A statue of Robert E. Lee is the last of four statues commemorating the Confederacy that leftist activists in New Orleans succeeded in bringing down this past weekend.
All Confederate symbols are monuments to “white supremacy,” the left assures us. This is the justification for the campaign to erase them from public view.
Pro-Confederate Southerners, however, have always maintained that they have never been interested in memorializing “supremacy” of any kind. Rather, their symbols are expressions of a rich and storied cultural history. Statues such as those of Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee that were just razed in the Big Easy are monuments to patriots and heroes who were willing to forego all in order to conserve that culture for future generations.
“Heritage, not Hate,” is how the pro-Confederate South has been putting it for decades now.
And while the account standardly offered by heritage-affirming Southerners is true as far as it goes, the reality is that it does not go nearly far enough.
The truth is that the attack on Southern cultural symbols is an attack on American symbols.
Let’s be clear: Though the movement to eradicate all open, public commemorations of Southerners who fought for the Confederacy is anti-Confederacy, it is not, ultimately, an anti-Confederate movement. And though it most certainly is anti-Southern, it is not, ultimately, anti-Southern.
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