July 18th, 1863. The 54th Massachusetts assaulted Fort Wagner on Morris Island, South Carolina. 624 Union soldiers of the 54th led the attack. Though they bravely marched through relentless cannon and rifle fire, the attack failed. 281 soldiers of the 54th Massachusetts, including its commander who was fatally wounded, were either killed, wounded, or missing. Many of them were buried in a mass grave.
Why does this matter?
Because the 54th Massachusetts was the first black regiment to be organized by the Union. Thanks to the creation of 54th, the Confederate Congress let it be known that any black man captured fighting for the Union would either be returned to slavery or shot. And any white officer captured leading black troops would likewise be shot.
So why did they do it? Why after many years of being considered “property” where they were beaten, murdered, sold and treated like cattle would any man choose to take up arms against and to fight alongside some of the very people who hated them?
Because the men of the 54th finally saw their chance to get back what had been taken from them for far too long; their humanity.
When one person persecutes another person, or a group of people, based upon race, sex, political, or religious belief that persecutor takes from that person, or group of people, their humanity; they treat them less than human.
Currently there is a Civil War going on in the United States. Not a war of bullets and bombs but a war of ideas. Who is on what side of this “war” isn’t always clear. Partially that’s due to propaganda and distractions that are used by those who don’t wish for people to understand what the war is really being fought over. The rest is because I think too many people have forgotten what and why they are fighting. I’ll see if I can clear up the confusion with a simple, but long, analogy.
On one side of the war there are the Collectivists. Among their ranks are Progressives, Socialists, Communists, Fascists and those who believe that by taking the property and rights of an individual based upon class and political beliefs, then redistributing that property through a governing body to others, that somehow they are creating “equality”. These collectivists do not believe in individual rights. They believe in the rights of the collective and therefore are more than happy to treat people as cattle. Instead of creating equality they are enslaving people to a system that demands they surrender their individual rights, their individual responsibility, and their individual Liberty to said system for the good of all. Those who don’t will either be killed, imprisoned or punished in some unjust fashion. Those on this side of the war are in essence no better than the slave dealers of the past, they scream, “Come! Let me help give you healthcare, a home, and a job all you have to do is give up your freedom!” Collectivism creates equality through slavery and therefore steals a person’s humanity by failing to recognize the rights of the individual, the very thing the men of the 54th were fighting against.
Standing against the Collectivists are those who believe that an individual must take responsibility for their own life and that a person has a right to live, believe, and worship as they choose without repercussions. Instead of a governing body who tries to redistribute property to create equality, this side supports a governing body were everyone is equal under the law and where no man can rise above it. They believe that a just government does not dictate to its populace what it should do in every aspect of their lives but was created to protect the individual’s rights and therefore protect a person’s humanity. Because when a society decides that an individual’s rights are bestowed by a governing body instead of by a creator, then they believe that those rights can be removed and therefore allow any number of inhuman atrocities like those that took place in Nazi Germany or with the invention of slavery.
So why will I start to wear a Blue Kepi?
Because like the men of the 54th Massachusetts, I stand against those who would once again force slavery onto American people. I “fight” for my right to be treated as a human being and for the right of future generations to be treated the same. And while I’m only on the front lines of the war of ideas where uniforms are rather useless, it helps to wear a little reminder of why I’m fighting…. and what my “enemy”… is really fighting for.
Libertas Vel Mors
Liberty or Death.