Friday, September 12, 2014

Lincoln and Hitler -Held Same Beliefs

Those who compare Confederate soldiers to Hitler should look at Lincoln 

Abraham Hitler


When President Barack Obama continued the presidential tradition of visiting the Confederate monument at Arlington Cemetery on Memorial Day, South Carolina NAACP president Lonnie Randolph likened Obama's honoring of Confederate soldiers to paying tribute to Adolf Hitler.
Randolph says he is disappointed that Obama would pay tribute to men who died trying to keep men like the president out of the White House.

Randy Burbage of the S.C. Sons of Confederate Veterans called the comparison "outrageous." Burbage is right. But I would also add that Randolph's comparison is ludicrous, laughable, and downright stupid — because it is so demonstrably inaccurate.

While it would be morally and historically absurd to suggest that Southern men who took up arms against President Lincoln's armies did so purely to oppress black people, it is true that virtually all white men in the 19th century, North or South, could not imagine a black president. Some simply wanted to get rid of blacks altogether, or as Lincoln told a delegation of black leaders he invited to the White House in 1862, "You and we are different races ... We have between us a broader difference than exists between almost any other two races ... This physical difference is a great disadvantage to us both ... It is better for us both, therefore, to be separated."

Lincoln constantly complained about "the troublesome presence of free negroes" and worked diligently with Congress on a plan to send American blacks to the African nation of Liberia. Lincoln also proposed a 13th amendment to the Constitution forever protecting the institution of slavery in order to pacify Southern secessionists. Needless to say, it didn't work.

Dissuading the South from seceding by promising to protect slavery didn't work, because the issue was secondary to the primary issue of constitutional government and states' rights. Southerners clung to the Founding Fathers' vision of a decentralized republic in which central planning, federal dictates, and permanent standing armies would have been impossible because the Constitution did not allow for a national government powerful enough to implement such measures.

In declaring secession illegal, and the U.S. a consolidated state, Lincoln enacted the first income tax and the first draft, and supported internal improvements and nationalizing banks. Such centralizing, socialistic, and militaristic restructuring of America was certainly more comparable to the fascism that defined Hitler's Germany than the agrarian-based economies and loose-knit state militias that defined the Confederate States of America.

Today, it is quite popular to make comparisons between Southern secessionists and the Nazis. But Hitler himself wrote in Mein Kampf of the Old South: "[T]he individual states of the American Union ... could not have possessed any state sovereignty of their own. For it was not these states that formed the Union; on the contrary it was the Union which formed a great part of such so-called states." This was also Lincoln's argument, and Hitler was an admirer of the 16th president for all the obvious reasons.

Lincoln suspended habeas corpus and imprisoned thousands upon thousands of newspaper editors, judges, politicians, and any other citizens, public or private, who dared to get in his way. Conducting the first "total war" of the modern era — in which Lincoln's armies intentionally targeted innocent women, children, and old men in the South — was nothing less than an act of "genocide" against Southerners.

 There is nothing even remotely comparable in the actions of Confederate President Jefferson Davis or even Southern leaders like Robert E. Lee to the fascist tactics of Lincoln. In his book Forced into Glory: Abraham Lincoln's White Dream, author Lerone Bennett Jr., the former editor of Ebony magazine, wrote the following of Lincoln's plan to repatriate American blacks to Africa: "deportation ... was the only racial solution he ever had ... Racial cleansing became, 72 years before the Third Reich, 133 years before Bosnia, the official policy of the United States." Obviously Bennett is comparing Lincoln to Hitler, based purely on the president's intentions for black Americans.

Hitler himself wrote, "National Socialism as a matter of principle, must lay claim to the right to force its principles on the whole German nation without consideration of previous federated state boundaries." Hitler's language and actions were similar to Lincoln's, who believed that state sovereignty was foolish compared to "saving the union."

My purpose here is not to say that Lincoln was on par with Hitler, but that if someone insists on making the comparison, the 16th president had far more in common with the Nazi dictator than the Southern soldiers who died fighting for their country's independence.

I don't expect Lonnie Randolph or his organization to understand such an important and drastic distinction. But then again, I never expect too much from the NAACP to begin with.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014


King Monument
Historic preservation workers install the headstone of Tecumseh King at the King Cemetery near Kinta, OK.

Gravesites of vets discovered in King Cemetery near Kinta.

Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma
DURANT, Okla. – Choctaw Nation Historic Preservation employees worked for two months to prepare for the May 24 ceremony honoring two full-blood Choctaw Civil War confederate soldiers at their discovered gravesites in King Cemetery near Kinta.
“I was doing family research and discovered the cemetery,” Karrie Shannon, Choctaw Nation employee in McAlester, said. “In November, I made a trip to Kinta, Oklahoma to locate the King Cemetery. I found the cemetery unmaintained and abandoned. No one might have entered there for 121 years, it was so thick you had a hard time making your way through the area.”
Private Henry Cooper and 2nd Lieutenant Jerry Riddle received military government issued headstones and were honored during the cemetery dedication in May. Both were descendents of Chief Mosholatubbee, who had seven sons with the surname King and one daughter surnamed Cooper.
Skyler Robinson, Cemetery Restoration Coordinator with Historic Preservation, said his crew works to preserve and protect abandoned Choctaw cemeteries like King Cemetery. “It was in really bad shape, thick with briars and bushes,” Robinson said. “We went in and cleaned it up, put a new fence around it with a gate, and then placed a couple of headstones.”
District 5 Tribal Council Member Ron Perry was in attendance and spoke to dedicate King Cemetery during the event. Gene Arpelar said the prayer and blessing. The Choctaw Nation Color Guard sent members, led by Herbert Jessie, to give the 21-gun salute and play Taps. The Color Guard, while honoring the veterans, also showed gratitude to their relatives. “We were there to do the honors,” Harlan Wright, Color Guard member, said. “They folded a flag and presented it to the next of kin.”
Karrie Shannon and Cheryl Stone-Pitchford, King descendants, were there to receive the flag. Stone-Pitchford, who had also researched Choctaw genealogy, aided Shannon in uncovering King Cemetery. She said it was a very sacred moment; everyone was there to remember and honor the cemetery and its buried that were too long forgotten.
“When it became apparent who was buried there, it became a real significance in our family. I also believe it is significant to the Choctaw Nation and history overall,” Stone-Pitchford said.
Dena Cantrell, also a King descendant in attendance at the ceremony, said she appreciated the genealogical research that had been done and how it was bringing the family history together. “Learning and knowing we are descendents of ancestors who played a great part in the history of the Choctaw Nation and the United States… is very gratifying,” she said.
There are approximately 50 gravesites at King Cemetery. Some were identified by grave depressions, bases of headstones or bases of footstones. There are a handful of existing headstones still standing. Approximately 15 out of 50 buried individuals have been identified. Two of Chief Mosholatubbee’s children are buried in the cemetery, and five military veterans.
Shannon is working to obtain military monuments for all five veterans within the cemetery. She received the monument for the grave of Tecumseh King, youngest son of Chief Mosholatubbee, on July 21. “There’s a lot of Choctaws in that cemetery,” Shannon said. “We’ve got to remember our Choctaw soldiers and what they have done for us. And if we can do anything to give back to them, that’s what this is all about. It’s for them.”
Robinson, with Historic Preservation, said his department gets calls informing them of abandoned Choctaw cemeteries periodically, occasionally multiple within one week. He said if anyone knows of an abandoned Choctaw cemetery, it would be appreciated if the individual calls (580) 924-8280 ext. 2236. Additionally, Shannon offered to aid anyone researching family genealogy and can be contacted at

Monday, September 1, 2014


Texas looks to Supreme Court to block Confederate license plates

  /Texas Department of Motor Vehicles
Texas is fighting to block license plates featuring the Confederate flag. Its battle with the Sons of Confederate Veterans has lasted five years, longer than the Civil War.
AUSTIN — The legal sparring between Texas and supporters of a Confederate battle flag license plate has rumbled into its fifth year, even longer than the Civil War.
In the latest volley, the attorney general’s office has turned to the U.S. Supreme Court to help block the flag logo and other unwanted images on government-issued plates.
The state had long held off a Southern heritage group wanting to sell the tags until it sued and won last month in a federal appeals court. Now, the state has asked the Supreme Court to intervene because of conflicting decisions in similar cases across the country.
If they take up the case, the justices will be tackling a raucous freedom-of-speech dispute between the symbol’s backers, who say it honors Confederate veterans, and opponents, who say it’s racially offensive.
At stake: how much power states have in regulating controversial messages on government-issued property.
“The issue is ripe for this court’s resolution,” the attorney general’s office said in an Aug. 7 filing that outlined its arguments against the Sons of Confederate Veterans’ tag.
The group, which has clashed with the state since 2009 over the plate, has until early October to respond. It’s expected to highlight the appeals court’s opinion that the Department of Motor Vehicles engaged in “viewpoint discrimination” when it rejected the proposal.
John McConnell, the group’s attorney, has said that displaying the flag is protected free speech that can’t be restricted simply because it might upset someone.
The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals’ panel in New Orleans, siding with the veterans group, also said the DMV’s standards for what qualifies as offensive were too vague.
Attorney General Greg Abbott’s office, representing the agency, said that court erred, leaving it unclear whether Texas could exclude “profanity, sacrilege or overt racism.”
“The notion that the Constitution requires states to maintain viewpoint neutrality when deciding whether to issue specialty license plates is unworkable and leads to absurdities,” the state said.
The plate, with the words “Sons of Confederate Veterans 1896” encircling the red battle flag of blue bars and white stars, remains in limbo until the case is resolved.
Nine other states allow it. In seven of them, the Tennessee-based veterans group had to sue to get the plates. Those courts largely declared the emblem private speech that a government cannot restrict.
When it convenes next month, the Supreme Court will sift through nearly 10,000 petitions before picking the 80 to 90 cases it will hear in the session that ends in mid-2015.
Peter Scheer, executive director of the First Amendment Coalition, a California-based advocacy group, said he couldn’t predict if the court will take the Texas case. But he noted it looks for issues that have split lower courts and “cause people on both sides to get elevated blood pressure when they talk about it.”
The DMV has said that because the state manufactures and issues license plates, it should not be forced to put out designs the public opposes.
It received hundreds of comments against the plate. Elected officials, religious leaders, NAACP members and other critics called it a hurtful reminder of slavery.
The veterans group applied for the tag through a procedure separate from Texas’ specialty vendor, My Plates. The group said that the plate commemorates Confederate soldiers and that it would use the proceeds to fund memorial projects.
AT A GLANCE/Fight over license plates
Yes, then no: In 2009, a state Transportation Department advisory group voted in favor of the battle flag plate sought by the Sons of Confederate Veterans. Other agency officials didn't accept that, concerned about the uproar it had caused in other states. Without publicly disclosing the first vote, department leaders sent the proposal back to the advisory group. This time, it failed.
New agency, same outcome: The newly created Department of Motor Vehicles took over license plate approval duties in late 2009. Two years later, when the Confederate plate sponsors renewed their request, the DMV board deadlocked on a 4-4 vote. In November 2011, it unanimously rejected the plate, 8-0.
Turning to the courts: The veterans group in December 2011 sued the DMV in federal court. U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks in April 2013 said the state had authority to reject offensive designs. The group then took the case to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, which in July upheld its suit.
Next step: The appeals court ruling means the state would have to allow the plate. That’s now on hold as the state attorney general’s office, representing the DMV, has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene in the case.