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Letter to the Editor: Imagine what America would be if South had won

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Friday, September 8, 2017

Whenever people such as George Whitaker try to rewrite history about the Confederate flag or the Civil War and its causes, I always go back to the Cornerstone Speech delivered by Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephans in 1861. He did the politically incorrect thing and spoke the truth about one of the main causes of the Civil War. Here’s what he said:

“But not to be tedious in enumerating the numerous changes for the better, allow me to allude to one other — though last, not least. The new constitution has put at rest, forever, all the agitating questions relating to our peculiar institution — African slavery as it exists amongst us — the proper status of the negro in our form of civilization. This was the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution … The constitution, it is true, secured every essential guarantee to the institution while it should last, and hence no argument can be justly urged against the constitutional guarantees thus secured, because of the common sentiment of the day. Those ideas, however, were fundamentally wrong. They rested upon the assumption of the equality of races. This was an error … Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner-stone rests upon the great truth, that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery — subordination to the superior race — is his natural and normal condition.”

So, yes, there were brave men on both sides of the war, but to say not everything is about race in this instance is to ignore the history and education Mr. Whitaker claims is lacking in Mr. Knight and other close-minded individuals.

No amount of revision, glorification of Southern heritage or wishful thinking can change the fact that these men were fighting to preserve their way of life, which included the right to buy and sell people who look like me.

Imagine if they had won. Let that sink in. What kind of country would America be today? Would we have had the moral compass or even the moral high ground to confront the atrocities in Eastern Europe during WWII?

Monuments to the Confederacy belong in museums, cemeteries and private property. They don’t belong on public, city or state grounds.

ALLAN THOMPSON

Rocky Mount

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