by Al Benson Jr.
Since I have been a part of the Confederate and Southern Heritage Movements for something like twenty years now I expect this article will get more than a few people ticked off at me on all sides. However, upon some reflection and observation of recent events, I felt this needed to be said
I have naturally heard much discussion of the question of secession from many angles. Some have wrongly accused secessionist-minded people of treason. In so doing they display their shallow view of history, or maybe the shallow view really belongs to those who taught them.
Secession was not treason. Even the legal experts in the “reconstruction” government after the War of Northern Aggression knew that. That was the reason they never dared to bring Jefferson Davis to trial. They wanted to try Davis for treason for leading the secessionist government of the Confederate States The rabid abolitionists were out for blood, but their own legal eagles had to talk them out of that one because they realized that if they tried Davis for the “treason” of secession that he would be found innocent and they would have egg all over their judicial faces. Again, secession was not treason, even though misinformed media pundits today loudly proclaim it to be.
However, this is not a treatise on the legality of secession but just a general commentary dealing with what I have observed in the past few years.
For many years secession was known as “that S word” that no one dared to say out loud in polite company. You waited until most of the guests had gone home and then talked about secession in the privacy of your library or your study with a small handful of very select friends.
Yet, for all of that, the political correctness and all, there was a certain sentiment attached to the term for Southerners and good Copperheads, and with the corrupt Marxist government in Washington becoming even more corrupt (if such is possible) in spite of the “hope and change” we had been promised, the word “secession” has gained some currency in the past couple years. Some politicians even started flirting with the term openly. None of them really planned to do it, but they thought discussing its possibilities might be a vote-getter in some areas and make it sound as if they were pushing the envelope (which they really weren’t).
Thee are different schools of thought about secession in the Confederate and Southern Movements. One segment feels we need to secede all over again–to start from scratch again as it were. Yet another group feels that is not necessary, that because the Confederate States never officially surrendered, that they are still seceded and do not have to repeat the process. Both sides have strong adherents and I have friends, good people, in both camps, which can be “interesting” at times. My own feeling is that the latter group may well have a valid point and we don’t really need to do it all over again.But even that is not what I really want to say here.
My main contention is that, no matter which group you believe or belong to, we are just not ready for secession, and we won’t be in my lifetime, nor in my children’s lifetimes. We are simply not mature enough at this point to deal with it, no matter what we might wish or think and no matter which position we take.
When the Southern states seceded in 1860-61, they did not have a federally mandated public education system to deal with. They had one in the North, but we, thankfully, didn’t. Public education as we know it had not existed in the South. Since the War’s end we have had 150 years of it and that has made a huge difference. We no longer have the capabilities or the mindset of the original secessionists. We have been intentionally dumbed down until, North or South, we don’t know upside down from inside out. We are no longer able to think or reason as the original secessionists did. The “education” thrust upon the South by our Northern schoolmaster/change agents has ensured that we no longer have the concepts of self-government possessed by our ancestors.
I have watched various groups in the Southern states as they have sought to deal with the secession question. Inevitably, they end up quibbling with each other and so remain unable to work together to promote what should be a common concern to all of us. We end up with some groups, whose leadership tries to promote the thinking that they are, somehow, “commanding generals” and as such they have the right to tell the rest of us what we should be doing and they do not hesitate to issue broad insults to those who refuse to go along with their “revealed” agendas. I have seen this more than once–and it reveals a Yankee/Marxist mindset some of these folks do not even realize they possess, yet it is there. Do you possibly think their public school “educations” could have anything to do with that???
Over the years I have written many articles dealing with public education and I always try to urge Southern folks, or any folks for that matter, especially if they are Christians, to take their kids out of the public schools. I know several good folks that have worked in public schools. Some still do. However, most of the one I know have left public education and gone on to urge others to remove their kids from the public system. So I am not saying here that every single public school teacher is “the enemy.” Some are, but some are not, but the system they work for is the enemy and Christian Southerners need to start waking up to that fact. Sadly, most do not. They are oblivious. Many, who want to deal with the secession question sincerely, continue to leave their kids in public schools, with no intention of ever removing them. I guess they think that if we ever do secede the kids can just move over into a Southern-style public school. That won’t ever happen. Don’t kid yourselves. The public school in the South is a tool of “reconstruction” even today. If you all want your kids to grow up as reconstructed Yankees, leave them in public school and they will. When I tell this to Southern folks all I usually get back are blank stares. Many don’t have a clue as to what I am talking about. Fifteen decades of “reconstruction education” has left them clueless–and yet some talk of secession!
One question I have is this–if you can’t take your children and secede from the public school system, how in Heaven’s name are you going to take your states and secede from the Union? If you can’t do the one you will never be able to do the other.
If we can’t begin to practice “cultural secession” and remove our kids from public schools and ensure that they get good, Christian education, with accurate history, then we will not be able to make secession work no matter what camp we are residing in.
We need a couple generations of youngsters, not a majority, but a good active minority that knows its history, and is educated at home or in good solid Christian schools with a generational worldview so that we can get all the public school baggage educated out of them. Only then will we be ready to go anywhere with secession.
My generation won’t make it. We’ve got the public school baggage and no matter how hard we’ve tried to get rid of it, some of it still lingers. Many of our kids went to public schools and so they have some of it. If we tried to be diligent they won’t have as much as we did, but still some. We need a couple (at least) generations free from that mindset, who have known nothing but Christian education and good history before we can even think about the secession question and these kids need to have been taught the truth about secession also.
When we reach that point, then we can begin to seriously think about the secession question. Until we do, let’s quit kidding ourselves. We ain’t ready!