by Al Benson Jr.
Member, Board of Directors, Confederate Society of America
In his book Segregation–Federal Policy or Racism? (Shotwell Publishing, Columbia, South Carolina) author John Chodes noted, on page 53 that: “In 1867, a small agency was created by Congress. It was called the Bureau of Education. It consisted of only five employees: a supervisor and four clerks, ‘to collect such statistics and facts as shall show the condition and progress of education in the several states and territories…as shall aid the people of the United States in the establishment and maintenance of efficient school systems, and otherwise promote the cause of education throughout the country.’ From this miniscule beginning, over time, the Bureau of Education became a gigantic department, nationalizing, controlling, and separating black and white primary and secondary schools by administering the Morrill colleges and absorbing the Freedmen’s Bureau schools into its own bureaucracy.” And we have all been led to believe that the federal Department of Education didn’t happen until Jimmy Carter brought it in during his one-term presidency as payback to the National Education Association for their support of him. Actually, it seems that all Carter did was to support the most recent manifestation of something that had really been around, in one form or another, for a very long time.
It seems that the educational messiahs in Washington at that time (ever read about them in your history books?) felt that one of the leading causes of Southern secession was that Southern folks had existed for all those years without the dubious “benefit” of a nationalized school system, and therefore, they were easy prey for “Southern demagogues” to con into helping their states secede from our “indivisible” Union.
Republican demagogue James P. Wickersham of Pennsylvania observed that: “It was this ignorance that enabled the rebel leaders to create a prejudice in the minds of this class of persons against the North and to induce them to enlist in their armies…As long as they are ignorant they will remain tools of political demagogues and therefore be incapable of self-government. They must be educated;…No state that has passed an act of secession should be allowed to take its former place in the Union without having first incorporated into its constitution a provision for the establishment of a free school system.” Do you begin to see where this has all been going?
What the honorable Mr. Wickersham is really saying here, in his own unique way, is that most Southern folks have just been paying attention to the wrong set of demagogues. They’ve been listening to Southern ones when they really should have been embracing Northern ones. It seems the Northern demagogues have the (politically) correct slant on all the current issues of the day and, therefore, any state that embraced secession should have to have some sort of Yankee/Marxist public school system firmly in place to brainwash the kiddies before it even dreams of unification with the glorious Union. In other words–“teach your kids to think the same way we’ve taught ours to think–or else!”
This Yankee/Marxist mindset portrays secession as some sort of evil, traitorous act that has to be “educated” out of Southern kids so they will never again be tempted to think along those lines. It would seem, if you look at some of today’s headlines, that the government educational system has been somewhat less than spectacularly successful in obliterating the idea of secession. There are some small blessings we can be thankful for!
Contrary to what the promoters of public education have told us for over 150 years now, secession is not (was not) treason. The Declaration of Independence was a secession document, and three of the states that ratified the Constitution did so with the proviso that, if this new government ended up being detrimental to their states, they reserved the right to remove themselves. Virginia, Rhode Island, and New York all said that, in one form or another, in their ratification ordinances. So if secession had been treasonous then the ratification ordinances of those states should not have been accepted–but they were, and that fact alone, which most of your “history” books leave out, speaks volumes.
National (and it’s never really been local) education has always been about the restructuring of American society and culture and making it into something the Founders would not have recognized, something that the Washington and New York culture-benders wanted it to be. All this blather about “quality education for the kids” to put it bluntly, smells like a fresh West Texas cow chip on a hot day in August. It’s pure bovine fertilizer–and not even the high grade stuff at that!
As far as all the Confederate monuments coming down, what do you think most public schools in the South have been teaching your kids about their ancestors who seceded and fought for the Confederacy? You probably don’t really want to know. But you better start finding out, because the drivel they are pushing down your kids’ throats will affect their future, your grandchildren’s futures and the future of your Southern culture.
Just remember this–if you take nothing else away from what you’ve read here–“Reconstruction” is ongoing. It has never stopped. It may have shifted gears here and there, but it has never ceased. It is as relevant to your lives today as it was to those who surrendered at Appomattox.