I have reviewed the transcripts of your June 25th show on “Black Founding Fathers” and I have a few thoughts and comments for you.
Let’s start with the title of the show itself - “Black Founders.” FYI, the men who conceived, founded and in the first 50 years at least, built this country, were white men of Anglo-Celtic descent. They gave to their posterity, as well as to all of us who are not descended from their bloodlines, their language, their culture, their political philosophy and laws, and their belief in liberty. As an American of Italian descent, I am thankful for that, though secretly at least, I do wish that somewhere I could find, in the Declaration of Independence, a signature with a name like, Russo, Cabelli, or even Vallante. At the very least, I would be thrilled to no end if I could find such a name somewhere among the names of those men who built America in those first 50 years. But the reality of it is that I could look all day long and never find such a signature or such a person. I accept what is and I do not try to make up fables and fantasies to pretend that something existed which in fact did not. I am simply happy to be who I am, and happy to have inherited the fruits of the labor of those men, whether or not my ancestors came from the same shores as theirs or not. Stop trying to pander to your black audience. Their ancestors were certainly a part of this country’s history, but they did not “found” anything any more than mine did.
There is nothing “revisionist” about history as it used to be told. And the former Confederates did not re-write the History books nor did the things they wrote try to “hide the black man under the stairwell,” as you put it. They simply wrote rebuttals of books authored by northern historians. Those northern historians, in many cases, demonized the South and blamed the war on Southerners. There is nothing wrong with defending oneself, whether it is against physical attack or slander. Southerners lost the war militarily. They surrendered and gave up their dreams of independence, returned to the Union, and promised to be good citizens, a promise they have lived up to for 145 years – as demonstrated by the fact that they are usually the first to volunteer whenever America gets itself into a scrape and needs men to go get killed in some far off land. Nowhere however, in the terms of that surrender did it say that they had to sit on their thumbs and accept slander, blame and degradation without defending themselves. No one hid anything and no one revised anything.
It is people like you and David Barton who are doing the revisions. It is people like you who are distorting - by taking people who are historical footnotes and raising them to the level of iconic status, while telling the unknowing public that our problems were all caused by a bunch of bad guys. That is not history, it is fantasy, it is a lie and that lie is being told by you, Barton and others like you in order to further your own ends.
About the Confederate Constitution – I have read it several times and have even seen a photo reproduction of the original document. Nowhere does it say in the title, “The Slaveholding Confederate States of America.” To put it bluntly, “YOU LIE!” And so does Mr. Barton. I guess Obama has some company, eh?
Nor did a state have to be a slaveholding state in order to join the Confederacy. During the Confederacy’s Constitutional Convention, the proposal was made that only slave states be allowed to join. It was never adopted. Consult Marshall DeRosa’s book, “The Confederate Constitution of 1861.” Professor DeRosa is a scholar and an expert on this matter. You are not and neither is Barton. Once again, “YOU LIE!” And so does Barton.
I might also point out that while the Confederate Constitution prohibits the Confederacy’s federal government from abolishing slavery, that it does NOT prohibit individual states from doing so. Article 1, Section 9, Point Number 4 states, “No bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law denying or impairing the right of property in negro slaves shall be passed.” This prohibition, along with everything else in the “Confederate Constitution,” unless otherwise specified, applies to the federal government of the Confederacy, not the state governments. Once again, so that you get it straight this time, this Constitution was not written for the governments of the individual states, as those states had their own constitutions. It was written for the Confederacy’s central government.
Next - regarding the abolition of the slave trade. Here’s a little something that you left out. At the Constitutional Convention in 1787, most delegates were in agreement that the importation of slaves from Africa needed to stop. The original date for the stoppage of slave importation was initially set as January 1, 1800. It is a matter of record that General Pinckney, a delegate from South Carolina, (a slave state), made the initial motion to extend that date to 1808. It is also a matter of record that Mr. Gorham, delegate from Massachusetts, (a “free” state), seconded that motion. It isn’t so surprising that Massachusetts would second such a motion, for though a “free state”, she was, like her sister states in New England, heavily involved in the international slave trade at that time. It was ships sailing from her ports that sailed to Africa, purchased slaves from Africans, and brought them to America to sell at a huge profit. It is a pity that I see nothing about this in the transcripts of your show. But why would I? It would get in the way of your storytelling.
On this same matter, I thought you might be interested to see who voted for the extension motion, and who voted against it. The final voting tally does not break down along North/South lines, and it puts a crimp in your effort to make the Southern states look like the villains in all this:
“New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maryland, North Carolina and South Carolina, voting in the affirmative, and New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Virginia in the negative……..”
Next, regarding your celebration of Republican Senator Matthew Gaines of Texas – Gaines was a former slave who became a State Senator after the war during the time known as “Reconstruction,” a time in our history where most of the white people in the Southern states who had supported the Confederacy were disenfranchised, and when most of the newly freed slaves (called “freedmen,” who, for the most part, were illiterate), were given the franchise and organized politically by the Union League, an organization closely affiliated with the Republican Party. During your celebration of this “black founder,” you neglected to mention that in the years that the Republican Party controlled Texas after the “Civil War” (during Mr. Gaines’ tenure), the state’s tax rate went up 400%. As one who frequently complains about Democrats raising taxes, I thought you might find this piece of information enlightening. This was also not an isolated incident. You think someone is hiding history? In some ways you might be right, but not in the way you think. Contemporary historians usually fail to mention that, to cite some examples, Georgia’s state debt went from “0” in 1865 to 50 million dollars in 1872, that Louisiana’s 1871 legislative session cost 9 ½ times what a pre-war session cost, that in 5 years of Reconstruction, Mississippi’s tax rate went up 14-fold….. I could go on and on but I’ll stop here for the sake of brevity. And all these things happened under the watch of people like Gaines and their white radical allies who were - REPUBLICANS!
Finally, I had to laugh at your childish attempt to convince your audience that somewhere, way back when, a bunch of bad guys changed history, turned it “upside down” and caused us to “hate” one another. Actually, I stopped laughing when I realized that a large segment of your audience is stupid enough to have believed you.
It wasn’t a covert bunch of bad guys that caused Americans of different races and ethnic groups to “hate” one another. In part, this type of strife was and still is caused by fear and ignorance. Not all of it is, however. Some of it is reality based. “Diversity” is not a “blessing”, as some modern day demagogues would have us believe. Read a world history book or simply pick up a newspaper, read them with open eyes and an open mind and you will quickly see that “diverse” societies are the ones which are most often fraught with conflict. Human history is in large part, a history of sometimes violent competition and strife between groups of people who are different from one another in some way, racially, ethnically, religiously, tribally, philosophically, politically, or other. This strife, sadly, is part of the human condition and there is no quick fix for it - especially not by telling your audience that you magically uncovered the reason or the solution for it. Your contentions are as both childish and false, not to mention misleading. If you or even those who perpetrate the lie that “diversity is a strength” really wanted to make this diverse society of ours work, you wouldn’t start off by telling lies - you’d start by admitting the truth, namely, that making a diverse society work is a difficult task at best, and then moving from there. You wouldn’t be promoting easy answers because you would realize that there are no easy answers. Telling lies and fables about American history to your unknowing audience isn’t going to “bring us together.” Bringing people together is not accomplished by creating fables and demonizing the dead, who are not here to defend themselves. It can only be done if we recognize our failings as human beings and we all try to live the words spoken by that Jewish carpenter some 2000 years ago – “Love your neighbor as yourself” and “do unto him as you would have him do unto you.”
Having had to walk, at least during some times in my life prior to retirement, through fields of bullsh**, (I’m speaking figuratively), I find that my nose has become keenly attuned to the smell of it. Whenever I turn on any of the major networks these days, I find myself having to open the windows to air out my house. Your network and you, do not, unfortunately, provide an exception. But then again, what else should I expect from you and your handlers? The network you work for is well known for being nothing more than a shill for the Republican Party, a party which, in its early days, made itself a political force, not only by launching an illegal invasion of sovereign states, but by afterward pandering to the black man, who it claimed to be trying to help. Ever since Obama and his gang got elected, you people at Fox have been heroically portraying yourselves as defenders of the Constitution and limited government. The truth is, however, that Fox is no more interested in having a government of limited and defined powers than the King of Saudi Arabia is interested in attending Midnight Mass. It wasn’t Obama who referred to the Constitution as a “scrap of paper,” it was George Bush. It wasn’t Obama who pushed through the egregious “Patriot Act,” it was George Bush and his cronies. And other than Judge Andrew Napolitano, no one on your network seemed to have a problem with it. You people love “big government” as much as anyone, just as long as it’s the Republicans that are running it.
And as far as you yourself are concerned, you worked for the nauseatingly liberal CNN for years and now, all of sudden, you’re a hot shot on an opposing network, passing yourself off as a history teacher and a guardian of the Constitution? Wow! Sounds like a remake of “Saul on the Road to Damascus!” Did you get hit by a lightning bolt perchance? Talk about a fantasy!? Do you think I was born yesterday? Did you really think that some of us would be so blind as to be unable to see through your charade? Do you really believe that I am so blind as to be unable to see past those crocodile tears that you occasionally shed on your show? You are worse than ill-informed. You sir, are a liar, and your behavior is as transparent as a g-string on a stripper – though, not nearly as appealing.