As the debate continues about Confederate monuments, I’d like for you to consider a few issues:
- After the Civil War, Reconstruction, which was despised by the South, ended about 1877. This ushered in the Jim Crow era, which included various laws and practices to effectively disenfranchise and disadvantage the freed slaves.
- Many, if not most monuments to the Confederate soldiers were erected after 1890 and peaked about 1909, when segregation was the norm, especially in the South.
- It is not coincidence that more than a few of the monuments to confederate soldiers were located on sites that were former slave markets or whipping posts where slaves were flogged in public. You don’t have to be Sigmund Freud to figure out the not-so-hidden message.
I keep hearing apologia that the Confederate soldiers honored by these monuments were not traitors. Merriam Webster provides the definitions below. Many of those depicted in statues and other monuments attended or graduated from the US Military Academy at West Point, where they had taken an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. These include Robert E. Lee, Braxton Bragg, A.P. Hill, George Pickett, and John Bell Hood. For a more inclusive list, click here. They all took up arms and waged war against the country to which they had sworn an oath.
Definition of traitor
1 : one who betrays another’s trust or is false to an obligation or duty 2 : one who commits treason
Definition of treason
1 : the offense of attempting by overt acts to overthrow the government of the state to which the offender owes allegiance or to kill or personally injure the sovereign or the sovereign’s family 2 : the betrayal of a trust