The North won the Civil War.
In the South’s defeat, monuments went up to soothe the psyche of damaged participants. Local heroes of the conflict were honored in stone.
The myth of the nobility of the South’s cause lived on as the trees of the South bore strange fruit. Slaves freed from one economic system were dropped into another that was as terrifying.
This dichotomy of losing the war and still lording over a minority population was partially resolved during the 1960s with The Civil Rights Movement. But, some of the Confederate War’s ideological progeny have extended the 1860s into a never ending race war.
Even though the media will not cover it as such, this week we saw the political assassination of an elected official who moved the cause of civil rights into the 21st Century by getting a law passed requiring police to wear body cameras in South Carolina. In the last 40 years, codifying an electronic witness protection program may be the single most effective measure taken to reduce violence against African Americans. It will eventually have the effect of reducing prison populations by keeping everybody honest.
The shooter saw himself as a foot soldier in the race war. The symbols of the Civil War were all around this person. When government at any level allows validation of the Confederacy, it allows aid and comfort to those who wish to participate in this race war.
Unfortunately, governments honoring the Civil War are enabling white supremacist activity. Presented in front of the South Carolina State House are terror symbols in the form of statues and flags. It needs to be replaced.
Poetic justice demands the verdict of a stone image of martyr Clementa Pinckney. He was the civil rights leader slain while doing what men of peace do. He may have been a pastor, but he was also an elected government official that gave his all. The new flag should also bear the colors of Mother Emmanuel AME Church in his memory.
The replacement of Civil War mythology needs to extend to the entire South. Celebration of the cult of the Confederacy needs to stop. We can’t legislate the hearts of people, but our government does not have to pay to keep hatred alive. The government has no business providing forums for vanquished foes.
These statues and tributes need to come down if they are on public property. The Confederacy lost the War — we need to deal with it.
A quasi-government organization, the U.S. Post Office, is in charge of delivering the mail. Presidential executive orders can be issued to stop delivering to locations honoring Confederate war traitors. In other words, change the names of all the streets and landmarks that bear the names of Confederate icons or you don’t get mail.
To those who say celebrating the Confederacy is celebrating southern culture — why are you celebrating losing a war? I am a Phillies fan but I don’t celebrate the 10,000+ loses of the franchise.
There is immense intelligence hidden behind a rebel flag. Seems like the rocket scientists are all in the South. We will not begin to solve global warming until spokespeople with Southern drawls begin to forcefully speak on behalf of the environment.
Replace the statues of those who lost in the 1860s with ones who celebrate science, or common wars, or peace, or the arts, or music or letters.
Forget the Civil War. It is over. It is killing us.
We, all Americans, need statues and honors to the smartest and best children of the South.