History is just yesterday and yesterday last a long long time. I remember seeing my paternal great grandfather who was a Confederate veteran even though I was around 3 years old and he was almost a hundred years old! I can still recall that he had on a hat and wore a suit with a watch chain and that he had a cane.
I remember that General Lee’s name was said with reverence and that when you mailed a stamp with Mr Lincoln’s image you mailed it upside down! That may sound silly now but then it was just the way you did things if you were a white Southerner .
We were taught “place” at an early age and “place” was determined by race, name, profession, gender, religion and economic status. Such a system that was reinforced by history and culture and further reinforced by the money interests of Northern Industrialists who essentially owned the Southern economy and propted up by laws to enforce that system does not disappear over night which is far longer than yesterday.
As I have said before we cannot nor should not sanitise this nation’s history. The issue of the Confederate battle flag should not be an issue at all but rather it should be moved to where it belongs and that is to the battlefields where it was first flown and should have been laid to rest.
The silly notion of digging up the graves of Confederate generals and their wives and children is so typically American and so typical of our refusal to face the past honestly and frankly. If we are going to throw out the remains of Confederate generals and their families in city cemeteries then we should do the same thing to the remains of generals who fought the Native American people from Jamestown to Wounded Knee. Lastly if were are going to remove statues and the monuments of people who were for for slavery then we should tear down the Washington and Jefferson memorials and remove their names along with other Signers of the Declaration of Independence as well who did not oppose slavery.
We should also consider an addendum to Mr Lincoln’s Memorial that he was not opposed to slavery as such and that many historians believe he signed the Emancipation Proclamation to help the war effort and to prevent France and Great Britain from recognising the legitimacy of the Confederacy! History is messy and often not pretty!!!
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