By Scotty T. Reid In continuing my experimentation with the suddenly much-talked-about and improved artificial intelligence tools being offered to the public which I did…
By Scotty T. Reid, BTRN – African Americans played a crucial role in the Union’s victory over the Confederacy during the American Civil War. Still, European descendant people like Donald Trump and, Ron Desantis, both of whom are descended from immigrants arriving after the American Civil War, have both honored and celebrated the Confederacy’s attempt to destroy the United States to preserve slavery. While people of African descent initially faced discrimination and were not allowed to serve in the Union Army, as the war progressed, the need for more troops led to the acceptance of African American soldiers who would fight for the cause of abolishing slavery in many ways.
For these proud soldiers, it was never about keeping the Union together as was Lincoln’s initial goal, and abolishing slavery was only secondary when it was clear it would help the Union Army recruitment. African American soldiers, known then as the United States Colored Troops (USCT), served with distinction and valor, proving their bravery and dedication to the cause once it became about abolishing the enslavement of African descendant persons in the United States. Their contributions in battles like the Battle of Fort Wagner and the Battle of the Crater showcased their military prowess which would be duplicated in all the wars and military conflicts the United States would entangle itself in over the next 150 years.
Moreover, during the American Civil War, African Americans also played essential roles in providing crucial support as laborers, nurses, spies, and soldiers. Their participation in the war effort further highlighted the injustice of slavery and helped build momentum for the abolitionist cause.
The federal government’s allowance of African Americans, free or enslaved, to enlist as combat soldiers and otherwise lend assistance, was to officially recognize their importance in the Union’s fight with the Confederates in preserving the nation.
Overall, African Americans’ well-documented contributions were so vital to the Union’s ultimate victory over the Confederacy that we should keep in mind if not for them there would no longer be a United States of America, and instead, a Confederate States of America would exist in its place. The racial terrorist organization the Klu Klux Klan would be founded by ex-Confederate officers and soldiers after the Civil War who were hell-bent on preying upon vulnerable African Americans, former victims of slavery, to exact revenge on them for their losses during the war.
Unfortunately, these former Confederate white supremacist ideology would greatly influence politics, and politicians would implement discriminatory laws at all levels of government whether local municipalities, state legislatures, and governors all working in tandem to deprive African Americans, saviors of the Union, of their civil rights after a failed attempt at Reconstruction in the South. It was President Grant who would implement federal policies to combat this widespread racism and he was successful in destroying the Klan but sadly, subsequent presidents would allow and even support the resurrection of the terrorist organization.
Individuals today in the South and scattered elsewhere about the nation but seeming concentrated in the Republican Party, can’t seem to get over the outcome of the war. Many of the modern neo-confederates’ ancestors or family lineage only began well after the civil war in wave after wave of European immigrants over the decades that would follow so it stands to reason that practicing white supremacy against non-white people is what attracts them to Confederate Lost Cause, mythology Take the two top presumed contenders for the GOP nomination for President, Donald Trump and Ron Desantis both of whom have promoted or passed legislation or used regulatory powers that are widely considered anti-black, anti-African American, and anti-nonwhite immigrants and have supported causes sympathetic to the Confederacy.
The first of Donald Trump’s ancestors arrived more than 20 years after the Civil War was over but arrived during the widespread anti-black Jim Crow laws in the 1880s. According to History.com, “Trump is the son, and grandson, of immigrants: German on his father’s side, and Scottish on his mother’s. None of his grandparents, and only one of his parents, was born in the United States or spoke English as their mother tongue. (His mother’s parents, from the remote Scottish Outer Hebrides, lived in a majority Gaelic-speaking community.)
According to the Tampa Bay Times, “A Florida-based genealogist traced Ron DeSantis’ family tree from Italy to America”. Desantis’s illiterate non-English-speaking great-great-grandmother just made it into the United States by the luck of timing her trip to take place right before anti-immigrant legislation was to take effect.
“Luigia Colucci left Italy in early 1917 and arrived at Ellis Island on Feb. 21. While Colucci crossed the Atlantic Ocean, the U.S. Congress passed the Immigration Act of 1917. Among other restrictions on “undesirable” immigrants, it barred illiterate people from entering the United States.”
Considering that Both Trump’s and Desantis’s people arrived here well after the Civil War and had no family connections like a Confederate ancestor who was present in the country and let alone one who was a veteran of that war so why would both be political neo-confederates as modern politicians?
The answer seems evident, both are practitioners of institutional racism and white supremacy which was what the Confederacy was founded on and racism is the actions one takes when one has been indoctrinated by white supremacist ideology.
It is just shameful and dangerous that racist individuals are being allowed to use political power to erase the contributions, trials, and tribulations of a group of people, whom without, this nation would not even exist in its present form. It is troublesome that in people in the twenty-first century still have to combat racial hate and ignorance manifesting in government policies. It says a lot about our society to the majority non-white world that men like these have any support at all. The centuries-long journey and struggle of African descendant African-Americans against racists and racism in America goes on but we must do everything we can to tell the story of how African Americans, some free and some enslaved, helped preserve this nation, and their sacrifices should never be forgotten or taken for granted.