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Answer for Confederate apologists

GEORGE E. CURRY | 8/3/2015, 11:54 a.m.
Someone identifying himself as Jimmy Oliver sent me an email objecting to a column I wrote under the headline, “Confederate ...
George Curry

(NNPA) – Someone identifying himself as Jimmy Oliver sent me an email objecting to a column I wrote under the headline, “Confederate Traitors Don’t Deserve to be Honored.” I presume he wrote to get a reply, so here it is, with Oliver’s words in italics.

I do not appreciate you calling my ancestors traitors, Benedict Arnold or traitors.

– Well, I do not appreciate your ancestors enslaving my ancestors. I do not appreciate your White ancestors thinking they were superior to my ancestors solely because God created us a different color. I do not appreciate your ancestors forcing my ancestors to work long hours for free. I do not appreciate your ancestors treating mine like property, buying and selling them at will. I do not appreciate your ancestors breaking up African families whenever they wanted to and I do not appreciate your male ancestors raping my powerless female ancestors.

And, yes, your ancestors were traitors. In fact, their photographs should be placed next to the word “traitor” in the dictionary. The definition of traitor is clearly spelled out in Article 3, Section 3 of U.S. Constitution: “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.”

In case you missed it, the Confederacy leveled war against the United States from 1861-1865.

The Civil War was fought, not because of slavery, but for southern states rights.

– Yes, it was fought because southern states wanted “states rights” – the right to maintain slavery.

Slavery was not the most compelling issue of the Civil War.

– That’s pure nonsense. The states’ orders of secession prove otherwise. For example, “A Declaration of the Immediate Causes which Induce and Justify the Secession of the State of Mississippi from the Federal Union” began: “In the momentous step which our State has taken of dissolving its connection with the government of which we so long formed a part, it is but just that we should declare the prominent reasons which have induced our course.

“Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery – the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth. These products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun. These products have become necessities of the world, and a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization. That blow has been long aimed at the institution, and was at the point of reaching its consummation. There was no choice left us but submission to the mandates of abolition, or a dissolution of the Union, whose principles had been subverted to work out our ruin.”