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Letter: Our voices will be heard

To the editor:

In 1906 the Confederate statue was erected in the town square of Covington. The United Daughters of Confederacy were the main financial impetus behind the statue.

The women who founded the United Daughters of Confederacy mission was to preserve and defend the memory of Confederate soldiers.  The United Daughters of Confederacy mission included overseeing how the Confederate history was taught in school and college. The UDC rewrote the confederate history instituting an alternative false history. The UDC books taught students untruths such as slaves were happy workers and southern slaveholders were anxious to free their slaves which is not true. Slaveholders raping, beating and killing slaves for pleasure and minor infractions was not included.

The Vice President of the Confederacy was Alexander H. Stephens, he did not support secession but believe blacks were inferior to whites.

In Stephens Cornerstone speech he declared that Blacks position as Slaves was natural and the foundation of the Confederacy. In the Georgia declaration of Secession the writers wrote, “for the last ten years we have had numerous and serious against our non-slaveholding confederate States with the subject of African Slavery. They have endeavored to weaken our security, to disturb our domestic peace and tranquility, and persistently refused to comply with their express constitutional obligation to us in reference to that property, and by use of their power in the Federal Government have striven to deprive us of equal enjoyment of the common Territories of the Republic.”

The UDC publish “The Southern Magazine” in which they supported and defended the Klu Klux Klan for decades. In one article in “The Southern Magazine” Vol. III No. 1, July 1936 wrote, “The new task was to build up a new economic order, without slavery, but one that recognized the ignorance, lack of skill, vagrant habits, and animal sensuality of the negroes.”

The UDC characterized the Civil War as a rightful just cause and slavery was not the main reason of the war. When one reads secession letters from each Confederate state and the confederacy as a whole it’s stated the the reason for the war was Slavery.

The writers and government leaders wrote the end of Slavery would change the Southern way of life. After the civil war Jim Crow laws were established with rules that criminalized blacks for no reason and was enforced by the police. A black man or black women who may have opposed the erection did not have freedom of speech.

Our community at that time in Covington did not acknowledge others in the community, but today we have voices. I choose not to make 400 hundreds years of Chattel Slavery a forgotten truth. Many of those opposed to relocating of the Confederate statue do not refer to history, they refer to opinion. I agree one can their own opinion, but one cannot have their own facts.

Relocate the statue as soon as possible. White supremacy is dead and a white washed history cannot stand.

Gene Wills