Bell County residents: Confederate monuments are more than innocent markers of American history. Many exist to celebrate the confederate cause to preserve the rights of whites over minorities. Most of the sites and symbols were actually created during periods of racial conflict long after the Civil War as not-so-subtle intimidation and reminders to courthouse visitors.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has conducted research to pinpoint the location of at least 1,503 of these monuments. They also paid attention to when these monuments were erected and placed them on a timeline. Our Confederate monument at the Bell County Courthouse in Belton falls at the tail-end of the most significant spike on the timeline (1916).

It also doesn’t help supporters of the confederacy that the Texas State Historical Association includes the following information about Bell County:

“Though racial violence was not as common in Bell County as it was in some areas of the state, there were at least two lynchings, in 1911 and 1915, and the Klan was revived in the county in the 1920s.” (https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hcb06)

The Bell County Courthouse Confederate monument was erected in October 1916, right in the middle of this violent period, just five short months after the infamous “Waco Horror” in neighboring McLennan County (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lynching_of_Jesse_Washington). It doesn’t take a stretch of the imagination to see that our Bell County Courthouse Confederate monument was erected to send a message of intimidation and fear to people of color during a time when lynchings were commonplace.

Even in the face of such evidence, I continue to be overwhelmed by the amount of residents who deny the lived experiences of people of color and legitimate state history. There are still a staggering number of northerners and southerners (48 percent according to a 2011 Pew Research Center study) who make the false claim that the Civil War was about states’ rights while the major consensus of historians point to slavery as its primary cause. If the information above isn’t enough to convince readers that it is time for local and statewide reform, and they refuse to believe the majority of historians, then I implore them to take a moment to read Texas’ actual Declaration of Causes (which impelled the State of Texas to secede from the Federal Union): Feb. 2, 1861. The Lone Star State begins with slavery as the primary cause, and continues to mention it 20 more times! (https://www.tsl.texas.gov/ref/abouttx/secession/2feb1861.html)

The strong correlations are impossible to ignore, and the monument needs to be relocated to a more appropriate setting — one that is not connected to an institution where local citizens go to receive judgment.

If you would like to join this discussion and help bring about positive change in our local communities, please consider joining Bell County United for Reform (https://www.facebook.com/groups/506411993051093/)

Josh Clements

Belton

(14) comments

Alvin

This is the personal opinion of this writer.

@Dan Roberts: You have brought up so many things I don't know where to start.

Starting at the bottom;

Copy: 'I am a Christian who believes in the Bible. I am actually a Baptist minister.' End of copy.

I am a member of a Baptist Church who does not share with you in the logic of your thinking. First I have always been taught that Jesus died on the cross for the sins of mankind, that by his death, he erased the sins of all past mankind and sought to make this a new starting point for the peoples of this world. And by his death, he was said to say 'Father forgive them for the do not what they do'. In this I believe he took the weight of sin upon his shoulders. So I say that it was the Jews and Romans of that day that were responsible for the death of Christ, that they bore the responsibility of his death, for you and I.

Secondly, you now jump from the bible to a single statue that has been placed in front of the court house. Singular in nature, What about all of the statues that have already been destroyed, such as the Virginia Statue of General Robert E. Lee? Do we just 'forget about that and say, 'well they meant well'. I am still of the opinion that 'Soldiers of the Confederate Army along with Soldiers of the Union Army should be honored. General Robert E. Lee was a graduate of the West Point Academy who resigned his commission as he did not think it was right to fight for the Confederacy while being in the service of the Union Army so he tendered his resignation first and then traveled to his home state of Virginia where he accepted a commission in the Army of the Confederacy. And at the defeat of the Confederate Army, when he traveled to the farm house to tender his sword to General Grant, General Grant refused to accept his sword because he thought so highly of General Lee and perhaps the Confederate Army as a whole.

I am familiar with at least two separate incidences in which the North and South, came together to meet, shook hands in comradeship.

Why then do you want to relocate the statue from in front of the courthouse to another location? I do not accept your premise that 'it was for ulterior motive or reason that this statue was erected in the first place, that it was an attempt to continue the oppression of the black man, and not just for the sake of showing respect to the soldiers who fought for the Southern Confederacy'. Why then do you want to say, in a singular fashion, that this statue represents all of the oppression suffered by countless blacks that have gone to their maker beforehand and continue to look upon this single act as a form of continued resentment and oppression, and that is to multiplied a thousand fold? Why do whites have to continue to acquiesce over and over again for a war that was between people that have long died so that if t was not continually harangued, it would have been forgotten long ago. I still say that the origin of the war between the two opposing forces was fought, the North was the winner of these battles, and since it was fought over 150 ago, why do we still have this resentment between the races of people, continually rebounding?

Copy: ' The primary purpose was to intimidate people of color during a time that they were being oppressed and murdered'. End of copy.

Why do you have to continue to dredge up something that has long been forgotten except to peoples that continue to harbor ill feelings about this very fact? I say again, with the time period that has elapsed, do you think that anybody remembers what too place on that spot? I say 'no', and it because of people that are still consumed by this fact that this still reverberates.


Do you still say that people of color are being tantalized by the fact that this statue in regard to it's presence being used as a method of still wanting to intimidate a people who where freed of their slavery over 150 years ago, or is it still ingrained in the minds, wanting retribution for something that happened over 150 year hence? How many generations have elapsed since this frightful episode?

Copy: 'How are present day American’s being penalized by my wanting to relocate the statue that was erected to intimidate and remind people of color of their “place”?' End of copy.

First It is my opinion that 'we should not be so ingrained in the philosophy that 'White Confederate Soldiers are to be forever remembered as the villains that they were'. In actuality there were many that only saw it as a way of life in the South and resented the interference of people of the North in matters that did not have any impact on them but had a tremendous impact on people of the South. It was a question as to 'Why were the people of the North butting in where they did not belong', and it was a question they could be asking. And this was brought before our congressional congress as to 'what was the future of this country for years. President elect Lincoln was of the opinion that the phrase 'All men are created equal' and sought to justify his stance on this subject. He was of the opinion that since black people were brought to this country illegally, he wanted to free them and once freed would offer them transportation back to Africa, but alas there was not money enough to secure their passage.

Copy: 'The primary purpose was to intimidate people of color during a time that they were being oppressed and murdered.' End of copy.

Are you still of the opinion that that was the motivating force, that of intimidation and duress or just wanting to erect a statue of remembrance?

It is my opinion that the indulgence of blacks still wanting to tear down any semblance of the black slavery is just that, blacks resenting the fact that blacks were forced to live, way in the past, a form of submission to all colors of the rainbow, but especially to the whites. It has been said that even the Indians had slaves that were captured from neighboring tribes, Egyptians that had made slaves of the Jewish people, and Hitler wanted to exterminate the Jews from this earth so the fact that blacks were made slaves is not a pertinent question, it would/should be ''what have the blacks done since their freedom', and I'm not posing this question in a vindictive way. What in roads have the black people attained.

And I certainly don't see the analogy of 'The KKK putting up a burning cross to honor Jesus'. That is in essence 'the pot calling the kettle black'. Makes about as much sense doesn't it.

And also to the question of 'present day American’s being penalized by my wanting to relocate the statue'. Why do you want to spend our, you and I, the money that we would have to spend, needlessly on such a venture? I am of the opinion that those people who 'tore down the statue of General Robert E' Lee, when on a rampage did so 'against the law' and they should be punished. This was an act of vandalism pure and simple. So what would the benefit of rebuilding this statue out in the south 40 where nobody would get a look at it? It makes about as much sense as the renaming of streets, such as Fort Hood because he was a Confederate when it was not known. No I do not see the value to supporting a whim of the black people.

Copy: 'If we accept your false concept that the statue was erected to honor Confederate soldiers and not as a symbol of intimidation to a people freed from slavery into a state that was barely above slavery, the statue should still be relocated because while slavery is not unique to America I don’t want to support statues honoring men who supported slavery because I and hopefully the vast majority of Bell County residents do not support or want to honor those who supported slavery.' End of copy.
I have tried to show that the Confederacy and the Civil war was not 'just about the stubbornness of the illiterate South, which is a picture that is painted in the minds of people, but a complete different way of life from people in the North, and for many years there was friction in the congress as to what was the real intent of the Constitution. It was I believe the Missouri compromise that finally saw the start of the civil war.

May lives were lost as a result of that conflict, both on the North and on the South. Why is it that you 'don't want to honor the soldiers of the Confederacy?

As to point number 5, I think that the argument that it should be removed from it's present location and moved to another place is, (1) that you feel in is in remembrance of slave submission so that it will not be a constant reminder, and (2) the relocation to a museum or a cemetery would be a more productive place, 'What not teach the same message, but at it's place of residence now? Can we not 'teach' the difference between 'right and wrong' instead of tearing down and/or relocating the costs. What about the same reasoning behind moving the statues of Colleges and University's that are being griped about right now. That IS a seat of learning and apparently we haven't seen the light, just tear down these statues and monuments. I can't agree that:
Copy: 'it remaining at the seat of government power for our country, so that it can continue to be an edifice of intimidation and oppression'. End of copy.

From what I have written here this date, do you still contend that this is a repressive government, that oppression is the order of the day, and that you think that our President of the last 8 years when our national debt doubled, that we had such an influx of illegals and saw a reduction in our military that in turn saw a resurgence in Muslim activity that now we are trying to return to the last vestiges of the border we used to enjoy with the loss of hundreds of lives of our military and countless hundreds of billions of dollars that could have been used in support of our country instead of being plundered across the world. I tend to think that 'we are on the right path, that this nation cannot endure as a 'savior of the world', instead I am of the belief that 'We cannot continue to be the global babysitter, that we must contrast that with a form of border control that will extend the life of this country as we know it and for people to clamor wanting to be a part of this life in the United States of American not be 'an edifice of intimidation and oppression'. It's up to us. Let us unite or let us continue to fight among ourselves. If we continue to fight, it will be to the betterment of others.

As to your statement number 6, from what I have stated, do you not think that there has been a tone of retribution for a war that was completed over 150 years ago? Do yo want us white folks to continue to grovel at the feet of blacks? I think not, as I have already stated that the suffering of black people should not have existed, but as the war was over over 150 years ago, and there is no one alive in which I should be contrite to, it is not an equitable solution that I go before today's black people and continue to be subservient, pay homage for the wong doings of the forefathers, and yes it has also been said that the whites 'pay for their misdeeds'. I say, 'enough is enough'.
President Obama spent 8 years bowing and scraping to 'all of the inhabitants of this world' and what did it get him? In my opinion, he just made the United States the laughing stock of this world in which we live today.

At Item number 7: If you were to live just a short while in countries such as in general, the Middle East', you would sure appreciate what we have in this country verses the rest of the world.

And in reference to number 8: It should be about what the 'people of the Republic of California' as this is what this country is coming to, a 'Republic of California' or the United States of America and what it stand for. You can choose what form of government in which you want your existence to be, them or us. I would cast my vote in an existence of the United States of America.
As to your number 11, I did not say that every member of the NAACP was a communist and saw it as a way of life, but when a state charter comes out with a position that says 'down with all white folks', and 'blacks are the essence of our livelihood, weel what do you see as there 'sole purpose in life is', to coexist with 'people of another color or not. Yes I think that we should question these facts. To me the NAACP is a racist group just as any other group or organization that sees the black people as being superior to all others.
As to your statement, 'People are sinful'. Is that a learned trait or not? Does the baby just born know right from wrong? I tend to believe it is a learned trait and with the proper upbringing, teaching, it can be taught to 'be tolerant of others and what they possess, and to 'not seek that which is not yours'. But in the same token, it is for us to preserve our way of life, and to say it bluntly, 'the best defense is a strong offense'. We must have a strong military that will ensure that others do not want what is ours. So let's keep fighting Cancer from within or from without, as Cancer can fit in numerous forms be it bodily or other. In this we are in agreement.

I don't know what you are referring to in 11. I don't think I ever uttered a statement as to what you are involved in and I agree that we need strong borders as people now are tending not to see the semblance of a nation's borders and the existence of Sanctuary City's and now even States. It is my opinion that people do not see the sanctity of what is in our constitution and certain individuals do not see what it is that is providing to them, such as immigration controls that provide for the sanctity of our form of government
Now in 12. you again start talking about the relocation of statues and refer to my statement regarding intimidation of and by 'others', and will again refer you what my earlier statements were and conclude by saying 'the observance to any statue or monument is by choice a description of what the observer feels or means by 'what is intimidation'. You can teach someone to 'come in out of the rain, but you cannot compel him to do it', or said another way, 'it is to the observer to say that this statue should be in another place so as to teach one the difference between right and wrong'. If a person does not know, or does not want to know, then you will not be able to teach what is acceptable or not acceptable.

So I am also a Christian who believes in the bible, how can you say that 'I am wrong in my slant on history? The original signers of our constitution were all of the Christian faith with 32 Episcopalian, 13 Congregationalist, 12 Presbyterian, 2 Quakers, 2 Unitarians, and 1 catholic.

It has been said that Benjamin Franklin:

Copy: ' Considered much more a Deist than a Christian. He was nonetheless a follower of the Bible, and said: "I have lived, sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth -- God Governs in the Affairs of Men, And if a Sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice,' End of copy.

To say that Benjamin Franklin was a Deist does not ring true with me as 'he was a follower of the bible as referenced above.

The same true for Thomas Jefferson: 'He was raised as an Anglican, but was influenced by English deists such as Bolingbroke and Shaftesbury.'

Now on Thomas Paine:
Copy: 'United States Founding Father Thomas Paine wasn't just a political revolutionary but also took a radical approach to religion, as his quotes reveal.' End of copy.

To that end I surmise that the constitution of the United States was written by men who were well educated, and of the Christian religion and my history as presented here can be considered as correct in nature.

And in reference to your number 14: In what maner do you say that:

Copy: 'Interesting that you think that God wants Christians to fight for the keeping of a statue that is a symbol of oppression and intimidation.' End of copy.

I have tried to present a pictorial in that my reference is 'not to keep a symbol that represents oppression and intimidation' but a chronological view as the world presented itself. This I would concur would represent itself to one in a light of understanding, that 'all Southerner's that fought fr the Confederacy fought to reclaim their way of life as opposed to the Norths position that said Slavery should be abolished'. The civil was fought and the South vanquished, but in doing so, 'it does not say that the South should not be honored, it simply says that 'In the conquest of the Confederate Army, the Union was once again reunited as one country'. And there was meetings that insured that the United States would endure, not in opposition, but of historical significance.
@tomintexas: So noted and agree in it's significance.

This has been the personal opinion of this writer and nothing shall be used, in context or without or changed in any way without first notifying, and receiving explicit approval from this writer.
One of the 4.58 % who voted.

tomintexas

Alvin: Please note Dan Robert's early statements about politics and religion, "Also, I have never voted for a Democrat in a national election." He, not I, introduced politics into the discussion that began as the issue of the Confederacy and affiliated statues. Then he introduced Christianity into the discussion, "As a follower of Jesus Christ...and... God calls for us as Christians to love one another. I don’t see how one can do this and support a statue that stands for some of the most wicked and unjust aspects of our history. I think that white Christians should be leading the charge to get it moved because it would be a incredible symbol of love to people be(sic) been oppressed by our forefathers." This is typical of most such discussions where the topic becomes foggy as participants begin to deviate from the subject and expound on side issues. Now, I'll throw another stick on the fire. It has been mentioned that early settlers, in the South especially, were from the British Isles. True, and they had a herdsman's background, and as such were historically protective of their livestock. This carried over to their other interests and attitudes. Some clinicians hold that there was an inherent "culture of honor" that persisted then (and today) in the South. The residents were jealous of their independence and would challenge what they perceived as an injustice or an invasion of their rights. Such would be a legitimate argument for the involvement of the overwhelming numbers of Confederates who did not own slaves but answered the call to fight. I have period writings by individuals where supporters of "the cause" condemned the use of foreign mercenaries by the North. Southerners considered this an affront and an injustice, so they fought back. Such statements of causation have persisted through familial histories for multiple generations. So long as this debate, illegitimate as it may be, is influenced by personal feelings or agendas that propose to "know" why so and so did such, it will never be settled. It's time to move on to something relevant to today's U.S. citizens.

Dan Roberts

@Alvin

I will try to answer each of your points.

1. While powerful Jews in Jerusalem and Roman authorities were parties involved in Christ’s death on the cross. I do not consider them the responsible party for his death. I am responsible for his death. You are responsible for his death, and all who have sinned are responsible for his death. He allowed for himself to be placed on the cross and he remained on it because he loved you, me, and everyone else so much he died in this horrific way.

2. The original intent of this statute and many other statues of Confederates was primarily not to honor men who I believe fought for a horrible cause which was the state’s right to decide whether or not its residents could own and oppress someone else. The primary purpose was to intimidate people of color during a time that they were being oppressed and murdered. To say that this statue was erected to honor confederate soldiers is like saying the KKK puts up burning crosses to honor Jesus.

3. How are present day American’s being penalized by my wanting to relocate the statue that was erected to intimidate and remind people of color of their “place”? Also even if you disagree with me about it being erected for this purpose how does it penalize American’s today to remove statues honoring people who fought for this evil institution?

4. You are right slavery was just not an American thing. In fact, we have more people living in slavery today in the United States as victims of human trafficking than when slavery was legal. There still exists slavery across the world. If we accept your false concept that the statue was erected to honor Confederate soldiers and not as a symbol of intimidation to a people freed from slavery into a state that was barely above slavery, the statue should still be relocated because while slavery is not unique to America I don’t want to support statues honoring men who supported slavery because I and hopefully the vast majority of Bell County residents do not support or want to honor those who supported slavery.

5. I am not arguing for the statue to be destroyed. I think we should put it at the Bell County Museum or at a cemetery with confederate soldiers. At a museum it would be able to teach about the horrible occurrences of this time, so we could remember and learn from the past. In a cemetery, it could do what it supposedly was built to do which was to honor confederate soldiers. I have a problem with it remaining at the seat of government power for our county, so that it can continue to be an edifice of intimidation and oppression.

6. I am trying to understand your statement about people of Southern Heritage. When reading somethIng you can’t see many of the non-verbal cues or hear a persons tone or what he or she emphasizes. I think this can be interpreted two ways. First, it could be saying that people of Southern heritage that live today did not do these horrible acts, and they should not be held accountable. I agree with you on this, but I think that we should also publicly condemn the actions of our forefathers. One of the best ways to do this is to relocate statues that they erected to museums. This will allow us to still learn about this evil aspect of our history, but remove it from its place of intimidation.

7. I disagree with statues of Oppression in any country, but I don’t live in Saudi Arabia. I live in Bell County, and this is were I can stand up against it.

8. This is getting off topic. This isn’t about what a group in The People’s Republic of Californiais trying to get passed. It isn’t about Colin Kaepernick, and isn’t about the last verse n the Star Spangled Banner. I am not arguing about what is happening in California. I am concerned with what we are doing here in Bell County.

9. I think that each monument, statue, etc should be evaluated on a case by case basis. I disagree with those who want to tear down the Washington or Jefferson Memorials because these two men owned slaves. I am against those who want to destroy Jefferson Davis’s home because it is a place that teaches about the Civil War. I am for removing a statue that was placed on the courthouse lawn to be a symbol of oppression and intimidation. Again you are wanting to bring other issues into this debate instead of focusing on the issue of the statue in our county.

9. I am not now, nor have I even been, a member of the NAACP. It is not my responsibility to defend them, but I will say that I have met a couple of the local leaders due to this issue. I found them to be good men in my encounters with them. Having this statue relocated was not the idea of the NAACP though. The writer of this letter to the editor and a few of House friends did not like the statue and what it represents. They approached the NAACP leadership about wanting to work to have the statue relocated. They wanted their blessing because people with good intentions can sometimes make things worse when taking stands like this one. The NAACP did not start and is not behind the movement to have the statue in Bell County relocated. They have agreed with us that it needs to be relocated, and some of their leaders have decided to join Bell County United for Reform which is the name of the group that is pushing for the statue to be relocated.

10. I agree that there will always be injustice in the world. People are sinful. Just because there will always be injustice doesn’t excuse us from fighting against it.
This defeatist statement is nonsensical. It is like saying there will always be murder in the world, so we shouldn’t try to stop someone from murdering someone else. I guess since there will always be taxes we shouldn’t try to fix our broken tax code. Using this logic researchers should quit searching for ways to fight cancer because we will always have cancer.

11. Who says that I am not involved in other activities. I personally think that is horrible that our country has not secured our borders. We allow for terrorist, drug smugglers, and human traffickers to victimize people because we haven’t. I also think that the problem is that the two major parties give a lot of lip service to fixing our immigration issues, but they really support the status quo for differing reasons. Sanctuary Cities exist because of our broken immigration and border security system. I do think that it is irresponsible for these cities to provide Sanctuary to people who are dangerous because they disagree with the federal policy on immigration.

12. How is wanting to relocate a statue that was built as a symbol of intimidation and honors men who rebelled and fought against the United States ruining our country? Your statement is illogical. How is wanting a statue depicting a traitor relocated ruing what our forefathers worked so hard to create?

13. I am a Christian who believes in the Bible. I am actually a Baptist minister. Your history is wrong though. While there were Christians that played prominent roles in our country’s creation. There were also many who were not “Christians who believed in the Christian Bible. Thomas Jefferson did not believe in the trinity or the divinity of Christ. You can see what he thought about the Bible by googling Jefferson Bible. Franklin was a Deist that returned to some of his Christian roots later in life. He still did not believe in the divinity of Christ. Thomas Paine was a deist that thought the Bible was more likely the word of a demon than the Word of God.

14. Interesting that you think that God wants Christians to fight for the keeping of a statue that is a symbol of oppression and intimidation. It honors men who fought to keep the immoral practice of slavery. Yes, God wants us to defend a statue that is tied to oppression. (The last sentence is sarcasm.)

Alvin

This is the personal opinion of this writer.

@tomintexas: I wonder sir where you received any notions of a political affiliation in this text. I am aware of the religious context, which I will cover shortly, but the reference to Republicans, in context, escapes me.

You allude to the, 'content of the Americas, North America, Central America, and South America, but:

Copy: 'English-speakers, and even speakers of many other languages, typically use the term "American" to exclusively mean people of the United States'. Thus the 'United States of America', the citizens are normaly said to Americans. For
the American people, if you want, are denoted as 'the American people from the United States of America'. Nobody uses that term or phraseology, not Canadians, not Mexicans, nor any of Central American countries, and certainly not the people of South America. So by the definition of 'usurp' which means 'taken', then this is a correct usage of the American people who are known as People coming from the United States of America.

But in your article you speak of 'people professing to be Christians', of a religious affiliations of the founding fathers. This statement gives me pause for I have explained that the founding fathers were mainly from Scotland, Ireland. England, and to a lesser degree Germain and Dutch, and they were for the most part of the protestant faith and to a lesser degree, the Catholic religion. There were no actual church or religious tenants, only that they were for the most part, of the protestant faith, so that was the dogma that influenced them, thus their belief in christanity ( Jesus being the Son of God), the creator, thus that was the dogma that was present in the constitution. There were noMuslims, no Hindo's, no Budest's, nothing but the christians of faith.

But I beg to differ with uou on the subject of 'more than God' for I believe, being a Christian in the fact that 'there is only onr true God' and his son is/was 'Jesus Christ'. As to the Jewish faith, the jews and Christians both believe in the old testiment, so practice the faith of the one true God. Muslims on the oher hand do not believe in the same God as we do, of the Christian faith. This then would, in my estimation, rule out any and all muslims as being non belivers of the Christian faith, the faith that most practioners that signed the constitution as they were of the Christian faith, so therefore there is precident for a religious affiliation, a presence in the constitution itself. The original writers and signatores of the constitution were careful to say that this is a christian nation, but not tosay there would be one national christian religion, just as were considerate in not giving the government too much power, giving the individual states some powers.

So I beg to differ with you on the concept of the powers to was to extend to religion and to state and has a every legimate plce in the consitution of the United States.

I can agree with you on the political power as it had gone through many abberations through time, but the talk of political power and affiliations again has a legimate place in this didcussion.

This has been the personal opinion of this writer and nothing shall be used, in context or without or changed in any way without first notifying, and receiving explicit approval from this writer.
One of the 4.58 % who voted.

tomintexas

Well, predictably it was just a matter of time before political affiliation and religion were introduced into the discussion about monuments re: the U.S. Civil War and the Confederacy. And, of course, the premises presented were wrong and/or not applicable. The comment re: The writer's Republican voting does not correctly reflect historic and current political attitudes about U.S. Blacks. A legitimate question would be "Why do most Blacks support Democrats?" The correct answer is that most of the actions and policies that have enabled Black advancement in the U.S. were initiated and enacted by Democrats and Democratic administrations against aggressive Republican resistance. Black affiliation with Democrats predates the turn of the 20th century, and was best stated in an 1800s newspaper editorial by a national Black leader whose statement I will paraphrase. About three decades after emancipation, he said that Republicans were representing themselves as slave saviors, yet they were just using the ex-slaves and their interests to further White Republican interests. He recommended, and succeeded in, moving Blacks to support Democrats. That paid off for them, and their support for Democrats survived the "Jim Crow era" that is often referenced. Then, there is the religious inference. It is not unusual for humans to usurp issues, ideas, or names. Many in the U.S. have usurped the phrases "American and America", while America stretches from the top of Canada to the tip of South America - the American continent - and all of its human denizens are Americans. Likewise, those professing to be Christians have usurped the religious affiliations, if any, of the founding fathers and later citizens, calling the U.S. a "Christian nation". This is a misconception. The founding fathers spoke of "a creator" and specifically denied affiliation with any religious dogma. Every religion with which I am knowledgeable looks toward a creator - and it is not always Christianity's "God". Likewise, the Jewish religion does not consider Christ to be the Son of God and their savior, so they cannot be "Christians" - thus we get the term "Judeo-Christian. Then, of course, Protestant and Catholic dogma have usurped many aspects of their pagan predecessors, including but not limited to chronological celebrations and ritual pseudo-cannibalism. Religion and political affiliation have no legitimate place in this alleged debate.

Alvin

This is the personal opinion of this writer.

@Dan Roberts: How can you expect to relate what happened 100 years ago to current events except to say that out of love as a Christian, filled with love, you continue to dredge up the ghosts of slavery, of black people. What about the notion of 2000 years ago, Jesus Christ was crucified by peoples of the Jewish nation that was looked upon by the Romans completely with indifference. Would you consider that the everything that was Jewish and Roman were to be 'torn down or destroyed because today that might be an atrocity. Where would we be if people of yesteryear had torn down such beautiful creations as Christs Madonna statue, or destroy the sermon on the mount and any number of creations that could be attributed to 'was was then'.

I disagree with your preconceived notion that what happened to someone of color, was killed because of a statue. These actions were caused by a misdirection of understanding just what the Southern cause was all about. Do you think that because 388,000 black people, who were captured and herded aboard a slave ship, by black people from the African continent, that was not the registry of the British Colony's, but in fact the registry of other nations,but were bound for the lands that was to become the United States of America, was somehow in this day and age the fault of present day Americans' and should be penalized for this? Even 'some of the tribes of America's Indian nations had slaves. It is not an 'American thing', it has been going on for thousands of years and now you want 'to tear down the one thing that you feel symbolizes hate and discontent. What will you direct your attention to next?

If you tear down a symbol, you run the chance of 'creating all over again just what you feel created this in the first place. People of Southern heritage now did not do all of the things you are attributing to a condition that is at least 100 years old, that did not, as you say, contribute to 'the hateful attitudes of people of yesteryear. Yes, tear down all of the statues, of war memorials that you now conceive as 'being destructive to a condition over 100 years ago, but while you are at it, look at what other nations were doing at this and earlier time periods, of Egyptians, of Saudi's who did not outlaw slavery until I think it was 1969 of this millennia.

But do you consider what the NAACP is trying to do, of creating hysteria over what is going on now; copy borrowed from eyewatchingu:

Copy: 'When California lawmakers return to the Capitol in January, the state chapter of the NAACP will be seeking their support for a campaign to remove “The Star-Spangled Banner” as the national anthem.
The organization last week began circulating among legislative offices two resolutions that passed at its state conference in October: one urging Congress to rescind “one of the most racist, pro-slavery, anti-black songs in the American lexicon” as the national anthem, and another in support of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who launched a protest movement against police brutality among professional athletes by kneeling when “The Star-Spangled Banner” was played before games.
“We owe a lot of it to Kaepernick,” California NAACP President Alice Huffman said. “I think all this controversy about the knee will go away once the song is removed.” End of copy.

Yes by all means, remove the song that for over 200 years has stood against repression, first it was the British, then it was the Southerners, now it is for repression of people of color, it will always be 'against something that people say is repression'.

What did the statue of General Robert E. Lee, in Virginia, have to do with the lynching of black people in Bell county in the early nineteen hundreds???? Do you think that everything that happened because of slavery should be torn down and erased from out history???? Do you not draw a parallel to things that the Nazi party were trying to do, that the NAACP, a racist organization is trying to do????

Yes it will always be something that somebody feels that is an injustice to somebody. If you tear dawn these statues there will always be something that people will complain about.

Why don't you direct your attention to 'sanctuary city's and states. Now there is a cause that's worth fighting against. Why do people that are citizens of this nation want to give sanctuary to a bunch of illegals, people that are not citizens of this country. If you are not a citizen of this country and have entered this country illegally, you are then classified as an illegal and have no business being in this country.

What made this country as great as is???? Do you think that possibly it is because our forefather worked so diligently to make this country into what it has became and now you are on a path to destroy all that stands for making as great as it is/was. This course of action is tearing this country apart by the seams. Some people want to destroy this country, some of do not.

I am of the opinion that this country was formed by Christians who believed in the Christian bible, that is our heritage and nothing can or will replace it unless we, as Christians do not fight for what is right for this country be it antiquated statues or whatever, it belongs in our history.

This has been the personal opinion of this writer and nothing shall be used, in context or without or changed in any way without first notifying, and receiving explicit approval from this writer.
One of the 4.58 % who voted.

Dan Roberts

It is easy to say this is our heritage, the statue isn’t hurting anyone, or that we have bigger problems that we should be tackling. Many of the comments that I have seen posted on Bell County media websites and social media pages concerning this topic have been self-centered, full of hate, and racist.

As a follower of Jesus Christ, I am called to act out of love. This statue was not erected to honor confederate soldiers, it was erected as a symbol of intimidation and oppression. It was erected when mobs of white people would murder black people that were accused of crimes without a trial. It was erected during the time that white people used violence and the threat of violence to oppress people of color. It was erected on the courthouse lawn as a reminder for all to see that there would be no justice for black people.

Now a century later we are requesting that it be moved off the courthouse lawn to a place like a museum or a cemetery that contains confederate soldiers. We are asking this because how can we even think about dealing with the bigger issues of our county, when our county still has a symbol of oppression on the courthouse lawn. How can we unite when we allow symbols of hatred to stand? If we can’t get agree on moving a statue that symbolizes the past and current oppression that African-Americans have had to endure then how can unite to tackle the larger issues like one person championed.

God calls for us as Christians to love one another. I don’t see how one can do this and support a statue that stands for some of the most wicked and unjust aspects of our history. I think that white Christians should be leading the charge to get it moved because it would be a incredible symbol of love to people be been oppressed by our forefathers.

In order to be preemptive in regards to personal attacks, I thought I would give you my Southern heritage pedigree. I was born in Memphis and raised in Mississippi. I have direct descendants that fought for the Confederacy. Two of them fought at the Battle of Shiloh which was one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War. Also, I have never voted for a Democrat in a national election.

Alvin

This is the personal opinion of this writer.

@dailymajor: I was only talking from the aspect that 'all veterans that have fought in all wars in which this country was engaged are entitled to a place in our history, and as such are/could/would be entitled to a statue. In this I was just talking about the conditions as to 'What does it take for anyone to say you are a citizen of this great nation; 'is it anyone who sets foot in this country or is it a person that is born of people who entered this country legally'????

I have noticed a swing in popularity of people wanting to trash this government, of wanting to be something other than a citizen of the United States, IE: an African American, a Muslim American. These two identifications 'do not exist'. Either you are 'an American' or you exist as something else.

My reference to the NAACP is something else that, that in my estimation, does not fit into the nature of our constitution, It does not say we the people that are black in color, it says that this is an inalienable right, period. Like I alluded to, the civil war was fought aver 150 years ago, but we're still fighting, it's not over yet. As I said yesterday, if you was born in this country to parents who were legally entitled to be a member or citizen of this country, then you should be calling yourself 'an American'. If you have a case against this country for any reason, you should excuse yourself and live in another part of this world. Either stand up and be counted or leave.

There has been too many 'citizens of this country that have fought and died for the sake of this country and I do not want their sacrifice to be in vain'.

We are getting ready to celebrate another Armistice day in which to honor all of the past causalities. Let us all join in the celebration as a daay in which we honor their sacrifice that they made in our behalf.

This has been the personal opinion of this writer and nothing shall be used, in context or without or changed in any way without first notifying, and receiving explicit approval from this writer.
One of the 4.58 % who voted.

dailymajor

I saw yesterday where the California chapter of the NAACP thinks we should do away with our National Anthem.
I wonder if think also think that we should do away with the black National Anthem?

Alvin

This is the personal opinion of this writer.

Why doesn't everyone stop this nonsense about the Confederacy????

First let me explain something that a lot of the people now living in the United States, from all colors of the rainbow, and were of the Christian religion, that this country was originally settled by white people that were primarily from Scotland, Ireland, England, with a smattering of people of German and Holland. That is a fact that no one should contest. With that, I am tolerant of the people the people, in limited numbers, who wish to legally immigrate to this land we call the United States of America'.

With the founding of this country, there came people from other major European country's who sought this country for the betterment of life over what existed in their country's. Thus the people of the United States and the Confederacy were torn apart over what is known as The Constitution of the United States and the various Amendments that were sought and agreed to. In as much, the blacks from Africa were being sold as slaves

Now in the arena of slavery, there was Spanish, English, Portugal, and to a lesser degree the French. All told there was a grand total of 388,000 slaves from Africa that were landed in the United States, the rest of the slavery trade went to the Caribbean and South America.

The compelling reason for the introduction of the Confederacy was the squabble over what states wanted to outlaw slavery and what states did not, thus there came about numerous compromises, all calling for a division of the United States culminating in what turned out to be 'The Confederacy'.
It turned out to be along what is known as the Missouri Compromise.

Now as the United States came into being, and I think I am right in this, but the forerunner of what is to be known as the United States, there was not a ship flying the flag of the United States that sought out slaves from the Continent of Africa. So you must look to 'others' as the compelling reason for the introduction of slavery.

Now with the signing of the Emaciation Proclamation that freed the slaves, you must look to Abraham Lincoln as the culprit. He originally wanted to free the slaves, for as he was given the interpretation of our constitution as 'As all men are created equal' whereas people like Douglas thought that the Constitution, when established, was 'for the white race only', and did not include the blacks as they were slaves.

Now I do not want to belabor this fact that with the Confederate war between the states, the confederates lost this war, but in the loss, it was felt that 'This Nation should be united once again to the United States of America. On at least two occasions, in consideration of this fact, the North and the South came together to meet face to face and 'Break bread'.

With the surrender of the Confederacy, in the ceremonial surrender, General Grant chose a farm house as the sight of the surrender, and when the Confederate General, Robert E. Lee, when he offered his sword to General Grant, General Grant declined the offer as he respected General Lee who was a graduate of Annapolis, but resigned his commission in order to fight for his home state which was popular at this point in time. He was a well respected gentlemen.

Now this war has been concluded for over 150 years and it's raging still. With the advent of the NAACP, a black organization, and with the advent of all of the people who raise their fists or come out with 'black power only', this is not doing our country any good at all. Can you see the parallel as to the KKK and the NAACP' who is cultivating 'black power, cultivating in the name of 'African American, or people who want to go by the moniker 'Muslim American', the illegal who wants to called a citizen of the United States but in fact are illegal, and so forth. If you were born here, you are a citizen of the United States of America. If that is what 'galls' you then I suggest you pick out another country in which you want to migrate to and leave the bounding shores of this Nation, but of not then I suggest you call yourself a citizen of the United States, an American. Stop all of this hoopla over what moniker you want to be called by.

The Confederacy is and was a legitimate term as they broke away from the United States and formed a new nation, was defeated, and was legitimized under the terms of defeat as being once again members of the United States. That in itself gives precedence to the building of statues honoring members of the Confederate Army. We, as members of this great Nation, should heed what our forefathers fought and died for as members of the Confederate Army. This was a legitimate Army and should be taken as such. In my opinion, that is a mute point and the continued postulate that it protrudes that the Confederacy was in essence a group that sought to hold in bondage those of another race, and contends that the KKK and in turn would contend that both of these groups have the sole purpose in life of 'expelling the other group in order to support the cause. Nothing could be further from the truth to say that 'any one of the white race is favored over the black or any other race of people, but you cannot say that for the association, the NAACP, which is still recognized here in America.

As I allude to earlier, when an organization starts calling itself a moniker such as the NAACP, it provides it's members with the creation of something other than 'an American', it should be shut down. This is a phrase that I hold dearly, being an American.

As to the indigenous population, whenever the original inhabitants of what was to called 'the America's' lets face it, should we have assimilated into their culture, spoke their language???? What language would we have been speaking for there was a number of tribes, which spoke different languages, throughout the America's. When the inhabitants that came to the Americas, they spoke a more or less common language, English and the minority inhabitants, the Germans and the Dutch did not protest and assimilated into the English speaking culture.

We here in this country have grown into this powerful nation because of the normality of being of one people, and speaking the same language. But the assault on our nation, the assault on the one spoken language, that being English, is tearing this nation apart with the continued assault of the many different languages being spoken. No more do we have the commonality of the English language, the support of the American culture, the purpose of an allegiance and support of our national flag for other's have sought to tear down our culture, our creed, such as the support that is being garnered for the forbearance of others who are not in alignment with this nation. If they don't want to hold to the values that are those of being an American then I say that 'they should depart this country and seek another part of this world in which to live.
' I support the observance of honoring those that fought and died for their cause and hold no malice toward them, but in my opinion, the statues should stay in their location wherever that may be. Let's face it, the civil war was fought over 150 years ago, but it is still raging here today. Let's end the squabbling and bring about the resolution that 'we are Americans', and if can't succumb to this, I suggest you seek another place in which to care to reside as this is the United States of America, an American culture and an American heritage. Long live the United States of America.

This has been the personal opinion of this writer and nothing shall be used, in context or without or changed in any way without first notifying, and receiving explicit approval from this writer.
One of the 4.58 % who voted.

perugipj

The Southern Poverty Law Center is a hate group and their opinion is of no value.

tomintexas

For some reason, folks in the U.S. want to carry things to extremes. This time the flavor of the month (or year) appears to be "let's beat up on the South". No one can legitimately deny that slavery was a horrible thing, but there is defensible evidence that it was not a primary cause of the Civil War - and earlier, there had been plenty of slaves in the North. Writings of those contemporary with the period also validate this. Now, some folks have the "bits in their mouth", and they want to condemn everything from Columbus to cotton. Next they may want to outlaw black eyed peas and okra. One does not have to look very far back in history to find abuses, and some abused have bigger complaints than U.S. descendants of Africans. Yes, those Black ancestors lost their freedom - many were sold into slavery by their peers. But they had nothing else taken from them by Southerners, and I doubt that any of their descendants would want to leave the U.S. for Africa. Native Americans have a bigger gripe. Their lands were taken, their cultures were destroyed, and they were confined to reservations - and all of this was done by folks above the Mason-Dixon line. In the 1840s those same people forced individuals of Mexican ancestry off lands from Arizona to California that they had owned for centuries. This was the third displacement of many of those. Their ancestors had been forced from Spain's provinces by the Catholic Church, which had a penchant for torturing them and burning them alive. The Church then pursued them to South America and Mexico and burned a few more, so they moved north. Agents of that same religious entity had earlier destroyed the Aztec and Inca cultures, taken their lands, and enslaved many. Then, to show how penitent it was, a few years ago the Church made a saint out of a California priest who had enslaved Native Americans. (Of course the Aztecs and Incas had displaced previous cultures as well.)
At some time every populated area of this earth from Europe to the Middle East and Asia and the New World has evidenced abuses. Folks in the U.S. would be better advised to quit worrying about something that happened 150 years ago and stop spending their energies flailing at inanimate objects and abstractions while trying to determine why they were erected. It would be more beneficial to take action against what is happening to the U.S. now and what that is leading to - now that's something to argue about.


blackessence

I too think it over the top to remove all monuments associated with the US Confederacy. However, I am sensitive to the fact that long after the whatever reason or cause anyone may wish to embrace, the remnants of social dogma of the era are alive and well today, not only in the south, but in all areas of the country. So until those vestiges of intolerance and bigotry are extinguished, there will be people who will seek to purge our public places of these associated monuments. On the other hand we have to move as a unified society to a point where as a unified country, that NO individual identifies with the idea of social intolerance, bigotry, racism, sexism, or discrimination towards any ethnicity or social group and EVERY citizen can find the positive and accept the negative regarding our historical legacy in this country and the world without ill feelings.

Roody2

The Democrats should stop picking at their scabs.

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