Does Northern Racism Absolve the Confederacy?

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GwilymT

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We often see on the boards when discussing racism, slavery, and white supremacy and their relationship to the southern cause that “the north was racist too” or “everyone was racist” as if this somehow excuses the confederacy. I tend towards Brook Simpson’s take on what I agree amounts to a logical fallacy on the part of the pro-confederate use of pointing the racism finger north:

“Responsible scholars recognize the persistence and depth of racism among white northerners during the Civil War period. It's a key component in constructing the narrative of the sectional crisis, the war, and Reconstruction. One of the reasons Lincoln hesitated in issuing a proclamation of emancipation was because he knew it would arouse opposition in the free north among Democrats. None of that, however, has anything to do with the centrality of slavery in southern society or the reasons why secessionists advocated separation and independence, to protect slavery from the threat posed by Lincoln's election and the long term implications of the Republican triumph in 1860. Moreover, pointing to the existence of northern racism does not make it disappear from southern society. Nor does it necessarily follow that because in 1861 most white northerners did not support going to war to destroy slavery, let alone to secure black equality, that white southerners did not go to war to protect a society and a way of life that was ultimately grounded upon and supported by the enslavement of several million human beings. To deny that is to deny historical reality.”

https://cwcrossroads.wordpress.com/2011/01/18/race-and-slavery-north-and-south-some-logical-fallacies/

Is the notion than Northern racism excuses the confederacy a logical fallacy?
 
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