I hesitate responding to posts by Edward Sebesta that are about me, but in some corners he is still taken seriously. This past week brings two posts in which I am referred to as both a ‘Neo-Confederate apologist and “establishmentarian.” Someone will have to clue me in on the latter’s meaning.
More recently, Sebesta responded to a post I wrote about a ceremony that once again blurs the distinction between slaves and soldiers in the Confederate army. His concern is with my contention that the vast majority of people who fall for the black Confederate myth are not “neo-Confederates” or “Lost Causers,” but are simply misinformed. I have argued that many people cannot properly interpret the evidence available or do not understand the broader history of the Confederacy and slavery.
Levin just thinks they are just poor historians for whom, he the great expert, will show them the way.
The larger problem, as I have explained over and over again, is that many people are incapable of properly searching and assessing online information about this subject. I have seen this over and over and have written numerous blog posts to support it.
I have been very clear that heritage organizations such as the Sons of Confederate Veterans, Virginia Flaggers and others have intentionally distorted this history for self serving reasons. In fact, I have tried to nail down when the myth first emerged.
This search for Confederates of African ancestry or to find African Americans to defend the Confederacy is part of a very long history of finding some African American to endorse some racist policy or practice.
No kidding. This is another point that I have stressed over the years on this blog and in various publications. In fact, I have an entire chapter in my forthcoming book on the subject that explores how former camp slaves were interpreted by postwar southern writers to support the Lost Cause and the politics of white supremacy. At veterans’ reunions these men were welcomed and seen as proof of peaceful race relations before, during and after the war.
I track this use of African Americans to vindicate the Confederate cause right through to the present by exploring why heritage organizations support and/favor writers like Walter Williams and activists like H.K. Edgerton, Karen Cooper and others. Sebesta is not saying anything that I haven’t covered already in great detail. All he has to do is spend time reading this blog.