Friday, June 22, 2012

Connie Chastain's Useless Information

Update: Connie is blocking me from linking to her blog. Here's the link to "Useless Information."

It appears the almighty advocate of "Southern Heritage," Connie Chastain, took it upon herself to right wrongs of modern history. She brings to light in her recent post ("Useless Information,")all of the wrongs of current blogger historians Kevin Levin, Andy Hall, and Dr. Brooks Simpson. For some time now Connie has accused Kevin, Andy, Brooks, and myself of demonizing the South. Her recent post is no different.
Brooks Simpson at Crossroads has brought up the subject of white Southerners (i.e., the KKK) killing and terrorizing ex-slaves after the war. Kevin Levin loves to lament the plight of slaves in the Confederacy (he doesn't appear to say much about the plight of these same slaves before the Confederacy) and Andy Hall loves to lament the plight, after the war, of ex-slaves who assisted their masters during the war and turned into pitiable buffoons at veteran gatherings afterward.
I must admit in the past I wrote about the different aspects of hatred and racism in connection with old Confederate symbols.  In reality, none of the posts written by Kevin, Andy, Brooks or myself have anything to do with an attempt to "evilize" the South. The posts are all observations geared towards learning and a better understanding of history and the memory of historical events. Connie disagrees. To simplify, if Connie disagrees with one's arguments, she automatically presumes one has a motive or agenda against her "heritage." Instead of facing the arguments in the posts head on, Connie instead engages in logical fallacies. Amongst the fallacies are answering criticism with criticism and the famous straw man argument. The former also known as 'tu quoque' can be seen perfectly in Connie's recent post.

After making the above statement, Connie then asserts this:

Wonder what they'd say about this...
"Sick from Freedom shows that as many as 1 million of the freed slaves died from cholera or smallpox while the federal government, controlled by The Party of Lincoln for half a century after the war, did essentially nothing at all about it. Thousands of ex-slaves returned to work on the plantations where they were previously enslaved because the alternative was starvation and death from disease.

The main priority of The Party of Lincoln at that time (from 1865–1890) was its war of genocide against another colored race, the Plains Indians, in order to "make way for the railroad," as General Sherman himself announced. The U.S. army, aided by ex slaves known as "Buffalo Soldiers," eventually murdered some 60,000 Plains Indians, including thousands of women and children, while putting the rest of them into concentration camps known as "reservations.""
Unless they can find some way to evilize white Southerners with this information, it's useless to them, regardless of how truthful it is, so I suspect their response to be dead, ringing silence and emain [sic] so until hell freezes over...

And there are still folks who say the yankees "shed their sin" of slavery...
The above contains both Thomas DiLorenzo's review of Sick from Freedom  by Jim Downs with comments from Connie Chastain herself.  It appears that both DiLorenzo and Connie are advocating that as many as one million freed slaves died after the civil war from various diseases. All the while receiving little to no help from the Federal government or in this case, the party of Lincoln. This is an attempt at showing the faults of the United States government in order to ignore the atrocities committed by some Southerners (slaveholders). The truth however, is more complex.

Kevin Levin at Civil War Memory appreciates history books as well. He is currently reading Sick from Freedom. I'll leave Kevin's post to speak for itself but I also want to draw attention to the comments section of his post. Andy Hall demonstrates that DiLorenzo is misrepresenting the book's arguments and statistics. It appears this is all for the sake of meeting a pre-designated agenda. Given DiLorenzo's economics background, my guess is that he is attempting to demonstrate the failure of an overreaching federal government.  It seems Connie is jumping on the bandwagon of Jim Down's book, as Kevin rightly points out, without actually reading it. She even appears to side with DiLorenzo's assessment. All for the sake of being overly critical of the Northern United States.

I want to examine one more comment of Connie's. She states in the last paragraph:
Unless they can find some way to evilize white Southerners with this information, it's useless to them, regardless of how truthful it is, so I suspect their response to be dead, ringing silence and emain [sic] so until hell freezes over...
Notice Connie makes sure to mark differences of race. She has a history of citing numerous racial differences as well as the superiority of one race over another.  As far as a response of "dead, ringing silence," she could not be more wrong. The dialogue on Kevin's post provides ample noise to suggest hell has indeed froze over. To look more closely at Connie's accusation of evilizing the South, I want to draw attention to another one of Kevin Levin's posts entitled "Gettysburg Bound." In this Kevin tells readers that he will be giving lectures at the Civil War Institute's annual conference at Gettysburg College. At one of these lectures, Kevin will be speaking about "Northern racism on the eve of emancipation." Yes you read that correctly; the former sentence said "Northern." Kevin goes on to say this:
One of the difficulties that I’ve found while teaching the Civil War is getting students to appreciate the distinction between slavery and racism – that one could have firmly believed in the immorality of slavery while holding tight to a wide range of racist beliefs. Many of my students come to class with a naive view that pits evil southern slaveholders against a virtuous north.
Well that hardly seems like evilizing the South at all. Kevin does not have to evilize the South, some Southerners do that on their own. See below:

 This comes straight off of Connie Chastain's Facebook group "Backsass." It's amazing that I continue to be blocked from her blog and her Facebook group yet this mindset is perfectly acceptable. Pat Hine's antisemitism evilizes the South on its own. I do not know if Kevin is Jewish or not, but who cares? As a Southerner, this disgusts me. The South has a history of this sort of mindset; a history I thought most Southerners learned from.

Leo Frank (Jewish), murdered by the Knights of Mary Phagan

The above picture is that of Leo Frank and those that murdered him. The murderers are famously referred to as the Knights of Mary Phagan. They are named after the little girl that Frank supposedly killed. A reading of the evidence tells anyone that the trial and conviction was the product of antisemitism.  The Knights, carried out a sentence that the Georgia state government attempted to stall. Two months later, the Knights burned a giant cross on Stone Mountain just outside of Atlanta Georgia. This act is seen as the introduction of the Second Ku Klux Klan.

It is completely fair to say that if Connie wants to accuse others of evilizing the South, she needs look no further than her own sheep. As a born and bred Georgian, this type of attitude and comment disgusts me. I closed my U.S. History class with this statement Connie, maybe you should heed the words.

The history of America is interesting, diverse and complex. It is one of kindness, freedom, and social mobility. A history that shows that anyone can come and make something of themselves. A history that provides examples of ordinary men and women doing extraordinary things. But it is also a history of blemishes. Imperialism, racism, slavery, and xenophobia have plagues America's past and present. You are the future. What type of America do you want? Do you want the America that advocates liberty and progress? Or do you want the racist, bigoted America?


  1. Rob, I agree with your post, but I hate it that you have spelling errors for someone like Connie to jump all over (born and bred, not bread, for instance, straight, not strait, etc.). These are the kind of errors that spellchecker will not weed out, since the words are perfectly good woods, but are homonyms for the words you meant. Sorry to be a spelling cop (I probably have typos in this post), but I hate to see you give her any ammunition for her perpetual smoke screens.

    Anyhow, you'll get weary of arguing with her sooner or later (it's pointless, you'll tire of it before she does since she lives and breathes conflict rather than air). Be glad you're blocked from her pages, it's a blessing in disguise.

    I don't mind if you get rid of this post, as long as you correct the spelling errors, please! Thank you.

    1. Thanks for the tip. i posted this pretty late in the morning and haven't looked at it since. I'll be sure to look over it when I get home.

  2. Southern Bigot Connie is also allegedly the author of the largest Leo Frank web site in the world: I encourage everyone to expose this web site and write more articles countering the Leo Frank revisionist movement to make him guilty again for the murder of Mary Phagan.

    1. I haven't seen any site or anything that suggests she is the author of the Leo Frank website. Since the website is based out of Houston and Connie is stationed in Pensacola, you probably don't know what you are talking about.

      Thanks for commenting.


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