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VA secretary commended the Confederate President as a “martyr to” The Lost Cause “” 1995 Century

Wilkie, who left the speech in front of a statue of Davis at the US Capitol during an event sponsored…

Wilkie, who left the speech in front of a statue of Davis at the US Capitol during an event sponsored by the United Daughters of Confederacy, also said that while he was “no excuse for the South,” to see Confederate “history and the Confederate soldier’s warfare is only through the lens of slavery and of today’s waste, is dishonest and unfit for our ancestors. “

Wilkie’s speech, a transcript that ran in the United Daughters of the Confederacy Magazine, reveals its conviction of the” lost cause “of the civil war, which shows the southern the states dismissed as a hero and deny the central role of slavery as a cause of the conflict.

A KFile review also found that Wilkie participated in a pro confederate event by 2009, which gave a speech on Robert E. Lee to a Maryland division of the sons of confederate veterans.

CNN’s KFile found references to Wilkie while researching the Neo-Confederate Movement, which aims to promote a more sympathetic view of the Confederate States during the Civil War and received copies of the speech by Edward Sebesta, a researcher on the Neo-Confederate Movement.

Veterans Affairs Press Secretary Curt Cashour did not address the content of Wilkie’s comments when CNN requested it but said in a statement that the events Wilkie participated “was strictly historic in nature and as Secretary Wilkie said at his confirmation hearing in June, he concluded that participate in them when the problem became divisive. “

” Today marks the 1

87th anniversary of Jefferson Davis’s birth; Plants, Soldiers, Statesmen, President of the Federal States, Martyr of “The Lost Cause,” and finally the Gray- — an outstanding man of an exceptional age, “Wilkie, who at that time was a republican then-rep staff. David Funderburk, said in the 1995s, according to the transcript.

Wilkie said later: “I have to add, as the distinguished researcher and historian James I. Robertson from Virginia Tech did here last year, I’m no excuse for South, and I’ve never bought what Penn Warren and his colleagues called “moonlight and magnolia school”, where the decorative past replaces the useful past. “

” The South has many warts, “he continued. “Chattel slavery and its aftermath are a stain on our history, as it is a sting on every civilization in history. But slavery was a collective American tragedy. (President Abraham) Lincoln understood that there was enough debt to spread from Maine to Key West. To see our history and the mercenary soldier’s leave exclusively through the slavery’s lens and the slothy standard of the present is dishonest and a dissatisfaction with our ancestors. We can not abandon American history into a forced political orthodoxy dictated to our child by alert politicians , Democrats in Street Courses and Radics with In-Depth Campus. “

Professor David Blight, a civil war historian at Yale, told CNN in an interview that Wilkie’s comments were” just from the neo-linked playbook. “

“It’s default lost cause ideology about 1890 to 1910,” he said. “This man, that language, is the normal defense of the lost cause that was built for decades as an ideology explaining the defeat of the Union, but also as a racial ideology.”

Wilkie was confirmed by the Senate as Secretary of Veteran Affairs in July. Prior to its confirmation, Washington Post reported that Wilkie was a former member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans and attended memorial ceremonies for confederate veterans. Wilkie told the Post in a statement that the events had become “part of the policy that shares us” and that he no longer participated in them.

“Their Case Was Honorable”

In his 1995 speech, Wilkie said that Davis’s life was a reflection of “a proud people” and not all “man’s precious experiments succeed”.

“As for Jefferson Davis, we must tell America the truth about the complicated man who brought the dreams of southern independence,” he said. “His life was the reflection of the pride of the proud people’s simplicity and perseverance, men and women who endured the unrest of the defeat and its equal sacred aftermath, men and women who, through their Christian prism, understood the human fall and inability of human institutions – not to succeed in all human beings . “

He also said that Davis” contempt for the radical abolition of the Republican Party “was not about slavery but rather for fear” they would violate any law and shorten any freedom to impose their idea of ​​the justice community on others. “Wilkie said that the radical abolishes in Congress were “as powerful as the Revolutionary Francs” and called those who financed the rescuing John Brown’s rescue on the Harpers Ferry “enemies of freedom”.

Wilkie allowed Davis “unbroken spirit” after the war served as a reminder for the southern people “that their thing was honorable and that everything would be right at the end.”

Wilkie finished his speech by linking Davis & # 39; fighting the fighting in Congress at that time, shortly after the Republicans won the majority in the House of Representatives in the 1994 election.

“Again, the congress halls say oddly against robust individualism, sovereignty and state of contempt for the centralized superstate,” said Wilkie at the end. “These are bloodless battles Davis could never fight, but they are no less important for the future of American civilization.” As our towns decay and our norms and spiritual traditions deteriorate, America is looking for a better way. “Walker Percy invited us to see South to restore society, the stability and the sense of the place in the order of God which we unfortunately have lost. It’s a big proposal, but it’s really a Jefferson Davis would understand and certainly one that he would fight for. “

More Recently Pro federated band

In 2009 Wilkie spoke to a Maryland division of the sons of Confederate Veterans – Jefferson Davis Camp 305 – meeting in the DC area.

The group’s website on time presented a federal proclamation from 1862 calling the union occupation of Maryland “oppression” and “tyranny” and “terrible despotism”. The head of that camp, according to reports and archived webpages, was Richard T. Hines, a prominent member of the neo-confederate movement.

Wilkie began his career as assistant to late Jesse Helms, the North Carolina Republican known to criticize Martin Luther King Jr. and oppose a holiday to his glory. Wilkie later worked for Sen. Trent Lott from Mississippi, who resigned as Republican leader in 2002 after promising Strom Thurmon’s 1948 segregationist presidential campaign. Wilkie later served in the Bush administration, worked for Condoleezza Rice at the White House National Security Council and under Donald Rumsfeld at the Pentagon.

Wilkie’s previous work with Helms and Lott was under review at his confirmation session in June. Democratic late Mazie Hirono asked Wilkie, quoting his former bosses and a Washington Post article, if he would “welcome the review that you will probably meet based on your previous positions to ensure that you treat women and minorities fairly and With respect like the VA boss, would you be confirmed? “

Wilkie replied:” Well, Senator, I’m saying it – and I say so with respect. I welcome a review of my entire record. Washington Post seemed to stop my mail about 25 years ago. If I had been what Washington Post suggested, I do not think I could have been able to work for Condoleezza Rice or Bob Gates or Jim Mattis. “

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