When John Avlon heard yesterday that Georgia is celebrating Confederate Heritage and History Month, he thought it was an April Fools' joke. But no, it's real—signed into law by the governor in 2009 and celebrated by six other states—and Avlon talked to backer Ray McBerry all about it. In an email touting the event, McBerry claims that the South was "peaceful, rural, and Christian" during the pre-Civil War slavery era. He insists to Avlon that the history books misrepresent that era, making the South out to be "evil."
"This isn’t heritage, this is wholesale historic revisionism. And it is ugly stuff," Avlon writes in the Daily Beast. "It took our country 100 years to bind the wounds of the Civil War sufficiently to begin truly following through on the promise of ending slavery by ending segregation. It is naive to pretend, as so many do today, that this struggle for equal rights was not deeply opposed by many who are still alive, arguing in favor of separatism and hate while hiding their true emotions under superficially high-minded talk about states’ rights." The neo-Confederate movement does exist, and it's scary, he adds. Click for his full column. (Read more Confederacy stories.)