170424095012-03-nola-confederate-statues-p-g-t-beauregard-restricted-exlarge-169[1]While states rights are always mentioned in a discussion of the American Civil War, there is no question that slavery was a major cause for the secession of 11 Southern states. 5 more kept slaves but remained loyal to the North.

Monuments, statues, squares and parks were erected in the years following the war, most before the turn of the 19th century. They dotted Southern landscapes where they remained an important part of the South’s culture, history, remembrance and pride. 650,000 men gave their last full measure of devotion on both sides. Roughly 5% of the US population when adding in the wounded and maimed.

The last Civil War Veteran died in 1956.

170424095012-03-nola-confederate-statues-p-g-t-beauregard-restricted-exlarge-169[1]In the last few years these monuments dedicated to Lee, Jefferson Davis and other famous dignitaries have unceremoniously removed from their positions of high visibility and taken to storage. The idea behind their removal is that they are a constant reminder of America’s dark past of bigotry and slavery.

The same rationale can be used in a discussion of the Confederate flag. It has been removed from the South Carolina statehouse grounds. More removals to follow.

Those who support the monuments and flags are branded and condemned as racist.

The question remains whether the removal of these symbols is an appropriate remedy or is it an appeasement to political correctness to garner the Southern Black vote?

Nor does taking them down change history. I see no justification in their removal. If anything, they are a reminder of how parts of our country went awry and that discrimination of any sort is not the American way. I also see them as part of Southern heritage and a remembrance for so many families that fought in the civil war. I do not see it as a reason for blacks to claim victimization because of their difficult past, over 150 years ago.