Song of the South Revisited

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Wise One
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Re: Song of the South Revisited

Postby Wise One » 2011 Sep 26 11:59

historyforall wrote:I really don't want to live in a nation where the US flag is not flying ... The Board of Directors at Goshen College has decided the national anthem will not be played before athletic events.

I don't know their reasoning, but I've long thought this jingoistic practice plants a confusion in the minds of youth. Those who grow up as rabid right-wingers cannot distinguish between war and football, considering them both to be games with indistinguishable consequences. Many of George W. Shrub's pronouncements were infantile sports references, grotesquely applied to the serious business of war and international relations.

So I'd be thrilled to see the god and country stuff dropped from sports contests and from local Council meetings. Save it for when it really counts. It's like gutter-speak, wasting perfectly good four letter words in everyday use so that when you need impact they no longer work.

:coffee:
"If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like Donald Trump."

whatever

Re: Song of the South Revisited

Postby whatever » 2011 Sep 27 09:01

does anyone know that the reason of the civil war? NOT SLAVERY! why is that blacks can do just about anything they want and it's ok...let a white do/say something and it's RACIST!!! just like the c-flag, it's OURS!!!! care about your heritage so much then why are all those countries "3rd world", so go back and 'help' them. besides, slavery satarted in, you guessed it, africa!! sold their own people centuries before coming to US. check your history. :salut: . we have OUR heritage as well and it's NOT ok to fly a flag? don't care what any of you say for or against this...it's the way it is!! :beatdead:

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Amy Probenski
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Re: Song of the South Revisited

Postby Amy Probenski » 2011 Sep 27 10:53

It is a startling leap from reality to deny that slavery was an important issue among those that sparked that conflict. And you sound like poor little Sarah, rushing to embrace faux victim-hood.

But in this radical conservative era there's a lot of reality-denying going on.

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Coondog
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Re: Song of the South Revisited

Postby Coondog » 2011 Sep 27 17:12

Well, the way I read it, Slavery WAS a central issue at the time. It was a moral and an economic one and it was used by one side or the other to leverage a number of issues most of which revert back, or carry foreward as it were, to the continuing question over the appropriate role and power of the central government as opposed to the states.

Then, as now, the opponents chose to focus on and react to issues on an argumentative and combative basis rather than on a problem solving one.

I think we can agree that slavery, regardless of it's influence on the volitility of the times, was not the reason most people fought in the war.

It bothers me that so many people today of one measure or another fail to accept that the matter of Union vs States rights is a settled issue. It's like the Hotel California. You can check out any time you like....but you can never leave. Or........the Mafia! But, as in all other such matters, the victors get to rewrite history any way they like.

Which brings me to what else bothers me........this idea that that the Civil War was fought over Slavery. And.....more importantly, that all those who fought in the war did so because they either sought to abolish or retain the practice. It's a convenient way to demonize the South, it's motivations and the people involved. While this is somewhat typical and understandable in the wake of such carnage, it simply undermines understanding of a complex situation and prevents any likelyhood that anyone will learn anything from the circumstances.

Which may explain City Council's ignorance in banning flags from poles which is almost as silly a notion as believing that the South will rise again.

Since we're not likely to prosper on the intellectual capacity of our elected leaders, we should at least take economic advantage of the one thing we have in abundance. Dead confederate generals. A smart municipality would be hawking confederate flags on every street corner, bending over backwards to accomodate those who still think they're fighting the war and encouraging those others long removed from the events in question to direct their capacity to be offended in a less economically destructive direction!

Coondog :surrend:

Give the people what they want!
-PT Barnum's Dawg

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Amy Probenski
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Re: Song of the South Revisited

Postby Amy Probenski » 2011 Sep 27 18:20

That's an interesting wrinkle, coodog. After reading your stuff I think this was the reality:
  • An important reason for the war, among the few wealthy and politically powerful, was slavery which had attained importance for them as an economic resource to be exploited and a cultural fixture to be defended. Many of these people were slave owners.
  • Mostly other circumstances motivated the many poor and powerless to allow themselves to get chewed up as cannon fodder during the war, among which were compulsion, the hapless patriotism of those exploited to die for the powerful, and genuine desire to protect friends, family and property. Few of these people were slave owners.

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historyforall
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Re: Song of the South Revisited

Postby historyforall » 2011 Sep 28 10:21

Well stated.

Slavery of course is and will always be a central part of the war it can not be denied. It is the source of the division between the two sides. Economics is always the key to all our conflicts. Interestingly many of the big plantations were in debt to Northern banks. The war was seen as a great way to free themselves from that debt by becoming a new nation leaving the banks powerless to enforce the loans. Also of note is that many of the largest owners were themselves northern business man or investors. With the largest plantations having no or very few white people on them at all.

Another key issue is the fact that one way or another it was a pretty good chance that the nation was going to split at some time. An even bigger motivation to Southerners was the fact that a president was elected with little to no support on an entire region of the nation. This meant that the groundwork had been set and the political power of the south could be bypassed. This was a real concern for people. Add to this the idea that we did not think Nationally in the South as much as the North did.

Last as most in this area should know, it having been a very pro-union town before the war started, Lincolns call to arms was a very real . Not just that troops were going to march across the state to subdue another state but that all the things that come with large troop movements and the long arm of the federal govt would not have been favorable to Virginia. It was seen as a use of power that the federal government did not have.

With slavery there are many complex issues that are never addressed just an easy concept to say its wrong so the South must be wrong. Slavery still exist today in Africa, Asia and the middle east - some sex trade and some actually slave labor. There are groups today trying to stop it and bring attention to it but with very few results. If you are so enraged by the Confederate Flag and the concept of slavery. How involved are you in trying to stop it? What have you done to see it wiped out once and for all? That's about how many in the 19th century also cared.
I believe in the rights and freedoms of a person even when I don't support them on a moral or fundamental basis.

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Coondog
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Re: Song of the South Revisited

Postby Coondog » 2011 Dec 12 12:29

Any other ideas?

Well, we all know that those wreaths are oriented toward certain specific religious observations, whether it's the birth of a savior or the economic salvation of retailers. Now, must Hindus become boistriously offended over being omitted from this display of symbology or will the social sensitivities of Council intervene on it's own thus issuing a proclamation concerning the relative merits of flying a backwards swastika atop City light poles?

When petty ignorance prevails at the mewlings of feigned indignation from a few professional killjoys, the door is open for all manor of stupidity to come a'strolling in. Are we fortunate to be viewing this first hand lest we continue to abide political ineptitude in the future? Likely not!

We have colleges and tourist attractions and not much else when it comes to an economic base. City Council, it would seem, aspire tirelessly to assure that neither students nor tourists are to be accomodated within the environs of their sacred Shrine. Maintenance of the illusion of a Still Life takes precidence......with a few notable, priveleged exceptions.

All flags have "merit" for those found attracted to their symbolism. Even Hindus! Attempts to legislatively quash controversy only leads to more controversy.

Let us fly flags and revel in our diversity of opinions! :surrend:

Coondog

Citizens for Emotional Stability over Proclamations, Ordinances, Obsequiousness and Legislation (CESSPOOL)

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Uji
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Re: Song of the South Revisited

Postby Uji » 2011 Dec 12 14:43

coondog wrote:... the door is open for all manor of stupidity to come a'strolling in.

How about this bit of news: Delegate Terry Kilgore (R, 1st District) has just introduced legislation that would provide a tax credit of up to $8,000 for Virginians who want their cremated remains blasted into space on a rocket. Part of his party's no-millionaire-left-behind initiative, I guess.:craz:

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Wise One
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Re: Song of the South Revisited

Postby Wise One » 2011 Dec 12 16:19

That is priceless, Uji, yet another in a very long line of Republican solutions to problems that do not exist. Do we have a pressing national need to blast cremains into orbit? The question answers itself.

Other problems that simply do not exist, but which Republicans are determined to solve anyway, include:
  • Imminent re-imposition of the Fairness Doctrine by the FCC,
  • Rampant nation-wide burning of the US flag,
  • Imminent and harsh EPA regulations on dust generated on farms,
  • Widespread voter fraud,
  • Federal and State governments imposing Sharia law on all of us,
  • Hordes of evildoers planting Anchor Babies among us,
  • A foreign-born Muslim Communist masquerading as President of the United States.
But they are dead-on correct about one thing. It's a lot easier to solve fake problems than real ones.

:coffee:
"If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like Donald Trump."

Frank Strickler

Re: Song of the South Revisited

Postby Frank Strickler » 2011 Dec 31 21:05

I'd like to weigh in on this subject.

I respect the Confederate battle flag. It was nothing more than a way to identify troops at a distance. My Great Grandfather, James A. Strickler and one of his older brothers William L. Strickler were among the first to inlist in the First Rockbridge Artillery, and served with it all during the war. Another of the brothers Archibald Strickler served in the Second Rockbridge Artillery. He was captured at Petersburg. And I'm proud to be decended from a soldier who wore grey.

I hope someone will respond to these questions with some good answers.

#1 If the war was fought over slavery, what were five "Slave States" doing on the side of the north? (I'm includeing West Virgina as the 5th State.)

#2 Why did the "Emancipation Proclamation" only free the slaves that were in areas that were occupied by Confederate forces?

#3 Why wern't all the slaves, including those in northern "Slave States" freed until the 13th amendment?

It is my understanding that Virginia was going to stay out of the mater until they were ordered to raise troops to put down the so called "Rebellion"

Hoping to get some interesting answers.

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Uji
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Re: Song of the South Revisited

Postby Uji » 2012 Jan 04 16:37

Great questions, Mr. Strickler. :salut: I'm certainly no expert on all this, but I've been doing a lot of reading about it lately. I'm sure I've got some facts wrong (and feel free to correct me), but as I understand it, here are some possible answers to -- or discussion of -- your great questions:
Frank Strickler wrote:#1 If the war was fought over slavery, what were five "Slave States" doing on the side of the north? (I'm includeing West Virgina as the 5th State.)

Well, take Mrs. Lincoln herself... As a Todd, she was from a wealthy Kentucky family that owned slaves. She agreed with her husband who was elected on the platform of allowing slavery in the states that already had them, but not allowing them in any future state -- as opposed to the "true" abolitionists who wanted to ban slavery every where. Lincoln (and wife) thought that this would be a way of maintaining the union. Lincoln did NOT run on emancipating slaves -- yet many Southern states swore to secede if he were elected. Why? Because they would accept NO constraint on slavery. And they made good on their threat. Lincoln then faced the dissolution of the union -- and he still did not consider emancipating the slaves, but only "suppressing the rebellion". (And remember, it was Beauregard who fired the first shot on Jefferson Davis's behest. The stimulus was not anything to do with slavery, but the ships that Lincoln had sent merely to resupply Fort Sumter.)

So, Lincoln did not even threaten to emancipate slaves, only to forbid any further extension of slavery into the territories.

So, why did slavery states NOT secede? Well, the western part of Virginia provides the perfect answer: Sure they had slaves -- but on a small scale compared to the Piedmont and deep south. They were Scots-Irish small farmers too proud (and intelligent) to go to war in order to support the plantation oligarchy that was getting rich off slave labor; they were small farmers, herders, and small business men who wanted nothing to do with a war that was pushed on them by the monied plantation classes of the East. If Mississippi had bordered free states, we'd probably have two Mississippi's as well, North and South. The Northern Mississippians were, like the Western Virginians, Scots-Irish small farmers also, who wanted nothing to do with the war.
Frank Strickler wrote:#2 Why did the "Emancipation Proclamation" only free the slaves that were in areas that were occupied by Confederate forces?

Given that Lincoln was trying to preserve the Union as his first priority, even the "Emancipation Proclamation" itself was not primarily about freeing slaves, but defeating the "rebellion." Clearly, freeing the slaves in the rebelling states would not only disturb the "domestic tranquility" of the warring states, but appease the abolitionists of the North. Lincoln was still trying, first, to save the Union.
Frank Strickler wrote:#3 Why weren't all the slaves, including those in northern "Slave States" freed until the 13th amendment?

That's a simple one: this required an amendment to the Constitution. How could one amend the constitution (and consider that amendment valid) when half the states were in open rebellion? In fact, it was only after the South lost the war that the abolitionists had the political power for universal emancipation. (They had the votes of freed slaves in the former Confederacy as well.)
Frank Strickler wrote:It is my understanding that Virginia was going to stay out of the mater until they were ordered to raise troops to put down the so called "Rebellion"

I share your understanding. Virginians were meeting to decide the issue when Jefferson Davis forced their hand by starting the war without them! Once hostilities had started, Virginia had to chose sides. And they choose to reject Lincoln's compromise position (no emancipation but no more slave states) and seceded.

To say the war was only about slavery is, to my mind, an over simplification. But to claim that the South's reasons for seceding were not primarily a refusal to accept any limitation on slavery simply ignores the facts, at least as I know them. The Confederacy began rewriting the motivation for the war before the war even ended, and survives to today in the myth of the Great Lost Cause. But, from my reading, I find it impossible to credit the notion that secession was due to anything but refusal to accept any limitation on slave labor.

I might add that though I've lived and worked in Virginia for the last 40 years, I grew up in central Florida. I was born there because that's where my for-bearers moved after loosing everything to Sherman in 1865 -- because of a debt incurred by the plantation aristocracy but paid for by middle-class and poor. Interestingly, they lost everything again in the 1930s to a new batch of monied oligarchs; now, my family (like so many others) is trying to hold on to the middle class life that they have in the face of another disaster brought by the same "Haves."

Those were great questions, Mr. Strickler, and we can all learn a lot by trying to discuss them. I've tried to do that above. What follows is not directed at you or anyone else in particular...

So now I'm just gonna let off some steam about this flag business:
:hair:
GET OVER IT!
  • Slavery is a BAD idea.
  • Any society which is built upon it is a BAD society -- whatever else there might be to admire in it.
  • Any society that is willing to wage war not merely to maintain that society but to make sure that it can spread, unfettered, across a continent is not just BAD but INSANE.
  • And, finally, it is beyond my comprehension that anyone would want to fly the flag of such a society; but, for what it's worth, I think that it is one's constitutional right to do so. Just because I find it silly doesn't mean that I have a right to keep someone from doing so. So fly the flag -- any @#$% flag you want. The flying says more about the flier than the flag, anyway.
The advantage of re-fighting the Civil War over and over again, is it keeps your mind off the fact that the same monied classes are still picking your pockets, making you make up the loss, and then laughing all the way to the bank as, once again, you vote for their bought-and-payed-for representatives -- all from the "Party of Lincoln," to boot. Some irony, huh?

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Wise One
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Re: Song of the South Revisited

Postby Wise One » 2012 Jan 04 17:39

:clap:
"If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like Donald Trump."

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Coondog
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Re: Song of the South Revisited

Postby Coondog » 2012 Jan 05 17:30

Yep, that covers most of it! We might have heard more concerning the ramification of that "no more slave states" with regard to western expansion and territories and statehood or the additional economic conflict between an industrialized north and an agricultural South as relates to the balance of power in Washington DC............but that would be more in the realm re-fighting the Civil War.......and who wants that whos not the Governor of Texas?

Were having enough trouble with the re-fighting of the 2008 election. Three years of that has just about freyed the hairs on my tail.

BTW According to a recent study, The collective IQ of everybody not actively seeking the republican nomination for president dropped 5% when Michelle Bachmann dropped out. The collective IQ of those still running didn't change a bit.

This may or may not represent a factual statement.

Coondog

Maybe we need a new flag! :surrend:

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Uji
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Re: Song of the South Revisited

Postby Uji » 2012 Jan 06 11:04

:lol:

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Uji
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Re: Song of the South Revisited

Postby Uji » 2012 Jan 08 17:44

Just reached 1864 in my reading. The House (union) had just passed the 13th amendment, which was about to go to the Senate which didn't pass it until 1865.

Seems that in late 1864, while Grant was laying siege to Richmond/Petersburg, Lincoln met secretly with three delegates from the Confederacy. The meeting was on a ship at City Point near Richmond. The delegates included Vice President Stevens (of the Confederacy), a former chief justice of the (US) supreme court and another. Lincoln offered the Confederacy direct reentry into the union. The slaves in the seceding states would remain free (due to the Emancipation Proclamation), but the owners would be paid compensation for them: Lincoln offered $400,000,000. The issue of slavery in the other states would be decided by the states (including those of the former Confederacy).

In other words, the South could walk right back into the union minus their slaves (for which they would be compensated) and immediately rejoin the Congress and have the opportunity to participate in the discussion and ratification -- or defeat -- of the 13th Amendment! The Southern delegates turned Lincoln down on the spot. Atlanta had just fallen, or was about to fall; Richmond was about to fall -- the war was over for all practical purposes. Yet, the Confederate delegation turned Lincoln down on the spot, didn't even bother to take the offer back to Richmond.

Not about slavery? The little guys of the South paid for the greed and "honor" of the slave-owning classes; and, to this day, they still buy the "noble cause" propaganda that was used to rally them to the task.

Sheer, unadulterated meadow muffin, if you ask me. (Of course, nobody is, so I'm outta here...)

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fangz1956
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Re: Song of the South Revisited

Postby fangz1956 » 2012 Jan 09 06:30

Don't run away Uji. I am thoroughly enjoying every bit of this. I would be interested in knowing exactly what you are reading.....it appears to be time well-spent.

What I can say about what you have shared so far is this: GREED: it'll get ya every time. I wonder sometimes why the "have-nots" of the Confederacy didn't ultimately turn on the ruling Southern aristocracy. I reckon they were too damn busy trying not to starve to death.

I do have a a question of pure curiosity. Is there in anything in your reading regarding the Home Guard in the Southern states?

Thanks....and keep sharing!

:salut:
Ever looked at someone and thought "the wheel is turning but the hamster is dead"?

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Coondog
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Re: Song of the South Revisited

Postby Coondog » 2012 Jan 09 12:08

I don't see how three people in a secret meeting come to represent the goals and aspirations of an entire half-nation.

As far as the North's "humanitarian" incentives go, we can well credit those by how the freed slaves were treated in the newly wedded union for the next 100 years.

Perhaps politics then, as now, was steeped in goat dung whereas one rants about jobs and the economny when all they really care about is abortion.

Coondog :hum:

What better use for the Stars and Bars than to serve as a reminder that we don't all think alike and that Americans come in many shapes and colours?

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Uji
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Re: Song of the South Revisited

Postby Uji » 2012 Jan 09 14:51

coondog wrote:What better use for the Stars and Bars than to serve as a reminder that we don't all think alike and that Americans come in many shapes and colours?

:clap:

("Colours"? A Brit coon dog? No way ...)

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Uji
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Re: Song of the South Revisited

Postby Uji » 2012 Jan 09 15:14

fangz1956 wrote:I would be interested in knowing exactly what you are reading... Is there in anything in your reading regarding the Home Guard in the Southern states?

Just been going through Shelby Foote's Civil War volumes one after the other. (http://www.amazon.com/Civil-War-Narrati ... 929&sr=8-1) Don't recall anything about the "Home Guard," but these books are long and detailed and I'm missing a lot. (Gore Vidal's "Lincoln" is a wonderful fictionalized account of 1860-65 from the perspective of Lincoln, his cabinet, and the conspirators at Mrs. Surratt's rooming house that finally assassinated him. It's not short, but it's sure quite a story.)

Some clarification of some of my rants below: I think that there is no question but that the average Confederate soldier thought he was fighting for home and hearth against an invasion of his homeland -- just as the average GI in Vietnam thought he was fighting to make the world safe from "com'nism." The question for me is whether or not the folks who started and maintained both of those wars (few of whom actually fought in them) started and maintained them for those reasons. Personally, I don't believe that they did. That doesn't mean that those who fought didn't do so for the noblest of reasons; but it does make their sacrifice that much more tragic.

"Cui bono," the lawyers ask -- "For whose benefit?" Not the ones who fought those "noble" causes -- nor the causes they fought for --, that's for sure. (Well, I guess it's not "for sure," but just my conviction -- at the moment, anyway. I'm open to alternative interpretations ... )

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historyforall
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Re: Song of the South Revisited

Postby historyforall » 2012 Jan 23 05:02

A big problem when reading history and knowing the outcome is shown in the Richmond "about to fall" comment. No one knew it would fall, it takes key officers at a shad bake and acoustic shadows to topple Richmond. Lincoln was always looking for a way to end the war, it is what makes him great and why almost every Southerner wished he had not been killed. Saying the South should have taken a deal when no one knew what was going to happen is like saying the Americans should have given up and become a part of England again when things got tough.

I have had the honor of reading a lot of soldiers diaries from both sides of the Civil War and some I found interesting are from Southerners in the trenches at Petersburg. They talked about having a dinner with turkey and the works (when they are suppose to be starving) they talk about spirits being high (when books talk about their misery) and they often comment on friends and comrades who have fallen or been wounded, but never do they talk about surrender.

What matters more the govt and its polocies or the soldiers that fought for what they felt was right?
Be glad we are only still fighting this war on paper (and the internet). If Lee had not been the man he was we would be fighting this war today, such as Ireland and other conquered nations do.

No one is saying forget about slavery or that is is not a major role in the war, but you can not take away peoples heros and the stories that have been passed down from those who fought and those who died. You can blame the South for a lot of racial problems but you better start talking about your own racial issues too. MLK talked about racism in the North being harder and more mentaly exauhsting, where in the South it was physical. in Chicago he said that he had never felt such racism in all the south then he did in that city.

This is where the frustrations come into play. I am bad because I was taught to be like Lee and Jackson to be the best person I could be. I was raised to show respect and not to judge. I was taught to question the govt's intention and that the US has a history of mistreatment of everyone but that the Nation itself was to be protected and honored. We are Northerners and Southerners and everything else but now I am the enemy, I am bad. How is that going to play on our younger generation? If this was going on when I was a stupid 13 and 14 yo I would have tried to live up to what everyone was telling me I was.
I believe in the rights and freedoms of a person even when I don't support them on a moral or fundamental basis.