Removing Historic Statues Is Ignorant

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Dear Editor:

Removal of historic statues displays an ignorance of history and lack of art appreciation. History and art have been distorted by the self-righteous who wish to bring down the great to their level of mediocrity. Both Grant and Lee were great and honorable military leaders.

Briefly, the North wanted tariffs to protect their manufacturing. The South depended on trade with Britain and didn’t want tariffs. Lincoln made the war about slavery when he had difficulty recruiting soldiers. Eventually U.S. slavery would have been abolished without a war.

Slavery existed in the New World before Europeans arrived. The Indians practiced it. It has existed everywhere and still exists. We are ALL descendants of slaves. Are we more concerned with past injustices than present ones?

In the past, people felt as much fealty to their states as to their nation. General Lee’s father, a Revolutionary War hero and governor of Virginia, lost everything and spent a year in debtors prison. Lee didn’t own slaves and spoke against slavery. He married Martha Washington’s granddaughter, who inherited slaves. Those slaves could not legally be freed without skills to support themselves.

Young, usually poor, soldiers weren’t fighting to preserve a ruling class and slavery. Many wanted adventure, a chance to prove their manliness and defend their state. If one believes this tragic, why object to a statue memorializing this tragedy?

A road down here is named after a man who freed his slaves in the early 1800s and left them land. How many have heard of A.S. West?

The first Black slave was owned by a Black man here on the Eastern Shore. (Editor’s note: A Black man brought the first court case in the Colonies in which the court said that a person who had not committed a crime could be kept in servitude for life.) How many find history itself offensive?

Probably any statue is going to offend someone. Deer statues offend me. Deer destroy crops and cause accidents. The saying goes, if someone’s speech offends you, don’t try to outlaw it, add your own. I don’t see many statues honoring women, but that doesn’t offend me because every man on a horse had a mother.

Beverly R. Lynch, Painter

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