Confederate memorials have no place in American society. Good riddance | Steven W Thrasher | Opinion | The Guardian – The Confederacy was an attempt to hold on to a way of life made possible by chattel slavery – and that violent way of life was soaked in the blood from the enslavement, murder and rape of African Americans.
Removing these monuments raises no issue of “erasing history”, as some have charged. The monument taken down this week, originally inscribed in dedication to “white supremacy in the South”, was built in 1891. It was a monument to how, as WEB Du Bois wrote in Black Reconstruction in America, “the slave went free; stood a brief moment in the sun; then moved back into slavery”.
For too long, US society has stood for monuments erected on government property to the Confederacy, its losing war and its genocidal values because the confederacy battled for white supremacy and its hagiography is meant to intimidate black people. Now, after a mass murder in Charleston, we as a nation are finally confronting this.
But we’re still treating these relics of the Confederacy with an absurd amount of care. When the Confederate flag was taken down in South Carolina, it was done with such pomp and circumstance it was like the thing was being given a state funeral. It ought to be have been taken down without ceremony in the middle of the night as the New Orleans monument was. And the monument is not being destroyed, but will reportedly be taken to “a place where they can be put in historical context”.