Letter: Confederacy reminders should reflect on evil, not honor

Graphic by Lori Deaton

Unlike Francis Strazzella, who wrote in defense of the preservation of Confederate monuments [“Confederate Monuments Remind Us of Our History,” June 24, Xpress], I haven’t visited Nazi death camps, so I could be wrong about this. However, it’s been my understanding that those camp remnants still exist to remind us of the horror humans are capable of inflicting on each other, not to celebrate the guards, executioners, crematorium operators, etc., who labored for the glory of the Reich by conducting its atrocities. And though I haven’t toured Germany either, I think they might have a rule against public works lionizing Hitler, his henchmen or Nazi symbolism in general.

It is true that the Confederacy is an integral part of American history. It was a catastrophic embodiment of the ugliest interpretation of the American Dream: Every white (preferably Christian) man for himself, and the devil take the hindmost. That self-serving definition of the “Land of Opportunity” has been at home here since Christopher Columbus, but longevity is no redemptive excuse. Appropriate remembrance of its ravages through the centuries should evoke reflection on human evil, not honor its perpetrators.

— Mike Hopping


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