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Re: Should the South remove all monuments to Civil War history?

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Message 41 of 45

Just because you remove all monuments doesn't erase the Civil War. You can't pretend it didn't happen or wipe it out of the history books. And besides, the Civil War was not just about slavery and not every Confederate/Southerner owned slaves. Slavery was part of the bigger issue -- state rights.

 

Robert E. Lee became commander of the Army of Northern VA, NOT because he owned slaves (which by the way he inherited through his wife) and wanted to keep them. He left the US Army to join the Confederacy to protect his home which was Virginia. He was a career officer, so it was not an easy decision for him.

 

I don't think we should ever forget the Civil War lest we be doomed to repeat history nor should we deny our heritage, no matter how ugly or 'politically incorrect' it may have been. Guess what? The CSA was defeated and no longer exists. Slavery was abolished. In spite of the paranoia, it's not coming back.

 

 



    

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Valued Social Butterfly
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Re: Should the South remove all monuments to Civil War history?

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Message 42 of 45

PattyDiane,

 

You have hit the nail on the head.

 

The Battle Flag evolved to be an overt symbol of hate and racism. Its adoption by the KKK and other white supremacy groups should seal its fate.

 

You can also argue that everything else connected with that part of this country's history is a symbol too but that argument is not as clear. After all, it was part of the country's history, as painful as it was.

 

It's like telling the Germans to forget about the Holocaust. I don't want the Germans to ever forget about what their "ancestors" did in the 1930's and 1940's. Those that forget the past, are doomed to repeat it.

 

Same with the Civil War.

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Re: Should the South remove all monuments to Civil War history?

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Message 43 of 45

I'm not only a Southerner but also eligible for membership in the Daughters of the Confederacy.  My great-great-grandfather was a gunsmith and was killed near Jonesboro, GA when my great-grandmother was a child of 5.

 

I've been raised with all the monuments in Atlanta, but for my family, the flag was never a part of it.  For me my memories of the Confederate Flag revolve around the KKK.  I was terrified when I was at UGA when the first two black students were admitted and the men in white robes carried torches and flags down the street in front of our dorm on the way to the football field to burn a cross.

 

Later, as a Journalism student, I went with some other students to a KKK meeting in a park near the college.  I had never before seen such hatred.  We began to giggle, I suppose from our shock at what we were hearing.  We were attacked and were rescued by the van from a TV station.  Even once in the van bricks were thrown at us and they tried to turn over the van.

 

If the flag represents so much hatred for me, I can only imagine what it would represent to someone whose ancestors were actually slaves, sold, and thought to be less than human.  

I don't think "Gone with the Wind" should be banned, nor do I think the memorials need to be removed.  I don't cherish that part of our history, but it is our history.  At the same time I think the flag should be removed from all public and government areas.  If someone wants to fly one from their front porch or wear it on a T-Shirt, that's their personal choice.  I'll have to admit that when I see it I don't think "Southern Pride", I think "hater".

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Re: Should the South remove all monuments to Civil War history?

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Message 44 of 45

I think someone who would have great wisdom on this sensitive topic would be Civil War historian Shelby Foote. Unfortunately he passed on several years ago. His story was complicated. He spent much of his life documenting the war from beginning to end. He was a proud Southerner. But he also  despised slavery and segregation. Quite a conflict there. I think there's a huge difference between a statue of Jefferson Davis and the rebel flag...which is actually not the rebel flag but rather a third interpretation. I mean there were brave soldiers on both sides who fought for what they believed in. It's important to honor the dead as well. But like I said it's complicated.

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Should the South remove all monuments to Civil War history?

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Message 45 of 45
Our city will be celebrating its 300th anniversary in 3 years. In view of what happened to those souls at the church in Charleston, and the blatant display of the Confederate flag by the perp, flags everywhere were taken down. They represent an era the south doesn't want to have reminders of with statues that honor General Robert E. Lee and Governor of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis. Honoring these "heroes" who owned slaves sends the wrong message to descendants of slaves. In the first place, it was illegal to secede from the union. Germany doesn't fly flags with a swastika, neither should we fly the rebel flag. As for the statues, the mayor wants them removed to wipe the Civil War out of the memory of our citizens as the bloodiest war every fought . The mayor doesn't want symbols of a devisive community, but one of peace.
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