Racists: You Lost the Civil War. Take Your L and Go.

By: Kayla Pasacreta

photo via  New York Times

photo via New York Times

The aftermath of Charlottesville, Virginia, has opened up a can of worms that brings about a rather controversial discussion. Should Confederate leaders be revered? Should their statues get to stay on American grounds? Supporters of the Confederate flag, monuments, and statues (y’all’s president included), argue they’re a vital part of history. Maine governor Paul Le Page likened taking Confederate monuments down to taking down 9/11 memorials.

In fact, patriot-loving racists are so hell-bent on protecting Confederate statues that they forget some major things. 1. The Confederacy started a rebellion against their country (how’s that for patriotism?) and took one Giant L. 2. You seriously look like a bigot defending a movement that pushed to keep slavery alive in the country.

Y’alls president Donald Trump tried to compare George Washington and Robert E. Lee, to defend keeping up Confederate statues. Any one in history who owned slaves is in fact morally wrong and indefensible. However, George Washington led the country to independence, Robert E. Lee betrayed his country (and lost) in a rebellion to try to keep the thriving industry of slavery. The two cannot be compared. Trump, who in his own words seriously hates losers, should definitely not be defending one. It’s one thing to remember the twisted, complicated, racial wounds of American history. It’s another to revere it.

CNN host Don Lemon provided a straight-to-the-point, classic explanation for why Confederate statues should not be tolerated. Lemon, who traditionally strays from taking too pointed of a stance, could not hold back his anger and disgust at the amount of people fighting in ardent defense of Confederate monuments. Lemon argued,

having to go to a school that has the name of your oppressor on it, or walking into a building and seeing a Confederate flag or a Confederate flag hanging on a government building. Imagine you’re a Jewish person in Germany and you have to go to Hitler High School…that would be completely offensive to you on the deepest level and that’s how people of color feel when we have to deal with figure likes Robert E. Lee and Confederate flags. It’s no different than flying a swastika.
— Don Lemon

Don Lemon is one hundred percent right. Germany is deeply ashamed of its history of discrimination, violence, and anti-Semitism to the Jewish community. Germany does not pay any homage to Nazis, or fly Swatstikas as a way to “remember” history. In the words of New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, "they [the Confederate monuments] were designed not to honor the men, not to honor Robert E. Lee, P.G.T. Beauregard, Jefferson Davis. They were put up to send a message [of] who were still in control, notwithstanding the fact the Confederacy lost the war." Arguing to keep Confederate movements is not to honor history - it's a not-so subtle reminder and warning of who ultimately has control, superiority, and supremacy.  

Why the hell do black people, in 2017, have to continue to school white supremacists (who are feeling super bold and liberated as of late) on why it is absolutely not ok, offensive, and downright disrespectful to pay homage to Confederate figurines? If I come across as angry, it’s because I am. According to a 2016 report by the Southern Law Poverty Center, there are over 718 Confederate monuments and statues. Ten of these are housed in the Capitol Building. 109 public schools named after Confederate icons. 9 official Confederate holidays in 6 states. What message does it send to black children when they go to a school named in honor of someone who fought against their liberation? 

There is no sensible reason black people should have to continue to echo that painful reminders of the deeply rooted racism in this country should not be revered. We should study history and learn from it, sure. However, the mere fact that we have to even have to have this conversation shows this country continues to not stray far from its true, racists roots.  Confederate monuments and statues are a disgrace, and limit any form of true progression and strides toward a more tolerant country.

Kayla Pasacreta1 Comment