Waite Rawls Again

From: wildbill4dixie@yahoo.com

Waite Rawls is at it again, trying, it would appear, to make the support for the Museum of the Confederacy, more “diverse”!?

I received an email from a couple of friends about a story published today entitled “Lessons to be Learned from the Civil War.


A couple of quick quotes from Mr. Rawls:

"…Anyone who thinks The Museum of the Confederacy is just one giant memorial to The Lost Cause, the War of Northern Aggression, or whatever hagiographic term you wish to use, would be woefully mistaken.


"…They won’t be telling the “Gone With the Wind” version of Southern history, but the truth, warts and all."

Now in case you need to consult a dictionary to see what “hagiographic” means, I’ll save you the trip. A “hagiography” is a biography which treats its subject with “undue reverence”. As I’ve said many times before, I guess everyone’s allowed to worship their own heroes except us. And it would appear that everyone’s heroes are due “reverence” but ours!? Our story, it would seem, has to be displayed complete with “warts and all”!?

Who else tells “their story” and displays their “warts”? I can’t think of any, can any of you? Certainly not the National Slavery Museum in Fredericksburg, just to use one example. I’d bet my next pension check that you won’t find excerpts from the Slave Narratives like these two “warts”:

Collins, Tildy, Alabama (from the Slave Narratives)
"Ole Marster was good to all he niggers, an’ my pappy and me bofe belonged to him"…….."When de surrender come, Ole Marster he tole all de niggers dey free now, an’ some was glad an’ some was sorry, an’ welst dey might be sorry, iffen dey knowed what a hard time dey goner had knockin’ ‘roun’ de worl’ by deyself, no Ole Marster an’ no Ole Mistis ter look atter an an’ feed ’em when dey sick an’ when dey well. Look lak ter me, when de surrender parted de white folks an’ de black folks, it hurt ’em bofe. Day oughter be tergedder, jes’ lak de Good Lord ‘tended dey be."……….Us had plenty to eat an’ plenty to wear, an’ dat’s mo’n what de folks got now……….."Yes, ma’am, I sho’ was borned in slavery times, an’ I wish to Gawd I could git now what I useter have den, ‘cuz dem was good times for de black folks. Dese free niggers don’t know what ’tis to be tuk good keer of….

Bradshaw, Gus 1845– Texas (from the Slave Narratives)
"The first work I done was pickin’ cotton. Every fellow was out at day-light pickin’ cotton or hoein’ or plowin’. They was one overseer and two nigger drivers. But at night you could hear us laughin’ and talkin’ and singin’ and pray in’, and hear then fiddles and things playin’. It look like darkies git ‘long more better then than now. Some folks says niggers oughtn’t to be slaves, but I says they ought, ’cause they jus’ won’t do right unless they is made to do it.

As I’ve said many times before – despite Museum officials constantly proclaiming that they are not a “shrine”, the fact remains that the Museum was founded with that intention, indeed, that mission, in mind. And folks, there is nothing wrong with that! Everyone has their shrines these days. We are entitled to ours.

Someone needs to tell Mr. Rawls and his band of scalawags that no one gave them permission to change that mission, and no where is it written that our warts must be on public display, while every other group out there is entitled to keep theirs in the closet.

Bill Vallante
Commack NY