The Evidence

A sufficient number of people don’t believe the Confederacy was outright wrong or these statues wouldn’t be here. Similarly, a sufficient number of people don’t think the treatment of native Americans was wrong enough to make “the redskins” or “chief wahoo” a bad marketing idea. Not saying these people are correct, and evidently the number of people defending the Confederacy is shrinking or we wouldn’t have protests over statue removal. But I couldn’t imagine finding any significant percentage of the American or European populations who were willing to defend Hitler or Nazism. Given the widespread condemnation of the Nazi party, yeah expression of Nazism is illegal in Germany. Fifteen years ago, when my company had a branch in Germany, it was even illegal to assign numbers to people because it was too much like camp serial numbers (I discovered when working with some programmers to tweak a friend function because all of our employees were tracked by an internally maintained employee ID and we had to do something special for Germany to avoid running afoul of the law.).

While I don’t see a lot of people overtly claiming that the Confederacy was right about slavery, viewing the proximal (slavery) and distal (states rights) causes of the Civil War as distinct leaves room to say the Confederate states *were* right that the federal government was usurping power that should have been held by the states. Which provides an acceptable spin to Confederate monuments … and we end up mired in this red herring argument about protecting states rights and honoring those who fought to defend states rights (not to mention we need ‘the real context of these monument’ articles). I lived in the South for a while, and encountered a number of neo-Confederates. Asked them to tell me *what* rights of the state were contested — not just the principal of a state having rights beyond federal reach. That’s specifically written in the Constitution. Never got a good answer beyond “if they could tell us not to do X today, they could tell us not to do Y tomorrow.” because the right they were fighting for? The right to consider human beings as property based on a physical characteristic.

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