By Joseph A. Darby
I’ve written more than a few Post and Courier columns about the need to move monuments to the Confederate States of America from public spaces to places where they can be viewed in their proper historical context.
A few recent letters to the editor have defended those monuments, noting that similar monuments were erected to honor those who fought for the United States of America. They argue that Confederate monuments — built years after of the Civil War — were erected not to celebrate the end of Reconstruction and the imposition of Jim Crow segregation but because it took years for the South to recover from economic devastation and to raise the funds for their erection.
Those who actually erected or played a role in the erection of those Confederate monuments say otherwise.
When Confederate veteran and Ku Klux Klan supporter Julian Carr spoke at the dedication of the “Silent Sam” monument on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1913, he said, “One hundred yards from where we stand, less than ninety days perhaps after my return from Appomattox, I horse-whipped a Negro wench until her clothing hung in shreds, because upon the streets of this quiet village she had publicly insulted and maligned a southern lady, and rushed for protection to these University buildings where was stationed a garrison of 100 Federal soldiers. I performed this pleasing duty in the immediate presence of the entire garrison.”
The Rev. Joseph A. Darby is senior pastor at Nichols Chapel AME Church and first vice president of the Charleston Branch NAACP.