President Obama Made a Mistake by Honoring Confederate Soldiers

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Obama Made a Serious Mistake by Honoring Confederate Soldiers; End the Fraud
By Robert Taylor

This past Memorial Day President Barack Obama - the nation’s first African American head of state - made a serious racial, moral and historical mistake. In an apparent attempt to avoid angering many Southern whites, he perpetuated a fraudulent 95-year-old tradition by sending a wreath of flowers to the Confederate Memorial at Arlington Cemetery near Washington, D.C.

By continuing a practice started by President Woodrow Wilson in 1914, Obama was, in effect, honoring and paying homage to the racists who instigated the Civil War for the sole purpose of keeping Blacks in slavery. These men do not deserve to be honored. They should be despised. As the nation’s first Black president Obama should have broken with this tradition and helped to set the historical record straight.

Instead Obama tried to soften the blow of his action by also sending a wreath of flowers to the African American Civil War Memorial located in the historically Black U Street area of Washington, D.C. (I say “historically Black” because gentrification is beginning to “whiten” that entire area.) Regardless, sending wreaths to both memorial sites was tantamount to honoring the slave and the slave master. It was tantamount to honoring the Nazis who exterminated six million Jews and the Jews who fought against them.

Further, the entire tradition of honoring the fallen Confederate soldiers is based on a gigantic racist fraud. The foundation of the fraud is the completely bogus idea that the eleven Southern states which tried to secede from the Union and form a racist Republic which would have kept Blacks in perpetual slavery were fighting for something other than slavery.

In the early years of the 20th Century, a revisionist historical movement began to portray the Southern whites as fighting for more noble goals such as “states rights” in order to keep the federal government from growing too powerful. This fraudulent distortion of history even began to make its way into our history books. It also helped pave the way for President Wilson in 1914 to actually dedicate a large bronze memorial to the Confederate war dead in a special section of Arlington National Cemetery.

The revisionist historical movement relegated the centrality of slavery to the Civil War and began to portray it as a battle of (white) “brother against brother” or “North against South” in a dispute over how much power would go to the states and how much would go to the federal government. But the only “states’ rights” the Confederacy was seeking was the right to enslave Blacks forever.

As University of Pittsburgh Professor Kirk Savage points out in an excellent Washington Post article (5-23-’09) all one has to do in order to determine what the Confederates were fighting for is read the articles of secession written in 1860-1861. He concludes “The historical evidence [that the South was principally concerned with maintaining slavery] is so overwhelming that, on this point, revisionism should no longer be possible.”

It is time for the fraud to end.
Confederate soldiers were attempting to break up the United States of America, establish a racist republic which would keep Blacks in perpetual servitude and in the process they started a Civil War which led to the deaths of over 600,000 Americans. There is no way historically, racially or morally that these men should be honored in any way, shape of form.

President Obama you have at least three more memorial days to celebrate. Do not honor these racist Confederates again. It is time for the fraud to end.

[Robert Taylor edits the weekly “Black History Journal.” Visit him online at or email him for a free emailed edition of the journal at .]

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