Our country is making an insidious decision. We have a choice between rewriting history or affirming that many of our ancestors' deeds were dishonorable. We have chosen to rewrite history.
I was raised in the south and saw drinking fountains marked "white" and "colored." The colored drinking fountains were always dirty because the white owners did not want to clean them, and besides, it served a purpose. That dirty drinking fountain marked "colored" proved the filthiness of the African-American race and the purity of the white race. The only problem was that I was fourteen years old and saw through the deception.
I watched the Civil Rights Movement take place under the inspired guidance of Martin Luther King, Jr., and I sat at the Newberry's counter in the old Gulfgate Shopping Mall a few weeks after blacks were hauled off to jail for having the audacity to sit at that "white" lunch counter. That Newsberry's went out of business. Good riddance.
I spent my formative years gazing up in admiration at huge statues of men in Confederate uniforms with one arm to the sky symbolizing that Almighty God was on their side. I was raised singing "Dixie" and watching Confederate flags flap in the thick and humid air of the South. I was told these were great things, honorable things, respected institutions. I discovered that it was all a fabrication. A lie.
The Southern whites bought human beings. They sold them. They bred them. It was a simple business decision to sell or keep the children of slaves. The Confederate flag was designed to represent the Confederate States of America when they broke away from the Union and formed their own country in order to keep their precious slaves and ensure that any new territories that became states would allow whites to own human beings from Africa. The statues were of men who fought to keep the institutution of slavery in the South and killed Union soldiers. I remember my brother moving to Boston and telling me that one of the culture shocks was seeing statues built in honor of Union soldiers who fought against slavery and the preservation of the Union.
I have watched propaganda films that have been fairly recently released that sell the deception that the Southern soldiers were gentlemen and the Northern soldiers were crude and despicable. One of those films even stated that many Confederate Generals were fighting with the intention of setting slaves free at the end of the war. Lies.
Instead of facing the hard truth which will set us free, we believe the deception. Any of my ancestors who fought for the Confederacy fought to maintain slavery. Should it be a surprise that one hundred years later I was a teenager and staring at "colored" drinking fountains? We were still fighting a war in the South. The Confederacy had lost the Civil War but was still fighting the dishonorable cause.
The war continued until Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. He is one of the casualties of the continued battle with the last remnants of the shameful Confederacy.
Abraham Lincoln did a great service to the South by including the Confederate soldiers with the Union soldiers while honoring all their deaths in National Monuments such as Gettysburg. Lincoln is a greater man than I. I can't and won't pay homage to the Confederacy, and I hate to see the rewriting of history. Many blacks do not seem to comprehend the honesty and true vision of Huckleberry Finn, and the nation is blinded to the deception in our latest revisions of the Civil War.
There is no honor in a dishonorable cause.