As Simple As Black and White: The GOP’s Secessionist Dream

It has been 150 years since the Confederacy of Southern States seceded from the United States of America starting the deadliest war in American history. It should be a time to reflect on the disastrous turn of events that ripped America apart with a view toward never taking that terrible path again, but instead, some southern states are celebrating secession with balls and celebrations. As if celebrating America’s darkest times wasn’t bad enough, new talk of secession and nullification signals a long standing hatred of the United States of America by racists in the south, and the hate is spreading across the country.

In South Carolina, the Secession Ball‘s organizers said the celebration had nothing to do with celebrating slavery. Instead, they claim the ball was honoring the Southern men who sacrificed their lives for their homes and vision of states’ rights. The organizers fail to mention that the states’ rights the South fought for was the right to continue keeping slaves and nothing more. It is true the Confederacy believed the Federal government had no right making laws the states had to follow, but the underlying feeling was that if the South didn’t like Federal laws abolishing slavery, they had the right to secede from the Union.

A Confederate scholar said on MSNBC’s Hardball that the Civil War was fought because Lincoln invaded the South and needed to be stopped. His argument is so obscenely twisted, that the idea of a sitting president invading his own country is insulting beyond belief.  But for people defending a war that championed enslavement of Black people, obscene lies are all they will ever have. After the war, writers and historians who were part of the Lost Cause movement claimed the war was not fought over slavery, which they characterized as a benign institution, but over states’ rights. Their attitude toward slavery is quite clear if they considered it a benign institution; an institution they would return to if they were allowed.

Ever since Barack Obama’s election as president, there have been veiled threats of secession by southern state governors and politicians in the guise of states’ rights over the Federal government. Governor Rick Perry (R) of Texas has floated the idea of secession because he thinks Washington doesn’t have the right to pass laws that Texas disapproves of. Perry said that, “There’s a lot of different scenarios. If Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, who knows what might come out of that? Texas is a very unique place, and we’re a pretty independent lot.” According to Perry, the legally elected representatives and president are thumbing their noses at the American people who elected them, and he mirrors the thinking of many racists and conservatives that Obama’s election is illegitimate.

In Virginia, attorney general Ken Cuccinelli (R) has given tacit approval to nullification that says states take precedent over federal law, thus nullifying federal law a state disagrees with. Cuccinelli made headlines for filing lawsuits challenging the legality of the Affordable Health Care act he claims the Federal government has no right enforcing. If that is the case, why hasn’t Cuccinelli attempted to nullify and ignore Federal laws requiring airlines to use licensed pilots, or refused Federal highway funds or National Guard troops during emergencies? Cuccinelli is like all Republicans in that he rejects Federal laws that he cannot personally benefit from.

The Constitution, Article VI, Clause 2, asserts that Federal laws supersede state laws and is appropriately called the Supremacy Clause. Constitution loving Republicans fail to recognize it because it forces them to follow anti-discrimination and civil rights laws that are contrary to their bigoted tendencies. During the civil rights struggles in the 1960s in Mississippi, white racists promised to arrest federal law enforcement officials who were sent to enforce desegregation of schools because they refused to recognize the Federal mandate to integrate.

It is disheartening that 150 years after the Civil War there is still a large part of America that is willing to break the country apart over issues that were settled in the courts and on the battlefield. The issue of a state’s right to ignore federal laws has been settled, and still, it seems that it is the South that cannot grasp the concept of the Supremacy clause or civil rights. As a son of the South and the American Revolution, it is depressing that the idea of a United States of America escapes many from the region that fought the British for independence. It is more disturbing that groups like the Tea Party from all the states feel justified in rebelling against the Federal government with encouragement from Republicans in positions of power and authority.

The recent midterm election brought more instances of politicians like Michelle Bachmann, Sharon Angle, Sarah Palin, and Rick Perry suggesting that citizens may need to arm themselves against the Federal government because they don’t like the laws coming out of Washington. It is no coincidence that many racist Americans and legislators are suggesting secession and armed insurrection since the election of Barack Obama. Although there has been enmity between conservatives and Democrats in the past, there have never been calls for secession or violence toward a legally elected President in recent memory, and there is only one reason; a Black man sitting in the Oval Office. Conservatives and Republicans’ rallying cry since Obama’s election has been to take the country back, and now with Southern States celebrating secession, it appears that the goal is to take the country back exactly 150 years; back to the Civil War and slavery.


17 Replies to “As Simple As Black and White: The GOP’s Secessionist Dream”

  1. The men whose sacrifices they are celebrating fought and died for an ignoble cause. There are a lot of reality-denying folks who gloss over the fact that secession was the direct result of the intention and desire to preserve slavery. These folks have no idea how foolish they look and sound for revisiting an aspect of America’s past that is best relegated to history books under the category of what most of us have progressed from. I suspect that many of this ball’s participants found the lifestyle of wealthy slaveholders charming, while showing a grotesque disregard for the wholesale violations of human rights that made it possible.

  2. Lincoln was elected in the fall of 1860. In January of 1861 the states began seceding. In March of 1861 Lincoln at his inauguration said that he had no intention of stopping slavery in the states that had it but he would not allow secession.
    by February 1861 the South had already created its new April 1861 for Sumter was fired on by the South and that was the beginning of the war. So anyone saying that the war started because Lincoln attacked is obviously a blatant liar.

    There is only one reason that the self and others would support the efforts of the South in the Civil War and the efforts of a tea party today and that is because of racism. We don’t need to look outside this country for our enemies who want to break us up, we need to look within and watch conservatives and their hate

  3. Another good analysis, Rmuse. The Republican depiction of history has barely anything to do with reality and this is as true as their spin on the Civil War as on the secular foundation of our country. The idea that slavery has nothing to do with the Civil War is easily disproved by simple appeal to the rhetoric of the period leading up to the war – it’s slavery this and slavery that. Even back to the Constitutional Convention we see the beginnings as the South worries about keeping its slaves. That’s a lot of slave talk for slaves not being an issue.

  4. “There is only one reason that the self ”

    There is only one reason that the South

    Sorry, extreme lack of coffee

  5. I saw that “guy” on Chris MAtthews’ show a couple of days ago – claimed he was in Nashville – Sons of Confederate Veterans, I believe. Well, Tennessee ALWAYS claims to be the “least southern of the Southern states” because they were the “last ones out and the first ones back in” during secession. ROFLMFAO, that is their “claim” of not being bigoted racists. The one thing I can say is that I am completely surprised at is that the TeaBagger Nation leader, Judson Phillips, is now being promoted as some sort of leader for the Teabaggers – he is HATED around Middle Tennessee and is a total disgrace to the legal profession. TEABAGGING did not take hold in Music City, USA, even with the Snowbilly Grifter writing on her hand and ole Judson salivating over her last winter. The are simply complete LIARS.

    We liberals here also managed to cause Alexander and Corker to flip-flop on the START Treaty – we totally blew up all their phone lines and email addys. It was great fun – we must INSURE that Check Into Cash Corker is NOT re-elected in 2012 — unfortunately we are stuck with Kamikaze Alexander until 2014.

  6. You know, I just don’t feel like getting all wrapped up in it today, but I find this just an uneducated statement:

    “There is only one reason that the self [sic] and others would support the efforts…………of a tea party today and that is because of racism.”

    Can you honestly provide any basis whatsoever at all for that statement? Other than personal dislike and disagreement with that group? They ALL have to be “racists”?

    “….arrogant elites whose undisguised contempt for the great unwashed prevents them from conceding a modicum of serious thought to those who dare oppose them.”

  7. Alexander used to be a moderate that I think could work with most anyone. Unfortunately since the tea party he has turned into a “I am scared of the tea party and I will turn my back on everyone” type of representative. I’m here in Knoxville and you do see quite a few Obama stickers still on cars

  8. Ah the krout arrogant elites again. Hilarious.

    Also, I see you left out the important parts of the paragraph you quote. Sorry you couldnt fit that in to allow for your agenda question.

  9. Shiva,

    I have lived in Middle Tennessee for ten years – and it is my understanding that Nashville and Knoxville are like night and day in liberal vs. conservative. The problem – in my view – is that so much of Tennessee is rural, unemployed and uneducated and therefore are viewers of Faux Noise and vote Rethug due to ignorance.

    POTUS is very popular in Nashville, but when you get into the rural areas — they are still the small-town simple-minded people who are skeered of any type of change and the more jobs that leave, the more afraid they become due to their lack of skills and and education. It is rather pathetic – the Great Flood caused my little burg to lose its two largest factories and the economy here has gotten so much worse than it was before — I do as much as I can to educate the ignorant, alas, often times it is like talking to a wall. They just want their jobs back and cannot see any further. The dropout rate and teen pregnancy rate is high as is the drug abuse/domestic violence ratio as shown weekly in the local newspaper.

    When I first moved here, I was under the mistaken assumption that Knoxville would be more like Austin, Texas, and was immediately corrected by those who attended university in Knoxville. Now, the law school grads, they are a different breed of East Tennessee.

  10. I have not seen any photos of the protesters outside the Secessionist Ball, but I hope they had reproductions of the old tin types showing black men who’s backs were little more than a solid mass of scar tissue.

    THAT is the reality of the ‘states rights’ they were fighting for. The ability to buy, sell and dehumanize another human being for the monetary advantage of those who owned them.

    And whether they want to admit it or not, there are plenty of good ol’ boys that would be just fine with doing the same thing today, for the same reasons, if they could get away with it.

  11. Shiva, if you answer any of his questions, he will dance around it and come back with another one. He never answered any of my questions about why he cares what we think and how it matters to him personally. I refuse to respond to him anymore.

    You have answered his questions, linked him with your sources and called him out and he still wants to play devils advocate. I think he gets a kick out of being troll guy.

  12. Thanks for the compliment! I think that only those who have self esteem issues have to say something like Krauthammer did with this quote. I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished with my life, especially since I had to do it after living under segregation for the first 18 years of my life. If that makes me arrogant and an elitist, so be it. I have zero animus toward any person because I’m confident in who/what I am. I triumphed in spite of those with a secessionist mindset and outdated attitudes about those whom they neither know, nor have much interaction with.

    God has blessed me and continues to bless me, so I don’t spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about the haters. It’s funny that you had to resort to a quote from Krauthammer to express a POV on this post. What do YOU think about the Secessionist Ball?

    No, I don’t think that all tea party members are racist, but I do think that they have some racists among them. I also believe that the racists in the tea party groups give the groups a bad name. It’s the responsibility of the members to kick these people out of their organizations. The crux of the matter is that it doesn’t matter to me whether they’re racists or not as long as they leave me alone. I’ve no interest in doing anything to harm them, and I expect the same from them. I’ve always been a live and let live kind of person.

    Have a Merry Christmas!!

  13. Craig, I know Hank(online of course) and the first thing I will say is that he is a good fellow on a personal basis. However he keeps quoting this krauthammer fellow who wont tell him that everything he says about libs can also be pointed at republicans. He refuses to see the lack of support for the unwashed masses that is rampant in the republican party every day. And it is rare he will stay on topic. This time he would have had a valid question had he left my statement whole. Other than that I would be proud to have him as a friend as long as he has good coffee

  14. I moved to Tn from Michigan around 10 years ago, trust me it was night and day. I had never run into illiteracy like this ever. And people who are so incredibly right wing, baptists who’s entire church thinks Obama is a muslim even to this day pushed from the pulpit. There are some truly cracked people here, but some really good ones too.

  15. Hank,

    For my own amusement, please identify where in the world you live.

    I am a born and bred Dallasite, lived in New Orleans for 8 years, lived in Oregon for three years, lived in New Mexico for 15 years, and now have lived in Tennessee for 10 years.

    This is ONLY about ignorance and racism – it is that PLAIN and OBVIOUSLY SIMPLE.

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