Friday, February 20, 2009

The last word on slavery apologies and reparations...

I drive past 12,956 apologies and reparations every time I go to the post office.

My dam and her family were entirely unreconstructed. The young adults of the Confederacy were the old people of my grandparents' childhood, and I was raised on tales of the war heard by the teller from those who were there. These men came here to conquer my forbears, killed several people in my chain of ancestry, and their surviving fellows impoverished the South for five generations.

There's a great little scene in John Milius' movie "The Rough Riders". The newly enlisted volunteers are travelling from Texas to Florida on a special train. As they pass through some Alabama or Georgia tank town, we see that everyone has gathered to watch and wave. The camera focuses on an old man- maybe his sleeve is pinned up- who holds a young boy by the hand. He looks up as the Rough Riders, wearing blue flannels, pass and asks, "Grandfather, why are we cheering for Yankees?" The old rebel replies,"They aren't Yankees, they are Americans."

Their ungrateful beneficiaries shouldn't make their whines and "demands" in television studios or legislative lobbies, but here:

Rest in peace, Yankees far from home.


Miss Carnivorous said...

The Blacks need to pay reparations to themselves. Most of them are the descendants of evil slave owners. Why should whites and other races who have never owned slaves pay money to descendants of slave owners. I may as well give my money directly to you, Staggy, you've as much right to reparations as they do.

staghounds said...

I hadn't thought of that!

We could have a base amount. Then DNA test the applicant for racial purity, and decrease the award according to the proportion of descent from the blue eyed devils from the frozen caves of Europe!

MUCH more scientific than the old South African and Nazi racial tribunals, with their reliance on witnesses and visual clues.

Though it would open up new problems. What about East African, never slave genes like President Obama's?

Or what if the poisoned blood is Russian, and therefore not even in the country before slavery ended?

No, better just give everyone who is aggrieved by his status a check.

Oleg Volk said...

The civil war was a case of two ugly regimes using up their citizens by the hundreds of thousands. The only sane reaction I can think of would have been icing the nearest draft board representative and heading West...