Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Painful Reality of the Truth

Go read this post by Ta-Nehisi Coates. It is simply some of the best writing I’ve read online in quite some time.

It is one thing to be judged immoral. But to be judged immoral and backward, at the same time, to be both debauched, and yet in your debauchery, still be a loser, is deeply painful. It was not bad enought that my people had been enslaved, but the fact that we were first enslaved by people who looked like me robbed us of any moral high ground.

The South long evaded that painful reality, and when confronted with it, simply lied. Thus pre-War Jefferson Davis is arguing that the fight is over slavery and white Supremacy. Post-war he’s claiming it was about the sovereignty of states. To this day, 150 years later, you find people parroting this lie. Nathan Bedford Forrest (pictured above) is beautiful. Again, dig those steely eyes, that dead serious countenance, the warrior’s beard. His story is American—the dirt poor son of a blacksmith who becomes a millionaire. But he’s noble too, and volunteers to fight for his home state of glorious Tennessee. With no military training, he rises to the rank of Lieutenant General, giving the Union hell the whole time.

It really is worth reading the entire post.

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