I often remarked that my family was too poor to own slaves.
My heart hurt when I discovered a slave schedule belonging to one of my great, great grandparent’s. Among those listed was a one-year-old child. How would one ever justify a practice that would permit someone to own another human being and their baby? I felt guilt, shame, and remorse for a practice that I find abhorrent.
In light of this discovery, I thought a lot about the confederate monuments. Many want to remove them as painful reminders. Do we eliminate memorials that are painful or can we accept them as reminders, of man’s inhumanity to man?
I am opposed to removing them. As horrible as it was, it is part of our American history. Where does it end? Do we remove Confederate historical markers in old family cemeteries? George Washington owned slaves, as did many others, including Ulysses Grant, who had control of his wife’s slaves. Do we remove their monuments as well?
Should we marginalize those commanded to fight and which wars would we sanction?
America has a lot of history that is ugly, the Salem witch-hunts, and massacre of Native American Indians, Internment camps for Japanese, Germans, and Italians in the US.
I wish slavery had never existed, but it did. Removing the monuments will not erase that part of our history. We own our history, the good and the atrocious. Doesn’t it make sense to pay forward the good and never repeat the horrific?