In 1865, General Robert E. Lee surrendered to the Union army at Appomattox. That should have been the end of the Civil War, or “The War of Northern Aggression” as Confederate secessionist apologists like to call it.
Make no mistake, the Civil War was completely about slavery. People who claim it was about states’ rights are correct, it was about the rights of southern states and their wealthy plantation owners to continue the reprehensible practice of slavery, and expand it westward into new territories.
Dred Scott and other political decisions of the times propelled our country into civil war. White supremacy in our time is less prevalent, but no less dangerous. As a white man who is appalled by racism, I feel that it is my duty to confront it at every turn.
Other countries fought civil wars to topple tyrants and monarchies. Those were often noble causes, much like our original War of Independence to end our ties with the British empire. These were wars for democracy or greater rights, our Civil War was fought to maintain the financial interests of the South’s 1%.
Even now, we are fighting a civil war for worker’s rights. Southern states and the Republican lawmakers are doing everything in their power to strip protections, healthcare, and the right to organize. They may not be able to legally own slaves, but they’re doing their best to make people of all races work for the bare minimum.
The slave plantations of the antebellum South have been replaced with anti-union assembly lines. Workers there are brainwashed into fighting against union protections and producing less-than-adequate products like the Nissan Versa that nearly killed one of my good friends.
There is no reason for our country to keep monuments to the failed secession attempt, other than on battlefields, or in cemeteries.
I have no opposition to Confederate monuments in cemeteries or on battlefield sites. Our children should be reminded of our history, and of our prejudices and greed which cost the lives of many young men on both sides of our nation’s greatest internal bloodshed.
Members of my family fought for the Confederate Army. Some died, others lived, but bore horrible wounds for the rest of their lives. One was even a quartermaster for the Lost Cause to preserve slavery, and others weren’t just slave owners, but slave traders and auctioneers.
I have no pride in what they did, only disgust. They do not deserve monuments, just a plaque in the places that they were buried, to remind us of the white supremacy that is our painful and bloody past.