A few days ago The Houston Chronicle reported that the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) “want to exercise the same rights enjoyed by any other Texan and pay homage to their heritage with a personalized license plate.”
This has predictably stirred up some controversy, with Jerry Patterson, the Texas Land Commissioner and a member of the SCV defending that right. Today (Saturday, July 19), Walter Kamphoefner, a Professor of History at Texas A & M, produces a devastating response to Patterson’s claims. I have written on this site about my objections to celebrating Jefferson Davis’s birthday, not to mention the way that many of Lincoln’s enemies selectively quote Lincoln and therefore distort his racial views. One should also see the pointed questions Edward Sebesta (full disclsure: Ed gave me considerable help with my book) has asked the SCV. Sebesta posed these questions in April and to my knowledge he has received no reponse from the SCV answering his queries.
Take a moment to peruse these links and I think any fair-minded person will see who has the better of the argument. And this leads me to wonder: if politicians such as Mr. Patterson get the history of the Civil War so egregiously wrong, then why should Americans trust them when they lecture the country on how we are straying from the country’s founding principles?