The perennial champion of racial division and hatred has, unfortunately, returned to Louisiana politics. Duke’s return will be a boon to his race-hustling counterparts on the left. The likes of Al Sharpton and the Southern Poverty Law Center are no doubt already preparing their mailing list to solicit millions of dollars to fight racism in Dixie. And Duke, one can be assured, is already working his own mailing list to gin-up cash from his racist devotees. All-in-all it is a win-win for the race-hustlers. Added to that win is the win for the “progressive” mainstream media who can now unjustly paint all conservatives and especially Southerners with the tar brush of Duke’s racism—it is indeed a great day to be a liberal!
Advocates of racial division and hatred do not represent conservative Louisiana or Southern conservativism. They do not represent or have any legitimate part in our Southern Heritage especially our Confederate heritage. One can expect the biased liberal media will attempt to wrap Duke in Southern conservativism and the Confederate flag—especially the Confederate flag. But the racial attitudes espoused by folks like Duke are an insult to our Confederate heritage. It is an insult to Governor Allen’s decree that blacks were to be placed in the ranks of Louisiana Confederate troops, paid and treated the same as all other soldiers. It is an insult to the free blacks in New Orleans who volunteered to fight to defend Louisiana from invasion, free men who were an accepted part of New Orleans society and men who owned upwards of 40% more property than their free black brothers in New York City. It is an insult to the thousands of blacks in Louisiana during the War who volunteered and served in the Confederate army. It is an insult to General Beauregard who, after the War, advocated granting civil rights, including voting rights, to the newly freed slaves. It is an insult to Southerners such as General Lee who declared slavery to be immoral or Governor Brandon of Mississippi who declared slavery an evil and encouraged efforts to prevent its expansion. It is an insult to Southern abolitionists who, prior to the 1830s rise of radical Northern abolitionists, were making great strides in abolishing slavery in the South.
The radical contrast between advocates of racial division and hatred and advocates of our Confederate Heritage was on open display at the National Reunion of the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) in Dallas, Texas this past July. In the vendor area there were African-American ladies displaying their pride in their Confederate ancestors; Confederate grave markers were being sold by a Hispanic SCV member whose ancestors had served in the Confederate army as well as the army of the Republic of Texas. During the official meetings a Heritage Defense award was presented to an African-American lady for her brave work in defending her Confederate Heritage and the keynote speaker for the Heritage Defense luncheon was the African-American police chief from a city in the Dallas metropolitan area. While African-Americans who love their Confederate Heritage were welcomed the opposite is true for advocates of racial hatred. In 1989 the SCV publicly denounced the use of Confederate flags and symbols by racists groups and established such activities as unbecoming to SCV members—allowing for the expulsion or exclusion of individuals engaging in such activities. This SCV resolution has been re-confirmed by subsequent national SCV meetings. Those of us who know the truth about the War for Southern Independence understand that the South would not have lasted ninety days without the support of her people—the vast majority of her people both black and white.
But where did American racism originate? The North’s “hatred” of slavery was, to a very extensive but unacknowledged degree, motivated by their hatred of blacks. Shepherd Pike of the New York Times declared the war was an opportunity to keep blacks out of the free states of the North. He advocated a policy toward blacks that would “hem him in and coop him up” down South leaving the rest of America for “the white man.” Professor Norton of Harvard wanted to “confine the Negro within the South” thereby allowing the rest of America to be enjoyed by whites. In the famous Lincoln-Douglas debates Lincoln advocated that the western territories be reserved for the “white man.” President John Adams (of Massachusetts) admitted that the primary motive for Northern attack against slavery was the North’s hatred of blacks. The virus of racism was incubated in the North! French observer Alexis de Tocqueville noted that race prejudice was stronger in the North than in the South and was the greatest in those states where slavery “was never known.” Northerners were shocked and unable to understand the relatively close relationship between the races down South. A former Union officer and open socialist, Carl Schurz, visited the South after the War and noted the close relationship that still existed between black and white Southerners. He was amazed that centuries of slavery had not made black Southerners enemies of white Southerners.
Centuries of slavery were unable to create systemic racial hatred in the South. But the cultural distortion caused by invasion, conquest, occupation, Republican Reconstruction and post-Reconstruction Democrat race-hustlers have, to some degree, created an unnatural racial divide. This is evidenced by the small gaggle of devotees surrounding Duke. But the race-hustlers do not represent Louisiana or the South. As folks of the Bible-Belt, Southerners still believe in the principle of “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Southern conservatives still believe that all people stand equally before the law. And as Southerners daily interact with their black and white kith and kin they still hope for the day in which people will be judged by the content of their character and not by the color of their skin or the heritage they honor.