This Jeff Davis birthday stuff is really nutty. I think it is OK to recall the man and his place in history, as long as it is done objectively, authentically, and in historical context. But the stuff we see in the South not only glorifies a traitor, it is just twisted. One article will illustrate this point.
For instance, in Alabama folks just marked the JD birthday with festivities including a period ball. No problem there, it may be a fun way to observe an historical event. But JD’s great-grandson had this to say about his ancestor:
“His contributions to this country and the leadership that he personifies place Jefferson Davis as one of the most influential statesmen and leaders of his time,” in a message printed in the event’s official program.
Contributions to this country? I wonder which country he meant–the USA or the CSA? And I like his statement that Davis was a leader. If that means leading several states out of the union to defend slavery and thus provoke a war that killed 600,000 men, then yes, he is a leader. But if leadership means successfully working out political solutions to avoid civil war, then JD is a flat failure.
We also learn in the article that during a program at the Capitol auditorium, emcee Tyrone Crowley of Prattville called Davis “one of the great Americans of all time.” Again, what the hell is he called great for? He was an absolute failure at the helm of the CSA, and in his relations with most of his generals he was petty, self-righteous, vindictive, stubborn… What makes him a great American? One of the participants in all of this commemoratin’ stated that several people “were unhappy about the size of the crowd and wondered why more weren’t on hand to honor Davis.”
Gee, I wonder why…..