Monday, June 12, 2006

And one more thing...

Those words are usually the beginning of the final part of a harangue, and they seem appropriate because, well, what I'm going to write about here pisses me off.

The Ku Klux Klan marched last week at Antietam National Battlefield, the site of the single bloodiest day of fighting in the Civil War.

Now, those of you who are regular readers know my recent fascination with all things CW.

You probably also know my general hatred of all things bigoted.

(Aside, if you're here because you looked up "Ku Klux Klan," and you're a white supremacist, um, how can I put this politely? Fuck off and die. I'm a Vietnamese Jew, so I hope they throw you out of your hate group for reading my blog, you ignorant, prejudiced, hateful, stupid motherfucker.)

Sorry. Where was I?

Oh, yes, pointing how much this rally honked me off.

One of the Klantards talked at the rally about how he and his redneck ilk were the true heirs of the Confederacy. And if there's one thing CW literature does, it's romanticize the Confederacy.

Many of the great, praised leaders of the CSA were slaveowners. Many of the great, praised leaders on both sides of the war believed the blacks, whether slave or free, were inherently inferior.

This is the legacy to which the Klan - founded by a CW hero - speaks.

Many of those great, praised leaders, were in fact, great. They deserve praise for leadership, heroism, personal courage, strategy, inspiration and many other things.

They were also wrong. Dead wrong.

Truth in advertising: Blacks and whites ARE different. So are Asians and whites. Hispanics and whites. Hispanics and blacks. Asians and blacks. We're all different, as races. As people. Political correctness would teach that we're all the same, regardless of race, color, gender, sexual orientation, religion, whatever. That's just not true.

We're all different. As individuals. And undoubtedly, somewhere in our makeups, there is a certain sameness among race, color, gender, etc. In all stereotypes, there is a grain of truth, for better or for worse.

But to hate another person simply for the color of his skin, or the name of his God, or the gender of his partner, is just wrong. It's wrong, it's ignorant, it's hateful.

Everything the KKK stands for is hateful.

Free speech, one of the cornerstones of our nation, the nation 25,000 men died over along the Antietam Creek, demands these ignorant fools be given their right to spew their venom on public land.

So be it. You have to take the good with the bad. That's freedom. And that's a legacy of the Civil War far better than anything these hooded cowards (because a brave man, a believer, wouldn't hide his face, he'd face the consequences of his beliefs) think is a legacy.

But I think those Civil War dead, in whatever afterlife they earned, have learned over the centuries. They've learned all men are created equal, and blacks are men. They've learned, whether by the glory and wisdom of God or at the point of the devil's spear in penance.

Maybe, in the 1860s, they were simply ignorant in the truest sense of the word. They didn't know any better when they fought for their "property."

But this is the 21st century. We do know better.

And to see hatemongers stand on a battleground where men died so other men might be free, to see them stand there and spew forth their venom, it disgusts me. It taints that battleground that made heroes in blood. It dishonors the very legacy of the men these vultures cite and the men they fought.

By our laws, by our great documents, these racists have the right to stand on that public ground and speak.

But they damn sure don't deserve the honor.