NYTimes' Gail Collins wrote a very good column about it today:
Virginia has been making big leaps lately in the category of general craziness. We all remember the Legislature’s heroic work in passing a bill to protect Virginia citizens from having microchips planted in their bodies against their will. And that the sponsor said he was concerned the chips could be a “mark of the beast” that would be used by the Antichrist at the end of days.
Confederate History Month was promoted by former Gov. George Allen, who was fond of Confederate flag-décor and suffered from a sense of history so imperfect that he did not discover his mother was half-Jewish until he was 54. Allen’s proclamation celebrated the Civil War as “a four-year struggle for independence, sovereign rights and local government control,” with such cheer that you would really think the fight was all about zoning.
And I also enjoyed some of the readers' comments:
Don't worry, Southern deniers. We Northerners will take care of remembering the slavery. The only part of Confederate history you people need to remember is the unconditional surrender.
I don't care if the South keeps rising again, as long as it keeps losing.
The media and the South have tried to turn their justified loss into something heroic. It wasn't. It was the wealthy elite trying to preserve their slave-built privileges by misleading the common citizens and sending them to their death. Yes, those in the South who fought had courage. When we honor the Confederacy, however, we do not honor them. That's a deceit the South is now trying to peddle. Actually, we are tricked into honoring the foul stench of the of the slave-owning South and all its accompanying brutality, barbarity and inhumanity.
Although the Confederacy lost the war, it's always perplexed me as to why US military bases throughout the region are named after CSA generals, who were essentially traitors to their country. I guess that doesn't register with certain "patriots." Imagine their reaction if our post-WWII bases in Germany were called Fort Rommel or Fort Guderian...
When I lived in Virginia (and later, in North Carolina), it never failed to amaze me that people still flew Confederate battle flags on their porches and in their yards. They seemed at best to be celebrating the fact that they're losers, but at worst, they were giving a defiant finger to the rest of us who have moved on. The flag wavers are not classy folks, but down and outers resentful of their station in life and jealous of people whom they consider more fortunate. Their low self-esteem prints itself out as insolence, ignorance and blantant disregard for their fellow citizens.
I always thought that the real confederate flag was the white one that every southerner was waving at the end of the civil war.
Fighting to preserve slavery was morally equivalent to fighting to preserve pedophilia. (Which slavery often was.) Just because you choose to fight and die for a wicked cause doesn't glorify that cause. It simply points out the stupidity or moral corruption of the fighter. Just because great-great-granddaddy did it doesn't make it right.
As bad as it is to "forget" slavery, or gloss over it, the real objection to "celebrating" the Civil War is forgetting it was a civil war...the South declared war on the United States of America! Some patriots! Thousands of Americans, from the North and South, were killed as a result, including, sadly, President Abraham Lincoln. What is there to celebrate?
You can always count on a Libertarian to defend something on economic grounds:
Of course, in today's consciousness none can defend the institution of slavery, yet uncompensated emancipation of all slaves would have amounted to financial suicide for the southern economy and individual owners who had invested the equivalent of $200,000 per individual.
But for a true representation of the Confederacy lovers there's this cretin from South Carolina:
Notwithstanding the injustices of American slavery, it is hard to get your head around the idea that the best thing that ever happened to current day Afro-Americans was for their relatives to have been slaves in this country.
Or even better, how about Huey Gunner from Leichtfield KS
Your ancestors were rabid slavery abolitionists who assaulted the civilian population of The South for decades until The South became fed up and left The Union.
There is NOTHING that displays the through-the-looking-glass insanity of these freaks better than that.