Kalbear

Confederate: bad idea or the WORST idea?

188 posts in this topic

On 8/2/2017 at 2:24 AM, Kalbear said:

Kinda? Liberia, after all, was a US plan to give the AA population their own homeland, and that happened 40 years before the civil war. 

And if you look at the reconstruction timeline, it's not that weird. You can see it as an answer to not fighting another civil war or having a longer reconstruction. With Lincoln's assassination and the very expensive war and reconstruction, it's not that insane - or at least, it's about as insane as thinking that the South could actually fight the North to enough of a standstill and keep their government. 

After recently reading Gore Vidal's Lincoln, I just can't see any plausible way of this scenario happening. After all, preserving the Union was the No.1 cause the North fought for. Lincoln himself famously said "If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that."

Even after his assassination, and even if Johnson is out of the picture, i just don't see any of his potential successors (Seward, Chase, Grant, Stanton) reversing Lincoln's legacy and the reason why 365 000 Union soldiers died.

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Its just extraordinary when you look at the 1860 census- 

The United States Census of 1860 was the eighth Census conducted in the United States starting June 1, 1860, and lasting five months. It determined the population of the United States to be 31,443,321, an increase of 35.4 percent over the 23,191,875 persons enumerated during the 1850 Census.
Wikipedia › wiki › 1860_United_States_...
 
 
And you consider the magnitude of the soldier losses- 
620,000 soldiers
 
Approximately 620,000 soldiers died from combat, accident, starvation, and disease during the Civil War. This number comes from an 1889 study of the war performed by William F. Fox and Thomas Leonard Livermore. Both men fought for the Union.
Civil War Trust › learn › articles › civil-...
 
 
Thats 620,000 soldier deaths from a population of 31,443,000 people. 19.7% of the population, very nearly 20%! Thats astounding.
In percentage terms, this would be the equivalent of losing 55 million Americans from our 2017 population. 
 
 
 

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3 hours ago, DireWolfSpirit said:

Its just extraordinary when you look at the 1860 census- 

The United States Census of 1860 was the eighth Census conducted in the United States starting June 1, 1860, and lasting five months. It determined the population of the United States to be 31,443,321, an increase of 35.4 percent over the 23,191,875 persons enumerated during the 1850 Census.
Wikipedia › wiki › 1860_United_States_...
 
 
And you consider the magnitude of the soldier losses- 
620,000 soldiers
 
Approximately 620,000 soldiers died from combat, accident, starvation, and disease during the Civil War. This number comes from an 1889 study of the war performed by William F. Fox and Thomas Leonard Livermore. Both men fought for the Union.
Civil War Trust › learn › articles › civil-...
 
 
Thats 620,000 soldier deaths from a population of 31,443,000 people. 19.7% of the population, very nearly 20%! Thats astounding.
In percentage terms, this would be the equivalent of losing 55 million Americans from our 2017 population. 
 
 
 

I think your math is off.  That's more like 2% of the population.

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What happened to freedom of speech ? 

If it's good why does it matter if it revolves around black slaves ? 

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Posted (edited)

31 minutes ago, GeorgeIAF said:

What happened to freedom of speech ? 

If it's good why does it matter if it revolves around black slaves ? 

Are you suggesting there is a violation of freedom of speech with the U.S. government attempting to silence D&D's right to create a show about a certain subject?

Or are you suggesting that freedom of speech means free from criticism or consequence?  

Edited by Dr. Pepper

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Posted (edited)

There's grown this connection between "i'm offended" and, "now i get something, as redress for being offended!  What have i won?!"   Whereas people used to get offended and vented their anger by using free speech to spout off about it , and that was that.  I can see how the new way of the world has a chance to correct more of society's ills, but don't we also see it leading us toward a point where there'll be zero activity?   Because anyone who does or risks anything will just be setting themselves up for offended people to make their play.  So why bother trying, when the Reactive class is so dominant over the Proactive thinkers , won't the proactive class stop being the doers, and then all the vitality bleeds out of society, and The Griping kills the golden goose without replacing it with anything much.

 

  It's like that old bit where you see a slippey floor at the grocery store and then make damn sure you "slip" on it for the payday.    Only now that's been embiggened into the model we use for applying pressure on everything.  But if everyone is offended then the doers suffer pressure from all sides and can't go anywhere.  No direction is safe / available.  So, Stagnation.  Errrrrr, Progress.   The Griping then is a new societal power we have to learn how to wield without abusing it.   Like how the martial artist is hopefully trained in only the proper application of force.   All the tougher for a vigilante mob on social media to learn, with its membership constantly shifting.  Uhhhh, we've unleashed a constantly roving buzzsaw into our cultural garage.   Like if a tornado set up shop and just remained active, a new permanant feature of the landscape that was just out of control.   But it started off by demolishing a bank and sending money raining down on the peeps, so the tornado currently enjoys a high approval rating.

Edited by The Mother of The Others

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Posted (edited)

 Yeah, the "I'm Offended" industry seems to be over producing just a touch. That was kind of my main pushback towards the blog post that Kalbear linked in the OP. It went from "this is a problematic subject that I'll probably just pass on" to "why white people love slavery so much, yo?"

 

 And I'm like "why white people love slavery so much, yo?"?!?! 

 

 

 

Edited by Manhole Eunuchsbane

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I holding out a little hope that they might succeed in their goal of shining a light in the dark, racist corners of contemporary America.... Although I get that there is a distinct possibility that --as Caucasian showrunners-- are more likely going to ham handedly write with a "white savior" complex.....I'll wait

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2 hours ago, Manhole Eunuchsbane said:

 Yeah, the "I'm Offended" industry seems to be over producing just a touch. That was kind of my main pushback towards the blog post that Kalbear linked in the OP. It went from "this is a problematic subject that I'll probably just pass on" to "why white people love slavery so much, yo?"

The latter question is kind of a big deal. Why do white people in the US like so much to fetishize and romanticize slavery and the slave period? This concept - of slavery winning out and lasting well into the industrial age and the information age - is definitely about that one way or another. 

Because really, any way you look at it - showing a world where the South won (or at least was able to secede) is not going to be particularly negative to slavery, especially if slavery remains 150 years later. It can't be; the only way it could be negative is if those Southern states fell into massive disarray, chaos, and internal strife due to insurgency and oppression. And that would be fascinating, I think - showing that the Southern states, without allies like France or Britain and with massive pressure from the North, would simply become this English banana republic that cycled between revolutionary ideology and military dictatorships - but that certainly isn't what this sounds like.

This sounds like 'what if we had a capitalist, modern society, but it had some slaves'. So...why do white people love slavery so much?

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Posted (edited)

14 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

The latter question is kind of a big deal. Why do white people in the US like so much to fetishize and romanticize slavery and the slave period? This concept - of slavery winning out and lasting well into the industrial age and the information age - is definitely about that one way or another. 

Because really, any way you look at it - showing a world where the South won (or at least was able to secede) is not going to be particularly negative to slavery, especially if slavery remains 150 years later. It can't be; the only way it could be negative is if those Southern states fell into massive disarray, chaos, and internal strife due to insurgency and oppression. And that would be fascinating, I think - showing that the Southern states, without allies like France or Britain and with massive pressure from the North, would simply become this English banana republic that cycled between revolutionary ideology and military dictatorships - but that certainly isn't what this sounds like.

This sounds like 'what if we had a capitalist, modern society, but it had some slaves'. So...why do white people love slavery so much?

But what examples of this fetishization are being cited exactly? Outside of the redneck flying the Stars and Bars off of his jacked up 4x4, what white people are romanticizing slavery? I guess I'm somewhat insulated, but among the vast majority of white folks I know, slavery is a source of shame and guilt.

 In terms of popular culture (TV shows, films, music, books, etc) where are the examples of romanticized slavery? It's quite the opposite, isn't it? As well it should be, just to clarify. Movies like Django, 12 Years a Slave. Shows like Roots or even A Handmaid's Tale, etc all portray slave owners as despicable villains. Where is the fetishization of slavery outside of crap like 50 Shades of Grey, which is of course a horse of another color, no pun intended.   

Edited by Manhole Eunuchsbane

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1 minute ago, Manhole Eunuchsbane said:

But what examples of this fetishization are being cited exactly? Outside of the redneck flying the Stars and Bars off of his jacked up 4x4, what white people are romanticizing slavery? I guess I'm somewhat insulated, but among the vast majority of white folks I know, slavery is a source of shame and guilt.

That's kind of a big deal, yeah. There's tons of other stories out there - the Free State of Jones came out last year, as an example. But saying 'other than the redneck' - well, the redneck is about 30% of the US. So yeah, other than that, how was the  play Mrs. Lincoln?

1 minute ago, Manhole Eunuchsbane said:

 In terms of popular culture (TV shows, films, music, books, etc) where are the examples of romanticized slavery? It's quite the opposite, isn't it? As well it should be, just to clarify. Movies like Django, 12 Years a Slave. Shows like Roots or even A Handmaid's Tale, etc all portray slave owners as despicable villains. Where is the fetishization of slavery outside of crap like 50 Shades of Grey, which is of course a horse of another color, no pun intended.   

There's a lot of conservative voices out there saying differently - from the confederate flag bills and flying, to them showing 'pride', to people admitting openly that slaves had a good deal, to Ben Carson saying that it was a good thing that AA people got enslaved and brought to the US because they would have had a worse time. 

But this also goes to the showing it as so very bad, and this is important. Detroit got a LOT of negative reviews because for AA people, all it showed was the negative aspects and the constant brutal beating. To them, it was a horror movie, and not just a horror movie - a fetish horror movie where it's just about the gore and brutality. And that's part of the fetishization too - that it isn't showing life, it's either applauding a world that didn't exist or overemphasizing a world that was horrible so people can feel better about not supporting it, but none of it is particularly real. 

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1 hour ago, Kalbear said:

That's kind of a big deal, yeah. There's tons of other stories out there - the Free State of Jones came out last year, as an example. But saying 'other than the redneck' - well, the redneck is about 30% of the US. So yeah, other than that, how was the  play Mrs. Lincoln?

There's a lot of conservative voices out there saying differently - from the confederate flag bills and flying, to them showing 'pride', to people admitting openly that slaves had a good deal, to Ben Carson saying that it was a good thing that AA people got enslaved and brought to the US because they would have had a worse time. 

But this also goes to the showing it as so very bad, and this is important. Detroit got a LOT of negative reviews because for AA people, all it showed was the negative aspects and the constant brutal beating. To them, it was a horror movie, and not just a horror movie - a fetish horror movie where it's just about the gore and brutality. And that's part of the fetishization too - that it isn't showing life, it's either applauding a world that didn't exist or overemphasizing a world that was horrible so people can feel better about not supporting it, but none of it is particularly real. 

Yeah, you make a good argument. Maybe it's my sense of White Guilt coming out when I read something like "why White People love slavery so much?" and I'm hearing "why do all White People love slavery so much".

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5 hours ago, Manhole Eunuchsbane said:

But what examples of this fetishization are being cited exactly? Outside of the redneck flying the Stars and Bars off of his jacked up 4x4, what white people are romanticizing slavery? I guess I'm somewhat insulated, but among the vast majority of white folks I know, slavery is a source of shame and guilt.

 In terms of popular culture (TV shows, films, music, books, etc) where are the examples of romanticized slavery? It's quite the opposite, isn't it? As well it should be, just to clarify. Movies like Django, 12 Years a Slave. Shows like Roots or even A Handmaid's Tale, etc all portray slave owners as despicable villains. Where is the fetishization of slavery outside of crap like 50 Shades of Grey, which is of course a horse of another color, no pun intended.   

Having weddings at plantations is a thing.   It's not rednecks flying the confederate flags from the backs of trucks, but rich white people doing it.  I can't imagine you'd be able to argue this as anything other than romanticizing slavery.  

Bill O'Reilly spent an inordinate amount of time trying to prove that the slaves who built the White House were treated well, so it must not have been too bad for them.

I live in the rural Deep South so romanticizing the slave period is in my face daily.  Again, not just rednecks.  My neighbor is a college educated professional and he has his own confederate flag flying. He believes deeply in 'honoring' our history, while also claiming that blacks need to stop whining about slavery.  Most of our major parks, roads and schools are named after confederate soldiers.  A typical fun day for families is to go picnic and play at a battlefield park where ALL of the massive monuments honor confederates.  Re-enactment groups are big around here.  Everyone wants to be on the Southern side of that game.  Romanticizing our slave period is huge here, it's so deeply ingrained because kids are indoctrinated from their earliest days.  

The US would be a much better place if the vast majority of white folks - not just the ones you know - agree that slavery is a source of guilt and shame, not a period of time to celebrate with picnics and weddings.  

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20 minutes ago, Dr. Pepper said:

The US would be a much better place if the vast majority of white folks - not just the ones you know - agree that slavery is a source of guilt and shame, not a period of time to celebrate with picnics and weddings.  

 Agreed. As I mentioned, I'm insulated from the sort of situations that you are describing. Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area which I'm sure is a literal 180 degree shift from your experience.  

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The argument in the blog post, re: fetishizng/romanticizing of slavery, is that this complaint was a specifically aimed at creators of alternate histories. Harry Turtledove is not a southerner. Neither is Ben Winters, Kevin Willmot, David Benioff, and D.B. Weiss. In fact, most of the notable writers of these alternate histories, near a I can tell, are not people who fly the stars-and-bars, and I would guess that all the above names are people who consider themselves liberals.

So I don't think that the arguments here, which turn towards certain segments of people in the South, is really germane to the original (bad) point. Alternate history writers may fetishize the particular fact of the Civil War turning out differently, but frankly alternate history writers also imagine all sorts of brutal wars and events turning out differently, not because they _wish_ they had turned out differently but because they are distinct moments in a great deal of history, and the easiest way to springboard into something different from the present.

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1 hour ago, Ran said:

The argument in the blog post, re: fetishizng/romanticizing of slavery, is that this complaint was a specifically aimed at creators of alternate histories. Harry Turtledove is not a southerner. Neither is Ben Winters, Kevin Willmot, David Benioff, and D.B. Weiss. In fact, most of the notable writers of these alternate histories, near a I can tell, are not people who fly the stars-and-bars, and I would guess that all the above names are people who consider themselves liberals.

So I don't think that the arguments here, which turn towards certain segments of people in the South, is really germane to the original (bad) point. Alternate history writers may fetishize the particular fact of the Civil War turning out differently, but frankly alternate history writers also imagine all sorts of brutal wars and events turning out differently, not because they _wish_ they had turned out differently but because they are distinct moments in a great deal of history, and the easiest way to springboard into something different from the present.

it was one black man's feelings on the subject. and dare i say he is hardly the only black person who may not be too excited about this as subject matter.

but whatever,  lets just hold judgment until it is on tv. or we could empathize with the writer who is often seen as a strong black voice on race relations in America.

are we somehow a lessened society if this series is never developed?

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20 hours ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

I think your math is off.  That's more like 2% of the population.

Wow I was off. I shouldve taken a second look before I posted that lol.

I'd edit it but the edit function just never works for me here from this tablet. 

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I have an objection quite different than the nine pages I've seen on here.  I will say that D&D have every right to tackle racial issues if they like and the type of backlash they've gotten is so eye-rollingly internet.  A lot of the opinions in this thread seem to be based on your opinion of them as showrunners of GoT (or more precisely, if you've allowed their floundering to turn into personal animus against them).  The "track record" argument doesn't hold much water.  From a certain perspective Tarentino's history of depicting racial issues pre-Django could be criticized far more than D&D's, but I don't recall an uproar when he wanted to make a wish fulfillment film about slavery.

Anyway, first, I think the concept as stated is entirely facile.  If the South somehow won the Civil War, the premise that there'd be only two nations - the USA and the CSA - is fundamentally flawed.  If the South wins, that means secession is acceptable on both sides, either through capitulation or as a founding tenet, respectively.  There are far more regional divisions in this country than North-South.  If one group of states can secede, why not another group?  The success of secession (say that ten times fast) would undoubtedly lead to a balkanization of the American states.

This could look somewhat like Collin Woodard's fun (if subject to over-generalizations) book American Nations, which document 11 distinct, albeit a bit geographically arbitrary, regions of North America.  In a similar vein, there are a lot of questions I'd think anyone proposing how the country would look like ~ a century after the South won must seriously consider.  

For example:  Does the slavery and culture of the Tidewater region stick with the more brutal conditions of the Deep South?  Similarly, would the Midwest stick with the NY/New England areas (ftr, I think they would, and this would be the strongest union).  What about the Appalachian states in which the vast majority of farmers are too poor to own slaves - there's plenty of potential for a lot of fighting there both within and without.  Perhaps most importantly, how is the West settled and developed without the federal government subsidizing huge dam and canal projects so they can, ya know, drink water and grow food?  And finally, isn't it just a matter of time before the Lone Star state wants to try sovereignty again?

Now, of course since nothing is written yet some or much of this may be addressed.  But they've explicitly stated the premise is two "massive" and hostile countries, which strongly suggests they haven't done their homework.

 

On a different note, I will say I personally am sick of what seems to be more and more slavery-based stuff being produced.  Without ascribing motives to ANY studios, creators, or viewers, I just don't get why I need to see the depiction of the brutality of slavery in movie after movie or episode after episode.  I mean, it's getting to the point where they're just bad movies.  I watched Nate Parker's Birth of a Nation on a sleepless night about a week ago, and simply wasn't very good.  I also thought it was unfortunate how disingenuous the retelling of Nat Turner's uprising was in the seeming effort to deify him (you can still do that by telling the truth).  Thus, I'll probably steer clear of more slavery unless this gets great reviews.

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To quote Ta-Nehisi Coates in the Atlantic: 

Quote

 

Should one not “reserve judgment” of a thing until after it has been seen? But HBO does not actually want the public to reserve judgment so much as it wants the public to make a positive judgment. A major entertainment company does not announce a big new show in hopes of garnering dispassionate nods of acknowledgement. HBO executives themselves judged Confederate before they’d seen it—they had to, as no television script actually exists. HBO hoped to communicate that approval to its audience through the announcement. And had that communication been successful, had Confederate been greeted with rapturous anticipation, it is hard to imagine the network asking its audience to tamp down and wait.

HBO’s motives aside, the plea to wait supposes that a problem of conception can be fixed in execution. We do not need to wait to observe that this supposition is, at best, dicey. For over a century, Hollywood has churned out well-executed, slickly produced epics which advanced the Lost Cause myth of the Civil War. These are true “alternative histories,” built on “alternative facts,” assembled to depict the Confederacy as a wonderland of virtuous damsels and gallant knights, instead of the sprawling kleptocratic police state it actually was. From last century’s The Birth of a Nation to this 

century’s Gods and Generals, Hollywood has likely done more than any other American institution to obstruct a truthful apprehension of the Civil War, and thus modern America’s very origins. So one need not wait to observe that any foray by HBO into the Civil War must be met with a spirit of pointed inquiry and a withholding of all benefit of the doubt.

Skepticism must be the order of the day. So that when Benioff asks “what would the world have looked like … if the South had won,” we should not hesitate to ask what Benioff means by “the South.” He obviously does not mean the minority of  white Southern unionists, who did win. And he does not mean those four million enslaved blacks, whom the Civil War ultimately emancipated, yet whose victory was tainted. Comprising 40 percent of the Confederacy’s population, this was the South’s indispensable laboring class, its chief resource, its chief source of wealth, and the sole reason why a Confederacy existed in the first place. But they are not the subject of Benioff’s inquiry, because he is not so much asking about “the South” winning, so much as he is asking about “the white South” winning.

 

Anyone who thinks the Tidewater slavery was benign should read the histories, by themselves, of Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman, and many, many, many more.  Particularly since this was the center of slave-breeding, i.e. the selling of people's children to the slave markets of Richmond, New Orleans, Natchez, etc., from where the slave coffles and slave ships set off, removing tens of thousands of people's children, spouses, and parents away from them.

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