Yesterday I had one of those "moments" in which one sees rather clearly a great issue which is seldom addressed by those who defend the South and her heritage. As I was speaking to one of the ladies at my club, she opined that had the South prevailed in the "Civil War" (sic), slavery would still exist! Of course, I did the best to counter this, especially noting that it was the South who had — before the rise of radical abolitionism in the North — a preponderance of emancipation groups, the North either being uninterested in the matter or preferring the profit it gained from the Triangle trade. I also pointed out the nature of that trade and which section of the country ran it.
But, as you all know too well, any response to such a complex subject often loses its force simply because it is itself too complex for the person you are trying to inform to grasp. Then I remembered a movie from years ago about what would have happened had the South won its war. I believe that a "promo shot" showed astronauts landing on the moon and placing on that body (of all things!) the battle flag! In that film, naturally, slavery was still around as a sort of skeleton at the banquet.
We MUST counter and defeat the idea not just that slavery was the reason for the war, but that had the South won the war, slavery would still be with us. And while it is very useful to show the anti-black bias of the North (the idea of the honorable and Christian Yankee going to war to free his black brothers is not only wrong but somewhat nauseating!) what we need to do is concentrate on the South's efforts to end slavery while making such plans as would be needed to transition blacks from servitude to freedom. It is obvious that had emancipation been permitted to proceed in the South, our present race relations would be far different than they are at present — something else that testifies on our behalf.
As long as the idea that slavery would have remained had the South triumphed, we will make little headway in our efforts to bring to light the crimes committed against the people of the South and what that all means for us today. There is an underlying attitude among those who take any interest at all in this subject (and who are not with us) that whatever was inflicted on the South was deserved not only because slavery existed there but because it would have continued to exist had not the North won the war.