[In response to “Confederate Monuments Remind Us of Our History,” June 24, Xpress:] When this controversy over people wanting to remove Confederate statues in the South first crossed my radar, I really knew nothing about it. Up until that point, I didn’t even realize our country had many hundreds of these statues of Confederate generals and the like.
Hearing protesters wanting them removed, claiming they glorify not only racism, but the slavery of Black people, I could very much see where they were coming from. I can understand how these statues could be offensive to people, but why do we have hundreds of Confederate monuments throughout the Southern United States in the first place? As far as I can tell, the Civil War was about the Southern states, the Confederacy, wanting to keep slavery in place, whereas the rest of the country had come to terms with the fact that slavery’s f**ked up and, like, we should probably stop doing that. The Confederacy was trying to secede from the United States of America and keep slavery alive. Fortunately, the Confederacy lost the Civil War, the states were reabsorbed back into the Union, and slavery was outlawed throughout the land.
So given the history, why the bleep are there people upset that these statues are coming down, and why were they even erected in the first place?
You got to love the internet — I was able to look up a video by Vox on YouTube that breaks this part of the history down really well. Turns out there was this effort about 30 years after the war by a group of wealthy Southern elites under the name of the United Daughters of the Confederacy to propagandize to the youth in schools and erect all of these Confederate statues and monuments to sort of rewrite history, painting the South as fallen victims of big government oppression. Unbelievable stuff really, but these are the facts. I highly recommend checking out the Vox video on this called “How Southern Socialites Rewrote Civil War History” or look up the Wikipedia page on the United Daughters of the Confederacy or the Lost Cause of the Confederacy.
So, the next time someone says that removing these statues is erasing their history, ask them what history they’re talking about, because the history the statues and monuments are meant to represent pretends that the Civil War wasn’t about slavery (kind of like denying the Holocaust) and by leaving the statues up, they’re promoting this falsified propagandized version of history, or as I loathe to refer to it: Fake news! #doyourresearch.
— David Aylward