Thursday, September 15, 2005

Racism at the U of C

One of the little mini-controversies over the Roberts nomination was his use of the term "War Between the States" rather than "Civil War". The former supposedly suggests segregationist sympathies. It seems to me that both terms are equivalent in their neutrality. The official U.S. term is "War of the Rebellion" clearly takes sides but almost nobody uses that one. There apparently is also a name for the Civil War that clearly takes the side of the South. I used to know a Southern fellow at the University of Chicago who would refer to the "War of Northern Aggression". For this fellow's sake he best not choose a vocational field where liberal sentiment is strong. In any case, if Roberts' use of "War Between the States" shows insufficient opposition to segregation, then what are we to say of my former acquaintance?

UPDATE: To be fair, I understood this fellow to be speaking in jest. As another mini-controversy from the Roberts nomination shows, however, that won't save you from stern reprimands from Senatorial blowhards.


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José said...

I used to always call it the war of northern aggression in HS. But that is because I liked annoying my history teacher; and because I was born in TX.

Yehuda said...

To clarify, on behalf of said Southern fellow, the distinction between "war between the states" and "war of the rebellion" has nothing to do with slavery, but rather with the issue of states' rights. The South viewed the constitution as binding on the states only so long as they abided by the Union. Once the South seceded from the Union, the Union no longer applied to them and they were independent states fighting other states, hence the name "war between the states." Since Lincoln and the other Northerners believed that the South could not secede, their fighting with other states was not a "war between the states" but a "rebellion" against the union.

Mr. HaLevi said...

I was going to ask Shmuli why in the world he thinks this would ever matter for our Southern friend named Yehuda. I mean, you really think he'll ever be a Senator or Justice?

But now after having Yehuda's reply, all I can say is wow.

Only a hick from Georgia like Mr. Huda could so eloquently defend a bunch of white slave owners. Too bad they lost, huh?

miriam said...

in reference to the original question, it seems yehuda's explanation also explains why "war between the states" (implying fighting between indep entitites) is not the same as "civil war" (implying figting within one country).