Day (April 26).

But what exactly are we celebrating?

Many southerners would say that we’re celebrating their heritage. But a heritage that includes enslaving, brutalizing and dehumanizing millions of people only because of their skin color should not be celebrated, just as Germans shouldn’t (and don’t) celebrate the atrocities of their Nazi forefathers.

If southerners choose to hold on to and celebrate the racist and regressive ideals of the Confederacy, Georgia’s government should not support or be associated with their actions in any way. Tax revenue can’t be used to commemorate a group that ravaged our country with war in order to retain their right to treat African-Americans as subhuman.

No, history should not be erased, but it must be recounted accurately and responded to appropriately. Georgia’s government shouldn’t perpetuate the lie that the Confederacy is the glory of the South, when it actually only brings us shame.

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  1. If it bothers you THAT much, LEAVE. We are beyond fed up with the imcessant whining. Nobody listens to you anymore. Fly it high, fly it proud, ethnic cleansers be damned

  2. How long does it take for a comment to be moderated?

  3. I agree with some quotes of our forefathers that slavery was a necessary evil…. however….. that was a different time not to be judged by today’s standards. We must remember that the South was not the only portion of this country to hold slaves in bondage. We should also remember that most of the slaves in the Southern states were sold to the South by the North…… and remember that the cornerstone of the northern wealth was built on the on the slave trade. We in no way condone slavery in this day and time and we in no way celebrate the fact that slavery ever occurred in the South-land or any place else in this country. General Lee’s Birthday has been celebrated since I can remember and I haven’t heard anyone complain about the cost to the taxpayers. I fully believe that the Southern State governments are quiet capable of deciding if remembering and celebrating Lee’s birthday is such a big burden on the respective states. As for myself and many other Southerners that I know….. we will continue these celebrations on our own and without any aid from taxpayers…… We have the right to celebrate our Heritage, or History and our Ancestors…… as much so as anyone else in this country or any other does. There is ……. after all….. room for us all in the same country Under God!

  4. My wife was born and raised in Valdosta, I wasn’t far from there. We are aghast that anyone could write anything so bizarrely wrong as this piece. The CSA didn’t leave the Union on a whim, it was after careful thought and much discussion. The Union would not abide by the original Constitution, taxed the South beyond belief, denied them basic rights, then killed nearly a million soldiers and civilians in trying to prevent the divorce. We SHOULD honor the Confederacy, we SHOULD celebrate Confederate holidays, and we SHOULD have paid holidays for that. Read “The Un-Civil War” by Leonard Scruggs to open your eyes to the truth. This editorial is based on lies and urban legends, not facts. Read “War Crimes Against Southern Civilians” by Walter Cisco for documented accounts of the horrible crimes Sherman’s Yankee soldiers committed against innocent civilians. We WILL celebrate Confederate holidays. If you don’t want to, go back up North.

  5. If you are going to be consistent, then you should advocate removing all State holidays. Surely there is some one, or some group that finds all the state holidays offensive.

  6. It is perfectly reasonable and fitting for the state of Georgia to fund commemorations to the only soldiers in history who signed up to defend her from an brutal army of invasion that marched South to kill Southerners, including Georgians.

    People like Mark George and Reverend Floyd Rose need to stop substituting their perceptions for other people’s intentions. They are conceptualizing reasons for commemorating the Confederacy through their own hostility, and then attributing that mistaken view to others who obviously do not hold it.

    Realize that enslaving, brutalizing and dehumanizing millions of people had already occurred for 85 years in the United States (longer if you include slavery in the colonies), and that the U.S.A.’s constitutional legalization of slavery did not end until AFTER the Confederacy no longer existed.

    Remember that the “racist and regressive” ideals of the Confederacy were held by basically all white people in the United States at the time, and afterward. Remember the north’s black codes, the “sundown towns” and laws in new western states that prohibited residency to free blacks. Note that most of the urban race riots that occurred for generations afterward occurred *outside* the South.

    Understand that the north enabled, prolonged and profited from slavery even after abolishing it within their states (to reduce or eliminate their black populations). New England maritime interests got rich shipping Southern, slave-grown cotton to Europe. Northern textile interests got rich processing Southern, slave-grown cotton in their mills. Northern banks got rich financing the purchase of plantations and slaves, and northern insurance companies got rich insuring slaves.

    For the north, the point of starting the war was to keep the cotton flowing northward; that was why Lincoln had to initially sell the war on “preserving the union” — not on freeing slaves. (Read his proclamation calling for 75,000 volunteers to invade the South; nary a syllable about freeing slaves.) It didn’t become “about” freeing slaves until the fighting had been underway for two years.

    If the north had really wanted to end slavery, all they had to do was quit buying the cotton. But they didn’t, that is why they did not have the moral authority to send a brutal army South to kill Southerners, and why the state of Georgia is justified in honoring those who defended against the invasion.

    As for incendiary and untruthful comparisons of the Confederacy with the Third Reich — let’s have a quick look. There were nine million Jews in Europe before the Third Reich — three million afterward. By contrast, the black population in the United States, before the war, during it, and afterward — both during slavery and after emancipation — grew at basically the same rate as the USA’s white population. Some sources cite a figure of 7% increase during the war.

    There were no concentration camps that slaves were herded into in the Confederate states, while inmates in Nazi death camps were worked to death and/or given rations scientifically calculated to starve them in three months. By contrast, American slaves ate much the same thing white people ate — at least, in the South. What they ate is called “soul food” today and it’s viewed very positively — tasty and nutritious, if rather high in starch. Laws in various states mandated that slave owners support aged or sick slaves who were no longer able to work and that pregnant slaves be given lighter duties.

    I could go on, but I think this is sufficient to demonstrate my reasons for rejecting such comparisons. Anytime I encounter this attempted comparison, I know I’m dealing with someone who is either ignorant of or indifferent to actual history, or who wishes to be incendiary rather than reasonable.

    It’s easy to make demands based on an emotional approach to history or issues; but when one takes the time and makes the effort to look deeper at this particular event, the sheer complexity of it emerges. The Civil War was not simplistic a good-vs-evil, black/white issue. Attempting to paint it that way in an effort to pressure the State of Georgia to dishonor men to defended her needs to be exposed and resisted.

  7. Georgia recognizes Robert E Lee’s Birthday on the day following Thanksgiving, thus allowing Government employees a full 4 days of vacation for the holiday.Most southerners, as well as any right thinking individual in the known universe would say that a day set aside for someone’s birthday, is celebrating that person’s BIRTHDAY, be it Christopher Columbus on Columbus Day, Martin Luther King, Jr, on King Day, or Jesus Christ on Christmas. To my knowledge, Robert E Lee’s birthday recognition has yet to reach the worship level of “Lee Day”

    Most southerners and any person with a brain would say that Memorial Day – be it Confederate or National – is a day to pay respects if one so chooses to the fallen soldiers of American conflicts. Since the United States Federal Government has declared that all Confederate Veterans are equal in status to every other United States Veterans, any attempt, like the one initiated by ex-adjunct professor George and reverend Rose and the person who penned this opinion, is to openly show hate to ALL American Veterans. Those who are trying to disrupt and disrespect southern American Veteran memorials and holidays are just as loathsome and hate filled as those protestors who spit on the returning Veterans from Viet Nam.

    • HI-
      Can you give a reference for the govt recognizing Confederate soldiers, please. Having a Confederate flag issue here, some are equating it with the Swastika. I think that is bogus, faulty history, and not helpful. And I’m old and have not heard that equation until very recently.

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