Right Wing Nuts Flying The Confederate Flag In The North Because ‘History’

Let’s get one thing straight. If you’re flying the Confederate flag in Michigan, you’re not a historian. You’re a racist.

I live in Michigan. For those who don’t know, Michigan is in the north. It’s a state that, between 1861 and 1865, sent thousands of troops to defend the United States of America – otherwise known as the Union, not the Confederacy. Nearly 15,000 Michigan soldiers lost their lives defending this country from the southern traitors who tried to divide it. Some of those union soldiers are my ancestors, and I am damn proud of them. They went to war not to defend their right to own and enslave other human beings, but to defend the rights of all human beings to live as free men.

Understanding American history, starting with the fact that the north won the Civil War, in no small part because of the 90,000 Michigan soldiers who fought the Confederate flag-waving traitors to the Union, I can assure you that no one flying that flag in this state is doing it because of “history.”

The only historical significance the Confederate flag has in this state is that it represents a group of racist, hateful traitors who got their asses handed to them during the Civil War.

All across this state are memorials to the Union soldiers who came from here, from Alger County to Wayne County, and everywhere in between. Our history is written on those memorials, with sentiments such as:

“Erected to the memory of our soldiers who fought for our union and liberty, 1861-1865. No nation ever had truer sons. In honor now they rest. Their marches, sieges and battles in distance. duration, resolution, and brilliancy of results dim the luster of the world’s past military achievements. Lincoln. Grant. Sherman. Sheridan. Thomas. Farragut. “God reigns and the government of Washington still lives.” “United we stand, divided we fall. The union forever.” “If any one attempts to haul down the American flag, shoot him on the spot.” “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.” “Let us have peace.” (Civil War Memorial, erected in 1893 at Bowman Memorial Park in Three Rivers, Michigan)

And:

To our fallen heroes, 1861-1865. [There follow the names of 101 Oceana County Civil War veterans.] In loving and grateful remembrance of valorous deeds on battlefield and sea, dedicates this tablet, as a lasting memorial, to the sons and citizens, who freely bared their breasts to shed their life blood, that liberty and the nation might endure, that oppression should fall and that human progress might advance. (Courthouse Square Civil War Monument in Hart, Michigan)

And in Muskegan County:

Not conquest but peace and a united people. To the soldiers and sailors who fought, and to all patriotic men and women who helped to preserve our nation in the War of the Rebellion.

Here in Michigan, you’ll find no statues dedicated to the Confederate Robert E. Lee, but you can visit the one-time home of Ulysses S. Grant, Union General and later president of the United States, which remains in the city of Detroit. You won’t find a single tribute to the traitor, Jefferson Davis in this state. Outside the state capital in Lansing, however, you’ll find the bronze statue of Austin Blair, governor of Michigan during the Civil War. You can read the words of our former governor on that statue, spoken to the state legislature in 1863:

“All the blood and carnage of this terrible War, all the heart-rending casualties of battle and the sad bereavements occasioned by them, have the same cause – Slavery. The greatest, vilest criminal of the world; it must perish.”

The Civil War was about slavery. A century and a half later there are still people repeating the same damn rhetoric; “The Civil War was about state’s rights.” What “state’s rights” were they talking about? The right to own slaves.

Here are some quotes from leaders of the southern states, just to quell any possible doubt.

Henry L. Benning, Georgia politician who later became a Confederate general, writing in the summer of 1849 to his fellow Georgian, Howell Cobb:

“First then, it is apparent, horribly apparent, that the slavery question rides insolently over every other everywhere — in fact that is the only question which in the least affects the results of the elections.” [Allan Nevins, The Fruits of Manifest Destiny pages 240-241.] Later in the same letter Benning says, “I think then, 1st, that the only safety of the South from abolition universal is to be found in an early dissolution of the Union.”

Stephan Dodson Ramseur, who would later become a Confederate general, writing to friend from West Point (where he was a cadet) following the 1856 election:

“…Slavery, the very source of our existence, the greatest blessing both for Master & Slave that could have been bestowed upon us.”

Albert Gallatin Brown, a U.S. Senator from Mississippi, speaking with regard to the several filibuster expeditions to Central America:

“I want Cuba . . . I want Tamaulipas, Potosi, and one or two other Mexican States; and I want them all for the same reason — for the planting and spreading of slavery.”

On December 27, 1860, Brown also said:

“Mr. President, it seems to me that northern Senators most pertinaciously overlook the main point at issue between the two sections of our Confederacy. We claim that there is property in slaves, and they deny it. Until we shall settle, upon some basis, that point of controversy, it is idle to talk of going any further.”

Lawrence Keitt, a Congressman from South Carolina, in a speech to the House on January 25, 1860:

“African slavery is the corner-stone of the industrial, social, and political fabric of the South; and whatever wars against it, wars against her very existence. Strike down the institution of African slavery and you reduce the South to depopulation and barbarism.” Later in the same speech he said, “The anti-slavery party contend that slavery is wrong in itself, and the Government is a consolidated national democracy. We of the South contend that slavery is right, and that this is a confederate Republic of sovereign States.”

There are thousands of similar quotes, from southern politicians, plantation owners, preachers, newspaper columnists, soldiers and ordinary citizens.

There’s no question about the racist origins of the Confederate flag and there’s no “other side of the story” when it comes to the Civil War. There’s one side of the story, and every historical document – from the Congressional record to newspaper and document archives confirms it.

So let me repeat, if you raise the Confederate flag on Michigan soil, you’re not raising it because of “history.” You’re raising it because you’re a racist. You’re raising it because because you’re too dumb and too hateful to be embarrassed by or ashamed of the history it represents.

*Featured image by eyeliam. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Flickr