Out of Sight, Out of Mind – Whitewashing the Confederacy

by Oletta Branstiter

“New Orleans Begins Removing Confederate Monuments, Under Police Guard”

This. This is why bibliophiles and history buffs collect books. Because history can and is being rewritten.

While statues and other artifacts are disappearing, hidden away from the overly-sensitive eyes of the squeamish, all Americans should lament the blatant moves of revisionists to whitewash the Confederacy.

Why do some want to cleanse our history of the dramatic evidence of our Confederate era? Have we become like other tyrannical nations that humiliate the losers of their civil wars by destroying all vestiges of opposition?

First, they came for the Confederate flag. Could the U.S. flag be next? There are efforts to disparage the display of our Stars and Stripes, based on perceived interpretations.

Ironically, the very efforts to conceal and deny the historical narratives of those who rose up in defiance of our Federalist government may counteract the nefarious intentions of the Progressive movement.

Typically, repression of Truth eventually foments a volcanic effect, which we witnessed in the Nationalist movement that elected Donald Trump.

Suppressing our nation’s Confederate history is a regrettable mistake for Conservative reasons, as well.

  1. By removing and secreting away the monuments and other artifacts of the Civil War, the honorable, sacrificial lives of Southern rebels are intentionally devalued.
  2. Spontaneous opportunities to engage in meaningful dialogue about this historical period are lost.
  3. Perhaps most ironically, the elimination of evidence opposing Federalism weakens the arguments in its favor.

The Confederacy waged a literal war against our Federacy. By choosing to break away from the Constitution, the South was rebelling against the United States as a whole.

By denying the antithesis of our Federalism, we lose the lesson made best by contrast.

For this reason, among many others, memorabilia from the Civil War should be preserved and honored. Historical evidence gives us the valuable opportunity to ask, “What might have been?”

What if the Northern Union had lost the war? What if the abhorrent practice of slavery had been protected and even extended throughout more of our states?

Besides contributing to essential history lessons on the Civil War, these artifacts expand the opportunity to face the failures of the subsequent Reconstruction Era.

For example, the Compromise of 1877 set Civil Rights back a century because Southern Democrats could not and would not abandon their confederate sentiments.

According to History.com:

“allies of the Republican Party candidate Rutherford Hayes met in secret with moderate southern Democrats in order to negotiate acceptance of Hayes’ election. The Democrats agreed not to block Hayes’ victory on the condition that Republicans withdraw all federal troops from the South, thus consolidating Democratic control over the region. As a result of the so-called Compromise of 1877…Florida, Louisiana and South Carolina became Democratic once again, officially marking the end of the Reconstruction era.”

This was yet another example of the propensity of Republicans to compromise away any and all successes. This short-sighted concession resulted in the unbridled proliferation of retaliatory southern legislation to oppress newly-freed slaves and African-Americans until well into the middle of the 20th century!

Not unlike the purpose of Holocaust memorials, even the very worst historical artifacts MUST be preserved and readily accessed to prevent similar mistakes in the future. Our own failures must be memorialized as we vow to “never forget” them.

Please follow and like us:

Related Posts