BINGHAMTON, NY (WIVT/WBGH) – A local Civil War historian is looking to set the record straight that the reason the war between the states was fought was because of slavery.
SUNY Broome History Professor Steve Call was the guest speaker at the Binghamton Noon Rotary Club this afternoon.
Call has made it his mission to debunk the Myth of the Lost Cause, an assertion that unrepentant
Confederates put forward after the war ended that the conflict was about states’ rights and not over slavery.
Call says the argument, along with racist, discredited academic research claiming Black inferiority, was often used to support Jim Crow laws and segregation.
He says such racist ideas persist today with conspiracy theories like white replacement theory which was espoused in the online manifesto posted by the Conklin man accused of the racist massacre in Buffalo.
“His whole twisted view is a good illustration of the continuing dangers of this radical rewriting of history. I’m really just trying to reeducate the public as much as I can both through my classes and programs like this.”
Call says all written correspondence and even memoirs written by Confederate leaders before and during the Civil War confirm that they motivated solely by trying to maintain slavery.
Call is entering his 22nd year teaching at SUNY Broome.
He is one of a series of speakers the Binghamton Noon Rotary is presenting over the next month discussing issues related to diversity, equity and inclusion.