This article is one of the most important recently written about the issues of the Confederate statues. What sets this article apart is that it hits head-on the myth of the “Lost Cause” — the idea that the Civil War was not about slavery and that the South was home to genteel aristocrats.
Despite the well-documented history of the Civil War, legions of Southerners still cling to the myth of the Lost Cause as a noble endeavor fought to defend the region’s honor and its ability to govern itself in the face of Northern aggression. This deeply rooted but false narrative is the result of many decades of revisionism in the lore and even textbooks of the South that sought to create a more acceptable version of the region’s past. The Confederate monuments and other symbols that dot the South are very much a part of that effort.
As a consequence of the national reflection that began in Charleston, the myths and revisionist history surrounding the Confederacy may be losing their grip in the South.
Yet, for the most part, the symbols remain.
The effort to remove them is about more than symbolism. It’s about starting a conversation about the values and beliefs shared by a community.
It’s about understanding our history as a nation.