Letters to the Editor

Know your history

A statue of Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederacy, in the Capitol Rotunda in Frankfort
A statue of Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederacy, in the Capitol Rotunda in Frankfort aslitz@herald-leader.com

A letter writer on Aug. 17 proposed keeping the statue of Jefferson Davis in the Capitol Rotunda, but with the identification that he “was President of the Confederacy. His objective was to continue slavery. He was a Democrat.”

He would also add to Abraham Lincoln’s statue that he “is the person most responsible for ending slavery in this country. He was a Republican.”

To which one is tempted to respond: Fine, but let’s add a note to each for historical clarity: “A century later, the parties underwent a radical transformation in which the Democrats became the ideological heirs of the Republicans regarding racial justice and the Republicans became the enablers, if not outright advocates, of racism.”

One is tempted to do so, but, in the end, the only decent course is to remove the statue. Jefferson Davis deserves no such place of honor, not as the man who led a failed rebellion that cost the nation so dearly, not the least being the 700,000 lives lost, many of them Kentuckians.

Robert Emmett Curran

Richmond

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