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John Kelly’s Historical Amnesia About the History of the Civil War and Slavery Is a Tool of White Supremacy

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  • Part 1: John Kelly’s Civil War history fail speaks to a much bigger problem
  • Kelly only said what many white Americans believe: Slavery wasn’t that important and the Southern cause was “noble.”
  • Part 2: Historical Amnesia About Slavery Is a Tool of White Supremacy
  • Where we have (mostly) condemned slavery, we as a country have refused to condemn its defenders.

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest 

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Part 1: John Kelly’s Civil War history fail speaks to a much bigger problem

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John Kelly(Credit: AP/Wikimedia/Salon)

Kelly only said what many white Americans believe: Slavery wasn’t that important and the Southern cause was “noble.”

Chauncey DeVega, Salon 

11.01.2017 | If White House chief of staff John Kelly had any self-respect or integrity he would be embarrassed right now. Despite his distinguished service as a Marine Corps general, Kelly apparently jettisoned such values when he went to work for President Donald Trump.

During an interview on Laura Ingraham's new Fox News show on Monday night, Kelly told the host that he viewed Confederate general Robert E. Lee as  “an honorable man. ... He was a man that gave up his country to fight for his state, which 150 years ago was more important than country. It was always loyalty to state first back in those days. Now it’s different today. But the lack of an ability to compromise led to the Civil War, and men and women of good faith on both sides made their stand where their conscience had them make their stand.”

Chauncey DeVega is a politics staff writer for Salon.

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Part 2: Historical Amnesia About Slavery Is a Tool of White Supremacy

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Neo-Nazis and white supremacists encircle counter-protesters at the base of a statue of Thomas Jefferson after marching through the University of Virginia campus with torches. (AP Photos / Shay Horse)

Where we have (mostly) condemned slavery, we as a country have refused to condemn its defenders.

Mychal Denzel Smith, the Nation

August 15, 2017 | n 1983, President Ronald Reagan signed into law the observance of Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday as a federal holiday, but I didn’t celebrate it by that name until the year 2000. My family moved to Virginia Beach, Virginia, in 1993, where my father, a lieutenant in the US Navy, was stationed after a three-year deployment to Naples, Italy, which is where I started school. Second grade was my introduction to the American school calendar and the set of holidays that would be welcomed vacations from the classroom. As a seven-year-old, I didn’t think to ask anyone why January 15 marked Lee-Jackson-King Day.

The Commonwealth of Virginia began observing the January 19 birthday of Confederate General Robert E. Lee around 1889, and in 1904 added to this the recognition of General Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson’s birthday (January 21). Up until 1983, it was known as Lee-Jackson Day. That year, in accordance with the new federal law, Virginia began observing Martin Luther King Day, only the Virginia legislature voted to combine it with the nearby Lee-Jackson Day, giving us Lee-Jackson-King Day, which I celebrated for seven years of my life.

http://www.thenation.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/mychaldenzelsmith_small1.jpg Mychal Denzel Smith is the New York Times-bestselling author of Invisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching and a 2017 NAACP Image Award nominee.

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