Alabama

Alabama Cops, Confederate Flags, Racism, and an Over-Eager Media

Despite unsubstantiated claims that police planted evidence on black men, credible accusations of systemic racism and police malfeasance remain.

|

Hate or heritage?
Henry County Report

Last month, dozens of news outlets shared a "bombshell" story about a cabal of neo-Confederate police officers in Dothan, Alabama. The officers had allegedly been systematically planting evidence on innocent black men for decades, resulting in hundreds of wrongful convictions.

But soon after the article was published, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC)—the entity whose endorsement most likely helped the story go viral—issued a retraction on Twitter. The SPLC also released a statement to AL.com reading, "We received new information from people we trust around Alabama that we should be highly suspect of the reporting and then made the decision that we didn't want to keep the story out there under our account."

The original story was indeed overcooked. But after examining court documents and historical archives, as well as speaking with the story's author, several former Dothan police officers, and an anti-Confederate historian, I found that Dothan does have serious, long-standing, and unresolved race issues. And this continuing racial strife manifests itself within the police department, where some white officers share the view of many Southerners that the Confederacy is a misunderstood and victimized part of their "heritage" and some black officers feel targeted by a harsher and less flexible application of the law.

Unfounded Outrage

Jon B. Carroll, writing in the Henry County Report blog, asserted that he was publishing documents leaked to him by current and former Dothan police officers that "served as irrefutable evidence of criminal activity at the highest levels of the Dothan Police Department" and also implicated several chiefs of police and the district attorney in a coverup. With its provocative headline, loaded language, and accompanying photo of a group of white men proudly displaying a Confederate battle flag, the story made for effective clickbait, and it was shared more than 127,000 times in the day after it was published.

But the documents Carroll published don't provide irrefutable evidence of the alleged crimes at all.

Too many details and names have been redacted. One of the typewritten documents purportedly written by a group of whistleblowing officers is unsigned (supposedly because of fears of retaliation, but unsigned nonetheless). Another document written to the U.S. Attorney's office from "Concerned Police Officers" is block-written and unfolds in almost incomprehensible English. Nothing in the documents offers proof that even a single officer planted drugs or that any crimes were covered up by senior officials. Furthermore, one of the documents plainly states that District Attorney Doug Valeska was advised of an officer's failure to maintain lawful custody of drug evidence and had "a problem bringing the suspects in drug cases to trial" due to the officer's credibility issues.

Carroll describes himself as a "citizen journalist" and admits that his goal is to create sufficient outrage to warrant a federal investigation into the Dothan Police Department and District Attorney Valeska. He says the documents were leaked to him by one active-duty Dothan police officer and three former officers, and more will be released over time once they've been subject to additional vetting.

Yet Carroll does himself and the cause of criminal justice reform no favors when he writes hyperbolic passages, which he has thus far failed to prove, like this:

The larger issue is no less than hundreds of wrongly convicted black men and tens of millions of dollars in potential damages as well as potential prison terms for himself and the district attorney and those who assisted them.

Dothan's Police Chief Steve Parrish angrily denied Carroll's claims at a press conference a day after the article went viral, stating, "There are simply too many outright lies and fabrications in the blog to address individually, but his 'opinion' has apparently been taken by many as 'fact.'"

Former Police Chief John White—who is accused in the article of giving misleading testimony under oath and ordering internal affairs investigations "buried"—told me that Carroll is an "idiot webmaster" who never called him to confirm or clarify anything. White categorically denies all the allegations made against him, and says he intends to file a notice of defamation against Carroll. However, White also conceded to me that all the documents containing Dothan Police Department letterhead are completely authentic, including documents revealing that a number of officers raised concerns about at least one officer suspected of "planting drugs."

Compromised Drug Evidence

Much of of the follow-up reporting by other publications has—understandably—focused on Carroll's questionable allegations. But there is plenty of evidence to suggest that something is truly rotten in Dothan.

The focal point of Carroll's article is the internal investigation of Officer Michael Magrino, who was fired after then-Sergeant Keith Gray recommended his dismissal. Gray had concluded that Magrino "lost his integrity as well as his credibility due to drug evidence being missing."

Magrino now works as an investigator for an Alabama state agency and would not comment for this story.

Another published document reveals that Magrino was given a polygraph test in which he was asked questions including, "Have you planted any illegal evidence?" The results of the test indicated a probability of deception greater than 99 percent.In the Internal Affairs (IA) report, Gray wrote:

There are at least 50 case folders that contain drugs that should have been submitted to the Property/Evidence Officer for storage and chain of custody issues. Some of those cases have been in Magrino's possession for over two years.

There are five handguns, one of which was still listed as stolen, one which Magrino lost for a period of time then it reappeared under suspicious circumstances, and two handguns that he has no idea where he seized them from.

In a phone interview, Magrino's former boss, ex-Chief John White, describes Magrino as a "good cop" who was "sometimes lazy." White characterizes Magrino's indiscretions as a mere matter of failing to follow procedure, noting that all the drug evidence observed in his cruiser by a supervising officer was "bagged and tagged." Magrino simply hadn't submitted it into evidence at the station yet.

Gray, the author of the IA report on Magrino, explains to me over the phone that "drugs are illegal for anyone to possess, including police officers. Drug evidence must be turned in immediately." He adds that any failure to follow evidentiary procedure is enough for a defense attorney to argue for reasonable doubt before a jury. In Magrino's case, there are literally scores of cases potentially compromised.

White, who says it's a shame Magrino was fired for what he believes are minor indiscretions, describes Gray as a "disgruntled ex-cop" who was fired because of what White calls his association with a "black motorcycle gang involved in bar fights." It's a telling example of the underlying racial tension in Dothan, where some blacks feel powerless against an entrenched good-ole-boys system that prosecutes them to the letter (and sometimes beyond) of the law.

Fired For Being a Black Biker?

Before his dismissal, Gray had risen to the rank of captain and was the highest-ranking black officer in the history of the department, with aspirations to become Dothan's first black police chief.

Dothan's history of racial discrimination is well-documented.

Still under consent decree.
City of Dothan, AL

In 1976, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama Southern Division case of Wiggins v. Hollis was one of several federal lawsuits which found "there has been and still remains a substantial and pervasive racial discrimination in Dothan … governmental services have been disproportionately bad in the black areas." The judgement of Wiggins v. Hollis imposed a consent decree on the city, which is still in effect, requiring "an affirmative duty to provide blacks with their proportionate share of government services … in order to remedy the effects of past denial to blacks of access to the political process."

The consent decree led to the integration of Dothan's police department, with the hiring of two black officers later that year.

Writing in The Washington Post, Radley Balko shares the insight of one of his sources with knowledge of Dothan:

One prominent defense attorney in the state says the county is so rife with racism that he had advised black clients to take plea bargains even when they have corroborating witnesses, simply because white jurors there just tend to assume that black people are lying. He described the racism in the area as so casual and ingrained that the people who practice it are unaware of it. "It's the scariest kind of bigotry," he added.

Which brings us back to the motorcycle gang that White says was the reason for Gray's firing.

In 2008, Gray founded a motorcycle riding club called the Bama Boyz. The group

Keith Gray

had never been involved in any criminal activity and had even donated money to the department's youth athletic league. But three weeks after Gray filed an Equal Employment Opportunity complaint against the department, his membership in the Bama Boyz was used to trigger an Internal Affairs investigation of him. The investigation concluded with Gray's termination for "conduct unbecoming of an officer," with specific allegations that he had downloaded pornography on a department-issued phone (though the department never produced such a phone for independent forensic testing) and that through his affiliation with the Bama Boyz, he had associated with known criminals in another biker club, called Outcast.

According to court documents, Gray had limited contact with a leader of the outlaw biker club Outcast, ostensibly as a means of avoiding conflict. Outlaw bikers are known for physically harassing or intimidating riders who pass through their territory, and the career lawman preferred to nip such a potential issue in the bud by essentially asking for permission to ride in Outcast-dominated areas.

Three weeks after Gray filed his EEO complaint, a bar fight involving members of Outcast broke out. Gray was accused of consorting with known criminals, even though no evidence was presented that Gray or any members of the Bama Boyz were anywhere near the incident in question. Ultimately, this scrum was the main pretext for his dismissal from the force.

Gray has since filed a federal lawsuit against the department, where he alleges that other officers had called him the "N word" and used the word casually in his presence. Also documented in the suit are Gray's allegations that his most recent superior officer, Chief Steve Parrish, presided over "an office culture that set pro-Confederacy viewpoints on proud display" and that the prerequisites for the job of police chief were repeatedly changed to allow less-qualified white candidates to assume the role, though he had certain qualifications (such as a Master's degree) that were previously required.

The city asked for the suit to be dismissed, but Judge Myron Thompson rejected the city's request. "That race discrimination was, at least, in play at the time of his discharge is a reasonable inference," Thompson wrote.

Another Black Officer Suspended

Gray isn't the only former Dothan police officer engaged in litigation against the city. Raemonica Carney, an officer with the department from 2000 to 2013, filed a lawsuit alleging racial discrimination, violation of right to freedom of speech, creating a hostile work environment, and retaliation. The 13-year veteran was the public face for the department's Community Watch program from August 2010 until May 2013, when she was suspended for making controversial statements on Facebook.

In these posts, which she has since made private, Carney wrote about Christopher

RaeMonica Carney
Youtube

Dorner, the black ex-police officer who killed himself after a massive manhunt following what is widely believed to be a killing spree where he shot a number of people, including cops, in Los Angeles. Carney appeared to indicate she believed Dorner's claims of racism and corruption in the Los Angeles Police Department might have some validity. She also questioned the police's tactics, which included shooting innocent people, during the manhunt.

After 13 fellow officers, all white, filed written complaints over the posts—described by then-Police Chief Greg Benton as "sickening and disturbing"—Carney was suspended. Later that year, she was fired for gross insubordination following an incident with superior officers during a domestic disturbance outside her home.

It's no secret that Carney has an ax to grind with the Dothan Police Department. She says she has been repeatedly harassed by members of the force both during and after her time on the job, and believes the Dothan police exacted retribution on her by planting drug paraphenalia on her son during an arrest where he was stopped without probable cause. She provides no evidence to substantiate her accusation, however, and she couldn't recall if her son ever made this claim in court when defending himself against the charges. Carney explains that she never went to his court appearances because she didn't want to present the appearance of interfering with the case.

In a phone interview, Carney says that several of her Facebook statements were taken out of context and some were responses to other people. But the excerpts chosen by her superiors were designed to make her appear as if she supported Dorner's alleged crimes, although that was never the case, she says.

In March 2014, Carney's lawyer, Sonya Edwards, told the Dothan Eagle: "She is being retaliated against for exercising her rights. We all know much worse has been done in this department without it even being determined to be insubordinate, much less grossly insubordinate. She is being terminated under a policy that, effectively, does not exist. There is no benchmark. It is a highly subjective standard."

Carney was born in 1972 and lived in Dothan her whole life except for a stint in the army and jobs with two police departments in Georgia from 1993-1999. She says she left Dothan in 2014 shortly after her termination, fearing for her safety. "The racism in Dothan is systemic and has been the norm for so many years," Carney says.

Confederate "Heritage"

The most striking image in Carroll's article is the photo (also seen at the top of this page) of a group of Dothan police officers, including current Chief Steve Parrish, posing with the stars and bars to commemorate their membership in Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV), which they describe as a "heritage" and "history" group. Parrish admits that when starting the Dothan chapter of the SCV, he needed to meet a minimum number of members so he recruited from within the department. But asked about his former membership in the group, Parrish also says he stopped participating in 2005.

There is considerable debate as to what the SCV stands for. Carroll writes that the

Souther Poverty Law Center has labeled them "racial extremists," though what the SPLC actually described in 2002 was an "internal civil war between racial extremists and those who want to keep the Southern heritage group a kind of history and genealogy club."

Edward Sebesta, the co-editor of The Confederate and Neo-Confederate Reader: The "Great Truth" about the "Lost Cause," says the conflict within the SCV a decade ago was "more between those who thought it wouldn't be a good idea to be upfront with their political and racial ideas and those who were willing to be quite frank about their racial and political ideas."

Sebesta took issue with the idea that the group could be affectionate toward the Confederacy without racial malice. "Think about what the Confederacy was—a violent insurrection to preserve white supremacy and slavery," he says. "How much value can you place on the human worth of African Americans if you choose to have affection for the Confederacy? Why would the Confederacy seem attractive or something you would want to be affectionate towards if you had any sense of African Americans having human worth?"

Sebesta sent me a trove of back issues of Southern Mercury and The Confederate Veteran, two print-only magazines published by the Sons of the Confederate Veterans, where statements of white Anglo-Saxon supremacy and essays about Jewish/Marxist conspiracies to destroy white Southern culture are frequently couched with defensive rejoinders.

In the July/August 2006 issue of Southern Mercury, Michael Masters wrote an article called "The Tolerance Scam," where he contends that accusations by "cultural Marxists" that the SCV's beliefs are "grounded in hate" are "baseless," and that the major civil rights reforms of 1950s and 1960s were akin to "using the sledge of anti-racism as a battering ram to bring down the walls of traditional Western culture."

In a 2003 issue of Southern Mercury, Frank Conner characterized the idea that blacks and whites are capable of equal intelligence as a liberal conspiracy, blaming one "liberal cultural anthropologist" for having falsely "decreed that there were no differences in IQ among the races, and the only biological differences between the blacks and white were of superficial nature." Conner laments that this created "a false image of the blacks in America as a highly competent people who were being held back by the prejudiced white southerners."

Despite the SCV's condemnation (which appears on its website) of those "who espouse political extremism or racial superiority," the SCV has never disavowed any of the articles or the racist ideas in the magazines they've published within the past decade and a half. In fact, they still frequently cite and promote Conner's book The South Under Siege, which claims that the civil rights movement was part of a conspiracy to "install a socialist government in the U.S., to be run by Jews."

During the same press conference where he denied allegations of corruption, Parrish offered the following explanation for his membership in the SCV. "I'm a history enthusiast," he said. "Genealogy is what I've studied—my lineage. My ancestors fought for the South in the Civil War. I'm proud of that. If that makes me a demon, I'm sorry."

It is difficult to swallow explanations that the SCV is a perfectly innocent heritage community, however, when a black officer can be suspended for Facebook comments that make white officers uncomfortable. Surely Confederate imagery and open recruiting for a group with the kind of views endorsed by the SCV is enough to make a great number of officers, not just blacks, understandably uncomfortable.

Similarly, if open membership in a private motorcycle club (one deemed sufficiently legitimate for the police department to accept charitable donations from it) is enough to get the highest-ranking black officer in the history of the department fired, then what should be said of a group of senior officers displaying Confederate imagery within the police department and openly recruiting for a group that endorses ideas of white superiority? These instances of seemingly unequal application of departmental policy are well worth confronting.

Still, none of this proves the sort of widespread abuse charged in Carroll's article. Despite the stir caused by the viral dissemination of the piece, no evidence has yet been produced that anyone—much less hundreds of people—was wrongfully convicted on bogus drug charges. And while some journalists (Liliana Segura of The Intercept, Andrew Cohen of The Marshall Project, former Reasoner Radley Balko) issued mea culpas for disseminating Carroll's flawed article, others doubled-down on the bad information.

The online news show The Young Turks ran an 11-minute segment where the hosts frequently embellished and mischaracterized the contents of the documents while advocating for life imprisonment for the officers implicated. Former Air America Radio host Sam Seder's current show at The Ring of Fire egregiously headlined their segment on the story, "Neo Nazi Alabama Cops Have Been Framing Black People For Years." Nowhere in the original article does the word "Nazi" ever appear, and creating the false impression that such evidence has been presented only undermines the work of those who advocate for transparency in government and criminal justice reform. For many of those who ran with the story, a vigorous exploration of the facts was beside the point, because Carroll's story seemed to perfectly fit a narrative of systemic racism and abuses by a police force in the Deep South that many of them simply wanted to believe.

None of this, however, means there isn't substantial evidence of race-based double standards being practiced by the Dothan police department. Nor does it mean that accusations of police abuses against black residents should be dismissed out of hand. It's worth keeping an eye on Dothan, so long as we're careful to examine the evidence behind the headlines before jumping to conclusions.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

180 responses to “Alabama Cops, Confederate Flags, Racism, and an Over-Eager Media

  1. “We received new information from people we trust around Alabama that we should be highly suspect of the reporting and then made the decision that we didn’t want to keep the story out there under our account.”

    What, it’s going to hurt the SPLC’s credibility with all its skeptical followers?

    1. An obnoxious SPLC guy with a clipboard once came up to me on the sidewalk and asked me to help find hate groups. I told him I already found one and it’s the SPLC. Quite humorous.

    2. Good to know that the SPLC vets its sources before running with a juicy, click-bait story.

      Oh, wait…

      1. Morris Dees has made a handsome living off this act. When you’re in the mood for a good outrage session, check out a few photos of his compound. The House that Outrage Built.

        1. He was pretty good in Purple Rain.

          1. That is funny. Same thing occurred to me.

            I did a google search ‘morris dees purple rain’ and there are a zillion people saying the same thing.

      2. So the SPLC is doing for racial outage what Jezebel is doing for feminist outrage?

      3. “Good to know that the SPLC vets its sources after running with a juicy, click-bait story.”
        FTFY

    3. This way they can have it both ways. First they stir up the outrage with the clickbait article, then they retract, after it’s already had the desired effect of stirring up outrage so that they can appear to have “integrity”.

      1. Don’t forget showing the importance of the SPLC’s work.

        It only serves to cheapen the SPLC.

    4. The SPLC has no credibility. Welcome to the sunny South…

  2. “Jon B. Carroll, writing in the Henry County Report blog, asserted that he was publishing documents leaked to him by current and former Dothan police officers that “served as irrefutable evidence of criminal activity at the highest levels of the Dothan Police Department'”

    Well, what else do you expect when you have to patrol the mean streets of Dothan, Alabama?

  3. The lesson for libertarians in all this is that to keep their tentacles in the till the DemoGOP will gleefully portray the LP as “the same thing as” Tea Party Klansmen and Rand Paul. In other words, prohibitionist GOP anti-choice fundamentalists hardly distinguishable from the Colorado clinic-strafer.
    The Republicans have gotten the bloody stool pounded out of them in the last three major elections, and are clearly a national socialist theocracy nearly identical to the one that ran Germany for 12 years. Let’s choose an untainted candidate, not a Gestapo hand-me-down, and be ourselves for a change.

    1. “The Republicans have gotten the bloody stool pounded out of them in the last three major elections,…”

      That statement is at odds with reality. You do realize that the Republican’s have won more Federal seats than the Democrats did in 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016?

      1. So we ARE living in a GOP paradise?

  4. ” and an anti-Confederate historian”

    There is no such thing as an anti confederate historian.

    A historian studies history from a neutral viewpoint..

    An anti confederate historian is a propagandist.

    And yes Fisher “many Southerners share the view of many Southerners that the Confederacy is a misunderstood and victimized part of their “heritage” they do.

    I have read that between 2% or 3% of people in the South owned slaves. Fisher do you think that 97% of the Southern veterans would leave their family to fend for themselves and risk their lives under horrible conditions fighting for the property of some rich people many of whom weren’t even Southerners but wealth European plantation owners ?

    If the civil war was primarily or exclusively about slavery why did Lincoln wait so long to free the slaves ? If the war was slavery driven why didn’t he do that as a first order of business ?

    Slavery was used as a tactic by Lincoln. He used it as a weapon to further his pursuit of war.

    I do not consider myself a Southerner, but a Texan. Surely I can self identify as i chose , right. especially so since I am a multi generational Texas.

    I can tell you none of my German ancestors in Texas owned slaves but I certainly identify with the Southerners more than I do the Northern black slave owners.

    1. Hrm… you know, if I wanted to know why the Civil War was fought, I’d probably start by reading what they actually said at the time. They didn’t just start firing cannons without preamble, you know. Much like the Continental Congress’s Declaration of Independence, each seceding state made their own declaration in which they listed their grievances.

      Your idea of why they fought is at odds with their statements of why they fought. And given the choice between the two, I think I’ll believe you’re wrong rather then believe they lied.

      1. Your idea of why they fought is at odds with their statements of why they fought.

        The states seceded for the reasons you mention, namely the growing abolitionist movement and hostilities between groups of people who genuinely despised one another.

        But the CSA fought because they were invaded, which is the expected and, to the best of my knowledge, universal etatist reaction to an invasion by another state that desires to capture a competitor’s scarce resources.

        1. Ft. Sumter was an invasion? Who knew?

          1. Ft Sumpter was an occupation by the forces of a foreign nation, as had been declared by the CSA.
            Or was it only the 13 colonies that had been permitted to declare their independence from a tyrannical rule?
            Every subsequent action by the “Union” was military aggression.
            The Confederacy simply wanted to live, and let live.

        2. They weren’t invaded they attacked Fort Sumter. Also they had no right to secede to form a criminal slave state.

          1. Weren’t they already a criminal slave state?

          2. Also they had no right to secede to form a criminal slave state.

            There’s an amendment to the BOR that would seem to say otherwise.

            At the time they seceded, slavery was legal and enforced by the US of A (Fugitive Slave Act, anyone?), so at that point the USA was just as much a “criminal slave state” as the Confederacy aspired to be.

            1. The statement “they had no right to secede to form a slave state” is accurate.

              They had a natural right to secede, but no legal right to secede — each state had ratified an agreement of PERPETUAL union between 1777 and 1781. Perpetual, then and now, means “continuing or enduring forever”, and there was no secession clause.

              “So what?”, one might say, “they still had a natural right to secede”.

              But of course the problem with invoking *natural* rights is that while there was a legal right to own slaves, doing so is a gross violation of natural rights. Not only was there no natural right for the slave states to protect slavery — there was a natural right, to kill them until they stopped.

              In short, one can only defend secession by cherry-picking when natural rights count and when they don’t, and when law counts and when it doesn’t.

              1. In other words: they had the natural right to secede and form a new nation in which slavery was abolished, and a legal right to stay in the union and keep slaves. They had absolutely no right, under any coherent system of law or human rights, to both secede and keep slaves.

              2. Perpetual union wasn’t in the Constitution. And Perpetual simply meant that there was no sunset provision.

          3. They weren’t invaded they attacked Fort Sumter.

            No. The fort was occupied territory, and Lincoln indicated his desire for war in every conceivable way, from rejecting CSA diplomats sent to negotiate payment of their portion of the national debt to striking a match in a tinder box with Sumter. From Lincoln’s letter to Fox:

            You and I both anticipated that the cause of the country would be advanced by making the attempt to provision Fort-Sumpter, even if it should fail; and it is no small consolation now to feel that our anticipation is justified by the result.

            Also they had no right to secede to form a criminal slave state.

            So the American Revolution was illegitimate and only perfectly moral people (like Jesus? or Ayn Rand?) are permitted to secede from imperfect states. I’d call that perspective medieval, but that’s a terrible insult to medieval thought.

            Pointing out the obvious, namely that Lincoln was a monster and the US invasion was immoral in every meaningful since of the word, does not entail believing that state-sponsored slavery was a good.

      2. I doubt you read what the 97% of the dirt farmers, blacksmiths, wagon drivers, shop keepers and others who lived hand to mouth lives in the south in those days wrote. Most of those who actually did the fighting and dieing couldn’t read or write well enough to articulate a treatsie on secession.

        And they most certainly didn’t own slaves since many of them lived little better off than the slaves themselves as far as food and material goods go, freedom being a value of it’s own.

        I am in no way defending slavery. Slavery is abhorrent.

        I am defending Southerners right to be proud of the bravery and traditions of their non slave owning ancestors regardless of a bunch of self righteous Northerners who had massive racists issues of their own even into the 20th century, especially white union labor.

        Perhaps you should read about that sometimes and balance out your education.

        I once did usiness with a guy from Chicago. He schooled me on Northern attitude towards blacks. he told me that where we went wrong with blacks was that we gave them jobs in government and schools and such to assimilate them and all they did was clog up the works and ruin the effectivness of administration.

        He said we just give them enough to get by own and house them all in one big building to keep them out of our way.

        It’s cheaper that way he said.

        1. And regardless of the fact that secession was driven in large part by pro-slavery vs anti-slavery politics, the fact remains that slavery was legal in the United States at the time and the South had every right to secede, so the fact that slavery was a driver of secession makes no legal difference to the question of legal secession.

          Now with that out of the way, the unionists have to then explain how a country formed by secession and even cited the natural right of peoples to do so in it’s founding document, could even pass a binding law forbidding secession since statutory laws must ostensibly conform to natural law to begin with.

          1. Nope wrong. There is no such thing as ‘right to secession’. Secession is only legit if it is done to make a new free state. The south was seceding to create a criminal slave state bereft of any real legitimacy.

            1. “Secession is only legit if it is done to make a new free state.”

              Where does this rule come from?

              1. The only point of the state is to protect individual rights. A state that not only doesn’t do that but aggresses against them is illegit.

                1. “The only point of the state is to protect individual rights. A state that not only doesn’t do that but aggresses against them is illegit.”

                  Where does this rule come from? Certainly not the Schmitt school of statecraft.

                  No matter, by this logic then there was never a legit state to begin with. Like telling a thief he can’t steal from another thief.

              2. Apparently, the secession of the USA from England was illegitimate, then. Count on a Canuck to come up that one.

            2. Bull. Read the 9th and 10th Amendments. (I realize you won’t do it.) There is nothing in the Constitution authorizing secession or preventing it. Therefore, there was a right to secede. You’re making shit up again. “Free” or “slave” has nothing to do with it. Slavery was legal on all 13 states after ratification of the USC.

              1. I am not taking exception to your comment Darren, but I do take exception to the language commonly used; ‘slavery was legal’.

                People accepted and practiced it, but it was not legal. No codes written to authorize it were legitimate. By any understanding of natural law slavery is an abomination and not legal under any system.

                1. People accepted and practiced it, but it was not legal. No codes written to authorize it were legitimate. By any understanding of natural law slavery is an abomination and not legal under any system.

                  I think you are conflating ‘lawful’ for ‘legal’. It was very much legal, ‘legality’ in this context is not a term that denotes any ethics or moral content. The term that you’re looking for is ‘lawful’, which does necessitate moral principles to back up, which slavery does not have.

                2. “By any understanding of natural law slavery is an abomination and not legal under any system.”

                  Historically, hasn’t “Natural Law” has been invoked to defend slavery much more than condemn it?

                  1. Historically, hasn’t “Natural Law” has been invoked to defend slavery much more than condemn it?

                    Well we ought to abandon free markets because historically, it’s been used to defend [insert criminal act].

                    1. “Well we ought to abandon free markets because historically, it’s been used to defend [insert criminal act].”

                      I never brought an “ought” into this, just an “is”. (Or was)

            3. Nope wrong. There is no such thing as ‘right to secession’. Secession is only legit if it is done to make a new free state. The south was seceding to create a criminal slave state bereft of any real legitimacy.

              Since you can’t read, or at least you can’t address the arguments arrayed before you…I’ll just repost this.

              And regardless of the fact that secession was driven in large part by pro-slavery vs anti-slavery politics, the fact remains that slavery was legal in the United States at the time and the South had every right to secede, so the fact that slavery was a driver of secession makes no legal difference to the question of legal secession.

        2. I once did usiness with a guy from Chicago. He schooled me on Northern attitude towards blacks. he told me that where we went wrong with blacks was that we gave them jobs in government and schools and such to assimilate them and all they did was clog up the works and ruin the effectivness of administration.


          He said we just give them enough to get by own and house them all in one big building to keep them out of our way.


          It’s cheaper that way he said.

          So thanks for that anecdote about one old frat from Chicago that you meet one time.

          1. S/frat/fart

        3. Spare yourself OneOut. The tired old canard of the southern racist will never die, just like the party running a woman, a black, a hispanic, etc is the party of rich, racist, misogynist old white guys.

          I have found that racism is worse outside of the south and exponentially worse still outside this country. The southern US is one of the least racist places on the planet.

          1. You are 100% right.

            I’m just bored and felt like starting a conversation.

            I have noticed that the Dem ticket is all old white people.

            At least one of them is rumored to have a veejayjay.

          2. Well that wasn’t my experience in 1949.

            1. I imagine not.

              1949 might as well have been another planet. We even have baptists and catholics intermarrying now. Mixed race couples are easy to find.

              *no, that is not really a joke. When my grand parents were young the Bs and the Cs would not walk on the same side of the street.

              1. MSimon – this is interesting to me because we had a ‘race riot’ in the forties, the Lee street riot.

                What is interesting to me is that despite it being commonly referred to as a race riot I have talked to both blacks and whites who were there and all of them claim that race had little to do with it. It was drunk soldiers that got out of control.

                One of the guys I talked to, a white guy, was manning a machine gun. He was on a fifty on the back of a jeep. I asked him if he was told to shoot blacks and he answered “I was told to shoot anything that moved, black or white, so that is what I did. They drove me down the middle of Bolton avenue and I emptied the gun.”

                Another was a prominent black businessman I used to be friends with. I used to go by his place often and share a post-work glass of whiskey. The stories that guy could tell….Sadly he recently died. He was a kid at the time, working in his father’s fish restaurant. He went out on the sidewalk and saw mayhem. When the shooting started he ran back inside and hid under the kitchen sink. When he came out there was a dead white soldier lying just outside the restaurant door. “They cut that poor bastard in half.” was what he told me.

                Come back to the south MSimon. It is a different place and we would be glad to have you.

          3. To be fair, there are some deeply racist people in the Old South – but most of those are, in my experience, older people, and the overall climate is nowhere near as bad as some would claim it is. On the whole, however, I think you’re correct about the levels of racism all around.

            1. Those people have almost entirely died off. That was my grandparents generation, and yes, they were racist as hell but in a different way than people think. It was not the kind of hatred fueled rage I see in some people today. It was more of a superiority complex.

              My son’s generation appears to think nothing of race. The groups of kids I see now are all mixed. Hell, three days ago my step-son had his buddies came to shoot. A chinese guy, three black guys, a white kid (who is dating a black girl) and one latino.

              They shot holes in my fence when I went in to get a glass of water. Dammit. I went back out and fussed at them, instructed them to only shoot down from the porch into the ground. When I checked again they had done exactly as I instructed…plowing up all of my grass. *facepalm*

          4. And why do you think thousands of dirt farmers, blacksmiths, etc., fought in the revolution? Because they had read Locke and had high ideals about sovereignty and government? Or because they saw British troops attacking and wanted to defend their homes and the local government that they more readily identified with? Their particular motives don’t change the overall catalyst and “point” of the war.

            And how many of those poor, non-slave-owning 97% joined the KKK, or cheered the black codes, etc?

            Yes, there are racist people elsewhere. Yes, Lincoln dawdled in pushing for abolition (he was kind of busy with a war). Thanks for informing us, professor.

            1. My original post was addressed to the person who originally wrote this crap article.

              If you chose to take it personal to you that’s your problem, grasshopper.

          5. I agree with you, Suthenboy. I moved from the New York City area to Atlanta almost six years ago. The NE is much more segregated and racist. There is way more integration down here than probably anywhere else in the country.

        4. If the civil war was primarily or exclusively about slavery why did Lincoln wait so long to free the slaves ? If the war was slavery driven why didn’t he do that as a first order of business ?

          Politics.

          Lincoln waited for a Union victory to issue the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation but had already signed several laws freeing slaves or confiscating them from their owners.

          Congress passed the Confiscation Acts of 1861 and 1862 which ordered Union armies to confiscate slaves in any territory they captured. Lincoln was reluctant to sign them because Union armies had fared poorly early in the war and Lincoln was worried that it be ruled unconstitutional weakening the legal case of emancipation. Also in 1862, Congress passed a law that provided for Federal compensation for slave owners in Union territories that abolished slavery (DC took advantage of this) and another law that abolished slavery all US territories, current or future.

    2. This is hilarious.

      1. FUCK.

        A historian studies history from a neutral viewpoint..

        This is hilarious.

        1. If those pics that someone, maybe you, posted of your thighs on here were really your’s, it’s your calves that are hilarious.

          They remind me of the guys who spend all day doing curls but ignore the triceps since they don’t buldge in the mirror as well..

          1. What the fuck are you talking about? I once posted a picture of JJ Watt’s legs, if that’s what you’re talking about.

            1. What the fuck are you talking about ?

              You think it’s hilarious that a historian should have a non biased approach to scholarship ?

              I think it’s hilarious that you think that.

              What is an anti confederate historian ?

              1. You have no idea what a historian is. It’s not my fault that you’re ignorant.

                Why are we talking about your ignorance? I thought we were talking about JJ Watt.

                1. We are not talking about my ignorance.

                  You are trying to.

                  What ? A warty post with no FUCK YOU.

                  1. Please tell me you’ve said “whycome” in real life.

          2. This picture, right? I think that’s the one I posted one time.

            You’re very stupid, by the way. I hope you understand that someday.

            1. He’s a TEXAN, don’t fuck with him.

            2. I know you get a lot of recerence here from a few people but for the life of me I don’t see why.

              In the year or more that i’ve been here I see nothing of you but you drop in, sling around a few insults and curse a few people and people laugh at you sophmoric behavior like you’re a secret moderator or something to be feared.

              Not once have I seen you add anything to the conversation.

              “You’re very stupid, by the way. I hope you understand that someday.”

              I rest my case.

              1. Not once have I seen you add anything to the conversation.

                This reminds me of someone…

                1. RBS, remember back when MNG would complain that I was unserious and unsubstantive, and Tulpa would whine that I was unserious and unsubstantive, and joe would whine that I was unserious and unsubstantive, and Lonewacko would whine that I told him to shut the fuck up a lot? Those were the days.

                  You’ve got some big clownshoes to fill if you want this to be your niche, OneOut.

                  1. To be fair they were more or less right.

                    1. I have almost never been serious or substantive on here, you are absolutely correct. You don’t dig for diamonds underneath an outhouse.

                    2. You were serious and substantive talking about higher education. Seriously wrong when you pretended there was no problem with political correctness infecting the people in college, but serious.

                    3. Sure, it’s a problem. But it’s not much of one. People who are smart enough to matter aren’t permanently ruined by hearing some Marxian gender theory nonsense. The low foreheads freak out about it because book learnin is weird and scary to them.

                    4. You don’t have to be smart to matter. Seriously, you should know this. That’s just a stupid thing for you to say. Anyone with two eyes and a brain can see that this is a problem. You being in denial for cultural affinity reasons does not change that.

              2. If you’re coming here to converse about anything serious, you’re about 7 years too late. If you’re here to whine, well, you’ve come to the right place. And it looks like you have.

                1. I haven’t whined about anything.

                  I’m just gonna show youse guys how smart I am .

                  FUCK YOU YOU’RE IGNORANT.

                  There

              3. You may be right about Warty, but Warty is still right about you.

                1. Precisely. Listen to the bloodthirsty Canadian Objectivist virgin. Except about the bad stuff about me part, I mean.

                  1. Pretending to be Epi isn’t going to make you smarter.

                    1. What if I pretend to have a bunch of cocaine?

                    2. I think that’s still sort of pretending to be Epi. The coke explains his word-salad spaz outs that erupt forth when I or anyone else call him out as a twat.

                    3. THAT WAS THE JOKE

                    4. Well…don’t I look like a humorless twat now. How ironic.

                2. Warty being right about something is once more than I can say about someone who thinks unfettered immigration is always right, all the time, under all circumstances.

                  1. Oh fuck off, you illiterate.

                    1. Sorry Warty, I went to the beer store.

                      warty I have head from credible sources tha ther was once a lot of serious Libertarian discussion here in the past.

                      Since you brought up the 7 year time frame I guess that means that that was when you were involved in such lofty discussion.

                      & years can be a long time Wart.

                      have you considered retirement. Even Payton Mannng’s skills have eroded.

                      You vocabulary seems to be limited to a few insults and some curse words, usually capitalized I notice.

                      Does that mean you’re shouting real loud while you are typing ?

                      Listen Wartster, just between friends, we are friends right Wart ?

                      Nothing is more pityful than watching a Has Been trying to live off a fading rep.

                  2. “under all circumstances.”

                    I make exceptios for being at war with a nation and for outbreaks of diseases where immigration controls are needed AND can work.

                    1. What if the refugees are from a culture and ideology so different from the culture and society they are moving into that their presense stands to cause more civil strife and mayhem that the costs of such will outweigh any economic benefit they could possible contribute especiall when the intial investment is factored in ?

                      Whether we are at war with them or not ?

    3. “I have read that between 2% or 3% of people in the South owned slaves. Fisher do you think that 97% of the Southern veterans would leave their family to fend for themselves and risk their lives under horrible conditions fighting for the property of some rich people many of whom weren’t even Southerners but wealth European plantation owners?”

      Even if you don’t have slaves, if you’re a white dude you’re going to be pretty tempted by the allure of a society where whites are a superior caste and black people (even if they’re not your slaves) have to kowtow and defer to you.

      And you’re going to be worried about the results of freeing lots of slaves – would the freed people try to (gasp!) be your equals?

      It would take a really virtuous person to resist the temptation of belonging to a legally-recognized higher caste.

      Then there are those who joined the Confederate army because their homeland was being invaded.

      But assuming only actual slaveowners had a stake in slavery is naive.

      1. You make a good point, especially after the war when poor Southern whites were worried about the freed slaves getting some of their jobs.

        I’m not naive. I never said that what I said was an absolute. There are almost always exceptions.

        Trying to account for each and everyone in everyday conversation would be tedious..

        Of course there are no absolutes.

        It would be just as naive to think that all those non slave owning Southeners went to war to protect rich people’s property or the institution of slavery.

        Why would they go off to war and leave their families surrounded by the very people they feared so much ?

        1. Why would they go off to war and leave their families surrounded by the very people they feared so much ?

          Pretty sure a lot of people were conscripted.

          1. Yeah, I neglected to take that into account.

            There were a lot of draft-avoiders and deserters on each side – the Confederate govt. obviously wasn’t 100% confident in the loyal support of its people, despite the rhetoric that both white and black Southerners were on their side.

            1. And the North had to pay sign up bonuses to fill their ranks as well so patriotism didn’t do it.

      2. Ah-ha! Here’s the source of the 2 or 3% statistic:

        It would be a shame to let April slip by without a mention of Texas State Senate Resolution No. 526, which designates this month as Texas Confederate History and Heritage Month. The resolution uses a lot of boilerplate language (including an obligatory mention of “politically correct revisionists”), and also makes the assertion that “ninety-eight percent of Texas Confederate soldiers never owned a slave.”

        That assertion is likely true but it’s misleading. Soldiers are young and it was their parents who usually owned slaves.

        Some 36% of Confederate soldiers in 1861 came from slaveholding families ? which made up 24.9% of CSA households. Another 10% of CSA soldiers came from non-family households that owned slaves, so we can raise that 36% up to 46% of CSA soldiers came from households that owned slaves.

        If we could add in the number that came from families that rented slaves (I don’t know if the data is there), I bet we’re in the range of ?-? of CSA soldiers came from households that employed slave labor.

      3. Has Professor X contacted you about learning to use your retroactive telepathy mutant power for good purposes?

    4. “do you think that 97% of the Southern veterans would leave their family to fend for themselves and risk their lives under horrible conditions fighting for the property of some rich people many of whom weren’t even Southerners but wealth European plantation owners ?”

      Yup. They were evil and believed in evil ideas, like racism and slavery.

    5. About 30% of white Southern households owned slaves. Even more rented them, hoped to own them, or had some other connection to slavery. And at the very least, every white Southerner had a caste of people legally inferior to them just based on skin color and many of them feared the social and economic repercussions of abolition.

      1. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part4/4p2957.html

        To the fugitive slave fleeing a life of bondage, the North was a land of freedom. Or so he or she thought. Upon arriving there, the fugitive found that, though they were no longer slaves, neither were they free. African Americans in the North lived in a strange state of semi-freedom. The North may had emancipated its slaves, but it was not ready to treat the blacks as citizens. . . or sometimes even as human beings.

        http://americancivilwar.com/au…..owners.htm

        ” The census also determined that there were fewer than 385,000 individuals who owned slaves (1). Even if all slaveholders had been white, that would amount to only 1.4 percent of whites in the country (or 4.8 percent of southern whites owning one or more slaves).”

        “is debunked by records of the period on blacks who owned slaves. These include individuals such as Justus Angel and Mistress L. Horry, of Colleton District, South Carolina, who each owned 84 slaves in 1830. In fact, in 1830 a fourth of the free Negro slave masters in South Carolina owned 10 or more slaves; eight owning 30 or more (2).”

        1. People need to read the transcripts of the Lincoln/Douglas debates to see what Ol’ Abe thought of the black people.
          He may not have wanted them to be enslaved but he, certainly didn’t believe in equality, either.

    6. “I have read that between 2% or 3% of people in the South owned slaves.”

      Where did you read that?

      1. Probably misremembering that the vast majority of slaves were owned by a small percentage of Southerners.

        1. That sounds fair. Interestingly enough, some of the largest slaveholders were against the secession.

      2. I read that too actually.

    7. I have read that between 2% or 3% of people in the South owned slaves.

      According to this page, between 20% (Arkansas) and 49% (Mississippi) of families in the CSA owned slaves.

      But the real question isn’t how many people owned slaves but how many people’s lives depended upon slavery.

      These are people like blacksmiths who made manacles for slaves, dealers who bought and sold slaves, slave “hotel” owners where people could check in their slaves for the night, etc.

      Then there’s the fact that slaves were rented ? a small farmer or other business owner who couldn’t afford to own a slave, didn’t need the labor full time, or didn’t want to deal with being a slave owner could rent slaves from slave owners and thus depended upon slave labor, too.

      1. No, the question is how many owned slave. Arguable half the country “depended” on slavery so blowing off the actual measurable numbers to replace them with less definable metrics reeks of an agenda. The actual numbers are sufficient for the point, whatever that point is.

    8. And take a look at these five declarations of seccession.

      There are 82 references to slavery amongst the first four (Virginia’s doesn’t list any reasons beyond “the Federal Government, having perverted said powers, not only to the injury of the people of Virginia, but to the oppression of the Southern Slaveholding States”).

      Mississippi’s grievances are quite telling:

      It has grown until it denies the right of property in slaves, and refuses protection to that right on the high seas, in the Territories, and wherever the government of the United States had jurisdiction.

      It advocates negro equality, socially and politically, and promotes insurrection and incendiarism in our midst.

    9. do you think that 97% of the Southern veterans would leave their family to fend for themselves and risk their lives under horrible conditions fighting for the property of some rich people

      Because that would be the first time in world history a war was fought by poor soldiers for the benefit of rich rulers…

    10. Some regions in the South actually formed Union units. There was a famous cavalry unit from Alabama, if I recall.

      1st Alabama Cavalry Regiment (Union)
      Arkansas had several Union regiments as well.

      It would be humorous if some of these guys had ancestors who fought for the Union.

      1. Plenty of people in the South remained Union loyalists, and plenty of them volunteered for service. That’d hardly be a secret to these or any other people who’re aware of their ancestor’s participation in the war, as most everyone who’s a member of the UDC also knows of a relation who was in the Union. Those people aren’t viewed with animosity.

        The idea that everyone who happened to live south of the Mason-Dixon line just loved the CSA and despised the US or felt any particular love for either of them is simplistic.

  5. Ohhhhhhh lets re-fight the Civil War!

    1. Fine with me. CA was largely a spectator during the last one.

      /grabs popcorn

      1. This time lets fight it to kick CA out of the union!

        1. I think they are doing a fine job of that all by themselves.

        2. Unlikely. We’re too populous. And I doubt Texas and New York would team up to fight us.

          1. I’m pretty sure we (Texas) have more guns and people that can use them than Cali.

    2. Let me get out of SC first.

  6. The US is loaded with dreadful, awful little urine-pot towns like Dothan.

    Piperton, Tennessee is one of many stinky little places with a completely unnecessary “police” department. The populations are not bright enough to simply contract with the county sheriff department for a few patrols each day.

    1. Dothan is a medium-sized city of about 60,000 residents.

  7. “Despite unsubstantiated claims that police planted evidence on black men, credible accusations of systemic racism and police malfeasance remain.’

    I can’t be bothered to do all the due-diligence here – i read the initial story, then i heard it was bullshit.

    Is this simply a case of,

    “Some people were accused of crimes; it turns out those accusations were false, or at least unproven.
    So now the accusers are saying, “Well…. they’re still *pretty racist* though.”?

    1. It’s not whether the accusations are true or not it’s the seriousness of the charges.

      Just like college rape.

    2. Once your claims are unsubstantiated, I’m wondering what credibility the rest of your accusations have?

      1. Mistakes were made, stories were written, links were lunked.

      2. Come from southern Illinois and I know plenty of people with racist attitudes. Denying it happens in Dothan, Alabama seems to be the joke here! It seems to be getting better, in my small sphere of influence. But, it is still there!

  8. “Some white officers share the view of many Southerners that the Confederacy is a misunderstood and victimized part of their “heritage”

    This is . . . not surprising.

    And why is heritage in quotes there? Is it because someone actually said it, and it’s thought to be damning?

    Am I supposed to be alarmed that the Confederacy is thought to be part of Southern heritage?

    Looks like there may have been some systematic abuse of people’s rights. Why don’t we focus on that and leave the thought crime out of it? . . . not that thinking the Confederacy is part of Southern heritage is thought crime.

    1. Just thinking about the Confederacy is a thought crime.

      Ackowledging it is a hate crime.

      You felon.

    2. I think the point is twofold:

      1) To point out the double standard in how their membership in the CSV is treated compared to black officers doing things that make white officers uncomfortable.

      2) Let’s cut the shit. It’s one thing to just be interested in the Confederacy from a historical curiosity POV or acknowledging that it’s a part of Southern history, but let’s not pretend like people who think it was misunderstood and victimized are not a lot more likely to have odious views about black people, particularly given everything else presented in this article. It’d be one thing if the entire article was about their connection to the CSV, but it’s just one part of a much bigger picture.

      1. Cutting the shit would require the acknowledgement that the South isn’t simplely a hotbed of racist hillbillies and that people in the South are tired of listening to a bunch Northerners try to paint that picture when they have no moral gground to do so.

        So it probably ain’t gonna happen.

        http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part4/4p2957.html

        To the fugitive slave fleeing a life of bondage, the North was a land of freedom. Or so he or she thought. Upon arriving there, the fugitive found that, though they were no longer slaves, neither were they free. African Americans in the North lived in a strange state of semi-freedom. The North may had emancipated its slaves, but it was not ready to treat the blacks as citizens. . . or sometimes even as human beings.

        1. “To the fugitive slave fleeing a life of bondage, the North was a land of freedom. Or so he or she thought. Upon arriving there, the fugitive found that, though they were no longer slaves, neither were they free. African Americans in the North lived in a strange state of semi-freedom. The North may had emancipated its slaves, but it was not ready to treat the blacks as citizens. . . or sometimes even as human beings.”

          The Great White North maybe. Who wrote that? The UR ended in Canada because slaves knew they weren’t actually free anywhere in the US. (I’m sure there was racism in Canada at the time as well, but I hear Canadian racism is much nicer)

          1. The difference between the US and Canada was legal, not cultural. Canadian courts didn’t recognize claims by the former “owners” of slaves, while US courts did. Thus an escaped slave in the northern United States was always in danger of being forcibly returned to slavery.

            1. Yes, thank you, that was my point.

        2. Cutting the shit would require the acknowledgement that the South isn’t simplely a hotbed of racist hillbillies

          Don’t equate the dolts in pro-Confederate organizations with “the South” in general.

      2. “It’s one thing to just be interested in the Confederacy from a historical curiosity POV or acknowledging that it’s a part of Southern history, but let’s not pretend like people who think it was misunderstood and victimized are not a lot more likely to have odious views about black people, particularly given everything else presented in this article.”

        Again with the thought crime?

        I’m much more interested in prosecuting actual violations of people’s rights. If there is sufficient evidence that the police there committed crimes, they should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

        The personal beliefs of the criminals (or criminal cops) have no bearing on it. I don’t care if they were Muslims, communists, Birchers, neo-Confederates, or social justice warriors. Why would I? This is America. You can think whatever you want. Violating other people’s rights is where there’s a problem.

        1. This is America. You can think whatever you want.

          Unless you think that Confederate fan clubs are usually covers for racist sentiment, in which case you should shut the fuck up and talk about what Ken thinks is important instead.

          1. What do you plan to do about what cops think?

            1. Fire the ones who break the law? Laugh at the ones who don’t?

      3. I’m not pointing this at you, but listening to a lot of people on the left, when you hear that these cops violated people’s rights and committed crimes, they see it as evidence that the cops might be neo-Confederates.

        . . . as if being a neo-Confederate were the real crime.

    3. After “Birth of a Nation” came out, the Klan was resurrected and membership surged to an all-time high. Not all of the members were racists — many were merely ignoramuses, relying on the propaganda they’d been fed instead of on actual history.

      So it is with celebrations of Confederate heritage. Sure, there’s a lot of racism, but the rest is just good old fashioned ignorance and stupidity. You cannot rationally believe in the value of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness while celebrating your grandpappy’s decision to kill Americans in defense of the right of rich Southerners to own slaves.

      1. And how many people at the time of the Civil War believed the propaganda that it was really about slavery? I’d suggest that it was more about economic issues between the North and South, and slavery was just brought in as propaganda to justify the war. I know, it’s a very shocking idea that a president might pretend a war was really about something that it wasn’t, ask Geo. W. Bush, but Lincoln was still a politician. Is it so unthinkable that he could’ve used political tactics that politicians the world over have used?

        If the Civil War isn’t really about slavery, then there’s no reason to think that the Confederate heritage is really about slavery, either. Unless you just want to make propaganda points.

        1. It isn’t just that Dan Bongard knows what other individuals think and why, it’s that apparently he wants somebody to do something about it.

  9. This is a statement that I would believe about almost any police department in the US, after replacing “black men” with “people”:
    “…The officers had allegedly been systematically planting evidence on innocent black men for decades, resulting in hundreds of wrongful convictions…”

    1. True, but there are some real stand-outs and none of them are in the south.

  10. Oh common guys, it’s heritage, not hate.

    1. But if you say “heritage” over and over, it becomes “hate rage”.

    2. Could you explain why you think it can’t be both?

    3. I hardly think we’re “common guys”. 😉

  11. The original story was indeed overcooked. But after examining court documents and historical archives, as well as speaking with the story’s author, several former Dothan police officers, and an anti-Confederate historian, I found that Dothan [insert random city name here] does have serious, long-standing, and unresolved race issues.

    1. They could just as well be talking about some small-town PD in Massachusetts. Its just that they don’t have the convenience of “Southern Heritage” club to provide validation of their legacy of racism.

      1. Dothan, AL is about midway in population between Amherst and Fall River.

      2. Well yes, Gilmore, if you suspect that a town’s PD is racist, the presence of a police fan club for a past racist insurgency is indeed “convenient” for demonstrating your case.

        Kind of like how finding tweets in support of ISIS is “convenient” for establishing that those two California shooters last month were Islamic terrorists.

        1. The aforementioned “Sons of Confederate Veterans” might have some racist associations, but then so does the commentariat of Takimag or AmericanRennaissance

          My point was that arguing people are racists merely by association is convenient… when they can’t actually point to specific racist behavior.

          Your example is completely the opposite; taking already demonstrated terrorist-actions, and merely validating it by showing their relationship with a terrorist group.

          1. Hey!
            If anyone, in this case Dan Bongard, says there is racism, all discussion is immediately terminated.
            Gee, micro-aggress much?

    2. When an identifiable group commits crimes, far out of proportion to its share of the population, and police take note of this fact and concentrate on that group, even if the identifier is the color of one’s skin, it ISN’T racism.
      And before anyone makes the claim that the out-of-proportion rate of crimes by young, black men is a product of racism, go get yourself a police radio scanner and listen to the descriptions, directly from the reports of victims, of the perpetrators of street crimes.
      “Racism” is treating people, UNDER THE SAME OR SIMILAR CIRCUMSTANCES, differently because of their race. Police paying heightened attention to young, black men is a product of the circumstances young, black men have created, for themselves.

      1. If you arrest a man or search his property based solely upon the fact that he’s black, regardless of what the radio said, you may or may not be a racist, but you’re executing a general warrant in violation of the Fourth Amendment.

        If you just “pay heightened attention” to an individual because he’s black, but then he tells you to “fuck off” or runs from you, and you use that justify an arrest or search, then you are the one who created the “circumstances”.

        Even if X% of young, black men are criminals, treating the other (100-X)% as criminals is a reflection of your own biases. Whether you call it racist or not is a function of your intellectual honesty but is ultimately immaterial. It doesn’t matter what you write on the paperwork to justify it, you are “treating people differently because of their race” and you deserve the scorn you might receive for it.

  12. It’s hard to paint the Sons of Confederate Veterans with a broad brush. I’ve attended several SCV meetings as a speaker. They first pledge allegiance to the US Flag and do some ritual crap about the Confederacy. Didn’t hear any racial hatred but some members will forcefully argue that there were issues other than slavery that led to secession. I’ve heard the “most Southerners didn’t own slaves” bit, but a plurality of them employed slaves at harvest time, around the shop, etc. A number even acknowledged it was wrong to secede but were proud that their ancestor stood up for his principles as he saw them.

    1. This says that about 30% of Southerners owned slave. I assume its reliable. Interesting stuff.

      http://www.civilwarcauses.org/stat.htm

      1. R C I’ve read too many of your post here to think you are going to put much faith in an assumption.

        30% of southerners in those days couldn’t afford a slave. Slaves were expensive.

        http://americancivilwar.com/au…..owners.htm

        The census also determined that there were fewer than 385,000 individuals who owned slaves (1). Even if all slaveholders had been white, that would amount to only 1.4 percent of whites in the country (or 4.8 percent of southern whites owning one or more slaves).

        1. Why do people think this is interesting?

          The relevant question is what percentage of the political class owned slaves, and the answer is “virtually all of them”. The South seceded for the same reason the United States declared independence from England, and fought for the same reason America has fought every one of its wars: because the political class saw it as serving their interests.

          All the crap about protecting “Southern rights” was just PR for the rubes. It gets repeated today because “my great-grandfather got suckered into fighting for rich men’s ‘right’ to enslave people” doesn’t sound quite so heroic as “my great-grandfather fought for his freedom”.

          1. You are right about the political class. But that’s not the point of the discussion.

            The original point of the writer was that the South is nothing but a bunch of racists and they prove it buy honoring their ancestors.

            That’s what I called bullshit on.

            1. Well, true — saying that a person who honors his Confederate ancestors is therefore a racist is unfair. One must not rule out the possibility that the person is merely a dumbass.

              Look, a 19th century American who fought for the Confederacy is the exact moral equivalent of a 21st century American who declares allegiance to Al Qaeda or ISIS and then shoot up an army base. Yeah, sure, they’re “brave” and “fighting for what they believe in”, but who gives a shit? They’re traitors fighting bravely for an evil cause. Celebrating them today would be bad, but celebrating them after 150 years of time to reflect on their mistakes is just pig-ignorant.

          2. And all that crap about “preserving the Union” wasn’t PR?

          3. So, the “political class’s” only interest was in enslaving people of a darker complexion?
            There was no other reason they would take the preemptive, and obviously dangerous, action of removing the entire population of their state, from the United States? Let’s not forget, there was no pending or recently enacted legislation outlawing slavery, at the time. In fact the platform of Lincoln’s party stated there wouldn’t be any.
            In your mind, these people were extraordinarily committed to white supremacy, which would have been, to them, and most Americans, the natural order of things, and not in need of such a drastic step.

  13. outletsshared

    Space bars, how do they work?

    1. Well, you take an appendage that isn’t otherwise engaged, and beat it on the space bar . . . .

  14. posing with the stars and bars

    Nope, that’s not the Star and Bars.

    That’s the Confederate Battle Flag or Naval Jack.

    1. Stars and Bars?

  15. It’s worth keeping an eye on Dothan, so long as we’re careful to examine the evidence behind the headlines before jumping to conclusions.

    That’s not how the narrative building game is played.

  16. This article is pure garbage.

    1. I should add that if a reporter actually looked into the Dothan PD and Henry County, D.A.’s office he could actually find something worthwhile to report. As could be said of most any city of similar size.

  17. Related, but far more important, Confederate Founding Father Robert Toombs was the great-great grandfather of Roddy Piper.

  18. So the original blogpost, swallowed hook-line-and sinker by gullible Yankee Journos, turned out to be just as completely unfounded and unsourced as it would appear to anyone with moderately good critical reading skills.

    Anthony Fisher “goes deeper” and finds that: a bad cop who mishandled evidence was fired by the department. He then “reports”:

    Magrino now works as an investigator for an Alabama state agency and would not comment for this story.

    Would you guess (w/o clicking the link) that Magrino is now a private investigator in Dothan? That’s what the link shows. The bad cop got a PI license and hung out a shingle. Some “Alabama state agency” is how Fisher reads this.

  19. Two Black former officers who were fired or suspended have filed racial discrimination employment complaints.

    Several past and present officers are, or were in the past, members of the Son’s of Confederate Veterans.

    That’s it…

    1. Thank you, I felt bad for not reading the entire article, not I don’t have to.

  20. Sounds like they need to all grow up.

    http://www.Full-VPN.tk

  21. My first job out of High School was at St Paul and over the next 5 years Iearned so very much. Seeing the hospital torn down tears a small piece of my heart out. The Daughters of Charity and the doctors and staff of St Paul Hospital will always be with me.
    ???????????www.HomeSalary10.com

  22. My last pay check was $9500 working 12 hours a week online. My sisters friend has been averaging 15k for months now and she works about 20 hours a week. I can’t believe how easy it was once I tried it out. This is what I do..

    Clik This Link inYour Browser….

    ? ? ? ? http://www.WorkPost30.Com

  23. When SPLC and libertarians are virtually working together to pursue racism in police departments, and checking the facts, that’s a good day in America.

  24. My first job out of High School was at St Paul and over the next 5 years Iearned so very much. Seeing the hospital torn down tears a small piece of my heart out. The Daughters of Charity and the doctors and staff of St Paul Hospital will always be with me.
    ??????????? http://www.HomeSalary10.com

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.