John Avlon: Georgia Is Celebrating Confederate Heritage and History Month? Really?tags: Confederacy, The Daily Beast, John Avlon, Confederate History Month
John Avlon is senior columnist for Newsweek and The Daily Beast, and the anchor of Beast TV. A CNN contributor, he won the National Society of Newspaper Columnists’ award for best online column in 2012.
I thought it was an April Fools’ joke.
There in my inbox on the morning of April 1 was an email from something called Ray McBerry Enterprises announcing the official start of “Confederate Heritage and History Month” in Georgia.
Apparently, former Georgia governor Sonny Perdue signed the annual celebration into law in 2009, joining six other Southern states in official monthlong “celebrations.” My folks live next door in South Carolina, and I’m a bit of a Civil War nerd, so there’s no inherent shock in the impulse to recognize local history, however painful the legacy.
But what did shock me was this quote from the press release: “So much is portrayed by Hollywood today that Georgia and the South were evil; when, in reality, the South was the most peaceful, rural, and Christian part of America before war and Reconstruction destroyed the pastoral way of life here.”
The South under slavery: “peaceful, rural, and Christian.” This isn’t heritage, this is wholesale historic revisionism. And it is ugly stuff....
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