Letter: Civil War celebrations do not include South’s insensitive philosophy

By Opelika-Auburn News reader
May 04, 2011

Since April marked the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War, there have been reenactments of several battles and celebrations of the war itself.  The very name that is given the conflict reflects how one feels about the struggle — I grew up (in Alabama) terming it the War Between the States. Later, I learned that a more accurate title was “the Civil War;” and some yahoos even call it “the War of Northern Aggression.”

Make no mistake, this war on American soil was over slavery. Despite the fact that more than 90 percent of Confederate soldiers did not own slaves, they were fighting for rich, white plantation owners who convinced them they those Union people were attacking their “way of life.” Technically, the war was fought over whether a state had the right to secede from the Union of states, but the secessions were for one reason — slavery.

The assertion of a recent letter to the Opelika-Auburn News that there were Northern states that had slavery “during the time of Lincoln” is simply wrong. The fact is, legislation to abolish slavery in all Northern states was passed in 1804. The fake guise that the enactments are to honor the Southern leaders is simply not true. No amount of reverence and honor for worthy leaders can make up for the lynching, beatings, whippings, brandings and separation of families, not to mention extreme verbal and mental abuse. 

Alexander Stephens, vice president of the “Confederate States of America,” outlined the philosophy of the South — and it was also written into the constitution of the seceding states:  “The cornerstone for the Confederacy rests upon the great truth that the Negro is not equal to the white man. Slavery is his natural and moral condition.”    

I rather doubt that this little gem of revelation was read at the celebrations.

O.C. Brown, Auburn