Response to ‘Gov’t repudiation of Confederacy needed’

Jasper JohnsonâÄôs column is very emotional and moving, however, one must look at the Union army and behavior of the North before condemning the other half of the country as well. First and foremost, the vast majority of Confederate armies were not fighting in support of slavery, nor compelled by hate. They were fighting because their homelands were being invaded. General Robert E. Lee himself had been offered command of the Union army but turned it down and told Former President Abraham Lincoln that he could not raise his sword against his home state. The same is true of many of the Southern soldiers. They were not slaveholders, nor were they defending slavery. Their state identity meant more to them than national identity. When their states were invaded, it was their cause to defend them. The Confederate armies did not even set foot on Northern soil to invade it until the latter half of 1862. Many Southerners decried any sort of centralized government. They didnâÄôt even like the idea of a national Confederate government with national powers. To them, they were separating from an oppressive government, just as Americans did from the British. Yet that is not what is told by the media who maintain that the Confederacy was only about slavery. On the flip side, Lincoln himself repeatedly stated that he was not fighting the Confederacy to end slavery or limit it. The Emancipation Proclamation was not issued because he was so moved by the plight of slaves; he issued it as a political positioning tool to prevent Europe from intervening and acknowledging the Confederacy as independent. It doesnâÄôt make any sense to erase history. Confederate symbols and monuments are not evil, nor do they spread hate. A select few individuals have perverted them as such, but that is not cause for a national destruction of them. The same goes with the name of Lake Calhoun. It would be both a tragedy and an injustice to start erasing people from history because of their beliefs. We would also have to change the names of many towns, counties, schools and more that are named after people who had ideals that do not match those of current society. Early presidents had slaves in this country, so all things honoring them would need to be changed. I hope the activists for this will educate themselves before taking blind stances that will have serious repercussions on our history and dishonor people who earned respect in their lifetime.