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Political Correctness Is Ignorance

In my book, The Elements of Academic Success, How to Graduate Magna Cum Laude from College (or how to just graduate, PERIOD!), Chapter VIII, Papers and Writing, has a lot of helpful information for students and adults. I include a warning, mid-chapter, on the horrible effect of political correctness on history.

257. You can not possibly understand history by using today's standards to judge the past.

You HAVE to look at the past the way the people who lived in the past looked at it. That's how you understand the past.

258. Political correctness is ignorance and leads to a total lack of historical understanding.

You can't define the past by snippets of acceptable history here and there.

For example, the South gets beat up all the time for slavery but most slave traders were New Englanders who made huge fortunes in the process. An argument can be made that the entire infrastructure of the Old North was built on profits from slave traders such as Boston's Peter Faneuil of Faneuil Hall fame. That's why most Northerners had NO problem with slavery. Less than 5% were abolitionists, and ironically, many abolitionists didn't like slavery because they didn't like blacks and did not want to associate with them.

One such person was Rep. David Wilmot, Democrat from Pennsylvania. Wilmot sponsored the Wilmot Proviso to keep slavery out of the West, though his real goal was to keep blacks out of the West, and he admitted it. Abraham Lincoln also said, in the Lincoln-Douglas Debates, that he wanted the West reserved for white people from all over the earth. No blacks allowed.

While many say that slavery was the cause of the War Between the States, Abraham Lincoln said it was not. Before the war, Lincoln favored the first 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the Corwin Amendment, which would have left black people in slavery FOREVER, even beyond the reach of Congress, where slavery already existed. That amendment passed in the Northern Congress after Southerners seceded, and was ratified by some Northern States before the war began and made it moot.

There are breaths of fresh air here and there such as the 2005 book Complicity, How the North Promoted, Prolonged, and Profited from Slavery, by Anne Farrow, Joel Lang, and Jenifer Frank of The Hartford Courant.

History is always more complex than the self-moralizing, politically correct want you to believe.

259. Southern history as it is taught today is a "cultural and political atrocity," and students are being cheated.

Esteemed historian, Eugene D. Genovese, who passed away September 26, 2012, was disgusted with the way Southern history is taught today. He writes:

To speak positively about any part of this Southern tradition is to invite charges of being a racist and an apologist for slavery and segregation. We are witnessing a cultural and political atrocity - an increasingly successful campaign by the media and an academic elite to strip young white Southerners, and arguably black Southerners as well, of their heritage, and therefor, their identity. They are being taught to forget their forebears or to remember them with shame. (My bold emphasis).

A perfect example is William Gilmore Simms. According to Edgar Allan Poe, Simms was the greatest American writer of the 19th century. Simms wrote 82 book-length works including 20 that are very important in American history and literature. He understood the publishing industry of that era better than anybody and wrote about it. He chronicled American westward expansion when Alabama was the edge of the West; and his Revolutionary War novels, set in and around Charleston, are exciting, vivid history as it happened. Simms was a nationally recognized expert on the Revolution. He wrote dramatic, historically accurate scenes of when the British conquered Charleston and marched in, and when they lost the war and marched out, and everything in between. Simms also knew the local Indians extremely well and much of what is known about them is in his work, including their languages. There is a bust of William Gilmore Simms in White Point Gardens at The Battery in Charleston, high up on a beautiful pedestal.

But Simms is not studied because he was a slaveholder.



Professor Edward C. Smith

on Black Confederates

Outstanding two-DVD set, Mixed Up with All the Rebel Horde, Why Black Southerners Fought for the South in the War Between the States. Available as a Special with Slavery Was Not the Cause of the War Between the States, The Irrefutable Argument.


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