My thanks to columnist Tom Eblen for the explanation of his change of heart.
I grew up during the time that the movement to recognize the Confederacy as a noble cause was in its heyday. My “Problems of Democracy” teacher taught that the Civil War was never about slavery, but about tariffs. I saw “Gone With the Wind” a half a dozen times. What I hadn’t done, until lately, was talk to an African-American about what it’s like to go through life with a dark skin color.
Now I have, and I learned that you raise your children differently, that you absorb a message that white is somehow better, that you suffer “slings and arrows” daily. Some of us say that we came up from hard times, too. But we didn’t do it with a dark skin. We were accepted as honest and capable until we proved differently. If you have dark skin, you prove your worth first to gain trust.
I always loved the statues of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson in my city. I simply didn’t think of the slaves. So much of what we were taught seemed designed to promote patriotism. Gradually truth emerges.
Sara M. Porter