My turn: Confederate monuments, should they stay or go?

Published: Apr. 27, 2017 at 4:36 PM EDT|Updated: May. 11, 2017 at 1:12 PM EDT
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A story this week about how the city of New Orleans is removing some monuments commemorating the Confederacy really seems to have gotten the interest of some of our viewers.

I can tell you there are strong feelings on both sides of this issue. Some are adamant that we should not remove our history and ignore what happened in those turbulent times that helped define our country.

On the opposite side, some find statues, markers, streets and community names offensive, because they feel those honor people who supported slavery.

I don't think we should be making decisions on either extreme. It's not that simple. For southerners, the issue was states' rights and sadly, slavery was a part of that.  But there was so much more.

We can't erase our history. The Civil War was a huge part of the growing process that helped shape this great nation. Getting hung up on either extreme of this issue is not worth having another war over.

That's my turn. Now it's your turn. To comment on this segment, or anything else, email me at

Copyright 2017 WECT. All rights reserved.

Emailed comments from viewers:

"Getting hung up on either extreme of this issue is not worth having another war over."

Either extreme?
Well then, how far do you suggest the eradication of our history be allowed to progress?  To the point of totality and in perpetuity?  To the point of… in the not so distant future other monuments like the Jefferson Rotunda, the Washington Monument, the WH, the Smithsonian be eradicated as 'public nuisances' because 5 of 6 probably half illiterate, and corrupt blacks on a cess-pool city council say so?  Or other blacks or other 'groups' who have lived/worked around these monuments for over 100yrs, suddenly now are offend by their presence?…BS.  It was never even brought up for public vote.  What if some such group found your family to be a 'public nuisance'?  Would you then object mutely while they satiated their desire 'not to be offended' by your family's removal… from their burial places?  Or their current private homes?

Just exactly where is the 'beyond the pale' point of 'extreme' for you, which you would take action?  Have you no 'skin' in the game?  You think they're going to stop w/the symbology of the Confederacy?  When would you encounter your Bugs Bunny moment, McNair?  
"Of course you know, this means war….." ~BB


I guess  your family was not rape or hung during that period, and with that Monument gave you entitlement as a reminder of your position in that period of life so it probably really does not matter to you ,but to those affected by it and constantly affected by that reminder of our wroth to the community in which we live we see it every day..yes it time to leave that type of reminder in the text book not in our view everyday empowering only one group of people whom benefited then and are still benefiting from it now.


Thank you for pointing out that the civil war was not about slavery but a states right to determine what was okay or not okay in their state. Understand that I find slavery abhorrent but my family didn't get here until long after the civil war. I view history as a teaching opportunity and slavery, the confederacy and the civil war are important lessons to be learned. I believe in the saying that he who doesn't learn from history is destined to repeat it. I would hate to see mistakes of the past repeated.

So again , thanks for reminding us all that it was a war over a states right to choose it's own path and it's right to leave the unification of the state's into a single country and not to fall victim to the extremes.

I appreciated today's edition of "My Turn."  I am a resident of Wilmington who grew up in the great state of Illinois and just moved into the area 8 years ago.  I was raised a Yankee, but I also have a profound appreciation for the history of this nation.  I understand that the Civil War was fought over more than just slavery and I honor those whose convictions were on the Confederate side.

My family and I recently returned from a trip to France where we visited the World War 2 sites of Normandy in and around the D-Day beaches.  The first site we visited was the German cemetery located not far from Pointe du Hoc, where some of the fiercest fighting occurred on D-Day.  There were monuments marking the graves and a large monument in the middle of the cemetery honoring those who died on the Nazi side.  It reminded me that those were human lives as well.  A human life is a human life.  Armies are made up of men and women who may not agree with the fight they are called to take part, but do so out of honor and duty.

These Confederate monuments, in my opinion, pale in comparison to Nazi monuments,  I believe we should let them remain and move on.


Leave our history for all to learn so as not to repeat. Should we take down all monuments and rename streets named after Martin Luther King? Come on folks eliminating any reference does not change it. When we will learn to go forward and not backwards.


I hope we never come to the point of removing parts of history. The Confederate icons are just that, icons. And as you stated, slavery was only a part of the reason for the Civil War. I believe Slavery is a horrendous part of our history but it is just that, history. We still have forms of slavery today, exploiting children and adults. Why not put the effort into fighting what is happening right now? Isn't there a saying that those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it? Slavery today involves all races. Black, White, Brown, Yellow, pull together to fight a war we can win and we all benefit.


I believe that all fallen soldiers should b remembered whether they were confederate or union and each state should b able to remember their fallen and have their monuments preserved where they are. Its a form of desecration to a grave and really offensive to any veteran that the fallen should forgotten or tried to b erased from the history books. By the way I am a veteran and a Northerner and still believe in the sanctity of our history. Leave it alone


in the name of racism, the history of our nation is being changed by the minorities.  Majority rule no longer applies.

Confederate men fought and died for what they believed in  Right or wrong.

If all the statues and plaques of Confederates come down, then so should all statues and plaques come down for Martin Luther King come down.  He fought for what his believed in - right or wrong.  Every street and road with his name on it will have to be removed.

We cannot change what happened five minutes ago much less what happened more than a hundred years ago.  Can we control what our ancestors did?
This nation is getting insane.  Everybody wants something for nothing - they feel that everybody owes them.

Let's go to  Gods morals and get on with being better to each other..


Monuments are being removed in Louisiana because they are racist? This is ridiculous! What next, remove all information, documentation, etc of the civil war? Should we just forget it ever happened? Should we just erase that complete part of our history? I'm personally tired of this. Tom Sawyer, huckleberry Finn, and so on have already been removed from schools. We have lyrics to famous songs. THIS IS OUR HISTORY.


I can understand why the statues and monuments could keep the past aware in the present and possibly make blacks feel worth less due to the reminder. This shame can go both ways whether it is the blacks being reminded of their mistreatment or the whites be reminded of the shameful acts that they committed. Not many white people in this day and age truly agree with slavery. Of course there will be extremists of every group but those monuments are an important part of everyday empathy and regret. These statues represent the history of the nation and must be taught or the lesson will be lost in generations to come. Any monument commemorating the confederate for achievements towards slavery should be removed while the achievements done for state rights should stay. We can open our minds to filter some of the un-educational and pointless reminders out of everyday life while keeping a couple emotion felt statues. If you are black and you look at these monuments every day and feel sorrow over it, don't. These monuments bring up emotion for everyone which can be the best deterrent for future problems like this while keeping our community empathetic and understanding of past issue that cannot be changed. Would it be okay to remove any historical items about the holocaust? Would that be fair to the millions who died in it? For the lesson to be thrown out and forgotten. Hiding dark history will only bring a dark future. Everyone is human and humans over centuries have evolved in more ways than one. Why should we take out slavery, but not the crusades? If you're black and feel these monuments to be removed then you should consider that this mistreatment your race saw will become misunderstand until it is forgotten. If you want people to feel your pain then let them. YOU were not the one mistreated just as we were not the ones mistreating. Set it aside into history and always keep it in mind. Educate the young generations to come that this was wrong and we can never let this happen again.
The article starts off talking about how the controversial issue about the Confederate statues being removed from New Orleans. It goes on to briefly explain both sides of the issue which are people who want to keep the statues and people who want them removed. Finally, the article closes with saying this issue is "not worth having another war over". One thing that could have been added is that in New Orleans a majority of the population is African American.  I lean more towards the side that the monuments should stay in place. Despite the fact that slavery was a main reason for many northerners to be against the south, the south saw it more as being their right has a state to secede and run things the way they pleased. Those are not the reasons I support the monuments though. I support the monuments because these Confederate leaders were protecting their homeland from invaders. They had burned and savaged entire towns during the Civil War, so really the Confederacy was protecting its people. By removing these statues we are removing the proof and memory that these people protected their homes.  To often in modern society someone is offended or upset by something they get their way, but we can not allow them to take away a part of Southern history. Not to commemorate the "good ole days", but to use them as a discussion point to bring up a dark part of our nation's history. I am not sure who said it but there is a saying that goes "if we do not learn from history, we are doomed to repeat it." As divided as the nation is right now I think this is important to learn from and make sure that at the end of the day we are all one collective America despite our differences and our dark past.
New Orleans shouldn't be removing its Confederate monuments because they are a lot more than just some statues. These monuments are part of American history. Even though a lot of mistakes were made during this period in history, there was also a lot of good done. Thousands of these men died fighting for what they believed in and many of them were some of Americas greatest heros. America should never forget about great leaders like Robert E. Lee or Stonewall Jackson. These men died fighting for what they believed in and they should not be forgotten, just because some people do not agree with what they were fighting for. It is quite sad that when people see these wonderful monuments the only thing they can think of is how African Americans were treated at that time. I am all for black lives matter so to think the only people that support these monuments are racist individuals is dead wrong. When people see these monuments of these men they should think how far we have come from slavery, not that America use to support it. History is a reminder of how far we come. Mistakes are part of history and like the famous quote from Paul Bear Bryant says, "When you make a mistake, there are only three things you should ever do about it: admit it, learn from it, and don't repeat it." These are exactly what these monuments help us do. Everyone knows that mistakes were made in the past, but it is something that can't be forgotten. We learn from these monuments, about all the wrong doings that have been done in the past. And it also helps us not to repeat them. Getting rid of these monuments means future generations will miss out on a big part of history. It hurts me to see these monuments being taken down because they are such a big part of history, that should never be forgotten.