The South, Slavery & the Lost Cause
The Lost Cause is rooted in the South’s search for justification and the need to find a substitute for victory in the Civil War. In attempting to deal with defeat, the South created an image of the war as a noble epic fought by brave men. The war, the mythology goes, wasn’t about preserving slavery it was about Southern values. Monuments to Confederate soldiers and the naming of military bases not only glorifies militarism but are everyday reminders of white supremacy and the subordination of slaves. Slavery, free labor for centuries, created huge wealth for the plantation master class. To heal and repair we need an honest accounting of history. Some monuments have come down and military bases may be renamed. We can’t continue to mythologize the past.
Jeffery Robinson is a deputy legal director and the director of the ACLU Trone Center for Justice and Equality.
Lorraine Alexander –
I grew up in a very white suburb of Memphis during the 60s, and have been horrified to learn how much my “honors” teachers in a “good,” academically respected high school never taught me and my classmates. I was stunned when the story of the Tulsa massacre was recently discussed in the media. How could I never have heard of this catastrophe? I also recently stumbled across an account of the May 1-3, 1866, race riots in Memphis. Another moment of initial incredulity! I am 73 and believed for most of those years that only under dictatorships could history be so effectively erased or rewritten. I am glad I am still able to learn what was denied to me during my so-called secondary school education. AR is an important resource that continues to focus light in so many dark corners of this country’s habits of denial. Thank you.
Louis in NM –
For the first time in my 73 years of life, I heard put into words what I have often thought about in much more vague terms. I am Mexican-American and I am writing a book about my 50-year career in Information Technology. I believe Mr. Robinson’s presentation is one that all Americans should hear. As I listened to Mr. Robinson speak this morning my mind took me back to a time where I sat next to my white manager and an HR representative in front of a white director as she read off seemingly, a list from a book on how to fire someone, allegations she was accusing me of just before I was walked out the door. I recall the hateful stare from the director as he told me there was nothing to negotiate when I tried to remind them of my success in delivering the first phase of a major project. I indeed had a very successful career but certainly not without challenges most people of color can relate to working in what today is still a dominantly white corporate America. Thanks, Lou
Ron in NM –
One of the most powerful and important presentations on white supremacy I’ve ever heard.
Wow! I listened to this broadcast while on a short run to a local bakery. I literally sat in the car and ate my entire breakfast while listening. Days before July 4th, my neighbor displayed a huge American flag and a smaller Confederate flag right beside it. During the broadcast, I was forced to reflect on the flag’s history while recalling him coming over to ask if we would retrieve his mail during his vacation. The struggle is REAL.
Frank Kavanaugh –
Brutally factual, deep, articulate. I heard this afternoon driving through New Mexico, and I’m still stirred. Here’s to you, Mr. Robinson.
John Landry –
These are the truths that will set us free from treasonous policies and practices from all those who have taken it upon themselves to perpetuate and engage in actions against the law, against the state, against organizations, against groups, against individuals who are equal under the law as citizens and guaranteed the exact same rights and privileges. They burn crosses and shoot fellow citizens, with whom they have far far more in common than what makes them different. Still a bizarre notion that these government-hating pariahs are the ones who draw MOST from the federal commonwealth. Selfish and ungrateful, perpetually biting the hand that feeds it…keep biting the hand that feeds you, and one day there’ll be no hand to feed you. The NEWS media have not been doing the job they did in the later ’60s when the world was in a minor shift. The belief of the racist haters that they will remove large portions of the population, that very population which for centuries has been forced to make the white man’s life cleaner, easier, richer, while those who make it happen are denied those human comforts. Working 2, 3, 4 low-paying part-time jobs is not a life; it is not living. Those who believe that they are destined by a higher power to rule over others must not be allowed to fulfill their twisted agendas at the cost of, the suffering of others.
Enough preaching to the choir. This is a program that should play on every radio station in the country and on Voice of America and American Armed Services Radio.
Patricia Burns (verified owner) –
I heard this history lesson while at work and oh my goodness, I could not wait to get home and find it so I could listen again! This message was so powerful and eye-opening. I was born in the 60s and when I have the opportunity to teach I share that I just knew something was wrong but I could not put my finger on it. I knew there was more to the history being taught, so thank you. I have ordered all that was available. Again, thank you so very much. Awesome and powerful…
Everyone needs to listen to this program.
Margarette R Brown –
This is excellent! I hope Mr. Jeffery Robinson could be our guest speaker at a Juneteenth event in Tampa, Florida in 2022.
I’m 82 from Virginia and knew a lot of this history but I learned much from this program. I’m sad when I think that my mom was born in 1921 when Tulsa was bombed. My great grandparents must have felt totally hopeless and the evilness. The blood is still on this land!
Brenda Cave-James –
Talk about a driveway moment…I could not get out of my car after arriving home from a long evening’s work- until Mr. Robinson’s show ended. I THOUGHT (on the subject of Black history) I was more informed than many…Wow! I’m Ordering this program TONIGHT. My black blood boils at how American history has been cleansed and whitewashed….with the likes of Rush Limbaugh’s line of “history books”….Thank you.
M Susan Cashel –
We just came home from a road trip through many of the civil rights memorials in the south and this talk was so helpful. Thank you. So much of this history is unknown or whitewashed. We have come a ways but still have a LONG way to go.
Jodi A Blackburn-Roehl –
Very revealing especially about when many monuments were erected. Great talk that I could listen to many times to pick up more and more details.
Sarah in Albuquerque –
Thank you for this program.
Te’ zins (verified owner) –
Mr. J. Robinson, your words have finally rung the bell universally in America, which can relate to the phrase, “the truth hurts.” Yet hopefully now reveals why a lot of whites may not be so quick to blindly say- “The Truth Will Set You Free” when the Truth of Justice requires a reaching-within-collectively to understand ‘the massive Hurt on People of Color and whites – who know they’re a color too.
Jack in OR –
Just sat rapt through Jeffrey Robinson’s talk. Thank you, thank you, thank you for bringing that to the airwaves.
Ann in Colorado –
What an amazing show on racism in America.
Ann Binder –
Great talk exposing the whitewashing of economic history–in this case the basis of U.S. wealth in the free labor of slaves; and the related white supremacist culture. The same has been done to labor history (it is not taught either; as though the largesse of corporations & some sort of vague automatic tendency toward progress brought us the 8-hour day & other labor rights.)
Rebecca Hammer –
I appreciated this broadcast very much. As an elementary school teacher, I am absolutely determined to teach „social studies“ and history to our young people early on in a way that makes clear the reality of colonialism and slavery in this nation. Justice, inclusion, equality —all these things mean nothing if we begin learning about the world through a network of lies. Thank you, Jeffrey Robinson for your scholarship and work toward Justice for all.