I'm blogging this post for quick reference. This is excellent.
I have nothing to add other than my admiration for her courage to speak out at this time. She has my enduring respect and best wishes.
About the removal of the Confederate monuments in NOLA:
This right here is where we've tripped ourselves in the South all these years. We've confused sentiment, familial loyalty and especially, a love of place, with a connection to a cause utterly unworthy of almost all of us.
There's nothing romantic about enslaving people. There's nothing romantic about rape. There's nothing romantic about lynchings. Enough!
I've been to a bunch of Civil War battlefields, most notably Vicksburg, where my great great grandfather, William Monroe Goldsby (Golsby) , was fatally wounded. He died a few days later in a hospital in Newton, MS. I never met him but I love him. My grandfather was named after him. I grew up with his legend around me. Honestly, with what he knew, I'd likely have done the same thing. Ima sit with this a moment. I'd likely have done the same thing. Be careful about judging people.
My GG grandfather sacrificed everything because he was duty bound. It's not his fault he lived in the wrong place for that time. But. I will not confuse my family love or my respect for his commitment with an endorsement for the cause for which he died. For 156 damn years we've had this backwards. It's twisted. It's messed up.
I love the South! I love my family, and the drawl, and my grandmother's butter churn and the recipes, connection to the land, sense of community, the flint and powder shotgun above the fireplace mantle when I was a kid and the GENUINE FRONTIER fearlessness from which I was just two generations removed! We lived in the country just outside Shreveport. My dad taught me to shoot when I was just seven and I'm a big proponent of responsible gun ownership.
I have my great grandmother's spinning wheel in my dining room. That's William's daughter in law he didn't live to meet. I'm PHYSICALLY connected to the 19th Century. I honor and cherish those family ties. I had loving parents and grandparents and I'm a sentimental gal.
But NONE of that translates into embracing bigotry.
It's time to color inside the lines of the history books. In Southern classrooms, they lied to us, out of institutional racism. Maybe not out of spite, but at the very least out of a need to avoid guilt and grief. My parents and teachers were children during the Great Depression. I've been tight on money but I've never been within 10,000 miles of forced hunger.
I've been to Gettysburg. On the way to fight that battle Lee's army kidnapped free blacks in the North and sent them back south into slavery. There is NOTHING to romanticize or justify. Lee's army kidnapped free blacks in northern states and sent them back to the south to be enslaved, raped, their children
stolen or sold off.
Monuments are for those we want to HONOR. My GG grandfather left a toddler and pregnant wife. I don't think he'd have wanted a damn monument. He'd probably preferred to not have his life wasted in a senseless and immoral fight.
Not all of my great great grandfather's blood rotted in a trench for rats to eat in 1863. Some of it is in my veins. And every bit of that implores me to implore us to create a different legacy, one he'd think was worth his sacrifice, one he could truly embrace, one in which his spirit can feel genuinely redeemed.
Put the statues in museums. Don't destroy them. Use them as teaching opportunities. But burn that nasty flag. To those of you who are upset at the removal of the monuments, I ask you, what do you tell your black friends about your support for honoring the defenders of slavery? What about how they feel? I'm not accusing anyone of racism and I don't mean that question as an accusation. For me, in considering my position on this issue that point was what made the difference.
I originally wrote this a month ago, when the first of the NOLA Confederate monuments came down. Now I just saw where they took down Lee's statue. I'm going outside to cheer. I'll betcha my great great grandfather, Private William M Goldsby (Golsby) First Louisiana, Heavy
Artillery, CSA, age TWENTY SEVEN, the age Adam is now, will be cheering with me. Grandpa, this is for YOU! You did not die in vain because I'm here, running my mouth on your behalf, more than 150 years after your death.
This is now a public post because folks asked. I don't usually make my posts public because I'm 62 and I don't give a crap if you agree or not. But if you disagree and cannot do so cordially, you can't imagine how much I will enjoy blocking you or how quickly it will happen. I'm fast, especially for my age.