"New perspectives mark Civil War anniversary," Raleigh News & Observer, January 3, 2012
New perspectives mark Civil War anniversary
BY JAY PRICE
RALEIGH -- North Carolina has begun the sesquicentennial of perhaps its most important year in the Civil War, when Union troops staged amphibious attacks and seized crucial swaths of coastal territory they would occupy for much of the war.
And, 150 years later, another battle is under way over how to remember the anniversary.
A more inclusive, diverse viewpoint looks to be winning the fight over how to view that period of American history: At state historic sites, the state history museum and dozens of commemorative events, it's no longer solely about the Blue and the Gray. It's also the black, the white, the slaves, the civilians, the men, women and children. Even the long-reviled Union sympathizers get a voice.
The war being examined via re-enactments, living history programs, displays and symposia is much different from the one celebrated 50 or 100 years ago, said Mike Hill, supervisor of the Research Branch of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources and co-chairman of a state Office of Archives and History committee charged with planning the sesquicentennial commemoration.
For one thing, it won't be a celebration this time. No festive full-dress, "Gone with the Wind"-style costume ball like the one held 50 years ago in Raleigh.
It would seem profane, after all, to celebrate an event that killed more than 600,000 Americans, said the other committee co-chairman, Keith Hardison, director of the Division of State Historic Sites and Properties.
This more inclusive approach to the history of the war is part of a shift among historians who are interested in looking beyond the long-dominant perspective of white men, Hardison said. Still, those with more traditional views aren't fading away quietly. A group that has ties to the Sons of Confederate Veterans and a Southern separatist organization is running "The Official Website of the North Carolina War Between The States Sesquicentennial Commission."
The site features material focused mainly on the war and politics surrounding it and makes heavy use of diaries, letters and other personal accounts of the time. It is firmly sympathetic to the Confederate cause.
Bernhard Thuersam, a home designer and amateur historian in Wilmington who heads the commission, started it in reaction to the state's elaborate website which, he said, leans too much on revisionist thinking.
The goal, he said, was to focus intensely on the war through the eyes of the people who lived it.
"This is the North Carolina view of the war and the time shortly thereafter, and not the view from 150 years later," he said.
Given the links to the Sons of the Confederate Veterans' group, the bias toward the troops in gray shouldn't be a surprise, said Thomas Smith Jr. of Raleigh, the commission's vice chairman and commander of the state division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.
"We (the Sons) have been in existence since 1896 and have always taken on the responsibility of doing the interpreting for our side, so nothing has really changed," Smith said.
The state historians said they wanted to tell the stories of the war from the perspective of everyone involved, not just those who held positions of power and wrote history their way. Their committee was intentionally diverse in race and gender to help ensure the results would be inclusive, Hardison said.
Thuersam's nine-member commission, though, is all male, as is its four-member academic board. Thuersam said he didn't know if they were all white because he had never asked.
"If Archives and History is focused on diversity rather than history, they're not focused on excellence, and I don't think that's a good use of my tax money," he said. "They're sort of slaves themselves to bureaucracy and politics, and I can tell you we resonate with people who are suspicious of anything that issues from government, particularly history."
Beyond usual views
Over the full four years of the Civil War sesquicentennial, which began last year, more than 200 events have been planned at state historic sites and dozens more elsewhere, Hardison said. And people who attend the symposia and visit sites during the commemoration will hear about the war and the history around it from perspectives that include, but also go well beyond, the traditional views of the war.
The battle of Bentonville in March 1865, for example, was indeed fought by 60,000 Union troops and 20,000 Confederate soldiers, making it the largest battle ever fought in North Carolina. But various aspects of what happened can be told through a host of perspectives: the soldiers of each side as well as civilians - black, white, male and female.
"Inclusive means including all the players," Hardison said. "You really aren't able to tell something unless you are able to reflect the experiences of all the players, and that's what we're working towards."
Among the parts of Eastern North Carolina that were invaded and occupied in 1862 were New Bern, Washington, Roanoke Island and Elizabeth City. A Union fleet called Beaufort home. The Union general who led the monthslong series of attacks was Ambrose Burnside, whose name and unusual, luxuriant facial hair led to the term "sideburns."
The sesquicentennial events of the occupation will be marked by, among other events, a symposium at Tryon Palace in New Bern this spring examining various aspects of the war and the lengthy stay by Union forces. Among other aspects of the occupation, the discussion will probe the phenomenon of slaves who fled from surrounding areas to the Union-controlled city and signed up to fight.
Also getting attention during the state-planned commemoration of the war are pockets of Union sympathizers, mainly in the western mountains.
Thuersam said his organization plans to deal with the topic of slaves turned Union soldiers on its website, too, but it will be tricky, because they were committing treason against the legal government of the state and killing North Carolinians.
Planning on a budget
The anniversary of the Bentonville battle, which will include extensive re-enactments, is expected to be part of the culmination of commemorative events in the state in 2015. Even in ordinary years, re-enactments at the hallowed battlefield in Johnston County have drawn tens of thousands of observers and participants.
Tight state budgets also have shaped commemorations of the war this time. Jeffrey Crow, deputy secretary in the state office of archives and history, created an internal staff committee to plan the commemoration, and directed that the official state effort be done without additional money or staff, Hill said.
The official state centennial commission 50 years ago, by contrast, had a budget, a hired director and several staff members.
Still, the state has been able to create an elaborate website for the sesquicentennial, is pulling many documents about the war from its archives and putting them online, and even has a blog focused on women in the Civil War that's getting international attention.
Broadly, the state's plans for its activities and programs are to examine not just the war itself, but secession, life for civilians during war time, slavery and the lives of slaves, and what happened to the state after the war.
The programs and events are designed to offer something appealing to practically anyone, including traditional Civil War buffs, and people of all ages, races and genders, Hardison said, and nearly all of it at no cost.
"Our goal is really, I guess, to just reinvest people in their own history," he said.
There are a multitude of events that occur as an adjunct to the main thrust of any action in history. Some of them are major contributions to the understanding of the event and are included for clarity in the resulting narrative because of their importance. Others are minor footnotes and have little or no practical bearing on historical understanding except as interesting tidbits of information.
For 150 years now, the events of the Civil War have been well known, documented, and understood in the context in which those events occurred. The continuing discovery of minor details will be on-going for decades to come. Had they not been minor and inconsequential, they would have already been incorporated into the primary historical record many, many decades ago.
But in the postmodern age of diversity, multiculturalism, egalitarianism, revisionism and relativism it becomes important for those adherents to uplift even the most minor of events, people, ideas and circumstances to a critical and monumental turning point in their narrative. Many so-called researchers, in an effort to bolster the importance of their particular constituency, even go so far as to fabricate "evidence" to support their fantastic claims. And others of their ilk buy into their twisted prism of history lock, stock, and barrel.
It's just a shame even one penny of our tax dollars has to pay for this drivel.
Are you really arguing that women (almost 50 percent of the US population in 1860), Blacks (nearly 25 percent of the South's population in 1860, and almost 50 percent in South Carolina), and loyalist Southerners (a majority in certain parts of North Carolina during the war) were "minor and inconsequential" to the Civil War? Because that is not how the soldiers who fought in the war, or their leaders, saw it in 1865. They saw women as essential to keeping CSA soldiers in the field, they relied on Black slaves to feed the South and build its fortifications, and they feared the sympathizers in the mountains and in the coastal counties.
I think you what you actually want is a single kind of story that portrays all Southerners as a unified mass. You want to ignore the real differences that existed during the Civil War and all the messy complexity of history in favor of a whitewash like "Gone with the Wind." Why? That kind of fake history is less interesting and less true than the real thing, which we are finally able to experience thanks to the much better historical research being done today.
--A descendant of Confederate soldiers
"Had they not been minor and inconsequential, they would have already beenincorporated into the primary historical record many, many decades ago."
Not quite. It is a function of who was telling the story (His - Story). The reason that new perspectives are available is because voices of once-silent/excluded participants are being discovered and heard.
Tell me, when will America and the history books totally squash the idea that Columbus discovered America?
We are a western civilization of European descent. There were obviously people living here before we arrived, but when you say "discovered," the intention involves those whose voyages and landfalls with subsequent colonization ultimately gave birth to our nation and those of the rest of the Americas.
Columbus was the first of European ancestry to set foot in the New World. There were perhaps Vikings who did so first, but they never did anything with their discovery. Some say that the Chinese set foot on North America before Columbus, but again, nothing came of it.
Mayans? Incas? Clovis? All gone. Most present Native American tribes? Defeated in battle and of little consequence today in the grand scheme of things. Inuet? Confined to the northernmost regions and contributed virtually nothing to modern civilization or the time line leading up to today.
So yes, others were here first, but Columbus is the only one who counts.
By the way, if those voices from the past were silenced or excluded from the narrative that means that their contributions or aspects thereof were not worth mentioning as vitally important to the events. Now if you really want to see revisionism in action, go to Google and search for "black invention myths". Check out the Brinkster link.
Significant contributions of people do not go unnoticed or unmentioned in a free society with a free press.
"Significant contributions of people do not go unnoticed or unmentioned in a free society with a free press."
This may be true. But it takes time. Sometimes more than 150 years.
By the way, you agree that Columbus did not discover America. I don't think American history books reflect that right now, hundreds of years later.
uB, I agree with you. It will certainly take more than 150 years if it is at taxpayer expense.
UBnice, why don't you pick up a high school history book and have a look-see? I doubt there is a single textbook left anywhere that ignores the presence of the native population, or the fact of the Viking visits prior to Columbus.
Columbus' voyage in 1492 was a pivotal event, not just in American history, but in world history. His "discovery" (and that is indeed what it was, even though he himself never quite realized it) set off a flood of events that changed the world in fundamental ways forever.
Despite the fact the war ended 150 years ago, the second war of northern aggression still continues to this day as northerners flock to the south to escape the liberal paradise they created and its subsequent implosion!
Anne Russell , Wilmington NC
I love this! When I was a youth transplanted from North Carolina to New Jersey, my Yankee friends made fun of my being from the South, calling it the land of hookworm and moon pies. Now most of New Jersey is moving to North Carolina to escape high property taxes and cold weather--they finally understand!
yes and we natives are to blame, our "southern hospitality" is our Achilles heel.. "Y'all come" they did and look what happened... we've become everyplace else.......
They are actually coming from everywhere. It has taken the nation a long time to "discover" what we already knew was a good thing. Flawed, yes. But good.
And really, I can't be mad at them. It is a logical and prudent decision on their part. :-)
I would be OK with it if only, immediately after moving here, they try to turn it into the socialist Hades they created up north then fled.
No not really. We just like the weather.
And we continue to fight the "War of Northern Aggression"
Surrender means that the history of this heroic struggle will be written by the enemy; that our youth will be trained by Northern school teachers; will learn from Northern school books their version of the War; will be impressed by all the influences of history and education to regard our gallant dead as traitors, and our maimed veterans as fit subjects for derision. -- General Pat Cleburne, CSA
Interesting quote. I wonder do the British feel the same way about how the books on the American Revolution portrays them?
I'm sure they do.
"To the victor belong the spoils". In a war or other contest, the winner gets the booty.
The proverb originated in the United States and was first used in 1832 by Senator William Learned Marcy (1786-1857) of New York.
I guess that is true. The North took everything the South had, including North Carolina's copy of the Declaration of Independence.
And the poor sharecroppers, had to hide their women what livestock they had in the swamp to keep Sherman's men from them. The North wrought terrible things upon all the South.
Seriously though, the truth ought to be told, regardless of who it offends. The Soviet Union tried to impose it's version of events on the many nations it conquered, and to this day the Japanese teach a contorted view of the events surrounding World War II. As for what passes for history in Arab countries--dont' get me started!
The War was fought over the political issue of expansion of slavery into the territories. The white slaveholding aristocracy (the ruling class in the South) was terrified at the possibility of a diminished voice in Congress if the western territories were admitted to the Union as free states.
Just read these Declarations of Secession to erase all doubt about the slavery issue . . .
South Carolina: http://www.civil-war.net/pages...
You are incorrect as to the State of North Carolina. At the first secession convention, secession (for any reason) was voted down. At the second secession convention, after Lincoln had ordered North Carolina to provide troops to wage war on other Southerners, secession passed with a wide margin. The reason North Carolina seceded is because the people were not going to make war on fellow Southerners. It had nothing to do with slavery in North Carolina.
By the way, why not post NC's Declaration of Secession? Hmmm? You need to do more research before you start making overall statements about something as complex as the War.
Wrong. Every Confederate state fought for the common goals mentioned above. The Confederate Government fought for the preservation and expansion of slavery. North Carolina cast its lot with that government -- and soldiers serve governments. Therefore, every single NC Confederate soldier fought for the preservation and expansion of slavery -- regardless of his personal social class -- be it poor, yeoman, or slaveholding planter. That's just reality.
The Civil War wasn't about slavery
THE PROBLEMS THAT LED TO THE CIVIL WAR are the same problems today ---- big, intrusive government. The reason we don't face the specter of another Civil War is because today's Americans don't have yesteryear's spirit of liberty and constitutional respect, and political statesmanship is in short supply. Actually, the war of 1861 was not a civil war. A civil war is a conflict between two or more factions trying to take over a government. In 1861, Confederate President Jefferson Davis was no more interested in taking over Washington than George Washington was interested in taking over England in 1776. Like Washington, Davis was seeking independence. Therefore, the war of 1861 should be called "The War Between the States" or the "War for Southern Independence." The more bitter southerner might call it the "War of Northern Aggression." The South, which exported agricultural products to and imported manufactured goods from Europe, favored free trade and was hurt by the tariffs. Plus, a northern-dominated Congress enacted laws similar to Britain's Navigation Acts to protect northern shipping interests. Shortly after Lincoln's election, Congress passed the highly protectionist Morrill tariffs. That's when the South seceded, setting up a new government. Their constitution was nearly identical to the U.S. Constitution except that it outlawed protectionist tariffs, business handouts and mandated a two-thirds majority vote for all spending measures. The only good coming from the War Between the States was the abolition of slavery. The great principle enunciated in the Declaration of Independence that "Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed" was overturned by force of arms. By destroying the states' right to secession, Abraham Lincoln opened the door to the kind of unconstrained, despotic, arrogant government we have today, something the framers of the Constitution could not have possibly imagined. States should again challenge Washington's unconstitutional acts through nullification. But you tell me where we can find leaders with the love, courage and respect for our Constitution like Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and John C. Calhoun.
Honest Abe History books have misled today's Americans to believe the war was fought to free slaves.
Statements from the time suggest otherwise. In President Lincoln's first inaugural address, he said, "I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the states where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so."
During the war, in an 1862 letter to the New York Daily Tribune editor Horace Greeley, Lincoln said, "My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and it is not either to save or destroy slavery." A recent article by Baltimore's Loyola College Professor Thomas DiLorenzo titled "The Great Centralizer," in The Independent Review (Fall 1998), cites quotation after quotation of similar northern sentiment about slavery.
Lincoln's intentions, as well as that of many northern politicians, were summarized by Stephen Douglas during the presidential debates. Douglas accused Lincoln of wanting to "impose on the nation a uniformity of local laws and institutions and a moral homogeneity dictated by the central government" that "place at defiance the intentions of the republic's founders." Douglas was right, and Lincoln's vision for our nation has now been accomplished beyond anything he could have possibly dreamed.
A precursor for a War Between the States came in 1832, when South Carolina called a convention to nullify tariff acts of 1828 and 1832, referred to as the "Tariffs of Abominations." A compromise lowering the tariff was reached, averting secession and possibly war. The North favored protective tariffs for their manufacturing industry. The South, which exported agricultural products to and imported manufactured goods from Europe, favored free trade and was hurt by the tariffs. Plus, a northern-dominated Congress enacted laws similar to Britain's Navigation Acts to protect northern shipping interests.
Shortly after Lincoln's election, Congress passed the highly protectionist Morrill tariffs.That's when the South seceded, setting up a new government. Their constitution was nearly identical to the U.S. Constitution except that it outlawed protectionist tariffs, business handouts and mandated a two-thirds majority vote for all spending measures.
The only good coming from the War Between the States was the abolition of slavery. The great principle enunciated in the Declaration of Independence that "Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed" was overturned by force of arms. By destroying the states' right to secession, Abraham Lincoln opened the door to the kind of unconstrained, despotic, arrogant government we have today, something the framers of the Constitution could not have possibly imagined.
States should again challenge Washington's unconstitutional acts through nullification. But you tell me where we can find leaders with the love, courage and respect for our Constitution like Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and John C. Calhoun.
So the Vice president of the confederacy says it was about slavery, and Walter Williams says it was not. And it appears you went with Walter Williams as your expert.
Where is that quote? (take your time)
"The new Constitution has put at rest forever all the agitating questions relating to our peculiar institutions—African slavery as it exists among us—the proper status of the negro in our form of civilization. This was the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution. Jefferson, in his forecast, had anticipated this, as the "rock upon which the old Union would split." He was right. What was conjecture with him, is now a realized fact. But whether he fully comprehended the great truth upon which that rock stood and stands, may be doubted. The prevailing ideas entertained by him and most of the leading statesmen at the time of the formation of the old Constitution were, that the enslavement of the African was in violation of the laws of nature; that it was wrong in principle, socially, morally and politically. It was an evil they knew not well how to deal with; but the general opinion of the men of that day was, that, somehow or other, in the order of Providence, the institution would be evanescent and pass away... Those ideas, however, were fundamentally wrong. They rested upon the assumption of the equality of races. This was an error. It was a sandy foundation, and the idea of a Government built upon it—when the "storm came and the wind blew, it fell."
Our new Government is founded upon exactly the opposite ideas; its foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his natural and moral condition."
The Cornerstone Speech, March 1861, Savannah Georgia, Alexander Stephens, Vice-President, Confederate States of America.
As a native of North Carolina and the descendant of confederate soldiers, I find the idea of denying slavery as a fundamental cause of the war comical at best and revisionism in its worst form.
ListenToo, you are obviously not now, nor have you ever been, a soldier. Soldiers may "serve" governments. but they fight for their friends and families. The typical Confederate enlistee probably never thought anymore about slaves and slavery than did his northern counterpart. Young men joined on both sides for many reasons, but you wouldn't have been able to find very many who were fighting to preserve or end slavery. For example, when the Emancipation Proclamation was issued there were riots in the north over the very idea of fighting to free the slaves.
The kind of simple linear logic you outlined doesn't work in reverse to discover the intent behind people's decisions, especially when you're applying it from a distance of 150 years.
What I'm saying is that the individual soldier's intent did not matter -- just as it does not matter today. Just as it did not matter when Hitler used the German army to do what he did during World War II. Soldiers are expendable pawns, regardless of their personal motives for serving. They serve the political agendas of governments, and any sacrifices they incur are a result of the government's agenda. Many a dead soldier right now joined the service to fight Al Qaeda after 9/11, only to be shipped to Iraq to die in his or her government's war of choice over non-existent weapons of mass destruction. In the same way, all Confederate soldiers — poor, yeoman, slaveholder, or non-slaveholder — served the agenda of the Confederate Government, which was the preservation and spread of slavery into the territories.
It matters to the soldier. And to his family, and friends, and fellow soldiers--in other words just about everyone but folks like you, who see history as a game played by others but judged by yourself. In that light, I suppose it would be just as apt to say that YOUR views on the matter do not matter.
It really would have been a disaster to fight with the Union ..with Virgina and South Carolina already in the war..You wre right Secession was voted down the first time..
Under the circumstances, North Carolina had little choice but to leave the union when she did.
Why am I not surprised that the democrat controlled state government has embarked on a politically correct, factually bogus approach to the War Between the States. Their was nothing civil about it.
I thank the N&O for bringing the impending bs to our attention. Being forwarned, I will ignore it.
Thank goodness we have a state Archives and History department to provide a more objective view than one of the Confederacy groups trying to glorify treason and slavery.
What "treason?" Go back and read the Declaration of Independence, especially the part about how governments "derive their just powers from the consent of the governed." Then proceed to the Constitution and read the Tenth Amendment. The fact is the federal government never tried a single Confederate for treason during or after the war. It couldn't, as every legal mind worth it's weight in cotton understood at the time. The Constitution of the United States did not, and still does not, prohibit any state from exercising its right under the Tenth Amendment to leave the union if "the governed" (the people of said state) wish to do so (that is, give their "consent," via the democratic process).
It was a terrible decision, made for all the worst of reasons (preservation of slavery), but it was not treason. It was not even illegal.
Clearly taking up arms against the United States was an act of treason. That federal prosecutors did not try any of the CSA officials for treason--even those who had been members of the US government in 1860!--reflects the incredible compromises and sacrifices (often at the expense of four million new Black US citizens) the US made to reincorporate Southern states after the war. Consider that Johnson gave full presidential pardons to THOUSANDS of former Confederates who had served in the US army and then in the CSA army. That was generosity in service of Lincoln's aim. It was not the inability to try traitors for treason.
Wrong on every count, Festus. The federal government, in the hands of radical Republican reconstructionists, tried in vain to bring Jefferson Davis and other prominent Confederate leaders to trial but quickly discovered that it was a legal impossibility. There was no way to get around the former Confederates' arguements that once their states seceeded from the union, which they were legally entitled to do by the U.S. Constitution's Tenth Amendment, they no longer owed any allegience to the United States and were free to fight for their new country. Those pardons were not a matter of "generosity" being shown to ex-Confederates by the U.S. government; those were a practical necessity. A 'generous' government doesn't conduct a 12-year long military occupation of its own people.
Interesting, isn't it, how northern states became SO committed to freeing slaves -- that Abraham Lincoln was on the record as not caring if they were free -- that they could not see the hypocrisy of making southern states not free.
That's not quite what Lincoln said. He said that preserving the union was his highest priority, and that if he had to allow slavery to continue in order to preserve the union he would do that.
And many of the Northern politicians kept their slaves until they died or ran away. One of the reasons for continuing to hold slaves in the North was the fear that the freed slaves in the South would move north.
You mean the northern politicians from states where slavery was illegal?
Actually, slavery was still legal in four northern states and the District of Columbia, right up through the war. The nation that we now think of as 'fighting to free the slaves' actually condoned and practiced slavery in part of its territory, and didn't get around to outlawing it entirely until December 1865, months after the war was over (and YEARS after the Senators and Representatives of most slave states had left Washington).
The great irony of the Civil War is that when it began, it was a war to preserve slavery only from the Southern point of view (all you have to do is look at the secession proclamations of the seceding states to see that this is true). But from the Northern point of view, it was at the beginning a war to preserve the Union, not necessarily to end slavery, the latter position being held by only a tiny minority in the North. It became (for the North) a war against slavery midway through the conflict. Then, long after the fact, the South concocted the mythology that the war was not about slavery at all, but about states' rights. Muddying the waters further is the fact that by today's standards, the vast majority of people both North and South were unabashed racists. Not an easy thing to "celebrate" at all, is it?
Only 3% of Southerners owned slaves............................... The war was over "States Rights", but those who win, write the history.
No, the 3 percent got the rest of the state fired up about states rights so they would fight their war for them. Useful idiots.
Got any proof of that assertion? Of course not, just blovinating nonsense from hatred of/for the south.
BTW - Slavery was devastating/cruel/inhumane and a disaster, but through this evil, African Americans, are part of and a reason for, this nation being the greatest on earth! (think of the biblical Jason, thrown into slavery in Egypt)
It was over states rights to allow slavery according to the south.
As well as it should be.
Well said. Here is more on Thuersam:
Anne Russell , Wilmington NC
Well, thank you, Festus, for your excellent and informative link which everyone should check into. Yes, yes, that is our friend Thuersam. You nailed him!
Whinning about "all-male" and "all-white" anything "smacks" of racism and sexism.
Anne Russell , Wilmington NC
Your thought processes are messed up. Revisit the definition of racism of sexism. And quit whining about my posts.
Racist, sexist, and now censorious. Congratulations Anne! Since that's what they call a 'hat trick,' you win a new hat! I hope you look good in tin foil.
Anne Russell , Wilmington NC
Gosh MJ, you direct a huge load of hostility toward someone you've never met. This indicates you have major personal issues. You may exercise and exorcise them as you wish, but you can take me off your radar screen, as I have no intention of further reply to your rants.
You sound pretty racist and sexist yourself
Anne Russell , Wilmington NC
Don't know where you get that from my postings, but some folks do see through a glass darkly. Racism and sexism mean a belief that one group is superior to another group, and should dominate, based on race and gender. Since that is not my belief, I am neither racist nor sexist. However, you are free to perceive as you wish to perceive.
In a previous post you disparaged "all-male" and/or "all-white" groups; if there is by your reckoning something intrinsicly wrong with a group that is all-male or all-white, does that not imply a belief that other sexes and races are inherently superior to males and whites? Or do you distain all non-mixed groups equally?
Anne Russell , Wilmington NC
What? I assume from your defensiveness that you are a white male. Correct?
My answer: certainly there is a valid reason for all-female and all-male groups, such as breast-feeding and prostate cancer support groups, since males do not breast feed, and females have no prostates.
Other than this sort of issue-specific groups, there is no valid reason for males and females to be segregated according to genitalia. And I see no reason atall for racial segregation into groups, except perhaps for sickle-cell anemia treatment, since sickle-cell is known to primarily affect African-Americans.
Why are you so defensive? Has your white male ox been gored?
What, me defensive? That is to laugh! Having grown up white, southern, conservative, and male in this country, I assure you that all my oxen are by now quite gore-proof. Fifty years of leftist slings and arrows have taught me that nothing they say is ever really worth taking to heart. I've heard it all before. So while I enjoy a hearty debate with my leftist counterparts, you'll never find me on the defensive.
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