American terrorism in the 1800s

Roland S. Martin, a black commentator/contributor on CNN, went off the deep end today over Virginia’s declaring a Confederate History Month.

The man was furious that Virginia would declare even a minute’s celebration of Confederate history, much less an entire month. It’s nothing more or less than a celebration of true “American terrorists,” he contended.

(Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell, a Republican, declared April “Confederate History Month.” He said his intent was to honor Confederate soldiers and boost state tourism; his proclamation made no mention of slavery.)

Interestingly, Don Lemon, also black, was anchoring the segment. He seemed quite matter-of-fact about the Virginia story and startled by Martin’s tirade. Martin is usually pleasant, dignified, and thoughtful, but he was beside himself over Virginia’s celebration of what he continually called “American terrorists,” a modern concept that didn’t even enter the lexicon until relatively recently.

Like it or not, the Civil War happened; it is a part of American history. Not our finest hour as a nation, but we can’t wave a magic wand and make four years disappear. Confederate soldiers, like Union solders, fought bravely for their way of life and what they believed in; Confederate blood was just as red as Yankee blood. Honoring their bravery and sacrifice in a state they fought and died for does not strike me as inappropriate.

Comments like Martin’s are out of place and counterproductive in this day and age. They perpetuate the divide that most Americans have moved beyond. The Civil War, after all, ended in 1865.


Update: Gov. McDonnell has just apologized for omitting slavery from his proclamation and is reportedly amending it.

Video of Martin’s remarks is now posted on YouTube.


Related Pied Type post: I’m not apologizing for something I didn’t do

4 thoughts on “American terrorism in the 1800s

  1. Well, it’s not quite true that the concept of terrorism didn’t exist until fairly recently. If you get the chance check out the book American Lightning, which covers the terrorist attack on the Los Angeles Times in 1910. There as a also terrorist attack on Wall Street in 1920, and off course the other terrorist bombings that went on across the country in the early 1900’s. If I remember correctly at one point two or three bombs a week were going off.
    Were they commonly referred to as “terrorists” at the time? Seems to me we’ve gotten far too loose with the term in the last couple of decades.

  2. People have pretty entrenched beliefs regarding the Civil War, or The War Between The States, or The War of Northern Aggression… or whatever they prefer to call it. Almost everyone can cite evidence they choose to believe to support their position and ignore evidence they choose not to believe. Be that as it may…

    I’m afraid the stage is possibly being set for another such conflict which won’t be divided by North Vs. South but rather a hodgepodge of states centered around conflicting opinions of states rights guaranteed by the ninth and tenth amendments.

    Individually and collectively, states are preparing for a legal battle to establish the fact that mandatory health care isn’t a constitutionally authorized federal prerogative.

    At the same time, as if in preparation for armed conflict, the federal government has already created another Surgeon General commanded military force apparently designed to overcome the prohibition against using the regular military to enforce laws within the borders of the USA.

    Things are going on that are hard to believe, but the evidence piling up makes them hard not to believe. It’s hard to remain optimistic when we’re being told a solution to unimaginable debt is to spend counterfeit dollars (FED Treasury Notes created out of thin air) even though international banks admit that out of every hundred attempts to purchase gold bullion, only one can be honored. But I digress. Conflict is brewing I think.
    Yes, I can see states’ rights being an issue. It often is, in one way or another.

    I don’t interpret that section on the Surgeon General the same way you do; sounds to me like it’s intended to be an aid to other responders in the event of a disaster or something. But if there’s any doubt at all about what is intended, then the law is poorly written, which is no surprise whatsoever.

    As for the gold thing, the NY Post is generally considered to be a trashy tabloid and I wouldn’t put a lot of credence in their stories unless the facts are also being reported by other sources.

    Conflict? Yes, it’s alarming how polarized and angry the country has become. I hope cooler heads prevail — and soon!

... and that's my two cents