Joe Bob Briggs writes:
Hearn was just one of thousands who sought refuge in New Orleans and found redemption there. The city always accepted any kind of fugitive. Of course the morose Confederates wanted symbols and monuments in New Orleans, if for no other reason than just to shake off the oppression of the carpetbaggers. They wanted to lift their withered spirits.
Monuments built by humiliated populations are a means of healing. If the United Kingdom decided to remove the statues of William Wallace and Robert the Bruce at Stirling Castle, I would expect a reaction even more brutal than the mild confrontations last week in New Orleans—and those Scottish battles are 700 years old. Even more to the point: Why do the people of London allow a memorial to William Wallace at the location where he was hanged, drawn, and quartered? It’s not because they admire Mel Gibson’s portrayal in Braveheart. There’s a feeling in many civilizations that rebels—especially when the rebels are related by blood—deserve some measure of respect. The statement being made is not “We agree with your cause” but “We forgive.” This is something that occurs throughout the world, wherever blood has been shed.
Yet the front-page headline in USA Today last week was “Confederate monuments reopen old racial wounds.”