Footage from Confederate statue removal shows spire breaking in two
Some people pretend the Manatee Confederate memorial is merely a tribute to the southern soldiers who fought in the Civil War. That is a distortion of the facts in order to justify its public replacement.
Much of the memorial pays tribute to the cause of slavery and their cowardly and traitorous leaders. Jefferson Davis (Confederate president) and Judah P Benjamin (Confederate secretary of war and state) were politicians, not soldiers, who directed 300,000 southern soldiers to march to their deaths, then ran away to save their own skin when they saw their cause was lost. They are hardly deserving of the adjectives on the memorial of “noble”, “chivalrous” and “courageous.”
I would have no qualms if it were simply a memorial to the brave southern soldiers who fought and died. By 1862, the vast majority of them were draftees, not volunteers and they didn’t own any slaves. Any soldier who does his duty deserves respect and remembrance even when the cause of war their leaders decide does not.
Now, the county commission wants a referendum of where to place the memorial and a number of them insist it include the option of putting it back in front of the Courthouse. In my opinion, that’s the LAST place it should be located. Equality before the Law should never be subject to a popularity contest. Just imagine how it felt for 80 years to be a black citizen of Manatee County coming before our courts seeking justice and reading this tribute to bigotry and subjugation right out front.
If resurrected at all, it should be placed in a historic cemetery surrounded with historical placards providing historical context to include the horrors of slavery and Jim Crow and the 670,000 deaths on both sides of that horrible war.