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Meg White: Why Obama Should Give Neo-Confederate Bigots What They Want This Memorial Day

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Mr. Ected Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-22-09 06:13 PM
Original message
Meg White: Why Obama Should Give Neo-Confederate Bigots What They Want This Memorial Day
http://blog.buzzflash.com/analysis/773

Ever since Woodrow Wilson's administration, American presidents have been honoring a group with racist and secessionist undertones, which is influenced by religious extremism. This Memorial Day, President Barack Obama will have the choice to either break with this shameful tradition or continue it.

My advice to him is this: Keep it going.

Presidents have consistently sent a wreath to a monument in Arlington National Cemetery honoring the Confederate side of the Civil War every year for decades. In recent years, this has taken place on Memorial Day, though in the past, presidents have favored the June birthday of Confederate President Jefferson Davis. The monument goes further than just honoring dead soldiers, however. The language inscribed upon it glorifies the ideals of the Confederacy itself, and detractors say it is used as an excuse to embrace racism and neo-Confederate ideology.

There is a movement brewing to encourage Obama to stop legitimizing neo-Confederates by refusing to send the obligatory wreath to the monument. The effort is led by a group of thoughtful scholars influenced by good intentions. While I agree that it is morally reprehensible to honor the deaths of those who killed their own brothers in an effort to destroy our country, I respectfully disagree with their interpretation of the reality of the situation facing our president.

<snip>

My humble suggestions:

Send the wreath for the fundamentalist religious zealots, but make gay marriage legal and never again invite the intolerant Rick Warren to pray over the country.

Send the wreath for the flag-waving ditto-heads, but give every veteran PTSD screening and lend support to a truth commission to find out how we got into the Iraq war.

Send the wreath for the backwards racists, but give the country fair immigration reform and stop neo-redlining and other discriminatory practices in lending.

In other words, let the bigots have their pomp and circumstance, but whistling Dixie is not the change I voted for.

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chimpymustgo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-22-09 06:16 PM
Response to Original message
1. Disagree. End the treasonous tradition now.
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martymar64 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-22-09 06:58 PM
Response to Original message
2. I say tear down the Confederate monument, period.
There should be no monuments to traitors.
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Thothmes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-22-09 07:08 PM
Response to Original message
3. Which monument in Arlington was built there to honor Condederate
war dead?. The President lays the wreath at the tomb of the Unknown Soldiers.
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RoyGBiv Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-22-09 07:54 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. This one ...
Edited on Fri May-22-09 07:57 PM by RoyGBiv


OnEdit: Changed link to pic ...



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Thothmes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-23-09 05:08 AM
Response to Reply #5
15. Thanks.
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bushmeister0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-23-09 04:43 PM
Response to Reply #5
20. They already have their own "Arlington" in Richmond, Va.
Hollywood Cemetary. Jeff davis and his family are buried there, along with three U.S. presidents from Va.

http://www.hollywoodcemetery.org /

Protected by the Secret Service, not less!

Check out this monument to the Confederate war dead.



Every stone has the name of a soldier who died in battle.
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ayeshahaqqiqa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-22-09 07:51 PM
Response to Original message
4. My comment
The Union forever,
Hurrah boys, hurrah!
Down with the traitor
Up with the Star.

"Battle Cry of Freedom"

In honor of my ancestors who honorably served in the cause of Union during the Rebellion, 1861-1865.
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-22-09 11:52 PM
Response to Reply #4
13. ... We will welcome to our numbers the loyal, true and brave ... And although they may be poor,
not a man shall be a slave ...

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HiFructosePronSyrup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-22-09 07:57 PM
Response to Original message
6. Isn't the Arlington Cemetery itself a big 'fuck you' to the Confederacy?
Wasn't it build on land seized from Robert E. Lee to bury union troops? Or was that another cemetery?

Anyway, if it's not already a big fuck you to the Confederacy, a black president laying a wreath there sure is.
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dflprincess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-22-09 11:02 PM
Response to Reply #6
12. The Custis Lee Mansion (Arlington House) & the property has ties back to George Washington's family


http://www.arlingtoncemetery.org/historical_information...

Under the terms of her father's will, Mary Anna Custis Lee was given the right to inhabit and control the house for the rest of her life. Custis' will also stipulated that upon Mary Anna's death, full title would pass to her eldest son, George Washington Custis Lee. Contrary to popular belief, Robert E. Lee never owned the Arlington estate. Lee did serve as custodian of the property, which had fallen into disrepair by the time he returned to execute his father-in-law's will. By 1859, Lee had returned the property and its holdings to profitability and good order.

Robert E. Lee and his wife, Mary Anna, lived at Arlington House until 1861, when Virginia ratified an alliance with the Confederacy and seceded from the Union. Lee, who had been named a major general for the Virginia military forces in April 1861, feared for his wife's safety and anticipated the loss of their family inheritance....

Following the ratification of secession by Virginia, federal troops crossed the Potomac and, under Brig. Gen. Irvin McDowell, took up positions around Arlington. Following the occupation, military installations were erected at several locations around the 1,100-acre estate, including Fort Whipple (now Fort Myer) and Fort McPherson (now Section 11).

The property was confiscated by the federal government when property taxes levied against Arlington estate were not paid in person by Mrs. Lee. The property was offered for public sale Jan. 11, 1864, and was purchased by a tax commissioner for "government use, for war, military, charitable and educational purposes."

Arlington National Cemetery was established by Brig. Gen. Montgomery C. Meigs, who commanded the garrison at Arlington House, appropriated the grounds June 15, 1864, for use as a military cemetery. His intention was to render the house uninhabitable should the Lee family ever attempt to return. A stone and masonry burial vault in the rose garden, 20 feet wide and 10 feet deep, and containing the remains of 1,800 Bull Run casualties, was among the first monuments to Union dead erected under Meigs' orders. Meigs himself was later buried within 100 yards of Arlington House with his wife, father and son; the final statement to his original order.


Perhaps laying the wreath is in the spirit of Lincoln's "with malice toward none and charity toward all". And maybe a Black president laying the wreath will be a big "fuck you" to the racists of today.



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muntrv Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-22-09 08:03 PM
Response to Original message
7. Obama should sing "Battle Hymn Of The Republic" while laying the wreath
on the confederate monument.
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Tierra_y_Libertad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-22-09 08:19 PM
Response to Original message
8. The sad irony is that memorial day was started by freed slaves.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memorial_Day

According to Professor David Blight of the Yale University History Department, the first memorial day was observed in 1865 by liberated slaves at the historic Washington Race Course (today the location of Hampton Park) in Charleston. The site was a former Confederate prison camp as well as a mass grave for Union soldiers who died in captivity.

The freed slaves disinterred the dead Union soldiers from the mass grave to be inhumed properly reposed with individual graves, built a fence around the graveyard with an entry arch, declaring it a Union graveyard. A daring action for freed slaves to take such in the South just shortly after the Union's victory. On May 30, 1868, the freed slaves returned to the graveyard with flowers they had picked from the countryside and decorated the individual gravesites, thereby creating the first Decoration Day. Thousands of freed blacks and Union soldiers paraded from the area, followed by much patriotic singing and a picnic.
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-22-09 08:23 PM
Response to Original message
9. lay the wreath flanked by dismissed by DADT soldiers. nt
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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-22-09 08:29 PM
Response to Original message
10. He should send the wreath with a portrait of Martin Luther King, Jr. on it. n/t
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Raineyb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-22-09 10:29 PM
Response to Original message
11. There's an article full of bad advice.
Not for nothing but they lost the war right? WTF should any president do any damn thing to honor these treasonous bastards. This coddling is part of the reason why the clueless neo-confederates are under the impression that what they're backing is in no way nasty or evil.
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Hugabear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-22-09 11:59 PM
Response to Original message
14. I say dig those traitorous corpses out of the ground, send them back to the South
Why in god's name should we be honoring these fucking traitors in our nation's most sacred cemetery?
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depakid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-23-09 05:32 AM
Response to Reply #14
16. Well, it did used to be Robert E. Lee's front yard...
before it became a "sacred" cemetary.
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vadawg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-23-09 05:33 AM
Response to Reply #14
17. because the cemetery is in fucking Virginia ie the South already
for fucks sake way to go iun pissing of the whole of the southern part of the US.
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Hugabear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-24-09 11:38 AM
Response to Reply #17
24. Well excuuuuuuuuuse me. For a minute, I forgot which side won the damned war.
Oh wait - the traitors LOST. Why should we be burying the traitors, who took up arms against the United States, in our national cemetery?

Let the Sons or Daughters of Confederacy buy a plot of land and have their own Confederate Cemetery. I don't like having traitors buried in the same cemetery as men and women who died PROTECTING my country.
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pecwae Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-25-09 05:01 PM
Response to Reply #17
28. Pfft!
South bashing is the favorite past time amongst many here.
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Obamanaut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-23-09 06:05 AM
Response to Reply #14
18. It's over. Time to let it go and get over it.
Edited on Sat May-23-09 06:06 AM by Obamanaut
There are those who will say derogatory things about the South, and others who will do likewise about the North. After this amount of time, maybe a thought could be to just let it go. In the article, we read that It is about reconciliation, and this would not be a day too soon.

One can find different references as to who first decorated which cemetery - here are some ideas in the same article. Does who came first really matter, or is it a case of my dad can beat up your dad.

Let it go.


http://www.usmemorialday.org/backgrnd.html

<snip> It is not important who was the very first, what is important is that Memorial Day was established. Memorial Day is not about division. It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all.

<snip> There is also evidence that organized women's groups in the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War: a hymn published in 1867, "Kneel Where Our Loves are Sleeping" by Nella L. Sweet carried the dedication "To The Ladies of the South who are Decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead" (Source: Duke University's Historic American Sheet Music, 1850-1920).

<snip>Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.



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Raineyb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-23-09 03:55 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. The South lost the Civil war yet we seem to be constantly
sucking up to their sensibilities when it comes to the traitorous dead. To have a black man sending a wreath for the veterans who'd have us in chains if they had their way? Let them get their own damn wreaths.
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Thothmes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-23-09 06:37 PM
Response to Reply #19
22. What happens if the black man wants to do it.
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Raineyb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-24-09 11:47 AM
Response to Reply #22
25. Then the black man will be getting quite a bit of angry feedback
And my letter will be the first one there. Laying a wreath for soldiers who wanted to keep us enslaved on behalf of a blatantly racist group? Hell no that's not acceptable.
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Obamanaut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-23-09 07:55 PM
Response to Reply #19
23. Self delete. This could only lead to a flame war. Don't want to
Edited on Sat May-23-09 08:00 PM by Obamanaut
participate.
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nini Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-25-09 05:38 PM
Response to Reply #14
32. I think you need to spend some time reading some history books
to get a real understand of what really went on back then.

Then read about the actions taken since to restore citizenship to some who fought for the confederacy, the veteran's benefits awarded them etc..

Reconciliation - look it up.
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mitchum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-23-09 04:46 PM
Response to Original message
21. I think the confederate white flag of surrender should fly during the presentation
to honor those pigs and dupes
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MasonJar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-24-09 02:38 PM
Response to Original message
26. This is an especially unnecessary and despicable post. Why should
Confederate soldiers not be remembered on Memorial Day? Especially since Arlington was confiscated from a very respectable Southern family and turned into a burial ground. Robert E Lee was a very honorable man, who fought fairly and valiantly, because his state chose to secede. He did so because of his allegiance to Virginia, not because he wanted to retain slaves. He did so knowing that his property and his wife's would undoubtedly be forfeited. How would you and your family feel if your home and your 1100 acres were taken over by the government and never returned? This conflict is a part of American history; it involved many fine, even great people, not all of whom were on the Union side. It is, in my opinion, very strange that there is still so much hatred after 150 years against the soldiers of the Confederacy and the citizens of the South.
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Raineyb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-25-09 05:15 PM
Response to Reply #26
30. How would you feel if you saw the people who fought to enslave your family honored year after year
while you're still not quite treated as a full true citizen of the country in which you were born?

Now tell me again why I should give a shit about honoring the soldiers of the traitors?
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SemiCharmedQuark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-25-09 05:35 PM
Response to Reply #26
31. Because we should honor people who fought *FOR* this country, not against it.
Edited on Mon May-25-09 05:37 PM by SemiCharmedQuark
For the same reason we don't honor Benedict Arnold on Memorial Day.
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PassingFair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-24-09 02:46 PM
Response to Original message
27. Is that THIS Meg White?


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anonymous171 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-25-09 05:05 PM
Response to Original message
29. OK, what exactly is "fair" immigration reform? nt
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