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Should the North Celebrate the Defeat of the Confederacy?

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Once a year, for reasons that make sense only to them, the former Confederate States of America commemorate their participation in what they euphemistically refer to as "The War of Secession." 

This year marks the150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War (South Carolina seceded in December, 1860; the conflict began in April, 1861), and the former rebel states are planning to go all out for the next -- God help us -- four years.  

Confederate flags will appear almost everywhere, battle re-enactments will take place, gala balls and parades will be held in southern cities, and the proud, delusional state of Alabama even has plans to throw a Jefferson Davis mock swearing-in ceremony, featuring a Jeff Davis look-alike. 

The South is probably the only place in the world that celebrates its defeat in a war. One does not see the Germans rejoicing over the invasion of Poland; the Japanese let Pearl Harbor Day pass without fanfare; the British don't have parties on the anniversary of the Boston Massacre.

Of course, southerners bend over backwards to assure us that the subject of slavery is somehow unrelated to the Civil War. It's supposed to be strictly a states' rights issue, they insist. Which is a little like saying the Spanish Inquisition was about Papal attire. 

To use the southern phrase -- that dog don't hunt.

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The fact that secession was also treasonous and ultimately resulted in the deaths of 620,000 Americans seems also to have escaped the selective memories of our southern brethren. Let's not forget -- they started it.

Wake up and smell the mint juleps, y'all. The North won the war fair and square. Stop acting like you did. It's a little pathetic.

It's also offensive to just about everybody else in the nation. People protest and write angry OpEds, but every year that hateful flag finds its way out of the moth balls and into the street. 

Which begs the question: Since the North actually did win the war, shouldn't we be the ones having the celebration? We could call it "Appomattox Day." Every April 9th (the day of surrender in 1865), we could find a guy with a grayish beard, put him in a gray uniform and watch him hand his sword over to a bearded guy in a blue uniform.

We could re-enact Gettysburg and Lincoln's inaugurations; school children could sing "The Battle Hymn of the Republic." We could have ceremonies that honor Frederick Douglass, Dred Scott, William Lloyd Garrison and John Brown. 

If Southerners find this offensive, they could always stuff cotton in their ears, which seems to be what most of them did during history class.  

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John Blumenthal has been a professional comedy writer for 25 years. A former associate editor and columnist at Playboy Magazine (following a short stint at Esquire), he's written 8 books and 2 produced movies. His films include "Short Time," (major (more...)
 

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But next time it will be more than seven states. ... by Robert Lee on Tuesday, Mar 22, 2011 at 12:21:02 PM
Flagged by Tom SciamannaInappropriate Content: I... by Robert Lee on Wednesday, Mar 23, 2011 at 11:59:08 AM
I grew up in the South, in Richmond, VA, but I cam... by Siegfried Othmer on Tuesday, Mar 22, 2011 at 1:21:51 PM
beneath: YES, the victory in the Civil war must ... by Mark Sashine on Tuesday, Mar 22, 2011 at 1:39:14 PM
Try Fredric Douglass and Harriett Tubman. And Abe... by Margaret Bassett on Tuesday, Mar 22, 2011 at 2:10:49 PM
Lincoln was a Railroad lawyer - conflict of intere... by Jamey Creel on Tuesday, Mar 22, 2011 at 4:44:50 PM
The best memorial to all veterans on all sides is ... by Mark Sashine on Tuesday, Mar 22, 2011 at 4:47:34 PM
What Cause of north was just to start war??? As fo... by Jamey Creel on Wednesday, Mar 23, 2011 at 6:07:06 AM
So if the South was fighting "for Slavery" then no... by Jamey Creel on Tuesday, Mar 22, 2011 at 4:47:40 PM
There was no South or North per se. There was a So... by Mark Sashine on Tuesday, Mar 22, 2011 at 4:58:18 PM
And where are you from? Were you born in America a... by Robert Lee on Wednesday, Mar 23, 2011 at 10:00:08 AM
You said:"So if the South was fighting "for Slaver... by Robert Lee on Tuesday, Mar 22, 2011 at 7:56:37 PM
Please read my whole response. The sentence begins... by Jamey Creel on Wednesday, Mar 23, 2011 at 6:02:39 AM
Lincoln was America's first dictator.The state of ... by Robert Lee on Wednesday, Mar 23, 2011 at 8:49:17 AM
"your" hero, murederer, 1st victim at Harpers Ferr... by Jamey Creel on Tuesday, Mar 22, 2011 at 4:53:16 PM
The events of the great war can be debated until t... by Doc McCoy on Tuesday, Mar 22, 2011 at 8:47:01 PM
I am not so sure the North did win the civil war.W... by liberalsrock on Wednesday, Mar 23, 2011 at 9:55:07 AM
Our values and ideas may be winning the war, but m... by Robert Lee on Wednesday, Mar 23, 2011 at 10:03:57 AM
The only "slavery" that hs won up till this point ... by Jamey Creel on Wednesday, Mar 23, 2011 at 10:31:11 AM
TAKING THIS WRITER TO TASK: You said: "...they eup... by Robert Lee on Wednesday, Mar 23, 2011 at 10:57:12 AM
"The fact that secession was also treasonous..."Wr... by Robert Lee on Wednesday, Mar 23, 2011 at 10:59:30 AM
I said:"The South was true to freedom while the no... by Robert Lee on Wednesday, Mar 23, 2011 at 11:15:11 AM
Yes. Yes and Yes! Why not? Why shouldn't the North... by syed mahdi on Wednesday, Mar 23, 2011 at 11:53:28 AM
Speaking as a Southerner, I agree with you on this... by Robert Lee on Wednesday, Mar 23, 2011 at 12:06:51 PM
Civil wars are the toughest to consider because th... by Mark Sashine on Wednesday, Mar 23, 2011 at 12:46:39 PM
"and yes, the Confederates openly proclaimed that ... by Jamey Creel on Wednesday, Mar 23, 2011 at 8:23:10 PM
Confesderacy made the inequaality statement a corn... by Mark Sashine on Thursday, Mar 24, 2011 at 7:36:23 AM
I agree with Jamey creel: "Your argument now holds... by Robert Lee on Thursday, Mar 24, 2011 at 8:14:17 AM
Lincoln said in a speech that if he were to free t... by Robert Lee on Thursday, Mar 24, 2011 at 7:59:44 AM
In the Russian Civil War ( I guess you can refer t... by Mark Sashine on Thursday, Mar 24, 2011 at 9:30:38 AM