Wednesday, July 31, 2002
Heritage of Hate
According to this story in the Memphis Commercial Appeal, the Sons of Confederate Veterans are meeting and having elections in Memphis (beware: link comes with music). A particularly charged election is the one for "Commander of the Army of Northern Virginia". One candidate for that post, Kirk Lyons, has been identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a white supremicist. (Go to this link and scroll down to the heading "Lyons Gets a Licking".)
I know it's likely that these "Confederate" folks are going to talk up how they're all about "Southern heritage". They'll try to play their "states' rights" cards. But the fact remains that the right the states who seceeded from The Union were concerned about at the time was the right for their white citizens to own slaves.
While it's entirely appropriate to pay respsects and admiration to the individuals who fought for what they believed, even if viewed from this time (and by some at those times) what they believed was the horrible evil of slavery, this "Heritage, not Hate" mantra ought to be seen for the lie that it is. The heritage in question is one of hatred, of defilement of the better human spirit. It's a heritage of hate built on the shameful institution of slavery and dedicated to noxious racist propositions.