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Letter to the Editor for Feb. 25, 2021

Destroying history without the facts

While I do not in any way, shape, or form uphold slavery or any other unjust institution that would render any race morally unequal to another, I do wish to address Randy Patrick’s view of our Confederate monument at the center of town, in his editorial entitled, “Time for Jessamine County to join the Union.”

   Mr. Patrick seems aghast that our statue remains, but I ask why now? He said he has lived here for 12 years, yet it’s just now become a problem for him. He mentioned that it came about during the local BLM movement earlier in the year. I find it appalling that he’s more offended over a statue, than the BLM movement itself! A lawless group of individuals who oppose local law enforcement agencies, and encourages and incites racial violence. I stand against any organization that opposes law and order, and that stands against our law enforcement agencies.

Mr. Patrick made the same mistake as many others still do, contributing slavery as the only cause of the civil war. The South believed in state sovereignty as is our constitutional right, and the North was choosing to repudiate states’ rights with the sole purpose of subduing the entire south through united domination. The North no longer wanted to recognize equality of sectional power, so forced the Southern states to protect those rights, the only way rights have always been protected. Through war!

Another mistake made by him and most everyone else, is their elevated opinion of Abe Lincoln, and his exaggerated morals of slavery. I’ve always found it odd that he is considered the very savior of the freed man, when in his very first inaugural address, he stated “I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the states where it exists. I believe I have no right to do so.”

Now  let’s review a letter he wrote to Horace Greeley on Aug 22, 1862. He was quoted to have said, “If there be those who would not save the Union unless they could at the same time destroy slavery, I do not agree with them!”

He also penned in the same letter, “If I could save the Union without freeing any slave. I would do it.” During a Senate race in 1858 Lincoln stated, “I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way, the social and political equality of the white and black races.” He also openly opposed African Americans having the right to vote, sit on juries or hold political office. I find that Lincoln’s views and the Confederacy’s views on slavery are not so “stark” after all! I think it would be safe to say that Lincoln only used the emancipation as a military strategy, to cripple the South and to fill the Union ranks.

The article also mentioned a quote from Thomas Jefferson about how he “trembled for his country when I reflect that God is just!”  In regards to Thomas Jefferson, he has every right to tremble, especially when reflecting on the mass genocide of Native Americans he was responsible for. Jefferson once stated that the Native Americans “justified their own extermination!” Isn’t it ironic that most of the leaders society chooses to represent their personal opinions, aren’t that innocent either?

The last point I would like to correct is about Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest. Mr. Patrick went the extra mile to discredit Gen. Forrest, by erroneously labeling him one of the “founders of the Ku Klux Klan.” In actuality, the KKK was started in Pulaski, Tenn., in early 1866. Forrest was in fact called to the organization as a leader, but not until the spring of 1867. He failed to mention that Forrest himself disbanded the original organization between 1868 and 1869, because he disagreed with their violent intentions. The man he painted to be a murdering racist was being studied by officers of the British Cavalry as late as 1914. They were introducing his methods into their military structure. The British was quoted as hailing Forrest as “the greatest of English speaking commanders of mounted troops.”

Mr. Patrick started his article by saying that history is usually written by the victor, not the vanquished, but reading the one-sided adulterated history they teach our children at school, I would say that the victors did succeed in writing our history, and our present society is doing much to destroy it! Mr. Patrick, along with many others, call for unity, but he freely admitted that he wouldn’t accept the fair compromise Judge West proposed, of honoring all men who have bravely fought, rather than eliminate the monument altogether.

If we really want unity, we must as a society stop fanning the flames of racial discourse, eliminate the black achiever programs in our schools which define students by color rather than academic success, stop elevating one race above another, and stop looking for excuses to be offended at every turn. We need to acknowledge that history did happen, and that brave men on both sides fought for the ideals they believed to be valuable to them, and because of their sacrifices, we’re better as a community.

I invite Mr. Patrick, as well as our state government, to study history before making such rash and biased decisions and comments, and from appointing themselves worthy of elevating any one man above another when it comes to honor!

We may not always agree with history, and some may not choose to give certain men their due, but removing statues and monuments will not do one thing to change the facts. I encourage us to acknowledge history, learn from it’s mistakes, and avoid altering the truth to fit our society!

David Marsee Jr.

Nicholasville