Associate Professor of Education Alicia Moore Responds to Georgetown Celebration of Confederate History Month
Recently, some students told me of their encounter with a gentleman who was holding a Confederate flag in the Georgetown Square and sharing that he was celebrating Confederate History Month (CHM). While I am ecstatic when American citizens are able to celebrate causes for which they are passionate, I am curious about the “truth” that he says he shares with impressionable middle school students and what ideologies he holds related to race (which he mentioned to the students). As well, while he has every right to celebrate, I ask, “What, exactly, is he celebrating?”
Many who celebrate CHM, want others to believe that they are only celebrating “Southern pride” and the hopes and dreams of secession. They say that celebrating the Confederacy has nothing even remotely to do with celebrating slavery (I just read a quote today that shared this same sentiment). However, for those who believe this is true, I merely direct them to read the 1861 Texas Ordinance of Secession. In this document, the following excerpt shares the beliefs of the confederacy: We hold as undeniable truths that the governments of the various States, and of the confederacy itself, were established exclusively by the white race, for themselves and their posterity; that the African race had no agency in their establishment; that they were rightfully held and regarded as an inferior and dependent race, and in that condition only could their existence in this country be rendered beneficial or tolerable. While this man was celebrating his “truth”, I have to wonder which historical lens obfuscates his truth. I also wonder how celebrating the Confederacy can be mutually exclusive from celebrating slavery and the heinous treatment endured by enslaved people. I guess could refer back to a quote about truth from Aldous Huxley in which he said, “Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.” I think that he could celebrate his “truth,” but telling this “truth” to middle school students, without actual facts, is unconscionable.