Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Historian and documentary filmmaker Ken Burns explains what was behind the Civil War: "They do not mention states’ rights. They mention slavery, slavery, slavery."

Courtesy of Raw Story:  

But Burns recommended that Americans read South Carolina’s Articles of Secession to get the real story on why the states went to war against each other. “[T]hey do not mention states’ rights. They mention slavery, slavery, slavery,” he pointed out. “And that we have to remember. It is much more complicated than that, but essentially the reason why we murdered each other — more than 2 percent of our population, 750,000 Americans died; that’s more than all the wars from the Revolution through Afghanistan combined — was over essentially the issue of slavery.” 

According to Burns, the racism running through the DNA of America was still present in modern day politics. 

“The main American theme, I think, is freedom,” he noted. “But we also notice that race is always there. Always there. When Thomas Jefferson says all men are created equal, he owns a couple hundred human beings and he doesn’t see the contradiction or the hypocrisy and doesn’t free anybody in his lifetime and sets in motion an American narrative that is bedeviled by a question of race.” 

“And we struggle with it. We try to ignore it. We pretend, with the election of Barack Obama, that we’re in some post-racial society,” he continued. “And what we have seen is a kind of reaction to this. The birther movement, of which Donald Trump is one of the authors of, is another politer way of saying the N word. It’s just more sophisticated and a little bit more clever. He’s ‘other,’ he’s different.” 

“What’s actually ‘other’ and different about him? It turns out it’s the same old thing. It’s the color of his skin.”

So now we have Burns joining Colonel Ty Seidule, Professor of History at the United States Military Academy at West Point, in explaining to the mouth breathers that yes their ancestors took up arms against their own country for the sole purpose of hanging onto the right to continue owning human beings.

And that inherent racism is still a part of this country's DNA and continues to pop up here and there especially during speeches given by the living embodiments of their hatred like Sarah Palin and Donald Trump.


  1. Anonymous4:16 AM

    Read the book "White Cargo" Slavery does not necessarily mean black. Many people came to America to work. They were of all colors. They worked off the cost to come here. But we know that slavery means something else. and that very bad people enslaved their fellow human beings, mistreated them, and it continues today in many ways. It is about money, power, greed. burns must write about the indepth parts of slavery ......then and now.

    1. Anonymous7:19 AM

      Forcing white debtors to work had nothing to do with secession and the Civil War and was fundamentally different from owning blacks who were considered subhuman.

      Read the secession documents, the Confederacy constitution and supporting documents.

      For example:
      Confederate Vice President Alexander H. Stephens, March 21, 1861: "Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner-stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth..."

      Georgia Governor Joseph E. Brown: "Among us the poor white laborer is respected as an equal. His family is treated with kindness, consideration and respect. He does not belong to the menial class. The negro is in no sense of the term his equal. He feels and knows this."

      Texas secession document, Feb. 1, 1861 -”She was received as a commonwealth holding, maintaining and protecting the institution known as negro slavery– the servitude of the African to the white race within her limits– a relation that had existed from the first settlement of her wilderness by the white race, and which her people intended should exist in all future time.”

  2. Anonymous4:17 AM

    And I would bet that like myself Ken Burns completely expected the shocking and disgusting displays engendered by Barack Obama's election.

  3. Anonymous5:31 AM

    It's written right into the Confederate Constitution, which is mostly a copy of the U.S. Constitution, with the addition of the right to own slaves as a basic right. They wanted to have "states rights" so they could continue to own other human beings.

  4. Anonymous5:53 AM

    Unlike the Confederate States Constitution, the United States Constitution freely permitted states to abolish slavery. If the day ever came when slavery was eliminated voluntarily throughout the United States of America, not one word of the United States Constitution would need to be changed, whereas slavery could never lawfully be abolished under the Confederate States Constitution.
    In addition, slavery could not be outlawed in territories or new Confederate states -- in the western U.S. and in Cuba and South America, which the Confederates hoped to add to their Confederacy.

  5. Anonymous6:11 AM

    Ken Burns is boring. Not just his films but him. IMHO

    1. Anonymous7:01 AM

      dumb people are easily bored.

    2. Anonymous10:45 AM

      I'm sorry you're bored, maybe you can find another blog to be cruel. Obviously, I need to explain something to you so you can understand, IMHO means in my humble opinion. So now, if you find a new blog to troll you will no longer be bored or ignorant.

    3. Anonymous10:57 AM

      6:11. Obviously, there is nothing humble about you. Too bad intelligent presentation of information is so boring to you....your boredom says a whole lot about you and absolutely nothing about Ken Burns.

    4. Anonymous2:22 PM

      7:01. Really. Get off your elitist horse would you. I have watched his films and have seen him public speaking. I personally, find his films and speaking engagements boring. Actually, I prefer Doris Kearns Goodwin for my intellectual enlightenment when it comes to historical data. I have met her and find her to be a warm engaging person. Like I said that is my humble opinion.

  6. Anonymous6:14 AM

    The "American Dream" according to Sarah.

    Sarah wants all black people to swim back to Africa with Jew under one arm and a liberal under the other.

  7. Anonymous8:52 AM

    Heil Trump! White supremacists are having wet dreams about The Donald.

    We Saw This Coming: Popular White Supremacist Site Endorses Donald Trump

    America’s most popular Neo-nazi site has thrown its support behind Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump, pointing to the billionaire hotel magnate’s statements about Mexicans.

    The Daily Stormer writes, “He is certainly going to be a positive influence on the Republican debates, as the modern Fox News Republican has basically accepted the idea that there is no going back from mass immigration, and Trump is willing to say what most Americans think: it’s time to deport these people. He is also willing to call them out as criminal rapists, murderers and drug dealers.”


    Only #WhiteLivesMatter in Donald Trump’s America


  8. Anonymous9:28 AM

    Can you say 'PIGS"

  9. Anita Winecooler5:26 PM

    I'm a fan of Ken Burns's works. Yes, I realized before President Obama ran for office that racism is passed down just like DNA, from one generation to the next. I was never under the impression that, as historic an event as seeing the first African American President elected twice, would somehow erase the history of racism and usher in a post-racist society in America.
    Of late, just the opposite seems to be the case, the racists are more vocal and open with their bigotry and hate, because they think someone's asking for "special rights" they're not entitled to. Donald Trump and others are banking on this segment of society, kissing their asses hoping for votes, but I do think things will change for the better in time.
    There's been a shift in demographics, a change for the better. Caucasians are no longer the majority, once they realize that and feel the sting of racism for themselves, they'll eventually change with the times or go the way of the dodo's,


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