Fellow lovers of individual liberty,
I am going to raise a question here and offer a viewpoint not often discussed by those advocating for the preservation of Confederate memorials at public, taxpayer owned facilities. Sadly, all the ridiculous recent media coverage and hyped up emotion of the last year interferes with actual discussion of facts and policy. I have reached these conclusions after careful reflection over the summer relating to Confederate symbols in the public square (i.e., that owned by taxpayers).
First, I will say that I reject any group that would take violent action outside the rule of law – that includes vandalism or forced removal of any property (statue, monument, etc.). I am sure you understand how strongly I feel on that, based on my own monuments to our founders which includes founding fathers who were, in fact, slave owners (Jefferson, Washington) (www.founderscorner.US).
Secondly, I do not want to detract in any way from honoring veterans of wars – many were called up against their will or as part of a government induced obligation; that includes confederate soldiers.
However, I must ask these things:
Are we all aware that the primary motivator for formation of the confederacy and the secession of the Southern states was primarily and almost entirely on their defense of slavery? It was not primarily about “states’ rights” – they were seeking no other right than the right to continue to hold slaves.
Are we all aware that the Confederate constitution required a protection of the “rights” of individuals to own and trade and slaves?
Are we aware that this defense of slavery appears ten times in the Confederate constitution (the word “slave” is used as a word root ten times)? (Any restriction on importation of slaves was primarily to secure the market power of Confederate states slaveholders to corner the market in the immoral trade of humans and create incentive to coerce admission to the new confederacy of Latin American slave-holding countries as new states). Those pointing to missing references to slaves in the February 8, 1861 “provisional” Confederate Constitution should know they were added in the Permanent version adopted March 11, 1861.
Given the irrefutable fact that the primary motivator was slavery, does anyone REALLY believe that the secession was about states’ rights? If so, please educate me on what state rights were defended by the Confederacy that was not linked to preservation of slavery?
Ask yourselves this: Would the confederate states have tried to succeed if they had been willing give up slavery? The clear answer is “no”.
So, given that, do we really want to be in the position, as liberty loving Americans who abhor slavery, servitude, loss of freedom and government control of individuals, of supporting the confederacy 150 years after the civil war resolved this question?
So while all people have the right to fly any confederate flag, erect any confederate monument on their private property, I would assert that there is no place for honoring the confederacy in government facilities with tax dollars – unless there is also an historic plaque attached to it indicating that the confederacy was primarily about the preservation of slavery and that the monuments are to serve as a reminder of the bloody price paid by many to end slavery and as a warning to the future to fight against the loss of individual liberty by any person.
I will leave you with this final question: If you were Jewish or Catholic or an anti-Nazi resistance member in Europe during world war II or descended from such, would you be willing to have the Nazi flag flying at a European government building even to this day? Would you be willing to allow a positive portrayal of a Nazi SS officer as a statute in the public square? I am sure you wouldn’t. If you were a descendent of a survivor of Leninism and Stalinism, would you agree to allow the cities of Stalingrad(now Volgograd) and Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) to maintain their original names? Do you support Putin’s efforts to rename Volgograd as Stalingrad? Should we call for the restoration of the statue of Saddam Hussein in Iraq? Place Idi Amin Statutes in Africa? Isis flags in our own public square? I am sure the answer to these questions is “no”.
Yes, I do agree with the slippery slope argument that the next target of the radical progressives, communists and agitators is to destroy our US constitution and to find aid in doing so by removing monuments to Jefferson, Washington and Madison and other white slave holder founders (this is why they are venerating Hamilton now, a corrupt central banker and lover of big government). I agree that allowing a “purging” of confederate symbols from the public square is part of their overall battle plan – a cynical attempt to move “forward” toward a socialist, tyrannical America controlled by elites. However, I am more than willing to vociferously defend the continued veneration of our founding fathers. That is because any rational reading reveals that our founders set the stage to end slavery and were at least partially restricted in freeing their slaves by the unjust state laws of the time until they then did. That said, there is no final excuse for the hypocrisy of continued slave holding by our founding fathers, who should have freed them immediately. They could have suffered the financial and legal penalty of freeing their slaves or moved to non-slave states.
You will never hear any pro-abortion advocates recognize these faults in their own heroes such as Margaret Sanger who called for a cleansing of blacks through abortion. You will never hear any extremist liberal denounce Che’ Guevara, the butcher and enforcer for their communist hero Fidel Castro nor recognize the failings of socialism in the current downfall of Venezuela and the suffering of Venezuelan citizens. You will never hear the hardcore and often violent liberal agitators seek to end the failed government run schools, welfare, Medicaid and other programs that keep generations locked in poverty and despair.
But, their shortcoming should not be ours and their hypocrisy should not guide us in our decision making. We should not call that which is evil as “good” and not label that which is dark as light (Isaiah 5:20). But we should also stand up against violence of Black Lives Matter, Occupy Wall Street, Anti-Fa and all who burn, vandalize, riot and terrorize to push their extremist agenda through terror (Portland, Ferguson, Baltimore). (Socialists always use violence as one tool to gain control of society). Likewise we should stand up and reject the white supremacists marching through the streets shouting “blood and soil” in Charlottesville, since they are shouting a Nazi slogan. The organization doing this, calls for “fascism” and an end to capitalism (their bloodandsoil.org website has been removed by WordPress – somewhat sad so all can no longer see their evil). Neither of these groups are the types of people Americans should support. That is a good place to discuss drawing battle lines. We should believe in peaceful change in society, and that means finding legitimate common ground where those of good will can unify as Americans, and not as extremists with radical agendas.
So I suggest that the battle lines need to be moved. We should not be fighting in a war to preserve confederate symbols in government areas.
We should instead be fighting for this:
1. Rule of law to end any vigilante violence, defacing, removal of any property from government sites, and any such action against private property on private land.
2. Advocacy by liberty lovers to remove confederate symbols from government locations if they are not labeled as a reminder of the bloody price paid to end slavery and a warning to future generation about the evils of slavery.
3. Vociferous defense of monuments to our founding fathers and mothers as a testament to the only government in the world created by the people, for the people and not by the rulers and for the rulers.
4. Vociferous defense of the US constitution and the individual rights it protects against mob rule and out of control governments.