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I’m Kilrain… and I damn all gentlemen.

The thing is, you cannot judge a race. Any man who judges by the group is a pea-wit. You take men one at a time.

To me, there was never any difference. None at all. Of course, I haven’t known that many freedmen… but those I knew in Bangor, Portland… you look in the eye, there was a man. There was a “divine spark,” as my mother used to call it. That is all there is to it.

Races are men. ”What a piece of work is man. How infinite in faculties, in form and moving… how express and admirable. In action, how like an angel.” Well, if he’s an angel, all right then… but he damn well must be a killer angel.

Colonel, darling, you’re a lovely man. I see a great vast difference between us, yet I admire you, lad. You’re an idealist, praise be. The truth is, Colonel… there is no “divine spark.” There’s many a man alive no more of value than a dead dog. Believe me. When you’ve seen them hang each other the way I have back in the Old Country.

Equality? What I’m fighting for is the right to prove I’m a better man than many of them. Where have you seen this “divine spark” in operation, Colonel? Where have you noted this magnificent equality?

No two things on earth are equal or have an equal chance. Not a leaf, not a tree. There’s many a man worse than me and some better… but I don’t think race or country matters a damn.

What matters, Colonel… is justice. Which is why I’m here. I’ll be treated as I deserve… not as my father deserved.

I’m Kilrain… and I damn all gentlemen.

There is only one aristocracy… and that is right here.

And that’s why we’ve got to win this war.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Doug October 3, 2018, 10:30 AM

    I guess Jeff Daniels is a character actor: brainless utopian moron.

  • JiminAlaska October 3, 2018, 10:44 AM

    Good on yer Gerard for the posting,

    & no wonder why, today, we’re losing, this war.

  • Boat Guy October 3, 2018, 11:21 AM

    “Any man who judges by the group is a pea-wit. You take men one at a time. ”
    “I’m Kilrain… and I damn all gentlemen. ”
    Anybody else see the contradiction?

  • JiminAlaska October 3, 2018, 11:57 AM

    Boat guy

    “Any man who judges by the group is a pea-wit. You take men one at a time. ”
    “I’m Kilrain… and I damn all gentlemen. ”
    Anybody else see the contradiction?

    Not necessarily, actually not at all, if you include the follow-up line and the visual;
    “There is only one aristocracy… and that is right here.”

  • Mark October 3, 2018, 3:05 PM

    I do, Boat Guy. By his own terms. They both speak partly out of the fog of ideology, and partly from experience. He speaks of the folly of judging and the ideal of justice, while dismissing the need to salt your gift/curse and duty of discernment and the implications of Justice requiring a divine judge. Anyone who isn’t grappling in the gaps with both, needs to take up their cross.

  • Howard Nelson October 3, 2018, 5:05 PM

    Mark, the soldier speaks of the folly of judging a man by the behavior of the group into which he was born, rather than the man’s individual behavior. Judge the man, if necessary, only in order to take appropriate action serving justice as you discern it, and accept the consequences as your responsibility. This is why he insists on being treated as he deserves, not as his father deserves.
    The soldier damns the gentlemen because he himself is a noble man, not simply an entitled gentleman. That soldier voluntarily joins the aristocracy of noblemen.
    Justice is more a way of life more than an ideal, more than a utopian ideology or endpoint.

  • Rev.Hoagie October 3, 2018, 5:27 PM

    So even though there is not one single black majority country on earth that anyone is risking their lives to immigrate to while hey are risking their lives and killing each other to get to any white majority country it’s still off limits to point out there really is a difference? I believe that regardless of race or gender all people are entitled to equal treatment under law (which white men currently seem to be being denied) but that does not mean I can’t see differences in both groups and individuals nor must I accept groups or individuals which I choose not to.

  • Andrew X October 3, 2018, 7:36 PM

    It’s a wonderful film. Get it online and watch it…..
    Because you will never EVER EVER see that film broadcast, as it was a number of times years ago. For it shows Confederate Americans in a sympathetic light. And New Stalin would not be pleased.
    So you will never EVER see it broadcast again.
    At least until we win this war.

  • ghostsniper October 4, 2018, 4:28 AM

    “It’s a wonderful film. Get it online and watch it…..”

    What’s the name of it?
    Haven’t watched the video above, have all that stuff blocked.

  • Howard Nelson October 4, 2018, 5:29 AM

    From the movie ‘Gettysburg.’
    For great background info see:

  • james wilson October 4, 2018, 9:38 AM

    Yes, I too have seen the devine spark in men of all races, some more than others.

  • arcs October 4, 2018, 10:16 AM

    Better yet, read Shaara’s books. Then read Shaara’s son’s books. Then watch the goddamned movies.

    Yeah, you may pick up that there are no differences in races. Then read The Bell Curve and learn that there are indeed differences in races.

    After all that, maybe you can come back to this post and realize that Colonel Chamberlain was saying you can’t divide the country because some men choose to enslave others and that he was willing to risk his all to give those slaves a chance at freedom because of the Divine spark in their eyes.

    Sergeant Kilrain was simply saying that anyone wearing a gray or butternut uniform and coming up that hill before him would be treated no better than a dog needing shot. And, should Kilrain still be standing after the last miniball, then he’d be the better man. Would that we had uniforms to use in making the job before us easier.

  • jwm October 4, 2018, 10:32 AM

    Obviously, those who have seen the film or read the books read Kilrain’s speech in the context of the story. Lacking that context, coming to the piece cold, so to speak, the first words “…you cannot judge a race” leap out at me and cause me to just wretch. And not because I disagree with the notion of judging all who come before me in the spirit of Christian charity (or the best facsimile I can give). I’ve been so browbeaten with “judge not those who hate you” that my reaction has become purely visceral. I have no doubt that if I heard this speech in the middle of the story I’d find it moving. Unfortunately, my well of charity has been poisoned.


  • casey October 4, 2018, 9:48 PM

    Col. Chamberlain, later governor of Maine, goes on to save the Union, if you track his story. It’s a damn good movie, too. They do address the race issue as seen from the lens of Civil War politics.

    Race in politics is used as a bludgeon to beat someone defeating your argument. Nobody gets close to any real race issues.

    I repeat here my call for reparations. They must begin by paying the families descended from Union Army soldiers. This stance will cause lib heads to explode…

  • Jack October 6, 2018, 3:37 PM

    In 2017 the crime stats revealed that over 1/3 of black men have felony convictions and only a slightly lower percentage have prison records. Those figures don’t take into account multiple misdemeanor charges. And, since I like being “fair”, the percentages for felony convictions of black women, while not as large, to whisper loudly that they are as divinely inspired.

    Matters of “race” are more of an issue from the lips of blacks than from whites and there are multiple reasons for it including success in life, color of skin, straightness of hair, etc.,, you name it.

    Every single time I hear some black gripe and complain about something, his or her comments are always directed right into the face of whites…even when whites have absolutely nothing to do with the thorns in their flesh and I think they do that because it appears to hold some magic for them….bitch loud enough and whitey will fix the matter, but never to the degree expected, etc. They’ve been well trained by liberals and the Federal government.

    Truth is, white people don’t care wtf/wth black people do or say and we just don’t spend any time thinking: “Now what can I do for a negro, today”???

    The races are too economically, socially and culturally different to blend, we’ve never gotten along well and we don’t like each other. People on both sides need to understand this and go their own way. The only time we should ever even think of “coming together” is in a national defense situation…if we’re even needed and otherwise we need to leave each other alone.

  • Casey Klahn October 6, 2018, 10:20 PM

    I want to repeat a bit of my own history. At the last active duty school I attended, the Infantry Officer’s Advanced Course at Ft Benning, GA, I had several friends who were black officers. It wasn’t until I got home that I looked back on that time and realized that every one of my buddies was black. In that particular course, I just by chance had only black friends, but didn’t realize it. They were a fine bunch of men, and anyway race never entered into my thinking.

    Race in America has totally jumped the shark. I just saw a preview for a movie about a Sikh guy who wants to box but faces prejudice. What a crock of shit! If he were in the army, he’d be allowed certain exceptions to represent his religion. In thinking about it some more, I think it’s probably a made up problem. Sikhs may face troubles, but not to that extent. The fucking movies want you to think this is a racist nation, and in fact we are not. We’ve had four star generals, movie stars, rock stars, a goddamn president, and endless sports figures from non-white stock. Uh uh. We’re not what is claimed, and I’m pretty fucking sick of hearing that we are “all racists.”

    Again, I point to the Civil War.