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Alex Parsons
United States

Jun 14, 2020 — 

While the idea of replacing all of those monuments with Dolly Parton may seem funny, the history of those monuments is anything but.

The vast majority of these monuments to the confederacy were constructed in direct opposition to the reconstruction and civil rights movements of the early 20th century and the 60’s and 70’s. Memorials to the Confederacy were intended, in part, to obscure the terrorism required to overthrow Reconstruction, and to intimidate African Americans politically and isolate them from the mainstream of public life. The primary intention of these monuments to those who fought for slavery was the proliferation of the lie of ‘The Lost Cause.’  According to this Lost Cause mythology, the South went to war to defend states’ rights, slavery was essentially a benevolent institution that imparted Christianity to African “savages,” and, while the Confederates were defeated, theirs was a just cause and those who fought were heroes.

That abhorrent revisionist view of history is categorically false. Alexander Hamilton Stephens, the vice president of the confederacy, famously stated at its founding that its “foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests upon the great truth, that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery—subordination to the superior race—is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.”

The builders of those monuments sought to bury that terrible truth of our country’s history beneath lies and stone, and with it the rights of African Americans. It is not a coincidence that the majority of these monuments are placed directly in front of town court houses throughout the state.  They make a very pointed statement about the rule of white supremacy: All who enter the courthouse are subject to the laws of white men.

Such vile views have no place in our great state. The confederacy and what it stood for is not worthy of the civic honor those monuments seek to impart. The tyranny memorialized in those statues can no longer be allowed to stand, be it removed or replaced by someone worthy of praise, such as Dolly Parton or other deserving groups and individuals.

If you would like to do more research on the topic, here are some helpful sources:

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