The Ghost of Snapped Shot

Or, welcome to my low-maintenance heck.

I meant to get to this sooner

... but I got sidetracked. Tomorrow's going to be a slow day over here at Snapped Shot, as I'm going to be in for some minor dental surgery, so I'll leave you with this to ponder.

On the 2nd of September, Governor Tim Kaine pardoned a figure in Virginia history, which caused Jim Bacon to swoon about how we've somehow entered a "new" era in the Commonwealth. Jim's basic point, if he doesn't mind me selectively blockquoting:

Who, you may ask, is (or was) Gabriel Prosser? He was the leader of an aborted slave rebellion who was hanged, along with 34 other slaves, in 1800. "Gabriel's Rebellion" is well known to students of African-American resistance to the institution of chattel slavery... In restoring Prosser's "good name," Kaine noted that he was motivated by the rebel's "devotion to the ideals of the American revolution." Said Kaine: "It was worth risking death to secure liberty. ... History favorably regards Gabriel's cause while consigning legions who sought to keep him and others in chains to be forgotten."

In drawing celebratory parallels between the American fight for independence and Prosser's fight for "freedom," I think Tim and Jim neglect to consider one thing. Allow me to highlight:

The 25-year-old slave, inspired by Biblical stories of the Jews' flight from slavery in Egypt and the teachings of the American Revolution, organized an uprising by thousands of slaves. His plan: to massacre all whites (excepting Methodists, Quakers and Frenchmen) and to install himself as king of a new nation.

No cold-blooded murderer left unappreciated.
I must have missed the part where George Mason declared that, in order to "free" Virginians from the yoke of English oppression, he would slay every last citizen of the kingdom of England, who our Dominion owed its allegiance to at the time. Or where General Washington insisted that he would install himself as the new monarch when the blood of the English had been shed.

We certainly have entered a new era in our Commonwealth's history, but I'm afraid it's not quite as bright and cheerful as the honourable Mr. Bacon implies. We've come to a point in our history where we placate fools with empty pardons and apologies for events which are—by the very nature of the fact that they are history—totally unchangeable. Furthermore, we've exchanged the "honest broker" of morality for the "convenient mistress" of political expedience:—By ignoring the fact that Gabriel insisted on murdering others in order to appease certain political elements, we are resigning ourselves to misreading the past by whatever present politics we may desire to placate.

I hang my head in shame, if this is the "brave new world" in which we want to live in.

(I eagerly look forward to hearing what y'all think about this case whenever my meds wear off tomorrow!)



#1 captainfish 13-Sep-2007
If true, what IS our nation turning in to? We harangue our heroes in front of national media and celebrate mass murderers. We even have members of Congress meeting with terrorists and evil dictators.

Our nation is doing more damage to itself than any terrorist could ever amount to. We kill ourselves over tennis shoes and drugs. Gangs find safe haven in our prisons and thrive there.

When we start glorifying our sadistic side, our civilization is not long for this world. Oh, guess we are already doing that.
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