Winnipeg Free Press Newspaper Archives Jul 18 2015, Page 23

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Winnipeg Free Press (Newspaper) - July 18, 2015, Winnipeg, Manitoba C M Y K PAGE A24 A 24 WINNIPEG FREE PRESS, SATURDAY, JULY 18, 2015 WORLD winnipegfreepress. com MOVIE PASS WINNERS TO MR. HOLMES Call Rae- Ann at 204- 697- 7224 to claim your passes. Winners must show identification with address and pickup tickets by Noon July 22, 2015. Bernice Heinrichs Edward Skotniczny Vivian Davies James Kasian Lorraine Halparin George Schwartz Julie- Anne Thiessen Dorothy Van Doeselaar Edna Andrews Debbie Smith CALL TODAY FOR AN EYE EXAM HUDSON’S BAY OPTICAL Complete pair purchase required. Select designer brands only. Packages include plastic, scratch- resistant lenses or Instinctive no- line bifocals. Specialty lenses, features, and strong prescriptions are additional. May not .... ................ ........ ...... .......... .......... ............ ........ .......... .............. .............. .... .......... .............. ...... ................ ...... ................ ........ ........ ........ ...... .......... $ 99 Signature Package Includes select frames up to $ 150 and single vision or progressive lenses. $ 199 Designer Package Includes select frames from $ 200 to $ 280 and single vision or progressive lenses. $ 69 Signature Kids’ Package Includes impact- and scratch- resistant polycarbonate lenses, UV protection, our eyeglass protection plan, and select frames up to $ 120. Winnipeg Polo Park 204- 975- 0525 Winnipeg St. Vital Centre 204- 254- 6055 L YNCHBURG, Va. — Shelby Williams, a 12- yearold who lives in Fairfax County, Va., outside Washington, is passionate about being part of the Children of the Confederacy, an organization for people under 18 whose ancestors fought in the army of the Confederacy. She says people often misunderstand why. “ It’s really cool to see where your family history can take you, and it also shows you who you are really related to and gives you a background of their history,” she said. “ I think a lot of people misconstrue why we do this, and I don’t think they really realize that this is a part of our family, too.” With hostility growing toward Confederate symbols, the annual general convention of the Children of the Confederacy, being held this weekend in Lynchburg, Va., would seem to offer an opportunity for those who revere Confederate history to defend their devotion as a matter of “ heritage, not hate.” But with the exception of three attendees who like Shelby and her grandfather, Martin Schaller, agreed to interviews, it was hard to learn what the conference teaches its members about the history of slavery and the role it played in sparking the Civil War. Conference organizers declined to share conference materials with anyone not registered for the conference. They said members of the organization could not speak to the news media without approval from the director general, who could not be located Thursday, the convention’s opening day. Eventually, the general manager of the hotel where the convention is being held through Saturday ordered two McClatchy reporters to leave. The impasse was perhaps predictable. More than 10 phone calls throughout the week leading up to the conference, and several emails to the organization’s director general, went unreturned. The group’s unwillingness to share its approach to Civil War history makes it hard to know how its program fits into what a growing number of historians and experts say is the perpetuation of dangerous myths about the war and the antebellum South that are common in public school texts and are fuelled in war re- enactments. Sons of Confederate Veterans member Vaughn Satterfield of Rossville, Ga., who attended the Children of the Confederacy conference with his daughter, said racism played no role in the group. “ It’s pride and heritage,” he said. “ There’s no hate, there’s no prejudice. ... I don’t have anything against anybody.” For Shelby, the organization, with its organized visits to parks and museums, has been a major influence in her short life. “ I’ve been a part of this basically since birth,” she said. Schaller, her grandfather, pointed out that while one of his ancestors fought in the Confederate army, he did not own slaves. He was a teacher who immigrated from Germany in the 1850s. This convention, he said, is “ an educational thing, it’s not a big flag- waving thing.” Of the conditions that gave rise to the Civil War, Schaller offered a philosophical assessment. “ I think you can’t look back on it and say, ‘ Everything was wonderful,’ ” he said. Instead, he said, one should “ see what the context was and look at the way that the people reacted to things and just observe it from the point of view of not wishing to go back to that time.” Others argue groups such as the Children of the Confederacy, which is part of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, offer an inaccurate version of history that downplays the role slavery played in the Civil War. Organizations such as the Children of the Confederacy and the Sons of Confederate Veterans say the issue of slavery did not cause the war and that states’ rights was a bigger factor. That concept even has been adopted in some textbooks, to the chagrin of many experts. “ The idea that the Civil War was about states’ rights, it’s become so general in the public,” said researcher Edward Sebesta, an editor of Neo- Confederacy: A Critical Introduction . That misconception has influenced everything from textbooks to movies, which reinforce the public’s ignorance. “ There are school board members who believe it, teachers who believe it,” he said. For historians, however, there is little question slavery was the driving factor in sparking secession and later the war. Teaching history incorrectly, they say, allows people to justify supporting the Confederacy without addressing related questions of racism. “ If you don’t understand what the Civil War was about, you don’t have anything to argue against Confederate nationalism,” Sebesta said. “ It’s an erasure of African- Americans in the South by saying the Confederacy was the South. It’s creating a southern identity as a white identity.” James Loewen, a lecturer with the Organization of American Historians whose book Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong is a treatise on mistaken beliefs, has asked more than 5,000 people of various ages and racial backgrounds, across the country, “ Why did the South secede?” He said 65 per cent of people say states’ rights, another 10 to 20 per cent say tariffs and taxes, and only 20 per cent say slavery. Another one to two per cent say the election of Abraham Lincoln, which he said he considers a correct answer. “ It’s a perfectly right answer because that’s the trigger,” Loewen said. But secession documents from the time show mentions of Lincoln’s election are generally followed by some issue related to Lincoln’s views on slavery, Loewen said. “ The consensus among professional historians, I mean historians who sit in universities across the United States, is that the Civil War, the main cause of it, was slavery, not an abstract notion of states’ rights,” Theresa Runstedtler, an associate history professor at American University in Washington. Still, it’s that history that groups such as the United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Children of the Confederacy seek to downplay. The website of the groups’ South Carolina division, for example, states its purpose is “ to study and teach the truths of history ( one of the most important of which is that the War Between the States was not a rebellion, nor was its underlying cause to sustain slavery).” Historians point to the document South Carolina issued when it seceded in 1860 to refute that claim. The document makes at least 18 references to slavery and cites protection of slavery as the reason for seceding. Mark Potok, a senior fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center who specializes in extremism, says the consequences of ignoring that history, and replacing it with an incorrect version, are enormous. “ The consequences of white southerners growing up with this mythology in their heads is that they do not understand racism,” he said. — McClatchy Washington Bureau ‘ Heritage, not hate’ But those who revere Confederate history fail to acknowledge slavery sparked secession By Emma Baccellieri and Samantha Ehlinger SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Members of the California legislative black caucus have asked the mayor of Fort Bragg, in the northern part of the state, to seek a change in the city’s name to disassociate it from the Confederate army general for whom it is named. Fort Bragg began in 1857 as a military outpost to oversee the Mendocino Indian Reservation. One of its founders named it after his former commanding officer, Braxton Bragg, who later became a general in the Confederate army. Before joining that force, Bragg was a general in the United States army. Eight members of the caucus signed a letter to Mayor Dave Turner on Thursday that said a name change for the city of 7,200 people is a natural result of the state’s recent ban on the public display of the Confederate flag. “ These legislative efforts have fostered a needed discussion about the inappropriateness of any public entity promoting individuals that committed treason against our nation during the Civil War and fought to defend the defenseless cause of slavery,” said the letter, signed by caucus members. The letter notes the namesake of the small city in Mendocino County owned 105 slaves and “ led many bloody battles” against the union army. “ We are hopeful that you will engage your community in a serious re- examination of the historical implications of your city’s name and come to the conclusion that now is the time to end your ties to such a disgraced and treasonous figure in our nation’s history,” the letter said. The request was made after state Sen. Steve Glazer filed a bill to prohibit the naming of schools, parks and other public facilities after Confederate leaders. Glazer later changed his proposal to exclude cities. Fort Bragg Vice- Mayor Lindy Peters said the name would not be changed. “ While I completely agree with the effort to remove the Confederate flag from the South Carolina State Capitol, I would argue that asking us to change our name is taking things a bit too far,” he said in an email to the Los Angeles Times . “ You cannot change history.” He said Bragg never set foot in the area, and the outpost was established before the Confederacy. “ Therefore, our community was not named to glorify the Confederacy.” Peters said by the logic of the caucus’s letter, former U. S. president Andrew Jackson should be removed from the $ 20 bill because of his role in decimating the Native American population. “ We are a tight- knit community who do not favour changing our name, especially when pushed to do so by politicos who have never even visited our town and know nothing of our long and rich local history,” Peters said. — Los Angeles Times WASHINGTON — The Cuban flag will soon hang in the lobby of the U. S. State Department, joining those of other nations with which the United States has diplomatic relations, the department said Friday. State Department spokesman John Kirby said the flag will be hung early Monday before a ceremony to mark the reopening of the Cuban Embassy in Washington and the restoration of full diplomatic ties. The department’s lobby features the flags of more than 150 other countries placed in alphabetical order. Later Monday, Secretary of State John Kerry will meet at the department with Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez, after which they will hold a joint news conference, Kirby said. — The Associated Press SUE OGROCKI / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS White southerners who honour the Confederate flag don’t understand the racism behind it, an expert says. Calif. legislators demand Fort Bragg change name By Patrick McGreevy Cuban flag to fly at U. S. State Dept. City says moniker doesn’t glorify Confederacy Braxton Bragg A_ 24_ Jul- 18- 15_ FP_ 01. indd A24 7/ 17/ 15 10: 47: 04 PM

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