Battle ignorance, move monuments
Some oppose removing the Breckinridge and Morgan monuments from the old courthouse property. As a white Kentuckian who grew up with the revisionist misinformation about the Civil War, I am keenly aware of white southerners lying to themselves and their children, creating an ignorant history of lies to obfuscate the truth that the Civil War was about ending the destruction of black families and the enslavement of human beings for the economic benefit of descendants of white Europeans.
I grew up in Jim Crow segregated Kentucky. I remember the "white" and "colored" signs; that no blacks were permitted to go to my schools, dine where I did, use a bathroom reserved for people of my color or drink from a water fountain marked "whites only." We are not that far removed from our horrid racist past.
As a token of human decency, our community must choose not to preserve, in our town center, memorials to a time and culture that were so clearly wrong. We have an opportunity to break the chains of ignorance, know truth and bravely go forward to a future when, at long last, all men and women will be equal.
Defining Civil War
Tom Eblen rightfully attacked the willful ignorance of mid-19th century American history. Alas, Eblen himself refuses to accept certain realities of that cataclysmic time.
Now, 150 years since the war's end, there is still no agreement as to what caused the hostilities and what it should properly be called. The winners refer to it as the Civil War and attribute its cause to slavery. Southerners reject both premises, citing a War Between the States for states' rights and southern self-determination.
The real and proximate cause of the war was the secession of a handful of states and the formation of the Confederate States of America. The most accurate title may be the American War of Secession.
There can be no doubt the southern states seceded and the Confederacy was formed out of fear the United States would outlaw slavery. The war was not to end slavery but to destroy the Confederacy and thus by force compel the 13 wayward sisters to remain in the union. Until agreement on the meaning of terms is achieved no proper understanding of this turbulent moment in American history can even begin.
Joe R. B. Hacker
Ky. Book Fair rigged
The Kentucky Book Fair is hailed as a great event. But a recent letter from those who run it has me thinking the affair is rigged.
As required, I submitted two copies of my collection, Unvisited Spaces, for review by persons unnamed. The fair's reply stated the book (not by title, mind you) was not selected.
No date appears to indicate whether the letter was written yesterday or a year ago.
The salutation reads: "To whom it may concern." Think the letters to Wendell Berry and Bobbie Ann Mason began in this way?
In an attempt to soften disappointment, the letter writer states there were "between 300 and 400 titles submitted." That's as ridiculous as saying the Earth's trip around the sun takes between 300 and 400 days.
Moreover, while it is a book fair, the letter refers to an author selection committee.
Further suspicions arise. The books are not returned, but no explanation is given as to what happens to them. Are they donated to a library as I would hope? Or are the reviewers permitted to keep them and, if so, are they resold on Amazon, thus depriving the author of a royalty? I'd like some answers.
F. E. Mazur
Reflections on fall
Autumn is a beautiful season. Every resplendent hill is multicolored, and the whole earth is a thing of rare beauty. Jim Bishop said: It "carries more gold in its pocket than all the other seasons."
William Cullen Bryant, an American romantic poet, used two striking metaphors. First, he described autumn as "the melancholy days," then as "the year's last, loveliest smile." Samuel Butler, a Victorian-era English author, described it as, "the mellower season, and what we loose in flowers we more than gain in fruits." Albert Camus, a Nobel Prize-winning French author, called autumn "a second spring when every leaf is a flower." Then, Lauren DeStafano, a contemporary American author, called autumn, "the time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale."
Regardless of the descriptions, the fields are ripe for harvest; the reflective mind is reminded that an abundant crop didn't just happen; hard work is productive and rewarding. So, I have to ask: What have I done that will have a meaningful effect in the life of someone?"
A Sunday editorial that said the United States is averaging almost a mass shooting a day in 2015 should have said that the source we consulted defines mass shooting as one in which four or more people are injured or die.