Charlottesville statue support is not about tax dollars or states’ rights


Letter to the Editor

To the editor:

Shawn Finney stated in his Aug. 9 letter, “Trump explains that some people were there to protest the removal of the Robert E. Lee statue. For me, I would have protested any tax dollars to put a statue up anywhere.”

First, Shawn, the statue of Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville did not involve the expenditure of tax dollars.

It was paid for by a rich philanthropist named Paul G. McIntire (1860-1952).

The statue was unveiled in 1924 by the Confederate Veterans, Sons of Confederate Veterans and the United Daughters of the Confederacy in a tribute to the “lost cause.”

For those unfamiliar with the term “lost cause,” it refers to a mythologized version of the Civil War that holds as one of its central tenets that “states’ rights” was the Southern rationale for starting the Civil War.

However, it was quite the contrary, as you can read for yourself in the actual articles of secession, starting with South Carolina’s declaration of secession.

A compilation of the major Southern arguments can be found in “The Confederate and Neo-Confederate Reader” by James W. Loewen.

For more on the history of the Robert E. Lee statue in Charlottesville, check out “How Charlottesville Got that Robert E. Lee Statue” by Dr. Bruce W. Dearstyne.

Second, although I’m sure there are instances that the term racism is misapplied, I’m quite sure that you needn’t just spit on someone to engage in racism.

Symbols like those statues are powerful tools that can be applied toward the subjugation of people.

No spitting needed with statues.

Third, I’m not sure I get what you mean when you write that the media “…humanizes the true bigots.”

So does this mean that the neo-Nazis are not the “true bigots” and that the people protesting against the neo-Nazis are the “true bigots”?

And, shouldn’t we humanize everyone? I’m very confused on this point.

But let me end by saying that even if someone was there to protest the removal of the statue, and that person was just a misinformed protector of history, and for whatever reason he didn’t hear that the neo-Nazis were going to be there, it might be a good idea not to stand next to the neo-Nazis because people are just going to assume that person is a racist and not the misinformed protector of history who just happens to be standing next to the neo-Nazis.

Dan Davinroy