The video is difficult to watch, but it does address some issues related to questions that have already been raised about the challenges of reenacting any violent event with racial overtones such as the Crater.
Well, I guess you have to give the guy credit for taking the time yesterday to visit Howard University and engage students in a little politics and history. I was particularly interested in the latter. One of the problems that Senator Paul ran into was his insistence on giving the student body a history lesson, but even worse was that the history itself was fundamentally flawed. Senator Paul attempted to draw a straight line from the modern Republican Party to Lincoln and the party that ended slavery and passed the Reconstruction Amendments. The guiding question throughout was why black Americans to not identify with the Republican Party given its history. All of the roadblocks, according to Paul, were instituted by Democrats. No mention of Nixon’s Southern Strategy or Lee Atwater’s work on using race as a political wedge or even Ronald Reagan’s famous references to “welfare queens” and his embrace of “states’ rights” while campaigning in Philadelphia, Mississippi.
I always get a question in class when we get to the first political parties in the 1790s inquiring about modern connections. I do my best to explain that while many of the issues that Americans debated remain consistent the parties themselves have evolved over time.
Paul’s collapse of the past 150 years constitutes not only a superficial understanding of American history, but a false Civil War Memory. Take a look for yourself.
The state of Georgia is now considering similar legislation. There is something ironic about the passage of legislation by state legislatures to protect monuments to people who supposedly fought for nothing more during the Civil War that the right to make decisions through their local governments without outside interference.