Saturday, July 04, 2015

Stars-and-Bars

In a recent interview with an Atlanta TV station, African-American Andrew Young, former two-time mayor of Atlanta and President Carter's ambassador to the UN, said, “The problems we face don't have anything to do with the flag, the fact is that 93% of the black people killed are killed by other black people. So if black lives matter, let us start believing that we matter.” He also explained that flags mean a lot of things to a lot of people. He understands that white people have as much right to love the stars-and-bars as blacks have to hate it.

Either it isn't taught in school or people forget that slavery was not introduced to this country by white southerners but by the British in the early 1600s, long before the Revolution, Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, made official in 1789. In 1807, the U.S. Congress banned further importation of slaves from anywhere. The South inherited the problem of slavery, upon which its economy depended almost entirely. The slaves were emancipated in 1863, just 74 years after the USA was born.

Nearly the entire Civil War was fought in the South, meaning physical devastation (Sherman's march, for instance) as well as a totally wrecked economy. Nearly 300,000 Confederate soldiers died in the war, as did nearly 365,000 Union soldiers. Together, those deaths comprised 2% of the total population in 1860. Slaves numbered just under 4,000,000 (12%) in a total U.S. population of 31,443,000, but made up only a third of the population in the 15 slave-holding states, meaning that there was a significant number of slaves in the North.

Young knew his history, one presumes, an examination of which indicates that the entire economy of the world was built on slavery virtually from the beginning right into the twentieth century in some places. In fact, it is still a factor in third-world nations, not surprising since the natives procured in Africa by the slave-traders were sold to them by other natives, though this probably is not taught in politically correct schools, either. Indeed, there is much in the Holy Bible dealing with how slaves – an inescapable fact of life way back then – were to be treated.

None of this is an apologetic for slavery, a heinous business. My great-grandfather and two great-uncles are well documented as having fought in the Union Army as volunteers since, being Kentuckians, they could not be drafted. Great-granddad was wounded once and nearly died of disease once and finally drew a pension. All three were born in England and, of course, had never owned a slave.

Although politically incorrect to make the analogy, Jefferson Davis and the seceding states attempted the same thing as George Washington and the seceding thirteen colonies, i.e., declaring independence, with the understanding that they would have to shed blood and treasure in the process. The dead soldiers of the Civil War (including North and South) exceeded by more than 200,00 the number who died in World War II. The Civil War deaths averaged about 340 per day over four years, disease costlier than combat.

Thankfully, Washington and the colonists were successful. Thankfully, Davis and the secessionists were not; otherwise, the world scene would be drastically different today, not to mention a fractured and much weaker Union instead of the marvel the nation is today. Young was indirectly affirming that until black men collectively take their places as heads of households instead of gang-bangers and druggies the situation will worsen.

He probably would also agree that it's time for black youth to spurn the Jesse Jacksons and Al Sharptons, with their insistence on victim-hood, and become producers, not parasites. Unless and until strong black families are once again the norm – as they used to be – there's little hope...and no flag has anything to do with that.

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

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