23 August 2012

Pro Union, Pro Confederate Bias?

*Update: Kevin responds, kinda. I think he sorta missed my point as he lays out moral arguments for his perspective. That's fine - I actually agree with some of his comments. Regardless, his "anti-Confederacy" sentiments are obvious and I'm not the only one to notice. Readers there and here and many other places have pointed it out - and certainly not all of them are "neo-Confederates" (I already hear that response winding up). 

Moreover, both Robert Krick and James Robertson have made references to the "anti-Confederate" and/or "anti-Southern" perspectives of historians (not Kevin specifically). Nothing new about taking that view. As a matter of fact, it seems to me to be a pretty mainstream/uncontroversial view.

See another response here.

We're told bias among "objective" historians, academics, etc, etc. is largely a myth. Really? So here's a contrast to consider - take a look at the sampling of comments from what many consider a biased, Pro-Union Civil War blogger, Kevin Levin, in regards to a new movie about Lincoln which hasn't even been released yet:

I can’t wait to see it! I love the cast . . . I’m sure the film will have large set-pieces with fine performances.

it’s going to be an important film, if for no other reason than it will likely shape (for better or worse) and entire generation of Americans’ image of the 16th president.

Accurate or not, they provoke discussion in public and in academe.  

I’ve been anticipating this movie for quite some time.

Now, compare them with comments from Kevin's blog regarding Gods and Generals:

I hope Ron Maxwell never has the opportunity to make another movie.

I watched it again the other day and wondered why I ever thought the movie was any good. I think Ron Maxwell joined the SCV and got a blood transfusion from Mort Kuntsler between making “Gettysburg” and “Gods and Saints…oh, I’m sorry, Generals.”

I actually couldn’t watch “Gods and Generals” all the way through because it was so bad, as a movie. Unlike the racist “Birth of a Nation” which was good movie making(for 1916). G and G had appalling politics, and is an utter crapfest.

if any of the students get out of line, you could make them sit and watch the entire God-awful movie and I guarantee they won’t act up anymore.

Please, the film Gods and Generals is incredibly biased towards the Confederacy with no apology given to a movement that wished to destroy a democratic union [actually, it's a constitutional republic, but I won't quibble] and propogate [sic] slavery.

Some will say I'm over sensitive and am reading too much into this. But I don't think so. 

I'll reserve my opinion on the Lincoln film until I actually see it.


13thBama said...

Does Kevin realize Lincoln was a Republican? And that the Democrats defended slavery?

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Hey 13B - I'm not following you in regards to this post.

13thBama said...

I guess I am tired of Kevin pointing his accusing finger at conservatives.

Brother Juniper said...

Well, if Gods and Generals is "incredibly biased towards the Confederacy," I have no problem with that. Most works are incredibly biased against the Confederacy, so this restores a little balance.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Isn't it hilarious how he and his followers erect the straw man of "us vs. them." No such terminology was used nor implied in my post. They're obviously projecting. Anyone who is truly objective and reads the post will realize I'm simply pointing out what I perceive as bias. They can pretend they don't get it all they want. Again, nothing new about that with Kevin and nothing unusual in noting that there are what Robert Krick (and others) has referred to as "anti-Confederate" historians. In response to more of their idiotic construction of straw men, one does not have to be "pro-Confederate" to avoid being "anti-Confederate." Of course, they have to go bottom feeding and suggest something sinister. But, that's their level. Again, nothing new.

What's even more ridiculous is Kevin's criticism that I'm still fighting the Civil War while it's actually his mentor, David Blight, who has actually made that EXACT claim:

"The Civil War is not only not over, it can still be lost. As the sesquicentennial ensues in publishing and conferences and on television and countless websites, one can hope that we will pursue matters of legacy and memory with one eye on the past and the other acutely on the present."

Funny, I don't recall him calling Blight out on that or criticizing Blight of an "us vs. them" perspective.

Oops - MORE BIAS!!! The more they write, the more they expose themselves.

If you don't think that's exactly the way Blight sees things, just read this:



Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

"this restores a little balance."

Visited a college campus lately? "Balance" is the last thing these folks are interested in.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Brooks Simpson has chimed in - I knew he would not be able to resist - I guess trolling Facebook was getting old. What an absolutely boring life he must lead. Anyway, he obviously doesn't know the history of me remarking about Levin's blog.

It was self-proclaimed historian Michael Aubrecht who first drew my attention to Levin in regards to some negative comments he made about my last book. If you'll search Levin's blog, you'll see he started our little exchanges, not me.

Once again, Simpson proves he struggles with the facts.