the article “The Confederate Mystique”, Andrew O’Hehir discusses the emergence
of proto-nationalist movements in the called “Southern States” of the U.S.A.
following the white supremacist protest in Charlottesville, Virginia on the
11th of August of 2017.
O’Hehir picks up Ulysses S. Grant, he’s struggle
during the civil war, the peace signing, and his memory today, as a way to show
that morality of the Southern “cause” was already highly questioned back then.
a brief introduction to the deeds of Grant, O’Hehir, formulates what is, for
him, the issue at hand.
That is how the
great military hero of the Civil War and the 18th president of the United
States — who waged and won a bloody war to save the Union and then tried to
redeem it through Reconstruction — saw that flag that now adorns so many front
porches, so many dorm rooms, so many rear windows of Silverado pickups. It was
a symbol of “the stupendous crime of treason.”
all Confederate symbols to be, no only, aberrant and dangerous, but also
criminal, questioning President elect Trump, on his apology to the monuments
when standing against their demolition.
The author goes on
to argue that Grant’s memory has been let go, often times being remembered
negatively whilst Robert E. Lee, hero of “Southern Aristocracy, seems to be
remembered as a “dashing Virginia gentleman”, a hero and a martyr.
pressing that the ideas of a romanticized moral South and a demonic liberal
North are very real, proceeding to compare this century long idea with the
concept of “Make America great again”, which O’Hehir claims to also be a
fantasy easily digestible.
A reference to
Victor Fleming’s “Gone with the Wind” is made, in which the writer points out
the dangerous sanitization performed upon the Southern personalities in the
film. This is followed by two occurrences in experienced by the author, a first
one in which the an older family member from the South expressed her ignorance towards
the fact the people of colour felt that the Confederate flag was hurtful, and a
second occurrence in which a beach towel was being sold with the flag and a
Cannabis leaf. Both incidents reinforce the author’s idea that the
mystification of Southern heritage is incited largely by a sense of injustice
towards people’s living situation together with a general ignorance of its
goes on to recall the surrendering of Robert E. Lee to Ulysses S. Grant, and
how people retell, in a highly bias way, that historic moment, in which Grant
the dirty peasant unjustly forced Lee, the southern gentleman, to surrender.
The author quotes from Ulysses S. Grant’s Personal Memoirs, in which Grant admits
the difficulty of seeing Lee’s demise, in order to better explain