27 February 2013

James McPherson Appears With A Secessionist?

This is a follow up to my previous post about Civil War blogger Kevin Levin's overreach regarding Trace Adkins being invited to sing the National Anthem at Gettysburg's 150th. The conversation at Kevin's blog over his post (suggesting that Adkins "flirts with secession") took the predictable digression into comparing Adkins to a Nazi. No one disagreed or challenged such inflammatory comparisons. This is now typical fare on numerous Civil War blogs. Below is a photograph taken at Gettysburg in 2011.

Civil War Trust Chairman Henry Simpson, Country Music Superstar Trace Adkins, Gettysburg National Military Park Superintendent Bob Kirby, and Pulitzer-Prize Winning Author James McPherson Gettysburg (PA) 2011

Again, what is so remarkable to me is that Adkins views on states' rights automatically earns him the label of a "secessionist" and comparison to a Nazi in the minds of some Civil War historians. We've now entered alternate universe territory. Beam me up Scotty.


ropelight said...

In the same way the separation of powers among the 3 branches of the federal government functions as a system of checks and balances, secession is the ultimate check the States retain as a balance against federal tyranny.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

That is certainly what many Confederates believed, as well as many of the Founders. The Declaration of Independence certainly affirmed that concept. I guess I'll now be accused of "flirting with secession" ;-)

ropelight said...

You won't be alone. Currently, well organized secession movements are underway in both Scotland and Catalonia.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

BTW, just for the record, I am a STRONG supporter of the 10th amendment and states' rights, but NOT a supporter of secession. Ya never know who might think I'm flirting. ;-)

13thBama said...


It's not secession when the one party of the original agreement has been "fundamentally transformed".

ropelight said...

What's in a headline?

Inviting an outspoken Southerner to sing the National Anthem at Gettysburg is a symbolic act of conciliation, it's an overt attempt to use the 150th commemoration as a unifying event and in doing so to foster an acknowledgement that mutual respect leads to spiritual reunification.

But, James McPherson's lengthy record of wrongheaded efforts to fan the flames of racial animonisity disqualify him from participation in any celebration of reconciliation. His agenda is one of fostering division, not of encouraging unity. His so-called scholarship seems to consist largely of denigrating the Confederacy's justifications for secession and of insisting that only slavery and the concerns of slaveholders animated the South's revolt against Northern aggression.

McPherson's nostrums closely resemble those of simpleminded fools and racist bigots rather than the carefully considered opinions of a legitimate university professor.

In May of 2009 McPherson signed a petition asking President Barack Obama to refuse to place a wreath at the Confederate Monument at Arlington.

The petition stated, "The Arlington Confederate Monument is a denial of the wrong committed against African Americans by slave owners, Confederates, and neo-Confederates, through the monument’s denial of slavery as the cause of secession and its holding up of Confederates as heroes. This implies that the humanity of Africans and African Americans is of no significance. Today, the monument gives encouragement to the modern neo-Confederate movement and provides a rallying point for them. The modern neo-Confederate movement interprets it as vindicating the Confederacy and the principles and ideas of the Confederacy and their neo-Confederate ideas. The presidential wreath enhances the prestige of these neo-Confederate events."

Obama rejected the request of McPherson et al and sent the wreath anyway, and in response Obama received public expressions of gratitude from the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

I had forgotten about McPherson's endorsement of that petty effort. Of course, he's an "objective academic." Such a hater.