Doc’s Take on the Virginia Confederate Statement 20100408

Those of you who regularly read my posts know that I do not routinely write about politics, although I usually make a short joke about silly wingnuts in my closing statements on Pique the Geek, the science post every Sunday at 9:00 PM Sunday evenings.

However, the antics of the newly elected Republican (of course) governor of Virginia just got me going.  Robert Francis McDonnell is the new governor of Virginia, just this year being sworn into the office.  In my opinion, he is a racist and a bigot.

I offer insights not often given by folks at progressive sites, but I think that my experiences might help to make sense of McDonnell’s antics.  Please read to the end before you hate me, or my ancestors.

First of all, let us get some terminology correct.  Most historians call the conflict from 1861 to 1865 the Civil War, and I do not reject that label out of hand, but it is technically incorrect.  According to definitions, a civil war is one between two of more factions that want to take control of whatever government exists at the time.  Please stay with me, because I know that this is offensive for many.

The folks in the Confederacy called it The War of Northern Aggression.  That is probably the most inaccurate label of all, because the War was started by South Carolina.  Just delete that one.  I will go into the reasons for the War later, but it was not because of aggression by the northern states towards the southern ones in any manner.

Lots of Confederate sympathizers call it The War betweed the States, and that is closer to what actually happened.  But it falls short as well.

There are lots of other terms for it, but I posit this one:  The War for Slavery.  States’ rights were often invoked, but it was essentially a war for white humans to keep black humans as property, rather than as people.

Benj. Franklin warned us about this, and I have channeled him from time to time, with three recs at best, so I will no longer channel him.  He was wise, and  begged the Constitutional Convention to outlaw slavery after the HUMANS in slavery passed away, never to be replaced.  But the politics were not with him.

Anyway, all of the arguments were boilt down to slavery, regardless of how the apologists then and now try to spin it.  This is just fact.

The War happened over a political election.  In 1860, Abraham Lincoln was elected as President (on the very, very new Republican ticket, the Whigs sort of disintegrating at the time), and the southern members of the Senate and the House went ballistic.  I will not get into the personal tirades that they took towards each other, but I will give the cautionary note that the feeling is very similar these days.

Now, you have to know something about the southern code of what is called honor.  It is bizarre, and makes no sense, but it does exist.  It is actually feudal, and I shall show you how now.

Between 1820 or so and to the start of the War, there were FOUR classes of people.  At the top were the plantation owners, sort of like feudal lords.  Next were the freemen, the white folks who were blacksmiths, shopkeepers, etc, that worked for a living and were in the debt of the rich plantations owners for their money.  Then there were the mercenaries, who became overseers that with a whip, a knife, and a gun, made the slaves work.

Then there were the slaves.  I am talking about HUMAN BEINGS being forced to do anything (often sex was involved) to serve their masters.  Since they were chattel, they could be bought and sold at the whim of the owner.  This is sort of sick.

Now, to be fair, the masters usually did not abuse their slaves, because it was not economically smart.  A hurt slave could not work as efficiently as a whole one, so the stories of the whip are sort of exaggerated.   I am sure that it happened with particularly hard to deal with ones, but the economics do not work out well.

That is what the Confederates wanted to preserve.  The Union did not care much about them, but they wanted the Nation to exist, and saw that slavery would not do the trick.

Fast forward to now.

I am a recovering racist.  I was taught that black people were inferior, from the time that I could understand language until I revolted from that concept.

I shall give you all insight into how I was raised.  I suspect that several of you were raised that way as well.

From infancy I was told that niggers were bad folks, and not to be trusted.  Niggers were inferior, idiotic, and just servants at best.  My mum even said that to do her housework, that she would like to have “hot and cold running niggers”.

Please do not think of her harshly.  In her later years she sort of, but not completely, backed off of that.

My grandmother loved to watch heavyweight fights on the TeeVee.  When I was little, Cassius Clay went against some white guy, and beat him.  My grandmum told me that niggers have heads as hard as gourds, so he was the winner because of his head.

Then my mum got to go with an integrated society (she worked for the state), and the state hired a black woman.  My mum was actually ill, physically.  She told me that thinking about sitting on the same commode with that nigger made her sick.

After she died, I stayed in contact with my father until his death.  He hated 2004, because he said that the niggers and the queers might win.  Well, to his disappointment, the ones that he suspected did.  No asteroids yet.

Now to this horrible statement by the Republican governor in Virginia.  He had probably been brought up like me, but he is still racist.  Bad on him.

What I find funny, personally, is that he was borne in Pennsylvania, and so he is, to my southern friends, a Yankee!  Yes, the son of a bitch reveling in Confederate history is a damn Yankee!

Go figure.

I hope that this makes my standpoint as a progressive easier to understand.  I have had to overcome lots of racial shit.  I intentionally did not bleep out the words to allow the full flavor of my upbringing to come forth.  Now you know why I will always be a recovering racist, since it was instilled in me from when I could understand language.  By the way, I learnt to spell when I was two years old, thanks to my Uncle David who has nary a raciest bone in his body and to whom I speak weakly, and to my mum’s sister, Aunt JoAnne.

Warmest regards,



  1. to keep on my recovery?

    Warmest regards,


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