The Next "Lost Cause"
Well, it’s happening again. New Orleans is beginning to take down the monuments. The more I watch this inexorable cleansing of anything and everything Confederate related, the more I think about Sherman’s march to the sea. I worry that we are on the cusp of Lost Cause 2.0.
The saddest part of this whole deal is that the enemy is getting Southerners to do it to ourselves. To illustrate this better, imagine Sherman sending a nice letter to Georgians asking them to burn their houses and mills, kill all their mules and livestock, and terrorize their kids and women. Upon receipt and some discussion among the folks they decide to happily comply, all in the vain hope that Sherman will now like them better. Of course Sherman still hates the Georgians and holds them in complete disdain, but he is delighted they capitulated with such a good attitude. So, he thinks, “Maybe I am on to something….”.
Flash forward to present day and that is pretty much in principle exactly what is happening. 150 years ago they robbed us of our independence. These days they are robbing us of our heritage and traditions. 150 years ago we fought them to the death; right now we are happily surrendering. What are we, the French are something? Actually, that’s an insult to the French.
They put up a better fight in WWI and WWII than Southerners are right now. I am deathly afraid we are headed to what future generations will look back on as the “Final Defeat” or Lost Cause 2.0. Because we’re on the losing end yet again, and they, as the victors, will once again be able to write the historical account of how they finally eradicated the white supremacists once and for all. And like the old Shake and Bake TV commercial slogan, Southerners can say in our best drawl, “and I helped! (pronounced hay elp’d)”.
The enemy continues the brainwashing in that the events surrounding the late war were only about slavery, white supremacy, and treasonous. Modern-day Southerners are drinking this in and saying, “This is good stuff! Why haven’t I been drinking this all along?” What we’re drinking in is the north’s desperate attempt to eradicate any reminder that raises the possibility that maybe they were wrong in their invasion of the South. The fact that they are getting Southerners to remove statues of General Lee carries the same level of absurdity as if the Southern States were to get Yale and Harvard to put up statues of General Forrest in their quads.
What is the desired end result of all this? Is anyone any safer from racially motivated attacks since the flags and monuments began coming down? Is the racial divide healed? Have white supremacy groups disbanded? Are episodes of vandalism and public unrest on the decline? They all seem worse from where I sit. And the biggest question of them all is: “Does the rest of the country now finally like us Southerners and are we finally granted admission into their Cool Kids club?” Of course not, they still hold us in disdain but they take great delight in that they got us to, on our own accord, get rid of what we hold dear. The NRA would never allow that to happen with firearms. Why then, do we not have the same tenacity with respect to our symbols, traditions, and heritage? How would our ancestors view our stewardship of their memories and deeds? For a moment, let’s take a deep look inward and compare our actions today with those who valiantly went before us: “Rally, men, rally! For God’s sake, rally! This is the place for brave men to die!” Said by General Stephen Lee, late in the war, at the Battle for Nashville while the Confederates were in retreat. For God’s sake people, Rally!