This time from Adam Serwer. And I have to agree. There is this constant drumbeat from southerners who love the Lost Cause to downplay or ignore the role that slavery played in the Civil War. This goes back to the early historiographical explanations, as well as the push for reconciliation from both sides. The North grew increasingly racist as Reconstruction unraveled, and eventually threw southern Blacks over the side in their effort to give the South an "out."
That no longer works today, but the Lost Cause remains. But, if you read the secession papers and arguments, they are filled with open endorsements of slavery and declarations that this divide is centrally about slavery. When people like Governor Bob McDonnell declare April "Confederate History Month" and do so with no mention of slavery or the fact that Confederates took arms against the Constitution, and then resisted extending equal rights to blacks--he participates in an old horror, as if Civil Rights had not happened, and our understandings of race had not moved forward one step.
But, as many have argued, this is the new GOP--the party of the Confederacy. Moving against progress since 1964.