Re: "The Confederacy through black eyes"


I attended Homer L. Ferguson High School in Newport News in 1963. Ferguson was fully integrated, my best friend was Black, and I saw NO “racial incidents." How does Mr. Barrett square my personal experiences with his version of history?

It has become clear that when someone wants to misrepresent history and rail hatred for the South they can get column inches, especially if they happen to be Black. Those who try to respond reasonably with fact are lucky to get an "edited" Letter to the Editor, certainly not column inches in response.

In Mr. Barrett’s OPINION "The nominal view, or the ideology of the preservation of the Union, was a farce. The real view was, of course, the preservation of slavery by the South – at any cost." The facts of history prove the war was fought over tariff revenues flowing from the South into Federal coffers. Slavery was simply a propaganda ploy.

According to the U.S. Census of 1860 there were 64,000 "Free People of Color" (Blacks and mulattos) living in Virginia in direct defiance of the "Black Laws." The U.S Census recorded that they owned homes, farms, businesses, and slaves. In New Orleans "Free People of Color" owned $2.5 Million in real estate while their counterparts in New York City owned $500,000 in real estate.

The Confederate monument at Arlington – designed by a Jewish Confederate veteran – features a uniformed Black soldier in the ranks. Had the South won it was already on the path to a society reflecting the thousands of Indians, Hispanics, foreigners, and Blacks serving as Confederate combat soldiers.

Reconstruction derailed Southern progress by intentionally pitting the races against each other to fully disarm the South.

Michael Kelley
Pascagoula, MS