Skip to comments.Secession ball stirs controversy
Posted on 12/03/2010 4:39:40 AM PST by Colonel Kangaroo
Event marks war's anniversary
CHARLESTON -- The shots are solely verbal -- and expected to remain that way -- but at least one Civil War Sesquicentennial event is triggering conflict.
The Sons of Confederate Veterans plan to hold a $100-per-person "Secession Ball" on Dec. 20 in Gaillard Municipal Auditorium. It will feature a play highlighting key moments from the signing of South Carolina's Ordinance of Secession 150 years ago, an act that severed the state's ties to the Union and put the nation on the path to the Civil War.
Jeff Antley, who is organizing the event, said the Secession Ball honors the men who stood up for their rights.
"To say that we are commemorating and celebrating the signers of the ordinance and the act of South Carolina going that route is an accurate statement," Antley said. "The secession movement in South Carolina was a demonstration of freedom."
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People plans to protest the event, said Charleston branch President Dot Scott. She deferred further comment to Lonnie Randolph, president of the state NAACP.
"It's amazing to me how history can be rewritten to be what you wanted it to be rather than what happened," Randolph said. "You couldn't pay the folks in Charleston to hold a Holocaust gala, could you? But you know, these are nothing but black people, so nobody pays them any attention."
When Southerners refer to states' rights, he said, "they are really talking about their idea of one right -- to buy and sell human beings."
Antley said that's not so.
"It has nothing to do with slavery as far as I'm concerned," he said. "What I'm doing is honoring the men from this state who stood up for their self-government and their rights under law -- the right to secede was understood."
Antley said, "Slavery is an abomination, but slavery is not just a Southern problem. It's an American problem. To lay the fault and the institution of slavery on the South is just ignorance of history."
Antley said about 500 people are expected to attend the ball, which begins with a 45-minute play and concludes with a dinner and dancing. S.C. Senate President Pro Tem Glenn McConnell, an ardent Civil War re-enactor, is among the actors in the play. The actual ordinance of secession document also will be on display.
Randolph said the state NAACP is consulting with its national office in Baltimore regarding the format of the protests, which also could extend to other 150th anniversary events. "There is not one event that's off the table," he said.
Asked whether there could be good Sesquicentennial events, Randolph said, "If there were a dialogue to sit down and discuss that event 150 years ago and how it still negatively impacts the lives of so many people in this state and around the country, that would be a good discussion, but not an event to sit down and tell lies about what happened and glamorize those people who thought America was so sorry and so bad that they wanted to blow it to hell. That's what they did -- that's what they attempted to do, and we want to make that honorable?"
Charleston is receiving increased national attention as the nation's plans for the Sesquicentennial move forward. This was where it began, with the state becoming the first to secede on Dec. 20, 1860, and firing the first shot on April 12, 1861.
Most of the Lowcountry's Sesquicentennial events have been announced with little controversy -- many involve lectures by respected historians and scholars.
In its vision statement for the observance, the National Park Service said it "will address the institution of slavery as the principal cause of the Civil War, as well as the transition from slavery to freedom -- after the war -- for the 4 million previously enslaved African Americans."
Michael Allen of the National Park Service said he is aware of plans for the Secession Ball but noted that most Sesquicentennial events have found common ground among those with differing viewpoints.
"Now some people might be upset with some pieces of the pie. I understand that," he said. "I think that's the growth of me, as a person of African decent, is to realize that people view this in different ways."
Allen said other Sesquicentennial commemorations being planned will mark events that have a strong black history component, such as Robert Smalls' theft of the Confederate ship Planter and the 54th Massachusetts' assault on Battery Wagener.
"At least what's being pulled together by various groups, be they black or white or whatever, will at least be more broad based and diverse than what was done in 1961," Allen said. "Hopefully, at the end of the day, all Carolinians can benefit from this four-year journey."
Tom O'Rourke, director of the Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission, said Sesquicentennial organizers were fooling themselves if they thought the Confederate side of the story was going to be buried in the observances.
"I think there will be controversy, I think there will be hurt feelings, and I think that as this anniversary passes, we will question what else we could have done to tell the whole story," he said. "But I am OK with all of that. ... I think all discussion is progress."
Read more: http://www.thesunnews.com/2010/12/03/1847335/secession-ball-stirs-controversy.html#ixzz1737LSVRv
The left does it every day.
Today’s leftists and yesterday’s secessionists have a lot in common. The Democratic Party is still plagued by some its defects of 1860.
Then I guess you won’t be attending.
Mad that they didn’t invite you?
So if the war was just about slavery, why did the North wait until after Gettysburg to free the slaves, and then only the slaves in the South? Could it be that there was more to the CW than slavery?
‘The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People plans to protest the event’
They should sneak a real article of secession in there and camouflage the real governor have him sign it in front of everyone and make it “real”......
My SCV camp, the William T. Sherman Camp of the SCV, did not get an invitation.
You are right about the war. The war, especially at the first, was not all about slavery. But the first wave secessions that triggered the whole affair were almost 100% over slavery.
I let my SCV membership lapse. Don’t know if the John Wilkes Booth Camp was invited either.
Are you sure about that? After all, while the richer Southerners may have owned slaves, the vast majority of Southerners did not own slaves. Those majorities made up the armies that the North eventually crushed when they invaded the South. I’m sorry, but men don’t fight and die for something that doesn’t concern them, and slavery didn’t concern the majority of the South despite the efforts to revise our history. Their fight was over the rights of the States to determine their own future.
On the Today show, Glen McConnell destroyed the best that the NAACP could put forth in a nationally televised debate. The NAACP will not debate McConnell publicly because they know they will not win.
There were a lot of reasons for Southern states’ secession; some legitimate; some completely immoral. One of those causes has not changed in 150 years—Democrats who could not accept the fact that they can’t always get their own way.
Secession was the right path back then, and it is the right path now. The federal government is a tyranny which removes the powers rightfully granted to the states by our founding fathers and by our constitution. Our union of the several states was destroyed by Lincoln and replaced by a nation state controlled by Washington DC. I say this as a lifelong Yankee.
"The most powerful (motivation for secession), as it always has been, in revolutionary movements, was personal ambition. There was something peculiarly facinating to bold, ambitious men in the thought of forming a great slaveholding confederacy, embracing fifteen states over which they would bear sway; with an aristocratic class to support their authority; with cotton, the greatest wealth-producing staple the world has ever known, as the basis of unparalleled prosperity, and with an obedient, servile race to perform all labor, and minister to the comfort and wants of this superior class as long as governments should last. Of course this motive was concealed..."
With one exception, the ancestors of mine who actually owned slaves did not fight yet those who did not own slaves fought in the Confederate Army.
If the war really was about slavery, then why did one third of the the slave states remain in the Union? Those states were Missouri, Kentucky, Maryland, Delaware and West Virginia. The latter was part of Virginia but left in order to remain in the Union.
The Obama way is indeed a path of expansion and unconstitutional usurpations, but I don't see any tyranny from the mere 1860 election of a president. As a poster said above, it's just that Democrats have always had a hard time when they don't their way. The Founders assumed a public mature enough to accept adverse election results. The South Carolina secessionists proved unequal to that assumption.
Don’t worry, you will be allowed to protest with the NAALCP.
I find this quote from the article interesting:
“Asked whether there could be good Sesquicentennial events, Randolph said, ‘If there were a dialogue to sit down and discuss that event 150 years ago and how it still negatively impacts the lives of so many people in this state and around the country, that would be a good discussion, but not an event to sit down and tell lies about what happened and glamorize those people who thought America was so sorry and so bad that they wanted to blow it to hell. That’s what they did — that’s what they attempted to do, and we want to make that honorable?’ “
In other words, “If you want to have a dialogue to make it about race, that matches our view of history, and gives us an opportunity to shake down some even organizers, then we’re all for it.”
The NAACP doesn’t have the right to not be offended. Maybe they’re just pi$$ed because they weren’t invited. Whateva!
You are my favorite Yankee. You can move here if you want.
The South wanted citizens within their own state to control their destiny. The North wanted a feel-good solution imposed on those who were "less enlightened". Much of this was about money (commercial trading/industry vs agriculture) and much of this was about imposing morality on others.
The Democrats were morally wrong when they supported slavery, but they were morally right when they defended states rights. The North sought to use the national government to impose its will on sovereign states of the South, and that directly contravenes the type of government outlined in our constitution.
It's incorrect and simplistic to say that the ACW was caused by unhappiness of the election results of 1860.
No doubt the NAACP is going to milk this for all the fundraising benefit they can. One side provokes and the other side complains and both sides raise money. Too often that has been the story of Dixie.
Sorry, but Lincoln did more damage to the “work of George Washington” that the South ever did.
I just wish I could go...
It is quite evident to see that you are only trying to instigate a fight and ill will toward those Southern Freepers who have the “audacity” to be proud of their ancestors who fought for the South. You sir are worse than a San Francisco liberal.
There were radical elements in the North who wished to do that, but they were not even a controlling element in the Republican Party. The South had more than a sufficient number of Northern allies to protect their domestic life.
But the Republican tide was a mortal threat to the expansion of slavery in the territories.
If the issue was merely sustaining non-interference in the slave states, the logical course would be to continue in alliance with the moderate North. Secession only made sense if the motivation was the militant radical spread of slavery.
Well, y’all are welcome to come back through Atlanta any time... (Where is Sherman, now that we need him?)
I think you ought to be proud of your ancestors who fought for the Confederacy. Its the secessionist politicians who behaved shamefully.
Please explain how the secession of South Carolina was an attempt at the "militant radical spread of slavery".
Looks to me like SC was trying to avoid federal interference and was protesting violations of the constitution. There is nothing in the secession of SC that had anything to do with spreading slavery.
Sorry, but one of the MAJOR issue was the tariff. The South shipped a lot of cotton overseas and wanted to bring stuff back in cheaply. The North wanted to hold the South as a captive market and raw material source through high tariffs. Essentially the North wanted to practice mercantilism against the South.
After the South seceded, the Northern industrialists and merchants had visions of grass growing in the streets of New York and Boston, because of low (10%) tariffs in Charleston and New Orleans. The Federal Government had visions of bankruptcy (approx. 75% of the Fed’s revenues came from the South). The fact that the South controlled the mouth the Mississippi made this all the worse.
Politicians on both sides acted like crap. However, the NAACP is the most shameful of all.
I have little doubt that NAACP would lose that debate because the NAACP would overstate their case and crudely apply the broad brush. But I’m not the one saying that the Confederate soldier was generally a slavery-obsessed monster. I’m just talking about the secessionists themselves, a manipulating political elite who often took great pains to avoid exertions and dangers.
FYI, Emancipation Proclamation was signed 1 Jan 1863, Battle of Gettysburg 1-3 July 1863
Just for fun, some South Carolinians should lobby for a commemorative “First to Secede” license plate.
But what was the Constitutional violation in the election of Abraham Lincoln? The secessionists might not have liked higher tariffs, but as long as they were Constitutionally enacted, what is the complaint? And I have no doubt that Northern and Southern Democrats acting in concert could have modified that.
Frequently I’m no great fan of the NAACP’s rhetoric on the Civil War. Too often they make the 16 year old rebel farm boy soldier into a combination of Benedict Arnold and the Grand Dragon of the KKK.
Great to see a celebration of the rights outlined in the Declaration of Independence.
Thanks for the article.
You are clearly historically retarded. I cannot find any evidence anyone was manipulated into secession. The people of SC voted on it as did the other 10 states, the people voted on those ordinances. Nice try.
Most of those types were found in WV,PA, OH and IN.
I know Georgia produced a very suspect secession marred by falsified returns and several supposedly unionist delegates voting against the will of their electors to take the state out of the Union.
Your a F'ing idiot on so many levels...
First of all, calling what has happened to this union of states over the last few decades "adverse election results" is like saying the jews of socialist Germany had a bit of a problem.
Second.. The founders encouraged, empowered and implored their posterity to throw off government tyranny as quickly as possible by WHATEVER MEANS. The founders also understood that the right of people to break an association with others is a natural right that can not be mitigated by any law created by man. In other words, Secession is a natural right of men. If we come to the conclusion that our government is subjecting us to absolute and miserable tyranny, then we have the right and duty to disassociate ourselves from those who wish to make us slaves to their will, and the founders of this union would stand up and F'ing applaud the day we do...
Slavery is still a Muslim problem.
My GGGF was a slave owner and a corporal in the US Cavalry. Sure, he was fighting for slavery.
Revolution is a right of man. Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln all believed that. But secession, a narrower constitutional concept is not revolution. The secessionists wanted to reap the fruits of revolution without having recourse to the long list of abuses that overcomes the proper adherence to established government as spoken of in the Declaration of Independence:
"Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes"
I believe that the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860 is the perfect example of a light and transient cause that the Declaration speaks of.
Ewww. That's got to sting a little. Better put some ice on it.
I believe that too. I had a GGG uncle who set his slaves free and gave them a generous amount of land years before the war when he volunteered in the rebel army. But that has very little to do with the secessionists, a whole different group, seceding over slavery.
“There were a lot of reasons for Southern states secession; some legitimate; some completely immoral.”
For that matter, there are a lot of reasons for our present Government’s functions - some legitimate and some completely immoral.
Such is the condition of institutions of man.
” I say this as a lifelong Yankee.”
As you obviously know, “Yankee” is a state of mind more than it is a geographical matter.
So who do you think voted those “elites” into power to represent them at the State legislatures? I’ll grant you that some of them had motives for seccession that were based on a desire to protect slavery due to personal fortunes made in the slave trade but you can’t claim that all Southern State legislaters were slavery proponents just because some of them were. It’s the same as saying that all Republicans today are corrupt just because we have RINOs.