SECESSION – Both a RIGHT and a REMEDY

 

SECESSION - constitution ripped in half

by Diane Rufino, September 23, 2018

Gene Kizer Jr. is a brilliant historian. He has written an excellent account of the causes of the War of Northern Aggression (aka, the War to Prevent Southern Independence; aka, the War Between the States; aka, the Civil War), in his book, Slavery Was Not the Cause of the War Between the States, and he has written some excellent articles as well, including on the right of secession. In his book and in his articles, he makes the case (most effectively) that secession was a reserved right of the states and that it was, in fact, exercised legitimately.

At the heart of the “Civil War” (which is, by the way, a most incorrect term for the conflict) was the right of the southern states to secede from the Union. That is, the lens through which we should look at, and assess, the war is whether Abraham Lincoln and his administration pursued a legal war by asserting that the eleven southern states that seceded from the Union had no constitutional right to do so.

The answer is that the southern states absolutely had the right to dissolve their union with the northern and more western states and their political bond to the federal government. Every state had and continues to have that fundamental right. Acknowledging this and therefore acknowledging that Lincoln incorrectly assessed the situation, he unconstitutionally assumed powers that were not granted to him, nor to the federal government in general.

Secession is a viable option to each state under three essential theories, and perhaps even others:

(1)  Each state has an essential right to determine its own form of government, under the natural right of self-determination. This natural right is articulated clearly in the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence (“whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness…”), and in fact, forms the basis for the decision of the thirteen American states to secede from Great Britain. The first paragraph of the Declaration makes this point quite clear:

       When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

The Constitution does not prohibit nor limit the natural right of secession, even in Article I, Section 9 which is the provision that puts limits on the sovereign power of the states, but rather includes the very powerful and declaratory Tenth Amendment which states “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” In other words, because the Constitution did not expressly prohibit the right of secession, that right is reserved (continues to be reserved) to the states. And to make it absolutely clear that the right of secession is a state right, the states demanded that the Tenth Amendment be added to the Constitution as a restatement of that fact.

So, the states have the RIGHT to secede.

(2)  Secession is also a REMEDY, reserved to the states by the very nature of the Constitution. The Constitution is a social compact, which essentially is a contract, or an agreement, among the members of a society to cooperate for social benefits, such as mutual protection and to regulate relations among members. For example, a typical social compact calls for the sacrificing of some individual freedom for state protection and other public services. Social Compact was a theory articulated in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries by philosophers such as John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, as a means of explaining the origin of government and how an organized society is thus brought into being.

As we all know, every contract and every agreement can be broken. There may be consequences, usually monetary, but no contract is absolutely unbreakable. A contract or agreement can be broken by a breach of obligations (for example, a person doesn’t make his obligatory mortgage payments; the lending bank can then foreclose under a breach of contract) which is an affirmative breach, it can be broken because the purpose for the contract has been eliminated (for example, an entertainer is contracted to perform once monthly at a Las Vegas casino but the casino is destroyed in a fire), or it can be broken simply because a party wants out. Contract remedies are essentially designed to put the non-breaching party in a position had the breach not occurred  (for example, a contractor quits a job in the middle of building an extension on a house; the contractor must pay to have the job finished, by another contractor) and they usually involve monetary damages. Sometimes, however, money cannot make the non-breaching party “whole” (put them back into a position had the breach not occurred) and a court will order “specific performance,” which means that the breaching party will be compelled to perform some service by the court.

When the states were debating the Constitution in their Ratifying Conventions, three states (Virginia, New York, and Rhode Island) included “Resumption Clauses” as specific conditions upon their ratification – clauses asserting the right to secede from the Union at a future time.

Virginia’s Ratification document (June 26, 1788) included this Resumption Clause: “The People of Virginia declare and make known that the powers granted under the Constitution being derived from the People of the United States may be resumed by them whensoever the same shall be perverted to their injury or oppression and that every power not granted thereby remains with them and at their will.”

New York’s Ratification document (July 26, 1788) included this Resumption Clause: “That the Powers of Government may be resumed by the People, whensoever it shall become necessary to their Happiness; that every Power, Jurisdiction and right which is not by the said Constitution clearly delegated to the Congress of the United States, or the departments of the government thereof, remains to the People of the several States, or to their respective State Governments to whom they may have granted the same.”

Rhode Island’s Ratification document (May 29, 1790) included this Resumption Clause: “That the powers of government may be resumed by the people, whensoever it shall become necessary to their happiness: That the rights of the States respectively to nominate and appoint all State Officers, and every other power, jurisdiction and right, which is not by the said constitution clearly delegated to the Congress of the United States or to the departments of government thereof, remain to the people of the several states, or their respective State Governments to whom they may have granted the same.”

Essentially, these clauses reserved the right of the state to leave the Union and resume all their sovereign powers and rights. With these clauses, the states simply put into writing a right they thought naturally belonged to their respective states. In fact, the right of secession was understood and agreed to by the other states, including George Washington who presided over the Constitutional Convention and served as a delegate from Virginia.

These clauses, because they were included in the ratification, and because they were accepted when the states formed into the Union, became applicable to every state that joined the Union. The fact that the states expressly reserved the right to secede (for no specific reason other than it may be “necessary to their happiness…”) shatters the notion and the argument by Abraham Lincoln in 1860 that the Union was intended to be perpetual and no state could secede.

Reserving the right to secede is an express reservation of the part of each state to un-make its agreement to join the Union. It is an express right to terminate its association with the compact (the Constitution), and thereby no longer be a party to the Union. Put simply, it is an express right of termination.

In contract law, the express right of termination is referred to as a Right of Rescission. Since it is a right to un-do the contract (to get out of the contract), it is a contract remedy.

Thus, the states have reserved secession as a REMEDY. (As a remedy to leave the Union, or secede from the Union) at some point when they deem it necessary for their happiness.

Rescission is defined as the unmaking of a contract between parties or the unwinding of a transaction. As mentioned above, it applies where a party to a contract exercises a Right of Termination that he or she had expressly included, or reserved, in that contract. In contract law, it is sometimes said that the party has included (or exercised) a right to rescind the contract. It is exercised in order to bring the party, as far as possible, back to the position in which it was before entering into the particular contract (the status quo ante). If the contract is between two parties, then both parties go back to the position they enjoyed before entering into the contract. If the contract – or compact – is between many parties, then technically only the party exercising the right of rescission is relieved from the compact; the others are free to retain the force of contract/compact.

If there is any doubt as to the intent of Virginia, for example, to take its Resumption Clause seriously, look at the language it used in its Ordinance of Secession, which it adopted in Convention on April 17, 1861 to secede from the Union:

AN ORDINANCE to Repeal the ratification of the Constitution of the United States of America, by the State of Virginia, and to resume all the rights and powers granted under said Constitution:

The people of Virginia, in their ratification of the Constitution of the United States of America, adopted by them in Convention, on the 25th day of June, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eight-eight, having declared that the powers granted them under the said Constitution were derived from the people of the United States, and might be resumed whensoever the same should be perverted to their injury and oppression, and the Federal Government having perverted said powers, not only to the injury of the people of Virginia, but to the oppression of the Southern slaveholding States.

Now, therefore, we, the people of Virginia, do declare and ordain that the Ordinance adopted by the people of this State in Convention, on the twenty-fifth day of June, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy-eight, whereby the Constitution of the United States of America was ratified, and all acts of the General Assembly of this State, ratifying or adopting amendments to said Constitution, are hereby repealed and abrogated; that the union between the State of Virginia and the other States under the Constitution aforesaid, is hereby dissolved, and that the State of Virginia is in the full possession and exercise of all the rights of sovereignty which belong to a free and independent State. And they do further declare that the said Constitution of the United State of America is no longer binding on any of the citizens of this State.

This Ordinance shall take effect and be an act of this day when ratified by a majority of the votes of the people of this State, cast at a poll to be taken thereon on the fourth Thursday in May next, in pursuance of a schedule hereafter to be enacted.

Done in Convention, in the city of Richmond, on the seventeenth day of April, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-one, and in the eighty-fifth year of the Commonwealth of Virginia

(3)  Secession, or the termination of the agreement to remain in the Union, is a viable contract/compact remedy under breach theory.  When one signing member to the agreement violates or breaches its obligations, then the other signing member (or any of a number of other signing members) are relieved of their obligations under the agreement. In other words, the breach by one party, especially if material in nature (that is, if it is enough to fundamentally alter the relationship of the states in relation to one another or to affect the ability of the federal/common government to serve all states in a fair, equal, and impartial manner) is enough to invalidate the entire agreement altogether, thus allowing the other party, or other parties, to walk away and also allowing remaining members to continue to enforce the agreement if they so desire.

In the case of the Southern states, they seceded over several material breaches of the compact – several violations by the Northern states of their obligations under the Constitution:

(a)  They believed the Protective Tariff was an unfair and confiscatory tax on the South, almost completely discriminatory in nature and punitive as well. It was no secret that the North had a great disdain for the South and its values and its “simple” agricultural lifestyle (and even its use of slavery). According to the Southern states (John C. Calhoun of South Carolina articulated it probably better than most), the federal government was a common government that was created and intended to serve each state equally. The North knew full well that the protective tariffs (1828 and 1832) were born almost exclusively and to their detriment, by the southern states. But the Northern states, and particularly northern businesses, benefitted far too greatly from the confiscation of those tariff revenues (more than half of the revenue was funneled almost directly from the South to the North) to ever consider giving them up. In 1860, Abraham Lincoln ran on a platform of increasing and the protective tariff to its highest level ever. That platform issue, together with his promise to prohibit the spread of slavery into new territories and future states, were enough for all of the Southern states to refuse to even put his name on the ballot.  In fact, the Morrill Tariff was passed by the US Congress and signed into law by President James Buchanan in 1861, just two days before he left office and Lincoln was inaugurated. Lincoln kept his promise to enforce that tariff.

If the federal government was not serving the states equally, and if it had merely become a vehicle hijacked by one region of the country to serve its own interests (at the great expense of the other region), then the states of the North had breached their obligations and the very purpose of establishing the Union had become frustrated. The South believed the tariff issue constituted a material breach and thus gave them ample reason (under the Declaration of Independence – “whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness…”) to leave the Union.

(b)  Lincoln’s inauguration as a purely sectarian president was of great concern to the South. His interests and agenda were solely to further those of the North.  His promise to prohibit the spread of slavery to any new territory and any new state was a violation of the US Constitution.  Article IV guarantees every new state to the Union the right to be admitted on the same footing as every other state. Slavery, unfortunately, was protected under the Constitution, and therefore, every new state added to the Union would be subject to its same terms and conditions. The Southern states believed that Lincoln’s government was acting in abuse of the Constitution and because the North supported his agenda, those states, again, breached the terms of the compact and thus gave the states of the South reason to dissolve their bonds with the Union.

(c)  The Northern states routinely refused to enforce the Fugitive Slave Laws, which were laws enacted pursuant to the Fugitive Slave Clause of the US Constitution (Article IV, Section 2, clause 3). To the South, the Fugitive Slave Clause was a valued provision in the Constitution.  The laws were widely ignored or frustrated (were “nullified”) by states, localities, and even by individuals (such as those who organized into mobs in order to free runaway slaves from local prisons).  The states of the South took notice and in fact, in some of the ordinances of secession, they cited the refusal of the North to comply with the Fugitive Slave Laws, as well as its support of violence to stir slaves to revolt (such as the John Brown massacre; Brown was vaulted to martyr status by Northern members of Congress).

The Fugitive Slave Clause of the US Constitution (aka, the Slave Clause or the Fugitives From Labor Clause) required that a “person held to service or labour” (usually a slave, apprentice, or indentured servant) who flees to another state to be returned to the owner in the state from which that person escaped. The provision was rendered moot with the Thirteenth Amendment, which abolished slavery. The exact text of the Fugitive Slave Clause read: “No person held to service or labour in one state, under the laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in consequence of any law or regulation therein, be discharged from such service or labour, but shall be delivered up on claim of the party to whom such service or labour may be due.”  The North refused to help enforce the Fugitive Slave Laws, claiming that it has no obligation as a state, to do so. The Laws were federal laws and if the federal government intended for them to be enforced, it was going to have to do so itself – with its own agents, its own courts, and its own prisons. The states and localities refused to assist – they would not use their officers, their prisons, any state personnel, or even any state court to uphold the laws and return runaway slaves back to their owners.

The states of the South believed the states of the North had a compact (constitutional) obligation to honor its provisions, including those it didn’t approve of.  Because the North refused to enforce the Fugitive Slave Laws and frustrated the Fugitive Slave Clause of Article IV, which was included for the benefit of the South, the Southern states concluded that the Northern states committed a material breach of the terms of the compact and hence, they were justified in leaving the Union.

One should read Gene Kizer Jr’s article “The Right of Secession” (link provided below). It provides an excellent overview of the legality of secession, in particular, as a right endowed and reserved to each state. Then one should read his most excellent book, Slavery Was Not the Cause of the War Between the States.

 

References:

Stephen C. Neff, “Secession and Breach of Compact: The Law of Nature Meets the United States Constitution,” Akron Law Review: Vol. 45: Issue 2, Article 4 (June 2015).  Referenced at:  https://ideaexchange.uakron.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://www.google.com/&httpsredir=1&article=1067&context=akronlawreview

Virginia’s Ordinance of Virginia (April 17, 1861) – http://www.nellaware.com/blog/virginia-ordinance-of-secession.html\

Gene Kizer Jr, “The Right of Secession,” Bonnie Blue Publishing.  Referenced at:  http://www.bonniebluepublishing.com/The%20Right%20of%20Secession-FULL%20PAGE%20FORMAT-USE.htm

Gene Kizer Jr., Slavery Was Not the Cause of the War Between the States;  Charleston Athenaeum Press (November 1, 2014).

Gene Kizer Jr., “Barbarians At the Gate,” Abbeville Institute, March 8, 2018.  Referenced at:  https://www.abbevilleinstitute.org/blog/the-barbarians-at-the-gates/

 

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Why the Issue of Confederate Memorials is of Significant Consequence

Mark Creech

by Reverend Mark Creech, Christian Action League, Aug. 24, 2018

Lately, a lot of emotion has been spent over Confederate monuments in the Tar Heel state.

Silent Sam, the statue on the campus of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, was gleefully pulled from its pedestal by a mob, August 20th. Former alumni, as well as citizens across the state, were outraged at the lawless act and the justifications given for it.

Two days later, August 23rd, the North Carolina Historical Commission rejected Governor Roy Cooper’s request to relocate three Confederate monuments on state Capitol grounds. The Commission opted instead to provide contextualization signage and raise funds for constructing and erecting African-American monuments.

Contextualization creates angst for many, while others rail against the Commission’s decision to leave the monuments standing. The situation remains a hotbed of passion on both sides.

I have written on this subject a number of times. I cannot say that everyone who is a part of the organization I represent, the Christian Action League, believes as I do on the topic. Nevertheless, I speak because I believe the matter is one of significant import to our state, country, and Western Civilization.

To understand history, it’s important that one hears all sides of the story. When memorials such as Confederate monuments are pulled down, it’s because only one narrative is being allowed.

Critics of Silent Sam said that the monument sends a message of racism and White Supremacy. They argue it was erected during a period in history when whites wanted to show that they still ruled the south.

Their proof? Julian Carr’s speech at the unveiling with its egregious and wrongheaded remarks about what the Confederate soldier meant to the Anglo Saxon race and how he, Carr, personally horsewhipped a black woman after insulting a Southern white lady. Also cited as evidence are the United Daughters of the Confederacy, who spearheaded and funded the monument. Some contend the UDC is a white supremacist organization, an accusation the UDC denies.

Critics of Silent Sam also argue the Confederate soldier was a traitor to his country and a defender of slavery. Memorials to Confederates glorify treason and the subjugation of the black race, they say.

I’m certain some sophisticate will charge that I’m just a backward preacher from the South with a misinformed and misguided allegiance to a terrible group of people. But I can’t agree the issue is that simple.

White Supremacy?

Thomas J. Crane, an attorney who represents individuals in employment actions and has appeared in both state and federal court, says the charges of racism against statues like Silent Sam and other Confederate memorials wouldn’t succeed in a court of law.

In a most intriguing article titled, “Confederate Monuments and Racism,” Crane writes:

     “I represent victims of discrimination. Like historians, I am in the business of accusing persons or entities of discrimination. But, if I tried to accuse a person or statue of racist bias based solely on speeches by third parties, I would likely be sanctioned by the court for filing a frivolous lawsuit…There are several alternative explanations for why these statues were erected.

      The challenge regarding the Confederate monuments is there is always a legitimate alternative explanation. The United Daughters of the Confederacy was founded expressly to commemorate the deceased Confederate veteran. The Confederate States of America was not the United States of America. That means there was no government effort to mark the passing of these hundreds of thousands of veterans. If the UDC or some organization like the UDC did not raise the funds for these monuments, it would not be done…

      Certainly in most communities, the Daughters were part of the white power structure. But, being part of the dominant white society does not mean those Daughters necessarily sought to support Jim Crow laws when they erected those monuments.”

Crane is right. There are many other valid reasons for Confederate monuments, which received broad support in the day of their placing.

History shows Confederate veterans were dying at the time and family members wanted to memorialize their fathers, brothers, and husbands before their passing. Others felt that their loved ones who suffered, sacrificed, and died in that great conflict deserved better recognition and more prominence than what they received in a cemetery for the Confederate dead. Reconstruction had also ended, and there was more money available for building and raising these memorials. Moreover, such monuments were seen as reunification symbols, where the Confederate heritage was brought into the larger American context, acknowledged, respected, and tolerated.

One might ask, if the sole purpose of these monuments was to lionize White Supremacy and slavery, why wasn’t this stated on the monuments? No such pattern exists.

In the case of Silent Sam, the plaque on the memorial simply read: “To the sons of the University who entered the war of 1861-65 in answer to the call of their country and whose lives taught the lesson of their great commander that duty is the sublimest word in the English language.”

Confederates Soldiers Were Traitors?

In my estimation, there is no basis for the indictment that Confederate soldiers were traitors. It’s true the war started when Southerners fired on Fort Sumter in South Carolina, but who provoked the conflict is still in dispute by historians.

Lincoln sent a ship to re-provision Fort Sumter, which was a federal fort in Charleston. South Carolina had already seceded from the Union, along with six other states. Certainly, if secession had any meaning, the state couldn’t permit a foreign power to maintain a military fort on its own soil. When negotiations broke down between President Lincoln’s administration and President Jefferson Davis’ administration for the transfer of the fort to South Carolina, Confederates fired on Fort Sumter, which resulted in Union forces surrendering.

Although there were no casualties, Lincoln sent 75,000 troops into the “rebel” states, which resulted in four additional Southern states, including North Carolina, seceding from the Union.

The Southern states also seceded from the Union based on the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The right for states to legally secede was widely accepted. Even Alexis de Tocqueville, the French political thinker and historian, who visited America to study its system of government, said the Union “was formed by the voluntary agreement of the states; and these, in uniting together, have not forfeited their nationality, nor have they been reduced to the condition of one and the same people. If one of the states chose to withdraw its name from the contract, it would be difficult to disprove its right to do so.”

Again, traitors? How can Confederate soldiers be traitors when the states in which they resided had seceded from the Union, as was their Constitutional right, and formed a new country of which they were citizens?

Confederates Soldiers Fought for Slavery?

Neither is it right to contend that Confederate soldiers were all about defending slavery. This is not to say the conflict was never about slavery. Instead, its to argue that the reason they fought was more nuanced.

Thomas E. Woods, an American historian, who is both a Harvard and Columbia University graduate, correctly argues in his book, The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History, that “slavery was far from the only issue on Southerner’s minds, particularly since the great majority of Southerners did not even own slaves. For their part, Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, two of the South’s best-known Generals, described slavery as ‘a moral and political evil.’ Lee had even been an opponent of secession, but fought on the side of Virginia rather than stand by as the federal government engaged upon the mad project of waging war against his state. Recall that Virginia, Tennessee, Arkansas, and North Carolina seceded only after Lincoln had called up 75,000 volunteers to invade the South and prevent its secession. These four states, therefore, certainly did not secede over slavery, but rather over Lincoln’s decision to use military force to suppress Southern independence.”

Additionally, Civil War historian James McPherson’s incredible research, consulted a sizeable number of Union and Southern soldiers’ letters and diaries on the way they viewed the war. The results clearly determined that they were concerned about saving the Union, the right of Secession, Constitutionalism, the Founding Fathers, but not slavery.

In other words, Southern politicians might have had slavery on their minds. However, the issue wasn’t a primary concern for Confederate soldiers on the battlefield. They weren’t putting their lives on the line each day, their bodies being torn and broken by cannonballs, bullets, and bayonets, just so they could enslave, whip, or lynch black people. The notion is preposterous.

Instead, they fought primarily for reasons of patriotism. They fought because they believed their homeland had been invaded. They fought for fear of the federal government enslaving them, and preventing their own self-determination. They fought for their independence. They fought for the commercial freedom of the South. They fought because they had lost family members through acts of brutality by the enemy. They fought because an occupying force was often denying their rights. They fought because they didn’t believe they deserved the scourge of their wives eating rats, their children starving, and their property reduced to ashes.

Whether they believed in slavery or not, whether their government was right about it or not, the South was their home, and they would give their lives in defense of it.

Oversimplification and Overreach —

Certainly, these affairs were the larger part of the equation. Therefore, making Confederate monuments primarily about White Supremacy, treason, and slavery is gross oversimplification and overreach.

In the same article referenced earlier, Crane contends that “alleged prejudice must be based on more than mere speculation and tenuous inferences.” The case must be proven, and the preponderance of the evidence must reasonably conclude racist intent. The evidence doesn’t show this to be the reason for erecting Confederate monuments. Even racial motivations do not necessarily constitute a racial purpose.

With these assertions in mind, I will conclude with these thoughts.

True Tolerance Essential —

America is a place of many cultures, many political opinions, and many values. True tolerance, which respects individuals without necessarily approving of everything they believe or espouse, is essential.

As a white man, I may not be able to fully connect with a monument like the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Alabama, which is dedicated, in part, to the way people of color are often burdened with presumptions of guilt and police violence. Nevertheless, I can reverence and appreciate my fellow Americans. This same deference should go the other way.

To take down memorials placed in honor of deceased people who forewent their health and happiness, forfeited their honor and substance for the ones they loved in a time of war, is to say such people and the ones for whom they spent their affections don’t count. It’s to say their ancestors are evil and beyond the recognition of any noticeable or worthy virtues.

Orwellian Ends —

Moreover, pulling down said monuments, more often than not, produces Orwellian ends. If the monuments are taken down, there remains only a one-sided account. There is no way to ponder them and the full significance of their meaning, as well as the lessons they can teach.

Taking down monuments and memorials is a revolutionary tactic of history. Burn the books. Destroy the landmarks. Topple the statues. Flatten the memorials.

In a quote from George Orwell’s dystopian novel, 1984, we read, “One could not learn history from architecture any more than one could learn it from books. Statues, inscriptions, memorial stones, the names of streets, anything that might throw light on the past had been systematically altered.”

Here’s another: “Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered, and the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped, nothing exist except an endless present in which the Party is always right.”

Isn’t this what we are witnessing? – an intentional and imposed ignorance.

It’s an appropriate question to ask where this will end. What else besides Confederate monuments is next to be removed or hidden away in some rather obscure place? Will it be statues of Washington and Jefferson? What about the U.S. Flag? Could it be the Christian Cross on steeples and buildings? Might it be any reminders of America’s heritage or Western Civilization that causes offense, makes people feel unwelcome, or hurts their feelings?

It isn’t spurious to question whether the goal or the outcome will be to lose ourselves in the mass mind and the mass will.

While there was cheering at the fall of Silent Sam at UNC, the lawless action of the mob which perpetrated the crime signals a time of future mourning. A time when intolerance is supreme, lack of knowledge predominant, and uniformity enforced.

Yes, this matter is of considerable import to our state, nation, and Western Civilization.

 

Reference:

Reverend Mark Creech, “Why the Issue of Confederate Memorials is of Significant Consequence,” Christian Action League, Aug. 24, 2018.  Referenced at:  https://christianactionleague.org/news/why-the-issue-of-confederate-memorials-is-of-significant-consequence/

 

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What Happened?

TRUMP - cartoon funny (Peanuts)

by Diane Rufino, September 22, 2018

Wow, how did it come to this:??? How did it come to be that when one side is happy, the other is absolutely miserable and on the verge of a breakdown. How did it come to be that when one group of people views the country as being Great Again, being prosperous and strong, the other group views the country as being in a wretched inexcusable state?

I guess we no longer have that one thing in common that truly unites us — the desire for a strong, safe country, where people live equally and predictably according to the Rule of Law, and where government is restrained by the Constitution so that individuals can pursue the American Dream without much interference and exercise their freedoms most robustly. I guess those were the old days when the health and prosperity of our country actually mattered, and the prosperity of our fellow citizen mattered as well.

How can we be the UNITED States when we aren’t even a UNITED people?

It is truly so sad.

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Constitution Day 2018

 

RWPC - Constitution Day 2018

by Diane Rufino, September 17, 2018

Today was Constitution Day.
On September 17, 1787, the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia concluded. 39 of the 55 delegates to the Convention signed the final product, including its primary author, James Madison, and its eldest member, Benjamin Franklin.
The Convention was called by Congress for the specific purpose of “amending the Articles of Confederation.” The specific defects were in the ability of the Congress to collect tax revenue from the states and in its weak authority to regulate commerce among them. But the organizers of the Convention, including James Madison, Edmund Randolph, and Alexander Hamilton had other plans. They intended to scrap the Articles altogether and draft a different form of government altogether, relying somewhat on the Articles of Confederation for guidance. In fact, Madison had already written a draft of that new government prior to the Convention and had asked Randolph, Governor of Virginia and member of one of Virginia’s most prominent families, to present it.
But what Madison had planned (which was a more national type of government; a powerful government of ambitious powers) is not what the majority of delegates could agree on. It would take 4 months of heated discussion and debate to convince Madison that a federal government, a government of limited powers and checks and balances, was the best form of a common government but the only form that the states would ever agree to.
Things didn’t go as smoothly as expected at the convention. Delegates became frustrated over the constant and fruitless bickering and the inability to made any significant progress in amending the federal government. Many left in disgust and many left to go back to their families, becoming frustrated in how long the convention was dragging on.
Benjamin Franklin, ever the optimist ,even at the age of 81, gave a poignant  assessment of the Convention in his final speech before the Constitutional Convention:
“I doubt too whether any other Convention we can obtain, may be able to make a better Constitution: For when you assemble a Number of Men to have the Advantage of their joint Wisdom, you inevitably assemble with those Men all their Prejudices, their Passions, their Errors of Opinion, their local Interests, and their selfish Views. From such an Assembly can a perfect Production be expected? It therefore astonishes me, Sir, to find this System approaching so near to Perfection as it does; and I think it will astonish our Enemies, who are waiting with Confidence to hear that our Councils are confounded, like those of the Builders of Babel, and that our States are on the Point of Separation, only to meet hereafter for the Purpose of cutting one another’s throats. Thus I consent, Sir, to this Constitution because I expect no better, and because I am not sure that it is not the best.”
To honor Constitution Day, members of the Republican Women of Pitt County and the Eastern NC Tea Party joined with members of the Daughters of the American Revolution to ring bells at 4:00 pm (to mark the time of day the Constitution was signed) on the front steps of the Sheppard Memorial Library in downtown Greenville and then to pass out free pocket constitutions to those inside.
HAPPY CONSTITUTION DAY, EVERYONE !!
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Thomas Jefferson Articulates the Remedy of NULLIFICATION in an Opinion Written to President George Washington in 1791

THOMAS JEFFERSON - wire glasses

by Diane Rufino, September 16, 2018

In 1791, Thomas Jefferson wrote an opinion on the constitutionality of a National Bank. It is an important commentary on the meaning and intent of the US Constitution, in particular the two general clauses – the General Welfare Clause and the Necessary and Proper Clause.

President George Washington’s Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton proposed the creation of a national bank. He advised that a national bank would “give great facility or convenience in the collection of taxes” and would facilitate the government’s assumption of the states’ Revolutionary War debts, thus serving the taxing power of the federal government. Not sure if such a bank was a constitutional exercise of government legislative power, Washington asked Hamilton and Jefferson, his Secretary of State, to articulate their positions.

And so, on Feb. 15, 1791, Jefferson submitted an opinion to Washington against the creation of a National Bank, explaining that it was not authorized by any specific delegation of power nor was it contemplated by any of the general clauses. In specific, he articulated that the “Necessary & Proper” Clause meant that Congress could take action only when it was necessary (and proper) to bring into effect any of the specifically enumerated powers; that is, without those means without which the grant of power would be meaningless. The clause did not mean Congress could pursue action that was merely convenient or helpful.”  Jefferson said that all the functions of which Hamilton was concerned – the collection of taxes, the paying of war debt, etc – could all be carried into execution without a bank. Therefore, as a constitutional matter, he concluded that a bank was not necessary, and consequently not authorized by the “Necessary & Proper” phrase.

Hamilton’s opinion was different. He argued that the Constitution, in Article I, Section 8, created a legislature not only of specific powers but of implied powers as well.

In the end, the House and then the Senate approved a bill establishing a charter for the first National Bank, and President Washington, siding with Hamilton, signed it. The first Bank of the United States was built in Philadelphia.

Chef Justice John Marshall, the man credited with transforming the role of the Supreme Court, later chose to ignore Jefferson’s opinion and commentary when the constitutionality of the national bank came before the Court in 1819 – in McCulloch v. Maryland.  His opinion in that case echoed Hamilton’s view that the federal government is indeed one of express AND implied powers, an issue that was DIRECTLY addressed and dismissed at the Constitutional Convention in 1787 and again when states expressed concern in their ratifying conventions.

While this Opinion by Thomas Jefferson shows us how our federal judiciary willingly chooses to ignore four country’s most important and most credible authority on the meaning and intent of the Constitution when it is faced with the chance to assign greater power to the federal government, there is another reason why this opinion is important: It explains the intended checks and balances on the federal legislature, both horizontal and vertical. The Supreme Court would later find the most important check to be unconstitutional. Imagine that.

At the end of his Opinion, Jefferson writes:

“The negative of the President is the shield provided by the Constitution to protect against the invasions of the legislature: 1. The right of the Executive. 2. Of the Judiciary. 3. Of the States and State legislatures. The present is the case of a right remaining exclusively with the States, and consequently one of those intended by the Constitution to be placed under its protection.”

In other words, the rightful checks on the lawmaking power of the US Congress include:

(1)  The President (he can veto or refuse to sign the bill into law; or he can, by Executive Order, explain that certain provisions are unenforceable because they exceed authority)

(2)  The courts  (the federal courts can strike down a law as “unconstitutional”)

(3)  The States and State legislatures (The States can separately find a federal law to be unconstitutional, per their understanding of the Constitution and per their reserved powers under the Tenth Amendment)

Number (3) above is NULLIFICATION and includes INTERPOSITION. These are the rightful remedies reserved to each State, according to Jefferson when the federal government exceeds its delegated authority under the Constitution and specifically, when it attempts to legislate in areas reserved to the States under the Tenth Amendment. A law passed without constitutional authority is a law is a nullity; it is unenforceable.  And it SHOULD be.  It is up to the States, as the most important of the Checks and Balances (a vertical check) to make sure that the people, protected by the Constitution as to the lawful bounds of government, are not subject to unconstitutional laws.

Here you have it, from the earliest days of our republic, the clear and simple articulation of the right of Nullification.

Jefferson, of course, would go on to articulate it much more clearly and forcibly, in the Kentucky Resolves of 1799 (a series of resolutions he wrote secretly for the Kentucky state legislature to oppose the highly unconstitutional Alien & Sedition Acts, enacted by the administration of John Adams. In the Kentucky Resolves of 1799, Jefferson wrote:

      “If those who administer the general government be permitted to transgress the limits fixed by that compact, by a total disregard to the special delegations of power therein contained, annihilation of the state governments, and the erection upon their ruins, of a general consolidated government, will be the inevitable consequence: That the principle and construction contended for by sundry of the state legislatures, that the general government is the exclusive judge of the extent of the powers delegated to it, stop nothing short of despotism; since the discretion of those who administer the government, and not the constitution, would be the measure of their powers: That the several states who formed that instrument, being sovereign and independent, have the unquestionable right to judge of its infraction; and that a NULLIFICATION, by those sovereignties, of all unauthorized acts done under colour of that instrument, is the rightful remedy: That this commonwealth does upon the most deliberate reconsideration declare, that the said alien and sedition laws, are in their opinion, palpable violations of the said constitution; and however cheerfully it may be disposed to surrender its opinion to a majority of its sister states in matters of ordinary or doubtful policy; yet, in momentous regulations like the present, which so vitally wound the best rights of the citizen, it would consider a silent acquiescence as highly criminal: That although this commonwealth as a party to the federal compact; will bow to the laws of the Union, yet it does at the same time declare, that it will not now, nor ever hereafter, cease to oppose in a constitutional manner, every attempt from what quarter soever offered, to violate that compact.”

Nullification is, and has always been, a rightful remedy by which each State can review the constitutionality of government acts and policy (and even federal court opinions) and if an abuse is found, to protect the citizens in their States from the tyranny that would result from their enforcement.

 

References:

Thomas Jefferson, Opinion on the Constitutionality of a National Bank, Avalon Project (Yale Law School).  Referenced at:  http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/bank-tj.asp

Thomas Jefferson to George Washington, February 15, 1791, Opinion on Bill for Establishing a National Bank, from the Works of Thomas Jefferson in Twelve Volumes, from the Library of Congress.  Referenced at:  https://memory.loc.gov/service/mss/mtj/mtj1/013/013_0984_0990.pdf    [NOTE:  The Library of Congress was formed when Thomas Jefferson donated the contents of his personal library]

The Kentucky Resolves of 1799 (The Constitution Society).  Referenced at:  http://www.constitution.org/cons/kent1799.htm

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Washington DC: It’s Not Government, It’s a Battlefield

MEME - this is not government (this is a battlefield

by Diane Rufino, Sept. 14, 2018

This is my latest meme. And I’m serious about its message.

DC politicians make me sick. They are quite literally the most wretched of human beings. They (mostly Democrats, let’s face it) refuse to act in the best interests of the country or of its citizens, but rather, act for pure political purposes only – for the benefit of their party, for the political power that its political elites will enjoy.

Why else would they make it their key political objective to impeach a president who has worked tirelessly to Make America Great Again. And it’s true, he has made America great again; he has the intuition, the insight, the political saavy, the conviction, and the dedication to enact policies to benefit the country and its people. His goal is not to redistribute American’s wealth and success to the rest of the world, but to keep and protect that wealth here. The other party cannot say the same. The president, despite the character flaws greatly exaggerated by the other side, has the decency to honor the promises he made on the campaign trail. His primary goal each day is to honor those promises to return to the people the grand notion that elected officials serve the people and that government works for them.

In what sensible universe would anyone make it their key political objective to take this honorable president out of office? The only answer that makes sense is that President Trump is pursuing policies that are so completely and directly in opposition to the agenda of the Democratic PARTY… not necessarily the people who identify as Democrats, but of the PARTY. Extrapolating from that, the only answer that makes sense is that the Democratic PARTY does not want the federal government to put America first.

The Democratic Party offers no path or vision for our country other than “impeach Trump.” In other words, the Democratic Party’s plan is to reverse the path of the Trump administration — to increase taxes, to increase burdensome regulations on businesses, to roll back the policies that have created hundreds of thousands of good jobs (jobs paying much more than minimum wage), to prostrate ourselves to world leaders and to give them support from the American taxpayer and without concern for the taxpayer, to undo trade deals and go back to exporting our wealth, to open our borders to uncontrolled illegal immigration, to flood illegals onto our entitlement programs and in our public education system….. in general, to overload our American systems so that they crash and true socialism or even worse arises out of their ashes.

The most important civic duty an American citizen has is to be informed and educated and responsible at the ballot box in order that our country has the integrity and strength for successive generations.

What is the key word in the phrase that once described our government — “government of the People, by the People, and for the People” ? — THE PEOPLE.

We can only have such a government if the political parties stop being so absolutely adversarial, if they stop being so critically opposite, and if they stop putting their power-thirsty interests and agenda above the interests of the people. We can only have a functional governance if they stop using the government as their battleground.

DC politicians and DC politics make me sick.

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To the Heroes of the Confederate State of North Carolina (1861-65)

SILENT SAM (Chapel Hill) - face shot

by Diane Rufino, September 3, 2018

On the campus of UNC-Chapel Hill stood the noble statue of “Silent Sam,” the Confederate soldier who stood vigilant watch over the campus. It stood on McCorkle place, the University’s upper quad, facing Franklin Street.

“Sam” represented those young students who had left the campus when Lincoln’s war came, and who willingly went off to do their duty for their beloved state. More than 1000 students enlisted and fought, representing at least 40% of the total number of students at the university, a record surpassed by only one other institution (North or South) – the University of Virginia. Like her home state in general, Chapel Hill gave more than her share to the defense of the South.

Sam is “silent” because he carries no ammunition and therefore cannot fire his gun.

The monument was given to the campus by the United Daughters of the Confederacy in 1909 and it was finally erected on campus in 1913. A bronze plaque in bas-relief on the front of the memorial’s base depicted a woman, representing the state of North Carolina, convincing a young student to fight for the Southern cause. The student is shown dropping his books, representing students leaving their studies. A small bronze inscription plaque on the left side of the base read:  “Erected under the auspices of the North Carolina division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy aided by the alumni of the university.”  And another bronze inscription plaque on the right read:

“To the Sons of the University who entered the War of 1861-65 in answer to the call of their country and whose lives taught the lesson of their great commander that Duty is the sublimest word in the English language.”

We can call him “Silent Sam” because of another reason. He speaks no particular message. He conveys no message other than to acknowledge that young men fought for North Carolina and the Confederacy. That is, the monument to the students who left Chapel Hill to fight is a memorial, just like the gravestone or headstone marking the grave of one who has passed is a memorial. It conveys no particular message other than to memorialize the person’s life and to note some particular aspect of that life. It is a historical marker. My father’s gravestone marks the date he was born and the day he passed and acknowledges that he served in the US Navy. Silent Sam, as a statue, merely recognizes the fact that approximately 1000 young men from Chapel Hill left their studies to serve their home-state in a war that was forced upon her. It is a marker, nothing more…. It says nothing about the students, as individuals, who gave up their youth and who, in great part, gave up their lives; we know nothing about their politics, whether they agreed with North Carolina’s decision to secede, or their position regarding the war. We simply know, thanks to the gentle reminder that Silent Sam provides, that Chapel Hill gave heavily to defend her state. Again, 40% of its student body left to defend her principles. That’s quite noteworthy; that’s quite a sacrifice.

Nowadays, most students know very little, if any, of history or the significance of the monument that graces – graced – its campus. After all, Silent Sam is over a hundred years old. And that’s a fatal defect in our state’s public school history curriculum and in the liberal teachings at our universities. In most cases, the only history that people of North Carolina will ever learn is what they are taught by often under-educated teachers in middle school or in high school. That’s it. Many students at Chapel Hill view Silent Sam merely as a really cool statue and as just another place to sit on a warm spring afternoon.

But now there are groups (a very insignificant minority, but loud, obnoxious, violent ones) who all of a sudden construe Silent Sam as a monument representing regional pride and therefore a symbol of ongoing racial oppression. They impute speech to where no speech is spoken. They impute a message where none is expressed. Again, Silent Sam is merely a historical marker. For more than one hundred years, students and other individuals have been able to walk by the statute without feeling oppressed or triggered, but now, all of a sudden, in 2018, an era reaping the fruits of desegregation and full civil rights to African-Americans (to be fair, they are actually given heightened protection of their rights; instead of “Equal Protection,” they are given “Special Protection”), groups wish to rehash the past and dwell on an era long gone. It is an era that you would think most people would love to finally put behind them.

And so, on Monday, August 20, Silent Sam was attacked, vandalized, desecrated, maliciously destroyed, and toppled to the ground.  The bronze statue of the young soldier came crashing down, being pulled down from his post by a howling mob of masked and unmasked protesters, after his pedestal was covered in red paint. There were approximately 250 protesters at the scene, joining UNC-Chapel Hill professor Dwayne Dixon, the de facto leader of the protest and assault on Silent Sam. Dixon is the current cultural anthropology professor at Chapel Hill. Video footage from CNN affiliate WRAL-TV shows protesters putting up poles and banners around the statue during daylight, and then when nightfall came, the statue was tumbled and students were seen cheering. Protesters could also be seen kicking Silent Sam’s head and putting dirt all over the statue. Campus police took orders (from who?) to stand down and allowed protesters to topple the statue without resistance.

So far, three people have been arrested for the literal act of tearing down Silent Sam. Jonathan Fitzgerald Fuller, Lauren Aucoin, and Raul Arce Jimenez have been charged with misdemeanor rioting and misdemeanor defacing a public monument. Seven more activists were arrested several days later, on that following Saturday, when a follow-up protest turned violent, with left-wingers unsuccessfully charging a campus building, assaulting people, and trying to light fire to a Confederate flag. Professor Dixon has not been fired by the university, but he is being investigated and his network of criminal collaborators apparently is unraveling.

According to Big League Politics, the leaders of the protest that resulted in the toppling of Silent Sam are members of Antifa. These same individuals helped organize the fatal Antifa “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017. A woman needlessly lost her life at that rally when a protester ran his car into a crowd of people. Big League Politics reported that it obtained information on the suspects which it turned over to Chapel Hill police officers. The evidence, they say, exposes a close-knit sect of left-wing agitators mostly based in Durham, who have links to several high-profile activists, including Chelsea Manning (the trans-woman, born as Bradley Edward Manning and served in the US army where he/she leaked sensitive military information in violation of the Espionage Act, for which he/she was court-martialed and imprisoned for). This network of left-wing agitators operates in part out of the Elevate MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) gym, located in Durham, where they apparently practice combat techniques.

The attack on and then the toppling of Silent Sam sparked outrage from the university’s leaders, from alumni, and from our state legislature, and perhaps most passionately of all from the great many people who love North Carolina, appreciate her history and decision to oppose Lincoln, and who are deeply and horribly offended by the destruction and desecration of her monuments. UNC system president Margaret Spellings and UNC Board of Governors chairman Harry Smith issued a joint statement, which read:

      “Campus leadership is in collaboration with campus police, who are pulling together a timeline of the events, reviewing video evidence, and conducting interviews that will inform a full criminal investigation. The safety and security of our students, faculty, and staff are paramount. And the actions last evening were unacceptable, dangerous, and incomprehensible. We are a nation of laws—and mob rule and the intentional destruction of public property will not be tolerated.”

Speaker of the NC House, Tim Moore, issued a more powerful statement:

       “There is no place for the destruction of property on our college campuses or in any North Carolina community; the perpetrators should be arrested and prosecuted by public safety officials to make clear that mob rule and acts of violence will not be tolerated in our state.”

Let’s look at the lunacy that surrounds this malicious desecration of Silent Sam.

As I mentioned above, the statue of Silent Sam is a marker, a historic marker, essentially no different from a grave marker, or from the World War II Memorial in Washington DC, which is dedicated to those Americans who served in the armed forces and who served the war effort as civilians. It recognizes the sacrifice made by Chapel Hill, which should be acknowledged and should be remembered. Sports achievements and sports figures and coaches are memorialized so why shouldn’t the students who made the ultimate sacrifice be memorialized?

Ignoring the neutrality of the monument, the protesters on August 20, fixated instead on a comment spoken at the dedication ceremony of Silent Sam on June 2, 1913, by alumnus and highly-successful industrialist Julian Carr.  Those words were highly-controversial and extraordinarily racially insensitive.

Carr began his speech with profound appreciation for the students who left the university for the war effort:

       There are no words that I have been able to find in the vocabulary of the English language that fittingly express my feelings in this presence of this occasion. But you know and I know, that though I might speak with the tongue of men and of angels, neither song nor story could fittingly honor this glorious event. The whole Southland is sanctified by the precious blood of the student Confederate soldier. Their sublime courage has thrown upon the sky of Dixie a picture so bright and beautiful that neither defeat, nor disaster, nor oppression, nor smoke, nor fire, nor devastation, nor desolation, dire and calamitous, and I might with truth add, the world, the flesh nor the Devil has been able to mar or blemish it. The tragedy of history fails to record anywhere upon its sublime pages anything comparable to it. All the time will be the millennium of their glory.

       The canopy of the South is studded with stars which shall grow brighter and brighter as the ages in their endless procession succeed each other.

        No nobler young men ever lived; no braver soldiers ever answered the bugle call nor marched under a battle flag.

         They fought, not for conquest, not for coercion, but from a high and holy sense of duty.  They were like the Knights of the Holy Grail, they served for the reward of serving, they suffered for the reward of suffering, they endured for the reward of enduring, they fought for the reward of duty done. They served, they suffered, they endured, they fought, [and died – crossed out] for their childhood homes, their firesides, the honor of their ancestors, their loved ones, their own native land.

          This noble gift of the United Daughters of the Confederacy touches deeply and tenderly the heart of every man who has the privilege of claiming the University of North Carolina as his Alma Mater. It is in harmony with the eternal fitness of things that the Old North State’s daughters of to-day should commemorate the heroism of the men and youths whom the mothers and sisters, the wives and sweethearts of half a century ago sent forth to battle for the South. As Niobe wept over her sons slain by Apollo, so the tears of our women were shed over the consummate sacrifice of their loved ones. And as the gods transformed Niobe into a marble statue, and set this upon a high mountain, as our native goddesses erect this monument of bronze to honor the valor of all those whom fought and died for the Sacred Cause, as well as for the living sons of this grand old University.

Next, Carr gave praise to the women of the South, the noble wives and mothers:

        The war between the states was fought, really, by the women who stayed at home. Had they uttered a cry, had they complained, the morale of Lee’s army would have been dissipated in a day…..

        God bless the noble women of my dear Southland, who are to-day as thoroughly convinced of the justice of that cause. They are the guardians of the sacred honor the departed; they will protect the memory of the hero’s spirit no less than preserve from desecration from the sand of his body.  Nothing in all the marvelous record can equal the fortitude, the constancy, the devotion of the women of the South……”

Being an alumnus of Chapel Hill, and one of those young men who enlisted and fought for the Confederacy, he reminded the audience of the enormous sacrifice born by his university:

        Of the students and alumni of the University of North Carolina, about 1800 entered the Confederate army, of whom 842 belonged to the generation of 1850-1862. The University had in the service 1 lieutenant-general, 4 major-generals, 13 brigadier-generals, 71 colonels, 30 lieutenant-colonels, 65 majors, 46 adjutants, 71 surgeons, 254 captains, 161 lieutenants, 38 non-commissioned officers and about 1000 privates.

        I regard it as eminently appropriate to refer briefly at his point to the magnificent showing made by our state in the military service of the Confederacy. North Carolina furnished 84 regiments, 16 battalions and 13 unattached companies, besides the companies and individuals serving in commands from other states, and 9 regiments of Home Guards. Losses on the battlefield and by disease indicate that her contribution to the Confederate army was somewhat more than 1 to 5, while here military population stood in the proportion of 1 to 9. The entire Confederate loss on the battlefield was 74,524, of which North Carolina’s share was 19,673, or more than one-fourth; 59, 297 died of disease, and of these, 20,602 were North Carolinians.

       And I dare to affirm this day, that if every State of the South had done what North Carolina did without a murmur, always faithful to its duty whatever the groans of the victims, there never would have been an Appomattox; Grant would have followed Meade and Pope; Burnside, Hooker, McDowell and McClellan, and the political geography of America would have been re-written.

And finally, he concluded by lamenting over the difference the soldiers made:

        It is not for us to question the decrees of Providence. Let us be grateful that our struggle, keeping alive the grand principle of local self-government and State sovereignty has thus far held the American people from that consolidated despotism whose name, whether Republic or Empire, is of but little importance as compared with its rule………….

       Why were the stars, in their unapproachable glory, set in the skies above us, if there is no hope? Why was the rainbow ever painted before our eyes, if there is no promise?

       There must be, there IS a land that is fairer than day, where the rainbow never fades, where stars never go down, where these longings of immortality shall leap like angels from the temple of our hearts, and bring us rest; where the good and true, who fall before us like Autumn leaves, shall forever stay in our presence. There, there, fellow comrades, is the Confederate soldier’s paradise, the Confederate soldier’s heaven of eternal rest.

       That for which they battled in memory of this monument is reared, as well as for the survivors of that bloody drama, was not achieved. But the cause for which they fought is not lost, never can be, never will be lost while it is enshrined in the hearts of the people of the South, especially the hearts of the dear, loyal, patriotic women, who, like so many Vestal Virgins (God’s name be praised), keep the fires lighted upon the Altars. Nay, as long as men anywhere pay tribute to the self-sacrificing spirit of a peoples’ ideal.

        Ah! never shall the land forget.

Unfortunately, in his long speech, Julian Carr included this most offensive comment:

        “I trust I may be pardoned for one allusion, howbeit it is rather personal. One hundred yards from where we stand, less than ninety days perhaps after my return from Appomattox, I horse-whipped a negro wench until her skirts hung in shreds, because upon the streets of this quiet village she had publicly insulted and maligned a Southern Lady, and then rushed for protection to these University buildings where was stationed a garrison of 100 Federal soldiers. I performed the pleasing duty in the immediate presence of the entire garrison, and for thirty nights afterwards slept with a double-barrel shot gun under my head.”

The protesters and the criminals who destroyed Silent Sam worked themselves into a frenzy over these few lines taken from a speech that was otherwise a wonderful and stirring testament and tribute to the young Tarheels who fought, to the university itself, and to the South in general. This racist comment was given after  Carr had gone into great deal acknowledging the sacrifice that Southern women made during the war. One can excuse him for defending the honor of a Southern lady, no doubt who had lost several family members in the fighting, but certainly not in the manner he chose and certainly not in the memory he chose to remember.

Nevertheless, one can criticize the comments and even criticize the speaker, who was merely one out of several that afternoon at the ceremony. But the monument is neutral and makes no such statement.

I compare the destruction of Silent Sam to a hypothetical scenario, and that involves Korean War opponents destroying my father’s gravestone just because he fought in that war. My father’s gravestone notes his service to the country, just like the Silent Sam monument. Destroying the Silent Sam monument would be like those protesters destroying my father’s gravestone because he fought in the Korean War, a war that they disagreed with, yet without actually knowing whether, on a personal level, he himself agreed or disagreed with our country’s involvement in that war.

The mob protested at Chapel Hill because they don’t like the side that the students fought for but not knowing whether those boys agreed with or disagreed with the war.  It’s not like the boys had a choice; there was a conscription law in place. Take a minute to look at the face of Silent Sam… so young. His whole life ahead of him yet Lincoln forced him into a war that should not have come and over issues he couldn’t possibly understand.

But the notion that all Southerners, all those who fought for the Confederacy, and all the individual Southern states left the Union for the express purpose of perpetuating slavery and perpetuating white supremacy is ludicrous, reckless, disingenuous, and contrary to the historical record. The movement simply wants to discredit the South, impugn its conservative leanings, and malign the memory of those who gave their last full measure. Simply put, it wants the South to be so disgraced that it has no choice but to sit quietly by as progressives erase its history and maintain its position that the South was comprised of evil white men and was an evil society and of course it was to blame for the war. Simply put, it wants to disgrace and shame the South into succumbing to liberal politics.

Real history supports the South.

The war was not about slavery and it was not about white supremacy.

Writing in December of 1861 in a London weekly publication, the famous English author, Charles Dickens, who was a strong opponent of slavery, said this about the war going on in America: “The Northern onslaught upon slavery is no more than a piece of specious humbug disguised to conceal its desire for economic control of the United States.”

Five years after the end of the War, prominent Northern abolitionist, attorney and legal scholar, Lysander Spooner commented on the disingenuous efforts of the North to re-characterize the war: “All these cries of having ‘abolished slavery,’ of having ‘saved the country,’ of having ‘preserved the Union,’ of establishing a ‘government of consent,’ and of ‘maintaining the national honor’ are all gross, shameless, transparent cheats—so transparent that they ought to deceive no one.”

A little-known fact is that President Woodrow Wilson wrote a multi-volume history series titled History of the American People. In it, he offered this explanation as to why the issue of slavery was so exaggerated during and after the war: “It was necessary to put the South at a moral disadvantage by transforming the contest from a war waged against states fighting for their independence into a war waged against states fighting for the maintenance and extension of slavery.”

Jay Schalin of the James G. Martin Center wrote, in a recent (Aug. 22) article:

      “Silent Sam, the statue of a weary, stoic Confederate Army foot soldier, came crashing down Monday night, pulled down from his post at the edge of the UNC-Chapel Hill campus by a mob of protesters. But a lot more fell than a Progressive-era statue of a Confederate soldier. Another brick in the wall that separates civilization and barbarism was dislodged. Another small part of the social contract that calls on us to settle our differences through dialogue and consensus disappeared. Another thin thread in the rule of law was severed.

       Even those who feel that Silent Sam was a symbol of racism—as did the mob—should be concerned about his rough treatment. Whether you believe that Sam represented white supremacy, the dignity of the common soldier, or simply the historical record of the state and campus, he now represents the defense of civil society and rule of law. And his rude descent from his perch was an assault on that civility.”

North Carolina has more than 200 Civil War memorials, statues and markers, according to Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina, a project of the UNC-Chapel Hill Library. Most of the 54 statues and 20 memorials honor Confederates. Each of those monuments and memorials gives us an opportunity to learn about the state’s history and to have a dialogue about how that history played out. Each monument is a learning opportunity. And I suggest, strongly, that we need to take advantage of every learning opportunity because education about our state’s history is abysmal.  I had one lady who told me she’s lived in the state for over 30 years and had no idea of the circumstances under which North Carolina seceded and joined the Confederacy. I had a couple just the other night whom I dined with who told me that they moved to NC 13 years ago and assumed she seceded over slavery; that’s what she was always taught. I’ve spoken with many, many people, including elderly folks, who were born in the state and lived here all their lives and they also have been misled about its history.

The victorious North has succeeded in teaching history as it wanted it to be taught. That’s what victors do, right? They have the luxury of telling their version of history – the history that exonerates their cause, and all their evil schemes and crimes, and transfers blame for the war to the vanquished. And that’s why everyone believes that the North perpetrated the war to free the slaves and to save the Union (the heroes!) while the South started the war to protect its right to own slaves and to maintain its white supremist society (the villains!). Yet nothing could be farther from the truth, as I’ll explain later.

In 2015, the NC General Assembly passed a bill protecting the state’s historic monuments and memorials (“objects of remembrance”). See Senate Bill 22 (S22, which amended NC Statues, § 100 (“Statues, Protection of Monuments, Memorials, Works of Art”).  The bill outlines procedures for removing monuments deemed to commemorate “an event, person or military service that is part of North Carolina’s history” and provides that only an act of the General Assembly would permit the removal of such a monument. Several Democrats wanted the monuments to be removed or destroyed and some wanted local authorities to have the authority to decide for themselves. For example, Democratic Rep. Cecil Brockman of High Point argued that Confederate soldiers “were traitors to this country, and they don’t deserve the same respect as those who fought in other wars.”

Tell that to the families who lost their relatives to a war that Lincoln forced on the state.

In signing the bill, Governor McCrory commented: “I remain committed to ensuring that our past, present and future state monuments tell the complete story of North Carolina.”  He believed this was an important and urgent goal, one that needed to be addressed in the growing climate of wonton destruction of all things confederate and the removal and maligning of the name of any person of historical significance who once owned slaves or spoke in favor of the institution of slavery.

Of course, Democratic Governor Roy Cooper wants the statues to come down and wants the bill repealed. (Maybe that’s why, when the statues were desecrated and toppled at the old Durham courthouse and now at Chapel Hill, law enforcement was instructed to stand down and allow the malicious destruction).

When it comes to the Confederacy, the Civil War, and Abraham Lincoln, the general public is in desperate need of education. And apparently, so are many members of our state General Assembly. To try to shut down discussions that our historical monuments inspire, to take them down and deny people the opportunity to learn an authentic piece of our state’s history, to misrepresent why North Carolina seceded, to condemn the entire existence and plight of the Confederacy simply because of its acceptance of slavery, and to attribute only horrible motives to the southern states in their decision to separate from the federal government is to prove one’s lack of education.

John M. Taylor, author of Union At All Costs: From Confederation to Consolidation, wrote:

        “There is no mystery why lovers of big government strongly loathe the Confederacy and worship Lincoln. The Confederate soldier represents the last true defense of consensual constitutional government, and they were the last real threat to the omnipotent leviathan state. In the Confederate soldier, tyranny saw its most prominent and most dangerous enemy, and the supporters of modern-day Big Brotherism recognize that. They still fear him, and with good reason, because he strikes at them from beyond the grave. He does this through his blood, which still flows through the veins of tens of millions of his descendants.”

The consolidation of all government in Washington DC, resulting from the total subjugation of the States, will not be complete until all reminders of the Confederacy and her defense of self-government and self-determination are removed and/or destroyed and history is completely re-written and the past erased and forgotten. The progressives are using the useless idiots to help this “progress.” Useless idiots willingly drink political kool-aid. They are the ones who are most easily manipulated, the ones unable to think for themselves, the ones incapable of intellectually confronting an opposing viewpoint, the ones who see injustice and victimhood everywhere, the ones who think the most important characteristic about a person is the color of their skin, the ones who are weak of character, and the ones who have no clue whatsoever what free speech really means.  And so they resort to thug-like tactics, screaming, threats, foul and otherwise offensive language, wonton destruction, looting, and public disturbances.

Again, for over a hundred years, monuments and memorials had nothing to fear from people. People used to be mature. People knew that when it came to the Civil War and that era, there are two sides of the story.

Society has certain “progressed,” wouldn’t you say?

CONFEDERATE MONUMENT - Pitt County Courthouse

I took this pic of the monument at the Pitt County courthouse dedicated to her Confederate soldiers who died fighting in Lincoln’s war of aggression. “Theirs was not to make reply or to reason why, but only to do and die.” Let that sink in. For those who, through sheer ignorance and disrespect, destroy and otherwise mark up and ruin confederate statues, they need to be forced to learn the true history of the inappropriately-termed “civil war.” For those who don’t know, a “civil war” refers to a war between groups in the same country who are fighting over control of the common government. By this very definition, the war between the states cannot technically or truthfully be called the “Civil War.”  First of all, the South seceded and legally formed a separate country, and secondly, it wanted nothing to do with the federal government. In fact, in the states’ individual ordinances of secession, they made it clear that the government had become their enemy, had encouraged and instigated violence against them, had sought to put the interests of the North far above theirs, and had intentionally and discriminately used the sole revenue option (tariffs, duties and posts) as a means to plunder their wealth, and consequently, they wanted to break all bonds with the government of the United States.

It was not a civil war, therefore, but technically, a war of aggression. The North sought to militarily and violently, force the southern states back into the Union. In 1865, at Appomattox, the Union ceased to be a voluntary union of states but rather one of coercion and subjugation.

North Carolina’s history when it comes to the years 1860-1865 is one of honor and loyalty to principle.

It cannot be emphasized enough that North Carolina did NOT want to secede. She had great affection and loyalty to the Union, despite all the efforts the North took to tax her and the other southern states discriminately and punishingly and to frustrate and harm her interests. In fact, she would be the last state to secede.

Her intention was to remain in the Union. As seven Southern states seceded after the election of Abraham Lincoln and prior to his inauguration [SC – 12/24/1860; Miss – 1/9/1860; FL – 1/10; AL – 1/11; GA – 1/19; and LA – 1/26], North Carolina remained loyal to the Union. In fact, she refused to even consider secession. On February 28, 1861, North Carolinian voters decided against convening a convention to consider secession by a vote of 47,322 to 46,672. That’s how strongly they wished to remain a part of the Union, EVEN as hostilities grew against the south and against its institution of slavery, and even as sentiment was growing and getting more heated for its abolition.

On March 4, Lincoln was inaugurated as the 16th president of the United States, and on March 11, the Confederate Constitution was adopted, officially signaling to the North and to the world that a new and independent country, the Confederate States of America, was established.

But everything changed when Lincoln began to consider the consequences of the loss of the Southern and Gulf states to the United States, the North (and western territories), and to the federal government and its ability to govern effectively. In order to preserve the power of federal government and maintain the wealth and prosperity of the industrial North, Lincoln decided that the states would need to be forced back into the Union. But under what circumstances could he do that?

And thus, Lincoln devised the scheme which would force South Carolina to fire shots at Fort Sumter thereby giving him the moral justification to invade the South and start the war. The Fort was attacked on April 12 and on April 13, Union commander, Major Robert Anderson, raised a white flag of surrender to Confederate Brig. Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard.

On April 14, Lincoln demanded troops, including from North Carolina, for his invasion. It was only then that North Carolina found reason to separate from the government of Abraham Lincoln.

The reason, the real reason, North Carolina seceded was because Abraham Lincoln, thru his War Secretary, Simon Cameron, demanded that North Carolina send its share of 75,000 troops to “put down the rebellion” (ie, to invade the South and wage war against her). The Governor of NC, John Ellis, refusing to believe the US Constitution authorizes the government to force one state to take up arms against another, replied on April 15: “I regard the levy of troops made by the administration as a usurpation of authority.  I can be no party to this wicked violation of the laws of the country and to the war upon the liberties of a free people. You can get no troops from North Carolina.”

The next month, the state called a convention to consider secession and this time, on May 20, 1861, the people of the state voted to approve an Ordinance of Secession from the United States.

So, the REAL history of North Carolina and the Civil War (more aptly, the War of Northern Aggression or the War to Prevent Southern Independence), is that she seceded ONLY when Lincoln gave her the ultimatum: If she was to remain in the Union, she would need to pick up arms and wage war against her neighbors, the states she was close to and the ones she had far more in common with than any in the North. North Carolina seceded over principle. She seceded over the proper construction of the US Constitution and the authority it granted to each of the branches of government in DC and especially as that power with respect to the sovereignty of each individual state. She did NOT understand the Constitution (nor would she have ever ratified it) to have the power to force or coerce one state to wage war or engage in violence against another state, and MOST especially, to do so for the government’s bidding, to further its ambitious agenda, or to consolidate power in the federal government).

She did NOT secede over slavery, she did NOT secede over any white supremacy agenda, she did NOT secede to further any oppression against black persons…….  She seceded on principle. She seceded in support of the greatest government principle of all — the federal government was created for only limited purposes and when a government exceeds its delegated authority, it becomes tyrannical and ambitious and the people – ANY people – when they so decide, have the natural right to alter or abolish that government and establish a new one that suits them better.

Once North Carolina made the decision to dissolve its political bond to the government of the United States and join her Southern neighbors in the Confederacy, the monument in front of the Pitt County Courthouse is correct – NC soldiers had no opportunity to reason why or make any other reply other than to fight and defend their honor and their principles, including that government cannot demand that States remain in a Union that violates their rights or no longer serves their interest or demand that they wage war against each other for subjugation. North Carolina — we need to remain proud of her. And schools, teachers, and parents NEED to teach our history correctly so that mental midgets and ignoranuses stop tearing down monuments to that history and that struggle.

North Carolina provided more men (133, 905) for the Confederate cause than any other state.  This number comprised approximately one-sixth of the Confederate fighting force. Put another way, every sixth Confederate soldier who lie dead on the battlefield was a North Carolinian.  At the infamous battle of Gettysburg (July 1-3, 1863), North Carolina provided thirty-two regimens. A large statue was erected in her honor, which reads:

To the eternal glory of the North Carolina

soldiers. Who on this battlefield displayed

heroism unsurpassed sacrificing all in support

of their cause. Their valorous deeds will be

enshrined in the hearts of men long after

these transient memorials have crumbled into

dust.

 

Thirty two North Carolina regiments were in

action at Gettysburg July 1,2,3, 1863.  One

Confederate soldier in every four who fell here

was a North Carolinian.

Of the total number of men North Carolina sent to defend her principles and to support the Confederate cause in general, for independence, one sixth (approximately 20,000) became casualties of war.  Disease took another 20,000 lives. According to historian Paul Escott, the state “had only about one-ninth of the Confederacy’s white population,” yet “it furnished one-sixth of its fighting men.”  In sum, 30 % (approximately 40,000) of those fighting for the Confederacy died during the war.

North Carolina provided numerous generals to the Confederate cause as well.  The most famous include Braxton Bragg, Daniel H. Hill, William Dorsey Pender, Stephen Dodson Ramseur, Robert F. Hoke, and James J. Pettigrew. Less famous yet important generals included L.O.B. Branch and Bryan Grimes.

The university Board of Governors promises that Silent Sam will be restored to its original place on Chapel Hill’s campus within about two and a half months. North Carolina law mandates that a historical monument that is removed from its location must be returned within 90 days.  Meanwhile, police are making some arrests and stating that more arrests could be forthcoming. The Board is visibly outraged at the conduct of campus police, who took orders to stand down and allowed protesters to topple the statue without resistance.

Ben “Cooter” Jones, from the TV show Dukes of Hazzard and an alumnus of Chapel Hill, wrote this about the toppling of Silent Sam:

       “Our South is a land of many secrets and many truths. The radical trash who tore down Silent Sam and those academic idiots who enable them are not worthy to walk on the same ground as Gabriel Jacobs [Jones’ great great Uncle Gabriel Jacobs who died in pursuit of northern General McClellan]. Silent Sam will rise again, and we, not they, shall overcome.”

 

References:

Sam Jones, “Silent Sam and Me,” Abbeville Institute, August 22, 2018.  Referenced at:  https://www.abbevilleinstitute.org/blog/silent-sam-and-me/?mc_cid=7e8e1f035b&mc_eid=3c62e340ff

UNC- Chapel Hill Graduate School – Landmarks (“Silent Sam”) –  https://gradschool.unc.edu/funding/gradschool/weiss/interesting_place/landmarks/sam.html

Reverend Mark Creech, “Why the Issue of Confederate Memorials is of Significant Consequence,” Christian Action League, Aug. 24, 2018.  Referenced at:    https://christianactionleague.org/news/why-the-issue-of-confederate-memorials-is-of-significant-consequence/

Ben Jones, “Silent Sam and Me,” Abbeville Institute, August 22, 2018.  Referenced at:  https://www.abbevilleinstitute.org/blog/silent-sam-and-me/?mc_cid=7e8e1f035b&mc_eid=3c62e340ff

Leonard M. Scruggs, “Remembering Robert E. Lee: Measuring True Greatness,” The Tribune Papers, January 18, 2018.  Referenced at:  http://www.thetribunepapers.com/2018/01/18/remembering-robert-e-lee-measuring-true-greatness/

Jay Schalin, “Silent Sam’s Last Stand,” James G. Martin Center, August 22, 2018.  Referenced at:  https://www.jamesgmartin.center/2018/08/silent-sams-last-stand/?gclid=CjwKCAjwtvnbBRA5EiwAcRvnpqE764rb-WBb-DQoo-1SeQsjQFHU0JI2tvPeUqzFnKH5PFS73xFO6hoCdoQQAvD_BwE

Patricia Howley, “Silent Sam Destroyers Identified As The Antifa Leaders From Charlottesville,” Big League Politics, August 27, 2018.  Referenced at:  https://bigleaguepolitics.com/silent-sam-destroyers-identified-as-the-antifa-leaders-from-charlottesville/

Julian Carr’s Speech at the Dedication of Silent Sam at Chapel Hill, June 2, 1913 –  http://hgreen.people.ua.edu/transcription-carr-speech.html

Civil War, Day By Day (UNC- Chapel Hill Library) –  April 15, NC Governor John Ellis’ Response to War Secretary Simon Cameron Request for Troops for Lincoln’s Invasion of the South –  https://blogs.lib.unc.edu/civilwar/index.php/2011/04/15/15-april-1861-telegram-exchange-between-n-c-governor-john-ellis-and-u-s-secretary-of-war-simon-Cameron/

Diane Rufino, “To The Protesters of North Carolina’s State Monuments and the Agitators Regarding the State History: The Most Effective Means of Protesting is to MOVE OUT & STAY OUT of NORTH CAROLINA!,” ‘For Love of God and Country’ Blog, Aug. 28, 2018.  Referenced at:  https://forloveofgodandcountry.com/2018/08/28/to-the-protesters-of-north-carolinas-state-monuments-and-the-agitators-regarding-the-state-history-the-most-effective-means-of-protesting-is-to-move-out-stay-out-of-north-carolina/

 

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