Wednesday, April 14, 2010


The governor of Virginia has chosen April to honor all those who fought for the Confederate

States of America. The governor of Virginia has decided his state will officially honor all

Virginians who took up arms against their country in an attempt to overthrow the legitimately

elected government. The governor of Virginia, in his remarks honoring those who would have

destroyed this nation, totally failed to mention the issue of slavery or how the Virginians

wanted to end this experiment in democracy; simply saying that the month-long homage

would be good for tourism.

The Confederate States of America declared war on the United States. They said it was

a "holy war" which God had ordained and God would insure their victory. What do you think

the reaction would have been if the governor had declared a month honoring Osama bin Laden?

His too is a "holy war" which is aimed at destroying this nation; and he too is convinced Allah

is on his side. Too outlandish you say? Crazy! The analogy doesn't work, you cry! Typical

Yankee bleeding heart liberal reaction, you opine!

I listened to former Bush advisor and adopted Southerner, Mary Matalin, try to defend

the Virginia resolution. She talked about Southern culture and courage. She waxed eloquently

about all the Civil War battles which occurred in Virginia. She saw no harm in honoring

traitors bent on destroying this nation. Then she dropped the big one: "Few Southerners

owned slaves and this was never a war about slavery anyway."

This revisionist history has been repeated and spouted practically since the war ended,

but particularly as civil rights and voting rights became popular topics and as acceptance of

African-Americans entered the mainstream of American culture. The Civil War was about

state's rights. It was not about slavery. Lincoln would have gladly let the South keep its

slaves to preserve the Union. Slavery was not the overriding issue which caused the war.

It is a way for those who love the Confederacy and want to fly a rebel flag and paint Southern

soldiers as patriots; to be able to get around the fact that if the Confederacy had been

successful, then hundreds of thousands of African-American slaves would still be in chains.

Yes, Lincoln would have allowed the South to have slavery to preserve the Union. He didn't

believe he had the constitutional authority to end it. However, in his inaugural address and

other speeches Lincoln opposed any expansion of slavery into new states. His opposition to

the expansion of slavery is what caused the South to declare war. They knew the institution

of slavery was doomed if they could not expand it. (They were so desperate to preserve and

expand slavery that there were plans proposed to conquer Cuba and have armed forces sent

to try to subdue a Latin American nation so as to expand slavery into those locations.)

The Confederate States of America and their supporters were traitors. They came closer

to destroying this nation than bin Laden or any other terrorist ever will. As a result of their

treason, 500,000 Americans died (2,900 died on September 11th; 2,800 died at Pearl Harbor).

How do you declare a month to honor those whose stated purpose was to end this nation?

What is it that the governor of Virginia finds is worth honoring in their efforts? Is he sorry

they lost? Is he honoring them for all the Yankees they killed? When you honor the

Confederacy and its cause, do you also honor those Confederate sympathizers who

assassinated President Lincoln?

Imagine being an African-American living in Virginia. Imagine picking up the morning

paper and reading how the governor wants to spend the month of April honoring those who

may have enslaved your relatives and wanted to preserve slavery in your home. How would

you feel? What subtle message does this send about the governor and his party's values

where you, a person of color, are concerned?

The governor of Virginia took an oath to preserve the Constitution. It is the same

Constitution the Confederate States of America wanted to destroy. How do you square that


Former Republican Senator Trent Lott from Mississippi suggested that this

country would have been better off if a segregationist, Strom Thurmond, had been elected

president in 1948. Republicans in South Carolina and other Southern states defend flying

the Confederate flag. The Republicans used the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act,

supported by Democrats, to scare white voters into changing parties and turning the South

into a solid Republican block. Republicans led the opposition to a national holiday honoring

Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and now a Republican governor wants to honor the traitors who

tried to destroy this nation in order to preserve a system of human subjugation.

I have suggested more than once that this nation would have been better off today if

the South had been allowed to secede. Imagine a United States without Texas, Mississippi,

or Alabama. It is said with tongue firmly inserted in cheek, but it is interesting to imagine.

There is nothing glorious, courageous, or romantic in the attempt of some Americans

to destroy this country and preserve an institution as morally bankrupt as slavery. Perhaps

the only thing worse in 2010 is to have a white, regressive, and tone-deaf politician trying

to honor the effort. What do you think? I welcome your comments and rebuttals. Please

send them to


  1. Bernie, you are in the zone when you speak of things political! Missed YOUR presence and influence on the cure-a-thon & the Thanksgiving Charities on the station on the left coast...

  2. Upon witnessing the right become even more extreme and Fox news go wacko these last few months - I am truly beginning to be afraid.

    Once Obama gets voted out of office and the neo-fascists install another right wing president - it may be the final blow to our country.

    Remember - Germany in the early 30s was a thriving social society. Germans didn't have even an inkling of the coming evil and tyranny once the corporate loving fascists of their time
    took over.

    I think we are just starting to see real evil and hate rise up again - because the facts now are so distorted and falsehoods now stand for truths in this country. But the frightening part is that these falsehoods have real political clout and monetary backing - which means if carried out to the full extend - could be disastrous for many Americans and total loss of freedoms in the future.

  3. Bernie... thanks for the awesome post. I remember listening to you talk about the Civil War on your KGO radio program. I remember some of the loony clueless callers that you would educate and embarass at the same time. Take Care and Best Wishes Mr. Ward


  4. if anyone raises the battle flag the battle is on. I was at the Mississippi visitor center on 55 when the lady running it said, I hate lincoln. I was surprised and ask"what. I hate lincoln, all the people wanted to do was leave and you all came down here to murder and rape. i said it was my relative that murdered there relatives but that I agreed with her, they should have been allowed to leave. It would have ben meicans texicans and mississippicans, she became mift and I headed for the door