Thursday, March 18, 2010

Online Museum of Historical Kitsch, Wear Your Ignorance on Your Chest Edition

Some people wear their hearts on their sleeves. Others wear their ignorance on their chests.

Count how many things are wrong with this t-shirt: "Standing Alone Against Northern Aggression Since 1861":

1) 1861? South Carolina seceded in December 1860.

2) Since 1861? Alone? Really? How many states seceded? How many fought against the U.S. Army? How many states enacted Jim Crow? How many segregated the races? How many fought every piece of progressive legislation to appear before Congress in the past century or more? Also, would you really want to use a "national" flag -- one that was supposed to represent a confederation involving more than one state -- to symbolize and emphasize your isolation?

3) Northern Aggression? When even that alleged dyed-in-the-wool Yankee abolitionist Abraham Lincoln said that he believed that he did not have the power to violate the concept of private property and free slaves in states where the institution was protected? Or during Plessy v. Ferguson? Or the rise of Jim Crow? Or ....well, you get the picture. Based on the shape of the Confederate flag in the background of the image, a shape that became popular during the resistance to the Civil Rights Movement of the mid-20th century, I'd say that "northern aggression" means anytime that white folks have to recognize the humanity and -- at the very least -- political equality of black folks.

4) Given that SC has been majority black for a majority of its history since colonization, I hardly think that this is the majority opinion in the state. Are they trying to erase that part of the population as well as their participation in history? After all, African American participation in that history might be in direct opposition to the interpretation on this t-shirt?

Or perhaps the majority, African American position might be similar. They have been standing alone against northern aggression aiding and abetting southern aggression against non-whites for most of U.S. history. Only, the dates on the shirt would probably include "except" rather than "since."

This store did not get our business.

Cross-posted at Progressive Historians


Digger said...

Oh hey, don't go confusing the issue with the facts!

Really a pretty stunning retelling (and just plain wrong-ness). You don't mention if it was in a museum gift shop...

Ink said...


That is all.

Clio Bluestocking said...

Digger, not a museum gift shop -- that's coming! A regular ole tourist t-shirt shop. The museum gift shops were fairly tame. The tourist shops, however -- well,as I said, that's coming!

Ink, yup.

氣氛 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ann said...

I see that the Lost Causers haven't upped their game much in the past few decades. Ignorance is their natural state.


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