Ken Burns from Face the Nation and Raw Story:
Historian Ken Burns reminded supporters of the Confederacy on Sunday that the Civil War had been primarily about slavery, and not states’ rights as many conservatives have claimed. 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.Here's Col. Ty Seidule, Dept. of History at the U.S. Academy in West Point, no slouch when it comes to war:
“[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.”
“The main American theme, I think, is freedom. 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. 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.”