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Revisionists having a ball with Civil War anniversary


Put on your hoop skirts, little ladies; top hats and spats for you Southern gents. Blacks, to the kitchen. It's the sesquicentennial of the "War Between the States," and we're going to have us a "Secession Ball."
Forget somber commemoration. Celebrate a victory more important than any fought on a battlefield: a triumphant revising of Civil War history by Confederate sympathizers.
"We honor our ancestors for their bravery and tenacity protecting their homes from invasion," Michael Givens, commander-in-chief of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, told the Associated Press after attending a Secession Ball in Charleston, S.C., in December.
On Saturday in Montgomery Ala., the Sons marched to honor the 150th anniversary of Confederate President Jefferson Davis's inauguration.
Down that mint julep and just forget about race; let the reality of slavery secede from your mind as a cause of war. It had nothing to do with colored people.
Last year, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) declared April to be Confederate History Month, for the same reason given by Givens: to honor those "who fought for their homes and communities and Commonwealth in a time very different than ours today," the proclamation says. McDonnell came to regret it and said he wouldn't do it again.
A copy of the Provisional Constitution of the Confederate States of America, on display at the White House of the Confederacy in Richmond, tries to inject race into the conflict with laws such as:
"The importation of negroes of the African race from any foreign country other than the slaveholding States or Territories of the United States of America, is hereby forbidden."
But who are you going believe: that old document or, say, Virginia's new fourth-grade history textbook - "Our Virginia" - which asserts that thousands of black soldiers fought for the South during the Civil War?
Davis, the Confederate president, has been quoted many times as saying, "Our slaves were happy and content."
So let's party like it's 1861.more

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