Wednesday, November 21, 2007

On Being a Gentleman

In the words of General Robert E. Lee:
The forbearing use of power does not only form a touchstone, but the manner in which an individual enjoys certain advantages over others is a test of a true gentleman. The power which the strong have over the weak, the employer over the employed, the educated over the unlettered, the experienced over the confiding, even the clever over the silly -- the forbearing or inoffensive use of all this power or authority, or a total abstinence from it when the case admits it, will show the gentleman in a plain light. The gentleman does not needlessly and unnecessarily remind an offender of a wrong he may have committed against him. He cannot only forgive, he can forget; and he strives for that nobleness of self and mildness of character which impart sufficient strength to let the past be but the past. A true man of honour feels humbled himself when he cannot help humbling others.

On the same blog is an intriguing post about Jefferson Davis, Pope Pius IX, and the condemnation of slavery.
The Church had long ago condemned slavery and the slave trade and that most conservative and supposedly “reactionary” of popes, Pope Gregory XVI, had issued an Apostolic Constitution roundly condemning the slave trade....

Black slavery in America began in the North and was first legalised there, in Massachusetts, in 1625. Northern liberals and Protestants were as likely to be slavers and segregationists as anyone in the world.
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2 comments:

de Brantigny said...

Marse Robert also said...

"...Duty is the most sublime word in our language, no man can do more he should never wish to do less..."

Northerners are the most racially biased people in this country. Having lived in the Land of Lincoln and in the South I can say I have met far more people in the north who aree more than ready to embrace segregation and separation than in the south, yet the southerner is always characterized as being the dumb cracker, mint julip in one hand whip in the other. Yet the klan thrives in Indiana, and in Illinois. racism just doesnt make sense.

elena maria vidal said...

When I was in grad school in the northeast I heard some of the most racist comments ever, all from liberals. It was in private, of course, but it destroyed any trace of misconception I had about all racism being in the South. In our family, if any of us would ever have said anything like that about anybody of any race, color or creed, we would have been punished, severely. To be a racist was for my dad in the same category as being a liar or a coward-- it was as low as anybody could go.