Never forget savage history
I detest slavery in any form. However, the sudden surge to remove everything Confederate, including the statue of Jefferson Davis, from the Kentucky Capitol rotunda ignores the real issue in the Civil War.
The sovereignty of the individual states versus the power of the federal government over those states was the real issue. The issue of slavery happened to bring it to a loggerhead and what followed was a period in this country's history that not only shouldn't be forgotten, but cannot be forgotten.
The savagery of the conflict coupled with the savagery of slavery should forever be front and center. Those who ignore history are bound to repeat it. Never again can anyone be enslaved and be held to serve another human being.
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Flag, statue not to blame
Following the end of the War Between the States many of the ex-soldiers on both sides became friends and met at a common annual reunion for many years.
Does anyone really believe that the Charleston shooter Dylann Roof would not have taken his horrible action if there were no Confederate flag or statue of Jefferson Davis? You may rewrite history but you can't change it.
Cancers still growing
Currently there's a great deal of feel-good discussion about removing Confederate symbols. I don't wish to diminish the importance of those conversations.
However, I'm ashamed that we so quickly move to those kinds of discussions yet manage to avoid calling ourselves to serious conversation about cancers in American life.
Our culture is racist and violent; there is a huge divide between the wealthy and those relegated to poverty; oversight of land, water and air is without consideration for future generations.
Until we can gather with respect for each other and converse about addressing the racism woven into the fabric of our lives, honoring responsible gun ownership and addressing irresponsible gun ownership, confronting the growing gap between rich and poor, seeking better oversight of the Earth, these cancers will continue to grow.
What if the Bluegrass community created a way to begin the needed discussions? What if we began to look at our neighbors with respect? What if we worked to provide our children and our children's children with a world of hope?
Jane M. Ehrmantraut
Symbols of oppression
With all the flap over displaying the Confederate flag, how do you think Native Americans feel when they see the U.S. flag flying over their country?
P. S. "Steve" Sitzlar
Davis imprint expansive
If we are to take comments seriously regarding removing the statue of Jefferson F. Davis from the Kentucky Capitol rotunda, then we must also consider removing the following:
■ The United States Capitol dome. Davis was instrumental in its design (the scaffolding is up, so that should be easy).
■ The entire route of the Union Pacific Railroad. Davis oversaw the surveying in his role as secretary of the Interior (ironically, as a means of binding the nation east to west).
If we are to erase the memory of the man who absolutely did not want to be president of the Confederate States of America, then we must erase the totality of the contributions he made to the history of the United States of America (which, arguably, did not exist until after the War Between the States).
James Kemper Millard
CEO, Lexington History Museum
Guns not the problem
The June 19 Eugene Robinson column, "Demand sane gun laws in honor of Mother Emanuel," is laughable to people who understand weapons and violence well enough to actually try to do something about violence.
It should be actually offensive to black (and other) people who care more about black lives than political talking points.
Guns are not the problem. Weapons of every kind with people willing to use them are the problem.
The greatest slaughter in all recorded history happened about 56 B.C. when Caesar's armies in Gaul wiped out a quarter-million people in a day, without firing a shot from a gun. These were all white folks.
But in 1994, one group in Rwanda killed something like 800,000 of another group, with machetes (supposedly imported from China for less than $1 each).
These were all black folks, using weapons like Caesar's, and the killers could not even have imagined such an operation had gun ownership been common among the victim group.
This was the basic idea behind our Second Amendment. One must wonder why the left seems to always oppose effective means of deterring aggression. Robinson is merely a sophisticated cheerleader for the far left. He deserves to be ignored.
William H. Rees
Reject symbols of hate
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley finally found the political courage to say the right thing.
Now she and the legislature need to do the right thing and take down the Confederate flag and remove all other publicly displayed Confederate symbols.
Just because it is part of the South's history — it's dark, tragic, racist history — does not give the government or anyone else the right to have it sanctioned on license plates or on clothing.
Being proud of Confederate history is no different than saying you are proud of your German heritage and your great-uncle's participation as a Nazi soldier in World War II.
No one wants to be visually reminded of that dark period in our history; it's offensive to the vast majority of people.
How do you think Jewish people feel when they see Nazi symbols? It's just as offensive when most people, especially blacks, see the Confederate symbol on a flag or license plate. Both are symbols of hate, war and darkness. Take down the flag.
Headline unfair to Bevin
The Herald-Misleader is at it again. The recent headline from June 24, "White supremacist donated to Matt Bevin's U.S. Senate campaign," is a factually correct but tabloid-style trick. Tucked inside the article are some other facts, like that some of Bevin's children are black.
Missing from the headline and article is the fact that Bevin's running mate would be the first female African-American lieutenant governor in Kentucky history.
This shameful attempt by the Herald-Leader's to connect Bevin with racists is despicable and should stop immediately if the Herald-Leader wants to be considered a reliable and fair source of information.