ESPN analyst Curt Schilling, who was suspended from the network a month ago for sharing a meme on his Twitter and Facebook page that compared Muslims to Nazis, has returned to his Facebook page to share more memes about Syrian refugees.
In short, he doesn’t want to help them. And his information about what he believes a Syrian refugee is couldn’t be further from the truth.
“Feed 10,000 Syrian rebels?” says one of the memes he shared. “How about taking care of 50,000 homeless veterans instead?”
President Obama proposed a plan this month to take in, not feed, 10,000 Syrian refugees, not rebels. The refugees are fleeing barbarism in their own country, where women and children are routinely raped, those suspected of being gay are thrown off buildings, and countless others are killed for no reason at all.
Another meme reposted by Schilling this month says Syrian refugees should “stay home and man up.” Americans, the image says, “didn’t flee,” they “picked up guns and fought.”
“Attention Mexico, Middle East, and the rest of the world. Twice we weren’t happy with our country. We didn’t flee our country. We picked up guns and we fought and died to make it right (Revolutionary War and Civil War) stay home and man up.”
According to a Civil War expert, not only is the idea that Americans didn’t flee wrong—it’s absurd.
“The commonly accepted figure for desertion rates for both armies was around 10 percent,” Aaron Sheehan-Dean, Southern studies professor at Louisiana State University, told The Daily Beast. “The notion that no one deserted is just a wrong and a weird idea.”
Sheehan-Deen didn’t even need to read a history book to know Schilling’s claim was untrue.
“I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the movie Cold Mountain, but the hero in that is a Confederate deserter,” said Sheehan-Dean.
Southern deserters would retreat into Appalachia and form what were called “deserter bands,” whose main goal was staying out of the army.
“The state militia home guard would often have to drag these guys back into service,” said Sheehan-Dean, author of the book Why Confederates Fought. “But the deserters were organized.”
Then there were the 19th-century pacifists, who didn’t serve for religious reasons. There were bounty jumpers, as well, who would hop from town to town collecting money from signing up for the war, then deserting so they could game the process by repeating it. Then there were rich people who paid the poor to fight for them.
Then, of course, there were the winners of the war, whom Schilling’s meme attempts to canonize.
And here Schilling is right: Some of the Union’s finest didn’t outright flee.
In New York City’s draft riots of 1863, a black orphanage in Midtown Manhattan was burned down. The riots left 120 people dead and 2,000 others injured in less than three days.
“People fled for their lives. City forces couldn’t control their rioters. The regular army had to be called off and into New York City,” said Sheehan-Dean.
The riots eventually devolved into an attack on black Americans by mostly Irish immigrants. The Colored Orphan Asylum was torched because it was somehow an “imposing symbol of white charity toward blacks and black upward mobility,” according to Civil War historian Leslie M. Harris.
“What we called a riot really became basically a racial pogrom,” said Sheehan-Dean.
And, again, this all should’ve been common knowledge to Curt Schilling. And not because it’s in a book.
“This is all in the movie Gangs of New York,” Sheehan-Dean said.
Curt Schilling is set to return as an analyst for ESPN’s MLB playoff coverage next month.