JUST MY OPINION regarding the removal of Confederate War Memorials throughout the country. Having a "yankee" father, whose family was in Italy during the Civil War, and a "southern" mother whose family was in Tennessee during the Civil War, I believe I have a unique perspective. Being raised on the outskirts of NYC, with first cousins in NY, Tennessee and South Carolina, adds to my vast exposure to a social condition that has plagued our nation for generations.
Why wasn't this an issue in the 50's and 60's when MLKJr's and Malcom X's voices were dominant? Why wasn't this an issue pre WW2 when African-Americans lined up to join the US Military to defend our country against Germany and Japan? Why wasn't this an issue pre WW1? And, why wasn't this addressed post Civil War, when the US was supposed to be mending after an horrific war between the States? As often said, hindsight is 20-20; and it should have been addressed a long, long time ago. Those statues and memorials should have never been erected in the first place.
Why would any American honor people who fought gallantly to keep people brought to this country against their will to be slaves? Or why would any American honor people who fought gallantly to keep natural born citizens of the USA bound to slavery because of the color of their skin? Obviously, slavery should never have happened, but celebrating the military leaders that fought for it to continue should never have happened either. Yes, it is necessary to keep and preserve history, but it must be honest history. Preserve history that says these generals, these soldiers, these people...fought to keep people slaves. We should remember that. It is our history, albeit, bad history. There is no honor here. There is no glory here. There should be humility, and repentance, and brokenness here. These should be remembrances that remind us never to go that route again. Such memorials, from the beginning, reminded people...black people and white people, that African-Americans would never be afforded equal status in this country, and that those that tried desperately to keep them slaves would always be remembered as heroes. How does one live under such oppression and arrogance?
As a proud grandparent of four beautiful grandchildren of African descent, I can say with full conviction...I get it. What ethnic group would want statues and memorials that honor people that wrongly tried to keep their people literally in chains, or in "their place", and I include those that attempted to keep Italian-Americans, or any ethnic group in their place as well. It is an across the board issue. Ethnic superiority is always wrong. Didn't we learn anything from Hitler in Germany? By the way, there are no statues honoring him there, or anywhere.
The beauty of America is that we are truly a melting pot of ethnic people and traditions from around the world. And, I clearly denounce any white supremacist group, KKK, or other such groups, especially those that do their bigotry in the name of Jesus Christ. As Islamic leaders are called upon to denounce Islamic terror groups, I (we) should also denounce any terror group in America or around the world that acts and speaks "in the Name of Jesus." Jesus has NOTHING to do with bigotry, hated, violence, segregation, etc. He is the unifier, not the divider.
All this, of course is....JUST MY OPINION.