These days, the news and social media are peppered with snippets about Confederate monuments being removed. None of these stories rate the front pages, but nonetheless they appear quite frequently. The wave of political correctness that has flooded our country is the backbone behind the monument removal. Most monuments are being removed in the dead of night, to prevent the controversy and protest. Is it working? I think not.
Numerous Southern states have been caught up in an expanding wave of condemnation against confederate memorials and the confederate flag. The debate over the controversial symbols erupted after the 2015 Charleston shooting, where nine African-Americans were gunned down in a church. The shooter, Dylann Roof, was shown brandishing the Confederate flag in several photos. The incident led to the removal of the Confederate symbol from the South Carolina state capitol grounds.
At the same time, leading US retailers including Walmart, Sears Amazon and eBay announced bans on the sale of Confederate flag merchandise. The following month, an US cable channel ditched repeats of 1980s show Dukes of Hazzard because the flag appears on the roof of the iconic orange Dodge Charger called General Lee.On May 19, 2017, crews in New Orleans used a crane to lift a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee off its pedestal. They had previously removed statues of Confederate leader Jefferson Davis and Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregarde. The Beauregarde statue and parts of the Jefferson Davis monument were left outside next to a garbage pile. So they’re just throwing history away???
Many other Confederate monuments and memorials across the country have been toppled and others are in the planning stages. Alabama’s governor signed a bill into law that would prevent Confederate monuments from being removed.According to US Law, Confederate veterans are US veterans. Many are even buried at Arlington National Cemetery. They are as important to our history as any other group. I believe that the history and heritage of our great country represents our nation’s people in their totality. There is no place for the discriminatory mindset that brings cause to the removal and destruction of the monuments, buildings and sites that represent us as a people. These things have historically stood as symbols of both our triumphs and our tragedies.They are vital to the histories and heritage of ALL Americans.
” Every soldier’s grave made during our unfortunate civil war is a tribute to American valor… And the time has now come… when in the spirit of fraternity we should share in the care of the graves of the Confederate soldiers… and if it needed further justification it is found in the gallant loyalty to the Union and the flag so conspicuously shown in the year just passed by the sons and grandsons of those heroic dead.”…President William McKinley, 14 December 1898.Those who don’t learn from the past are doomed to repeat it. Knowing what mistakes were made in the past helps us to avoid repeating them. Unfortunately “revisionist history” is what is being taught in schools today. They change and skew the truth, or leave it out completely for so-called politically correct reasons, or to shape the opinions of the students with falsehood and outright lies.
An attempt to erase history that may be found offensive, with these kinds of methods, is the epitome of ignorance. It serves no other purpose than to rob our future generations, not only of their national treasures, but of their historical memory.”
The case for keeping our Confederate monuments has everything to do with preserving our history. The history of the Civil War and the Confederacy is complicated and, even to this day, painful for some Americans. But a standing monument isn’t the same as a flag flying in a place of honor. Monuments become part of our landscape down through the decades, and their physical presence testifies to the past in a way that museums cannot.
This is especially true of our Civil War monuments. Something as central to American history as the war between North and South should remind us of who we were and all we suffered to survive the Civil War and remain one nation.
Progressives claim a special prerogative to purge our public spaces of symbols and monuments, whether of the Confederacy or other historical figures whose views are now considered offensive by contemporary standards. That really should tell you something.The drive to erase the Confederacy from our public squares isn’t really about unity or tolerance. It’s about power and politics.
At a time when the divisions in our country are widening, and Americans are becoming more and more hostile to each other, we could do worse than to gaze on Confederate statues, contemplate their reasons for fighting, and consider what it took to put the country back together.
Something to think about………..Please take a moment and leave a comment or an idea for a future column.