Letter: Honor dead, but not in downtown

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 20, 2019

This is in response to the “Fame” meeting held on Monday.

I’m a Southerner, born and bred, but I have been disabused of the notions associated with glorifying the antebellum south or the honor of the “war for southern independence.”

It is without any doubt that Confederate monuments were raised to proclaim the message of racial subordination and support for the idea of some lost glorious society. The “Lost Cause” was the defeated defense of state-sanctioned chattel slavery; the “Lost Glory” was the destruction of a social system and economy based upon chattel slavery and the statue “Fame” is a visible image of it all.

The statue is modeled after “Gloria Victus” and its inscription cites the “constitutional liberties” enshrined in the Constitution of the Confederate States of America and lauds the “fathers” that founded the CSA, It is a monument to sedition and racial injustice.

One need but read the Constitution of the CSA, the writings of the secessionists and those that subsequently supported the cause of the Confederacy to see how entwined the maintenance of Chattel Slavery was to everything relating to the CSA.

In an enlightened society, how can we honor such a stained past? We have moved beyond the horrors of chattel slavery and “Jim Crow” laws and, as halting as the application of desegregation and racial equality laws are, we cannot go back.

If the Confederate dead that died defending chattel slavery should be honored, then let those who memorialize them do so where those dead lie.

Raise their markers and monuments where they are buried or in a museum with contextual explanations of the same but not in the center of our southern cities and towns where equal justice and equality in life are the centerpieces.

— George Jones