PostHeaderIcon It is time to end both Racism and the Civil War

Like most of you, I was taught in school that the American Civil War ended in 1865. For years, I accepted this at face value. Only in the last few years, when retirement has afforded me the time to really study and think about the issue have I begun to realize that 1865 saw the end of organized military activity but not the real end of the war. Yes, the conflagration had been smothered down to a few glowing embers — but, those embers have continued to glow and are not yet past the point of re-igniting into a conflagration.

Most Americans think the Civil War was fought to preserve slavery. One some levels, this may even be true – even though fewer than 10% of the citizens of the Confederacy owned slaves at the time the war began. Others, myself included, think the war was actually the culmination of a contest between those who wanted to preserve the States Rights guaranteed by our Constitution and those who favored an all powerful federal government. The tragedy, for both the Confederacy and the Republic is that slavery was allowed to become the issue which brought the contest to the point of war. By allowing that to happen, the Confederacy guaranteed it would have little or no support from the civilized world because supporting the Confederacy became tantamount to supporting slavery.

Let us acknowledge several undisputed facts:
-Slavery did exist.
– Slavery is always wrong.
– Slavery does endless damage to both the slave and the master.

Let us also acknowledge that many of the slaveholders in the America of the mid 1800’s knew that slavery MUST end. The problem they had was that too much of what passed for “property” among these people was the supposed market value of salable human beings. And it is not the nature of most humans to voluntarily impoverish themselves.

Looking back, there were several approaches that might have ended slavery in a way that would let the country recover very quickly from its effects. The various levels of government might have set the slaves free by compensating the owners for their release. Or, once the Civil War was a certainty, the emancipation proclamation might have come from the president of the Confederacy rather than the president of the Union. Further, the Confederacy could have taken the advice of people like General Patrick Cleburne and armed the slaves in addition to merely freeing them, giving them a shared stake in the outcome of the war along with a chance to demonstrate their humanity. But, none of this happened and, at any rate, we can never really know what really lies down the path not taken.

So, we opted instead for a futile contest that did little more than cause endless damage and inflict wounds that, to this day, have not healed. And, we allowed that contest to end in a fashion that left most of the ex slaves in situations almost as bad as slavery itself. It is no wonder that racial animosity was one result of this bungled mess. Even so, things got better, albeit at a glacial rate of progress, until the 1960’s when many of the descendents of the freed slaves were cast back into a new kind of slavery. This time, they were not confined to plantations — instead, they were encouraged to migrate to inner-city ghettos, all over the country, and there placed in a state of dependence on the federal government that was (and still is) in its way, more viscous than plantation slavery. This time, rather than being used to produce cotton, sugar cane and rice, they are used to advance the power of the progressive movement. To help keep them “in their place”, they have been made to live in broken families in crime ridden neighborhoods and they have been intentionally convinced that there is little or nothing they personally can do to escape their plight. All they can do is take the handouts and cast the votes required to keep those handouts coming, somehow never seeming to realize that they are forever casting a “yes” vote for their own continued enslavement.

Fast forward to the current. Now we have what the Lie-Stream-Media never tires of telling us is the “first Black president”. Now we all know this is not really true. What we actually have is the first half Black/half White president who chooses to identify more with his Black half than his White half. OK, fine, that is his choice. The tragedy is that this president has turned out to be a severe disappointment to almost everyone in the nation — including me.

I am not so much disappointed in his policies. Appalled and alarmed, yes, but not disappointed because anyone who paid the slightest attention during the campaign knew what his policies would be. No, the major disappoint for me, and for myriad others, is the missed opportunity to begin the end of racism in America — to finally put out those glowing embers from the Civil War. But, to our collective dismay, exactly the opposite is happening. This administration is shaping up to be the most blatantly racist in the history of the Republic. What a tragedy for us all.

Worse yet, those near dead embers are being fanned back into life and, if we continue on our current path, could actually re-ignite into another round of Civil War.

Is this what we really want? If not, then why can’t “we the people” stand up for those things that we all know are right? Why can’t we focus on the many things that make us all the same rather than the few things that make us seem slightly different?

Whatever your political leanings, your race or your ethnicity, quit making excuses for what we all know are outright failure and incompetence coupled with criminal malfeasance. Demand better, before it is too late!

To my Black friends, I offer this final thought – you will know when you are truly free in America. That will be the day when you are as free to fail as any member of any other group and when the main reason for your failure is placed squarely in your own hands. If you find this offensive, I am sorry. I am not a racist. I actually want freedom and prosperity for everyone with no group being disadvantaged for the supposed benefit of another.

Troy L Robinson

6 Responses to “It is time to end both Racism and the Civil War”

  • Well said, Troy! Welcome aboard. I am going to have to subscribe to my own RSS! I had assumed that I would be notified of any new posts to the blog by another author…

    You have posted some really good stuff here that deserves some comment and discussion. My mind is buried in a project at the moment; but if you give me some time, I will reply to some of your provocative pieces. I just don’t have time for essays right now; but I will start posting quick links to and comments on newsworthy items I encounter elsewhere, to try to get readership up again so you can get discussion going on your ideas. â—„Daveâ–º

  • While the above ref to the civil war may be factual as to one of the reasons for the conflict, this should never negate the absolute fact that the issue of slavery & its underlying racist beliefs, was what this war’s primary reason for being was! In a new book, THE GOD DEFINED SELF (A LAYMAN”S PERSPECTIVE ON RACISM IN AMERICA), Author, Andre’ D. Davis, approaches this delicate subject w/ keen insight & advances some most thought provoking conclusions. He offers an urgent appeal to the powers that be, to use their financial resources & political influence to compel white America to come to the table of reconciliation. His treatment of the N word & his admonishment to white Americans regarding its use, shows a deep understanding of it true meaning & why black Americans take offence to white America’s use of it. A must read for all Americans, but especially for those in white America who believe the media perpetuated fears of angry, rich white men who imagine a black & brown reprisal. Read this book, then join the national discussion on racism & how you can be apart of the answer to its problem. Thank you. Sincerely, Andre’

    • Andre,
      Thanks for responding. Just knowing someone reads what I write is rewarding.

      I do not argue the point that, for some, slavery was the main point at issue in the Civil War. Nor do I deny that slavery was wrong — horribly wrong. I do, however, wish to remind you that, at the time of the War, less than 10% of the citizens of the Confederacy actually owned slaves – and some of these owners were Black. What were the other 90% fighting for (or against)??

      While I lack statistics to prove the point, I highly suspect that more animosity between the races was caused by things that happened AFTER the War than by slavery itself.

      But, my real point is this — today, in the United States, there are no plantation slave owners nor are there any plantation slaves. And, there have not been for quite some time. In addition, laws at both the federal and state levels have been instituted making officially sanctioned racism illegal.

      I submit that the biggest problems that remain are too often the work of what I call “professional racists”, people on both sides of the issue who derive power and wealth from continued racial strife. IT IS TIME FOR THIS TO END! And, you and I can help end it by refusing to give these people a platform or an audience

      I wish you well with your book.

  • Daedalus says:

    During the writing of the Constitution, slavery was a big issue. To get the majority slave owning states to ratify, slavery had to remain untouched even though many delegates were against it. This problem lingered on up to the Civil War. The “States Rights” arguments were a cover used to continue the barbaric practice. Ever since it has been difficult to advocate State Right issues because of the negative connotations derived from the practice of slavery. In fact the 14th amendment basically said the States had to play to the same rules as the Federal Government.

    • Dae, I make no effort to defend slavery. It was a once universally accepted practive that, at the time of the Civil War, was in its death throes in the United States. It is a lasting tragedy that we could not find a better way than war to finally kill the beast.

      However, to assume the States Rights issue was simply a cover for slavery is, IMHO, not exactly right. As I noted in my original entry, 90% of the citizens of the Confederacy did NOT own slaves. What were they fighting for?

      Then there are the notes of the founders, particularly in the Federalist Papers, where they discuss the issues encountered in gaining Constitutional ratification from the States. Most of the States, not just in the South, were very wary of giving too much of their sovereignty over to a central government. The 10th amendment, without which ratification would never have happened, bears this out.

      Yet, we are splitting hairs. We are where we are and the real question should be where do we go from here. My wish is that we take a path that finally ends the War and that quits promoting racism as a gainful business.

      Troy Robinson

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