Must-Reads

Some excellent reading for a  rainy Tuesday (at least that’s what it is  was here in Minnesotistan earlier today.)   Excellent reading for any kind of day, actually.  All emphases are mine.

from The Ghost of Bobby Lee by Ta-Nehisi Coates

What undergirds all of this alleged honoring of the Confederacy, is a kind of ancestor-worship that isn’t. The Lost Cause is necromancy–it summons the dead and enslaves them to the need of their vainglorious, self-styled descendants. Its greatest crime is how it denies, even in death, the humanity of the very people it claims to venerate. This isn’t about “honoring” the past–it’s about an inability to cope with the present.

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Those Americans loyal to legitimate governance proceed at peril to our nation if you dismiss these seditionists as one or two people.  In the last year, we have had everything from mass shootings by individuals who were schooled by right wing media celebrity books, to the assassination of an abortionist, to a tripling of threats on members of Congress, to two recent arrests for threats on the life of Nancy Pelosi and Senator Patty Murray, to two seditionists arrested in separate incidents in Texas for plotting explosions and killings to open threats of rebellion at Tea Party rallies by seditionists and elected official seditionists from Congress, to a recharged gun movement (including the open carrying of handguns), and so much more.

This isn’t a parlor game; it’s a nascent stage of sedition: the open and violent challenge to a legitimate government.

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From  Neo-Confederate History Month by Ed Kilgore

But as a white southerner old enough to remember the final years of Jim Crow, when every month was Confederate History Month, I have a better idea for McDonnell: Let’s have a Neo-Confederate History Month that draws attention to the endless commemorations of the Lost Cause that have wrought nearly as much damage as the Confederacy itself.
It would be immensely useful for Virginians and southerners generally to spend some time reflecting on the century or so of grinding poverty and cultural isolation that fidelity to the Romance in Gray earned for the entire region, regardless of race. Few Americans from any region know much about the actual history of Reconstruction, capped by the shameful consignment of African Americans to the tender mercies of their former masters, or about the systematic disenfranchisement of black citizens (and in some places, particularly McDonnell’s Virginia, of poor whites) that immediately followed.
A Neo-Confederate History Month could be thoroughly bipartisan. Republicans could enjoy greater exposure to the racism of such progressive icons as William Jennings Bryan and Woodrow Wilson, not to mention Democratic New Deal crusaders in the South like Mississippi’s Theodore Bilbo. The capture of the political machinery of Republican and Democratic parties in a number of states, inside and beyond the South, by the revived Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s, would be an interesting subject for further study as well.
Most of all, a Neo-Confederate History Month could remind us of the last great effusion of enthusiasm for Davis and Lee and Jackson and all the other avatars of the Confederacy: the white southern fight to maintain racial segregation in the 1950s and 1960s. That’s when “Dixie” was played as often as the national anthem at most white high school football games in the South; when Confederate regalia were attached to state flags across the region; and when the vast constitutional and political edifice of pre-secession agitprop was brought back to life in the last-ditch effort to make the Second Reconstruction fail like the first.
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