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Our South, our Confederate history, and by extension, our Confederate battle flag, have suffered for many years from the relentless hatchet job of false propaganda heaped upon them by the news media, the education system, and, of course, Hollywood and television.
It appears that they wish to drive a wedge between Southern Blacks and Whites, much as the carpetbaggers did after the War for Southern Independence and much as the Northern news media drove a wedge between the North and South before the War. It is important to remember that movies such as Roots and North and South are make-believe, fiction. In other words, they are not true, just like Uncle Tom’s Cabin, written before the War, was not true. One must wonder if the only reason such false propaganda is produced and promoted by the movie and television industry, is to make Blacks hate Whites, especially Southern Whites.
For example, the Confederate battle flag has no more to do with the Ku Klux Klan than the Christian cross which the Klan carries and burns or the flag of the United States that the Klan says the Pledge of Allegiance to, yet the news media and Hollywood constantly try to connect our Confederate flag to the Klan in their propaganda. However, the news media never ask preachers if they are Klan members, because they wear a cross around their necks or link the American Legion to the Klan because they carry the U.S. flag. It is time to put an end to this anti-Confederate bigotry. It is past time that the truth was told. Hitler’s tactic of “tell a big enough lie often enough and people will believe it” has been utilized to the fullest extent, to smear the Confederate States of America and her symbols such as the battle flag.
Fortunately, most people have not been deceived by such hate-mongering tactics, as is evidenced in a recent Louis Harris poll which shows that 92% of the Southern people, of all races, are not offended by our Confederate battle flag, and that 68% of Blacks nationwide are not offended. Unfortunately, a few too many have believed the lies about our Confederate battle flag, which has resulted in unjustified and horrible intolerance, bigotry, hatred, violence, and even murder. Today, I come before you to set the record straight, to refute the myths and false propaganda, and to remind you of the truth concerning our Confederate ancestors and history. It is my hope and fervent prayer that truth will replace fiction, that tolerance will replace intolerance, that peace will replace violence, that love will replace hate, and that unity will replace division. Our Lord Jesus said, “Know the truth and the truth will set you free” in this case, free from hate and intolerance of our Confederate symbols. I beg of you to the following information with an open mind and a Christian heart.
Is Slavery Racism?
The first lie that I will deal with here concerns slavery and its alleged link to racism. The lie is that only Blacks were slaves and thus have some special right to a “pity party” because their ancestors were slaves, and that anyone who owned slaves was a racist. This is not true.
The word “slave” is a transliteration of the Greek word slavos, which rightly applies only to White European Slavs from the countries of Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Slavonia, Russia, Poland, Hungary, and others. The Slavonic tribes are the root of all European White people. For a thousand years, so many millions of these White European Slavs were captured and sold as servants, that the word “slaves” became universally used for the word “servant” and was only later applied to Black servants. Every White person in America has ancestors who were slaves, including the Scots, British, French, and Germans. In the early colonies of America, Whites were regularly sold as permanent slaves. If it were justifiable, Whites would be much more justified in having a “chip on their shoulder” or a “pity party” because more of their ancestors were slaves and for a longer period of time. Almost all Blacks in the United States were under slavery for less than 100 years. Furthermore, only 5% of all Black slaves shipped by Black masters out of Africa ever came to the United States because most Black slaves were shipped to South America or the West Indies.
The White European Slavs, or slaves, were sold to Romans, Arabs, Germans, and even to Black African masters in northern Africa, particularly Egypt, Libya, and Ethiopia. Were these Black masters in Africa racists because they owned White European slaves? The Bible tells us that the Blacks of Egypt owned the oriental Jews as slaves for 400 years. Does that make Africans in Egypt racists? The Bible also tells us that Abraham, who is the father of the Jews, the Christians, and the Muslims, owned hundreds of slaves. God also required Abraham to circumcise those slaves that he bought with money, as well as those slaves who were home born. Moreover, Abraham’s slaves fought for him in a war with King Chedorlaomer to rescue his nephew Lot. In addition, Isaac, Jacob, Daniel, Job, Joseph, and David all owned slaves and even the Apostle Paul returned a White runaway slave to his Christian master in the book of Philemon.
My question is this: Is the anti-Southern news media, education system, and Hollywood calling these great men of God racists or evil or wicked because they owned hundreds of slaves? If not, then neither can they call Southerners like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Jefferson Davis racists because they owned slaves. What hypocrisy and bigotry to criticize only White Southerners or the Confederate States for owning slaves. Nearly every nation in the world owned slaves, especially the Black masters in Nigeria, where most American Blacks have their roots. Accordingly, if flags of nations that owned slaves are to be labeled as “racist,” then nearly all the flags in the world are “racist,” especially the African flag of Nigeria which dealt so overwhelmingly in the slave trade. Our ancestors in the Old South were fundamental Christians, which means they believed that the Bible, Old and New Testaments, was the Word of Almighty God, who does not change, and not the opinions of man. On the other hand, the Abolitionists from the North were humanists. They believed that God changed with the times and that the Bible was merely the opinions of men and not necessarily the Word of God. I shall quote to you a little of what God says in the Bible concerning slavery and thus what our ancestors in the Old South believed.
In the Old Testament, God said:
Both thy bondmen, and thy bondmaids, which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen that are round about you; of them shall ye buy bondmen and bondmaids. Moreover of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they beget in your land: and they shall be your possession. And ye shall take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them for a possession; they shall be your bondmen for ever: but over your brethren the children of Israel, ye shall not rule one over another with rigour (Leviticus 25:44-46). In the New Testament, God said through the Apostle Paul:
Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed. And they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren; but rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort. If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; he is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself (1 Timothy 6:1-5).
People who are bitter and hateful about slavery are obviously bitter and hateful against God and His Word, because they reject what God says and embrace what mere humans say concerning slavery. This humanistic thinking is what the Abolitionists embraced, while Southerners and most Northerners embraced what God said in the Bible. Their argument was and is not with the South, or the United States, but rather is with God. These people have made themselves out to be greater than God Himself, for they add to God’s Word when they call something evil that God obviously allows. This is what the humanistic Abolitionists did, teaching the doctrines of men as if they were the doctrines of God.
Slavery in the Old South
The second lie that I wish to address here is that slaves were mistreated in the Old South. Again, this is not true. In Colossians 4:1, the Apostle Paul wrote, “Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven.” To say that slaves were mistreated in the Old South is to say that the most Christian group of people in the entire world, the so-called “Bible Belt,” mistreated their servants and violated the commandments of Jesus their Lord. Anyone who says this is an accuser of the brethren of Jesus Christ, which is not a very good position to take. We in the South are offended by such false accusations. Just the opposite is true. In the Old South there were numerous laws that protected servants from abuse, just as there are laws today that protect wives or children from abuse. But just because a few men abuse their wives and children does not make marriage or having children a cruel and hateful endeavor. The same is true for slavery. Of course, there were masters who violated the law and mistreated their servants, such as Union General William T. Sherman, who owned a number of slaves before the War and who was constantly in court facing charges for abusing them. That is what the laws were for, to stop Yankees like Sherman from mistreating their slaves. The incidence of abuse, rape, broken homes, and murder are one-hundred times greater today in the housing projects than they every were on the slave plantations in the Old South.
The truth is, that nowhere on the face of the earth, in all of history, were servants better treated or better loved than they were in the Old South by White, Black, Hispanic, and Indian slave owners. Yes, even Bla ‘ eks and Indians owned slaves in the Old South. While 7% of Southern Whites owned slaves, 2% of free Blacks in the South owned slaves. For example, in 1860, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that around 10,000 free Blacks owned some 60,000 Black slaves. It was a Black slave master, named Anthony Johnson, who sued and won his case in a Virginia court in 1653 that changed temporary servitude into lifetime servitude. Thus, this Black slave owner established permanent slavery in Virginia. Moreover, when the Cherokee Indians were removed by the U.S. Government along the “Trail of Tears” out West, nearly 30% of the people removed were Black slaves of the Cherokees. Just as White European slaves were primitive, barbaric pagans who practices human sacrifice, incest, witchcraft, and idolatry, yet were converted to Christianity, learned trades and skills and became a civilized people under Black, Oriental, and White masters, so also did Black African barbaric pagans become civilized Christians with skills and trades under slavery in the Old South. Slavery was a family institution in the Old South, just as is stated in Galatians 4:1: “Now I say, that the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all.” A typical family plantation had one family of Whites living next door to one family of Blacks. They had the same last name, worked in the same fields side by side, played together, prayed together, raised each other’s children, took care of each other in sickness, and all in all, loved one another, just like family. It was at these small family farms that Southern Blacks were taught about and converted to Christianity by the millions. It is to be sure that those converted Black Southerners are most grateful today, just as our White European ancestors are grateful for their conversion to Christianity while slaves to Black masters in northern Africa, such as the Black Coptic Christians in Egypt, one of the oldest Christian groups in the world. Remember, it was not from Yankees that the Southern Blacks learned about Jesus Christ; for the most part, it was from Southern slave owners.
It was here, on the family plantation, that Blacks learned trades and skills such as farming saw milling, carpentry, and even driving steamboats and railroad trains. Even the Abolitionist Yankee government’s Department of Education admitted in 1892, after the total failure of the “Reconstruction Experiment,” that the best technical education that the world had ever seen was the education that was given to the slaves by their masters before their emancipation.
It should also be remembered that the Blacks from Nigeria, the most populous region in Africa, were not civilized and not Christian, practicing voodoo, cannibalism, and witchcraft, just as the White Europeans did. These Blacks were captured in tribal wars by other Blacks in Nigeria. White people did not run through the jungles of Africa kidnapping Blacks and making them slaves. Black Africans captured and sold other Blacks as slaves; they were already slaves before they ever set foot on a Spanish, Portuguese, English, or New England Yankee slave ship. Such ships stayed anchored off shore for fear of jungle diseases and the slaves were rowed out in long boats by Africans and put on board. Many of these slaves were already riddled with disease and half-starved.
All slave ships from the United States sailed from the Northern states of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, and Delaware under the United States flag. Not one Southern ship sailed to Africa to bring back slaves. This slave trading was the big business of the rich New England Yankees. They traded rum made in Northern factories to Black African slave owners for their slaves and then traded most of the slaves to South America or the West Indies for molasses, and then manufactured the molasses into rum and made another trip. Only 5% of the African slaves ever reached the United States, and with rare exception, the life of a slave in the United States was ten times better than his life had been as a slave in Africa.
The War Was Not Fought Over Slavery
The third lie is that the War for Southern Independence (or as the U.S. Congress officially declared it to be — The War Between the States; it was not a “civil war”) was fought over slavery, with the North fighting to free Southern slaves and the South fighting to keep her slaves. This is, of course, not true.
First of all, all thirteen original states which seceded from England in 1776 and which formed the United States of America, from Maine (a part of Massachusetts at that time) to Georgia, owned slaves. Was the First American Revolution fought over slaver? If not, then neither was the Second American Revolution fought over slavery when the Southern states withdrew from the Union and formed the Confederate States of America. Is the Fourth of July a racist holiday because all thirteen original colonies had slaves? If not, then neither are our Confederate holidays. Is the U.S. flag a racist flag because all thirteen original states had slaves? If not, then neither is the Confederate battle flag a racist flag — or do these intolerant individuals and the news media advocate taking down the U.S. flag as well? If they do, then they will need to take down nearly every national flag in the world, starting with the flag of Nigeria in Africa. What blatant bigotry to call the Confederate flag racist!
During the War for Southern Independence, many in the North also had slaves, but refused to free their slaves until after the War. People in Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, Missouri, West Virginia, and even Washington, D.C., owned slaves; these states never seceded and were under the control of the United States throughout the course of the entire War. However, they were not required to free their slaves by the U.S. government. The U.S. Congress in 1862 even refused to pass a constitutional amendment abolishing slavery, when the only Senators and Representatives in Congress were from the North (all Southerners had left Congress to form their own nation). How could the North be fighting the War to free Southern slaves when they would not free their own, such as Ulysses S. Grant’s personal slave or Abraham Lincoln’s father-in-law’s slaves? What hypocrisy! Even worse, Lincoln and the U.S. Congress offered to pass a constitutional amendment for the South, guaranteeing permanent slavery forever in the slave states, if only the Southern states would return to the Union. The South refused the offer.
Northern slaves were even exempt from Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. Furthermore, captured Southern slaves on the Mississippi River were forced to work on the plantations as slaves for the United States Army, growing cotton for Northern factories, rather than being set free. Also, during the War, just as many Union soldiers owned slaves as Confederate soldiers. Is the U.S. flag a symbol of slavery because the North owned slaves during the War? If not, then neither is the Confederate battle flag a symbol of slavery. How could the War have been fought over slavery when both sides had slaves?
The War for Southern Independence was fought over local self-government by the South versus centralist government by the North; the centralist government won and the local self-government lost. The Confederate battle flag is the symbol of the right of the local people and the states to govern themselves and is flown in memory and honor of our Confederate ancestors and veterans who gave their lives for less government, less taxes, and Southern independence.
In his inaugural address of March 4, 1861, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln stated, “I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so.” Furthermore, Union General U.S. Grant said, “If I thought this war was to abolish slavery, I would resign my commission, and offer my sword to the other side.”
A war over slavery? Not hardly!
The Confederate States of America even offered to free all Southern slaves in return for independence; Lincoln refused the offer. The term “free state” meant free from Blacks. Northerners did not want to live with Blacks, slave or free, and many Northern states and territories actually passed laws prohibiting free Blacks from entering into them. Lincoln himself stated the opinion of the Northern people at during a meeting with a group of Black leaders during the War, saying, “There is unwillingness on the part of our people [Northern Whites] to live with you free colored people. Whether this is right or wrong, I am not prepared to discuss, but it is a fact with which we must deal. Therefore, I think it best for us to separate.” Acting upon this sentiment, Abraham Lincoln and the United States Congress purchased land, passed laws, and started shipping free Northern Blacks out of the country down to poverty-stricken Haiti. Lincoln put together several such schemes to remove free Blacks from the United States, to send some back to Africa and some to Central and South America. At the end of the War, a few weeks before Lincoln was assassinated, Union General Benjamin Butler asked him what he was going to do with all the recently free Southern Blacks. To this Lincoln replied, “I think we should deport them all.”
Meanwhile, down South, Confederate States President Jefferson Davis and his wife Varina were adopting an eight-year-old free Black orphan boy named Jim Limber. After his mother died, little Jim was placed with a free Black family as foster parents. However, this family badly mistreated him to such a degree that the news reached the ears of the President and Mrs. Davis, who, in the middle of the War, took the time and effort to intercede and rescue Jim from this child abuse. Little Jim’s wounds were doctored and he was welcomed into the Confederate White House as a member of the Davis family. President Davis himself went to court in Richmond and had free papers registered on Jim Limber, so he would always be free. Even when our President was on his way to prison for trying to obtain independence and self-government for the Southern people, he made arrangements and provided for Jim Limber’s future education and care. In the Old South it was not uncommon for Blacks to take in orphaned Whites or for Whites to take in orphaned Blacks. There was a relationship between Blacks and Whites that Northerners even today do not understand or appreciate.
The War for Southern Independence was fought over the right of the local people to govern themselves versus a centralist government by the few, the rich, and the powerful. The South wanted less government, less taxes, independence, and decisions made at the local level where the people have control. The North wanted more taxes, more government, and centralism, with a compulsory union at bayonet point and decisions made in Washington D.C. rather than by the local people. The South stood on the principles of the Southerner Thomas Jefferson, who in the Declaration of Independence, stated, “Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that, whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute a new government.” In other words, the people should control the government, not the government controlling the people. The North stood on the principles of the Northerner Alexander Hamilton, who believed that government should be ruled by an intellectual aristocracy, maintained by the enlightened self-interest of the wealthy rather than the common people, governing themselves. Northern Abolitionists such as William Lloyd Garrison burned the U.S. Constitution in the streets, calling it “a pact with the devil.” Lincoln likewise brutally violated nearly every article and amendment to the U.S. Constitution, throwing over 35,000 Northern Citizens in prison as political prisoners, including state legislators, without cause or trial, as well as, violently closing a dozen opposition newspapers and suppressing freedom of speech.
President Jefferson Davis and the Confederate States Congress never did such things. The Southern people took the U.S. Constitution with them when they voluntarily withdrew from the voluntary Union and brought forth upon this continent, a new nation, where the right of the local people to govern themselves was protected.
Just as with the War for American Independence of 1776, the War for Southern Independence of 1861 was fought over “taxation without representation.” The North was constantly trying to raise taxes on Southerners through high tariffs on imported goods, in order to protect the inefficient big businesses in the North which could not compete with manufactured goods from England and France with whom the South traded cotton. The South did not have factories and had to import most finished products.
The Industrial Revolution allowed England and France to produce and ship across the Atlantic products that were cheaper than the products Northern manufacturers, who refused to modernize, could produce with their White child labor- ten-year-old children working sixteen hours a day in “sweat shops” for mere pennies and sleeping in the streets. Slaves in the South were treated much better than child laborers in the North.
When the taxes on imports were rejected, rich big businessmen in the North were promised that, if elected, Lincoln would drastically raise the import tax. That is why the Southern states quickly began to escape from the tax net that Lincoln was spreading. Within Lincoln’s first month in office, the U.S. Congress had passed the Morrill Tariff, which was the highest import tax in U.S. history, more than doubling the import tax rate from 20% to 47%, which was enough to bankrupt many Southerners. This oppressive tax was what pushed Southern states to legally withdraw from the voluntary Union, not slavery.
Since the Southerners had escaped the tax by withdrawing from the Union, the only way the North could collect this oppressive tax was to invade the Confederate States and force them at gunpoint back into the Union. It was to collect this import tax to satisfy his Northern industrialist supporters that Abraham Lincoln invaded our South and not to free any slaves. Lincoln’s war cost the lives of 600,000 Americans.
When Lincoln invaded Charleston and then Virginia, all Southerners- Whites, Blacks, Hispanics, Indians, Orientals, Protestants, Catholics, Jews, rich and poor, male and female almost to a person rose up and volunteered their services in defense of the Confederate States of America because all were going to suffer from this horrible federal tax. Nowhere in the history of movements of independence and self-government have a people been so united in purpose and dedicated to the cause of Independence. No, not even in 1776 did the thirteen colonies receive such support and sacrifice by the people, and that war was fought over a 3% tax on tea!
My fellow Americans, the South was right! The Confederate battle flag represents all Southerners and even Northern Confederates from states such as Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, and others, who supported the South and who even tried to secede from the Union and form their own nation but whose efforts for freedom were crushed by Lincoln’s troops. Confederate Indians, Hispanics, Blacks, and Whites all received Confederate pensions after the War and attended Confederate veterans’ reunions together, year after year, and just as they had suffered and fought together during the War. The Confederate battle flag represents all Confederates, regardless of race or religion, and is the symbol of less government, less taxes, and the right of a people to govern themselves. It is flown in memory and honor of our Confederate ancestors and veterans who willingly shed their blood for Southern independence.