Story offered the usual South bashing and race baiting

February 25, 2011

The Associated Press article by Phillip Rawls that was published in The Times on Feb. 20 is a classic example of a reporter who could not write about an event without putting his personal negative twist on it. The article was titled "Confederate descendants mark 150th anniversary" and was supposed to be about the re-enactment of the inauguration of Jeff Davis in Montgomery, Ala.

The event could have been covered as a re-enactment of an important time in our history. Instead, of the 14 paragraphs in the article, only one (the first one) was an unbiased account of the actual event. The writer chose to focus the rest of the article on negativity and race.

He proceeded to cover the usual guilt-inducing, divisive, race-baiting topics, including slavery (mentioned in the first sentence of the second paragraph), Martin Luther King Jr., the Montgomery bus boycott, Gov. George Wallace, "segregation forever," voting rights, the percentage of blacks in Alabama, the NAACP and more. He felt the need to gather quotes from black leaders (and a black downtown shopper) who trashed the event, saying things such as it was a "slap in the face" and that it was "… akin to celebrating the Holocaust."

I thought I’d read about a little civil war history. Instead, I read about bus boycotts and celebrating a "Holocaust."

I guess it’s too much to ask to expect an article about a civil war anniversary re-enactment that would include things such as quotes from the re-enactors about their ancestors or simple non-controversial facts about the historical event. Perhaps a little history about Jeff Davis? Or some history about the capitols of the Confederacy? Anything but the usual mean-spirited South bashing and race baiting.

– Richie Phillips