January 16, 2018 at 3:54pm
January 16, 2018
I am a 56 year old black male and a lifelong resident of Franklin County. I also read the Franklin Times each week and am intrigued by the response of your weekly readers regarding the confederate statue on Main Street near Louisburg College. There seems to be a lot of negative responses of those who wish to take it down and those who wish to keep it there. Their reasons are many and you can draw a line as far as who supports taking it down and who wants to keep it up.
I must admit that there seems to be a lot of mixed feelings about the statue for one side giving the reasons of the students not being educationally qualified to lift a pinky compared to the soldiers who fought in this war and the condition of the soldiers who were left to fend for themselves after the war was over. I grew up in a time when black history was not told correctly if taught at all here in the Franklin County schools. The achievements of many Black Americans who did momentous things for this country were not taught to me until I went to college and studied Black History. I also began to learn the reason why the Confederate War was fought, mainly because the North wanted to end slavery and the abuse of Blacks through slavery. The South wanted to keep slavery alive because it was a way of life for many white farming families and they were convinced that no one could tell them what to do regardless of whether it was moral or not.
As for the many African Americans in this country, when they see the confederate soldier, the confederate flag, the KKK, and other figures that wanted to keep us in our place, so to speak, we see the oppression, the enslavement, the abuse, the lynching, and the rights of blacks that were never taken into consideration and being treated like third class citizens and not a part of America as if we did not exist simply because of the color of our skin. And now we have a president who wants to make America great again that leaves people of color wondering exactly what that means. And judging by the history of his remarks I wonder if he thinks that the less blacks or Latinos here, the better. I’m just saying that America has always been great in my eyes. And Carolyn Hudson is right. Bless her heart. Ben Kinchlow is spot on about the “Most Dangerous Citizen is Not Armed, But Uninformed.” For the longest time I was ‘Uninformed’ mainly because I was not taught. I urge each resident and American to read about our history thoroughly
Just thinking out of the box now, my feelings as far as the confederate monument is concerned is that there will always be support and opposition of the statue. There is nothing wrong with recalling who did what during a certain period of time. My question is do we know why we did what we did? And yes, I grew up with some fine white people and blacks as well. That is a fact. But I am trying not to hold it against anyone these days for things that happened in the past. It does bother me when I face scrutiny because I don’t want to be reminded every day I drive down North Main Street in Louisburg and see a reminder of the way things used to be from my a soldier that was fighting to keep me in slavery. I would like to see the statue one day taken down and placed in a museum to gain more respect from eyes of a different perspective. St. Matthew 5:9 reminds us that “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God”. Be blessed citizens of Franklin County. It’s a diverse home to many and I am proud to call it home.
January 21, 2018 at 1:13pm
Thank you for this eloquent contribution to the Confederate statue debate, which is a strong reminder that history is complex, and that those who want the statue to remain are not the only ones whose feelings should be considered. I'm guessing that there are quite a few citizens of Louisburg who would have no problem with the statue being relocated, even if they do not speak up. Why they do not speak up remains a mystery.
January 21, 2018 at 3:16pm
Dear Mr. Hicks,
It is a breath of fresh air to read an opinion about our Confederate Soldier Monument from an adult resident of Franklin County which is neither a racist judgment of our Louisburg College students, nor an ad hominem attack against me personally. Thank-you for expressing your opinions with such clarity in a logical and sequential manner.
September 05, 2019 at 3:29pm
It was a pleasure reading your thoughts on the confederate solider. To be honest, I too ride by the statute quite often; however, I never really gave it a second thought. I am an avid history buff, particular of the slavery and civil rights era's.
Unlike you, I was taught Black History throughout my entire elementary through high school years. However, I was raised in the north. What does concern me is that upon moving to the south with young black children, I was shocked to discover that Black History was not a part of the curriculum. Upon discovering the education system in the south chose's to lightly brush over the contribution of black Americans, I made it a priority to teach my children of their history.
If asked my opinion of the statue, in reflection; I think I would like to see it removed. If not removed, then for the sake of equality at least provide a statue of a prominent Black American such as Harriet Tubman, Fredrick Douglas, Booker T. Washington, George Washington Carver, just to name a few.
Lastly, you stated, "I also began to learn the reason why the Confederate War was fought, mainly because the North wanted to end slavery and the abuse of Blacks through slavery. The South wanted to keep slavery alive because it was a way of life for many white farming families and they were convinced that no one could tell them what to do regardless of whether it was moral or not." I think there was a much greater reason for the Civil War, and the norths desire to end slavery. The norther states which border the southern states were not as prosperous in farming as the south. Those farmers in the north could not afford to sell their products at the same price as their southern counter parts; largely due to the fact that they could not afford labor cost to produce the quantity as the farmers in the south. Southern farmers could take less on the sale of their products because they had free labor and did not incur the cost to produce large quantities. This drove down the prices and often northern farmers were not profitable. If slavery ended then the south would not be able to sale their produce so cheaply and the cost would go back up, thus providing a source of income for the northern farmers. Yes, there was morale and ethical reasons for the end of slavery; however, I do not think they were the sole driving force. I feel economics played the largest concern for northern farmers desire to end slavery.
Whenever I am faced with difficulties, trying situations in which there seems no hope. I think to myself, I am here; my ancestors endured more than I could every imagine, and I am here. I can get through this, because I am descendant of a survivor.