Magnifying Glasses

Influenced by Your Surrounding Culture? Duh!

Recently, I have been listening to American historians who specialize in the Civil War: Gary Gallagher, Allen Guelzo, Ty Seidule, Stephanie McCurry. Listening to them, I begin to see the lies that I have bought. It comes as no surprise that I’ve been influenced by a false narrative, one that exonerates and glorifies my surrounding culture.

What am I referring to?
I’m referring to the myth that the Confederate States of America were led by noble generals (esp. Robert E. Lee) in pursuit of noble causes (“States Rights!”). It was always a face-saving, sin-excusing myth on the part of slave-owning states, and a nation-unifying accommodation by still largely racist non-slave-owning states. Too many in the North, and way too many in the South bought the distortions of history. Why? In many cases, because it suited them: privileged whites were thereby excused in their continued oppression of blacks.

Still an Issue 160 Years Later?
You bet. Look at the furor over the removal of monuments to Confederate generals and the renaming of military bases, schools, roads, etc. that were erected and named in the 20th Century in reaction to desegregation and the civil rights movement. Racists desperately wanted then to assert their continued privilege. They still do. We’re on to them. We’re on to US. I’m on to ME!

I’m a sinner, saved by grace. How about you?

Below are some of the lectures I have been listening to:

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