Richmond finally looks in the mirror

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Chris OBrion

Chris OBrion is an artist, designer, and cartoonist. He has been a staff artist at daily newspapers in three different states and currently works out of Richmond, his hometown. You can check out more of his work at

Notice: Comments that are not conducive to an interesting and thoughtful conversation may be removed at the editor’s discretion.

  1. RichmondDoc on said:

    Too bad all too many don’t see the connection–as evidenced by this recent exchange here on RVANews:

  2. Andy on said:

    So, Richmond looks in the mirror and all it sees is slavery? That comes off very narrow minded and naive to me. As much as some people might hate it, slavery was only one of many issues addressed in the war between the states. I guess incorporating real history into this cartoon would inconveniently change it’s message…

  3. Jeff E. on said:

    RichmondDoc, nothing comes off worse than a holier than thou attitude. As I mentioned in that thread you linked, being anti-slavery and anti-Confederacy is such an easy stance to take how can you honestly pat yourself and the tagger on the back for it? You got in a long-winded argument with a Confederate historian and that somehow paints all of Richmond in the same light? Perhaps it’s you that has the problem.

  4. Lori on said:

    Regardless of how one attempts to rewrite history, history speaks for itself when properly reviewed. Slavery was and still is the focal point of Southern Secession.

    Virginia Ordinance of Secession, 17 APR 1861


    To Repeal the ratification of the Constitution of the United States of America, by the State of Virginia, and to resume all the rights and powers granted under said Constitution:

    The people of Virginia, in their ratification of the Constitution of the United States of America, adopted by them in Convention, on the 25th day of June, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eight-eight, having declared that the powers granted them under the said Constitution were derived from the people of the United States, and might be resumed whensoever the same should be perverted to their injury and oppression, and the Federal Government having perverted said powers, not only to the injury of the people of Virginia, but to the oppression of the Southern slaveholding States.

    Now, therefore, we, the people of Virginia, do declare and ordain that the Ordinance adopted by the people of this State in Convention, on the twenty-fifth day of June, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy-eight, whereby the Constitution of the United States of America was ratified, and all acts of the General Assembly of this State, ratifying or adopting amendments to said Constitution, are hereby repealed and abrogated; that the union between the State of Virginia and the other States under the Constitution aforesaid, is hereby dissolved, and that the State of Virginia is in the full possession and exercise of all the rights of sovereignty which belong to a free and independent State. And they do further declare that the said Constitution of the United State of America is no longer binding on any of the citizens of this State.

    This Ordinance shall take effect and be an act of this day when ratified by a majority of the votes of the people of this State, cast at a poll to be taken thereon on the fourth Thursday in May next, in pursuance of a schedule hereafter to be enacted.

    Done in Convention, in the city of Richmond, on the seventeenth day of April, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-one, and in the eighty-fifth year of the Commonwealth of Virginia

    Sec’y of Convention.

  5. slavery was the main reason for the civil war. Its what “states rights” meant in that context. Anyone arguing differently should do a bit of reading – say starting with the southern secession documents, and seeing what southerners at the time thought the war was about. Slavery, strangely enough.

  6. RichmondDoc on said:

    @Jeff E.–

    I believe that if you look through my posts on the other thread, you will not find me defending the tagger. I certainly did not pat them on the back, as you describe in your comment.

    The reason I chose to carry that discussion on as I did is because I have heard similar arguments before and because I felt that it was appropriate to call them out.

    Does all of Richmond believe what @Runcible does? No, not at all. Are there significant parts of Richmond that do? Yes.

    Southern/Confederate apologists are all too common in our city and the surrounding counties. If you fly the Confederate flag, you choosing to overlook part of the history. If you have a Sons of Confederate Veterans license plate, you are choosing to overlook part of that history.

    If you consider the Confederacy to have been focused on states’ rights, then it is necesasry to acknowledge what that really meant. The cartoon above does make a point that the Cult of the Lost Cause would like to bury.

  7. panda on said:

    Richmond has much more to its past than slavery. Does anyone need to be reminded of Jackson Ward’s cultural history? “Harlem of the South,” ring any bells to anyone? You can’t just analyze part of Richmond’s past and ignore the rest. There was a great deal for African American’s to be proud about Richmond back in the day. I can only ask, what happened?

  8. The main reason for the civil war was not slavery. It was about taxes on imports and exports.

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