The Confederate battle flag was taken down on Friday outside South Carolina’s Statehouse, and barring another Civil War, it is never going up again.
This extensively publicized event was egged on by South Carolina’s nonwhite governess and greeted with high holy hosannas from those who haughtily claim to be on the right side of history. Down to their quivering livers, the general public understood that this sweepingly symbolic act was immediate retribution for the nine black churchgoers who were shot dead in Charleston, SC by a scrawny white loner with a bowl cut and a Rebel flag fetish. For those who hate all things Southern and white, this was a joyously orgasmic culmination topping off weeks of nonstop anti-Confederate hysteria.
Examples of such chest-pounding moral panicking included major corporate vendors banning the further sale of Confederate memorabilia, the City of Memphis voting to exhume Nathan Bedford Forrest’s corpse, the Dukes of Hazzard being pulled from TV syndication, and even calls to ban Gone With the Wind, which for most of my youth was the American public’s consensus choice for the greatest movie ever made.
All these broad-brush acts of historical erasure were intended to commemorate nine dead in Charleston”a tally which is, oh, only about 7,500 short of how many blacks kill one another every year in America.
Lost in the shuffle were the 300,000 or so white Southern males who died fighting under that Rebel flag. Their lives ceased to matter entirely.
Three hundred thousand corpses are staggeringly more than the nine who died in Charleston or the 3,445 American blacks who were lynched between 1882 and 1968. (And no one seems to mention the 1,297 whites that were lynched during that same period, most likely because they weren’t even aware of them.) Nor does that total include the fifty-thousand-plus Southern civilians who died as a direct result of that bloody conflict.
Every third Southern household lost a family member in the Civil War. And the overwhelming majority of white Southern households did not own a single slave. And still they’re not allowed to mourn their dead ancestors?
In order to serve a narrative dictated by the new status quo, the nine dead black churchgoers’ lives must be deemed far more important than the 300,000 dead Southern peckerwoods from the Civil War. That’s a swap of about 33,000 dead peckerwoods for every dead black Charleston churchgoer. Not a bad deal at all”at least if you aren’t a peckerwood.
One group’s suffering is being enshrined and sanctified, while the other group’s suffering is dismissed and erased. One group’s suffering is being honored at the other group’s expense. One group’s history is openly being shat upon to help enable the other group to feel good about its own less-than-glorious past. It’s almost like a postmortem “three-fifths rule,” but in this case, it’s more like a zero-fifths rule. Those dead Confederate bodies stop counting at all. Suddenly, through the magic of progressive algebra, 300,000 becomes zero.
Your history means nothing. Your history lost to our history. You are on the wrong side of history, and we are on the winning side of destiny. So shut up and get with the program, or we will roll right over your burial plot without planting daisies. Basically, they’re telling them what white settlers told the Injuns way back when. And what’s bitterly amusing is that they’re too blinded by their own toxic moralism to see it.
Even though many of them have never so much as placed one pinkie toe south of the Mason-Dixon Line, they will dictate to Southerners exactly what that flag meant and precisely how guilty they should feel about it. And they’ll refuse to see anything arrogant or bossy or triumphalist about it. And they will definitely fail to see how their moral disgust and sneering condescension isn’t all that different from how slaveowners acted toward those over whom they wielded power through superior force.
For the same reason”because the losers don’t write the story”you’re hardly ever reminded of the 50 million or so non-Jewish civilians who perished in WWII or the 100-plus million who died under communism. Their dead bodies aren’t nearly as important because their minds weren’t right. The idea persists that Southern whites and German citizens deserved to get killed because their little black hearts harbored unpardonable sentiments. Because of their beliefs they weren’t truly human, so all those bodies stacked up to the sun like pancakes are more like wildlife management than murder.
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