Confederate Symbols, Fake Issues, and a Misnamed Protest

by Don

The historical part of Alan Vervaeke’s August 22, 2017 column in the Laconia Daily Sun,, titled, “Dead soldiers don’t keep the Confederacy alive”, was excellent. Some of his opinions deserve further consideration.

I agree with Vervaeke that it’s shortsighted to remove statues of Confederate warriors from any city. As he says, it’s their heritage. So I don’t understand his seemingly inconsistent suggestion to move them to a “national Civil War monument and museum”. It seems to me that having remembrances nearby make for convenient teaching tools about our and human history; putting them in a remote location hinders learning our good and bad history.

Northerners often jump to wrong conclusions about the Confederacy. Some Southern blacks recognize good things in their heritage and understand that eliminating remembrances of the Confederacy doesn’t solve a single current problem. When discussing the Confederate flag issue Mayor Andrew Young said, “I admire the restoration of southern traditions in Washington and Lee University. The challenge for us is not to wipe out our past history but to learn to live together in the future.” (

Did you know that some blacks fought for the Confederacy and some current Southern blacks honor their Southern heritage? See:

While statues to Confederates and the Confederate Flag may be racist to Vervaeke, it’s not true that all people, including blacks, who want to remember or are proud of Southern history are racists. Eliminating Confederate statues and flags does nothing to help black, or any, people.

Slavery has existed throughout human history, and the struggle to eliminate slavery (in various forms), primarily driven by Christians, went on throughout the 18th-20th Centuries. Today we acknowledge that slavery is evil; but lest we become too self-righteous, there may be more slaves in the world today, approximately 30 million, than ever before in human history despite its being almost universally outlawed.

Vervaeke too quickly dismisses the influence of “States’ Rights” and economic issues leading to the Civil War, the issue is still debated, see:

The role of the Federal Government prior to World War 1 was much smaller than today, almost invisible in most people’s daily lives. Today we primarily think of ourselves as Americans and as state citizens only as an afterthought. Before the civil war most people felt themselves to be citizens of their state first, then of the Country. Most soldiers who fought in the civil war fought in units from their state, usually from their county, and often side-by-side with people from their town, e.g., the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th New Hampshire (or Ohio, or Maine, or Mississippi, etc.) Volunteer Infantry.

Before the Civil War many people believed that States had the right to secede from the Union and some states considered it. The Southern states seceded based on the will of the people. The US Constitution doesn’t directly address secession, so the question was resolved by war.

Why, after 100 or 150 years, has it become essential to get rid of all signs of the Confederacy and of slavery? Why not last year or the year before? It’s tempting to believe that the whole issue was created to cause division in the country and disrupt Republican efforts to solve America’s problems.

The leader of the misnamed “Unite the Right” march in Charlottesville was a supporter of Occupy Wall Street and of President Obama (it’s been alleged that he also supported Hillary). A political party can’t stop a person or group from claiming to support it, but the Republican Party abhors what all the supposed “alt-right” groups stand for.

The “Unite the Right” protest was really, and probably intentionally, misnamed; it should have been called, “Unite the Democrats”. Nazis are Socialists like today’s Democrats. The KKK was/is the militant arm of the Democrat Party (like antifa); its leaders were respected by almost all leading Democrat politicians, some put in key government positions, e.g., FDR appointed KKK member Hugo Black to the Supreme Court, others were leading Democrat politicians honored by people like Barack Obama and Bill and Hillary Clinton. The fight in Charlotte was actually between militant leftists and militant far-left leftists.

Our nation has problems, but focusing on removing our history solves none of them. Huge numbers of black, and other, Americans suffer in Democrat controlled cities where their children are forced to attend poor and dangerous schools, where families live in dangerous neighborhoods, where good jobs are scarce and people are trapped in poverty. When people vote to replace Democrat politicians with people who actually care about improving life for all Americans, i.e. Republicans, then conditions for poor Americans, including poor black Americans, will improve.

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