Slavery Nostalgia

By Jeffrey Goldberg

I'm glad to see that Ta-Nehisi also has a devoted corps of meshuggeners hanging on his every word. This is from a group called The Sons of Confederate Veterans (very old sons, obviously). It was written in response to a Ta-Nehisi post praising Gov. Bob McDonnell of Virginia for belatedly recognizing -- as Haley Barbour still won't do, at least as of last Friday, when I interviewed him -- that it's a bit ripe to commemorate the Confederacy without at least mentioning one of the downsides of the antebellum south, which is to say, the enslavement of millions of African-Americans. The writer of the post critical of Ta-Nehisi derides him for neglecting to mention the small number of blacks who aided the Confederate cause:

If Mr. Coates was truly honest with himself and  his readers he would admit that he has a very big chip on his shoulder. He writes of the African-Americans that fought for the North; but what of the African-Americans that fought for the South?
 
There is no mention of "Uncle Charlie" Baker , who rode with Captain Bill Anderson in Missouri, or one of Quantrill's most trusted scouts John Noland. A simple internet search will reveal many articles about Black Confederates.

What I don't understand about the sort of men who join Confederate-nostalgia organizations is why they can't understand that black people might not look fondly on their cause, or on the small number of black people who aided the cause of those who would keep African-Americans enslaved. On the other hand, I'm just getting up to speed on the subject, so there are many mysteries to plumb.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2010/10/slavery-nostalgia/64096/