Publisher's Note:

One of the most significant things you can do to promote Liberty is to support our efforts. Please make your gift to the 2021 Patriots' Day Campaign today. Thank you! —Mark Alexander, Publisher

Thomas Sowell / Jul. 14, 2015

Is the Civil War Over?

In the wake of the recent murders in a South Carolina church, the killer’s hope of igniting a race war produced the opposite effect. Blacks and whites in South Carolina came together to condemn his act and the race hate behind it. Some saw in the decision to remove the Confederate flag from in front of the state house a symbolic repudiation of the old South’s racial past — and the end of the Civil War. But, unfortunately, wars do not end until both sides decide that it is over. The black parishioners who expressed forgiveness toward the killer did more than most of us could do, and the whites who responded with solidarity did their part. Note how quickly this was done, by ordinary people of good will — black and white — without the “help” of racial activists like Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson.

In the wake of the recent murders in a South Carolina church, the killer’s hope of igniting a race war produced the opposite effect. Blacks and whites in South Carolina came together to condemn his act and the race hate behind it.

Some saw in the decision to remove the Confederate flag from in front of the state house a symbolic repudiation of the old South’s racial past — and the end of the Civil War. But, unfortunately, wars do not end until both sides decide that it is over.

The black parishioners who expressed forgiveness toward the killer did more than most of us could do, and the whites who responded with solidarity did their part. Note how quickly this was done, by ordinary people of good will — black and white — without the “help” of racial activists like Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson.

Professional race hustlers have no incentive to see our current civil war end. They see in this shooting only an opportunity to escalate their demands.

Now there are rumblings of demands that statues of Robert E. Lee and other Southern leaders be destroyed — and if that is done, it will only lead to new demands, perhaps to destroy the Jefferson Memorial because Thomas Jefferson owned slaves. And if that is done, no doubt there will be demands that the city of Washington be renamed, for the same reason.

In short, there is no stopping point, just unending strife as far out as the eye can see. And just what will that accomplish? It could ultimately accomplish the killer’s dream of racial polarization and violence.

Neither blacks nor whites will be better off if that happens. With all the very real problems in this society, can we really spare the time and the wasted energy of trying to refight a Civil War that ended before our great-grandparents were born?

The past is irrevocable. We cannot change the smallest detail of what some people did to other people after both have gone to their graves.

Meanwhile, the old South has already changed. There is no way that the South of the mid-twentieth century would have elected a woman of Indian ancestry to be governor of South Carolina or a man of Indian ancestry to be governor of Louisiana, much less have Southern states that voted for a black President of the United States.

Perhaps the strongest evidence of the changes is that the black migrations out of the South a hundred years ago have now reversed — with younger and better educated blacks leading the new migrations from the North to the South. When people vote with their feet, that tells us a lot more than any polls.

If the past is out of our hands, what is in our hands today are the present and the future — and both have big challenges. Whatever policies or practices we consider need to be judged by their actual consequences, not by their rhetoric.

“Hate crime” laws are on some people’s agenda. But what will such laws actually accomplish? A murderer deserves the death penalty, whether he killed someone of a different race or killed his own twin brother. All that “hate crime” laws can do is provide the murderer’s lawyer with another ground on which to appeal the conviction or the sentence.

Trying to make up for the past with present-day benefits has a track record that shows many counterproductive consequences.

The federal government’s pressures against schools to not discipline so many black males is another “benefit” for blacks that is far from beneficial. It means that a handful of hoodlums in a classroom can prevent all the other black children from getting a decent education, which may be their only chance for a decent life.

Another “benefit” for blacks that turns out not to be beneficial is giving the police orders to back off during ghetto riots. Whether in Baltimore recently or in Detroit back in the 1960s, the net result has been more people killed, most of them black, and a whole community put on the downward path of physical and social deterioration.

We need a lot more serious thinking about the present and the future, and a lot less time and energy spent on the past.

COPYRIGHT 2015 CREATORS.COM

Start a conversation using these share links:

Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news analysis, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!

★ PUBLIUS ★

“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2021 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.