Confederacy, Confederates, Donald Trump discussed on WNYC Programming


No, no All of those images that we have of fair Southern Belles and the faithful slave Mammy encapsulate that image of loyal faithful African Americans who knew their place who didn't challenge The strictures of segregation. Oh, now, Miss College, you come on and be good need just live. No, they weren't chattel. They were members of the family. Absolutely, What's really important to remember? Is that this is something that is imbibed by the entire nation. And so we start seeing white northerners who generation before had very much rejected the lost cause. By the time we get to Margaret Mitchell's version of the Confederacy, we see White Americans as the whole drinking this in and the Lost cause becomes national. In response in many ways to the civil rights movement. We start to see that Confederate banner being used in more popular ways. We see it waved at football games that the University of Mississippi and Alabama we see the University of Mississippi having Colonel Reb as its mascot people. What will cast it off is just a symbol, but it's an incredibly powerful symbol. That is pulled out for these specific social, cultural and political reasons of resisting desegregation, every existing enfranchisement and beneath that banner, Jim Crow, the KKK voter suppression and lynchings, right, the Klan in particular. By the time we get to the 19 fifties and 19 sixties, they are using the Confederate battle flag. As their emblem. What are the parallels between the Stop this steel narrative and the myth of the Confederacy? The cause of voter fraud that it was an ill legitimate victory. It's not unlike what we see former Confederate saying when they talk about that they could have never won against insurmountable union forces. We start to see that same language from Trump and his followers. There's never been a time like this where such a thing happened where they could take it away from all of us from me from you from our country. There was no way we could have won because the odds were stacked against us. But it's also the sense of victimization and martyred him. In this case if we're to believe Trump and his Maga followers at the hands of mythical radical Socialists, the deep state and TIFA Anti Christians, and so on it all rings so familiar it does. This is much of the same language or at least the same ways in which former Confederates were talking about abolitionist. That they were the ones who were this far radical group that had instigated and they were overturning all of the deeply held values of American society. And so It's the people on the far left that are seen as the real threat to American democracy, who are then demonized by those who have been defeated. Okay, now on this show, journalist and fellow scholar Corey Robin. Has warned of historic box a tendency to launder journalistic hot takes through history, resulting too often in reductive comparisons, and ultimately, the misunderstanding. Of the present. Now we've been speaking of parallels between the lost cause and Trumpian mythology, But you two have some words of caution. Certainly when I'm talking about this lost cause that Trump is spouting. It's not the same as the Confederate lost cause. No, there are some of the same symbols and there is certainly a lot of the same strategy. And some of the same language that's being used, but we do have to be very careful. I think we need to use the past to help us understand how and why things played out as they do. It is absolutely not only dangerous, but it's just honest to try to make them cookie cutter. One of the really important distinctions to point out here is that confederates knew they lost. And they were trying to justify that defeat. They justified it in all sorts of distorted ways that are continuing to have tremendous effects on our our lived experience today, But there's a difference between Accepting defeat and not accepting defeat. So that's where this breaks down a great deal. Fair enough. I should say that that in our meetings on the media, we sometimes get a little history of Oxy. In this case, we spent a lot of time discussing the notion of uncanny parallels and we Considered a different way of framing it, not parallel lines, but Perhaps the contemporary extension of the existing lost cause narrative, the same line rooted in white supremacy, grievance and oppression. Not lost cause reduction but lost cause made over. You buy that? I'm not sure I do because the lost cause grew out of what White Southerners who who supported the Confederacy believed was a legitimate Attempt at Confederate nationhood. They grew out of 200 years plus of cattle slavery, a system that lead to real set of ideologies and beliefs. And I'm not so certain that we have that same crystallization in what is going on now, with Trump supporters and trumpism. There is a a way in which the past is being Reimagined for purposes of political gains and social and cultural games. But I'm not sure that this is a direct growth out of the Confederate Lost cause. Well, I certainly wouldn't want to trivialize slavery by making glib comparisons, but Is not white supremacy itself A, you know a fully comparable ideology. That joins these two periods of history. It does. But white supremacy doesn't just come from the Confederacy. I'm not saying confederates weren't white Supremacist. Please don't get me wrong there, but America as a whole. Was built on a belief in white supremacy. It's a a national phenomena, and I think we need to take a more holistic approach of understanding. That this small C conservative defense of white, often male prerogative comes from a much larger and deeper well than just The four years that constituted the Confederacy. Carrie. Thank you. Thank you. Caroline. Janie is a professor of history. At the University of.

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