The Confederacy Must Be Destroyed

The Confederacy Must Be Destroyed

Ku Klux Klan Founder Nathan Bedford Forrest

Imagine if German politicians, in order to bolster their chances of being elected chancellor, had to declare publicly that they could see nothing wrong with flying the swastika, Germany’s flag during the “War of British Aggression”.

Imagine if U.S.-born Jihadists seized WMD and killed 300,000 New Yorkers. But instead of executing the insurrection leaders after their capture, the government dedicated highways and holidays in their honor.

Welcome to the former states of the Confederacy, where Neo-Confederates will assault anyone who publicly opposes them, including that person’s family and employers.

In 2002, I criticized a taxpayer-funded statue of Nathan Forrest, the founder of the Ku Klux Klan, that neo-Confederates had recently erected in Tennessee. The response? “I hope you are killed in the most violent, bloody way possible….” “I hope someone rapes and kills your White, race-traitor wife and/or girlfriend as well.” “…it is the niggers that should have been exterminated during the American Civil War. had that occurred, this nation would be a far greater and a nigger-Marxist free land.” A few dozen love letters like that, and about 800 slightly friendlier ones. Then it got bad.

I fled Tennessee, abandoning my job at Vanderbilt University.

Even talking about the tactics neo-Confederates employ, and their “thinly veiled support for white supremacy,” can bring down a hailstorm, as Princeton University historian James McPherson discovered when he made the above-quoted statement in 1999; after receiving angry mail, McPherson backpedaled, saying he should have “been thinking more carefully”.

In 2009 Arthur Dowdell, an Auburn, Alabama city councilman, removed four tiny, freshly planted Confederate flags littering a graveyard, and received “hundreds, if not thousands, of emails,” including “threats to burn crosses in his yard and to kill him and his family”. The city council threatened Dowdell with censure, removal and arrest. Dowdell apologized.

In 2002, Wallace Earl Cook threatened to “cut [the] heart out” of Vanderbilt University’s chancellor, Gordon Gee, because Gee tried to remove the word “Confederate” from the name of a dormitory. Henry Maston wrote that he hoped Gee would be “killed by the same worthless [racial slur] that kills Farley.” Gee eventually changed his tune from “Yankee Doodle” to “Dixie,” abandoning the attempt to change the dorm’s name, trying to placate the people who attacked him by calling them “old friends,” and having his spokesman, Michael Schoenfeld, say that my criticism of the Klan founder was “rightly offensive to, and rejected by, most people.” Terrorism works.

And don’t think African-American organizations will protect you: Fears of rough rope and the lash’s sting still paralyze them, although they won’t admit it. NAACP president Ben Jealous explained that chairman Julian Bond probably felt that I had “asked for” the Klan-supporter attack and so deserved no help. Jealous’s wife, Lia Epperson-Jealous, merely put me in touch with a lawyer she knew from the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, who did nothing. When I discussed how Tommie Morton-Young of the Nashville NAACP had failed to help me, Morton-Young libeled me.

The Vanderbilt Black Student Alliance did “announce that we support everything that Dr. Jonathan Farley wrote about the Confederacy,” but then someone wrote its president, Nia Toomer: “ignorant nigger whore. Go and see the movie ‘Gangs of New York’. ….Niggers are lynched and burned.” No black students, alumni, or faculty spoke up again.

Nor are liberals a match for neo-Confederates. The Southern Poverty Law Center’s Mark Potok wrote that my calling Forrest a treasonous war criminal “really was pretty harsh”. “That’s a debate I want no part of,” agreed Green Party national media coordinator Scott McLarty, “and I’m angry at Jonathan for potentially igniting it.” Ed Sebesta, currently finishing a book about Vanderbilt’s “Confederate” dorm, concluded, “The abandonment of…Jonathan Farley to the Neo-Confederate wolves…reveals the Green Party to be the white party after all.”

Neo-Confederates, by contrast, wield, or influence those in, power. Even Obama cowers. When Brit Hume mentioned me on Fox News Television, I recall getting 200 hate messages. Barrett Brown, in his new book, Hot, Fat, and Clouded, details how Washington Times editor Robert Stacy McCain targeted me. Rachel Maddow has called McCain a “white supremacist”; far from being ostracized, McCain recently interviewed the husband of Sarah Palin. Bill Clinton, as president, honored the United Daughters of the Confederacy, a group that made KKK postcards, that recommends books praising the KKK, and that asked “whether emancipation…has introduced evils…more terrible than slavery.” Paul Craig Roberts, Reagan’s Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, accused me of committing a “hate crime”. As The Nation reported in “Trent Lott’s Uptown Klan,” the former Republican Senate Majority Leader was an “honorary member” of the Council of Conservative Citizens, even taking photos with its head, Gordon Baum, in Lott’s office. The CCC urged its members to “gather a mob” to get me, with Baum vilifying me on national radio.

The way to fight neo-Confederate Klan supporters is to return their fire: Take anyone who publicly supports the Confederacy, create websites with his contact information, conduct denial-of-service attacks on his sites, and barrage his employer and associates with emails, calls, and faxes. A Sons of Confederate Veterans newsletter listing Lunelle Siegel as editor says that Forrest “helped start the organization known as the KKK…to offset the oppression of the Southern people.” On the Sierra Times website, Siegel said the “KKK was created to protect women and children,” and provided contact information for the chairman of my department at Vanderbilt University: neo-Confederates were urging Vanderbilt to fire me. In letters to the editor, someone responded, “[Farley’s] words inflamed me such that I wanted to put a minie [bullet] down the barrel of my Enfield [rifle], hunt him down, and shoot him like the dog he is.” Yet Siegel and the other terrorists feel safe, and have jobs.

Jonathan David FarleySo let’s continue Sherman’s march into cyberspace, till they don’t. Only then can we exorcise the ghosts of monsters who raped women, murdered children, and executed prisoners of war.

Cleanse America of the Confederate putrefaction. The Confederacy must be destroyed.

Note: Professor Farley unsuccessfully petitioned America’s first black president not to honor Confederate veterans.

Jonathan David Farley

The BlackCommentator


  1. Diane says

    I agree with the writer who reminds us of the devastation caused by Sherman’s total war on the South. I understand that many who fought (and many died) under the Stars and Bars were protecting their homes and families and I feel the pain of their horror and loss and how people today remain acutely aware of burned cities and towns and homes. But for these reasons, I don’t believe the flag has ever truly represented honor and sacrifice and proud tradition. I would ask white Southerners to consider whether the flag keeps open a painful psychological wound that continues to remind them of defeat and destruction and humiliation. Humiliation festers and breeds resentment and rage–especially in young white men who feel disrespected or dispossessed. I ask white Southerners to consider giving up that flag in order to protect the emotional health of their sons, and in that way, protect all of us.

  2. Hernandez says

    I guess that we will have to renamed half the counties in the South as well as the Military Bases i.e. Fort Hood, Fort Bragg, Fort Polk. Did you even know that Gen Forrest freed his slave before the end of the war but Gen Grant kept his slaves until the bitter end. Did you know that Blacks, Hispanics, Jews and American Indians fought for the Confederacy. We are not all racist and to paint us so, you show yourself to be racist.

  3. Shane Hand says

    Dr. Farley’s well-written article rests in a sound and valid understanding of U.S. History. Indeed, the Civil War was intimately intertwined with the South’s economic dependence on slave-labor; one need to look no further than the Secession documents published by each state, which explains their rational for “dis-union.” Furthermore, Southern Heritage as Confederate Heritage is a tradition of white superiority and privilege founded on black inferiority. Even more, the idea of a solid, unified, or Confederate South “is of questionable value to the historian… the solidarity of the region has long been exaggerated” (C. Vann Woodward, “Origins of the New South). A Confederate South is an a-historical term in that the culture of Confederate Heritage was created following the Civil War. In other words, it is a false construction or mis-remembering, and it is not an historical reality. Confederate Heritage and its memorialization in public spaces stems from what another historian, Eugene D. Genovese, called the “blistering white trauma of Emancipation” (“Roll Jordan Roll”). It’s a culture of hate that’s rooted in bitterness, and it still yields fruit today, which is evident from a brief reading of the comments to Dr. Farley’s article.

    Indeed, The Confederacy should be destroyed.

  4. Proudly fly the Stars and Bars says

    I urge you not to allow hatred and northern lies cloud your judgement. I proudly fly the Stars and Bars. It represents my heritage, and my family history, of which I refuse to be ashamed. You would have me sit and speak nothing but spite of my ancestors, and i won’t. This does not stop me from being tolerant. I have no wish whatsoever to see slavery reinstated.

  5. GeorgeMcMillan says

    Imagine that (for example) one cynologist wanna leave cynologic society for some reason. And instead of another members let him leave, they grab baseball bats and beat him into submission and force him to stay in. And this is not all, moreover they will require he must be willingly obedient to them. Guess, black filbert, will he love them or hate?

  6. Veritas says

    Just another affirmative action loser. Cheer up all the academic types will probably want to give you some cheesey metrosexual pprize.

  7. HypeandFail says

    Dr. Farley, I respectfully disagree. Certainly you have been the recipient of your own share of vituperative hate from the idiots among us; I have also received my share from their brothers and sisters on the Libtard Left. However, your essay shows a skewed, incomplete understanding of the history of the time and the events since the Late Unpleasantness, which fatally weakens your arguments as to why the history of the South’s attempts to separate from the North should be expunged from our minds and records.

    I would recommend Lerone Bennett’s “Forced Into Glory: Abraham Lincoln’s White Dream” as a good starting place for further research into the truth of the era. Written by a former editor of Ebony magazine, it details Lincoln’s own racism, and how the legacy of his vision lingered on in the tragedies of Reconstruction and Jim Crowe.

    You do, of course, have the right to your opinion, and to express same; the First Amendment guarantees it. I also have the same rights, and the same guarantees vis a vis their expression. However, I would point out that while I am willing to fight for your right of expression, you seem to be unwilling to extend the same courtesy to me. Should I choose to establish a web site that discussed how my great grand-uncle died in a Yankee prison camp in Ohio, would not a denial of service attack-such as you suggest-be such a means of limiting my freedom of expression? Would my suggesting that similar attacks against any Black Power site be excusable? (Certainly not!) Concerns about actionable criminal conspiracy and complicity aside, it would be not only morally, but Constitutionally, wrong.

    I urge you to consider, as Cromwell wrote, “in the bowels of Christ, that you may be mistaken” in your thesis. Until then, responding to your critics with essays such as this only proves to them that they did, indeed, succeed in getting under your skin. To them, that counts as a ‘win’…and you just gave it to them by stooping to their level.

  8. says

    General Forrest also disbanded the KKK when he learned that it was being used as a racist tool against the blacks but the re-writers of history will never let the story end as it actually did, writing fairy tails in place of truth!!!

  9. says

    What tripe. I don’t believe you, Farley. To the extent that these anecdotes are true, I suspect you’ve highly embellished them.

    It is a historical fact that Forrest didn’t *found* the KKK. He was likely elected to its leadership in absentia. There’s no historical documentation what-so-freakin’-ever that he owned any KKK paraphernalia (hoodz’n’robez) or “rode with” them. What he did as leader of the KKK was GIVE ORDERS TO DISBAND IT.

    You’re an academic, right? A mathematician. Do you not know how it looks for someone with your education to say that something must be destroyed that hasn’t existed in A HUNDRED AND FORTY EIGHT YEARS?

    Stick with arithmetic. Leave history and heritage alone. You don’t know how to do them.

  10. says

    So let’s continue Sherman’s march into cyberspace, till they don’t. Only then can we exorcise the ghosts of monsters who raped women, murdered children, and executed prisoners of war. Funny thing is that the union and sherman did all this to the south (free and slave alike) , if sherman said he was guilty of war crimes but if you want a war….

  11. belcher123 says

    The author is obviously ignorant of history or so deifies the Northern side of the issue that he fails to see the gross hypocricy of his attitude and logic.

    Maybe he should rent ” gangs of new york ” and see what happened to blacks in New York City, 1863. The generalization he uses on whites, southerners and confederates would be shocking and a hate crime if the same generalization was used on minorities.
    By the way, only 10-20% of America are OK with the confederacy/confederate flag( a minority). I think its time that the pro-confederate bunch are afforded the same brown-nosing as other minorities.

  12. belcher123 says

    obviously the author of this article is just as much filled with hate and putrefication as the people he criticizes. What a hypocrite. I guess its ok for him so spout such an intolerant attitude because he feels justified.

  13. Tyrannus Evisceratus says

    Wait did you just do a call to arms to encourage people to conduct Denial of Service attacks against people you disagree with.
    I am pretty sure that that is a serious crime.

  14. Greg in NC says

    Apparently you don’t realize that the civil war wasn’t fought to end slavery, rather that was just an unintentional by product. Lincoln freed the slaves because he hoped they’d rise up and the south would have to fight 2 wars at once. He said himself “I would gladly see slavery in all states, if it would preserve the union” of course the war wasn’t about slavery so it wouldn’t have made a difference. An interesting fact is that Robert E. Lee freed all his slaves at the beginning of the Civil War while Ulysses S. Grant didn’t free his till several months after the war ended. Keep in mind when a reporter asked him a question about fighting to free the slaves he responded “If I believed I was fighting to free the slaves, I would lay down my arms and fight for the Confederacy”. The reason Grant was able to keep his slaves as long as he did was because Washington D.C. was considered exempt from U.S. law until the radification of the 14th amendment which brought it under U.S. jurisdiction. Its kind of funny if you think about it, the northern capitol had slavery not only after the Emancipation Proclaimation, but even after the end of the war. Its hard to accept that the U.S. government was fighting a war to end slavery when they had it in their own capitol city and didn’t bother to abolish it there.

  15. frankbunc says

    I am the great grandson of two men who fought in the War to Free the Slaves — both of whom owned slaves–and they were flat out wrong! One died at Richmond and the other was wounded terribly. My family was greatly subsidized from 1740 to 1865 by the lives and sweat of African Americans–as chattel, and then later my family worked hard, after the War, to subjugate the freed African Americans, making them less than humans in a violent, vicious, poisonous aparteid which lasted until the 1970s, and to some extent even since then. I have every right to belong to the Sons of the Confederacy and United Daughters of the Confederacy — I choose not to do so. I do not want to rewrite history, I only want the truth told clearly and concisely–it is long overdue. I strongly urge those who want to rewrite history on the 150th anniversity of the War to turn their backs on the BIG LIES told by the proponents of ignoring slavery in this anniversary.

    The War was about nothing but slavery as witnessed by the many speeches given in 1860 and 1861 by emmissaries from the various southern slave states to one another and to Richmond. Loss of slaves in to the South, approved sanctimoniously by churches in the South, in the 1860s would and did finally devastate the economy of the South. Mr. Farley does a major service to remind us of the violent threats from people who hide behind anonmity and vicicous vitriol, cowards one and all. I do not expect they will ever understand, and if given the chance, they will kill their fellow citizens in larger numbers than anyone suspects. To make things worse, the Democratic Party of the period 1865 to 1979 promoted vile, crass and open racism — until the Repubicans took over that role in the Nixon Southern Strategy, adopted from George Wallace of Alabama, turning their backs on Linoln. The War cost the US, north and south, well from 600,000 to 1 million people dead and/or wounded for life. The question was resolved! Let the big lie about the glorious and noble South die the death it has well deserved.

    • terrym says

      Both of your great grandfathers must be especially proud of you, considering you obviously bought into all the lies being espoused by liberal educators. You are correct on one point….. that the war cost from 600,000 to 1 million people dead and/or wounded for life. Perhaps you can address where in the Constitution the right of secession was prohibited to the sovereign states, and why Lincoln incited a needless war.

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