My reply to Brenton Kenkel


I understand Brenton Kenkel has invited people to respond to his column about how the Confederate flag and all who honor it are somehow treasonous/racist/bigoted/stupid. He may not have said so in print, but that was his intent. I am a book writer who regularly reads and writes about history, something that is foreign to young Brenton, apparently.

Brenton, here are some questions for you:

What do you know that four United States presidents do not? Grover Cleveland, Teddy Roosevelt, William H. Taft and Woodrow Wilson all went on record praising the Confederate soldier and welcoming him back into the fold. None of them called him, his officers or his politicians traitors.

Why was not a single general or leader of the Confederacy tried for treason immediately after the war? What do you know today to put them under that charge?

Why were the first two Jewish United States senators from Southern states (Judah P. Benjamin of Louisiana and David Yulee of Florida) and why did they join the Confederacy if the Confederacy was a racist state? Why did 15,000 Jews fight for the Confederacy as well as an unknown number of black people?

Why was it 1929 before the first black person was elected to the United States Senate from a Northern state if you Northerners were/are so non-racist compared to Southerners? Blacks were elected to Congress from Southern states far longer than official Reconstruction. Why have only three blacks from Northern states been elected since since Northerners are so inclusive and non-racist? Why has the only black elected to a governorship been from a Southern state (Doug Wilder of Virginia)?

Why are there 20,000 worked-to-death slaves lying in an unmarked mass grave in the middle of Manhattan when there are hundreds of well-preserved, honored, protected slave cemeteries scattered around the South? Why didn’t you Yankees have respect for the lives of those poor people whose muscles were literally pulled away from their bones as proven by a Howard University study of the bones?

Brenton, I eagerly await your brilliant answers to these humble questions from a lower-born-than-you Southerner.

Clint Johnson
Winston-Salem, N.C.