- - Tuesday, August 22, 2017


I am most distressed over the wave of hysteria sweeping our nation over Confederate statues and monuments. I have witnessed the mayors of at least two cities order the removal of statues without regard to any democratic process, and I have seen a hate-filled mob destroy a monument in Durham, North Carolina. Now mayors across the country appear to be falling like dominoes to yield to the demands of the mob and destroy a part of our historical legacy simply because some people don’t like it.

The removal of these monuments has not thus far accomplished anything positive. It has only reopened old wounds, further divided the American people and begun to destroy 150 years of reconciliation. When the Civil War ended, our leaders recognized the need to bring this country back together again, and Abraham Lincoln and others were most emphatic that the victorious North not kick the defeated South when it was down. Even the men who fought each other in that war held joint reunions in the decades that followed. If they could join hands with the men who had killed their brothers and friends, what on Earth are we doing tearing each other apart now?

Removing Confederate monuments is a very bad idea. It leaves only one side of the story visible, and when one side of the story of history is silenced or hidden, it ceases to be history and becomes propaganda. That creates an environment which facilitates the demonizing of the hidden side and its people.

There is no nation in the history of the world that has deliberately destroyed part of its own historical record and remained free. Such actions have always been the work of tyrants: Stalin, Hitler, the Taliban and the Islamic State have all behaved in this way. It is a philosophical company which no American should wish to join.


Columbia, Md.

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