In a brief and well done video, Colonel Ty Seidule, the Head of the West Point History Department, completely destroys the Neo-Confederate Myth that the Civil War was about anything other than Slavery.
Watch it for yourself below:
I would say that pretty much clearly destroys all the Neo-Confederate arguments for their position that the Civil War was not about slavery.
Most reasonable people, would view this video and acknowledge that Southern Culture was, and in many respects still is based on the immoral practice of owning humans and making them work for the gain of the white community.
But, I know many here in the 6th District (most if not all would consider them conservatives) that still refuse to admit the reality we can see in the actual documents and photographs of the time.
A document I just found is perfect. Here is the link to the entire document. Alexander H. Stephens, the Vice President of the Confederate States of America, said
Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner- stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth
This clearly states that the intent of seceding is to preserve slavery.
The newspapers of the time plainly said secession was about preserving slavery. Just Google it.
So why do so many here in the 6th District deny the clear and obvious truth?
Because if Southern conservatives admit the Civil War was about Slavery, they have to admit that they caused the deaths of more than 500,000. Also, many conservatives still actually believe that black are inferior (just look at their comments about Black Lives Matter as a very recent example) and that they still believe they, White Anglo Saxon Protestants, should dominate our culture (or as they call it our Christian Nation.)
And what happened when a Democratic president signed the Civil Rights Act into law? Southern conservatives abandoned the Democratic Party in droves and flocked to the Republican Party when they enacted the Southern Strategy (Google it) of nonstop dog whistle racism.
If you were raised in a family and community that explicitly believes black people are inferior sub-humans and they must be subjugated to white people, I can easily understand how you would be pretty upset that they are given equality with your WASP community.
So what do you do?
You use as much selective perception as you can muster to ignore the reality of slavery. When confronted with any discussion of slavery, you defend slavery in some of the most obtuse ways. One of my favorites that my mother-in-law likes to use to justify slavery is to suggest that blacks sold the blacks into slavery, so it must be clearly the blacks own fault.
One of my favorite parts of the video above is the point about “States Rights.” Southerners love to say the war was about States Rights, but ignore what the most important State Right they were trying to protect.
I also like the argument that it was “The War of Northern Aggression” even though Southerners fired the first shot.