This week marks the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. It is difficult for me to consider it a “celebration” since, by definition, such would be a sacrament or festive routine, and it is not. The way I see it, maybe it would be more appropriate to celebrate the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, even though it was designed more to punish the Southern states that seceded from the Union than it was to free Africans from bondage.
I find no reason to celebrate the fatal flowing blood of hundreds of thousands of men of various races or the rebellion of white men who would desire to dissolve the union of the United States of America.
It makes no sense to celebrate disaster, which is what the Civil War
was. We do not celebrate the aftermath of Katrina or genocide in
Rwanda or slavery. So, why should we honor this beastly occurrence of U.S. history? It is as if, via denial and genetic mutation, we wish to envision this
event as some sort of Achaean heroic act when such could not be any farther
from the truth.
The Civil War is not an equation to be solved by elimination or
substitution, but rather a mirror of how savage, barbaric and
juvenile our order truly was and is to this present day. It is a
reflection of what hides behind what we all see as Americans in the
mirror — the dark and sordid past that was attempted to be abrogated by
the songs and spirituals of slaves in a world where imagination could
not evince a vision or future of liberty.
The only consistent reality is that it proffered a legacy of the same ugly past even more fervently — one of incessant white supremacy and beliefs of the
imposition of second class status through educational inadequacy,
economic deprivation and law that, via the same political machine, is
unequal and places a heavy burden on individuals of the undesired
skin color of the presupposed civilized world. –torrance t. stephens, ph.d.