I was having this running exchange with some southern guy that was miffed about a Civil War monument celebrating the Confederacy being removed from the University of Louisville campus.
Apparently the impetus for this was a black university professor that didn't feel such a monument was appropriate.
Personally I agree with the professor. When you strip away all the horseshit about states rights and all the other rationalizations the Civil War was about slavery. If it wasn't for the underlying issue of slavery all of the other problems were resolvable.
The issue of slavery was not. Regardless of how unfortunate it may be, some problems just seem to need to be resolved in blood. Slavery in the US was probably one of those problems.
So, we went around the barn a few times because this guy was big on throwing out all sorts of tu quoque arguments including nasty stuff in the bible and the fact that both Washington and Jefferson owned slaves.
The fact is that none of this justifies a war fought to defend slavery and there is no place in this country for public monuments celebrating or glorifying such a war.
Yes, good men were duped into fighting and dying for a bad cause and that's tragic. But that happens in all wars. I'm sure there were good Germans fighting for family and the fatherland on the eastern front oblivious to the einsatzgruppen operating behind the lines.
If you can design a monument which memorializes the tragedy of these men while recognizing the fundamental wrongness of the cause they were fighting for, then be my guest. I doubt that anyone would object.
But the monuments we're talking about celebrate the Confederacy as some sort of noble struggle against overwhelming odds. Against overwhelming odds it may have been but it wasn't a noble struggle.
Once you clear away all the chaff the sole purpose for the existence of the Confederacy was to defend the institution of slavery. The defense of slavery was the cause for which it took up arms. There is no place in this country for monuments celebrating, glorifying or rationalizing such a cause.
Ultimately this guy got frustrated with me and began crying about black professors and about the black lives matter movement while implying them uppity blacks have no reason to be offended by a "historical" monument dedicated to "southern heritage" that's been in place for 120 years or more.
Scratch a white southerner hard enough and you'll expose a racist. It was true 50 years ago and it's still fucking true today.