By Paul Clark
What people see and hear today from their woke peers, teachers and parents, they believe, is gospel truth – especially if they’re young and easily influenced. There is an incessant race to get woke before enough grown ups find out it’s really Marxism.
Today, all of us see and hear about the altering of names, places, descriptions – basically our written and spoken language. Words are being “updated”. Narratives are being “corrected”, and context “added”.
The “American Civil War”, named so by the victors in the North, will be re-named too. No, the wokesters haven’t succeeded in its renaming yet, but you see the signs and attempts to re-define and re-label the meaning of the war everywhere. How about we just rename it ourselves, shall we, how about… The War for Slavery. That is, white southerners were fighting a war for slavery. The white northerners were fighting a war against slavery. That’s what they want you to swallow. That’s what the re-written history books will say. It’s all about fighting over blacks, right?
Simple. Drop the mic. Everyone can go home now. It’s all settled. Nothing more to see here. Move along. Take your test online and get an easy ‘A’. Just another re-naming effort, but this time, the “civil war”, wrongly named in the first place, is on the chopping block, so even northern Americans will get a taste of wokeness and the eradication of their precious “civil war” victory.
Marxist ideology such as “Critical Race Theory”, the “1619 Project”, the “BLM Movement” and many other pop-up manifestations of historical re-wiring, are in full push. Almost every public school system and university campus (warning: scary link) has been taken over by the woke ‘religion’, the cult that preaches everything is the fault of white people.
States’ legislatures and woke school boards are injecting it into their curricula. So, it appears, it’s only a matter of time before “The American Civil War” will be ousted and The War for Slavery shamed upon us. And yes, a “civil war” reference-removal project is underway. Just last year the president of Oregon State University, Ed Ray, said changing the name “civil war” was overdue, as “it represents a connection to a war fought to perpetuate slavery.” Full story.
Southerners believed the war was not a “civil war” at all. Southerners believed then, as most do now, the war was about fighting (and defending against) an invading federal Army who came into their States. That federal Army was ordered to do so by its Commander in Chief. In 1861, the American people did not rise up to overthrow another group of American people, or to overturn the U.S. government, and they were not seceding as a result of a coup – all of which would have been civil war by definition (Google: Nigerian Civil War 1967-1970; Nigeria’s Constitution did not allow for secession). You see, southerners believed in the right to secede, as laid out in the Constitution which guarantees to states all rights not delegated to the federal government. Sending troops into their states was a violation of those principals.
On the ground, the average Confederate soldier-farmer (95% of whom did not own slaves) believed in protecting his family, his farm, his property, and his native state where his people lived. The name “civil war” was conveniently anointed after the fact by the victors.
It was true that some states in the south and elsewhere had no problem with slavery expanding to newly-formed western states. It is also true that this disagreement was not settled by the time southern states decided to secede. Irrespective of the morality of the slave issue – no matter which side you were on at the time – the matter should have been argued and decided by representative government. In fact, Union should have been preserved, as Robert E. Lee declared in his early 1861 letter to his son Custis, “I hope, therefore, that all constitutional means will be exhausted before there is a resort to force. Secession is nothing but revolution.” Lee would change his mind, not on secession, but on a specific action, the one that saw a federalized Army invade his native Virginia. For Lee, there was never any mention of going to war or defending Virginia over slavery.
Rather, Lee saw a fatal flaw in judgment had been forced upon him. As we know, Lincoln took the next step — a step that would cost 650,000 lives. With his 75,000-man invasion, Lincoln had violated something sacred in Lee’s mind, and in the mind’s of many that reasoned, “… Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government…”, even despite the warning in the Preamble of the Declaration of Independence that to move forward with revolution over “light and transient” reasons was a mistake because “mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable”. But Lee looked to God, and to him, Lincoln had violated a sacred principal of unalienable rights that come from “the laws of Nature and of Nature’s God”. And slavery? Neither Lincoln or Lee had this on their mind. Only later would Lincoln use slavery emancipation as a political weapon to rally the waning support in northern states for the war.
“Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.” Lee had thought long and hard on this before deciding to defend his native Virginia and her rights. He must have pondered the words “Governments long established”, for the United States, at 80 years, was barely out of diapers.
The seceding states had other grievances, in fact, there was a whole laundry list. Representative government, bound by the rule of law and by the Constitution, should have settled the matter, if not in 1860, then over the natural course of time. But it did not. By 1861, Abraham Lincoln decided to push the issue and bring the states back into the Union by force. He did not agree with the 10th Amendment on the issue of states’ rights. This was the cause for war; it was Lincoln’s calculation. An appalled South raised their own Confederate States Army in response to that decision. And slavery? It was not prominent on the grievance agenda, and it was certainly not a major reason to go to war, in the north or south.
And now, what does this have to do with today? Let’s just look at what the modern-day victors are doing. Just as the northern victors coined a War Between the States as a “civil war”, the neo-Marxist woke theorists are seeking to rename it expressly based on their desire to make it about slavery. But this time, like the last time, it’s a sham, another example of language shape-shifting. The American way of life, its culture, and constitutional government will be the casualty. Sadly, southerners say “we told you so.”
Finally, here is one fitting example that represents how southerners felt then and now. It includes a poignant prediction of things to come. To a ‘rebel’ soldier, Jefferson Smith from North Carolina, who had first-hand knowledge of the war because he was up to his neck in it, the reason for fighting the war for he and his fellow soldiers was clear. It was gospel truth. And for them, it was not about slavery. As it is often said, why would men charge a line of rifle fire and face a double-shot of iron balls and cannister to keep (or free) slaves? That question applies to soldiers on both sides of the battlefield.
No sir, that is a modern “after-the-fact” convenient construct. The War for Slavery is being injected into our conscience faster than Orwell can say ‘newspeak’. It’s done so in order to steal a nation’s soul for all time.
In 2010, the Charlottesville Daily Progress published the following letter Pvt. Jefferson Smith wrote home to his wife.
My lovely wife. I do so miss you, and the life we have there on the small plot of land God has given us. More and more, it seems that my thoughts are drifting back there to reside with you. Yet, as badly as I desire to be back home, it is for home for which I deem it best for my presence here with these other men.
The proclamation by the Lincoln administration six months prior may appear noble. Were I here in these conditions, simply to keep another man in bondage, I would most certainly walk away into the night and return unto you.
God knows my heart, and the hearts of others here amongst me. We know what is at stake here, and the true reason for this contest that requires the spilling of the blood of fellow citizens. Our collective fear is nearly universal. This war, if it is lost, will see ripples carry forward for five, six, seven or more generations.
I scruple not to believe, as do the others, that the very nature of this country will be forever dispirited. That one day, our great great grandchildren will be bridled with a federal bit, that will deem how and if they may apply the gospel of Christ to themselves, their families, and their communities. Whether or not the land of their forefathers may be deceitfully taken from them through taxation and coercion. A day where only the interests of the northern wealthy will be shouldered by the broken and destitute bodies of the southern poor. This my darling wife is what keeps me here in this arena of destruction and death.
(In 1863, shortly after writing this letter, Jefferson would die)
But now there’s a bigger aim and it’s not just the South, it’s America they want. Our language, our culture and history, our country.