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The effect of Racism, Slavery and the Civil War in a Civilized Society

Dear Editor,

The title above has led to the introduction of this piece of writing. Twenty-one-year-old Dylan Roof was charged with the murder of 9 black Christian church members in a prayer meeting at one of the oldest Methodist Church in Charleston, South Carolina. The attack was described as a cold-blooded massacre.

Dylan, holding the battle flag representing the Confederate States in one hand, and a machine gun in the other, decided to create a "Race War". First of all, the term "race"mentioned here referred to the Negro population between 1788-1880. The Civil War was sparked by the uprising of black slaves against the Southern States that broke away from the Union in 1876 to form their own government.

The Southern States or the Confederate were referred to as rogue or rebel territories. In 1860, the Southern States introduced the slave laws in the south. These codes were passed to keep black slaves under their control. A slave had no legal rights; slaves could not learn to read or write; slaves could not own land; slaves could not be freed in the Confederacy; slaves could not attend meetings, unless a white man was present.

Dylan Roof turns back the pages of history with the battle-flag and machine gun in his hands. It clearly shows that hatred still burns in the heart of many Southerners today. The battle flag still flies in South Carolina and other Confederacy. Many experts blame Roof's actions on ideology- to me it more on history and race related. Dylan emphasized the ratio of blacks to whites is on the rise in South Carolina, so he decided to take action. In 1860, Abraham Lincoln became president of the United States of America. The Union was fighting to restore the re-establishment of the union. It was the Southern states fighting against the Northern states. President Lincoln put more than 175,000 black slaves into soldier uniforms to protect and replace white soldiers in battle. Negro slaves were mostly used to protect the garrisons. White soldiers refused to work with them, because they were black slaves in uniforms. Black soldiers were good fighters in guerrilla warfare. . .that was a great success in the liberation of the rogue states. Their performances were so great that President Lincoln in 1863 issued the Emancipation Proclamation freeing all black slaves in all rebel states.

All slaves in combat or soldier uniforms had the same rights as their white counter- parts. The rebel territories refer to President Lincoln as the "black republican". Blacks were asked to hold government positions, but a lot of them could not read or write, because the slave codes prevented them from doing so. Most of the individuals in the history books of the Civil War are those who led regiments in battle during the re-establishment of the union. The black slaves - the " Buffalo Soldiers" most of them are not mentioned in text books on the Civil War. This is why President Obama asked Congress to review the Education Act to include the Buffalo Soldiers in the social studies text books of the United States, so students can learn about them in the class-room.

In summary, blacks should be more self-conscious of who they really are. We should not allow history to repeat itself. The memories of racism still burn in the heart of Southerners. I am asking those with racial intensions to stop all segregation now. The days of slavery are over. People should live in harmony, regardless of race, colour, creed or religious beliefs. We should ignore racial prejudices and segregation. Blacks should be more conscious and productive. Each one must teach one! Self-development and learning new skills will go a long way to unite people of both races.

Joseph Harvey

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