Wisenbaker > Repression and Censorship: Alive and Well in America

| June 29, 2015


Gary M. Wisenbaker, Valdosta Today Editorial Director

VALDOSTA — The New York Times, the nation’s “paper of record” recently announced the fate of the Confederate battle flag: “America’s leading merchants have spoken: The Confederate flag is coming off the shelves. Walmart, Amazon, eBay and Sears all announced bans on the sale of Confederate flag merchandise, amid an intensifying national debate over the use of the controversial flag.”

And that’s not all. There’s talk of removing monuments dedicated to “our Confederate dead” that have stood for decades, even generations, in public view, doing away with Confederate Memorial Day, even relegating the iconic movie “Gone with the Wind” to the dustbin of history.

These are not the logical actions expected in the aftermath of the horrid event that recently took place in a Charleston church leaving eight black Americans dead by the hand of a white thug who wanted to “start a race war”. These actions are not logical because there is no rational relationship between that murderous act and the culture and heritage of the South. If that were the case, then no one would need to start a race war: we would already be in the midst of one.

No, the national and regional reaction, this “intensifying” debate about a “controversial flag” and culture, by those obsessed with political correctness de jure is, in a word, repression, even censorship. And it has an ugly history.

In the spring of 146 BC, when Rome finally defeated Carthage in the Third Punic War, they sold the remaining inhabitants into slavery, razed the city and then sowed the city with salt to ensure that nothing would grow there again. Carthage had offended Rome with its noble and heroic efforts in defending itself against the empire’s assault.

Rome was determined to erase Carthage from human memory.

062915 1Throughout 1933 Nazi student organizations, professors, and librarians made lists of books and writings offensive to the Nazi cause and, therefore, unsuitable for public consumption. On May 10 of that year, Nazi soldiers and Hitler youth groups ransacked libraries and bookstores all over Germany collecting books on the lists and burned them.

The Nazis were determined to remove offensive thought from the public domain.

062915 2And even today radical Islamists destroy priceless, unique and irreplaceable historical monuments and artifacts because they are offensive to the radicals’ religious sensibilities. Usama Hasan, an Islamist working with the Quilliam Foundation to combat these destructive acts, says, “”It’s very sad. You lose all that cultural heritage, music, history, art, ancient books. If they (Islamists) don’t agree with what’s in them … they seem to think it’s OK to burn these books.”

The radical Islamists are determined to remove non-Islamist culture from the face of the earth.

The actions taken by the Romans, Nazis and radical Islamists are revisionistic in nature. Theirs is a worldview where the past can be changed, where history can be rewritten. Today’s assault on Southern heritage is no different.

Justifying the call to remove the symbols of the Old South from the public eye requires linking those symbols to something hideous. And slavery is clearly hideous. The myopic view, however, of the South willing to go to war for no reason other than slavery is simply dishonest.

The burning issues throughout the 1850’s chiefly included oppressive tariffs aimed at the South, economic disparity between the regions, and federalism. Thus, “the Cause” had far more to do with protecting the sovereignty and economic life of the states from the federal government than preserving an institution that was already on its way out.

The South’s pervasive agrarian economy brought a citizenry dependent on itself for survival. There were no paychecks or bosses in factories like one found in the North. And it was this independence and self-reliance many Southerners were willing to fight for and, having done so and lost, preserve in their monuments, statues and flags.

Revisionism and repression has its dangers. After cleansing the libraries and bookstores of books offensive to their politics, the Nazis then turned on an entire race and religion. And they did it in obeisance to political correctness.

GARY WISENBAKERGary Wisenbaker, B.A., J.D. is a native of South Georgia where he practiced law in Valdosta and Savannah for 31 years. He has served as state chairman of the Georgia Young Republicans and Chairman of the Chatham County (Savannah) Republican Party. Gary is a past GOP nominee for State Senate, past delegate to the Republican National Convention and has consulted on numerous local Republican campaigns as well as chaired or co-chaired campaigns for President and US Senate on the county and district level. He is the principal and founder of Blackstone, LLC, a corporate communications and public relations concern as well as Wiregrass Mediation Services, LLC, a general civil litigation mediation firm.

Gary hosts his own blog at www.garywisenbaker.com and recently published his first fictional work, “How Great is His Mercy: The Plea”, on Amazon.com. His opinions are regularly published on ValdostaToday.com.

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Filed in: Editorials, Opinion

4 Comments on "Wisenbaker > Repression and Censorship: Alive and Well in America"

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  1. Gotta Love It says:

    Once again, Valdosta Today and Gary Wisenbaker show their complete hypocrisy by censoring all criticism of this nut-job, ultra right wing rant.

    The sad thing is you guys aren’t even aware of it.

    Shows the lack of intelligence which goes along with this 1990’s style website. Pure South Georgia for sure.

  2. R U Srs? says:

    “The myopic view, however, of the South willing to go to war for no reason other than slavery is simply dishonest.” Gary Wisenbaker, 2015

    “As a people, we are fighting to maintain the Heaven-ordained supremacy of the white man over the inferior or colored race” – William Tappan Thompson, 1863

    But that’s just one guy in one newspaper. It’s not like he was a member of the Confederate government. They’d never agree with that reasoning…

    “The new Constitution has put at rest forever all the agitating questions relating to our peculiar institutions—African slavery as it exists among us—the proper status of the negro in our form of civilization. This was the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution”. -Alexander Stephens, 1861

    “Our new Government is founded upon exactly the opposite ideas; its foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his natural and normal condition.” – Alexander Stephens, 1861

    But what did he know? He was just a framer of the confederate constitution and the VP of the CSA. Totally unreliable.

    So in case you won’t believe him? How about Mississippi’s secession declaration?

    “In the momentous step which our State has taken of dissolving its connection with the government of which we so long formed a part, it is but just that we should declare the prominent reasons which have induced our course.

    Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery– the greatest material interest of the world. ”

    Maybe Georgia’s declaration might be closer to home?

    “The people of Georgia having dissolved their political connection with the Government of the United States of America, present to their confederates and the world the causes which have led to the separation. For the last ten years we have had numerous and serious causes of complaint against our non-slave-holding confederate States with reference to the subject of African slavery.”

    Funny, they all start out with slavery, focus on slavery, and don’t really talk about these “oppressive tariffs”. Any “federal excesses” you mention were related to slavery. So often I hear talk of states rights, but what were the “rights” in question? The truly myopic view is to think this war would have happened without the “peculiar institution”.

  3. Then Leave says:

    Love South Georgia or leave it! Gary is a proud man of confederate heritage.

    Heritage not Hate

  4. Jimmy Nettlebess says:

    Be careful folks are you may step in Gary’s big pile of BS.