My local rag published the letter I wrote to the editor on Monday. You can find it on their website, but I’ll save you the trouble. Here is the text:
I find myself bemused by those who refer to the removal of Confederate monuments as “erasing history.”
Let’s consider the history.
Almost all of the monuments in question were erected in the 1890s and early 1900s coincident with the imposition of Jim Crow and the rise of the second Ku Klux Klan. They were intended to remind freed slaves and their descendants of their “place” and of who was in charge. They memorialized, not gallantry on the battlefield, but racism, oppression, and theft of labor in daily life.
When invoking history, invoke the history that was, not the history that was made up.