Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Saturday, April 24, 2010 4:28 pm

Robert E. Lee hated slavery (except when he didn’t) and other notes from Confederate History Month


Found while searching for something else: A C-SPAN program from 3 years ago featuring Elizabeth Brown Pryor, author of Reading the Man: A Portrait of Robert E. Lee Through His Private Letters, a book based on previously unpublished Lee letters, manuscripts and records. In the transcript, scroll to about the 0:50:00 mark and click; the video will start there. Listen to about 10 minutes’ worth; you’ll see that Lee was just fine with slavery, no matter what the Texas school board or other revisionists might think.

h/t to Balloon Juice, which has been running a fine series of posts this month on the Republican Party’s efforts to sanitize and rehabilitate Confederate history. Unfortunately, they’re not all housed in one place; the best you can do is look at Balloon Juice’s “Good News for Conservatives” category and look for the posts with the GOP elephant logo emblazoned with a Confederate battle flag. It starts with this post, which takes note of the fact that Pat Robertsonite Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell omitted any reference to slavery from his proclamation regarding Confederate History Month and that fellow Republican Haley Barbour defended McDonnell in the subsequent uproar, saying, “To me, it’s a sort of feeling that it’s a nit, that it is not significant, that it’s not a — it’s trying to make a big deal out of something (that) doesn’t amount to diddly.” There are several other posts after that, touching not only on Lee but also on the fact that Mississippi never ratified the Constitutional ban on slavery and one with some historical perspective on how slavery was just one of many ways to steal another’s labor, a widespread practice of employers seeking to keep costs down and profits high.

Go check ’em out.

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