George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson were all slaveholders. Slavery was and is evil and there is no justification for it.
What’s the difference among these men? Washington and Jefferson worked to create this country. Lee and Jackson fought to destroy it.
I had ancestors who fought on both sides of the Civil War and don’t think that people who took up arms against our country deserve public monuments.
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These statues should be moved to museums, cemeteries or battlefields, if it’s necessary to display them at all.
Removing monuments such as the Robert E. Lee statue in Virginia is a bad idea. It is a form of censorship akin to burning books with ideology someone does not like.
These monuments tell the stories of earlier times of our history and culture. It matters not an individual’s or group’s perspective of the event. That is the purpose of the monument: to bring about discussion of those past events, persons and places.
If it follows that these monuments are removed because someone is offended, then what comes next? Destroying movies such as “Gone With The Wind”? “I don’t know nothin’ ’bout birthin’ babies” — how offensive is that?
How many World War II movies from the 1950s and ’60s need be burned for their references to killing “Japs” and “Krauts”?
And, of course, Westerns in an earlier period characterized Native Americans as “dirty injuns.” Do we destroy those movies as well?
Selective censorship benefits no one. Let’s not allow history to repeat itself by destroying those things that tell us where we came from and what progress we have made as demonstrated in books, arts, movies and monuments.
Call for justice
I’m writing on behalf of Marcellus Williams in hope that his scheduled execution on Tuesday will be overturned via the mercy of the honorable Eric Greitens, governor of Missouri.
To paraphrase Eli Wiesel, I do not believe any civilized society should be at the service of death, especially when there’s viable and credible information that could exonerate the person of the crime. In this case, that’s exactly the situation.
There are tests that have detected male DNA that does not match Williams’. That in itself should open the windows of mercy to at least want to get to the bottom of who actually committed the crime, instead of executing a man who could be very much innocent.
There are many cases where this has happened. Think of Amanda Knox, an American who was convicted by Italian courts of murder, but later saw her case overturned as a result of DNA findings.
If we are the land of liberty in this country and the “show me state” of Missouri, then new DNA evidence shows that this man could be innocent of the crime that he’s now facing death for.
May the clarion call of liberty allow Marcellus Williams either to have a new trial or overturn the guilty verdict and let him go free.
President Donald Trump is covering his support of racism with a perfect smokescreen.
“Look over there — a statue representing our history and culture. We must protect it.”
I hope that people who oppose racism do not take the bait. I also hope that they do not focus on removing statues from the town square but instead concentrate on removing Trump supporters from public office.
This does leave monumental reminders of slavery and white supremacy. Should they go unchallenged? Rather than removing them, why not enhance them?
Add plaques and commentaries describing in as much detail as possible how these “heroes”:
▪ Were traitors to our country.
▪ Championed slavery and held it up as the reason to secede — not some fabled violation of states’ rights.
▪ Owned and abused slaves themselves. There was nothing benign about their abominable subjugation of “property.”
▪ Were often incompetent, as was Gen. Robert E. Lee at Gettysburg.
▪ Went on killing and destroying even after they knew the war was lost.
The list goes on. Many could contribute to such exhibits — students, teachers, citizens.
Let people gather at the statues to learn the horrible truth that guts the fake news known as the “Lost Cause.”