aside Is It Possible That General John Kelly Is A Closet Racist?

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WIDOW MYESHIA JOHNSON
Image result for photos of myeshia johnson and frederica wilson
REP FREDERICA WILSON

Not all racists wear a tell tale warning sign. Some will even vehemently deny this truth about themselves. I am wondering if this is not the case with General John F. Kelly.

First, the highly respected General John F. Kelly, as the republican President Donald Trump’s chief of staff, has publicly chastised the US Representative Frederica Wilson (D-FL) with false assertions about her performance at a 2015 opening of an FBI building which was proven to be “fake news” by a video of her entire presentation. This set of lies about Ms. Wilson was shared after she had publicly delivered her disgust over how the president presented his condolences by phone to a Gold Star military widow Myseshia Johnson’s, who responded to the phone conversation by becoming distraught.

Then, very recently, this military general has been found to rewriting the history of the U.S. Civil War which is frankly an incorrect version and which is shocking, as this “fake news” history is being disseminated by someone of the stature of General Kelly.

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Here is the rest of the story…

On October 31, 2017, Phillip Bump of the Washington Post penned the following report, Historians respond to John F. Kelly’s Civil War remarks: ‘Strange,’ ‘sad,’ ‘wrong’

“White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly was the guest for the premiere of Laura Ingraham’s new show on Fox News (10/30/17). During the interview, he outlined a view of the history of the Civil War that historians described as “strange,” “highly provocative,” “dangerous” and “kind of depressing.”

“Kelly was asked about the decision of a church in Alexandria to remove plaques honoring George Washington and Robert E. Lee.”

“I would tell you that Robert E. Lee was an honorable man,” Kelly said. “He was a man that gave up his country to fight for his state, which 150 years ago was more important than country. It was always loyalty to state first back in those days. Now it’s different today. But the lack of an ability to compromise led to the Civil War, and men and women of good faith on both sides made their stand where their conscience had them make their stand.”

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“That statement could have been given by [former Confederate general] Jubal Early in 1880,” said Stephanie McCurry, professor of history at Columbia University and author of “Confederate Reckoning: Politics and Power in the Civil War South.”

“What’s so strange about this statement is how closely it tracks or resembles the view of the Civil War that the South had finally got the nation to embrace by the early 20th century,” she said. “It’s the Jim Crow version of the causes of the Civil War. I mean, it tracks all of the major talking points of this pro-Confederate view of the Civil War.”

“Kelly makes several points. That Lee was honorable. That fighting for state was more important than fighting for country. That a lack of compromise led to the war. That good people on both sides were fighting for conscientious reasons. Both McCurry and David Blight, professor of history at Yale University and author of “Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory,” broadly reject all of these arguments.”

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“This is profound ignorance, that’s what one has to say first, at least of pretty basic things about the American historical narrative,” Blight said. “I mean, it’s one thing to hear it from Trump. But Gen. Kelly has a long history in the American military.”

“Blight described Kelly’s argument in similar terms as McCurry — an “old reconciliationist narrative” about the Civil War that, in the last half-century or so has “just been exploded” by historical research since.

“The idea that compromise might have been possible was rejected out of hand by both McCurry and Blight.”

“It was not about slavery, it was about honorable men fighting for honorable causes?” McCurry said. “Well, what was the cause? . . . In 1861, they were very clear on what the causes of the war were. The reason there was no compromise possible was that people in the country could not agree over the wisdom of the continued and expanding enslavement of millions of African Americans.”

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“There were a number of compromises on slavery that led up to the Civil War, from the drafting of the Constitution to the addition of new states to the Union.”

“Any serious person who knows anything about this,” Blight said, “can look at the late 1850s and then the secession crisis and know that they tried all kinds of compromise measures during the secession winter, and nothing worked.”

“All of these compromises were about creating a division where slavery already existed and where for a time they conceded that the Constitution shackled them in their ability to attack it,” McCurry said. Before the war, the strategy for dealing with slavery was to contain it. By 1860, she said, the North’s economic success and expanding population and the South’s loss of representation in national politics put slavery at risk. The election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860 allowed Southern slaveholders — who had $4 billion in wealth in the form of enslaved people, McCurry said — to argue that the threat to slavery was imminent.”

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“In 1861, compromise wasn’t possible because some Southerners just wanted out. They wanted a separate nation where they could protect slavery into the indefinite future,” McCurry said. That’s what they said in their constitution when they wrote one.”

“Kelly’s framework is “also rooted, frankly, in a Lost Cause mentality that swept over American culture in the wake of the war, swept over Northerners,” Blight said, “this idea that good and honorable men of the South were pushed aside and exploited by the ‘fanatical’ — ironically — first Republican Party.”Blight noted that Lee wasn’t simply defending his home state of Virginia against Northern aggression.”

“Of course we yearn for compromise, we yearn for civility, we yearn for some common ground,” he added. “But, look, Robert E. Lee was not a compromiser. He chose treason.”

“The best of the Lee biographies show that Lee was a Confederate nationalist,” Blight said. “He knew what he was fighting for.”

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“Both historians, though, held particular disdain for the idea that putting state over nation was the essence of the fight.”

“My God, where does he get that from?” Blight asked. “That denies the very reason to be, the essential reason for the existence of the original Republican Party, which formed in the 1850s to stop the expansion of slavery and ended up developing a political ideology that threatened the South because they really were going to cordon off slavery.”

“This idea that state came first? No, it didn’t!” he said. “The Northern people rallied around stopping secession! This comment is so patently wrong.”

“It’s one thing to say Lee chose state over country,” McCurry said. “What [Kelly] says is that was his country. That would be news to 350,000 Union war dead.”

“It’s just so absurd,” Blight said. “It’s just so sad. It’s just so disappointing that generations of history have been written to explode all of this and yet millions of people — serious people; experienced, serious people and now people with tremendous power — have grown up believing all this.”

“This Trump-era ignorance and misuse of history is forcing historians — and I think this is a good thing — to use words like ‘truth’ and ‘right or wrong,’ ” Blight said. “In the academy we get very caught up in relativism and whether we can be objective and so on, and that’s a real argument.”

“But there are some things that are just not true,” he said. “And we’ve got to point that out.”

Related ArticleKelly calls Robert E. Lee an ‘honorable man’ and says ‘lack of compromise’ caused the Civil War

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13 comments

  1. The adjective “honorable” should no longer be used to describe General John Kelly. He has proven himself to be a liar and no longer “honorable” on any level. I believe that in the last two weeks he has shown who he really is and he fits right in with the current administration.

    • Dear Doubledragon61,

      The general needs to follow his own advice that he gives to his boss,which is to keep his mouth shut. I am disappointed that he has turned out to be less than the standards that he is supposed to emulate. He was wrong with regards to Frederica Wilson and regarding the history of the Civil War. Facts and truth do matter.

      Hugs, Gronda

  2. The “honorable” Lee wrote in a letter to his wife that slavery “was a greater evil to the white man than to the black race” in the U.S. and adding that “the painful discipline they are undergoing, is necessary for their instruction.” Honorable? I don’t think so. At the very least, General Kelly needs to bone up on his history more. As far as him being racist? I’m not sure. I need to hear more for him. I will say though with his comments during last night’s interview, and his defending Trump, he’s certainly an enabler to racists. Does that make sense?

    His remarks about Representative Wilson were certainly wrong. The first one castigating her for listening on the phone during Trump’s”condolence call was idiotic as it was put on speaker so everyone in the family could hear. And he got his facts wrong about her supposed grandstanding. He does owe her two apologies.

    • Dear Kim,

      Yes, General Kelly needs to do some history reading.

      I want to give General Kelly the benefit of the doubt. There are those who I admire who think highly of the general. However I am shocked at both incidents. I saw him during an interview where he refused to take back what he said about Frederica Wilson.

      Hugs, Gronda

      • This administration has brought out the true nature of a lot of people unfortunately and it is not a pretty site. However, they have been hiding who they are for so long that it’s important we see the truth of their characters now before they can do more harm. There is no longer room for doubt about character when a person defends lies from himself and others blatantly causing confusion and a deep divide among citizens. It seems that this bunch are trying to cause a race war.

  3. Gronda, the man is showing his warts which is highly disappointing. Many Americans feel he is one of a sane trio that may have to perform an intervention on the President. Last month, I wrote a piece on the role of slavery in the Civil War being downplayed so much that 48% of Americans said the cause of the Civil War was states rights with only 38% saying it was slavery. There has been a purposeful white washing of history to allow more discrimination today. The lion share of these monuments were err deed at least fifty years after the Civil War in the height of Jim Crow. The best example is Stone Mountain in Atlanta which was finished in 1972, just 45 years ago. I moved to Atlanta in 1977 just five years after three Confederate leaders were glorified on a mountain just eight years after the Civil Rights Act became law. Keith

    • Dear Keith,

      The right has been trying to downplay the issue of racism in this country for years which is like trying to ignore a herd of elephants in the room. It can’t be done.

      The raising of these Confederate statutes around the time of the civil rights movement just highlights how prevalent this scourge is on our great country.

      That General Kelly would be a proponent of the White nationalists’ historical version of the Civil War is troublesome.

      It is a tell.

      Hugs, Gronda.

      • Gronda, it is a tell. The lie about the Congresswoman was highly disappointing. This builds on that. As for your comment on some saying racism is over, we must remember the reverse racism claims by these folks. Per the book “Hillbilly Elegy,” being told to blame others for your lot in life is too prevalent. Yes, people need help, but they need to climb the ladder with the helper.

        Racism continues to be a problem and we need to bang that drum to help reduce it. Keith

  4. This article is beautifully done, Gronda. As a student of history (some of it American history), I was shocked to read Kelly’s remarks about the Civil War. One of your commenters said that the General might not be racist, but he’s an enabler. Trump himself is the greatest enabler of all the haters out there. He is a blight on America. Having said that, let’s keep in mind that Trump’s approval rating has been in steady decline since he was sworn in as president and now it stands at 33%. I think that the key to bringing him down is to keep the heat turned on high. He doesn’t react well to opposition and his true colors become apparent.

    • Dear John Fioravanti,

      I want to give General Kelly the benefit of the doubt. I am a military brat who holds the military in high esteem. My military Dad was a strong republican but he would have been shocked as to how General Kelly lied about the Florida US Representative Frederica Wilson. The military live by certain codes which the general is not honoring. Then when he verbalized his biased view of the Civil War, this has me troubled.

      The best blog t read on this subject is: “Some Civil War Reading for those Who Dare Question Trump, Kelly, and Sanders” of Padre Steve’s World…Musings of a Progressive Realist in Wonderland.

      Hugs, Gronda

      • I understand why you’d rather not condemn General Kelly out of hand. I have no trouble doing so. Anyone who is willing to work for or ally with Donald Trump needs to be beheld with a jaundiced eye. So far, no one has disappointed – they are all despicable.

        Thanks for the blog tip, Gronda!

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