Celebrating Secession With Republican Leadership

Many on the right like to toss around the term “patriot” and stake claim to the idea that it is their vision of this country that is truly “patriotic.”  So we should expect then a significant amount of disdain toward groups or people who celebrate efforts, either historical or contemporary, to unwind the fabric of our nation.

Yeah right.

Instead, as we mark the 150 year anniversary of the Civil War the right is once again celebrating secession and applauding the old Confederacy.  This celebration of national dis-union includes a “secession ball” in the former slave port of Charleston which will be replicated on a smaller scale in other cities.  Montgomery, Alabama plans a parade, and there will even be a mock swearing-in of Jefferson Davis as president of the Confederacy.

And, as to be expected, all of this joyous celebration of the Old South neglects to mention the role slavery played in the Civil War.  Once again, the revisionists are on the march.

Make no mistake about it, slavery, and the South’s desire (and economic need in many regards) to keep the practice alive was the reason for secession.  The Sons of Confederacy claim they want to celebrate “state’s rights” in these events, but the only issue of “state’s rights” that drove the secession debate was the right to buy and sell human beings as chattel.    This of course has evolved somewhat to the right to discriminate against citizens on the basis of race, gender, national origin, sexuality, and other non-mutable characteristics.

Some might believe that getting outraged over the “secession ball” and similar celebrations is simply a waste of time, that these events represent a small and fringe element of the right.  But when incoming House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA)  suggests he’d support a constitutional amendment that would allow states to nullify acts of Congress with a 2/3 vote (essentially returning this country to the days of the Articles of Confederation), I’d ask you to think again.

photo courtesy of pablo sanchez via Flickr


Martha Eberle
Martha Eberle5 years ago

There's just too much to say on this issue.
Thank god our union was saved.
If you're a patriot, you're not for secession.
I'm so sick of hearing that Dixie celebrations "are just honoring our soldiers and our history." -- right.

Dylan Thomas
Dylan Thomas6 years ago

Michael Cunningham says: The Republicans have been the proponents of Civil Rights for well over 100 years!

name one battle for civil rights in the past 100 years that the republican party was at the forefront of? aside of the small liberal wing of the republican party that was called the rockefeller republicans, the whole of the party bitterly opposed the civil rights acts and voting rights acts of the 1960's. that liberal wing no longer exists in the republican party. the last liberal repub was john anderson and he left the party in 1976.
after the loss of barry goldwater in 1964 the republican party adopted it's southern strategy where they exploited the racism of the south and the animosity they held over the end to jim crow and the desegregation of the south. that strategy continues to this day adding hatred of gays and latino's to the list.
again i ask, name one civil rights battle that the republican party were the proponents of in the past 100 years.

Rebecah B.
Rebecah B.6 years ago

For those of you who have never been to the South, I am an Alabamian and I do not know ONE PERSON that thinks owning another human being is right. NOT ONE. Are we clear? I AM FROM ALABAMA AND NEITHER I NOR MY FAMILY WANT TO START ANOTHER CIVIL WAR. WE THINK SLAVERY IS DISGUSTING AND WRONG. So for anyone who has never visited the South and is reading these stereotypical posts, listen to ME not THEM. Yes the South has a lot of racism, anywhere in America does. Yes some people have Confederate flag bumper stickers, but there are plenty of other lovely bumper stickers, too.

Rebecah B.
Rebecah B.6 years ago

As an Alabamian, I do not feel any Southern hatred from this article whatsoever! Personally, I laugh at those people still struggling to celebrate the Confederacy. However, I DO feel an overwhelming amount of Southern hatred from these posts.

Rebecah B.
Rebecah B.6 years ago

Marylyn L., could you stop stereotyping Southerners, please? You know, lumping us all into one group with one frame of mind and one opinion? And please stop referencing to us as "they, they, those people, they"....Do you use that kind of language when refering to all minorities? I should hope not. I could never judge a group based on a fringe-element. My Southern parents taught me better than that.

Ronald Ellsworth
Ronald E.6 years ago

Give me patience.

Michael Cunningham

Seems to me that the sole purpose of the article and many of the commentators is to find a cause that can be used to further demonize the opposition.

Problem is that demonizes half the population as well!

James S.
James S.6 years ago

Cantor is just being a sly dog--he knows a state initiative that essentially re-asserts Nullification (shot down definitively in the 1830's by Andrew Jackson over John C. Calhoun, and it was about tariffs, not slavery) has no chance in the courts.
I was born in a border state that had slaves, grew up in the capital of the Confederacy, lived a long time in the Northeast, and now live in the Southwest. I have no territorial bias in saying that anything celebrating slavery or secession is very close to celebrating Nazism and should be denounced always (though they have a constitutional right to be a--holes). And that goes for you, Rick Perry, too!

Michael Cunningham

"States rights will be the downfall of our democracy if we all don't start getting our priorities straight, and soon."

You do realize that "States Rights" are part of the Constitution!?

Michael Cunningham

"Michael; SHOW me that limit in the language of the Article."

Article V
...on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments,...

In the language the convention is set for the purpose of proposing amendments. These would be part of the petition for the Convention and therefore the limit of the power of the Convention. Since the Convention has these limits it would be restricted from going beyond that. Further it would take more than this clause to rewrite the Constitution, as said Convention has only the power to amend.