Greetings all – The very first issue of the second volume of The Americanist Independent has hit the web! Aren’t you excited? I know I am… Why? Because I am hearing from all corners of the globe (which is really a ball and thus has no corners…but you know what I mean) that open access is the way to go and that my readers are really excited.
Anyway, this issue features a great piece by Saul Rollason on the origins of the Delta Blues in the slave and Reconstruction era South, an engaging look by Jared Frederick on the recent Confederate battle flag controversy in South Carolina, historical fiction author Gar LaSalle tells us how he goes about researching and bringing history alive in his novels, and finally, a review by yours truly on the Clint Eastwood war drama, American Sniper.
You can read the issue by clicking HERE
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And if you would like to catch up on the last two previous issues, click the links below:
Volume One, Issue Eight
Volume One, Issue Seven
They say it’s about heritage, they say it’s a soldiers’ flag, they say it’s about free speech. They are right. And from where I sit, no one with any sense is trying to deny the would-be Confederates any of this. While the flag came down from a government building – as it should – anyone who wants to wave it can, freely and without legal repercussions.
But these flag wavers are missing the point by a Confederate mile. Just yesterday – Rebel apologists staged a “rally” of sorts in Gettysburg and marched brandishing their banners along Baltimore Street and Steinwehr Avenue, in protest of the recent removal of the Battle Flag from the South Carolina Statehouse grounds.
They are trying so very very very hard to distance their ancestors from the Confederacy’s not so glorious past – or trying to deny altogether that their past lacks any glory. If you follow the comments on the Gettysburg Museum of History Facebook page (where I found this image above) you will note that flag supporters bring up the usual arguments. Most Confederates didn’t own slaves, soldiers fought to protect their homes, slavery existed in the United States, etc, etc.
Again – all true. Except that they are leaving out a fairly significant detail. Secession only happened to perpetuate oppression – to protect an institution that white southerners feared was in danger. The bid for Confederate independence – the Cause, if you like – was to ensure that slavery didn’t go anywhere. The ONLY way that one can deny this today is by ignoring the evidence, which apparently is a pretty fashionable thing to do among apologists.
Now, no one wants to associate their ancestors with a horrible thing, which is understandable. But all of you who are pointing fingers and accusing the “liberal agenda” (whatever that is) of erasing history might want to stop and consider this: like it or not – your ancestors who fought under that flag fought for oppression – no matter their individual reasons for enlisting. It was the national cause. Call it heritage if you must, but that is the fact. Just be sure to remember that little tidbit of history when you wave your flags.