The Curious Case of the Silent Sam Apologists
I've noticed something about people who want to keep all these confederate monuments standing and rebel flags flying, especially on public, taxpayer-owned property. It's a curious phenomenon but it is something that happens in just about every conversation about Confederate memorial removal I've been witness to.
In conversation, someone might state that the Civil War was about slavery. They might say we shouldn’t have monuments celebrating the war to preserve it nor should we revere the army that fought for it. Most neo-confederates I've encountered would tell you that if we take down the Confederate statues, we should take down civil rights memorials, also. That, right there, is the tell. That's when you know their sentiment is not sincere.This is because the opposite of being enslaved is having civil rights.
They may not realize it, but by their own admission their reverence for the Civil War:
IS about slavery and
IS about feeling a sense of power and privilege over others and
IS about the fact that they and their brethren are fine with the subjugation and degradation of people of color, so long as their privilege preserved.
Frankly, I don't want or need glorified participation trophies, erected 50+ years after the end of that war to teach me. I know my history because I read books. Maybe some other folks around this county should, too. I recommend Civil War in the North Carolina Quaker Belt by William T. Auman to start with.
And as far as the “it’s my heritage” argument, it's my heritage, too. Many times over and on both sides of my family, in fact. The difference is that I care enough about my friends and their feelings to not want to see white supremacy and the war to preserve it glorified in my community. I don't want or need to flaunt a history or glorify a war, that in all likelihood my Randolph County ancestors did not agree with, in order to feel good about the person I am now, 150+ years later.
Do better, people. Be better.