I also mourn the fact that History is no longer taught in our schools. Thank you for sharing some of your personal family history; Southern Confederate history; Washington’s history, with your readers.
Being from California but living in NC for the last 35+ years, I too have a strange dichotomy. I’m now considered a “Southerner” by friends here, but a “Northerner” by most. It’s odd, because as a History Major I understand the complexity of the issues, and being from CA it was even more confused as the state was divided city by city during the War.
But growing up in CA during the 50s, 60s and 70s I didn’t feel any division. With the exception of the experience of the Watts Riots, I always lived comfortably with people from many cultures, including a godfather who was Filipino, friends who were Latino (before we had words to distinguish us as different), family friends who were Chinese. I knew about racism, absolutely, and hated it. I had seriously studied WWII and the Holocaust. I had studied the Civil War. I’m a person who has always advocated for the ones being unjustly treated (an passion that is harmful to me).
It wasn’t until I moved to NC that I observed people treating other people differently because of their race. It caught me off guard, it shocked me, it made me angry, it challenged me. It’s a long story. But the afternoon I did CPR, mouth to mouth (this was in the olden days and I was a volunteer firefighter/EMT) on an elderly Black man for more than 30 minutes until an ambulance arrived to take him to a hospital (yes, he survived), there was no doubt in the minds of the people in the small community and other surrounding areas that I was different.
It’s strange to live in an area where there were still white people who had ties to racist groups, who still talked the talk of hatred, who made conversation that used hate charged words or said disgusting things in ways that seemed casual. BUT –
Thirty plus years have made a difference, and I think it’s people like me, and people like my friends, the ones I have now. We’ve talked about this a lot in the last several years, because, well, because of where I live. There are people here who keep bringing up the race thing every few years to keep the division alive and get time on the news, not just locally, but nationally. My friends are Black, and we’ve had friendship based on something other than race issues, equality, justice – we’re friends because of caregiving. We found each other because we were all caregivers of family, friend, loved ones, and we all had stuff in common, we’re all equal, people who love others, care for them, want to help and solve problems, love to support each other, have compassion and empathy. So over the years when things in the larger town (because stuff has now grown around me and I’ve moved to a different area) or the nation have gotten really bad my friends and I have talked. And they we all agree, the problems are NOT a RACIAL thing. The problems right now are problems of LACK of RESPECT for parents or authority. LACK of DISCIPLINE, NO HONOR, NO BELIEF IN GOD, NO PATRIOTISM, NO SUPPORT of the MILITARY, the DIVISIVENESS of politicians and “leaders”, no BASIC EDUCATION. We all agree. They tell me this, and they are concerned and worried about their kids, their grandkids, and appreciate that I worry for them too. Because this division, this hate, this anger so hurts my soul.
The government and the people who are speaking so loudly on the tv and social media are telling lies to our adults and young people for a reason. They are creating a divide on purpose, a divide of the colors and of the classes, to encourage anger and unrest. The government has encouraged young people to destroy property and harm those who are “different” that they feel have “wronged” them or their ancestors, and told those who are employed by the government to protect that property or people being harmed to “stand down” and not do their sworn duty.
Let me preface my epistle with this, my great-great grandfather was a Southerner who lived in Arkansas and fought for the Union Army. He was a prisoner in Andersonville Prison almost the entire time the prison was open. Nobody in my family fought for the Confederacy. Thousands of citizens in North Arkansas remained loyal to the Union.
However, the Confederate Flag was hoisted above the State Capitol Buildings of the following states listed in the order of their secession:
1. South Carolina
11. North Carolina
In addition to these states, the southern part of New Mexico Territory formed a secession convention, which voted to join the Confederacy on March 16, 1861, and appointed Lewis Owings as the new territorial governor. They won the Battle of Mesilla and established a territorial government with…
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