Speaking to reporters at Saturday’s annual Confederate Memorial Day celebration in Baltimore, Maryland, a descendant of a Confederate soldier insisted that his forefathers and all fighters from the South are just as “equally American” as soldiers from the North and should be honored as such.
That comment was made by Ray Brooks, a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, and preserved thanks to a cameraman with Baltimore’s Fox 45. The station reported that about 600 people attended the event in costume.
“The soldiers of the South are equally American,” Brooks said, adorned in full southern soldier regalia and standing next to a Confederate flag. “So there’s American soldiers buried on that hill and they happen to be confederates. We are descendants of confederates and there’s nothing wrong with honoring our heritage.”
The comments were delivered without a hint of irony, even though the Civil War was fought by individuals who no longer wanted to be citizens of the United States of America due to its abolitionist policy on slavery. In other words, it’s quite a leap to say that men who gave their lives to destroy America were as “equally American” as soldiers who gave their lives to preserve it.
Of course, the sight of 600 white men in costumes marching around in a public park to celebrate the “heritage” of their ancestors’ treason might also strike some as odd.
They are, after all, celebrating the legacy of men like Jefferson Davis, the first president of the Confederacy, who once called America’s class of African slaves “a moral, a social, and a political blessing.”
Still, these men have the freedom to congregate and celebrate in public all they like, thanks in part to the resounding defeat their forefathers suffered more than 100 years ago.
This video is from Fox 45, broadcast June 2, 2013.