Addison Graves Wilson, Sr. (Joe for some reason)

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Div-logo I am on record as a supporter of Barack Obama the politician as saying that Wilson needed to do a greater penance than his half-hearted apology for insulting the president. 

On the other hand, I can only ask why it is necessary to attack the South as a whole because this man Wilson is an ill mannered fool.

He belongs to the "Sons of Confederate Veterans" (SCV) and therefore must be an evil person?  The SCV seeks to memorialize their ancestors for the good that was in them.  What a thought, that there could have been good in them!  Incidentally the SCV is seeking to recruit African-American members whose ancestors (black or white) served with the South (soldiers or not).  Ah, but that is merely an evasion…

The "Southern Poverty Law Center," formerly "Klan Watch" told Matthews, lord of "Hardball," that  the SCV has been ruled by extremists these last five years? (I don't know what happened to Matthews at Chapel Hill but it must have been awful)  After Katrina he advocated the reimposition of direct federal rule in the South (to finish the job left undone by the first two rounds of Reconstruction).

What if Wilson were from Ohio, Oklahoma, Indiana or Kansas?  What?  There are no racists in these places?  If that were so, would there be this broadcast attack on a whole people? 

My ancestors who served with the Armies of the Potomac and the Cumberland would probably cheer Matthews on.  I am disgusted.  pl

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47 Responses to Addison Graves Wilson, Sr. (Joe for some reason)

  1. I believe at the 1876 Centennial in Philadelphia there was a parade in which Union and Confederate veterans took part marching side by side in an event symbolizing the 13 original colonies. The idea here was to put hard memories behind and look to a common future while remembering a common past.
    Another move to put hard memories behind was the creation of the “Dixie Highway” project back in the 1920s.
    “The first thoughts of a highway to connect the midwest and the south occured in 1914. At first, the name “Cotton Belt Route” was floated, with a thought to connect Chicago to Jacksonville, Florida, via Atlanta. The organizational meeting for the Dixie Highway Association occured on April 3, 1915 in Chattanooga, TN. The name was chosen to honor “Fifty Years of Peace” between North and South.”
    http://www.us-highways.com/dixiehwy.htm
    Here is the official Dixie Highway Map:
    http://www.us-highways.com/tzimm/dhmap23.htm

  2. Nancy K says:

    I don’t feel Wilson is a racist because he is from the South, I feel he is a racist because of the lack of respect he shows the President of the United States, who happens to be African American. Would he ever have shown that disrespect for a white president, I think not.
    I live in California and it appalls me at some of the racist comments I hear from people. It isn’t about health care or about the bail out. The bail out was going on before Obama was even elected president. What seems to really gaul people is that a black man is now president of the United States.
    Sadly there are racists in every state and every country in the world.
    However we in the United States, should not stand for a member of our Congress showing such blatant disregard for our president.

  3. Don Quijote says:

    YouTube – I want my country back

    What from? Who has taken it from you?

    No racism there…

    ONE OF THESE THINGS IS NOT LIKE THE OTHER…

    Only 4% of Democrats are confused about the president’s place of birth. The number is slightly higher among independents, 8% of whom got it wrong. Among Republicans, though, 28% — more than one in four — believe President Obama was not born in the United States.

    For a crazy, demonstrably false, racist idea, these are discouraging numbers.

    But I was especially surprised by the regional breakdowns. In the Northeast, West, and Midwest, the overwhelming majorities realize the president is a native-born American. But notice the South — only 47% got it right and 30% are unsure.

    Outside the South, this madness is gaining very little traction, and remains a fringe conspiracy theory. Within the South, it’s practically mainstream.

    You’re going to have to get over the fact that a large number of Whites in the former Confederacy are racists…

  4. Jackie says:

    I live in Kansas. Believe me, there are racists here. I’m sorry this didn’t turn out better. Addison should have manned up and sincerely apologized in the well of the House.
    Attacking the South…I don’t think we should refight that war. I’m sorry if the South is aggreived. This whole thing could have ended better if Wilson hadn’t blamed it on the Democrats. They made him shout “you lie”…? I don’t think I get politics.
    Can we get past the old North/South thing? Can we accept an African/American President? I can.
    P.S.I really hope he isn’t listening to the Generals in regards to Afghanistan. That seems to be how Vietnam went.

  5. matter says:

    RE: “What if Wilson were from Ohio, Oklahoma, Indiana or Kansas? What? There are no racists in these places?”
    Of course there are racists there. But in the South it’s much more overt. Left unsaid in Joe the Wilson’s outburst was a third, trailing word. It starts with an “N” and I suspect you can guess what he really wanted to say.

  6. Patrick Lang says:

    DQ
    I will decide what I will “get over.” pl

  7. stickler says:

    Caveat: I teach history, and I believe passionately that the Union cause was correct, and that the Confederate cause was nothing less than treason in defense of slavery. That Virginia hesitated was to her credit; that she joined the traitors is lamentable.
    The Sons of the Confederate Veterans are, as a group, free to celebrate anything they like. Their fellow citizens are free to point out that their organization commemorates the sacrifices of men who died defending treason. Treason in defense of slavery, no less.

  8. Jose says:

    I experienced less racism in Atlanta than in Matthews’ hometown of Philadelphia, but the SCV has been stereotype for a few bad apples (or peaches in Wilson’s Case).
    Sad, but “labels” are how we do business in America today:
    1. Support Middle East peace = Anti-Semite or pro al-Qaeda
    2. Black President = not American
    3. Change the way we do things = Socialist and/or Nazi (is our education system really that bad?)
    4. Hispanic on the Supreme Court = not qualified because she is a “quota queen”
    5. Member of the “Sons of Confederate Veterans” = racist, redneck, or both
    etc.
    America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves. – Abraham Lincoln

  9. Kafka says:

    I’m Charlestown Boston Irish and we’ve been painted with the racist brush- for good reason. Not all of us are racist but history is what it is. It doesn’t disgust me if I’m viewed with suspicion- I just go on my merry way comfortable with my heritage. A heritage that has some dark chapters. Oh, we’re not all bank robbers either, but again it’s a well deserved reputation. Complaining about it is kind of like complaining that people are people. And I would add that the south is possibly less racist than the rest of the country. At least based on incarceration rates of blacks compared to whites as a percentage. Although that might be a poverty issue as much as a race issue.
    Great blog btw- thank you for doing what you do.

  10. It would be easy to view the Wilson outburst as a personal failure but it may be indicative of the continuing and real racial prejudice throughout the US. A personal apology was certainly necessary but by shouting out during the Presidential became an official act requiring offical action. The House has now issued some sort of sanction against Wilson. Whatever the long term success or failure of OBAMA he will always be viewed by history as the first black President even though 1/2 white. That may be is principal legacy but hoping not. This outburst though is some kind of marker as to the reaction to his Presidency whatever the reason and will be interesting to see how it plays out in 2010. Maybe forgotten and maybe not. The history of this country and its racial divisions and relations is still being written. Hoping that the election of OBAMA would mean something of reconciliation between the races apparently not. Clearly an American tragedy.

  11. R Whitman says:

    How did two words “you lie” and a case of bad manners morph into this purported racial incident?
    I voted for Obama but now I criticize his Afganistan policy and I think that he has made a mess out of his heath care initiative. Does that make me a racist or just a unhappy citizen?

  12. Cold War Zoomie says:

    Here’s a thought. I won’t go into the details about why I’m wondering this…it’s too complex for me to put to words without a lot of work:
    Let’s say Obama’s roots were actually from a slave family in Alabama and his surname was Turner or Carter. And rather than cutting his political teeth in Chicago he did so in Birmingham or Atlanta, after attending the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Hell, let’s really sweeten the pot and say he played football under Bear Bryant!
    Would Joe Wilson still have called him a liar?
    Being a Yankee “liberal” from Chicago may have more to do with this than race.

  13. Subkommander Dred says:

    Pat:
    Like yourself, I am a Son of the South. I was born in the Commonwealth of Virginia. After much wandering over the years, have returned and made it my home, and I suspect some day I shall die here. I even have a tattoo of the Great Seal of Virginia on my upper arm (yes, the one of Virtue [Fortutado] standing atop a dead tyrant, holding a spear) complete with the phrase ‘Sic Semper Tyrannis’ underneath . I had it put on my arm in 2005 in reaction to the re-election of George W. Bush. In fact, I tried get to the tattooist to put W’s likeness on the face of the dead tyrant, but it would have required a level of detail that would have made the design impractical, and besides, would I have really wanted GWB’s image on my arm for the rest of my life? I think not.
    That being the case, Joe the Wilson stikes me as an average, run of the mill idiot. Whether he’s a racist I’ll let others decide, but he is definitely an ungracious and mendacious cretin. It’s not because he’s a white guy from the south, or he belongs the the SOC: he’s a rube with just enough smarts to get elected, and not enough class to keep his mouth shut in a joint session of congress being addressed by the President. The fact that his shouted ‘YOU LIE’ was also wrong regarding the facts of the legislation being cited by President Obama further underlies his cluelessness.
    Yes, there is a lot of racism down here…just like I saw in Boston during my time as a EMS Paramedic in that area years ago, or out in California during a stint as an ER nurse some time back. Whenever you find differences in human beings, you’ll always find someone willing to take advantage of that for political gain. I would like to think that someday these folks can be marginalized, but human nature being what it is, I fear that is day that will never come.
    Pete Deer
    Charlottesville, Virginia

  14. Sidney O. Smith III says:

    After reading the Charleston and Columbia papers, I don’t exactly see people lining the roads in SC in support of Wilson’s inexcusable behavior. But far easier to project onto other cultures than look in the mirror — it is the Chris Matthews way (whose silence on the ethnic cleansing in Gaza says all.)
    Apparently, the Matthews way is the American way and probably has been from the beginning. Kagan and other neocons has certainly picked up on this arrogance — the “we are here to enlighten the world” approach — to attempt to justify an imperialistic agenda that kills untold numbers of innocent civilians. No wonder Drudge report (NY based, I believe) is supporting Wilson.
    And I suppose it is very easy to gloss over that Jimmy Carter, from Plains, Georgia, has criticized Wilson more than about anyone else.
    Carter believes the WBS could have been avoided: He wrote that Lincoln “ignores the fact that the tragic combat might have been avoided altogether, and that the leaders of both sides, overwhelmingly Christian, were violating a basic premise of their belief as followers of the Prince of Peace“ He further wrote, “A legitimate question for historians is how soon the blight of slavery would have been terminated peacefully in America, as in Great Britain and other civilized societies.”
    As MLK Jr. so well noted after spending a summer in Chicago, racism outside of the South has a virulence of its own, so much so that MLK Jr. was glad to get back to Atlanta.
    And this racism has been with us from the beginning. De Tocqueville believed racism in the North was worse than that of the South. And just google the Rock Springs Massacres to see how well Northerners accepted those of another race in 1885. Or Chinatown. Or Boston during the beginning of desegregation (contrasted to Atlanta, where desegregation took place several years earlier).
    And to be fair, check out what happened to the Korean community during the LA riots. But far easier to ignore looking within one‘s self or around one‘s neighborhood.
    And in 2009, a remarkable development in Atlanta is materializing — one that suggests that any hope of a post racial society emerging in America may very well indeed arise out of South.
    Atlanta, which has a majority of blacks, is poised to elect its first white mayor since Sam Massell in 1969 (who is Jewish).
    More than that, the black candidates running for mayor have called bigoted an attempt by some black college professors to urge Atlantans to play the race card to prevent the election of a white candidate.
    Of course, the South has problems. No doubt. And the rapturists ministers are not helping, imo. But, in many ways, those dining at a Waffle House in Jackson Mississippi are more along the road of reaching a genuine post racial society than those from the Yale faculty club who simply cannot look within.

  15. Pres Graves says:

    Lack of good manners aside, there does not seem to be much discussion of the facts involving the inclusion of undocumented aliens in US health care. I believe the House had rejected an amendment to require proof of citizenship. Lack of a check is equivalent to inclusion.
    The bills as presented include a lot of hidden agenda items that work by second or third order processes to achieve results that would not pass open disclosure. Perhaps the largest example is the introduction of a subsidized insurance system that would destroy private insurance without outlawing it.
    The entire deionization of private insurance is disingenuous. Obama says insurance takes the largest profit from the system. Studies show insurance costs and profit are about 3%, the government already takes about 10% in taxes and filing costs.
    Pres

  16. cdawg says:

    Pat,
    I appreciate you’re consistency on this subject. However, some of the posters here just couldn’t wait to jump on the racist bandwagon.
    Let me get this straight, all white members of congress can not say anything negative about Obama because that means they are racist. So, they should just let him continue to lead America into socialism?
    I’m also sure that all of you were the first to come to Sarah Palin’s defense for the vitriolic ans sexistist comments that she was subjected to. I’m also very sure you were also coming to John McCain’s defense when he was portrayed as incompetent because of his age.
    Obama is black, so what. He’s also a politician, and politicians lie no matter what color or party they are.
    So get over yourselves, black people are racist too. Have you ever heard Jesse Jackson off the record? Or how about Jeremiah Wright? You know him don’t you? He was Obama’s “crazy uncle” for the past 20 years of his life.
    The point Kool Aid drinkers, is that up here in the Union of the Northeast we have racist whites and blacks. The only difference is that the blacks know they can get away with with it.

  17. JimV says:

    Generalizations are always wrong. (Wait, a minute, that was a generalization!)
    I suspect that investigating anyone’s ancestors far enough would uncover a long list of crimes and moral offenses, so I am quite convinced that there was good in the perpetrators as well. (Otherwise, how could we, their descendants, be so good?) The corollary to this of course is that there is some good in people who do bad things in the current generations of humanity. Yes, even including jihadists and the GWB administration.

  18. Nightsticker says:

    Colonel Lang,
    One of your correspondents accused Confederates of Treason.
    Article III Section III of the Constitution defines Treason – “Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying war against them.” [Please note the plural “them”.]
    Lincoln “levied war” against at least 13 of the States in the “them” referred to in the Constitution.
    Nightsticker
    USMC 1965-1972
    FBI 1972-1996

  19. New Orleans says:

    As a longtime resident of Louisiana who grew up in Ohio, I can say without hesitation that racism is omnipresent.
    When I lived in the North, I was confident things were worse in the South. When I moved South, I came to believe the hate was more insidious in the North.
    But I simply don’t know anymore. I only know that far too many white Southerners blame all their problems on (to quote one individual) “that f…g n…r president.” And I’ve no doubt the Dishonorable Joe Wilson was thinking those very words as the president spoke.
    The day of Obama’s inauguration, I had great hope for our country. Today, that hope is gone. The only reason I’m hanging on is that I’m determined not to let the bastards win.

  20. rjj says:

    Thank you R. Whitman @ 7:15AM and CWZoomie @ 8:15AM.
    Same questions, thoughts, and, as usual, wondering how much is pure TeeVee Tossery.

  21. Patrick Lang says:

    Nightsticker
    I have managed to restrain myself over the “treason” thing, but just barely. pl

  22. Byron Raum says:

    I am fairly certain that Wilson is getting a free pass. Everyone assumes that his interjection was spontaneous. I do not believe so. It was calculated to capitalize on the racist attitudes against immigrants. He wants to be the leader of these people. Apology or not, he has succeeded.

  23. John Siscoe says:

    To blame a region, a race, or a people for the actions of an individual is always an error. The fact that it is a common error does not excuse or diminish it.
    Col. Lang, you are right be disgusted. Boors and bigots come from all points of the compass. I see a Joe Wilson most every day. It’s been a while now, but I remember catching a good look at him in my bathroom mirror.

  24. Cloned Poster says:

    Great comments on Pat’s post about North v South dichotomy, Europe did WW1 and WW2 after the great founders.
    Methinks that the current civil war in the US is being played out in the poppy fields of Afghanistan.

  25. The Moar You Know says:

    Nightsticker and Colonel Lang:
    I will not debate the ludicrousness of the charges of racism being levied against the entire South. There are racists there. There are just as many here in San Diego, CA. Probably more here in California, if the brutal truth be told.
    This posting is about something else, a manner on which I feel quite strongly and take issue with your position on.
    I am the last Southern-born member of a family whose tenure in the South was unbroken for well over two hundred years. My ancestors fought in both the Revolutionary War, and on the Confederate side of the War Between The States. I am proud of those men who are my ancestors. I have the documentation, and am eligible, to join the Sons of the Confederacy. I am certain I would also qualify for the SCV, in spite of my lack of racism (sarcasm fully intended).
    My ancestors were good men, honorable men, and they went off to war with the knowledge that they could and likely would die, but at least they were going to die for a cause they believed in.
    However, an inescapable fact remains; they took up arms against the nation of their birth.
    Out of respect for the already offended sensibilities of both of you, men who I respect greatly, I shall not call that crime by its name, but that crime of taking up arms against one’s own nation does have a name, and you both know very well what it is.
    This is the inescapable curse of being a Southerner; the knowledge that although your family fought, and probably died, with bravery and a clarity of purpose that us moderns can only dream of today, that those men who are our ancestors died in the commission of the most despicable of all crimes.
    Those who are my good friends know that I don’t rest easily with this. Explaining one’s Southern ancestry to a bunch of Californians (I have lived here since I was a child) is a difficult thing full of chances for misunderstandings. However, it has forced an honest awareness of what it means to be a Southerner on me – both the good and the bad – an awareness I’m not sure one can gain by remaining in the South.
    Peace to you both. I profoundly hope I have not offended by sharing my observations.

  26. rjj says:

    While everybody gets their knickers in a wad about racism, real, imagined, and trumped up, Max Baucus proposes to indenture us further to the insurance sector.
    LOOK OVER THERE !!!!

  27. Steve says:

    Nightsticker,
    Thanks for the shot of reality, it hit the spot.
    USMC 1984-1988 1803 0303
    C Co 3rd AAV Bn
    C Co 1st LAV Bn
    F Co 2/5

  28. Patrick Lang says:

    rjj
    I am actually capable of thinking abut two things at the same time. pl

  29. Bill Wade, NH says:

    It’s a damn shame that the TV/Radio/MSM Print people and politicians can get us all in a tizzy over health care reform and some racist stuff, how’s about they shift the topic to torture.
    quiet down there Bill, we need to move forward and forget the past

  30. Patrick Lang says:

    All
    I did not say that there were not or are not racists in the South. What I said was that I believe it to be unfair and sad that incidents like the “Joe Wilson” affair call forth such intense animosity on the part of so many against the South.
    Moar, etc.
    Is this the “treason” thing again? If it is, we can have a full scale debate about the legal position. You must know that these men no longer considered themselves citizens of the United States. Did God mark them with an indelible stamp on their souls that could not be altered? Was the Constitution of the United States a divinely directed document? If it was, then the Almighty did not take enough care with it. There was not in 1860 and there is not now a word in the US Constitution that says that the Union is indissoluble. We all know that it is indissoluble because that was established by force majeur. In that, we are different from our Canadian neighbors who apparently would let Quebec go without firing a shot if the Quebeckers insisted.
    It is quite clear that “treason” as defined in the US Constitution must be committed by a US citizen.
    Why would the seceded states not have thought that they had the right to leave a Union created by a document that does not contain a provision for its own eternal permanence?
    To maintain that the citizens of the seceded states were “traitors” it is necessary to believe that secession was impossible.
    If that is what you believe, then tell me why the US Government went through the business of re-admitting the conquered states to the Union one by one as they fulfilled certain demands? pl

  31. “in every corner of, not only the U.S., but in the world.”
    mj,
    In my travels around the world I have noticed that too. Would any SST reader have some social science stats on racism around the world so we might compare with racism in the US?
    Are only white people around the world racist? But what about
    Han Chinese/Tibetan, Japanese/Ainu, or say Zulu/non-Zulu, Hausa/Ibo, or French/Arab or German/Turk, or…pick whatever???
    In the US are only white people racist by definition? Are some African-Americans racist? Some Hispanics? Some Asian-Americans?…etc. Are non-white US population groups racists as between themselves, say African-American/Hispanic? (Been to LA lately?)
    “Southerners” — white and black — have moved out of the South across the US over the past couple of centuries. Note particularly the movement of Virginians to the West after the Civil War/WBS. Many Virginians and other sons of the Southland helped pioneer the Middle West and West farming, raising cattle, and so on. “Northerners” have moved in droves to the South since World War II.
    I grew up in Illinois but family roots go back to Virginia. Many Virginians came to Illinois and to Chicago in the 19th century. There is a statue of Cyrus McCormick over at Washington and Lee University not far from my house here in Rockbridge County, Virginia. McCormick was born in this county. Sam Houston was born about 15 miles from my house. General Lee is buried across the street and Stonewall Jackson’s home is two blocks away.
    Edward Coles of Albemarle County, Virginia was the second governor of Illinois. ” Edward Coles (December 15, 1786 – July 7, 1868) was Governor of Illinois, serving from 1822 to 1826. He was influential in opposing a movement to make Illinois a slave state in its early years….Coles’ studies at the College of William & Mary convinced him that slavery was wrong. He sought for many years to find a way to free the slaves he inherited from his father, one of the wealthiest men in what was then the western frontier of Virginia. Virginia had banned newly-freed slaves from living in the state. He corresponded with first James Madison, and then Thomas Jefferson about emancipation.
    “Coles’s exploration of Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky as places to settle his slaves was disappointing. Service as private secretary to President James Madison and as an a special envoy to the Czar of Russia, slowed his efforts to find somewhere to resettle his former slaves. However, in 1818, he decided to do so in Illinois. On his way to Illinois, where he had been appointed by James Monroe A Register of the Land Office, Coles freed his ten slaves. None of his slaves left him, and upon arrival in Edwardsville, Illinois, Coles gave each head of family 160 acres (0.65 km2) of land….etc.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Coles
    Per immigration legislation:
    For those commenting on immigration legislation on various posts, if you do not understand the substance of and vast and permanent consequences of the Simpson-Mazzoli legislation of 1986, then you cannot possibly understand the present situation in legislative and historical context. This is very very technical but those interested need to look carefully at Simpson-Mazzoli. Simpson was a Republican US Senator from Wyoming. For a start see Wiki
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immigration_Reform_and_Control_Act_of_1986
    Just as an aside, consider the impact on illegal immigration of the disintegration of the Mexican economy resulting from the disastrous socialistic regime of Echevarria (1970-1976). We started to see large movement of illegal aliens across the southern border in the early 1980s. You started to see massive arrest rates of illegal aliens coming across the border. An out of control southern border situation and the like stimulated the Simpson-Mazzoli legislation. But it was deeply flawed.
    Meanwhile the Mexican plutocracy had a convenient escape valve for the increasing unemployed and population demographic. Export the unemployment to the US, the gringos are stupid so why not get something over on them.

  32. Bobo says:

    I think we all have grown through the years leaving our racist views in the trash bin where it belongs. What Jimmy Carter and a number of others are postulating is wrong, gravely wrong. They are not leaving the past in the past but dredging up things that are not accurate for today’s world and its views, yes there are exceptions but much fewer today than in the past. The man was elected to lead us not for others to put baggage on him that he may not be able to carry or fend off.
    The SCV and Joe Wilson are honorable and good men except Joe seems to have that problem of not keeping his yapper shut when he should. Could the dimwit have been baited, Obama is sharp enough to have done that.
    If your ever in the low country stop by the Hunley Museum in Charleston to watch the changing of the guard to see the Confederate Soldiers (re-inactors). They will be more than happy to share some of the history with you no matter who or what you are.

  33. HJFJR says:

    Colonel Lang,
    I do not consider Wilson a racists, I do however consider guilty of boorish behavior, behavior which is consistent with the hotheads of South Carolina.
    “South Carolina [is] too small to be a sovereign nation and too large for an insane asylum.” I think this sums up the schizophrenic nature of South Carolina, both culturally and politically. It has given us, as Eugene Genovese has argued, the most original American political thinker—John C. Calhoun (See “The Southern Tradition: The Achievement and Limitations of an American Conservatism” Harvard University Press 1994); but also has given us politicians whose passions who so clouded their judgment to the extent that they believed the only resolution to the political differences between the North and South was the clash of arms. Politicians such as Pitchfork Ben Tillman who used the fear of the “mongrelization of the races” to separate the black and white farmers who made up the Southern Farm Populist movement in the late 19th Century, where politicians view of Separate but Equal were schools for Black Students were described by one Federal Judge as not being fit for barnyard animals. Where the elites of Charleston while supporting the goals of men like Ben Tillman and Strom Thurmond but looking down their aristocratic noses as those upstarts from the upcountry.
    The behavior of Joe Wilson is hardly surprising, as he is representative of a long line South Carolina politicians who behavior was boorish but reflected the sentiments of their constituents. Wilson deserves the censure of the Congress and the judgment of his constituents at the polls, my guess he will win easily. To understand South Carolina politics I would recommend the two volumes by William W. Freehling, Road to Disunion while it deals with the entire South, focuses on South Carolina in the ante-bellum period.
    Regarding the comments about the Sons of Confederate Veterans. As someone who grew up in Lexington Virginia, where the two most revered Southern Generals are buried, the SCV were seen often on the anniversaries of their births and deaths. I know individuals who are members of the SCV, while they have decided conservative views; they are not in my mind racists. As one writer observed they are free to celebrate their ancestors. I do know that the SCV has had a number of internal disputes in recent years. The National Leadership has been challenged by members of the Southern League, which was founded on a belief of the supremacy of the white race. Those who are members of the Southern League are racists; the fact that some are members of the SCV does not make the SCV racists. The remarks of the Southern Poverty Law Center were very unfortunate in not making differentiation between the two groups.
    I worked with the Southern Poverty Law Center in the past, when I was part of special task force looking into racists, neo-nazi, skinhead, and other groups in the military. This was a result of the killing of a black couple by two soldiers from Fort Bragg in 1996. The Southern Poverty Law Center was very helpful in our training.
    While I think the what was said by Joe Wilson was wrong, I also think tossing around terms serves only to further poison our political discourse. What we need is more civil discourse and less name calling.

  34. Sidney O. Smith III says:

    New Orleans,
    I agree that a bad moon is arisin’.
    Much arises from economic uncertainty, among other things. And Glenn Greenwald, per usual, makes great insights, arguing that the attacks on Obama in many ways are nothing new.
    But from what I can glean, those with a truly vitriolic hatred of President Obama (one that goes beyond mere political disagreements) seem to come from two groups.
    1. Those who identify themselves with the rapture movement.
    2. Those Jewish Americans who promote a type of militant ethnic nationalism best represented by Likud Zionism.
    Perhaps to word differently, a high percentage of people in those two groups have a visceral hatred of President Obama. Of course, neither group is entirely representative of Christian or Jewish Americans.
    Southern history has nothing to with either ideology, although many rapturists live in the South. And, imo, rapturist preachers are the ones adding fuel to the fire when they thump the Bible and then say President Obama is evil simply because President Obama opposes settlement expansion in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. Seems to get folks’ mojo risin’.
    And of course those in group two are associated, at least somewhat, with the three traditional liberal B’s — Brooklyn, Boston, and Berkeley. And if you want to hear the “n” word, just ask those in Jerusalem what they think of President Obama. (Phil Weiss and his crowd, much to their great credit, are shining a light on this most virulent racism).
    Chris Matthews will not say a word about this very racism that is driving US foreign policy and he knows what has happened in the Middle East. How can he not? And Matthews, by his continuing silence as a journalist, is contributing to racially motivated killings in the Middle East by the score.
    The three b crowd doesn’t like to hear this, but when it comes to accepting the “other”, Mississippi at its “worst” far surpasses Likud Zionism at its best. More people die in one week in Gaza due to racism than during the entire “civil right’s movement”. Yet, Chris Matthews remains silent on the issue and, instead, bashes the South.
    (Disclosure: I voted for Obama. Believe he makes for a great head of state although, as for his role as head of government, I disagree with his Afpak and economic policies, among other things).

  35. Cieran says:

    Professor Kiracofe:
    Thank you for a very thoughtful and well-informed post.
    As always, you ask good questions. I would suggest that your questions regarding the nature of racism cannot be properly answered without first defining what racism is.
    I’ll note that many competing definitions exist (with some of them remarkably self-serving to members of the groups that advocate them), and that is an important part of why this topic generates so much heat and so little light.
    Thank you for providing some sorely-needed illumination.

  36. Rider says:

    There is no getting around the fact that it was the Civil Rights Act(s) which drove the South from the Democratic Party into the open arms of the Republicans. Ronald Reagan’s campaign kickoff speech on “states’ rights” was delivered at the suggestion of Strom Thurmond and Trent Lott in Philadelphia, Mississippi. That was the town where thirteen years earlier the three civil rights workers, Goodwin, Schwerner, and Chaney, had been lynched. Joe Wilson was a protege of Strom Thurmond, yet now he’s saying, “Who me? Racist?” I feel badly when the South is tarred with a broad brush. I’ve got some Confederate soldiers in my attic too. But the fact is that race is still very much a part of politics in the South. It is in a lot of other places too, but not with the depth of history that we have down here.
    http://www.indyweek.com/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid%3A176339

  37. seydlitz89 says:

    Col. Lang-
    Just to let you know, your post got me thinking about this subject and I posted something myself . . .
    http://milpubblog.blogspot.com/2009/09/question-of-racism-and-easy-labels.html#comments
    kind regards.

  38. Cieran,
    Thanks for your comment.
    Americans need to sober up. Perhaps the mess in Afghanistan and domestic factors will spur the process.
    After eight years of disastrous leadership, we as a nation need to focus on the threat environment we face. All Americans irrespective of race, creed, and national origins are impacted.
    1. “The international system—as constructed following the Second World War—will be almost
    unrecognizable by 2025 owing to the rise of emerging powers, a globalizing economy, an
    historic transfer of relative wealth and economic power from West to East, and the growing
    influence of nonstate actors. By 2025, the international system will be a global multipolar one
    with gaps in national power2 continuing to narrow between developed and developing countries.
    Concurrent with the shift in power among nation-states, the relative power of various nonstate
    actors—including businesses, tribes, religious organizations, and criminal networks—is
    increasing. The players are changing, but so too are the scope and breadth of transnational issues
    important for continued global prosperity. Aging populations in the developed world; growing
    energy, food, and water constraints; and worries about climate change will limit and diminish
    what will still be an historically unprecedented age of prosperity.
    Historically, emerging multipolar systems have been more unstable than bipolar or unipolar
    ones. Despite the recent financial volatility—which could end up accelerating many ongoing
    trends—we do not believe that we are headed toward a complete breakdown of the international
    system, as occurred in 1914-1918 when an earlier phase of globalization came to a halt.
    However, the next 20 years of transition to a new system are fraught with risks. Strategic
    rivalries are most likely to revolve around trade, investments, and technological innovation and
    acquisition, but we cannot rule out a 19th century-like scenario of arms races, territorial
    expansion, and military rivalries….”
    http://www.dni.gov/nic/PDF_2025/2025_Global_Trends_Final_Report.pdf
    2. ” The United States faces a complex and rapidly changing
    national security environment in which nationstates,
    highly capable non-state actors, and other
    transnational forces will continue to compete with
    and challenge U.S. national interests. Adversaries are
    likely to use asymmetric means and technology (either
    new or applied in a novel way) to counter U.S.
    interests at home and abroad. There may be opportunities
    for cooperative multilateral action to meet
    these challenges….”
    http://www.dni.gov/reports/2009_NIS.pdf
    3. And right here at home the organized criminal gang situation, for example. Particular focus should be on the Mexican and Central American gangs operating in the US. We need to consider scenarios in which such gangs link up the violent Islamic fundamentalist orgs like al-Qaeda. directly or indirectly. And so on.
    “Gangs are a threat to public safety in many suburban communities throughout the country, particularly violent urban gangs that have migrated from inner cities to surrounding areas. Gang migration began in the late 1980s and intensified in the 1990s. At present, more than 20,000 gangs consisting of approximately 1 million members exist in the United States. Gangs are present in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and all U.S. territories.
    Gangs are responsible for a large number of violent crimes committed each year throughout the country, including homicides. Gang members typically act in concert, planning violent criminal activity to advance their reputation, protect their territory, or expand their operations. However, gang members sometimes arbitrarily commit random acts of violence against unwary citizens. Additionally, planned criminal activities perpetrated by gangs have led to the victimization of many innocent bystanders.
    Gangs dominate retail-level drug distribution across the United States and increasingly are becoming involved in wholesale-level drug trafficking through connections with drug trafficking organizations (DTOs). Mexican drug traffickers affiliated with the Federation, the Gulf Cartel, the Juárez Cartel, and the Tijuana Cartel1 maintain working relationships with at least 20 street gangs, prison gangs, and outlaw motorcycle gangs (OMGs) that operate in a number of suburban communities throughout the country–this has significantly increased the availability of illicit drugs in many areas. Moreover, several major Asian criminal organizations and DTOs work closely with at least eight Asian street gangs that operate within suburban locales.
    Law enforcement officials face unique challenges in confronting gang-related criminal activity in their respective jurisdictions. Consequently, anti-gang strategies must be particularized to each community. Community-based law enforcement initiatives have had an effect on gang operations in many areas. Law enforcement officials in several areas report that gangs in their jurisdictions are reducing the use of violence in an attempt to avoid law enforcement apprehension. Moreover, successful law enforcement and community initiatives have caused gangs to reduce their level of operations in a number of urban and larger suburban areas. As a consequence, some of these gangs have moved their operations into surrounding communities.” http://www.usdoj.gov/ndic/pubs27/27612/index.htm

  39. Michael Torpey says:

    Does anyone remember the Kingston Trio’s hit:
    The Merry Minuet?
    They’re rioting in Africa
    They’re starving in Spain
    There’s hurricanes in Florida
    And Texas needs rain
    the Whole world is festering with unhappy souls
    The French hate the Germans, the Germans hate the Poles
    Italians hate Yugoslavs, South Africans hate the Dutch
    And I don’t like Anybody very much.
    But we can be tranquil and thankful and proud
    For man’s been endowed with a mushroom-shaped cloud
    And we know for certain that some lucky day
    Someone will set the spark off and we will all be blown away
    They’re rioting in Africa
    There’s strife in Iran
    What nature doesn’t do to us
    Will be done by our fellow Man
    — Sheldon Harnick @1958
    Well I hope not. SST is one alternative to fighting in the streets.

  40. stickler says:

    Not to whack the carcass, but I must point out that Fort Sumter didn’t fire on Charleston until it was fired upon. By traitors.
    (Hadn’t PGT Beauregard sworn an oath to uphold the Constitution? And RE Lee too?)
    I understand that opinions on this matter may differ, as they do regarding the flatness or roundess of the Earth. If I give offense on this matter, I apologize to preserve decorum.
    But secession was treason, and that crime has no statute of limitations.

  41. turcopolier says:

    Stickler
    Explain to us how secession was treason. As for Lee and Beauregard having
    sworn to defend the Constitution that is true as it is in the case of any
    commissioned officer of the US armed forces, but they had resigned their
    commissions. Their resignations were accepted by the Secretary of War and
    therefore they were no longer bound by that oath. The oath is legal, not
    sacramental. Pl

  42. Michael Torpey says:

    Here’s a little story, an alternative history.
    Abe “The Stovepipe” Lincoln and the Guys who Took a Powder
    Once upon a time, in a country far far away and a long time ago there was a mob boss named Abe “The Stovepipe” Lincoln. He had 33 guys in his mob, which his forefathers formed 87 years ago. Now just when Abe “The Stovepipe” got to be mob boss 11 of his guys who all lived next to each other decided to form their own mob. So they voted among themselves to leave Abe’s mob and start their own. This is the good part. After they did that Abe “The Stovepipe” Lincoln got up, locked the door, turned to the 11 guys and said, “Now you’se guys can’t leave,” and eventually kicked the shit out of them. After that Abe and his other 25 guys, three new guys joined during the fight, welcomed back the errant but not traitorous gang members and lived more or less happily ever after. Until someone shot “The Stovepipe”.

  43. Cieran says:

    Professor Kiracofe:
    You make a lot of good points, but I believe your last one needs a lot more attention, i.e., the nexus emerging between gangs and terrorism. The drug aspect of gang activities is especially problematic.
    One of the most unfortunate side-effects of the “war on drugs” (and there are unfortunate side-effects aplenty!) is that the profits involved produce an unusual smuggling capability by virtue (or vice?) of the free market in illicit drugs.
    The invisible hand of the illegal drug marketplace rewards those smugglers who can bring their cargo into the U.S. most successfully, and over the long span of our drug wars, we’ve essentially forced the evolution of extremely pragmatic business people who are incredibly good at getting cargo across our borders, e.g., in trunks of cars, holds of small boats, etc.
    Unfortunately for our national security, that size of illicit package is well-matched to many different instruments of mayhem that could be used by terrorist organizations. So while we’re pursuing these social-engineering goals of moral purity through abstinence, we are simultaneously helping potential terrorists move material across our borders.
    And since such social engineering efforts don’t even work (cf. the Noble Experiment of Prohibition), we are pursuing an infeasible goal while putting our collective security at risk.
    This bargain seems insane on its face, but we citizens seem to buy into the whole idea, and gangs certainly enjoy the fruits of our collective myopia. So at what point do we stop looking for handfuls of potential bad guys on the far side of the planet, and start paying attention to the armies of malevolent miscreants who have already invaded our nation?
    It’s enough to make a Congressman want to say “you lie!”

  44. pbrownlee says:

    Did not Shelby Foote say in Ken Burns’s The Civil War that “they” (the former colonies) would never have gone into it (the Union) if they had not thought they could also get out of it.
    Becomes a mite more complicated with the admission of the non-colonial states…
    Would this sorry old world be a sorrier place if the United States and the territories in 1860 had evolved into an interesting multiplicity of geographically smaller nation states?

  45. Rider says:

    Clearly, Jimmy Carter did not mean literally that the entire South is racist, since obviously he is a man of the South.
    I believe where Joe Wilson was coming from, literally and figuratively, has specifically more to do with white supremacy than racism per-se. The Confederacy was a white supremacist state. Read Vice President Alexander Stephens famous “cornerstone speech” if you doubt that. That attitude persists in pockets of ignorance today, though the Civil War and a host of laws and courts have mostly overturned it. Our society until now has been white majority. By 2043 it is projected that non-Hispanic white people will be a minority, and that is where all the anger is coming from. Our demographics will finally do what the laws and courts have been unable to do. What Joe Wilson was shouting was really just raw denial, the voice of the siege mentality. He represents constituents who are mostly in a panic at what is coming, the day when “their” country looks more like Barack Obama than it looks like them. I think that’s what President Carter was talking about.

  46. Rider says:

    I meant to include the following reference with my comment:
    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/251/v-print/story/75694.html

  47. Sidney O. Smith III says:

    Julius Erving — Dr. J — apparently prefers Atlanta over Matthews’ Philly. On his move to Atlanta, Dr. J is quoted as saying, “It feels right”.
    Dr. J’s move to Atlanta reflects want has been a trend in the South for a good while now. More African Americans moving to the South than leaving.
    And Dr. J even claims it was due to “divine intervention”. Here is part of the interview:
    Q: Maybe there’s something to be said about ending up where you belong?
    A: Yeah, how ’bout that, you end up where you belong. Divine intervention, maybe.
    http://www.ajc.com/sports/julius-erving-on-moving-142963.html
    No doubt the South has problems. Admitted. But apparently so does Philly and Matthews.
    Imo, much of the truly virulent antipathy towards Obama has more to do with the worldview of Rapturists (and Likud Zionists) than the constitutionality of secession in 1860-61 — a legal assertion that wasn’t refuted at this thread despite invitations to do so, although I am keeping an open mind.
    Nor does this particular hatred spring from 19th century Southern history, particularly the horrendous aftereffects — including de jure racism — that arose from the punitive aspects of Reconstruction — a government policy that, by all accounts, left the South as impoverished as a “lesser developed nation” up until the mid 20th century. James Agee’s famous book, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, and the accompanying photographs of Walker Evans certainly make the point.
    And all the while, Matthews and his colleagues of the msm are simply unwilling to take an uncomfortable and honest look at the contributions of their tradition to the ongoing racism in Gaza and the Middle East, which, according to some, is best defined as ethnic cleansing and may result in nuclear genocide.
    If Matthews would come clean, then he would better serve the interests of the US, imo.

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