The Muck Starts Here: We should have let the South secede

LidjLb95Tby Barry Hastings

An idiot who summers near me drives a big, noisy, older pickup, with all the trimmings, including a very large Confederate Battle Flag (still popular with red-necks and racist pigs).

He also flies the same rag on a pontoon boat. Some of us are trying to talk the owners into making him remove them (or himself) from the area. Apparently he thinks it’s pretty bold and cool. I think it’s pretty stupid. And him, as well.

Apparently the nitwit doesn’t realize almost 85,500 Michiganders served in the Union Army, or that nearly 15,000 died in combat, by disease, or through day-to-day accidents. Just about every cemetery in the state has some gravestones of soldiers of the Grand Army of the Republic, and I, for one, don’t think it’s appropriate that the confederacy rag should be flaunted in the faces of descendants of thoseLarry Hamp who died that all men could be free.

One hundred fifty years after the war ended, most people in most states of the defeated (pounded, trampled, crushed, whipped) confederacy still act like they won the war. And they started doing so before Lincoln’s body was in the cold, cold ground. They still cling to their hateful flrag, still work daily to keep “nigras,” “Chicanos,” progressive whites, from making changes in the way the south does public business.

I can almost visualize how the south would look today if, after kicking their backsides, and bringing in those who wanted to come north, we’d just closed the gates and said, “Good riddance! Don’t call us, and don’t think we’re going to do much to help you out, after you spit in the faces of the nation’s founders, and tried to grind the Constitution into the same earth containing men who lived and died to defend it, 1775-1865.”

Tobacco Road. Rich White Trash. Poor White Trash. Small Industry. Cotton Gins (no mills). People still livin’ on squirrels, bunnies, poke salad, and the past. We’d have done as well, or better, without them, and probably still could.

They were a sorry lot. After blacks began volunteering for the Union army (where, by the way, they made excellent, courageous and victorious soldiers), rebels began executing them in the field wherever and whenever they surrendered. Such action was slowed (but never stopped completely) when Grant, Sherman, Meade, Rosecrans, other Union general officers, decreed captured white confederates would be executed as well, on a man-for-man basis.

Well, even writing about the sad sacks turns my stomach. Let’s move on to something as bad, and completely alien to them — innocent human beings seeking freedom 150 years after Yankee soldiers and sailors bought and paid for it. . .  in blood.

Aren’t “Ministers of God” and Roman Catholic priests providing marriage service almost uniquely legal/secular and religious, acting under provision(s) of state or federal law? When churches begin opting-out of public service they oversee for the state, it’s time for them to start paying taxes. When they speak out against politicians and political platforms with assent of congregations, it’s time for them to start paying taxes.

And, I’m not hesitant to add, if Jesus reappeared on earth today, then took a few days to check things out, he’d be appalled. And not least by the (almost) countless multi-and-mega-million-dollar temples and tabernacles dotting the regional landscape (I thought I cleared this nest of snakes.”) This while millions world-wide starve; war rages, the helpless and homeless suffer, and die, or are enslaved. Hell, we have helpless, homeless, and starving (to say nothing of oppressed), right here in the United States of America.

The best idea of the French Revolution was the secular state. Absolutely no religious meddling in government or civil affairs. But, if you check America’s national and colonial experience against the facts, as we now understand them, of the more modern era, the nation has been saddled by ultra-patriot-conservative religious cranks in periodic swarms, like locusts, from the very beginning. Like Christians in Germany (Catholic and Protestant) in the last century, they gave the nod to much that was ugly.

Hey! How’s things going in Pakistan? Oh, the government just overturned death sentences of four men convicted for taking part in the mob-killing of a 27 year old woman. Hotbed of democracy. And a nuclear power. Scuzzballs. Our regional ally. (Pakistan is why we’re sucking up to India.)

Iran. Now we’re about to see if the President can “Get tough.” The words were the motto of Hastings High School football coach, John Clarey, from his first day coaching (August, 1952), ’til he died. A great motivator and teacher, he survived several years as prisoner of war in Japan. They pulled out all of his fingernails. If the President is tough as Coach was. . .  well, we’ll see.

Iraq. They may end in physical and political control of the fractured state, but the government’s existence will be guaranteed by others. And who knows by whom?


  • Barry, I don’t know if you’ve ever been south of the state line (I doubt it by your ignorant comments), but there are plenty of African-Americans all throughout the South that hold public office, own businesses, and work in many industries in the South and get along just fine. The indignation you display must be from your superior attitude that just because Lee surrendered at Appomatox the South should not be proud of their heritage of independence and defense from Northern agression. What were they suppose to do after the Union Army invaded Virginia? The Confederate battle flag is a historical fact and was the Confederate symbol for 4 years (1861-1865), but the U.S. stars and stripes flew over the South before and after while slavery existed in both the South and the North. Is the American flag also a symbol of slavery?
    It should be. I don’t feel that way, but by your reasoning, it should be. I don’t have a dog in this fight, but the South should be just as proud of their heritage as Northerners are of theirs. If the South would have won, we might have a much more genteel and happy nation than what we have now.

    • The confederate battle flag died with the surrender of the South in 1865 only to be resurrected a hundred years later as a defiant symbol of racists who decried desegregation and passage of The Civil Rights Act. Don’t try to pretend it’s some symbol of ‘southern heritage’. Every time one of those flags is flown it should be displayed along side of the white flag of surrender. When I see some ignorant fool displaying it I can’t help but think “Fly it high you treasonous bastards! We kicked your asses 150 years ago, and we can do it again!!”

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