o most people, this is all a matter of sentimental nostalgia.

Not to the South and not to the people who relish the Confederacy.

Not to the people who were enslaved by the South.

Yet what is missing here is very important element.

The South was defeated in what Dixie always calls the war between the states.

How, then, were statues and memorials erected to remember the vanquished and not the victorious in that bloody war?

The answer is what occurred in the aftermath of the 1876 Presidential election, with the stalemate in the Electoral College between the Republican Rutherford B. Hayes, and the Democrat Samuel J. Tilden.

The results of that acrimonious fight: A decision by Southern states to throw their support behind Hayes, in exchange for a cancellation of the U.S. program of Reconstruction, a euphemism for UNION military occupation and subjugation of former Confederate States.

Following the Hayes inauguration in 1877, the era of Reconstruction ended.

Former Confederates resumed their leadership in southern states, all of which enacted new legislation which restored the freed Blacks into quasi-slave status.

Jim Crow laws and a system of strict segregation were established, which would last almost 90 years and which would spread throughout America.

Hence, when Blacks were conscripted into the US military, separate fighting units were established, a practice that lasted into the 20th century.

The highest law in the land, the US Supreme Court, ruled in favor of segregation, in the famous Pessy vs. Ferguson decision, in 1896.

That decision was not reversed until the Brown Vs. Board of Education Supreme Court Decision of 1954.

The Confederate statues meant one thing to the South.

They had lost the war on the battlefield, yet they won the war through politics and diplomacy.

Southern Whites took pride in these statues.

Blacks felt saw them as a source of continuing humiliation, especially since the subjugation of Blacks was renewed in 1876.

I was sensitized to this because, 50 years ago in high school in Philadelphia, at Akiba Hebrew Academy, we had a teacher named Dr. Harold Gorvine who ran a seminar for us on the 1876 US presidential elections and the aftermath of Reconstruction.

Dr. Gorvine taught us through role play about American politics at the time.

At the time, I worked for a summer school program in West Philadelphia for Black children, and taught the children a chapter in American history which they did not know.

From a glance at current American media, it is not clear that most Americans know about the events of 1877, which has affected the legacy of America to this day.




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David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com and www.cfnepr.com. A new site,unrwa-monitor.com, will be launched very soon.