Dear Confederates, You Lost!

The removal of monuments to Civil War confederates is perfectly right and just and long overdue. The Confederates were treasonous rebels against the United States of America. They were wrong and they LOST the war. We can and should acknowledge that part of our history, and I understand that families who have ancestors who fought on the side of the Confederacy may want to honor their ancestors. But that does not require public displays idealizing a war the South started to perpetuate slavery. We should do what Germany has done in remembering WWII without honoring the Nazis. They honor the victims of the war, not the Nazis who murdered them. For the American Civil War, honoring the slaves, slave revolts, underground railroad, and all the people who resisted slavery with public plaques and museums makes sense to me. The Civil War can be remembered without being romanticized or venerated.

Now that we are facing an upsurge in pro-Confederate, pro-Nazi, white nationalist, and white supremacist zealots who find encouragement in President Donald Trump’s immoral character, we need to stand up, speak up, and rally together to resist them as effectively as possible. Don’t use the term “alt-right.” Pardon the pun, but “alt-right” is used by white supremacist, neo-Nazi Richard Spencer to whitewash his ideology. His goal is to make his despicable group sound more acceptable. Use accurate terms – white supremacist, white nationalist, neo-Nazi, KKK, skin head. Also, call terrorism by its name when that is what it is.

There have been far more terrorist attacks in the United States by right-wing domestic extremists than by Muslim extremists. All terrorist attacks need to be called what they are, not disguised as ordinary crimes or acts of mentally ill individuals. The conservative ideology of Christian theocrats, fundamentalists, anti-abortionists, and anti-gay activists are just as dangerous as anti-government militias or the pro-Nazi/KKK/white nationalists. The core of their beliefs is that you are wrong, we have God on our side and we are justified in killing you. Ideas are always open to debate, criticism and opposition by other ideas, but people should not be physically attacked for holding ideas, no matter how wrong they are. Nonviolent protests have proven to be the most effective means of making radical change.

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