Keith Taylor
Wiregrass Greys #1683

To the Editor:

With regards to the bigoted article, Honoring Dishonor, posted in the 20 March 2007 addition of The Red and Black, I disagree with the authors statement “the South lost the Civil War”. The truth is the entire Nation lost when the South was defeated. To quote W.H. Andrews, 1st Sergeant of Co. M, 1st Georgia Regulars, when summing up his service in the Confederate Army, “Four of the best years of my life thrown away, or at least nothing in return for it except a shattered constitution“. The constitution in which he is referring is that of the United States of America. The very same constitution which was violated by Lincoln when he raised arms against the newly formed Confederate States of America. The very same constitution which was written to protect those in the North who opposed Lincoln’s war but were persecuted non the less. The very same constitution which gave, and that decision upheld by the Chief Justice and members of the Supreme Court, the seceding states the right to leave the Union and form their own government. That’s our present shattered Constitution.

The Georgia / American history textbooks you so kindly point out that contain all the facts are far from factual unless you feel one-sided propaganda and blatant lies are the proper foundation upon which to educate our future generations. Maybe you are unaware of an attempt by the former Georgia Secretary of Education in which she introduced legislation to have all American history prior to 1870 removed from Georgia’s text books. Luckily her efforts fails but as with all legislation of this type (i.e. the bill to remove the 1956 GA Flag, House Bill 899 to ban all symbols of the Confederacy, etc…..) these will not die but will reappear year after year until the ignorance level of our elected legislators catches up with these forms of asinine legislation.

The author of the Honoring Dishonor article is clearly one who has taken a stance against historical inquiry. The comments regarding the descriptions of the inclusion of slave rapes and torture into the K-12 curriculum are well taken but if those topics were included it would do a justice to the Confederacy as the Federal (Yankee) Army was guilty of those atrocities not the Confederate Army. If you doubt me please feel free to research the letters written by Sherman’s troops on there March to the sea. These men openly tell of the raping of “the youngest and best looking of the negro women”. Some Yankee soldiers tell of atrocities you could not imagine and others pray for their fellow soldiers who are doing these things and make statements such as “If I were a Southerner, I would never put down my arms until every last Yankee is killed or run from this country…….we can not blame them (the Confederates) for fighting these horrors our Army is committing”.

My suggestions are very simple. First to the author of the bigoted article, Honoring Dishonor, you should do some real historical research before you call other stupid for honoring their Southern Heritage. Second, the editorial Staff of The Red and Black should also do a little research prior to allowing such articles to be posted. Your responsibility, as editors of a newspaper, are many lest of which is accuracy……..that even cover opinions of others.

The purposed legislation submitted by Sen. Jeff Mullis is an attempt to make a Confederate History Month an permanent period every year in which schools focus in greater detail on Southern Heritage. This is nothing new and has nothing whatsoever to do with other requesting an apology for slavery. For many years past, as well as last year, the sitting Governor has always signed a proclamation recognizing April as Confederate History Month. This is nothing new.

If anything, those requesting an apology from Georgia for slavery are the one’s trying to take advantage of an opportunity. Various Southern Heritage groups have been announcing their plans for 2007 to be their “Year of Lee” in which they will celebrate the life of one of the United States greatest, if not the greatest, military leader. You think it was a coincidence that Virginia, the birth place of Gen. Robert E. Lee, was the first to issue an apology? No……it was others taking advantage of Southern Heritage not the Southern Heritage groups sizing an opportunity.

If the form of apology as that given by the state of Virginia is what it takes to lift a burden from a race of people then that race should be asking for their apology from 16th & 17th century English and Spanish monarchs who openly traded and financed the slave expeditions to Africa, the 16th & 17th century Dutch slave traders which brought the slaves to our shores aboard their ships (under their national flag) and the 16th & 17th century tribes of Africa who sold and traded the slaves. Also, they need to address their request for an apology to the African warlords of the 16th & 17th century. Those were the leaders who bargained and sold the natural resources of Africa, including fellow Africans, to anyone who landed on their shores. If you follow recent and current news releases from Africa you will find numerous stories of slaves still, in the 21st century, being traded and kept in various regions in Africa. Why not direct their need for an apology to those African leaders today and help those currently enslaved in Africa to break the chains as your American born ancestors did?

In closing, I will agree with the author in that we as Georgia citizens do have policy questions which need to be addressed. Peachcare, Medicare, health care in general and most of all illegal citizens and immigration. But, as long as we continue to allow our younger generations to continue down the road being taught bastardized history, their view of American history will not afford them the tools our future leaders need to ensure the United States remains free and a world leader long after we are a memory.

If we, those proud of our Confederate and Southern Heritage, are to be sent the way of the Confederacy (“to the dustbin of history” as the author puts it) then so to should those obsessed with slavery, building slavery museums with tax dollars, asking for and rewriting history to suit their agenda. They to should be placed in the dustbin of history.

James Keith Taylor
Pavo, GA