Corey Stewart, a white nationalist and Virginia GOP Senate candidate, praises Virginia for joining the Confederacy in 1861 to protect slavery.
CNN reports Stewart praised southern secession during a 2017 campaign event, claiming that the Confederates defense of slavery was the moral equivalent of the American revolution.
Speaking at a campaign event in South Boston, Virginia, Stewart said:
When you say you’re from Virginia, when you travel outside of this state and somebody asks where you’re from, you say with pride, ‘I am from Virginia. I’m very, very proud of it.’ You’re very, very proud of it. And why is it? It’s because of our history, folks. It’s because of our history. This is the state of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison and James Monroe. It’s a state of the founders. It’s the state of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.
So far, so good. Every Virginian should be proud of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and James Monroe.
But then Stewart’s remarks take an ominous turn, as the Republican begins to praise treasonous Confederate traitors, the treasonous act of succession itself, and by extension, the pernicious institution of slavery:
Note: There is no moral equivalence between the Confederate defense of slavery and the fight for independence during the American revolution. The American revolution was about freedom, whereas the Confederacy fought to preserve the institution of slavery. In short, those who fought for independence in the American revolution were heroes, whereas those who fought for the Confederacy to preserve slavery were villains. Full stop.
But it’s also the state of Robert E. Lee, and Stonewall Jackson, and J.E.B. Stuart. Because, at the base of it, Virginians, we think for ourselves. And if the established order is wrong, we rebel. We did that in the Revolution, we did it in the Civil War, and we’re doing it today. We’re doing it today because they’re trying to rob us of everything that we hold dear: our history, our heritage, our culture.
In addition, it is also important to note that when a Confederate-loving white nationalist like Cory Stewart laments the prospect of losing his heritage, he is speaking of a heritage of intolerance and bigotry; a heritage of slavery, segregation, and Jim Crow; a heritage of the KKK and racism; a heritage of hate.
Bottom line: According to GOP Senate nominee Corey Stewart, Virginia was right to secede from the United States in defense of slavery.