Statue letter was insulting
Editor, The Smithfield Times:
As I read the letter “Add monument for Black soldiers” in last week’s Reader Forum, I became very upset. I found the suggestion of a monument for Black soldiers being placed next to the Confederate monument appalling and extremely condescending.
How insulting to propose that an “accompanying monument” be dedicated to the “contribution of local African-American soldiers to that struggle … .” And to add insult to injury, the writer implied that the NAACP and local African American churches would support such an idea.
Additionally, the writer wants to put the onus on the only African American serving on the Board of Supervisors to introduce such a motion at their next meeting to “unite this community.” Unbelievable!
Yes, the Confederacy is part of American history; however, trying to rewrite it to suit your narrative is reprehensible. The Confederate statue in front of the Old Isle of Wight County Courthouse and other places in the United States is a symbol of a failed war. Actually, it was an insurrection, a treasonous act. We all know that the Confederacy came about because several states seceded from the Union in an attempt to establish a new nation to protect and maintain the institution of slavery. That’s what the Civil War was all about, period.
Honoring that dark side of history should not be displayed in a public square. Removal of the Confederate statue to a place where it belongs, such as a museum or someplace else, is most appropriate and should be done as soon as possible. Confederate statues are coming down everywhere, including the U.S Capitol Statuary Hall in Washington, D.C.
It is time to remove these statues and monuments that are symbols of hatred and systematic racism. Removing the statue, in Isle of Wight, will not erase history, but it could be a catalyst for change for the better.