To the Editor:
Let’s all agree on one fact: had the South won the war slavery would have persisted in the Southern states and likely would have been accepted by some of the newly formed territories and states in the Midwest.
We can likely all agree on a second fact: in 1859, there was a United States of America and it was a democracy, at least for white men, that had been in existence for more than 60 years and whose leaders had been elected by voters. When a group of states got its feelings hurt because they didn’t have the votes to control this or that agenda, including slavery, they attacked the U. S. government and that led to hundreds of thousands of people dieing and untold economic losses. That is known as domestic terrorism.
Jefferson Davis was not elected by Southern voters until seven months after the war had started. He won with 97 percent of the vote as there was no opposition. Very democratic.
Like most wars, the upper class lured the working classes into battle by creating false grievances when the reality was the rich were trying to protect their social standing and wealth. And much of that wealth was built on the backs of humans who had been ripped from their families in Africa, chained in boats often owned by wealthy northerners and were imprisoned in labor camps called plantations as well as a few local farms.
I am one who believes that memorials erected on government property that attempt to shed glory on that war, most of which were erected at a time when black people and women had no meaningful say in our government, should be removed.
Should they be destroyed? No. If the Sons of Confederate Soldiers or even the despicable KKK want to put up or shut up, buy the monuments, buy your own land and display the history for anyone who chooses to see it or even donate them to a public civil war museum.
But it is a travesty, viewed daily by millions of black Americans, for any democratically elected body from our town and county governments on up to have such memorials on property that is owned by all of us. Please also remember that in 1940 when the memorial was placed in front of they Haywood County Courthouse, that courthouse contained a balcony in its courtroom that black people, and others “of color,” had to sit in so that white people didn’t have to mingle with them while doing the court’s business. Enough is enough.