Why We Should Honor and Protect Our Confederate Monuments

Why We Should Honor and Protect Our Confederate Monuments

IMG_1382.JPG

In American society, we live in an age where all information is literally at our fingertips. We have the technology to be the smartest generation of humans in history, but we fail to take advantage of that. We research a tidbit of information, get an instant answer and that’s the answer we stick with forever. We are unwavering in our opinions once they are made. But what if our opinions are based off of flawed information from the beginning? This is where we, as Americans, get lazy. The biggest example in our society today is our intentional ignorance over the Confederate States of America and the American Civil War. We should be honoring our Confederate statues in the way we honor our American flag.

Okay, okay, okay. Give me a chance to explain before I get shouted down about the evilness of slavery. Let me start this by saying YES, SLAVERY IS EVIL. I live in 2017 and I have awareness of the issue and the immorality of holding other human beings as property. Is it really fair for me to use my 2017 awareness to judge someone who lived more than a century and a half ago? They didn’t have the internet. Most of them didn’t even have an education. Things were different back then and so were their senses of morality. Today, I look at a black man and I see a man who looks different from me. Had I been alive in 1860, I would have seen a highly evolved monkey that is able to learn English. I don’t say that as a racist statement, I say it as the perception back then. Even Abraham Lincoln himself, in the Lincoln Douglas debates, said that the black man would never be equal to the white man. He believed they were under-evolved creatures and not quite humans. Hell, even the abolitionists of the era saw them as a sort of pet. They were the SPCA of the time and argued against the cruelty of blacks in slavery. They didn’t even see them as equal human beings. It sounds horrible in 2017, but that was the level of ignorance in the 1800’s and we can’t change it.

Now that the mindset of the era is laid out, do you really think that people in the North would give up 600,000 white American lives to free the slaves? It would be like willing today to give that many lives to free dogs from a kill shelter. It wouldn’t happen. Then why is there this prevailing myth that the war was fought to free the slaves? The answer is very simple….the victor gets to write the history. Lincoln did a lot of evil things during that war, but that’s for another article on another day.

Before I find myself wandering down a rabbit hole, let me get more to the point. Why should we honor our Confederate monuments? The South did not secede over slavery. In March of 1861, the House of Representatives and the United States Senate had voted on and approved the 13th Amendment and sent it out to the states for ratification. Wait, the 13th Amendment freed the slaves! No, not the ORIGINAL 13th Amendment, the Corwin Amendment. The original 13th Amendment guaranteed slavery for the life of the United States:

No amendment of this Constitution, having for its object any interference within the States with the relations between their citizens and those described in second section of the first article of the Constitution as "all other persons," shall originate with any State that does not recognize that relation within its own limits, or shall be valid without the assent of every one of the States composing the Union.

Being passed by the entirety of Congress, all the Southern states had to do was ratify this amendment and slavery would have been guaranteed forever. Hell, we might even see slaves in this country today had this amendment been ratified. So why would the South secede in order to keep their slaves when all they had to do was sit tight and ratify this amendment? Makes no sense, right? Slavery was not in danger. Sure, some states used slavery as an argument for secession, but that was akin to “There are WMDs in Iraq.” It was used to fire up the base to make them think their rights were being taken from them. The reason they did this is that the truth would NOT have fired up the base because it never affected the base to begin with!

To put it simply and bluntly, the American Civil War was fought over taxation. The South depended on inexpensive labor (slaves), while the North was becoming unionized, which drove up wages and inflation. The South decided it would be cheaper to trade with England and France rather than the North because it was cheaper. This was severely damaging the economy in the North. In order to force the South to trade with the North instead of Europe, President Buchanan proposed the Morrill Tariff. This tax was placed on imports into the United States and placed the taxation rate at up to 47%. Could you imagine going to Walmart today and learning that the sales tax rate was now 47%? Could you afford to shop there? Of course not! The planters of the South were furious, and rightfully so. It was going to bankrupt many of them and the taxation was clearly oppressive. Abraham Lincoln, the candidate, supported the Morrill Tariff, so the South knew, if this man gets elected, they’re going to go broke. That is what caused the Southern states to secede in rapid succession. They could not afford to pay 47% on imports. The poor dirt farmer wouldn’t care because he only trades locally. How are you going to get that poor man to fight over an issue that doesn’t affect him in any way? Exactly. So let’s bring up a strawman, which is exactly what the South did with slavery.

Fort Sumter was an intentional act of war……by the North. By James Buchanan indirectly and by Abraham Lincoln directly. After the Southern states seceded, most US military posts were peacefully abandoned and the troops were given passage home. Not Fort Sumter. Why? Because Charleston was the largest port for trade for the South. Sumter guarded the harbor and could ensure that taxes were levied on incoming ships before they reached the shore. If the North abandoned it, they could no longer tax these ships. Lincoln even stated he would use force, if necessary, to enforce taxation in the South, even after secession. General P. T. Beauregard, one of the heroes recently taken down in New Orleans, begged the North to abandon the fort peacefully to avoid war, but any attempts to reinforce it would require force. Buchanan sent a ship named The Star of the West to Fort Sumter and disguised it as a provisions supply. Southern spies in the north correctly identified it as having reinforcing troops in her hold. As the ship approached Fort Sumter, the Confederate batteries fired upon her and forced her retreat. The attempt to reinforce the fort sparked the war. Lincoln got the war he needed in order to force the South to pay its taxes.

So, the next time someone tells you that the war was fought to free the slaves, you know you’re dealing with a lazy American who fails to take advantage of the world of information at their fingertips. Try to educate these people. Give them these two tidbits of information to search for themselves: Corwin Amendment and Morrill Tariff. If they are reasonably intelligent people, you might just get the truth across to them.

In summation, why should we honor our Confederate memorials? In reality, that was not a civil war. It was our Second War of Independence, only this one failed. The Morrill Tariff was our second Tea Party. Had the Confederacy succeeded, I seriously doubt we’d see the current ridiculousness of millions of genders and people walking around dressed as vaginas. There would be respect for elders and our women. We would have sensible laws that protected us instead of using us as a de facto tax source. We sure as hell wouldn’t have the mess that’s in DC. Thank you for reading and I hope you’ve gotten enough ammunition to fight the fight!

Pete Turner

The Colony, Texas