The South’s Cornerstone Speech – A Basis for Systemic Racism

For decades defenders of the Confederacy have argued that the secession of the South had little to nothing to do with slavery. It was all about protecting a way of life, a history, a culture, the purity of Southern ladies, or the political idea of states versus national rights.

It is generally claimed that the beginning of the American Civil War began with the bombardment of the Union Fort Sumner in the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina.  This occurred on April 12, 1861, but the succession of Southern states from the United States began when South Carolina seceded in December of 1860. When the war began depends on which action you choose.

If you want to answer the question of why the states, Alexander H. Stephens. went to war it’s easy. Just read some or all of the Cornerstone Address given in Savannah, Georgia on March 2, 1861, by the Vice President of the Confederated States of America.

In his speech, Stephens clearly stated that slavery was the cornerstone upon which the Confederacy built and that the Confederacy, rather than the Union, would maintain the natural order of things by keeping the inferior black race in bondage.

Truth is, while the American South codified the idea of black inferiority used it to justify enslavement, many such ideas were popular in the North. For example, while many Northerners were opposed to slavery and worked to free the slaves and help them find a way to freedom, they still held that blacks were inferior to whites.

What I’ve written here is simply the way it was in the opening days of the Civil War. It was also the way it was for a couple of centuries before the war and for a century and a half following the war’s end.

From at least the early 1600s Americans have embraced the ideas of racial inferiority coupled with white supremacy. These ideas have become systemic to our culture and both the truth of this and its denial are what have driven the hundreds of thousands into the streets over the past three weeks.

If you don’t understand the cries for “defund the police”, it’s to a great part because you’re either ignorant of these hateful cornerstones or like Stephens, you agree with them.


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