Another battle in America’s Civil War is being fought today in Charlotteville, Virginia. The War began in 1862 and formally ended in 1865. Spiritually and emotionally, the War has never ended. Today’s ruckus in Charlottesville is just one more battle along the way.
Oddly, the issues have remained constant over the 155 years since the War began. Slavery and States’ Rights, both thoroughly entangled with one another, were the issues then, while racism and States’ Rights are the issues now.
The South — and racists living anywhere in our country — have never accepted the loss of the War because that loss was a repudiation of all they stood for and stand for. They cannot see that slavery was a severe moral corruption which has continued to be a crippling moral blight on our people to this day.
The South’s entire economy was deeply dependent upon the cheap labor provided by slavery. And the majority of Southerners valued the economy more than such ephemeral moral imperatives such as freedom, equality, and justice.
There is an important lesson for us in all this, of course. In fact, there are many. One of the most important of which is that the greatest, deepest, most essential values are very fragile and can be violated easily. Therefore, they must be cherished and guarded diligently and firmly.
Unfortunately, racism has become embedded in the Republican Party of our day, led by our vaguely Republican president, who has been a great encouragement to White Supremacists.