Re: your article in the Plainview Daily Herald
Professor Niler Pyeatt, Ph. D.
May I address you, sir. I read your article with interest and I must respectfully disagree with your stated view. But, first, I will say that your pedigree is acknowledged. I, too, had yankee relatives, in the Ohio regiments. They, too, fought for a cause in which they believed. So did the German soldiers in W.W.II. As well as the Viet Minh, the Viet Cong, the Red Chinese under Mao Zedong, the Red Army under Vladimir Lenin. And the list goes on. The prevailing theme here is that the results of their wars would be a centralised government, with governmental power and authority emanating from the central capital.
This is what the yankee soldier was fighting for. He may have been deceived, misled into believing he was fighting, and dying, for ‘the Union as it was’, but we know that not to be the case, now do we not? That is why I have felt compelled to forgive my ancestral descendants, across the spectrum of time, because it is the right thing to do.
They were not being given by their mothers and fathers, wives and girlfriends to free a bunch of Black people of whom they mostly wished ill-will towards. We know that most folks of the northern U.S. had no tender feelings for the Black race, which, in part, helps explain why the so-called ‘underground railroad’ ended in Canada. To be sure, there were some White folks who were tender-hearted toward the Black race. But they were in both sections of the country. Moreover, most of the folks who were tender towards the Black race were living in the Southern States. You might consider reading from this selected link http://docsouth.unc.edu/imls/berry/berry.html. Granted this is but from one man. So how many testimonies do you gather your opinion about how White folks treated their slaves when you said, it was a ‘culture built on and supported by brutal slavery’? Have you ever read through many of The Slave Narratives? Just go to this link, http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/snhtml/snhome.html. You most certainly will find accounts of brutality. You will find more accounts of kindness and affection, though. You will find it not to be quite so brutal.
Then you mention the three ‘K’ word. Did you really think that they were just mean-spirited people with too much time on their hands? Look through this site and there you should learn some reasons of why it came to be. http://www.1898wilmington.com/
All things in this period of American history have reasons for how they came about and the klan has it’s reasons. It would do you, and all Americans, well to learn about this before passing judgment. In fact, passing judgment is wrong no matter how you cut it. Times were very different then. Consider, they used to have public hangings and the whole towns turned out to watch, including the children. Of course, the capital crime rates were drastically lower in those days, so maybe some things were better in those days, huh?
I think the worst thing you went and said, though, was calling these men ‘traitors’. Dwight D. Eisenhower would very much disagree with you, for he was an admirer of Robert E. Lee. None of these men were traitors, else they fall in with, in your words, ‘good company’ such as George Washington, John Adams, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, etc. President Eisenhower kept a portrait of Robert E. Lee in his office at the White House. No, they were not traitors, for they could not be. They, on the contrary, were loyal patriots to their States, ready to defend them to the greatest extremity. For there was no loyalty expected to the U.S. gov’t. in those days. And, the bottom line, one that even you must concede, is that if mr. lincoln had not called for volunteer troops to invade their sister States, there would have been NO WAR.
You have mindlessly bought into the ‘swastika’ charge. That is an outrage that you allow yourself to be manipulated like this. For the historical facts are, if any flag should be slurred thus, it should be the U.S. federal flag. The atrocities committed against the native peoples, in the name of the U.S. government, carry a very, very heavy burden indeed. Wounded Knee, Sand Creek, The Trail of Tears just to name a few are enough to forever stain the red, white and blue. The indifference shown the recently freed Black man in the industrial north, when jobs were there to be had, can never be made right and that stain must remain. Rather than bring the Black man, and his family up north and hire him, the industrialists promoted the idea of immigration by the European Whites to fill the jobs that should have been, by right, the American Black man’s.
At last, I suggest you explore this website, http://slavenorth.com/ . This should dispel the notion that the Black man had a refuge in the northern U.S. And that northern slavery did not exist in the ante-bellum north, and that being ‘free’ meant that he was ‘free’ to starve.
Please consider what I wrote. I expect to hear from you as from a gentleman.
Jimmy L. Shirley Jr.
West Palm Beach, Fla.
SCV Camp 1599
James Patton Anderson
West Palm Beach, Fla.