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Saturday, March 17, 2007

Confederate Heritage Month - Proud To Be A Georgian

Yea right. It's terribly hard to be proud of a state that is seeking to establish April as Confederate History and Heritage Month...

A bill that would permanently establish April as Confederate History and Heritage Month in Georgia sailed through a Senate committee Thursday without any opposition.

Sen. Jeff Mullis (R-Chickamauga), the sponsor of Senate Bill 283, told the Senate Rules Committee that the proposal would help promote tourism in the state and preserve an important part of the state's and the nation's history.

"I'm not doing this for controversial reasons, but to commemorate a struggle that happened," said Mullis, whose North Georgia hometown was the site of a major Civil War battle in 1863.

The proposal has offended some civil rights leaders, who last week asked the Legislature and Gov. Sonny Perdue to offer a symbolic apology for the state's role in slavery.

The Rev. Francys Johnson, the NAACP's Southeast region director, said the organization is "vehemently opposed" to Mullis' bill and finds it hypocritical.

"At the same time that the proponents of this bill want to deny any responsibility for state sanctioned and sponsored slavery from 1755 to the end of the Civil War, they still feel the responsibility to honor the treasonous conduct of the Confederacy. It doesn't seem like you can have it both ways.

"You can't honor the past and not take responsibility for it."

Mullis said he has been working on the bill for several months — long before lawmakers and civil rights groups asked for the apology.

Rep. Al Williams (D-Midway) has said he plans to file a resolution on Monday that will call on the state to recognize slavery and work toward reconciliation.

The request for an apology, so far, has received a cool reception by the state's Republican leadership....

The purpose of Senate Bill 283?

Senate Bill 283, if approved by the Senate and the House, would encourage Georgians each April to honor the Confederacy, its history, soldiers and the people who "contributed to the cause of Southern Independence."

"The War Between the States was a tremendous part of Georgia history. That all needs to be remembered. We're not trying to eliminate anything else. We just want a fair share."

The bill also encourages the Georgia Civil War Commission to develop a curriculum to teach Georgia's Confederate history in elementary and high schools, as well as colleges and universities.

What Georgia public school alum didn't get an OVERDOSE of the Civil War? Even in my AP history classes, we never made it past World War I due to spending months on the Civil War.

Don't be fooled by the "Heritage not Hate" mantra touted by folks like Jeff Mullis. It's not about heritage. Nope, never was. It's about remembering the good ole days when southern society was segregated. Make no doubt about it, racism is alive and well in Georgia.

It may be great to be a Georgia Bulldawg - but its awfully embarrassing to be a Georgian right now.

10 Comments:

Blogger Les Puryear said...

BDW,

You said, "Make no doubt about it, racism is alive and well in Georgia."

Unfortunately, you are correct. Not only is it alive in Georgia, but it is alive in every other state of the union. What really burns me up is that those who call themselves "Christians" are just as guilty of racism as non-Christians. Sunday morning at 11:00 am is the most segregated hour of the week. This is shameful.

I wonder if Bill Harrell will speak out against racism. :)

I pray that we Christians will repent of racism.

BTW, I'm reading that book you recommended on Koinonia Farm and it is superb!

Regards,

Les

12:21 PM

 
Blogger Nathan said...

BDW, try being from Virginia. We have Lee-Jackson-King Day. That's right, we celebrate the two biggest Confederate 'heroes' on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Fantastic.

Add to that the George Allen debacle, my state delegate saying that blacks should just 'get over' slavery, and then Rep. Virgil Goode's unapologetic xenophobe remarks - all leading up to the 400th anniversary of Jamestown where Virginia is trying to show off.

Last night I picked up 'Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass, an American slave'. Just flipping through it sent chills down my spine as he flatly explains the life of a slave. We're only a couple generations removed from that era.

1:06 PM

 
Blogger Big Daddy Weave said...

Les,

Koinonia Farm is definitely a story that more Christians should know about. Charles Marsh who wrote God's Long Summer has a new book called "The Beloved Community" which tells the Koinonia story as well. Great books.

Nathan,

One grandma of mine frequently rails against the Richmond Times-Dispatch. The other grandparents have a George Allen bumpersticker on their Lincoln Town Car. Whew.

Virginia ain't exactly progressive on race. However, I do remember your legislature apologized for slavery recently. It appears the Georgia Senate will only make such an apology IF April is recognized as Confederate History and Heritage Month!

Have you ever been to the "races" in Richmond. Not NASCAR, but the small track in Chesterfield, I think. I went once - never seen so many confederate flags in my life...

2:24 PM

 
Anonymous Kathryn said...

Thank you for letting us know about this. America-and Southerners-should thank God on bended knee that the South lost the war. That war was a terrible, tragic mistake. There are many reasons to rejoice in bringing the Union back together again. The end of slavery, of course. That would be enough right there. World Wars I and II lay ahead. America played a decisive role in defeating the Axis powers from controlling the world as they tried to do. For Christians, there is world evangelism today. Is there a place on earth that suffers a natural tragedy and Americans are not there to help? All of these things would have been impossible or severely hampered if the South had succeeded in dividing these United States. I believe God had a hand in defeating the Confederacy and preserving our country. The good news is that places like Virginia and Tulsa, OK are planning-or have already enacted-resolutions to apologize for their roles in racial injustice. I've read about this online. In the case of Virginia, they include segregation and slavery. Apologies like this are going on all over the world.

6:31 PM

 
Blogger plez... said...

I'm Black, a Georgian (by choice), and an alumnus of Georgia Tech (To Hell with Georgia - I just had to throw that in there!). I write about this flawed Senate bill in my blog, as well. My main issue with this whole Heritage thing is that it is a disingenuous smoke screen for racial hatred and bigotry. If the sponsors(s) of the bill where so concerned about preserving the heritage and history of the South, there would be mention and honor bestowed upon the men and women who toiled for generations under the hot Georgia sun as free laborers, and endured physical, mental, and sexual abuse without recourse as slaves.

We've come a long way since those first shots were fired from Fort Sumter 146 years ago, but it is evident from measures like these in our state legislature, that we still have a long way to go.

10:51 PM

 
Blogger texasinafrica said...

Sigh. I think about this just about every day, because four of the statues outside of my office are the likenesses of several dead Confederatses.

As I once read somewhere, where else in the world are the leaders of a failed rebellion against the state treated like heroes?

1:10 PM

 
Blogger Larry said...

You know, Christian or not, it is just not right to do something that offends a large portion of the people around you. Displaying the Confederate flag or naming a holiday for the Confederacy is a slap at Blacks and we all know it and there is no call for it. You can study about your ancestors on your own time.

2:19 PM

 
Blogger Bart Barber said...

BDW,

There are a great many academic historians who have made a career out of studying "southern heritage" but who have been demonstrably not racist.

For some people it apparently is about heritage.

Shelby Foote???

6:44 AM

 
Blogger Davey said...

the civil war was not about slavery, it was about states rights. slavery was the profitable target, an excuse for war, just like 9/11. the argument that the civil war was about the abolition of slavery is a disservice to the many black confederate soldiers that gave their lives defending dixie.

lincolns 'democracy' made slaves of every citizen in the united states.

6:19 PM

 
Blogger Miss Amy Smarty said...

I have Confederate ancestors, and I'm very proud of them. They fought (and in some cases died) for their rights as Southerners. My grandfather always talked about the former slaves that his family had living with them...they were part of the family. They stayed on after slavery ended. You see, not everyone was a horrible racist Confederate. Many people really did believe in the Cause...which was STATES RIGHTS. I still believe in this. Slavery is wrong, and I do not believe that every opportunity for Confederate remembrance equals racism.

I'm not going to be ashamed of my family heritage just because the South lost the war. It was the exact same thing that the Patriots did in 1776, but the South was crushed instead of winning. I support Confederate Heritage remembrance.

4:46 PM

 

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