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Reconstruction history distorted

With all the shrill clamor for the destruction of all Confederate monuments and images, there should be more examination of the history of the South, especially the Reconstruction era after the War Between the States. But I suspect this history is never taught in our schools, not even in the South, or worse, that some version of the history of that time is being taught, but it is a one-sided, anti-White version.

I am focusing for the moment on Louisiana’s history, because that state is the scene of the latest vandalism of Confederate statuary and monuments — and there are demands from insatiable lefties to destroy even more such monuments. Is anybody trying to counter the propaganda?

For the moment it seems the anti-White left has the megaphone and they are making sure they put their side of the story out there, so that the unthinking and uninformed amongst us will agree that yes, those hateful, odious statues and symbols have to go; because slavery, because Jim Crow.

And why were there these social restrictions that we refer to as ‘Jim Crow’?

If you search the Internet for an incident called the ‘Colfax massacre’ or something similar, you will find a lot of information which presents the familiar pro-black slant on the incident. Was it a massacre? A riot? Whatever happened in Colfax Grant Parish, people died in that incident. According to the PC version, the victims were innocent black people.

But rather than reading the story as told by some hack lefty writer, or some politically correct academic, let’s go back to the report from Joseph Pere Bell Wilmer, who lived during those times and had actual knowledge of the situation. He describes how the Radical Republicans and their ilk, including carpetbaggers, Southern renegade ‘scallywags’, and assorted others, incited fear on the part of blacks and deliberately provoked violence. Sound familiar? Today’s counterparts of those malicious talebearers do the same thing in our media daily.

‘The murders and assassinations which have defiled our land with blood, are thus explained. With such elements of mischief seething and raging beneath the surface of society, any other result would be almost a miracle. No complaint is heard of Federal soldiers being murdered or molested through the South as the German soldiers were murdered during the occupation of French territory — no violence, no attempt at resistance to Federal authority. The disturbances are local, and in no instance, within my observation, have the whites been the aggressors.

The safety of the negroes had been as inviolable as that of the soldiers, if their behavior had been as discreet and unaggressive. The melancholy tragedy in Grant Parish has been proclaimed far and wide to the prejudice of the white people in this State. The fact has been strangely withheld, that before this event, so deeply deplored by our citizens, the negroes had rushed to arms, whole families of the white community had been frightened from their homes by insulting forays and threats of extermination; some escaping across the river, and others to the woods — one dear child, to my knowledge, having perished from cold and exposure in the forest — and another already dead and laid out for burial was madly flung into the public street.

“Prior to the attack on the fortification at Colfax,” I quote from a letter addressed to me, by the excellent rector of the adjacent Parish, “the negroes had driven from their homes every white family in the vicinity. A reign of terror has been inaugurated, and they had threatened the destruction of the white race in three parishes. Their deliberation to sack and burn the town of Natchitoches, Alexandria, and Pineville was openly proclaimed. Almost the whole negro population was armed, and prepared to carry into effect this perfidious design against the whites in the event of their being able to maintain themselves at Colfax. They courted the assault, being confident that they could annihilate the attacking party, and this being done, the country would be left defenceless, and they were to sally forth upon the work of destruction.”

I add the testimony of one of the victims, in his dying moments, one of the few white men that were killed, that he had thrown away his arms and had entered the building under a flag of truce raised by the negroes, when he received his mortal wound. Nothing is more calculated to excite a maddened crowd to the work of indiscriminate destruction.”

I mention this incident especially because it is being cited, here and there in the media, as one of the ‘reasons’ why the rest of the Confederate monuments in Louisiana must come down.

But there is another side to the story; their anti-White narrative is the only side that is being offered.

I have a particular interest in Louisiana; I have many happy childhood memories of South Louisiana. During recent visits to that state, I’ve noticed that there is a push towards the ‘rainbow’ view that Louisiana is a happy multicultural state where everybody loves everybody and there are no divisions, no color barriers. Yet the events that happened at the time of Hurricane Katrina (now consigned to the memory hole, and denied by the usual media suspects) contradict the pollyannaish multicult version of life in that state.

History cannot be erased completely; the monuments, sadly, can be pulled down, and the politically incorrect and inconvenient facts buried or sent down the memory hole, but the after-effects of the past cannot be waved away. They must be dealt with; they cannot be repressed and wished away forever, not with all the happy-clappy “we’re all one people” mantras.

And certainly, people like Mitch Landrieu, the racially fickle mayor of New Orleans, with their relentless anti-White tone, do not present a ‘one big happy family’ image of New Orleans or Louisiana.

 

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2 thoughts on “Reconstruction history distorted

    • Nick, good question. I am not sure there is a simple answer.
      The answer that comes most readily to me is that the North had been whipped into an abolitionist frenzy by yellow journalists and sensationalized fiction like that of Harriet Beecher Stowe, the authoress who wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin.
      Mrs. Stowe as you may know never even visited the South or a plantation before writing her book. Yet her book had enormous influence, so that supposedly Lincoln himself, when he met her, said ‘so this is the little lady who started the war.’
      You are probably familiar with Stowe’s book even if you haven’t read it; most people at least know the (crudely-drawn) characters in it, like Simon Legree, the evil overseer.
      To many Northerners, the South was full of Simon Legrees, and in their imaginations innocent slaves were being abused and mistreated horribly, day after day.

      Then there were Northern agitators like John Brown, who developed quite a following, despite his murderous actions, and went to the gallows a hero, according to some of his fans.

      I know there’s a popular view now that the North and the South represented two different peoples, two different ethnic groups who were incompatible, unable to live together under the same government — yet they did for almost 100 years.

      Nick, If you have any ideas about the reasons for the Northerners’ punitive attitudes, I’m open to hearing them — likewise if anybody reading this (hello, anyone there?) has any thoughts please offer them.
      -VA

      Liked by 1 person

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