Obama: Elections Have Consequences, Wars Not So Much

Good Times Not Forgotten! Illustration Depicting the Fort Pillow Massacre in Southwest Tennessee During 1864 Where Black Union Soldiers, Refugees and White Officers Were Slaughtered on the Orders of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest by panafnewswire.

The Dallas Morning News reports that President Obama will answer the prayers of cracker hearts, and continue the tradition of presidents honoring an Arlington Cemetery Confederate War Memorial.

An historians’ petition had pointed to the unreconstructed racism and white nationalism of the bitter-enders who built the memorial, as well as the historical falsehoods it perpetuates.

Before Obama’s decision was known, the Washington Post op/ed page displayed a stirring example of thoughtfully splitting the difference.

University of Pittsburgh art historian Kirk Savage is author of “Standing Soldiers, Kneeling Slaves: Race, War, and Monument in Nineteenth-Century America.” He explained that Obama could have it all:

To single out the ordinary soldiers of the Confederacy as beyond the moral pale does not help us come to grips with slavery’s more profound role in American history… President Obama, why not send two wreaths? One to the Confederate Memorial in Arlington Cemetery and another to the African American Civil War Memorial in the District, which commemorates the 200,000 black soldiers who fought for liberation from slavery in the Union armed forces…Send two wreaths with one common message: that the descendants of slaves and the descendants of slaveholders should recognize each other’s humanity, and do the hard work of reckoning with the racial divide that is slavery’s cruelest and most enduring legacy.

But the Confederate apologists don’t seem interested in any fuss about slavery.

UDC insignia

Jane Durden, president general of the United Daughters of the Confederacy — the group that erected and maintains the monument — said the controversy over the wreath reflects a misunderstanding that the Civil War was a defense of slavery rather than a patriotic call to arms.“I am not totally shocked, and it’s not just with Obama, but with a lot of the American public,” Durden said. “This is a very controversial subject — we realize that. But all we ask is: I respect your views on things and I expect the same in return.

The Daughters will pocket Obama’s Memorial Day wreath and then move on to their real priority, the annual  Jefferson Davis fest in June:

Massing of the Flags

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