Clintons and the “Ideals” of the Confederacy

March 14, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader

The article “White supremacy and the White House, an American Tradition,” gave examples of actions by Bill and Hillary Clinton that “were meant as a signal to racist whites that he would keep Black people in their place.” The bloody river of white supremacy runs quite deep when it comes to Bill and Hillary Clinton.

Arkansas flag and Act 116
identifying the blue star above
"Arkansas" as commemorating
the Confederacy. Act 116

In 1987 while governor of Arkansas, Bill Clinton signed Act 116 that reaffirmed that “the blue star above the word ‘ARKANSAS’ is to commemorate the Confederate States of America.” This flag flew over the Clinton’s Arkansas residence for 12 years. She has never answered reporters’ questions as to her role in her husband’s signing Act 116.  

While Hillary Clinton did say in 2007 that she “personally would like to see it removed from the Statehouse grounds” in South Carolina, she remained silent in 2015 during the struggle over whether the Confederate flag should be taken down in Charleston, S.C. after a white supremacist shooting of Black people during a church service.

Further, in 1994, Bill Clinton wrote a congratulatory letter on White House stationery to the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) on the occasion of their 100-year anniversary:

“One of the most rewarding of human experiences is the coming together of people to share common experiences and interests. For 100 years, the United Daughters of the Confederacy has maintained and built upon the wonderful legacy of your founders. The strength of your organization today is a testament of the vision of your founders and to your commitment to your shared goals.

“I congratulate you on your achievement, and I extend best wishes for many years of continuing success.”

The UDC is a neo-Confederate organization whose membership is limited to women who are related to Confederate veterans of the Civil War and has ties to other white supremacist hate groups.

You can get an idea of their racist, white supremacist ideology from a piece in a 2008 Special Issue of the Black Commentator which describes the content of a 1989 UDC Magazine article, “Walter W. Lee argued that ‘purchasers of the slaves’ were actually victims of slavery, while ‘the worst suffering group among those engaged in the trade’ were ‘the crews of slave ships.’ Lee also made light of the horrific and deadly Middle Passage, claiming that "the sixteen inches of deck space allotted each slave is not all that much smaller that (sic) the eighteen inches that the Royal Navy allowed for each sailor's hammock and the slaves rapidly had more room due to the much higher death rate." (See, April 21, 2008 – Special Issue)

Again in 1995, Bill Clinton wrote another letter to the UDC that was printed on the inside front cover of the September issue of the UDC’s magazine:

BAsics 1.1

“Greetings to everyone gathered in our nation’s capital for the 1995 National Convention of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. Congratulations on beginning of the second century of your organization —your long history is a tribute to your dedication to and respect for the ideals of your founders. This week marks a special time for the members of your organizations to share memories, traditions, and goals. I hope that your visit to Washington is an enjoyable one and that you will take advantage of its unique beauty and many historical sites. Best wishes to all for an enjoyable convention. Bill Clinton”

Does Clinton view their “long history” as the myth of plantations idyll of happy slaves and paternalist masters? And what has Hillary said about this? NOTHING!

Is this the “wonderful legacy of your founders”? Or “a testament of the vision of your founders and to your commitment to your shared goals” that Bill Clinton was celebrating? And again, what has Hillary done to disavow any of this? As “liberal” as they get, these actions embracing slavery and the confederacy by the Clintons are an example of how deeply rooted the underpinnings of white privilege and white supremacy are in this monstrous system.




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