Has the Lost Cause Lost? (Redux)

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Stained-Glass Window at Richmond Memorial Chapel

In 2010 I was asked by the Wilson Quarterly to write a short response to an essay on the Civil War and historical memory by Christopher Clausen. I suggested that there is reason to think that the Lost Cause’s influence on the general public, with its emphasis on states’ rights as the primary cause of the Civil War, is gradually being supplanted by slavery. In the latest issue of Civil War Book Review, Gaines Foster briefly explores the landscape of Civil War memory studies and along the way suggests that this may indeed be the case.

For many scholars and journalists, the idea of a persistent and powerful role for the Lost Cause extends beyond the 1960s; they claim to find in the contemporary South a widespread and deep commitment to the Lost Cause or see various examples of the white South still fighting the Civil War. The continuing battle over the Confederate flag and other Confederate symbols would seem to support such views, although the flag fights may be even more immediately shaped by matters of race than the Lost Cause celebrations of the late nineteenth century. [click to continue…]

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Racist Images and Messages in Jim Crow Era

The next episode of PBS’s The African Americans airs on Tuesday night.

The African American in antebellum times was, as the stereotype held, reliable, faithful, hardworking, malleable. Indeed, one entrusted one’s children, one’s property to such people. Now, of a sudden, the African American becomes demonized, a threat, a lascivious beast roaming the countryside of the South, people loosed by the end of slavery and now upon us like locusts.  Well, this was an absurdity. — David Levering Lewis

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Commemorating the Gettysburg Address on Ice

[Hat-tip to Jaime Martinez]

On November 10 the Bakersfield Condors – a minor league Hockey team out of California – will commemorate the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address by wearing the jersey pictured below. This is pretty cool.

Bakersfield-Condors-Gettysburg-Address-Jersey

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Tripp Lewis Runs Afoul of Sons of Confederate Veterans

By now many of you have learned that Virginia Flagger Tripp Lewis is being charged for “conduct unbecoming” by the Virginia Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. No word on the specifics of the charge, but I suspect more will be revealed in the near future. It goes without saying that this is not the kind of publicity that the Flaggers are looking for, but as we’ve seen this kind of news has become business as usual.

My curiosity is piqued given the reputation of the Edmund Ruffin Camp. So, are there other examples of charges brought against members by the Virginia Division or by any division in the SCV? What kinds of actions are we talking about? I am clearly not privy to the internal workings of the SCV so I wonder if those of you who are might fill us in with a bit more information about this organization’s disciplinary system. Are the charges brought against Lewis unusual?

And for those of you who need a quick reminder re: Tripp Lewis’s antics, click here.

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Virginia Flagger Antics Part ? (lost track)

Imagine my surprise when I learned after reading Brooks Simpson’s blog that the Virginia Flaggers are reporting a theft at their backwoods location for their Confederate flag off of I-95. No, the flag is still proudly flying, but the excavator that was being used to clear trees is now missing and assumed stolen. [click to continue…]

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