Beginning in December 1860 the states of South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, Louisiana, and Texas seceded from the “Union” of the United States to form the Confederate States of America. The states were later joined by Arkansas, North Carolina, Kentucky, Virginia (the eastern half), Tennessee, and Missouri. By April 1861, a new government had been formed called the Confederate States of America. The “Confederacy” was complete with its own constitution, president and flag. The flag was adopted in March 1861.
Secession was not a new idea; South Carolina had threatened to secede as early as 1776 over the issue that continues to plague the country. Then it was slavery; today it’s race. So, South Carolina leading the other 12 states in an “insurrection” that resulted in a split of the country into north versus south and black versus white was no surprise in 1860.
The lead up to secession had been brewing for more than 100 years. Fights over the structure and language of the constitution and the declaration of independence are well documented. Additionally, there were many SCOTUS cases dating back to the 1700’s dealing specifically with the rights of slave owners and the manhood or lack thereof, of slaves.
A notable SCOTUS decision in the run-up to secession was “The Dred Scott Decision (1857).” The Dred Scott decision allowed slave owners to take their slaves into “Western Territories.” The decision went against what would be one of the planks in the Republican Party Platform (of 1860) leading into the presidential election of 1860. Abraham Lincoln became the nominee and eventually the president elected in November of 1860, taking the oath of office in January 1861.
The expansion of the Union or the United States into Western Territories is important to note. When secession began in December 1860, there were only 36 states, mostly all eastern states with the exception of California. This dispute between the states and the federal government is often discussed as a “states’ rights issue” but, the root is still, slavery.
In addition to the prohibition against slave owners being able to take their slaves into Western Territories, the Republican Party Platform for the 1860 election also included:
- the denouncement of the John Brown Rebellion at Harpers Ferry. John Brown was an abolitionist that sought to physically take guns and weaponry in a fight against slavery. Lincoln specifically denounced the “raid.”
- an affirm statement opposing slavery and a desire to end slavery, and just as a side note,
- build a transcontinental railroad that would go from the east coast to the Pacific Ocean.
You can read the entire Republican platform here.
Knowing the mood of the country and the planned aggressive actions presented in the platform of the Republican Party, should the Republicans win the election, southern states had an “exit” strategy on deck.
To somewhat “soften” the blow that would be dealt to the South with their possible loss of the election, Abraham Lincoln made some compromises on his proposed cabinet picks so he could win the election. Openly opposing the John Brown Rebellion was also supposed to help to pacify Southern states.
Lincoln went on to win the election but his compromises were not enough. South Carolina led the secession effort before Lincoln was inaugurated.
Secession and the eventual civil war were about slavery, hard stop. The arguments that the war was about States’ rights and self-determination and economics are bullshit. The war was about Southern states having the right to own slaves. Sure, slaves were the “property” of slave owners AND the free labor that was driving a significant portion of the southern economy. The common denominator of all of that is “slavery.”
The civil war began in April 1861. The war was fought to “preserve the union.” Here is a question from an introduction to an assignment for a Baylor University history class.
The Civil War is the central event in America’s historical consciousness. While the Revolution of 1776-1783 created the United States, the Civil War of 1861-1865 determined what kind of nation we would be. The war resolved two fundamental questions left unresolved by the revolution: whether the United States was to be a dissolvable confederation of sovereign states or an indivisible nation with a sovereign national government; and whether this nation, born of a declaration that all men were created with an equal right to liberty, would continue to exist as the largest slaveholding country in the world.
The war ended in 1865 with more than 600,000 Americans losing their lives. The death toll included Union and Confederate soldiers as well as slaves, and freedmen.
Here are some key dates and events:
December 1860 – South Carolina begins the secession movement and the eventual formation of the Confederate States of America.
April 1861 – Virginia joins the Confederacy and becomes the 13th state in the new “declared country.”
April 1861 – the civil war begins
January 1, 1863 – Lincoln signs the Emancipation Proclamation, symbolically announcing an end to slavery, in “some states.”
April 15, 1965 – Lincoln is assassinated by John Wilkes Boothe. On an interesting sidenote, John Wilkes Boothe had witnessed the execution of John Brown, the abolitionist responsible for the raid at Harpers Ferry.
May 9, 1865 – the Civil War ends with the surrender of General Robert E. Lee at the Army of Northern Virginia at the McLean House in the village of Appomattox Court House. though the final battle wouldn’t take place until June 1865 at Palmito Ranch Battlefield, Texas in Cameron County.
December 1865 – the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, abolishing slavery was ratified by ¾’s of states (27 of 36 states, at the time) officially ending slavery. Texas didn’t ratify the amendment until July 1868; Kentucky, March 1976, and Mississippi, March 1995 although Mississippi’s ratification wasn’t certified (filed with the federal register) until 2013.
Post-civil war, the nation began a prolonged period of recovery that included trying to integrate freed slaves into the fabric of the “United States of America.” A very legitimate argument can be made that, the struggle to integrate African-Americans into the United States of America continues, 154 years later.
The civil rights era, principally from the years 1954 with the Brown v Board of Education SCOTUS decision through 1968 with passage of significant civil rights legislation and the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy, was possibly the height of the resistance in efforts to integrate freed slaves and other African Americans into the “Union”. This period, roughly 100 years after the start of the civil war was marked by the introduction of relics, statues, naming of schools, public buildings and even new residential developments after the names of civil war officials including Jefferson Davis the president of the confederacy and Robert E. Lee, the general who led the insurrection, which could be considered treason, against the United States of America. More on treason later.
Statues, monuments, and other civil war relics were thrust into the spotlight after the Dylann Roof massacre in Charleston, South Carolina, on June 17, 2015. In the immediate aftermath of Roof’s killing of 12 African Americans in a church during prayer service, efforts begin to remove monuments and statues “honoring” civil war figures. The effort included renaming buildings and schools. The biggest, and I guess most controversial and ‘symbolic” statement made to distance the current day from the civil war era was removing the official flag of the Confederate States of America from the South Carolina statehouse by the then governor of South Carolina, Nikki Haley. The flag was erected over the South Carolina statehouse in 1961!
A manifesto written by Dylann Roof was found on social media and other websites where Roof pointed to “niggers” for all that was wrong with American society. Additionally, several images of Roof were found with him draped in the Confederate flag. In his manifesto, he denounced the United States of America flag and what it stands form. Dylann Roof is an unapologetic racist.
The manifesto is too salacious to include excerpts. It goes into great detail about Roof’s feelings about ‘niggers,’ Jews, Europe and of course American ‘Whites’. This link contains the text of the manifesto.
After his arrest, Roof wrote a jailhouse manifesto while awaiting trial. Still, unapologetically racist, Roof continued to express his disdain for African Americans and assert his commitment to white supremacy.
Last week, the week of December 2, 2019, Nikki Haley, the former governor of South Carolina and Trump’s former Ambassador to the United Nations was a guest of Glenn Beck on his podcast, The Blaze, to discuss her recently released book, ‘With All Due Respect.’ Early in the interview, which you can view the entire interview here:
NBC News reported the following:
Former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley on Friday defended an interview in which she said people in South Carolina equated the Confederate flag with “service and sacrifice and heritage” before the Charleston church shooter “hijacked” it.
Haley made the comments after Blaze TV’s Glenn Beck asked her how she was able to rally South Carolinians into bringing down the Confederate flag from the state Capitol when she was the state’s governor.
Haley, who at one point was opposed to removing the flag, signed the measure into law on July 9, 2015, less than a month after a white supremacist killed a dozen people in a black church.
“You had what was just horrible. Twelve people who went and did what so many South Carolinians do every Wednesday night — they went to Bible study. But on this night someone else showed up and he didn’t look like them, he didn’t act like them and he didn’t sound like them. And they didn’t throw him out. They didn’t call the cops. They pulled up a chair and they prayed with him for an hour. And when they bowed their heads in that last prayer, he began to shoot,” Haley recounted.
“South Carolina fell to her knees when this happened. This is one of the oldest African-American churches. These 12 people were amazing people, they love their church, they love their family, they love their community.”
The killer, Dylann Roof, “comes out with this manifesto, holding the Confederate flag, and had just hijacked everything that people thought of,” she continued. “We don’t have hateful people in South Carolina. There’s always the small minority that’s always gonna be there, but, you know, people saw it as service, and sacrifice, and heritage, but once he did that there was no way to overcome it.”
Some right-wing commentators have been working hard to defend Haley’s comments saying that they were taken out of context, that she was saying what the people of South Carolina felt, not what she felt.
Fuck you Nikki Haley and fuck all those running to your defense. You said what you said. Dylann Roof said that the Confederate Flag is meant to say for all who embrace and defend their right to fly it and embrace it. You can’t make sugar out of shit!
I hear you though, Nikki Haley. I understand your sense of grievance when somebody like Dylann Root, robs you of your ability to display your symbol of white supremacy. I get it that you now have to say verbally what you can no longer say with a flag, that your whiteness is superior to that of any other race and you deserve the right to be able to express that.
What the fuck is there to be proud of in “service and sacrifice and heritage” in an act of treason against our country? Yes, I said treason. When you sell or trade cotton with another country for arms, weapons to be used against the USA, that’s fucking treason.
You don’t get the benefit of the doubt for being ignorant as fuck. Your embrace and defense of Trump tells us all we need to know about you, absent of Dylann Root.
Nikki Haley was born in 1972, 1972. Her mother and father are of Indian descent. They were born in India, moved to Canada for education and professional reasons before relocating to South Carolina where Haley was born. As surprising as it may seem, Haley’s father was offered a job at Voorhees College, an HBCU (Historically Black College or University).
Obviously, not being White or having a parent teaching at an HBCU doesn’t prevent you from being a racist or embracing racist views and symbols of racism. After all, Haley was an appointee of Trump. Is there anybody in that administration who doesn’t have racist views? Surely, that’s a prerequisite for an appointment in that administration.
I hope you’re offended by me calling you a racist, Nikki. Most passive racists are offended at the thought of being associated with someone like Dylann Roof but it’s amazing how many of you embrace his ideals. You might not kill people, Nikki, but, your former boss has suggested that certain people should be killed and you have fully embraced him. What have you said no to, relating to Trump, Nikki?
Its offensive to be called a racist but not so to act racist, have racist thoughts, enact and support racist policies, support other racist politicians? Who wants to be associated with that? I get that you’re incensed that somebody like a Dylann Root would fuck it up for so many silent racists, like you. And, to think, he gets to be in a prison for the rest of his life for killing niggas and you’ve got to live the rest of your life vocally disassociating yourself with him, all because he said what your symbol really means. How fucked up is that?
Fuck you, Nikki Haley.
Do you know what offends me? People like you who either believe in Trump’s racist rhetoric or you don’t have the courage to say he’s fucked up and wrong. You’ve already told me and the world that you believe what he believes.
You know what offends me? People like you who think that the rest of us can’t see through you, people like you who tell people like me that it’s raining while you’re pissing on me. You know, shit like Dylann Root is saying what the flag means and you’re telling me that’s not what it means. We know that taking down the Confederate flag was not a sincere act of absolution. If you were truly moved or cared for or concerned or remorseful, that flag would not have flown proudly over the statehouse with you as governor and you wouldn’t have resisted taking it down. Out of your own mouth, you said you needed the noise to go away, not that it was the right thing to do.
You know what offends me, white supremacists like you who work your asses off to be sure that the justice system only works for privileged white folks and doing everything you can to be sure that black and brown people suffer the harshest consequences possible for the same crimes committed by white folks. For you, being a racist has learned behavior. You were born after the civil rights era and you have no real basis for your hate of people of color. In fact, you’re a person of color which makes it almost worse.
You know what offends me? People like you, Nikki who can overlook or justify a policy that puts people in cages and you have a voice to speak out but won’t. When children are separated from their parents’ as if it were 1860 or before and you have a voice to speak out but won’t. It offends me when black and brown people are called an infestation, dogs, or varmint and you have a voice to speak out but won’t. It offends me when people like you are silent and supportive of policies that not only permit but encourage a racist president and administration to continue those policies. An administration which you were proud to be a part of and now you say that Dylann Root “hijacked” a flag that is the pure symbol of racism and you act like you’re offended that he gave a real definition of what the flag stands for. Nikki, that offends me.
Nikki, you know what offends me? Republicans in Congress who either have no nuts, no courage to challenge a corrupt president and administration. You know what offends me? Republicans who revel in the 1860s, or 1950s, embracing a philosophy that our country is better off when Hispanics were spics when black folks were niggas and LBGTQ were better off not seen or heard. That offends me.
You know what offends me, Nikki? When a group of racists folks pervert Christianity and disparage other religions, I’m offended. I’m offended when Christianity is embraced as the religion for white folks and used to justify the suppression of others. That offends me, Nikki.
So, if you, Nikki Haley, or anyone else of your ilk is offended by Dylann Root’s fucking it up for you, or you are offended by my language, don’t worry, I’m offended too. FUCK YOU, Nikki!