Skip to comments.Kalijan travels into the realm of buffoonery: Readers respond
Posted on 10/26/2004 1:15:25 PM PDT by stainlessbanner
Letters to the Editor
October 21, 2004
Peter Kalajian's editorial, "Confederate Flag still an issue?" would be more appropriately titled :Confederate Flag now an issue?" The issue of the Confederate Flag on display is only a recent phenomenon in America. However, young Mr. Kalajian's ability to draw upon points of historical reference, probably only as far back as the beginning of the second Clinton administration, undoubtedly handicaps his ability to appreciate the depth of American and Southern culture, the significance the pantheon of Southern Civil War heroes has had in supporting Southern morale through two world wars, a great depression, innumerable smaller military conflicts, three presidential assassinations and untold civil and cultural unrest. These so-called defeated warriors - Lee, Jackson, Davis, and others - have provided Southerners and Americans with a moral compass and a map for leadership skills that continues to be studied today, not only here at home, but also abroad.
Lastly, Mr. Kalajian incorrectly presupposes that the Confederacy was grounded solely in and based only upon a theory of racial hatred. It is patently ridiculous and simply impossible to ground a legitimate argument by projecting contemporary moral standards through a lens 150 years backwards in time and expect to reach accurate conclusions regarding the moral character and motivations of either Confederate or Federal leaders. It is equally disingenuous to draft an argument that completely disregards the role that African Americans voluntarily played on both sides of the military conflict.
Mr. Kalajian's argument presupposes that black Southerners were a people unified by their opposition to the Confederacy and uniformly resisted the Southern war effort, either passively or actively. This view can only be maintained by ignoring a mass of research material that strongly suggests that black opinion, like other opinion, was represented across the spectrum, and was strongly influenced by sectional, local, and family loyalties which have largely disappeared in the modern world, but which were of paramount importance in the nineteenth century. Many blacks, free and slave, in fact, considered themselves Southerners first and blacks second, and served the Southern cause enthusiastically. In support of this proposition, I refer Mr. Kalajian to Black Confederates and Afro-Yankees In Civil War Virginia, by Dr. Ervin L. Jordan, Black Southerners in Confederate Armies, by J.H. Segars, and Black Southerners in Gray: Essays on Afro-Americans in Confederate Armies, by Arthur W. Bergeron.
It is always a dangerous proposition to judge another time, culture, people, and way of life by contemporary standards. To do so only invites future generations to do the same to us.
James E. Hickmon
ECU Alumus 1996
I read with a great degree of disgust, Peter Kalijan's media travels into the realm of buffoonery.
I noted with some amusement that Mr. Kalijan duly attempts to tie the Confederate Flag immediately to sterotypical "good old boys and pickup trucks". Naturally he had to try and venture into the dark realm of hate groups and their association with the Confederate Flag.
He openly states he has been dying to broach this topic. What I find amusing is that carpetbaggers and yankee's of his ilk seem to slither into the South and attack a culture they are not part of. Not a surprise, they have been doing it since 1861.
Fact is that the Confederate Flag has about as much to do with racism as my pet iguanana does. The Confederate Flag IS a National Treasure and represents the brave sacrifice and honor of the Southern People. To villify it as some type of malignant symbol of hate groups is really looking for a "winged monkey" in someones posterior.
I would venture that perhaps Mr. Kalijan needs to move himself up to his Native North where he can pander his sewage to a more receptive audience. As a descendant of Confederate Soldiers, a Native Southerner and a Veteran of the United States Army, I find Mr. Kalijans indictments to be a crude and insulting attempt to cut into my heritage ... rest assured its not hate.
In fact the only thing I gleaned from Mr. Kalijan's article was that he has no Heritage, a limited education and is frankly consumed with a hatred of anything that deals with the Southern Culture.
Surely in this day and time your writers have more interesting and realistic topics to cover.
Nick D. Warren
Colorado Springs Colorado
Peter Kalajian's article comparing the Confederacy to Nazi Germany and its battle flag" to the swastika is highly offensive, especially to those of us who are Jewish, & shows he knows little about either the Confederacy or the Nazis.
Some 3,500 to 5,000 Jews fought honorably and loyally for the Confederacy, including its Secretary of War & later State, Judah Benjamin. My great grandfather also served, as did his four brothers, their uncle, his three sons, and some two dozen other members of my Mother's extended family (The Moses' of South Carolina and Georgia). Half a dozen of them fell in battle, largely teenagers, including the first and last Confederate Jews to die in battle.
We know first hand, from their letters, diaries, and memoirs, that they were not fighting for slavery, but rather to defend themselves and their comrades, their families, homes, and country from an invading army that was trying to kill them, burn their homes and cities, and destroy everything they had.
If you want to talk about Nazi-like behavior, consider the actions of the leading Union commander, General Ulysses S. Grant, whose war crimes included the following actions:
- Ordering the expulsion on 24 hours notice of all Jews "as a class" from the territory under his control (General Order # 11, 17 December, 1862), and forbidding Jews to travel on trains (November, 1862);
- Ordering the destruction of an entire agricultural area to deny the enemy support (the Shenandoah Valley, 5 August, 1864).
- Leading the mass murder, a virtual genocide, of Native People, mainly helpless old men, women, and children in their villages, to make land available for the western railroads (the eradication of the Plains Indians, 1865-66). What we euphemistically call "the Indian Wars" was carried out by many of the same Union officers who led the war against the South.
There is a saying: "If I have to explain it; then you won't understand". I will however try to partically enlighten you, Mr. Peter Kalajian.
First of all; let me tell you a little about myself. I am a Southern American approaching 60 years of age. I was born; and raised in North Carolina. I moved and lived outside Cleveland, Ohio for 22 years. I reloacted back to NC in 1982. I proudly served in the US Army and am a Vietnam Veteran. I have done my part for God and Country.
I am a registered voter and excerise that right. I have worked since I was 12 and have paid my taxes.
In Studying US History; these so called "UNITED STATES of AMERICA"; have rarely been truly united ! This only happens when "we" are fully at war with a foreign power. We are as divided as we are ethnically diverse.
In your first paragraph; you "write" concerning the term "Heritage Not Hate". That term had to be created to try to enlighten true southern heritage feelings to people who are not
SOUTHERN. When you refer to any of the Confederate Flags; you should refer to them as: Confederate American Flags. Throughout our US history; the "Stars and Stripes" have been changed dozens of times. At one time it was considered to include a stripe as well as a star in the blue field for every state joining the union. Can you imagine what
the US flag would look like today with fifty stripes ? Since you have relocated to North Carolina; don't expect to change all the people of North Carolina to your way of thinking. "WHEN IN ROME; DO AS THE ROMANS DO" ! If you truly don't completely like North Carolina; then perhaps you should move elsewhere !
Thomas C. Kesler
Peter Kalajian is not worthy of respect, only pity and disgust. You have probably spent a great deal of time pursuing an education and instead have received a wealth of ignorance, along with an obvious desire to remain that way. If you are too closed minded to seek the truth, and feel you must parrot that ill conceived tripe, which you have completely digested. Why don't you go back to whatever rock you crawled out from under.
I read Peter Kalajian's diatribes about the Confederate Battle Flag and South with great interest. This flag may have been a mere joke to you due to your ignorance of facts, but it is taken very seriously by a large number of us in the South. Your statement about Lincoln could not have been more off base. It truly shows your lack of education in this matter of which you made an attempt to write about. To inform you, Abraham Lincoln was a "WHITE SUPREMACIST" of the old style. while being an Illinois Congressman, he voted for the toughest antiblack laws ever conceived by a state. He voted for the arrest and SALE of any black, free or slave if they remained in Illinois for more than 30 days. Abraham Lincoln is the ONLY president that signed a proposed Constitutional Amendment, it was the 13th Amendment of 1861 which would have ALLOWED slavery in states which already had slaves and Congress could not change that. that kills your ideas of slavery being the cause of the war and Lincoln being hero.
You claim you made a mistake when you stated the South once "dominated" the United States, you did not make a mistake, the South did in fact dominate the country due to the sale of cotton, and tobacco. Another point I must make, the slaves were brought to the South by the North, it was the North that made money on slavery until the South started selling the cotton and tobacco. The South paid the taxes for the North and that was one of the reasons it decided to LEGALLY leave the United States. Not a single person was tried for treason after the war due to the Supreme Court ruling that they had a right to leave if they were dissatisfied with the government. The South made more money than the North and it had to carry the North by paying higher taxes.
Interesting Mr. Kalajian would compare treatment of slaves to that of horses and sheep.
Having grown up in the South, among Southern horsemen, it is my humble opinion that if the world's children had the care the average Southern horseman gives his animals, children would not want for food medical care or shelter - love either, come to that.
As for the sheep, I suppose I'm treated like a sheep as well - one of Christ's that is.
I was raised to address my elders - regardless of colour - as 'ma'am' and 'sir', to respect other people and to be friendly and polite.
I think Mr. Kalajian has been indoctrinated with revisionist Marxist 'wish-it-so'. Mr. Jimmy Shirley of Florida has also responed to Mr. Kalajian's op-ed piece and says it all so eloquently. Mr. K might also see the myriad primary source documentation on this subject which addresses all the issues of that era.
As for the Battle flag as symbol of racism - ask the American Indians how they feel about the Stars and Stripes... or consider the treatment of the Chinese railroad workers for the Central Pac RR...why didn't the Union enfranchise women during the 1860s? Why did it allow 10 year olds to work in PA coalmines (see Lewis Hine's classic _Children at Work_)? Why did northern slaveholders sell their slaves rather than free them and help them with land, education and jobs??
Why did the RRs import folks from Europe rather than recruit freed and runaway slaves? Hmmm...
Go research the Marxist connection to Lincoln and the socialist contribution to Lincoln's war. Why Carl Shurz, a socialist revolutionary from the 1848 uprisings in Germany, and ambassador to Spain for Lincoln (odd choice, yes?) was the one to convince Abe that the Europeans were about to recognize the South as an independent nation and that the Emancipation Proclamation would be a good PR tool to thwart that possibility? Why didn't ol' Abe free slaves in the Union, including those owned by Sherman and Sheridan's wives?? (Answer: he didn't want to deprive them of their property without due process of law - at least that's the answer the text books give - when they address the issue at all...that, of course is what Southerns wanted pre-1857).
Why do you think we are racist because we fly the confederate flag? I fly the flag because I believe in STATES RIGHTS which is what most confederate soldiers were fighting for. If you knew your history you would know that less than 25% of all whites owned slaves and 5% of those slaves were white as well. There was a small percentage of blacks that owned white slaves as well. You also need to remember that there were hundreds of black soldiers that fought for the C.S.A out of there own will. I am descendent of five Confederate soldiers and it offends me that you and the NAACP are trying to destroy our heritage. Stop the political correctness! Thank you for taking the time to read this message and I hope that you consider it in your thoughts.
Why do you yankees believe it is your right and duty to come to the South and then denigrate everything about its heritage, except for the sunshine? For the life of me, that one eludes me. Like, I would move to Connecticut and then chastise everyone living there for not doing and living the way we do down South? Why would I do that? And, whatever happened to 'when in Rome, do as the Romans do'.
I really believe that you are baiting us to respond.
Yes, we shall because what you are doing, like hundreds of others of your ilk, is just plain wrong.
The statements that y'all say, condemning the Confederate Battle Flag, would appear to have the veneer of universal truth. If that were the case, then what y'all say would be true for all time. Why, then, did President Dwight D. Eisenhower order all of the federal flags around the world flown at half-staff and declared a day of national mourning when Walter W. Williams, the last Rebel soldier, died at the age of 117 years. He even sent Major General C. Stanton Babcock to represent him. Moreover, honourary pallbearers were the governors or their representatives of the eleven Southern states. More than 500 people attended his funeral.
When the Confederate Veterans began having reunions, beginning about in the late 1890's, the President of the United States would send a message, generally commending the men on their good works, their patriotism, and their efforts to protect their heritage which, even then, had begun to be attacked. Yes, even then, small-minded men, with ulterior motives, had tried to besmirch the men and the cause of the CSA.
Jimmy L. Shirley Jr.
Palm Springs, Fla.
I am quite incensed about your recent article written by this ilk of a bigotl who is considered to be an unbiased reporter. My family settled many parts of the present State of North Carolina. They came from such places as Chowan precinct in the 1600s, Nash and Bertie Counties to name a few. True East-Carolinians
Yes, some owned slaves. I have read many of the wills concerning their plight. One such will indicated that if the slave was for whatever reason ill treated that the inheritance became void and this particular person would go to another benefactor. They were not mere vassals they were people and treated as such in a Christian society. If you would review records of slave countries you will find that the North American continent was they only place that lifespan and procreation were similar to anglos. Brazil, the Caribbean offered life spans of only a few years. Yes, the thought of slavery is putrid today but was accepted 400 years ago. Were slaves ill treated, I would surmise very few were. No more than employer abuses in today's workplace. Your reporter has not studied his history well. At least factual American history.
The great Klan marches in Washington D.C. were under the U.S. flag not the Confederate battle standard. Slave vessels flew the U.S. flag. Slave ships were berthed in New York and Boston not New Orleans or Baltimore.
It's amazing that a Southern Newspaper would employ someone so racist and hateful of Southrons and our culture. Hundreds of my ancestors served the States of North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Arkansas, and Texas under the starry cross. Many perished and left families that were ravaged by Yankee invaders. Thieves and scoundrols. The exact same type that run this country today.
Commander SCV Camp 2007
Long Beach, Ca.
How does the Confederate flag compare with the U.S. flag? The legacy of the U.S. flag and pledge of allegiance was a government takeover of schools that resulted in government-imposed racism and segregation that served as an example to the National Socialist German Workers' Party, and even outlasted the horrid party, well into the 1960's and 70's. http://rexcurry.net/pledge1.html
The pledge of allegiance to the U.S. flag was the origin of the salute of the National Socialist German Workers' Party. The claim that it was an old Roman salute is a debunked myth. http://rexcurry.net/pledgesalute.html
The U.S. flag was not in or over schoolhouses until it was placed there after 1892 when a self-proclaimed National Socialist (Francis Bellamy) wrote the pledge of allegiance, with its original straight arm salute that was later adopted by the National Socialist German Workers' Party. Bellamy is the reason that there is often a U.S. flag flying at local government schools or inside classrooms.
Bellamy was a bigot and advocated that government should operate all schools as a socialist monopoly and end all of the better alternatives. http://rexcurry.net/pledgebigot.html
Before then, most schools were non-government schools. During Bellamy's time the government began taking over education.
The government forced children to attend racist and segregated government schools where they recited the Pledge using it's original straight-arm salute. See an eye-popping photo at http://rexcurry.net/pledgeracism.html
The practice began three decades before it was adopted by the National Socialist German Workers' Party, and the government school racism continued through WWII and beyond, and the government schools still exist to this day. More photos at http://rexcurry.net/pledge2.html
Germany is owed an apology by many people for the mis-impression that the bizarre military socialism and regimented chanting and saluting of the National Socialist German Workers' Party was uniquely German or originated with there.
Mr. Kakajian's education regarding the war for Southern independence appears very limited and clearly tainted with a Yankee prospective that chooses to ignore many facts of history.
First I doubt that Mr. Kalajian would recognize the Stars and Bars if he were to see it. The flag he is apparently referring to as the "Stars and Bars" is the Battle Flag also known as the Southern Cross or St. Andrew's Cross.
Many symbols have been more prominent as a part of slavery but carries no blame.
The Stars and Stripes presided over slavery from the beginning of our Union. When the slave trade was outlawed by most civilized nations including the United States, and the English and French navies attempted to police the sea-lanes, the United States refused to allow ships under the U.S. flag to be searched. As a result of this action, European slave ships kept at least one American national and U.S. flag on board. He was known as the Captain of the Flag. This practice continued for more than forty years.
There were always U.S. flags present at Klan events even when the Battle flag wasn't. The most feared Klan symbolism was in the form of a burning cross but no stigma has attached itself to this symbol. Why not?
Garry L. Solomon
Peter Kalajian needs to study with a spirit of truth, rather than the Antichrist Spirit he manifests by his parroting of propaganda.
He and all the sheep need to read the words of Robert E. Lee, who released his slaves, before the war; He also expressed his hope, and belief that the natural action of Christianity would lead to the end of the institution.
Kalajian says he "relocated to N.C." Where did he come from that he thinks he knows so much??
Mr. Kalajain is either not getting an education at his school or is too hard headed and hate filled to let what he is being taught sink in. His letter is so ignorant I almost did not bother to reply. The man is a hopeless case and needs to get back where things are "good" for him ASAP!
I will say again what has been said so many times before. We need accurate history taught in our schools from kindergarten on in the North and the South. Forget political correctness! Yankees need to stay up North if they are going to come down here with a hateful attitude.
When I moved to Georgia from Oregon in 1972, I came with an open mind. I encouraged my children to respect blacks. Atlanta was billed the "City Too busy To Hate". I did not notice the intense hatred of and war with the Confederacy that we are seeing now. Georgia was a place rich in history with a mixed, but proud legacy that attracted visitors and conventioneers flocked here. Now, the race baiting and hatred has taken over propagated by blacks who need to stir up hatred to enlarge their bank accounts and keep up their limousine liberal lifestyles and their handmaidens, politically correct whites.
Wake up Dixie! You are throwing away prosperity with both hands by allowing the Confederate Battle Flag to be Natzified, whining about slavery which the US has not had for 140 years and putting down the Confederacy at every turn. What happened was a mixed bag and the North was equally guilty of human decency lapses. What is left is the fact that the Confederate soldiers and Southern civilians fought the Yankees to defend their homeland. 75% or more of them did not have any slaves. 3500 free blacks had 10,000 slaves at the time the war broke out and up to 100,000 blacks also bought in the War of Northern Aggression.
Mr. Kalajian needs a lesson in history. If he believes the Confederate flag was and is a racist flag, He needs to ask the African-American, Native-American, Hispanic- American, Chinese-American, Jewish American and the many other races and religions that fought under the Confederate flag! So please before making such ignorant blanket comments about something or someone, have your facts straight. And he is more than welcome to relocate any where such ignorance is allowed!
San Diego, CA
Mr. Kalajian is attempting to attribute his views of what the flag means to the person with the flag on his truck. Do the opponents of a symbol get the only vote in deciding what a symbol means? Or do the proponents of a symbol get a say in what it means, at least what it means to them? If Kalajian disapproves of the flag, I suggest he not display one. But attributing his views of the flag to others he knows not, is more than a little bit presumptuous.
How small must a minority be before they get to decide what a symbol means? If 49% of people say it "is a racist symbol" do they get to determine definitively what it means? A minority of 25%? How about 1%? How about letting the person displaying the flag to explain why he was doing so. I dare say that, had Kalajian had the courage to ask him, he would not have told Kalajian that he had the flag on his truck because he felt it was a "symbol of racism" as Kalajian says.
As for the history lesson Kalajian seems to need, North Carolina did not secede until after President Lincoln had called out troops to overthrow the elected government of South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas, and their collective central government. Does Mr. Kalajian really support the overthrown of popularly elected governments?
Kalajian wrote: "Confederate flag, next to which was written the words, 'Heritage not Hate'". This statement, "speaks of an issue with which I had very limited experience before relocating to North Carolina, but an issue of importance nonetheless."
Would it be too much to hope that Kalajian plans on "relocating" somewhere outside of the South upon graduation?
D. J. White
Formerly of the Old North State
Madam, the North Carolina Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans denounces the tiresome invectives penned by Peter Kalajian, Opinion Columnist on October 14, 2004 in his column CONFEDERATE FLAG STILL AN ISSUE? The only refreshing aspect of the article was that he at least openly admitted his biased Yankee perspective.
He claims to have spent "long hours" researching and trying to understand "just where the Confederacy was coming from and why they wanted to defend their way of life." His conclusions reveal either his inability to understand what he read or his inability to locate easily available source material and respected authors on this very topic. Instead he takes the easy and predictable path of Southern-bashing, bigoted, anti-Confederate rhetoric that we have come to expect from writers like Kalajian.
He challenges the reader, "to show [him} an African-American person with a Confederate Flag bumper sticker or 'The South will rise again' written in their computers screensaver." The fact that he is unaware of one of the most famous proponents of Southern Heritage, H. K. Edgerton of Asheville, NC, tells me all I need to know about the quality of his "research."
Mr. Edgerton is a Black man. He is the immediate past president of the Asheville branch of the NAACP. He practically owns the slogan "Heritage not Hate" and he walked over 1600 miles from Asheville to Austin, Texas to encourage Southerners, especially Black Southerners, to be proud of the role their ancestors played in fighting for Southern self-determination.
We could show him many more members of our organization who are Black but I doubt that a regiment of Black Confederates would change his mind. He obviously wrote his article to show his contempt for the people among whom he lives. Therefore the North Carolina SCV requests you reprimand Mr. Kalajian for his irresponsible and insensitive profanities which he masquerades as an Op-Ed piece. We are deeply offended at his attempt to join the Confederate flag of our ancestors' country with the Swastika trademark of a German political party. It is especially offensive to the many veterans in our organization who are yet alive and who fought against the Nazis in World War II.
Dr. Neill H. Payne,
Public Information Officer,
North Carolina Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans
Mudslinging, Mr. Kalijian? Your pathetic, obviously uneducated, racially biased diatribe regarding the Confederate flag doesen't deserve even the waste of good southern soil. If you find our southern heritage so repulsive, you should carry your northern perspective and your northern posterior back to Lincoln country.
Original article posted in the East Carolinian: "Confederate Flag Still and Issue?"
Your responses to the East Carolinian's article last week. Nice work.
Just skimmed through 'em, will read later.
Great responses, and so much more intelligent than the original article.
I hope some of our FR readers weighed in on the article, we got a big response on the thread posted here.
Judging by the locations listed, some just have to be Freepers.
I just don't believe people from all around the country would be compelled to read EZU's crappy little website otherwise! ;)
Overwhelming response. This guy got called out by EC's readers - they weren't buying the goods.
The coming of the Marxislamofascists?
Kudos to them all!
You might like to see what an educated response looks like.
I doubt if you'd know an educated response if it bit you on your knowledge bump, Junior.
Just curious - do you have anything to add to these threads besides personal attacks? BTW: are you Wlat?
Papertroll, quit sending spam to my FReepmail. If you want my attention, please post to this thread.
Quote from this rant by Kalijan - he manages to include anti-NRA, gun-grabbing, gay marriage, the CBF, death penalty, Iraq/Afghanastan, Christianity, and abortion into one confusing, misguided, twisting liberal op/ed.
While I don't disagree with the rest of the article, I find this statement absolutely preposterous. What exactly does "serve the Southern cause enthusiastically" mean? Stay on the plantation, not run away, continue to serve their master? You don't need to conduct research to know intuitively that slaves wanted to be free. The idea a slave would consider himself a Southerner is laughable. He was nothing more than a slave and I seriously doubt he was able to think past the issue of being someone else's property. This is just part of that "happy old darkies" plantation myth that was used for so many years to disguise the guilt of slavery.
Well said, my friend.