June 18, 2020

Statues Erase History

By Glenn

Statues erase history; they do not teach history. The Confederate monuments across America erased the racists motivation of the rebels.  Worse, the monuments celebrated men who lost an election and used guns to change the results.  How do we know this is true?  Let’s look at their own words.

The Election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860 triggered secession and the formation of the Confederate States of America.  The central issue in the election was the expansion of slavery into the Louisiana Purchase territories.  Previous generations of politicians had tried to compromise, splitting the land into free and slave territories.

In 1858 Lincoln said no more compromise: “In my opinion…‘A house divided against itself cannot stand.’ I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other.”

Lincoln opposed the expansion of slavery.  His campaign for the Presidency made his position clear: “We must not disturb slavery in the states where it exists…But we must, by a national policy, prevent the spread of slavery into new territories, or free states,…We must prevent the revival of the African slave trade, because the constitution does not forbid us, and the general welfare does require the prevention.”

Both Lincoln and his opponents knew that stopping the spread of slavery put it on “the course of ultimate extinction.”  The Texas Declaration of Secession was a response to his election. The controlling majority of the Federal Government excluded “the citizens of the Southern States…from all the immense territory owned in common by all the States on the Pacific Ocean, for the avowed purpose of acquiring sufficient power in the common government to use it as a means of destroying the institutions of Texas and her sister slave-holding States.”

Texas, like South Carolina before it, did not even wait for Lincoln to take the oath of office before leaving the United States of America.  They wrote a new constitution for the Confederate States of America.  Alexander Stephens, CSA Vice President, tried to reassure worried voters.  The new CSA Constitution meant little change for white southerners.  The old constitution had a fatal flaw, however.  It had started with the cornerstone that “All men are created equal.”

Everyone understood that a faulty cornerstone throws off the rest of the building.  Stephens proclaimed, “Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner- stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.”

The Daughters of the Confederacy whitewashed this history.  When they convinced local communities to erect statues in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, they used a sanitized version to bleach the ugly racism from the Civil War.  They used words like “States’ rights,” “property rights,” and “heritage”. They left out the fact that it was the States’ Right to authorize slavery.  They left out that “property” in question was another human being.  They left out that Southern heritage rested on the cornerstone of White Supremacy. Removing these statues will teach our children the truth that the USA victory over the CSA expanded Liberty and Justice for All.

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