Saturday, May 03, 2014

Confederate Memorial Day

Confederate Memorial Day will be celebrated this week where I live in South Carolina.

Confederate Memorial Day is observed in 14 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. It is an official state holiday in 11 of the states. Arkansas observes Confederate Memorial Day on Martin Luther King Day.

I think it is shameful to celebrate the war started by the Confederacy to defend its secession from the Union in order to continue slavery. Secession was an act of treason and the leaders of the Confederacy were not heroes and do not deserve to be honored by any state or any American.

The Confederate states had an agricultural economy that was totally dependent on the labor of slaves, who were almost 40% of the population. Those slaves were owned by only 6% of the population. The plantation slave owners were wealthy, politically powerful aristocrats whose way of life would end if slavery were abolished. The aristocrats were only 1 in 9 of the white population. Almost 90% of the white population did not own slaves and did not enjoy the wealthy lifestyle of the aristocrats but they were more than 90% of the Confederate military. These men were wrongly lead to believe that they were fighting to defend their home states from Northern aggression. In fact, the only thing at stake was the lifestyle of the aristocrats. Volunteerism soon was inadequate and a draft was used to man the military. The draft did not apply equally to all males; sons of aristocrats were overlooked.

Confederate casualties totaled almost 500,000, which includes 200,000 killed. Union casualties were 660,000, which included almost 400,000 killed. More than 1 million casualties were sacrificed to defend the lifestyle of 300,000 aristocrats. The Union soldiers fought to protect the Union and to end slavery. The Confederate soldier was sacrificed for the aristocrats.

The states that annually honor their Confederate heroes and war dead, should instead curse the traitors that caused the deaths of 600,000 Americans. Many Southerners daily fly the Confederate battle flag instead of the American Flag. The state flag of Mississippi includes the Confederate battle flag. Out of ignorance that has persisted since the Civil War many Southerners still refer to the Civil War, which was started by the Confederacy, as the War of Northern Aggression.

In my opinion, the Confederate flag and Confederate Memorial Day are un-American.

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