Confederate flag fan Andy Hallinan explains what the Civil War was really about


#122

Absolutely! My point, however poorly made, was that people stop listening to you if you insult them.

I’ve had this conversation. I spoke with someone from North Carolina who insisted their ancestors didn’t have slaves, couldn’t care less about slavery, but went to war to save their homes from the Northern Aggressors. Bullshit? I’m sure it was. But I was willing to concede it to make the point that the war was started by plantation owners who were very much invested in slavery. I think at the end, I least managed to change his mind about the origins of the war.

Absolutely keep fighting the good fight. Just remember you’re fighting it against human beings.


#123

Bit of a problem out there on the western frontier. Perhaps the south wouldn’t have been as driven to create new slave states to maintain power in Congress and the Electoral College, but it could have been messy.

And with no way to enforce the return of escaped slaves, aggravations would be high along the border. (Build a wall?)


#124

Sure. Don’t start with “you’re a racist”. However, I’m not willing to concede an inch over the motivations of the civil war. As I said after Charlottesville, if you look up and find you’re marching under a Nazi flag and don’t run the other way immediately, you’re a Nazi!


#125

I don’t think the proposition that someone might be motivated to defend their home against an aggressor army is a cynical narrative, regardless of their position on slavery.

a) many of the rebel soldiers didn’t have slaves. Maybe they wanted slaves, maybe they were racist assholes, but they didn’t have slaves to give up. So “why were they fighting?” is a reasonable question. b) It’s unlikely that a southern concession on escaped slaves would have prevented the war. There was that whole western expansion thing.


#126

I’m cynical enough to believe this about all of humanity. I’m also hopeful enough to recognize the same traits in animals and believe that the major perceivable difference is our ability to see the destruction it brings at this scale. Maybe we reign it in before it’s too late… but then the cynic says that day has already passed.


#127

Probably, but I was just speaking from my own lived experience.

Sadly, if I lived abroad I’d probably find that you’re more correct about that than not.

Anything is possible.

Do not “go gentle,” though; fight like hell, until the very end.


#128

yeah, this ain’t hard, here’s a link even:

The VP of the Confederacy states as plainly as he can that secession is about preserving slavery under a state of white supremacy.


#132

The Daughters of the Confederacy wasn’t just a bunch of ladies making memorial wreaths.


#133

And the Allies weren’t marching toward Berlin to go sightseeing.

It was a war waged for the cause of slavery, full stop. We can chat all day about the lives and motivations of individual participants, but we can’t “let the discussion move forward” if we can’t even agree on the most fundamental objective facts surrounding the war.


#134

That’s really about as succinct as it gets, I think!   I like that.

Because a generation of Southerners were purposely miseducated and indoctrinated.   Including many people I know.   Some of them have gotten past it, though.

And dammit, as @gracchus points out and Mark’s post illustrates, it’s still going on.


#135

This guy is a total fucking douchebag, but I think that’s been covered in this thread.

I do have some thoughts about the editing and the transcript:

At the end, is he really sitting in “open-mouthed silence”, or is he about to speak? The video cuts right when he opens his mouth, and it looks like he could be preparing to utter some racist nonsense. It’s ambiguous as to whether he is unable to give a response (“open-mouthed silence”) or about to give a response (I’m always in “open-mouthed silence” every time I open my mouth in the half-second before I speak). So, do we know if the posted transcript is accurate?

A thought experiment: pretend Hallinan did say something immediately after the moment when the video cuts off, and also pretend that, in the editing booth, it was decided that his bullshit racist rambling after the “like slavery?” question just doesn’t play well, because the filmmakers think (correctly) that it’ll be much more entertaining for the audience to believe that the asshole is dumbfounded by the question, as opposed to trying (although slowly) to respond to it. Would such editing be a breach of journalistic ethics (because it misrepresents what really [hypothetically] happened, à la James O’Keefe), or would it just be good filmmaking (because it’s pretty funny, à la Michael Moore)? Could it be both?


#136

That is an outright lie that they want others to accept. It was not a war between states, it was a war between some states and the United States. The confederate states declared themselves to be the enemy of the United States. They fought against the US Army and the US Navy, against those fighting under the US flag, and against the US constitution. Some people don’t want to be reminded of that. They want to pretend that you can support the confederation and, at the same time, be a good American citizen and a patriot. The confederate flag was the flag of the enemies of the United States, and the confederate officials were enemies of the United States. They don’t deserve to be commemorated and honored, they just deserve our scorn as the traitors that they were in order preserve slavery.


#137

in the american history textbook my mother had when she was in school, it read like a 5th or 6th grade level book, the event was described as “the war of northern aggression.” this was in texas with a copyright of 1940.
her generation was the one which made up the majority of my teachers in school although there were a few of her teachers i had as teachers. with the encouragement of my parents i began reading widely when i was 10 or 11 and among the many subjects i pursued was the civil war. deep reading about that era made me realize that much, if not most, of what i was fed about that event in school had been absolute bullshit.

i don’t make a lot of friends when the subject turns to the civil war, or "president"45 for that matter.


#138

I’m not the one you need to convince.

If you just want to yell “slavery!” at the descendants of civil war veterans, go ahead. I can tell you where it’s going to get you.

Like I told another poster, I’ve had this conversation with a revisionist. I believe I actually made a little progress with him by steering the conversation to the plantation owners who a) had real political influence and b) the most to lose if slavery ended. Maybe I’m kidding myself, but I know where I would have gotten by trying to tell this guy about how bad his ancestors were.


#139

It’s not a matter of how virtuous individual Southerners were. It’s a matter of acknowledging the cause that the war was waged over.

If a descendant of a Civil War veteran wants to tell me that their great great grandpappy was a brave and selfless man then I probably won’t try to argue. If they try to tell me the war wasn’t about the South fighting to preserve slavery I will not even pretend to respect that position.


#140

In fact slavery was going to end in the South no matter what and the south knew it. Benjamin Judah was running around in Europe offering ending slavery, plus cotton, in exchange for European recognition of the CSA. Didn’t work, as the Europeans didn’t believe the CSA would win, but it was on offer, because the CSA leadership did realize that slavery was nearing its end, for both moral and economic reasons. My interpretation is that the war wasn’t about “slavery is evil, let’s end it to rescue the blacks” vs. “we want to keep our slaves”.

I interpret as being what post-slavery would look like. For the North, post-slavery would ideally mean repatriation to Africa to prevent a non-white minority from existing in the USA. In fact for the North it wasn’t just ex-slaves who were a problem, it was other minorities too, which explains why the Cherokee joined the southern side. For the South, winning would mean continuing the social system and pool of cheap ag labor, even if there was a de jure end of slavery. For neither side was it about rescuing blacks or giving blacks equal rights and status in America. And in the end, neither side got what it wanted. Blacks didn’t return to Africa and the South’s social system declined over decades.


#141

The CSA leadership recognized that slavery was nearing its end if they remained in the Union. The North fought the war to preserve the Union, but the South absolutely was fighting because they wanted to keep their slaves (and slavery-based economy). We know this because their own written rationale for secession tells us so.

Is it even possible to “decline” from chattel slavery? Sure, many of the people who were used to living off the unpaid labor of human livestock saw a decline in their social standing but they were hardly the only lives who mattered.


#142

WOW, that’s quite a stretch. More like, Native Americans had been screwed over by the United States federal government and had fought the United States Army. They didn’t so much join the Confederacy as fight against the same old foe.


#143

I disagree. Prison populations are not generally thought as sub-human. Slaves were, and housed and fed accordingly. They had to fend for themselves in order to keep up their shelters and grow/trap/fish, etc. to supplement their meager rations.


#144

I think the South could see that slavery would end soon no matter what, for economic reasons as much as anything. Right around this time, slavery also ended in the Ottoman Empire, Brazil, Cuba, etc serfdom ended in Russia, and so on. It was obviously something that was ending in the world and the CSA leadership must have seen that.

I should have phrased it better. Slavery was replaced with a social system which included abuses such as Jim Crow, sharecropping, etc, and that declined, and that’s good.