Editorial: Point anti-Confederate cannons at issues that matter

April 26, 2007

The mini-flap over Shreveport’s first black mayor signing a proclamation observing
April as Confederate History month strikes us as musket shots fired in the wrong
direction, another civil war of futility.

Better that critics find more significant targets for their efforts and outrage.
Try neighborhood carnage wrought by crime. Mount a cavalry charge against the
underpinnings of that misery: poverty, fractured families, the drug trade.

In signing another in a continual series of proclamations that crosses his desk
every week, it is ludicrous to think Cedric Glover’s pen stroke excuses slavery.
Or that he celebrates four years of carnage sadly waged in large part by non-slave
owners who, for reasons of loyalty and sectional patriotism, bravely offered
themselves as cannon fodder to defend the Old South.

Rather Confederate History month acknowledges an undeniable pivot point in
American history that shaped southern culture and national politics long after
the last musket ball was fired. And with the sesquicentennial of the Civil War
nigh upon us, northwest Louisiana, like much of the South, has a duty to remember
its past.

We think most southerners recognize that preserving artifacts and seeking to
understand the past aren’t the same as working to restore a flawed culture that
was built too much on the misery of so many. And for those who don’t recognize
the difference but use history as a needle to pick open wounds, well, pushing
Confederate History Month underground will not change misshapen hearts.

We encourage those who would seek to embarrass our new mayor with the unalterable
past to instead rail against those ills that threaten our undefined future.

©The Times

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