On August 12, 2017 Heather Heyer of Charlottesville was ran over and killed by a white terrorist at a rally against white nationalist’s. Heyer was at the rally to protest against racism and mainly against the confederate monuments. A couple of day later the President himself took to twitter during a combative news conference Tuesday, Trump pointed to “blame on both sides” and said that many of those gathered in Charlottesville, who marched with torches in a dramatic scene Friday night, were not white supremacists but rather were there to voice concern over the fate of a Robert E. Lee statue. Neither Trump nor any administration officials were visible at the service. This illustrates that these monuments cause controversy and hate towards one another. Confederate monuments were widely spread throughout the Southern United States. These statues were put up to commemorate confederate soldiers that fought in the Civil War in order to keep slavery. These statues ignore the fact that these soldiers fought for slavery, racism, and white supremacy. Confederate monuments should not be glorified, they should be taken down permanently. These monuments support enslavement and hatred.
On May 17, 1954 the United States Supreme court had ruled out the case of Brown v. Board of Education. The unanimous decision had overturned the provisions of the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson decision, which had allowed “separate but equal” public places, including all schools. When the cases came before the Supreme Court in 1952, the Court consolidated all five cases under the name of Brown v. Board of Education. Marshall personally argued the case before the Court. Although he raised a variety of legal issues on appeal, the most common one was that separate school systems for blacks and whites were inherently unequal, and thus violate the “equal protection clause” of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. On May 14, 1954, he delivered the opinion of the Court, stating that “We conclude that in the field of public education the doctrine of ‘separate but equal’ has no place. Separate educational facilities are unequal. .” Expecting opposition to its ruling, especially in the southern states, the Supreme Court did not immediately try to give direction for its ruling. Rather, it asked the attorney generals of all states with laws permitting segregation in their public schools to submit plans for how to proceed with desegregation. The ruling has sparked controversy and feud. White southerner’s and organizations including the Daughters Of The Confederacy began to put up these monuments, with the effort to intimidate and terrorize African Americans. These monuments were erected at the times when the south was fighting to resist political rights for African American citizens.
Most of these monuments went up many years later and not immediately after the war. As soon as southerners put Jim Crow in place many southerners felt the need to express their “southern pride” through monuments. In 1922 confederate veterans in Durham persuaded the state legislature to allocate roughly $5,000 of tax money to fund for the monuments. African Americans were forced to spend their tax dollar on these statues after being denied the right to vote by Jim Crow laws. They were part of a campaign to paint the Southern cause in the Civil War as just and slavery as a benevolent institution, and their installation came became a part of the Jim Crow violence and oppression of African Americans. During the era of Jim Crow Confederate monuments would be placed most anywhere. Some were in cemeteries or parks, but far more were put on the grounds of local and state courthouses. These monuments, not only represented glorification for soldiers who fought in a war to defend slavery. They also made a very pointed statement about the organization of white supremacy. The monuments were put up as explicit symbols of white supremacy.
The Daughters Of The Confederacy is an organization that was founded in 1894, which the daughters of the confederate soldiers would organize confederate monuments as well as memorial confederate monuments. This organization was the main distributor of these confederate monuments, many of which lack any actual revision of the monument by the state. These organizations use these monuments to try to dominate “white power”. By honoring Confederate heroes, generals and soldiers was one of their primary objectives, and hundreds of monuments throughout the South serve as a statement to the organization of the Daughters Of Confederacy agenda to prove the Confederacy. These architectural landscapes that these organizations and white nationalist had made are neither sacred nor important to them. They were put up solely for the purpose to intimidate, violate, and terrorize African Americans.
Slavery and racial dominance was the main focus during the civil war. Throughout the years, during times when African Americans would fight for their political rights, many white nationalist, even the organization The Daughters Of The Confederacy started to establish confederate monuments throughout the Southern United States. They believed by controlling history they would be able to re-impose and justify white supremacy. By using these statues they are able to set reminders of what had happened throughout history, in order to terrorize African Americans. They serve the sole purpose, to hate and intimidate African Americans. Many who glorify these confederate statues refuse to ignore what these soldiers did, they try to justify why they commemorate these soldiers.
These confederate monuments should be removed although they are a part of history, they should not be forgotten. Americans should never forget the civil war and all the horrible violent things the confederate soldiers fought and killed for. Although these monuments are a part of history they should not be glorified nor commemorated, these men shedded innocent lives for their own convenience, they died for slavery and hatred. They should not in any which way be glorified nor commemorated.
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Levin, Kevin M. “The Pernicious Myth of the ‘Loyal Slave’ Lives on in Confederate Memorials.” Smithsonian.com, Smithsonian Institution, 17 Aug. 2017, www.smithsonianmag.com/history/pernicious-myth-loyal-slave-lives-confederate-memorials-180964546/.
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