15 February 2009

Arrogance Is Blinding

It is quite revealing and enlightening to observe the various CW bloggers who seem to be on a constant mission to mock and ridicule Southern heritage and those who admire the heroic qualities of Lee, Jackson, and other iconic symbols of Confederate history. Their biased, non-thinking comments often accuse admirers of Lee & Jackson of "Lost Cause romanticism"; while they themselves have a love-fest over Abraham Lincoln and "Holy Cause romanticism" - all the time ignoring the same faults in Saint Abraham that they find so offensive in Southerners. Do they actually believe that no one notices their hypocrisy?

As I've stated before, Lincoln's views on race & slavery were, practically speaking, not that different from Robert E. Lee's & Stonewall Jackson's. I can only assume this worship of Lincoln fills some void in their lives or, perhaps it is required in certain academic circles. It is amazing to watch.

They couch their superfluous, self-absorbed (and boring) commentary in terms of "academic criticism." Funny. The only ones who believe them are their peers. These folks love talking to themselves.

You are really only damaging your own credibility. You also reveal the bias you continually deny. Arrogance is a blinding vice.

**Update: This particular post is akin to this previous one. Below is a sampling and excerpts from some of the comments which that post inspired:

"Yes, there are those who poke fun at all things Confederate, and then there are those who, like myself, are frustrated... not with the people who lived 150 years ago, but with those who live today and give poor representation of the truth... and ALL of the facts in a particular argument. There seems to be a 'holier than thou' attitude (not limited to academians or one side of an argument) out there among a select few that inhibits any possibility of an open mind . . . Pretty much academians addressing academians and seeking approval among peers for their innovative viewppoints. So, a little self-absorption is expected from time to time." ~ Robert Moore (Emphasis mine.)

And . . .

"I agree with some of your initial comments (Richard) about academia and professional history in general." ~ Professor Peter Carmichael, West Virginia University

Just so I won't be accused of taking their comments out of context, you can go to the original post and read all comments, including these by Robert and Pete. I think their comments speak for themselves and that one may conclude that Robert and Pete agree, at least to some degree, with my point (blah, blah, blah and all).

15 comments:

Corey Meyer said...

So what your saying is that if we "Lincoln Lovers" will accept the fact that Lincoln's views on race were not much different than Lee's or Jackson's, you will start to put to rest the "Lost Cause" and accept the fact that the south went to war over slavery and begin to place the slaves in their proper light in history?

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Hello Mr. Meyer. First of all, you make incorrect assumptions about my views. Second, I don't accept your premise.

Actually, what I'm saying is that those who promote the Holy Cause Myth have no credibility when ridiculing Southerners over Lost Cause mythology.

marcferguson said...

Richard,
I'm curious. Just what is this "Holy Cause Myth," and who is pushing it?

Marc

Border Ruffian said...

These 'memory' folks are getting pretty nasty. I hope they have some good tar remover.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

BR:

I can only understand the constant drumbeat of mockery as part of an agenda. Otherwise, it makes no sense to me.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Marc:

The HCM is that Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves and that was the purpose of the WBTS.

or ...

North good. South bad.

Academia (parts of it anyway).

marcferguson said...

Richard,
could you name some names, because I have never encountered this "North good. South bad" paradigm you mention (not in academia, anyway).

thanks,
Marc

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Come on Marc, I really don't have time to try to convince you that water is wet. You're well read and intelligent and know who I'm talking about as well as I do.

Thanks for the input.

Arthur B. Breedlove said...

Marc:

you write: "I have never encountered this "North good. South bad" paradigm you mention (not in academia anyway.)"

How about the historians Ken Burns and James McPherson who push the notion of Lincoln being the "Great Emancipator." The Civil War is presented as a morality play between the righteous North and the wicked South. Try reading McPherson's "forward" in "Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government" Lincoln and the armies of the Lord descend on the wicked South to free the slaves from their evil slave masters. Ring a bell?

If there be no "North good South" paradigm, why did students at my Alma mater get suspended (by a Yankee of course) recently for displaying a small confederate flag? Why the constant assault on the battle flag?

Sir, was it not you who recently insisted that Lee was a traitor? Myself and others responded to your claims on that score, yet nothing but silence.

marc said...

Richard - While I could make some guesses as to who is on your "pc historian" list, I'm really not a mind-reader. Since I really don't know of any historians who argue a "North good, South bad" thesis, and since you made the claim, I assume you could easily enlighten me and name names and where these historians make such an argument.

Mr. Breedlove - I would suggest you go back and re-read McPherson, and re-view Burn's film, because neither argues "a morality play between the righteous North and the wicked South" that I have seen. As for the Confederate flag at your alma mater, I have no idea what happened, but I wonder if you are aware that this flag has a complex history and means different things to different people. Finally, my recollection is that I answered all reasonable objections to the claim that Lee's actions were traitorous. The Constitution is quite clear on the definition of treason, and Lee's actions met that definition. The U.S. government did not recognize the legitimacy of secession, and therefore Lee remained a U.S. citizen while engaging in war against the U.S.

Marc

Chaps said...

Marc-

If States did not, in fact, leave the Union, why were there requirements for "readmission?" If Lee remained a U.S. citizen, why was he required to apply to have his citizenship restored?

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Marc:

Thanks for the input, but, again, I'm not going to waste time arguing the obvious. Specifically, in this post, I was referring to several bloggers who constantly make fun of those who admire and celebrate men such as Lee and Jackson, accusing them of "romanticism" and "hero worship" but then post Happy Birthday wishes to Lincoln.

Its hypocritical.

Regarding the treason issue, that was debated recently, so we're not going back there again. But, since this is my blog, I'll have the last word here. You write:

"The U.S. government did not recognize the legitimacy of secession, and therefore Lee remained a U.S. citizen while engaging in war against the U.S."

Not so. Lee's citizenship had to be restored posthumously. Congress passed a Joint Resolution on August 5, 1975, restoring his citizenship retroactive to June 13, 1865. President Ford signed the pardon at the White House in 1975. Kind of hard to have your citizenship "restored" if it was never taken away to begin with.

Regarding what the U.S. Govt. "recognized", that is really not a very good precedent as the U.S. Govt. has been proven wrong over and over again.

Olivia said...
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marcferguson said...
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Arthur B. Breedlove said...

Marc:

I don't feel the need to re-read either McPherson or Burns, because both subscribe to Lincoln as the "Great Emancipator" who presided over the defeat of the South in order to abolish slavery. They couch the war in terms of a moral imperative in which the North is in the right, and the South is in the wrong. So that a government of the people, by the people and for the people shall not perish from the earth. I think this is a fair characterization.

This is the narrative that is repeated incessantly by academia.

In reference to the battle flag, the students simply displayed the flag on campus and they were subsequently barred from participating from any school functions for the rest of the year. (see Mike Adams article on Townhall.com) You write: "but I wonder if you are aware that this flag has a complex history and means different things to different people." True...I'm also aware that every flag under the sun "has a complex history and means different things to different people." Including the U.S. flag. But why should some people be punished for it?

you write:

"The U.S. government did not recognize the legitimacy of secession, and therefore Lee remained a U.S. citizen while engaging in war against the U.S."

It's more like the Lincoln Administration didn't recognize the legitimacy of secession. Lee was not a U.S. citizen because that had not been invented yet. That was the purpose of the 14th Amendment,Section1. Secession was contemplated by the New England States numerous times including:during the War of 1812, the Louisiana purchase, and the admission of Texas into the union.

cheers,