Don’t rewrite history

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 19, 2006

To the Editor:

If they believe the made up history espoused by certain community leaders, young people from Selma will be laughed at and ridiculed as ignorant when they leave for college or to go into the real world.

Two examples of made up history recently have appeared in The Times-Journal. (1) In Sunday’s paper about the Juneteenth celebration, Ms. Cassandra Mickens wrote, “According to the web site., the Emancipation Proclamation made a small splash in Texas, citing the document had little impact due to the lack of Union soldiers in the area to enforce the President’s order.”

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The historical fact is that it was precisely in the areas where Union soldiers were which were specifically exempted from the Emancipation Proclamation.

The despot Lincoln issued the Proclamation, which specifically did not apply to the four slave holding states which remained in the Union and did not apply to areas in the South which Union troops had occupied. The Proclamation only covered states and areas still under Confederate control, where Lincoln had no authority and no Union soldiers. The Emancipation Proclamation did not free one – not one – slave.

Assuming Ms. Mickens has correctly

quoted the Juneteenth web site, the exact opposite of what the site says is historical truth. It was not that the Proclamation was not enforced in Texas because there were not Union soldiers there. Had Union soldiers occupied Texas at the time, the Proclamation would not have applied there.

The Proclamation is relatively brief.

Anyone interested in truth can read it for themselves and see what areas of the country it applied to and which it did not.

(2) The other made up history appearing in The Times-Journal centered on the formation of the Freedom Party and its imagined history of the Statue of Liberty being erected to honor black soldiers who won the Civil War. No reputable historian would entertain such a preposterous revision of history.

If young people in Selma listen to people who rewrite history as they wish it had been, our young people will be made fun of when they leave the friendly confines of Dallas County to enter the business or academic world where truth and facts matter more than personal agendas perpetuated by falsehoods and lies.

Cecil Williamson

Councilman Ward 1