Quick History lesson
The Civil War.
The South lost.
The Confederates were not Americans.
They left America and fought REAL Americans
And they lost.
More than sixty years later,
Many cities started erecting statues to the Confederate “heroes.
Why sixty to a hundred years later?
The KKK and Jim Crow.
We might be the only country who erected statues to the losers.
(Thank the Daughters of the Confederation).
You don’t see Hitler’s statue in Germany.
In fact, you see nothing of the Nazis.
Does that mean they were erased and we can forget all about them?
We all know that if we forget our history, we are doomed to repeat it.
It means they are embarrassed that they let it happen,
And they will never glorify evil again.
You don’t see statues of Mussolini, Saddam Hussein, Osama Bin Laden or Benedict Arnold.
We don’t glorify people on the wrong side of history.
And you have to wonder why Nazis are protesting this.
What do they have in common?
Because even the relatives of these confederates, want the statues to come down.
And we have to stay away from the rhetoric of “whataboutism”
It’s a weak and immature argument
That has no place in this conversation.
If you want statues to remember history, make a statue of
Harriett Tubman, Fredrick Douglass, or Henry David Thoreau.
Glorify the heroes.
I have a hobby…genealogy.
I can spend hours researching,
And it’s fascinating to me, because it reminds me
that my history is our history.
I found out that my great, great, great, great, great grandfather
On my maternal grandfather’s side
Was a Patriot of the American Revolution,
And although he could not fight, he provided food, including beef for
General Washington’s Army.
Later, President Washington recognized him as a patriot,
and there are statues and parks named after him.
His great-grandson Robert, in Fredericksburg,
fought in the Civil War,
As a confederate.
He was captured by the Union, and released when the war was over.
He paid $10,000 to the American government for an official pardon
For fighting on the wrong side of history.
He later became a minister and wrote books about spiritualism.
And he was related by marriage to Robert E. Lee,
and they both pledged their allegiance to the Union.
120 years later,
after my dad served in the Air Force in Viet Nam,
And my brother served in the Navy in Bosnia,
I served in Peace Corps,
Because, that’s who I am.
I know all stories have two sides,
But rarely do they have two “right” sides.
When you think about these things,
Decide what side of history you want to be on.
How will you be remembered in a few hundred years?