Apparently, the Civil War was not fought over slavery. That’s an absolute fact if you believe Fox News contributor Gavin McInnes. The Civil War was not about slavery, so the Confederate flag is not a racist symbol. It’s time to get over it, and accept the fact that it was all about states’ rights, so the Confederate flag is just a flag.
McInnes tweeted reasons that we should keep the Confederate flag up, and told his audience to Google the Civil War to learn the truth: Some people actually followed his advice, and the response is hilarious:
It’s true that the Civil War was fought over states’ rights. Slavery, however, was the primary states’ rights issue on which the South decided to secede. In addition to the people above (among many others), Politifact also followed McInnes’ advice and Googled “causes of the Civil War.” They said:
The first hit was History.net which told us, ‘The burning issue that led to the disruption of the union, however, was the debate over the future of slavery. That dispute led to secession, and secession brought about a war in which the Northern and Western states and territories fought to preserve the Union, and the South fought to establish Southern independence as a new confederation of states under its own constitution.’
That’s just one site, however. Others that Politifact looked up said…pretty much the same thing. The primary economic difference between the North and the South was slavery. There were social differences between the North and South, primarily regarding slavery. And so forth.
They acknowledge, as we do, that the Internet may be flawed, so they contacted some Civil War experts to try to get to the bottom of this. Was the Civil War fought over slavery, or not? According to Eric Foner, a history professor at Columbia, South Carolina’s declaration of secession was all about slavery.
Stephanie McCurry, a historian at the University of Pennsylvania, said that Mississippi’s declaration also revolves around slavery.
McInnes didn’t stop with just these two tweets, though. He posted a whole list of tweets as to why we should continue to fly the Confederate flag, so it’s not totally surprising that he would think the Civil War was not about slavery. Politifact, however, quite correctly points out that he made an absolute fool of himself when he told his audience to Google reasons behind the Civil War. He’s a racist tool, and nothing more.