Another Confederate Monument Has to Go
In the hope this resonates for you please share the link below for this just-launched petition which stated the following:
Memorials honoring a war that killed 1.1 million Americans who fought in large part for and against oppressing black slaves, should not be located in an area owned and maintained by all citizens of San Diego, including descendants of the the very people the monument celebrates enslaving, oppressing, and terrorizing.
The cemetery plots this site sits upon were purchased in 1905 by the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) likely to bury area CSA soldiers who subsequently passed away as the war ended just 40 years earlier.
When the monument was built in 1948, it seems like a similar reaction to one that is documented happening around the country. That is, memorials placed by white-only groups in response to freedoms and liberties being realized by black Americans.
When this memorial was placed over 40 years from it’s purchase, it happened to be a such a time, when America was finally waking up and addressing it’s unfair treatment of black Americans. Here’s what happened just before and the next two decades after this monument was installed:
1946 — Supreme Court rules segregation on buses crossing state lines illegal.
1948 — Discrimination in the armed forces was banned.
1952 — First year since 1881 without a known lynching.
1954 — Supreme Court declares segregation in schools unconstitutional.
1955 — Rosa Parks arrested for riding a bus. Montgomery Bus Boycott began.
1957 — Federal troops protect black students terrorized at Little Rock High School.
1960 — First student sit-ins against segregation at lunch counters occurs.
1961 — Freedom Riders in the South arrests begin.
1962 — Federal troops protect James Meredith’s attending Mississippi University.
1963 — Medgar Evers, NAACP assassinated. Four black girls killed in church bombing.
1964 — Civil Rights Act was passed by Congress. Dr. King awarded Noble Peace Prize.
1965 — Malcolm X was assassinated. Voting Rights Act illegal to restrict right to vote.
1966 — Black Power idea introduced by Stokely Carmichael.
1967 — Supreme Court allows inter-racial marriage.
1968 — Martin Luther King was assassinated.
In other words, this monument was built before blacks could get on a bus and cross state lines, serve in the military, go to public schools and universities, or be treated equally under the law, and tens of thousands of other injustices. Many whites, especially the ones that fought against the Union Army did not see blacks as human, much less equal.
Yet, all of these things happened more than 50 years ago! Yet today, we still see our fellow human beings treated unfairly, discriminated against, overly-incarcerated… the list is long.
Meanwhile, some people like the monument’s ‘owners’ want us to believe that this is a sentimental reminder of a forgotten time. They likely prefer we go back to not just 50 years ago, but 150 years ago, a thought that would return America to a time that would oppress a group of fellow Americans — over their skin color.
And to top it off, the monument sits in a park maintained by and paid for by all city taxpayers — black, white, and brown.
In essence San Diego is asking — no, telling — black San Diegans that they need to pay for a monument that supports their being slaves — honoring their being bought, sold, beaten, raped, terrorized, an entire heritage ruined. All because that’s what some people believed 150 years ago.
This monument is inappropriate. It should not sit on public land. It should not be paid for by black, brown or white San Diegans who care. We The People includes the word ‘We’ for a reason. It’s not ‘I the Person’ intentionally, nor ‘We The Slave Owners’.
We The People must look past our history and at today. How are we personally and as a community acting and treating others, honoring others, respecting others? Are we being fair? Do we have a city that is truly inclusive or one in name only?
I do not believe we are the racists many have been in the past. I believe we should have this monument removed from public land and not force black American citizens to pay for a monument that celebrates their torture.
That’s the America I know and love. How about you?
Photo used under the Fair Use Act and credited to: San Diego Union Tribune http://www.trbimg.com/img-57bd9f46/turbine/sdut-confederate-flag-civil-war-reaction-2015jun28