A fellow Vile Faceless Minion commented at some length on my post from the other day regarding the recent shooting in Charleston, SC. I judged his comments to be worthy of their own full-length post. I present those comments here with minimal editing and cleanup on my part. I have also taken the liberty of adding a few links here and there to illustrate his points. There are a lot of good ideas presented below, and I recommend that you take the time to read through and understand them.
After spending a lot of time in the south and looking into the war, it gets pretty obvious that the North cared little for slavery as a cause, despite several notable abolitionists, or a primary goal in the war.
Slavery was already in many ways on its way out. The Brits were already , if I recall, waging war against slavers on the seas. It was, compared to industrialization and paying a wage, far less efficient (and those who believe that the north was less bigoted REALLY need to look at the history of gun control legislation in places like Chicago and Detroit.... and WHY it was pushed...)
The South really was trying to preserve political power and independence. While I agree insofar as the core ten amendments before some of the other social-utopia bullshit that was pushed through (and some of it later repealed) that - insofar as they are negative rights, the rights guaranteed by the Federal constitution to citizens cannot be abrogated by the states (another reason to make them few), I am conflicted in several ways.
We really NEEDED to become one union - note that the Brits (not allies at the time, and the War of 1812 still in living memory for many) attempted to play games between the Northern and Southern states for decades before that to separate us out.
That being said, in classic overreach then and since, the federal government assumed power far in excess of that allowed to it by the Tenth Amendment, the one to this day still most commonly broken.
Back to the South though. One uncomfortable truth for the narrative was that there were black units in the CSA. Another uncomfortable truth for Southerners was also that they were still dependent on slavery, and one of the things they (the elite - the commoners for the most part could hardly afford slaves, and even black maids/etc. in the South were the province of the upper middle class and wealthy after the war) wanted to preserve was that institution that gave them some semblance of production capability, no matter how short-sighted it was. It was dying out, but nowhere near as quickly as the North.
It's a damn sight more complicated than either side tends to give it credit for, though as you point out, it makes the South out to be far less of the bad guy.
We now live in an era where Martin Luther King Jr's "I have a dream" speech is full of racist assumptions and microagression (if taken seriously by whites). By modern standards not only MLK, but Cosby and Rice are white supremacists. Objectivity, as one speaker on race said, is inherently racist and favors white privilege.
So because I take a person as they are - and one of my friends is a black guy who's a good programmer, a better math guy, and a fantastic musician - but dislike people who act like thugs, EVEN if they're black, I am a racist. Though I refuse to conflate cultural issues (where I believe MOST of the problem lies, and not holding people to account doesn't help) with a false belief that race determines a person's overall worthiness as a human in the eyes of god or universe, I am still a racist.
I said elsewhere that Riley inadvertently spoke truth, even if he didn't mean it that way and the media didn't take it that way: a man does not walk into a church to commit a premeditated act of mass murder out of LOVE. It's either hate, regardless of skin colors involved, or someone off - or on - their meds. Despite a meme going around on Facebook that all of these mass shootings are NOT due to insanity it's amazing how many of them have been committed, friends have tried to have them committed, nearly all of them were on psychotropics, all of them had repeated violent offenses but couldn't be locked up for fear of stigmatization of insanity, and were simply out of touch with reality and hated the world.
Despite the apparent race-hatred which motivated the choice in target, even the most recent shooting is not the work of a conservative, but the work of a person who was out of touch with reality and bitterly and deeply hated the world. The vast majority of these shooters were completely apolitical, or anarchist to socialist.
But they try to pin it on conservatives anyway. (Many Leftists bleat conservatives are haters so all the actions of bitter hateful people are OBVIOUSLY those of conservatives, even if they keep a copy of Mao around for inspiration). And the race hucksters are at it.
So instead of concentrating on justice for this horrible act, we hear about the flag, or streets named for civil war generals, or racism in general. We hear it's an act of terrorism (despite the lack of a political component). Why? Because this time a white person killed black people.
It isn't news when black people kill black people, or kill white people. (It doesn't help when the races are rarely mentioned when the criminal is black)
I know the black community believes that's not true (especially if you listen to their spokesmen) - that racism is as common and all-pervasive as sin, but the numbers don't lie. Even in cities run by mostly black governments with black police chiefs ("but the institutional racism is so deep that even there they are helpless"), there aren't enough unsolved crimes for the canard of "white people do it just as much but the cops only look at black people". And we're told by officials that we are "privileged" to believe that people should be civilized and to expect to not get attacked for walking our dog down the street.
The cop in Charleston? He deserves to burn. Not because he got caught on video trying to plant evidence, but because he shot a guy he didn't have to and compounded that by violating honor and integrity to plant the evidence instead of taking the consequences. The video is just proof.
This latest shooter deserves to burn as well. Because he committed an act of mass murder. I actually resent the term "hate crime" being applied to it. That term is also used if someone commits petty vandalism with racial overtones, and I refuse to conflate murder with vandalism.
Of course there's a motive. There's ALWAYS a motive (manslaughter covers cases where there was negligence, or no motive). The ACT is what is uncivilized. WHO you happened to hate, white to black, or white to black, is fucking irrelevant. If it's not self-defense or a justified act of war, it's murder.
But white on black crimes stand out for their rarity. Sure, "racism is everywhere and systemic" ( I agree racists are everywhere, but it is NOT systemic unless one buys into the recent bullshit at CA schools about believing that America is a land of opportunity being racist). "microagressions" and "contempt" are supposedly constant, but hard numbers on assaults, robberies, rapes, and murders are lacking.
With cops it's grayer. Sure, it's simpler to call all altercations with cops racist if you choose the victim based on skin color or who screams the loudest rather than behavior (sortof like zero violence rules at schools that benefit the bullies by effectively outlawing self-defense). I am neither ally to cops - peacekeepers are necessary, but they are getting far too paramilitary and us vs them - nor foe. So I look at who did what and is it justified regardless of race.
The chokehold incident was one such gray area. Without stupid tyrannical rules over tobacco taxes, the altercation likely never would have happened, and even then is far simpler to explain as two proud men, one of whom was in poor health, not backing down. Even the victim's daughter subscribes to that explanation.
The rest of it? Ferguson and "hands up don't shoot"? That was no gentle giant, just minding his business before going off to college later in the year. Colin Flaherty compiles case after case, video after video, of mob violence.
It's gotten to the point that , much like reports on criminal activity by politicians where if it's a democrat the party affiliation isn't mentioned on the news, people are figuring out that if the race of the perp isn't mentioned, he's almost guaranteed to be not white. Why? Because they "want to be color blind". Except they aren't when the perp is white. Or when the thing done by [member of ethnic group] is a good thing.