It's How We Remember That Matters

Sep 6, 2017

The Civil War is a part of American history. We do need to remember it, but it is how we remember it that’s important.

The horrible truth is, the war was fought to perpetuate human slavery. Over the years it has been said the war was fought for nobler reasons, like states’ rights. The simple truth is that the issue of states’ rights referred to the fact that northern states would not return escaped slaves to their southern owners.

The Mississippi Declaration of Secession clearly states: “Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery – the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product, which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth.” Regarding the Union’s growing opposition to slavery, it continues: “it advocates Negro equality, socially and politically.”

We should not be immortalizing with monuments and statues the founders and leaders of the Confederacy, whose intent was to continue the practice of buying and selling other human beings. One person owning another person is wrong, something to be ashamed of.

What is worth celebrating is that we, as a people realized the institution of slavery was immoral and needed to stop. A bloody war was fought and, in the end, slavery was abolished.

We eventually did the right thing and ended its practice. This is what we should celebrate.

I’m Ted Lawrence, and that is my perspective.