Wednesday, September 6, 2017
In regard to Publisher Roger Harnack’s previous column on Confederate monuments:
First, statues that revere people who declared war on the U.S. to protect slavery should be in a museum not on public property. Robert E. Lee himself opposed Confederate statues or flying the Confederate flag.
Those statues were put up long after the civil war during times of civil unrest as intimidation to blacks. That isn’t revising history.
Second, “self-rule and independence?” Wow, that is certainly a way to cleanse the reason for one of our most horrific events in this country. I hate to dirty your pretty vision, but had it not been for the desire to continue slavery, the South would not have gone to war for self-rule and independence.
Third, we don’t have Roman architecture and statues because Romans had slaves. We have them because some of the most amazing artists and architects in human history were from Rome and Greece.
Fourth, Germans certainly aren’t revising their history. I have been to that country several times. You won’t see any statues of Hitler or the Nazi flag on public property. It is, in fact, illegal to display the swastika.
We have free speech in this country but there are limits.
Understanding the reasons for the Civil War and the people who declared it would be deeply offensive to large numbers of people in this country. Displaying statues, flags, or anything else in places where history is recorded, like museums, clearly makes sense.
Several of the examples you put forth don’t distinguish between people who are important in our history for a variety of reasons and owned slaves, and people who are important because they seceded from and declared war on the U.S.
As one who constantly studies history, I would be the last to stifle or revise history. I would just like to see this country finally realize the vast majority of the defense of these statues and flags comes from deep-seated racism and an innate sympathy for those who believed in buying, selling and owning fellow human beings.
Do I think my opinion will make a dent in your deeply rooted beliefs? No, but I figured someone had to step up.
Pat Thompson, Colville