NAACP Asks Barbour to Condemn Klan Plate | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

NAACP Asks Barbour to Condemn Klan Plate

photo

Barbour is calling a special legislative session to discuss economic development projects.

This story has been updated

Mississippi NAACP President Derrick Johnson is asking Gov. Haley Barbour to condemn the Mississippi Sons of Confederate Veterans' push to create a commemorative license plate for Confederate General and the Ku Klux Klan's first Grand Wizard, Nathan Bedford Forrest.

"We're calling for the governor to denounce the actions of the Sons of Confederate Veterans," said Johnson. "We would like to see the governor of this state denounce any action by the Sons of Confederate Veterans to honor Nathan Bedford Forrest, given (Forrest's) extremely racist past."

Sons of Confederate Veterans member Greg Stewart said the SCV wants to commemorate Forrest with a license plate depicting his picture in 2014. The SCV is sponsoring a five-year series of license plates, each honoring the five-year length of the Civil War. The first design, available this year, features the home of Confederate President Jefferson Davis; the 2012 design will feature an undesignated emblem of the Battle of Corinth; the 2013 design will feature a design--possibly the Vicksburg Courthouse-- commemorating the Siege of Vicksburg.

Barbour, who recently depicted the separatist Citizens Council merely as an "organization of town leaders" who opposed the KKK, and described civil-rights problems in Yazoo as not "being that bad," did not immediately return calls for comment.

Johnson, meanwhile, remains offended at the possibility of a Forrest license plate.

"I think it's the height of insensitivity to honor an individual on a state-issued license plate who demonstrated the highest forms of racial hatred, and who was a traitor to this country," Johnson said. "He performed domestic terrorism on the citizens of this country and joined the forces of other confederate soldiers, who for all practical purposes, committed acts of treason, and should be viewed as traitors. Nathan Bedford Forrest should be treated with the same dignity that this country treats Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden."

Six Confederate veterans formed the Ku Klux Klan near Pulaski, Tenn., soon after the Civil War ended in order to scare newly freed slaves into not standing up for their rights. At first, the group used non-violent tactics--such as putting sheets over their heads and pretending to be ghosts--but as more men joined the group, their tactics became more violent and bloody.

Forrest had returned to his native Tennessee after the war, and the group recruited the hero general to join their secret society, which by that point had taken the violent route. He became its first Grand Wizard.

Stewart, though, said Forrest had changed his behavior near the end of his life.

"Forrest, in particular, seems to have borne the brunt of every effort to malign him. It goes all the way back to Union officers who were sore about the way he embarrassed them in North Mississippi, Tennessee, and Alabama," Stewart said. "We recognize that some people insist that he had some Klan background, but his (1875) speech before the Order of Pole-Bearers Association didn't sound like the Klan to me."

Stewart referred to Forrest's speech before the association, wherein the former general told the crowd that he wanted blacks "to come nearer to (whites)," and proposed that all Americans "have but one flag, one country."

Johnson, however, recounts the historic 1864 slaughter of black union soldiers by Confederate soldiers under Forrest's command at Fort Pillow, and Forrest's later leadership in a violent Klan.

Stewart said SCV members had no intention of stirring up controversy, but instead planned to use the revenue generated by the commemorative license plates to restore historic artifacts, such as Confederate flags. He said SCV, at this point, had no plan to choose a different design for the 2014-issue license plates.

"There's been no talk of surrendering the Forrest design. Forrest would probably not have surrendered," Stewart said. He added that SCV members were considering the possibility of commemorating black Confederate Soldier Holt Collier for the 2015 edition, to ameliorate sore feelings.

"Maybe that would answer some of the critics who think we picked Nathan Bedford Forrest to annoy them," Stewart said.

Barbour told reporters in Jackson today that he has no plan to denounce the plates because, he said, legislators will not approve the plate. "I know there's not a chance it'll become law," Barbour told the Associated Press.

Previous Comments

ID
162090
Comment

"Some people insist" that Forrest was in the Klan--like his biographer, Brian Steel Wills, who only questions whether he was Grand Dragon. The historical record is clear as a bell. The SCV has their denier hat on. At least they don't try to pretend he wasn't a slave trader.

Author
David McCarty
Date
2011-02-15T14:25:07-06:00
ID
162092
Comment

It's hard to believe anyone could be as clueless as Stewart. Does he really think critics will be mollified by showing one of the very few black Confederate soldiers? That only perpetuates the myth that most black people just loved being slaves, until those damned Yankees went and gave them big ideas. A far better symbol would be to show a black Union soldier, to commemorate the hundreds of thousands of slaves who fled the plantations to fight for freedom. African Americans helped to ensure the Confederacy's destruction by refusing to do its labor and by joining the Union military. About 200,000 joined Union forces, and tens of thousands gave their lives to put down the treason of men like Forrest. I'm with Johnson on this one: "I think it's the height of insensitivity to honor an individual on a state-issued license plate who demonstrated the highest forms of racial hatred, and who was a traitor to this country," Johnson said. "He performed domestic terrorism on the citizens of this country and joined the forces of other confederate soldiers, who for all practical purposes, committed acts of treason, and should be viewed as traitors. Nathan Bedford Forrest should be treated with the same dignity that this country treats Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden." Amen.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2011-02-15T14:55:49-06:00
ID
162094
Comment

Nathan Bedford Forrest should be treated with the same dignity that this country treats Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden." That is some quote. Ought to go in the history books.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2011-02-15T15:40:04-06:00
ID
162095
Comment

Where has the SCV said they want to honor him as a member of the Klan? He was a great calvary leader, they still teach his military tactics in the U.S.Army. Maybe that's why they want a tag with him on it?

Author
BubbaT
Date
2011-02-15T16:52:47-06:00
ID
162096
Comment

Bubba, some folks thought Hitler was good at strategy, too, but that doesn't mean he should get a license plate. Same could be said for bin Laden and Hussein. You do defend some weird stuff, guy.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2011-02-15T17:11:29-06:00
ID
162097
Comment

I lived in Forrest County for five years, and it DID bother me that the county was named after him. I'm just glad the car I was driving was registered in Neshoba County so I didn't have to drive around with Nathan Bedford's name on my license plate. I think putting a stop to this special-issue plate is a good first step, but I think it's time people went further and got Forrest's name off the standard-issue plates from Forrest County by changing the county's name to something else.

Author
Mark Michalovic
Date
2011-02-15T17:17:44-06:00
ID
162098
Comment

Ah nobody thinks Hilter was a good stratgist, you don't fight a 2 front war in the dead of winter. Forrest was in the Klan,and maybe the Grand Pooba big deal. That was 150yrs ago.

Author
BubbaT
Date
2011-02-15T17:41:25-06:00
ID
162104
Comment

Meh, I see no reason to support such a plate, but I can't blame Barbour for just staying out of it. If he "denounces" this, then the line shifts, and who knows what the next issue he's asked to "denounce" will be. Heck, recent international headlines should tell us that it's a dangerous game to play (see: Obama/Clinton/Biden on whether they supported Mubarak). The man is no dummy, and knows it's better just to stay out of it and let the proper ruling authority make the decision.

Author
Mark Geoffriau
Date
2011-02-15T19:50:30-06:00
ID
162105
Comment

Bubba T., I agree, "That was 150yrs ago"; however, the idea of making a license plate for one of the most notorious Klansman who ever lived and having this plate paraded in our towns and cities is just another racist act to promote negatives, fears and an even greater division between the races. I'm with Johnson on this issue and Gov. Barbour should step up to the plate and take a stand against it. I know that he thinks that slavery was a piece of cake, but, he should know that this is just another symbol of backwards thinking and the promotion of ignorance for our young who are without the historical account of this terrible person, Nathan Bedford. It is not as if this State does not have its constant reminders: For many years, I walked into a building known as the Robert E. Lee Building. On top of this building flies the Confederate Flag. The first floor is laced with elevators bearing metal pictures of the racist, Rober E. Lee: That person who led the confederate army in fighting to continue slavery; the most brutal, bloody and dehumanizing period period in American History. Perhaps Mr. Derrick Johnson will also ask Mr. Barbour to add the Robert E. Lee building to his list of denouncements. I'm sure that the black Mississippians who work there would feel better getting their day started without the negative reminders that they face on a daily basis. just thinking!

Author
justjess
Date
2011-02-15T20:38:20-06:00
ID
162106
Comment

You're correct that Hitler was an awful military strategist, so we'll use a different example. How about Vlad the Impaler? He was skilled military commander, and the horrible things he did were even further in the past than the sins of Nathan Bedford Forrest, but you wouldn't want to put him on a license plate, either. Time doesn't redeem the crimes of the past.

Author
Mark Michalovic
Date
2011-02-15T20:42:38-06:00
ID
162107
Comment

I'm practically a former Forrest Countian myself (hmmm, I wonder why) and I remember finding the county was named for Nathan Bedford Forrest. I wonder if there's a movement to rename the county. Might be somewhat difficult but I'd be for it.

Author
golden eagle
Date
2011-02-15T20:45:38-06:00
ID
162110
Comment

Jess- Just what did the "most notorious Klansman" Forrest do while he was in the Klan? Do you know of any raids lead,people he terrorized, or any actions that can be connected to him? Why shouldn't a building be named after Robert E. Lee? He graduated near the top of his class at West Point, had a distinguished 32yr career in the U.S. Army before the war, was offered the command of the Union Army by Lincoln and after the war was President of Washington College and your gonna be offended by him? Just because he was the commander of the Confederate Army for 4 yrs?

Author
BubbaT
Date
2011-02-15T21:42:29-06:00
ID
162111
Comment

Mark- If the Sons fo Vlad want a tag with his picture on it, I have no problem with it. You forget every vampire book or movie pays homage to him.

Author
BubbaT
Date
2011-02-15T21:47:19-06:00
ID
162114
Comment

does anyone really care about whiteflight or just the tax dollars they take with them?

Author
wataworld
Date
2011-02-16T06:06:20-06:00
ID
162117
Comment

I swear, people are going to think Bubba is on the payroll.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2011-02-16T10:27:56-06:00
ID
162119
Comment

My idea is that I can't very well stand for diversity, acceptance and reconciliation if I can't accept that everyone does not think like me. Do I find the idea of this tag offensive, yes. Is it the idea of honoring this fella offensive to me, no. I find it offensive that Mississippi is still the kind of state that could even fathom doing this. A guy on Direct Line last night (I don't recall his name - sorry) compared this honor to Lumumba being on the city council and he even likened this guy to Malcolm X. Personally, I find that to be hogwash....but, as an American, he has the liberty to think what he wants just like I do. Thus, he should be able to buy any tag he wants. But what should be happening is that the NAACP should be focusing their attention on getting the legislature to consider a bill to counter this tag with one for a worthwhile African American activist who deserves the same acknowledgement as some think Forrest (dam, I had to say his name - tried not to) deserves. We can't keep saying we want to progress and move forward if we want to speak freely and shut everybody else up. Let's make this state EQUAL. We're never going to silence the people we don't agree with. How about we focus on speaking LOUDER!!!!!

Author
Queen601
Date
2011-02-16T12:31:11-06:00
ID
162120
Comment

"A classic Haley 'Chameleon' Barbour statement. Regardless of whether the legislators approve the plate or not, Barbour's cowardly silence on this issue leads one to suppose he is in favor of, especially taking into consideration his previous memory lapse of the Citizen's Council." Well you know he can't bite the hands that feeds him!? It would appease the "liberals" but what about the rebel-rowzing, reaganomics, conservatives that voted him into office? He's very loyal to them and it's pure politics! I hate it, but it is what it is - hate to say it like that. But let's look at the news rundown in the last couple of weeks - the census numbers came out and the main concern was white flight. Then you had sewage problems in the city, where people had back-ups into their home and the finger was pointed directly at the city and Andrew Kinsey didn't even think to check with the rest of the neighbors to see if anyone else had the same problem on the block? If one person has bad water, guess what its' the whole cities fault? NOt the owner of the property being responsible for maintaining the plumbing on the house and property? Oh, then we had some idiot go and hi-jack a Fedex truck and turn around and kill someone in the truck in the very same city we fight so hard to defend, where people are trying to get legislators to pass a law to create a car tag for a person who was major player in the confederate army and the ku klux klan!? In the words of Barack Obama - It would almost be funny, if it wasn't so cynical! Yes indeed! Queen, I'm with you on this one!

Author
Duan C.
Date
2011-02-16T12:52:31-06:00
ID
162122
Comment

Bubba, Forrest was a war criminal who massacred enemy soldiers at Fort Pillow, Tennessee. That bothered white contemporaries more than anything else he did. Here is a description from a Confederate soldier at the scene: "The slaughter was awful. Words cannot describe the scene. The poor, deluded, negroes would run up to our men, fall upon their knees, and with uplifted hands scream for mercy but they were ordered to their feet and then shot down. I, with several others, tried to stop the butchery, and at one time had partially succeeded, but General Forrest ordered them shot down like dogs and the carnage continued. Finally our men became sick of blood and the firing ceased." It's hardly surprising that such a massacre occurred, given Forrest's enthusiastic racism. For all the blubbering about "sacred honor" from southern officers, it did not extend to honorable treatment of black prisoners of war. Students at West Point may study Forrest's cavalry tactics, but he would never make it in the military today. He would be arrested and tried for murder. But by all means, go on defending him.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2011-02-16T14:22:10-06:00
ID
162123
Comment

Brian- There are so many conflicitng accounts of what happen at Fort Pillow from both Confederate,Union soldiers,Northern and Southern Newspapers that no one truely knows what happened there.Was it a massacre of surrendering soldiers or did they refuse to surrender and fight to the last man? I don't know and neither does anyone else.

Author
BubbaT
Date
2011-02-16T14:36:30-06:00
ID
162124
Comment

Brian- Lt. Van Horn,(Union officer who fought at Fort Pillow) reported they refused every offer for them to surrender. http://www.civilwarhome.com/vanhornftpillowor.htm "There never was a surrender of the fort, both officers and men declaring they never would surrender or ask for quarter."

Author
BubbaT
Date
2011-02-16T14:51:58-06:00
ID
162131
Comment

Bubba T, I know that there are many Mississippians who continue to fight the Civil War. In Vicksburg, there is a big celebration and re-enactment of scenes from the Battle of Vicksburg. You lost the war! You lost your flag! For me, I must tell myself when I see it, "The South Lost." Black people are FREE! Can you give me a list of things that Forrest did for Mississippi that all citizens can be proud of. In other words, what would an African-American be honoring him for? Give me a rationale for wearing his name and picture on the front or back of my car. Bubba T., It's OVER. The South will not rise again to repeat the crimes against black people that Forrest and others did. During slavery, both a man's body and his mind were imprisoned by the master. This made the job of keeping slaves an easy one. One white man, his wife and two children could keep 200 slaves on one plantation. There was black obedience because of FEAR. Today, the fear is OVER. Your license plate honoring the MUDERER, nathad bedford forrest and your KKK regalia celebrations will only frighten people whose ancestors were NOT slaves. Think about it!

Author
justjess
Date
2011-02-16T18:36:40-06:00
ID
162132
Comment

Jess- There are probably hundreds more re-enactments is the North than there are in the South. Nobody is still fighting the Civil War here. Why would you want a tag with the Sons of Confederate Vet on it? Are you a member? Did you have relatives that fought for the South? Whether a black person would want to honor Forrest on a tag doesn't really matter. It's a specialty tag for members and supporters of the SCV, they raised the money by preselling tags and pay extra everytime for one. You want a tag with someone you can honor, come off your time and money and put the effort into getting one honoring whoever you want. I won't whine about it offending me, I don't have buy if I don't like.

Author
BubbaT
Date
2011-02-16T20:01:27-06:00
ID
162133
Comment

Tyler- Do you have "absolute proof" Forrest ordered the massacare of the troops at Fort Pillow or Did they just fight to the last man? NO you don't, nobody does.

Author
BubbaT
Date
2011-02-16T20:06:13-06:00
ID
162137
Comment

Duan, Believing in the ideals of Reganomics and supporting this license plate aren't synonymous. You can have one without the other and I assure you most self-described "conservatives" identify with the former rather than the latter.

Author
jbreland
Date
2011-02-17T02:51:30-06:00
ID
162143
Comment

@ jbreland My comment in regards to "rebel-rowzing conservatives" was a jab at the picture the clarion-ledger took for Sundays paper when they were discussing the car tag. There was a fella holding the car tag behind his car, and then you can see a bumper sticker on his car that said "Reagan for President" But answer this question, if you were to conduct a poll of people who support anything confederate, such as the flag or something like this car tag, then ask them how do they vote, I can pretty much guarantee they will say they vote "conservative" or "Republican"? I would like to give you the benefit of the doubt, but I don't think the two ideas are not that far removed from each other - due to the base in Mississippi

Author
Duan C.
Date
2011-02-17T07:41:54-06:00
ID
162150
Comment

Tyler Trent, No, I don't think that my thoughts and feelings on this issue are "extreme." As a matter of fact, I think that making a tag, trying to drum up positive attributes, all in the spirit of honoring this racist murderer, is an attempt for resurrection "Of old ideas and slavery."

Author
justjess
Date
2011-02-17T11:20:20-06:00
ID
162151
Comment

My GM always said to me, "If you can just for one moment put yourself in the place of others, you will always be able to know if your thoughts are on the side of what is right." So, Bubba and Trent, If your female relatives had been raped by black oppressors (slave masters), you and your males friends were beaten with whips, (many were killed and thrown into the muddy MS) or talked down to and your young children were only blue-prints for this type of suffereing, would you want a tag a flag or anything with constant visibility to remind you of these horrible events? If the South is to rise in harmony, it will only occur when there is a recognition of its cruel past and there will not be a constant battle to honor those who are not and were not honorable. PS. You have not answered the question of what Mr. Forrest was fighting for or what he planned to accomplish as the Grand Dragon of the KKK.

Author
justjess
Date
2011-02-17T11:34:25-06:00
ID
162155
Comment

Tom- You left out the part that Forrest enlisted as a private,which was unusual because most of the rich Southern men were exempted from service, it was only later after he had enlisted they commissioned his a colonel and let him raise his own cavalry unit. The Union army did the same thing with rich men. Forrest is not saying it was a massacre, he is discribing a total victory. The disparity in body count doesn't make it a massacre, isn't that the whole point of war kill alot more of them so they won't or can't fight anymore?

Author
BubbaT
Date
2011-02-17T13:36:37-06:00
ID
162156
Comment

Jess- It been a long long time since the Romans raped,burned, pillaged Scotland. I don't think about those horrible events. I see an Italian flag everyday in a heighbor's yard, doesn't upset me.

Author
BubbaT
Date
2011-02-17T14:12:07-06:00
ID
162157
Comment

@Duan I cannot think of a single conservative that I know personally that would support the confederate plate, unless they did so to be ironic and politically incorrect (which is common amongst my friends, regardless of the issues at hand). Otherwise, you wouldn't catch many upwardly mobile conservatives riding around with a NBF license plate. Not because they care one way or the other, but because it screams, "I am backwards" and would tarnish their reputation at the racquet club.

Author
jbreland
Date
2011-02-17T14:14:59-06:00
ID
162158
Comment

I hear you Brother Breland

Author
Duan C.
Date
2011-02-17T14:19:51-06:00
ID
162160
Comment

Bubba, it is true that we cannot know for certain that a massacre took place, but the preponderance of evidence indicates that it did. Consider also the context. Slaughter of black prisoners of war was not unusual during the Civil War. For a time, it was official policy to enslave black Union soldiers and execute the officers in command. They only backed off on this outrageous policy when Lincoln threatened to execute Confederate prisoners of war in retaliation. Moreover, there was much talk among the southern elite that emancipation would require the extermination of all black people throughout the south. For example, here is the ultra Robert Toombs of Georgia arguing for secession: In 1790 we had less than eight hundred thousand slaves. Under our mild and humane administration of the system they have increased above four millions. The country has expanded to meet this growing want, and Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Missouri, have received this increasing tide of African labor; before the end of this century, at precisely the same rate of increase, the Africans among us in a subordinate condition will amount to eleven millions of persons. What shall be done with them? We must expand or perish. We are constrained by an inexorable necessity to accept expansion or extermination. To make a vast understatement, the Confederacy did not value African American life. Forrest was a slave trader, a likely war criminal, and the leader of a domestic terrorist organization. But by all means, go on defending him.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2011-02-17T15:09:33-06:00
ID
162162
Comment

Well Bubba T, it hasn't been that long for me. The signs and symptoms of slavery continue. This project and your written thoughts about it in 2011 is evidence of the fact that it continues to live and that it matters less than a dang to some of Mississippi's privledged ones. This is my final comment on this subject. For those who want bigger, better and brighter tomorrows for Mississippi, I sulute you; however, for those who are trying to relive MS's cruel and inhumane pass, I wish you sunshine and the hope that your children will be a part of a generation of changed minds - changed hearts and will not participate in projects destined to make others feel bad.

Author
justjess
Date
2011-02-17T15:15:19-06:00
ID
162163
Comment

Haha, you just knew Bubba was gonna be all over this one. He's an officer in every Confederate organization in the state. I assume he has quite a nice collection of vintage Confederate flags back from the 1860's, or the good ole days as he refers to them.

Author
DrumminD21311
Date
2011-02-17T15:40:44-06:00
ID
162164
Comment

If we're against having war criminals memorialized on official documents, let's get Grant taken off the $50 bill as well. I feel offended whenever I pull a $50 out of my wallet (ok, so it's not very often) and see the face of the man that ordered Mosby's men to be hanged without trial.

Author
Mark Geoffriau
Date
2011-02-17T15:54:59-06:00
ID
162166
Comment

Blech. Upon re-reading my own comment, I'm concerned it may be misconstrued as support for the Forrest plate, rather than a critique of that particular logic against it. In any case -- I don't personally support the creation of a Forrest plate, nor do I particularly care to remove Grant from the $50 bill. I just didn't like the sloppy argumentation, and thought that pursuing that line of logic would be inconsistent unless we are willing to re-examine all of the other Americans memorialized on official documents and property.

Author
Mark Geoffriau
Date
2011-02-17T16:26:09-06:00
ID
162168
Comment

The Roman example is interesting. Not everything Roman was bad, so symbols of ancient Rome wouldn't offend me, either. However, a commemorative plate honoring Nero or Caligula would offend me, as they were rather unpleasant characters. I think the Forrest plate is more like that. As far as people on money goes, I find Andrew Jackson on the $20-dollar bill to be offensive. Having grown up so close to a Native American community makes me not so enthusiastic about the architect of the Trail of Tears.

Author
Mark Michalovic
Date
2011-02-17T16:43:54-06:00
ID
162169
Comment

Brian- Do you really think the people of the North cared for the slaves lives any more than the Southerns did? Ever read Lincoln's letter in the New York Tribune? The war was all about holding the Union together to him not about freeing slaves. The Emancipation Proclamation didn't even free the slaves in Union controlled territory. Does that sound like people who cared about the slaves lives?. I just shake my head everytime someone demonizes the Confederates,then act like the Union soldiers and leaders were white knights trying to free slaves when the majority did give a damn about slaves, they just want to save the Union.

Author
BubbaT
Date
2011-02-17T17:07:43-06:00
ID
162171
Comment

It's not a race to the bottom. Just because a lot of people up north were (and still are) racist doesn't mean that being racist was good, nor does it excuse Southern bigotry. Pol Pot didn't kill as many people as Hitler did, but that doesn't make him worth honoring on a plate.

Author
Mark Michalovic
Date
2011-02-17T20:39:09-06:00
ID
162172
Comment

Actually, that wasn't a very good response. I think this is more along the lines of what I should have said: I don't think it matters whether Forrest was more or less racist than any Union generals because no one is proposing to put any Union generals on a plate. Suppose there was a move to put General Grant or General Sherman on a license plate. How would that make you feel if the man who burned Atlanta were so honored?

Author
Mark Michalovic
Date
2011-02-17T20:46:58-06:00
ID
162174
Comment

@Mark General Grant IS on the $50 bill, and I'd buy a General Sherman plate. He got things done. Sometimes you gotta burn stuff down to show 'em who's boss. I think we should have General Sherman day. He saved the Union.

Author
DrumminD21311
Date
2011-02-17T21:14:11-06:00
ID
162177
Comment

Mark, I would not object to removing Grant from the $50, so long as I could be assured that he would not be replaced by Reagan. I do not dispute that Grant committed war crimes. However, war crimes are only one element of the case against Forrest, and further comparison of the two men is illuminating. Forrest fought for the right to enslave his fellow Americans, while Grant fought to preserve the Union and end slavery. Grant was an accomplished president who steered the country through troubled times. Forrest led a terrorist organization that tried to preserve white supremacy. Grant did more than even Lincoln to empower African Americans and bring them into American political life. (To those who would condemn Reconstruction, I would note that we have only recently achieved its aims, and federal intercession was again required to get us there.) The cause for which one fights makes a difference. A better comparison than the Romans is to examine a figure such as Rommel. Rommel was a master tactician who was an indifferent Nazi. He fought for Germany more than the Nazi Party. I am unaware of his involvement in any atrocities. And he lost his life for his role in the attempt on Hitler's life. Nevertheless, I think we would all be aghast if Germans wanted to put Rommel's visage on license plates. Whatever his redeeming qualities, Rommel was a Nazi who fought for an evil cause. Forrest also fought for an evil cause. Grant did not.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2011-02-17T22:10:50-06:00
ID
162178
Comment

Bubba, you should read about Lincoln's evolution on matters of race. His views were transformed as the war continued, and it was no accident that he rode through Richmond escorted by black cavalry. Like so many revisionist historians, you act as if it is of no consequence that the war was caused by slavery. Northern abolitionists rightly regarded slavery as a profound evil that had to be ended. Lincoln refused several opportunities for compromise that would have required expanding slavery into the territories. Republicans simply would not abide further entrenchment of an evil institution. That is why southern states seceded. The cartoon you draw of the Union and the Confederacy being morally equivalent is laughable.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2011-02-17T22:22:37-06:00
ID
162180
Comment

Brian- Illnois has already issued 2 Grant tags. If they want to issue Mississipp tags with Grant or Sherman on them (I doubt they could meet the 300 presold requirement), doesn't bother me in the least, I wouldn't buy one but don't care if somebody does, it wouldn't offend me or harm me in any way. I just look at them like I look at people with Obama stickers on their cars and think "What a dumbass" I have never said slavery wasn't one of the main reasons for the war,but there were others too. I not revising any history. Have you ever looking at recruiting posters for the North during the war? Most say "help put down the rebellion", "save the Union", "protect the Constituition", they rarely mention freeing slaves. The only ones I have ever seen that said anything about slaves are the ones trying to recruit black soldiers. Oh and if the German people want to honor Rommel, that's fine with me, he was a master tactician, and he was only doing his duty fighting for his country. Yes there were evil Nazis, but not all. You really need to read Ronni M. father's book about being a soldier in the German Army during WWII.

Author
BubbaT
Date
2011-02-18T00:17:29-06:00
ID
162181
Comment

Drummin- Wow, I see they let you near a computer in the Psych ward again. Sorry to disappoint you, but I'm not a member of any Confederate organization, even though I qualify to be member of both the Sons of Confederate Veterans and the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War. Neither organiztion interest me.

Author
BubbaT
Date
2011-02-18T00:28:03-06:00
ID
162182
Comment

Like Jess I'm out of this one, do need to make a correction my post addressed to Mark should have been addressed to Mark and Brian. Queen, forgot to tell you that was a good post.

Author
BubbaT
Date
2011-02-18T00:56:43-06:00
ID
162183
Comment

Brian- forgot to add there is a Erwin Rommel memorial monument and a Rommel museum in Herrlingen, Germany. Are you aghast? LOL

Author
BubbaT
Date
2011-02-18T04:15:31-06:00
ID
162184
Comment

"I just shake my head everytime someone demonizes the Confederates,then act like the Union soldiers and leaders were white knights trying to free slaves when the majority did give a damn about slaves, they just want to save the Union." I'm not saying I totally agree with Bubba, but I'm adding another angle to his argument. I've heard historians indicate that another issue northern whites had with the southern whites, was the sexual relationships they had with their qoute on qoute slaves. By intermingling with the blacks, the white/aryan race was losing its purity and some northern whites thought it was backwards? How true that is, I would not ever know - but I've heard this argument before for another reason why there was such conflict between the north and the south.

Author
Duan C.
Date
2011-02-18T08:09:04-06:00
ID
162188
Comment

Brian- forgot to add there is a Erwin Rommel memorial monument and a Rommel museum in Herrlingen, Germany. Are you aghast? LOL The memorial that I believe you're referring to is a rock noting the location of Rommel's suicide. Here's a Youtube video of the two-room "museum" (it's described elsewhere as an "archive" that is part of the City Hall building). Impressed? LOL. There is no mention of a celebratory car tag planned in a 2011-12 timeframe. There are also holocaust museums and many of the concentration camps have been turned into museums in Germany and elsewhere in Europe, as you well know. "Museum" does not equal "celebration" in every case, so it seems. Here's what appears to be the official site for Dachau. One might note the differences in the resources expended on the Dachau museum efforts in contrast to those on the Rommel "museum." Indeed, a museum is the perfect place for historical items to be placed in academic context -- I'd submit a museum is a great place to put all of these symbols of the Confederacy, including the Mississippi flag. (Soon, even Guvenor Barbour may agree, if headlines such as Barbour Drags GOP Backward on Race persist.)

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2011-02-18T10:05:23-06:00
ID
162189
Comment

Todd- Aren't most monuments made of rocks,LOL Didn't look at the video of the museum, but the size of isn't the point, it was to show Brian there was a monument for Rommel in Germany. There are other monuments for the soldiers who fought in WWI and WWII. http://www.thirdreichruins.com/memorials.htm There is a monument to Rommel and the Afrika Korp in the military cemetery near El Alamein in Egypt. http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/74320570/Hulton-Archive No there is not a celebratory car tag planned in Germany, because they don't have specilized tags like we do. Seen the Dachau website many times. Would really like be able to visit it in person. I agree with Barbour, why denounce something when it's going to happen anyway?

Author
BubbaT
Date
2011-02-18T10:49:22-06:00
ID
162190
Comment

In the spirit of lightening up, I'll point out that I currently live in a state named after a pirate.

Author
Mark Michalovic
Date
2011-02-18T11:06:02-06:00
ID
162208
Comment

"I just look at them like I look at people with Obama stickers on their cars and think, "What a Dumbass". (Bubba T) It is better to remain silent and be thought a RACIST, than to speak out and remove ALL doubt.

Author
justjess
Date
2011-02-19T10:12:28-06:00
ID
162209
Comment

Jess- So anybody who's white and doesn't support Obama is a racist? Interesting concept. And how is thinking someone who voted for him or supports his a dumbass racist? Is Dumbass a race? So I guess your a bigot for not voting for or supporting McCain and Palin? Just saying.

Author
BubbaT
Date
2011-02-19T11:20:34-06:00
ID
162213
Comment

Yes there were evil Nazis, but not all. You really need to read Ronni M. father's book about being a soldier in the German Army during WWII. Glad to know you read my dad's book, Bubba. But to be clear, "Nazis" were members of a political party, specifically the National Socialist German Workers' Party. Not all German citizens were members of the party. In the countries the Nazi's annexed or conquered (like Austria, where both of my parents were born and lived), the overwhelming majority of citizens were never even eligible to join the party. To call my father a Nazi is like calling me a Republican because Mississippi's governor is Republican. My father was 19 when Germany annexed Austria, and he was drafted into the German army like every other young Austrian man at the time. He never rose above the rank of private through seven years of war, which might sound like he was incompetent or stupid. Neither was true. He wasn't German, he was never a member of the Nazi party, and he never had any desire to be a Nazi. All of that made him suspect to the Nazis. It's like my not being a Republican means I'll never have a leadership role in the Republican party. Some in Germany and other countries that fought for or were allied with the Third Reich still have a chip on their shoulders about losing World War II (and World War I, for that matter). Antisemitism has been evident and even quite popular in Europe for centuries. Since WWII, there has been a effort to expunge the Nazi's racist concepts from the German culture with mixed success. Public displays of the swastika, however, the premier symbol of the Nazi party, is outlawed in Germany to this day. Rommel was involved in a plot to kill Hitler. The plaque on the pile of rocks you call a "monument" to Rommel reads: "On this spot Field Marshal Erwin Rommel was forced to commit suicide on October 14th, 1944. He took the cup of poison and sacrificed himself, to save the lives of his family from Hitler's henchmen." He was "forced to commit suicide" by the Nazis. And the monument in Egypt? Many Egyptians saw the Germans as liberators; at the time, Egypt was part of the British empire. The Germans were there to fight the Brits for control of the Suez Canal. They were not at war with Egypt. IMHO, symbols of any culture that has murdered millions of people should be banned from official use. Those symbols have a place in history; they're appropriate in museums. Should we revere the leaders and proudly display the symbols of that culture? Obviously some do, but I don't really understand why we're not relegating them to the fringes of society. Regardless of why ordinary soldiers fought the Civil War or what propaganda the opposing sides used to recruit them, the bottom line is that the institution of slavery (restricted in the U.S. almost exclusively to the South by the time of the Civil War) was an economic system that that South wanted to keep. The southern states seceded from the union and fought a horrific war rather than give up slavery. Slavery in America was responsible for oppressing and murdering millions, mostly those of African descent, but also Native Americans as well. The way I see it, for the South to continue to revere the confederate generals who led troops to prevent the elimination of slavery (at a cost of more than 600,000 additional lives) is akin to, well, revering Hitler and his henchmen despite the Holocaust and the deaths of millions across the globe. That doesn't mean a few of the surviving southern generals led exemplary lives before or after the war, but Nathan Bedford Forrest's activities (especially before and probably after the war) suggest that he was not one of them.

Author
Ronni_Mott
Date
2011-02-19T19:07:49-06:00
ID
162214
Comment

Ronni- I wasn't implying your father was a Nazi,knew he wasn't from the book,sorry you took it that way. Was just pointing out to him that it was a good book to read about a soldier being in the German army during the war. Remember George Patton got in trouble over saying the people of Germany who were in the Nazi party were no different than the people in the U.S. who were Republicans or Democrats. Lost his command in Germany for that. Most people still think Nazi party membership always equals evil when it dosen't,Hitler had outlaw all other parties so it was the only one in Germany. I don't think all soldiers who fought for the South evil, don't think all soldiers who fought for Germany were either. They were just doing what they thought was there duty at the time.

Author
BubbaT
Date
2011-02-19T20:05:55-06:00
ID
162219
Comment

I don't think all soldiers who fought for the South evil, don't think all soldiers who fought for Germany were either. They were just doing what they thought was there duty at the time. Bubba, you're trying to shift the conversation with a straw man implication -- that people who oppose the Forrest license plate (and believe Barbour should have the moral courage to speak out against it) are, thus, arguing that all soldiers (or powers) that supported one side or the other in the Civil War were either good or evil, or either supported slavery or didn't. Your revisionist and apologist attempts to immunize Forrest against his role in history do not change that this conversation is about a man who did terrible things both during the war and afterward, as a leader of the Klan (and that doesn't just mean violence, although that, too). The fact that Barbour cannot find it himself to criticize the effort speaks volumes against a man with aspirations for the nation's highest office -- and it makes our state look damn bad for electing such a leader ... twice. That it, it makes it look like Mississippi, over all, is stuck in the "lost cause" of the past and is in denial about our real history. As for your position on Forrest, it helps prove to readers of this thread that there are people who are willing to ignore the horrors of history, and for that, it's kinda useful in a twisted way. But for Barbour, it is a whole different ball of wax -- and is showing his true colors, and his capitulation to some of our nation's and state's worst instincts, to the world. That is his burden to bear. As for the slavery and the Civl War, this is a great place to re-post the link to our state's Articles of Secession that make it clear right up top why our state seceded. You may know it by heart, but other readers here may not have had the privilege -- cough -- of reading just why our state left the union.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2011-02-20T17:42:11-06:00
ID
162220
Comment

PS. You have not answered the question of what Mr. Forrest was fighting for or what he planned to accomplish as the Grand Dragon of the KKK. Justjess, I've done a great deal of reading in the past of the revisionist movement that has grown up around Forrest. It seems that his fans tend to adopt the stance that he believed he and other Kluckers were "helping* the poor, newly freed blacks of the South by putting sheets on their heads and showing up in the middle of the night to pretend to be ghosts to scare them out of going along with the (then)-Republican reconstructionists and carpetbaggers who were going to, somehow, treat them worse then the slave masters who "hobbled" their heels to keep them from running away and sold them away from their parents, children and siblings. Thus, it goes, Forrest's Klan was not violent; it was paternalistic toward their beloved ex-slaves. When the violent part started, he was outraged, they'll tell us. Put another way, if that is *all* he did (which it wasn't), it would still be shameful to put that symbol of white supremacy on the license plates of the state with the highest proportion of African Americans.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2011-02-20T17:49:40-06:00
ID
162221
Comment

Oh, what the hell. Just for fun, here's MIssissippi's Articles of Secession, in its entirety: Articles of Secession, State of Mississippi, 1861 A Declaration of the Immediate Causes which Induce and Justify the Secession of the State of Mississippi from the Federal Union. In the momentous step which our State has taken of dissolving its connection with the government of which we so long formed a part, it is but just that we should declare the prominent reasons which have induced our course. Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery--the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth. These products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun. These products have become necessities of the world, and a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization. That blow has been long aimed at the institution, and was at the point of reaching its consummation. There was no choice left us but submission to the mandates of abolition, or a dissolution of the Union, whose principles had been subverted to work out our ruin. That we do not overstate the dangers to our institution, a reference to a few facts will sufficiently prove. The hostility to this institution commenced before the adoption of the Constitution, and was manifested in the well-known Ordinance of 1787, in regard to the Northwestern Territory. The feeling increased, until, in 1819-20, it deprived the South of more than half the vast territory acquired from France. The same hostility dismembered Texas and seized upon all the territory acquired from Mexico. It has grown until it denies the right of property in slaves, and refuses protection to that right on the high seas, in the Territories, and wherever the government of the United States had jurisdiction. It refuses the admission of new slave States into the Union, and seeks to extinguish it by confining it within its present limits, denying the power of expansion. It tramples the original equality of the South under foot. It has nullified the Fugitive Slave Law in almost every free State in the Union, and has utterly broken the compact which our fathers pledged their faith to maintain. It advocates negro equality, socially and politically, and promotes insurrection and incendiarism in our midst. It has enlisted its press, its pulpit and its schools against us, until the whole popular mind of the North is excited and inflamed with prejudice. It has made combinations and formed associations to carry out its schemes of emancipation in the States and wherever else slavery exists. It seeks not to elevate or to support the slave, but to destroy his present condition without providing a better. It has invaded a State, and invested with the honors of martyrdom the wretch whose purpose was to apply flames to our dwellings, and the weapons of destruction to our lives. It has broken every compact into which it has entered for our security. It has given indubitable evidence of its design to ruin our agriculture, to prostrate our industrial pursuits and to destroy our social system. It knows no relenting or hesitation in its purposes; it stops not in its march of aggression, and leaves us no room to hope for cessation or for pause. It has recently obtained control of the Government, by the prosecution of its unhallowed schemes, and destroyed the last expectation of living together in friendship and brotherhood. ...

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2011-02-20T17:55:13-06:00
ID
162222
Comment

(cont) Utter subjugation awaits us in the Union, if we should consent longer to remain in it. It is not a matter of choice, but of necessity. We must either submit to degradation, and to the loss of property worth four billions of money, or we must secede from the Union framed by our fathers, to secure this as well as every other species of property. For far less cause than this, our fathers separated from the Crown of England. Our decision is made. We follow their footsteps. We embrace the alternative of separation; and for the reasons here stated, we resolve to maintain our rights with the full consciousness of the justice of our course, and the undoubting belief of our ability to maintain it. ####

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2011-02-20T17:55:56-06:00
ID
162223
Comment

"It seems that his fans tend to adopt the stance that he believed he and other Kluckers were "helping* the poor, newly freed blacks of the South by putting sheets on their heads and showing up in the middle to pretend to be ghosts to scare them out of going along with the (then)-Republicans reconstructionists and carpetbaggers..." So the Klan was just a group of friendly ghosts, like Casper? That doesn't sound so bad. In fact, they should be celebrated. Maybe we should honor them and take their lead, and don some white robes to scare the blacks away from voting for Obummer and other black false prophets who are only leading the black race astray. We know the Republican party really holds the key to their liberation and prosperity, not those evil libtards. The libs just want to keep them dependent on the government with their welfare and handouts. If black people want to prosper, they need to work, which they apparently don't do at the moment from what the Tea Party tells me. They just sit around all day and wait for their evil union checks.

Author
DrumminD21311
Date
2011-02-20T19:34:22-06:00
ID
162224
Comment

Donna- I not trying to shift the conversation anywhere. Brian and Mark asked me what I thought about Vlad,Grant,Sherman,or Rommel tags and I relpied. If that's what they want,Go for it, they can design it,get it sponsored in the legislature,pre sell 300, and the put them on sale. I don't have to like the tags,I don't have to buy one and I not going to whine because someone else wants one and buys it. I have no problem with the SCV having a tag with Forrest on it(not going to happen this year, it's not listed in the bill in committee), think it would be better to put someone from Mississppi on it instead of someone from Tenn., but that was their choice not mine. But whatever I really am done with this time,ya'll have at it.

Author
BubbaT
Date
2011-02-20T20:13:42-06:00
ID
162225
Comment

Here are several more secession documents; count how many times they make it clear that they are seceding due to their "Divine Right" to hold slaves (to quote Texas). Can we please for the love of God and truth and history stop the revisionist crap that the Civil War was not over slavery?!? The southern states left the union to try to preserve slavery, and they fought the Civil War for the same purpose. Per Texas: In all the non-slave-holding States, in violation of that good faith and comity which should exist between entirely distinct nations, the people have formed themselves into a great sectional party, now strong enough in numbers to control the affairs of each of those States, based upon an unnatural feeling of hostility to these Southern States and their beneficent and patriarchal system of African slavery, proclaiming the debasing doctrine of equality of all men, irrespective of race or color-- a doctrine at war with nature, in opposition to the experience of mankind, and in violation of the plainest revelations of Divine Law. They demand the abolition of negro slavery throughout the confederacy, the recognition of political equality between the white and negro races, and avow their determination to press on their crusade against us, so long as a negro slave remains in these States. If someone tries to tell you folks that it wasn't about slavery, they are either a liar or woefully ignorant about our history. (Same goes for someone telling you the Citizens Council was trying to keep the freakin' piece.) Bottom line: the people who led the secession in the southern states knew it was over slavery; how in heaven's name can someone deny today that it wasn't? This is sheer lunacy—sound and fury signifying ignorance and denial. I feel great compassion for people who were taught such blatant lies. Oh, and Nathan Bedford Forrest led a massacre, and he was a leader of the Klan during violent years. These are facts, folks, even though there are folks like Bubba who would prefer not to hear them. That does not make them false. We will get nowhere, ever, by denying history. Let's own it, and use it to be better than those who came before us.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2011-02-20T22:41:02-06:00
ID
162226
Comment

State issued special interest license tags are a very bad idea to begin with--regardless of the message. I don't care if it's universities, NASCAR, conservation, confederates, abortion or starving baby seals. Nobody needs a state licence tag to express support for partisan causes. A bumper sticker will do just fine and the money you save can be sent directly to the cause of your choice.

Author
ed inman
Date
2011-02-21T00:06:24-06:00
ID
162229
Comment

The inconvenient truth for revisionists is that the southern elite was not at all shy or ashamed of white supremacy. They were true believers. Notice how the Texans described the "beneficent and patriarchal system of African slavery" and accused abolitionists of "proclaiming the debasing doctrine of equality of all men, irrespective of race or color--a doctrine at war with nature, in opposition to the experience of mankind, and in violation of the plainest revelations of Divine Law." The debasing doctrine of equality. It doesn't exactly live up to the Declaration of Independence, does it? Many historians have commented on how racism blinded the southern elite to the risks of war. As this analysis in the superb Disunion blog argues, the South was not irrational in regarding Lincoln's election as a threat to slavery, despite his avowal that he had no constitutional authority to limit slavery in southern states. But they were wrong in their belief that the slave system would be more reliable than northern labor in time of war. Southerners utterly failed to see the threat presented to them by their own slaves, whose racial inferiority, they sincerely believed, made them ideally suited to enslavement. ... For this blindness the Southerners would pay the ultimate price during the war itself. In the final months of the conflict the Southern social order unravelled as, given the opportunity presented by the oncoming Union armies, the slaves fled by the tens of thousands. Slaveholders were genuinely astonished and dismayed. They even felt let down. ... With slavery prospering as never before in the Old South, Southerners felt comfortable insisting that it was a “positive good” from which all, free and slave alike, had benefited. These were the errors upon which the Confederacy rose. They were also those for which it ultimately fell. That is why it is properly called a civil war rather than a war between the states. More than half of Mississippi's population was African American in 1861. Many of them gave their lives to defeat the Confederacy.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2011-02-21T12:45:05-06:00
ID
162230
Comment

Note also the celebration the Sons of Confederate Veterans held in Montgomery last weekend, and the ways in which the past is not even past, as a certain Mississippian might have said. The Sons’ principal message was that the Confederacy was a just exercise in self-determination that had been maligned by “the politically correct crowd” through years of historical distortions. It is the right of secession that they emphasize, not the cause, which they often describe as a complicated mix of tariff and tax disputes and Northern attempts to politically subjugate the South. ... Though the swearing-in was a re-enactment (of Jefferson Davis' inauguration) down to the antique buttons, there were contemporary political overtones. More than one speaker, insisting that “the South was indeed right,” extolled the Confederacy as an example of limited government that should be followed now, and said vaguely that the Southern cause was vindicated by a glance at the headlines every day. But even the politics on Saturday were tied up in a larger sense of grievance, a feeling of being marginalized and willfully misunderstood. Expressions of this feeling led to some rather unexpected analogies, like when Kelley Barrow, a teacher from Georgia, declared that people of Confederate heritage “have been forced to go to the back of the bus.”

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2011-02-21T12:54:08-06:00

Comments

Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

comments powered by Disqus