To the Editor:
As I get older, I find myself getting crankier and crankier. Chris Weigard’s recent column on Confederate flags and statues fed this condition.
He says, stop celebrating Confederate Heritage Month, and call it Civil War Heritage Month. Well, apparently it isokay to have Black History Month and LGBT Month, which annoy many people, but hey, let us compromise. Instead of either Confederate Month or Civil War Heritage Month, how about calling it the War of Northern Aggression Month?
And, yes, it is called the War of Northern Aggression for a reason. The North invaded the South to start the war; the South was only defending itself. If you will recall your history, Virginia, which repeatedly voted against Secession, seceded only after Lincoln called for 75,000 troops to coerce the Lower South back into the Union. This war was begun by the North, but not to end slavery as most people now think. In fact, Lincoln and other Northern politicians said repeatedly that it was only to “preserve the Union” and that slavery would not be touched.
The war devastated the South, killing one in five white males and impoverishing her for over ninety years. Almost every Southern family had someone killed, crippled, starved or burned out. Yet, Weigard suggests that Union General George Henry Thomas should have a statue on Monument Avenue. The thought is obscene. In a similar vein, we could have statues there too for Grant “the butcher of Cold Harbor,” Sherman the inventor of “total war” and Sheridan “the Indian Killer.”
Weigard says that Jefferson Davis was a detestable human being. Maybe he forgot that your newspaper is unlike the internet where you can say anything, no matter how crazy or lacking in facts. But then again, maybe he was calling Jefferson Davis detestable because Davis was a slave owner. He might not have known, or did not care, that 12 of our U.S. presidents were slaveholders: Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Jackson, Van Buren, Harrison, Tyler, Polk, Taylor and Grant. What say you, Mr. Weigard, were all these presidents “detestable human beings” too?
I do not recall this kind of crap being offered up 10 years ago, but I guess Weigard think it is okay, since others have started the bandwagon and he has only to climb aboard. Maybe his mother did not tell him what mine did: just because everyone else is jumping off the bridge, that is no reason for you to do it, too – or was it, just because everyone else is climbing on the bandwagon?
Spare me the moral outrage of these Northern apologists. The War of Northern Aggression was the first time that a nation conducted war against non-combatants, particularly women and children, as a matter of policy. But that was okay, huh, because it was in a good cause. Yes, like the Soviets killing 30million of its own people to advance the cause of a just and equal society. The end can never justify the means.
Richard F. Papcun
To the Editor:
Guest author Chris Weigard has let his bias overflow in his editorial last week. While I might agree with some of his pragmatic points about statues and battlefields, I am angered that he calls Jefferson Davis a “a detestable human being.” If being a slave owner before the abolition of slavery in the 13th Amendment to the Constitution makes one “detestable,” then we need to delete all of the names of people born before December 8, 1856–Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Monroe, Sherman, Grant, etc. from history.
The P.C. hysteria has gone beyond the flag to include changing names on schools and roads and digging up graves and removing statues. Chesterfield County addressed the issue of Confederate History Month in 2001 by appointing a diverse dialogue group. This group met for 23 hours over six weeks. The resulting resolution received the Virginia Association of Counties’ highest award for conflict resolution. Cool educated heads are needed in times of conflict.
P.S.: I hope Rick Gray does not get blamed for this since his picture was featured.