I’m an ancestry.com buff. I spend a lot of time tracing my roots and I’m very proud of where I came from even though some of the characters in my past would not necessary be people I would admire today. My family immigrated to the American colonies. That’s right, colonial times [1600-1700s]. They came from Britain, but most of my family had immigrated there from France, Germany, and Italy [think the Holy Roman Empire]. My American roots are strong, but I still recognize that my heritage belongs to Western Europe.
I had ancestors in the American Revolution and ancestors that fought on the losing side of the Civil War. I’m also a bit of a history buff too. Generally speaking, most countries do not celebrate wars that they lost. With that said, I feel like I need to yell this part so forgive the all caps here, THE CONFEDERACY LOST. Not every Confederate soldier wanted to fight for this cause – I have an ancestor who deserted the Confederate army more than once [I know I would have LOVED him] because he didn’t want to fight. I recognize that many of these soldiers were fighting because it was their home they were defending. I get that and I’m not wanting to dishonor them. The Civil War is a stain on our history, though. It was ugly and not something of which we should be proud.
I really don’t understand people who want to celebrate the Confederacy. It was war that ended a very long time ago but the only ones celebrating it are from the losing side. I don’t celebrate sports losses. Scholars will argue that the Civil War was fought on economic principles and states rights, but most Americans feel the war was about slavery. SLAVERY WAS BAD. Slavery was horrible. It was the culture of the time, but that doesn’t make it right.
Robert E. Lee was a great general. He had a distinguished military career before the Civil War and was offered a position of general in the Union army. He chose to fight for his home state even though his personal letters imply that he was opposed to slavery. Choosing to fight against his country was technically treason. Lee had many admirable qualities but he became a traitor to the USA when he donned the gray uniform.
So why do people erect statues of him? He LOST a war and he was a traitor. People obsessed with the Confederacy seem to miss the point that the Confederacy lost. If they were truly obsessed with history then they would know this. They would also know that many of these statues were built in the 20th century during the Civil Rights Movement – and we can certainly infer what the purpose of building these statues was. There are people who celebrate the South who aren’t racist, white supremacists, but if we are all honest here most of the people sporting Confederate Flag are racist, white supremacists. In other words, they are the dishonorable dregs of our society.
I have a message for the white supremacist out there [though I do doubt anyone reading my blog falls in this category]. You, neo-Nazis are pathetic. You are a low life. Scum. You are the people who say immigrants should go back to where they came from. I’ve got news for you, Nazi, unless you are related to Pocahontas or Sitting Bull, then you have immigrant roots yourself. If you want to celebrate the losing side of the Civil War, then you are delusional. We Americans need to stand up to you and say not in my country! We Americans need to call you out for your despicable behavior. We’re not going to take it anymore! America is a place that welcomes all skin colors, all religions, all genders. If that doesn’t appeal to you, Racist, then perhaps the USA isn’t the country for you. Perhaps if you don’t like it, you can trace your ancestry and go back to where your family came from.
Our country needs to come together, and people who live a life of HATE will never help us achieve the harmony our beautiful nation deserves.