Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Who Do You Think You Are: Kelly Clarkson

The American version of WDYTYA is back as of last night, which makes me happy. It's now on Tuesday nights at 9 pm EST on The Lobotomy Learning Channel, but since I don't have cable, I watched it on iTunes. If you go to the iTunes store and do a search for "Who Do You Think You Are", it comes right up. Click "download", sign in with your Apple ID, and watch for free.

Kelly seems like a nice girl who was genuinely interested in the journey she was on, and she's big on hugs-- she hugged her mom several times, as well as all of the experts she met up with who helped her.

Kelly's quest involved her 3x great-grandfather Isaiah Rose (1843-1916), who was a Union soldier in the Civil War, a POW at Andersonville, and later an Ohio state senator.

This made it pertinent for me as well, because my 3x great-uncle Daniel Webster MACE was also a Union soldier who was held at the same notorious prison; the footage of Kelly actually visiting the grounds was quite powerful, and was probably my favorite part.

When Kelly discovered that her ancestor was a soldier for the Civil War, but hadn't yet discovered which side (he was from Ohio, so I'm not sure why that was even a question), she was relieved that he fought for the Union, "on the side of freedom."

Being a history geek, I kind of took issue with this-- as if it would have been shameful to have an ancestor who fought for the Confederacy. In their view, they were fighting for freedom too-- freedom from an oppressive government that had invaded them after they had declared their independence. While slavery was a moral evil, the South was within their Constitutional rights to secede, per the 10th Amendment.

I suppose Kelly, like many, was taught in government schools to think of "Union = anti-slavery = good", and Confederacy = pro-slavery = bad." She should read up on Confederate General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, who ran a Sunday school where he taught black children -- illegally-- to read. Robert E. Lee and his wife were preparing their slaves for freedom by giving them education and teaching them skills that they would need. Meanwhile, George McClellan, a Union general, had no problem with slavery.

I would be proud of either Union of Confederate soldiers, personally.

The show narration had also mentioned something about the Union stopping "the slave trade"... uh, the slave trade was thankfully already stopped early in the 19th century. There was no "slave trade" anymore.

Other than this, it was an excellent episode.