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Opinion

Thoughts on the Downtown Confederate Monument


  • By The Newnan Times-Herald
  • |
  • Dec. 14, 2021 - 6:52 PM

Thoughts on the Downtown Confederate Monument

The Newnan Times-Herald

A recent letter to the editor addressed the Confederate Monument on the Square.

I would like to add to his statement.

I lived in Germany for four years and never once saw a statue of Hitler or any other German soldier from World War II.

The only memorials from this time were the death camps such as Dachau. These, the German population would love to close, but they keep them open to say never again, not to celebrate the German participation in a losing effort.

Like many of you, I was born and raised in the South, and I was taught that the Civil War was about state's rights and not slavery, but over time and research, I came to the realization that this was just an attempt to justify the cause and the only "State right" that concerned the wealthy was the right to decide if the people of the state could own other human beings to use for free labor to enhance their wealth.

In their hearts and minds, I'm sure that many poor Confederates believed that they were fighting for their rights, but wars can only be fought if they are funded. The landed aristocracy who funded the war convinced the common man that the North was trying to take away their rights, but their real purpose was to hold on to the economic advantages they enjoyed from free labor. It's the same as convincing people that they were fighting to prevent communism in Korea and Vietnam when all the wealthy people who promoted these wars really wanted was to profit from the military industrial complex.

Or, promoting the idea of bringing democracy to the Middle East as a means to protect their oil profits. The Confederacy only lasted four years, and those were some of the darkest years in our nation’s history.

Why dwell on those years when we could have a monument on the square dedicated to the eleven Revolutionary War Veterans buried in our county or a monument honoring Lt. Col. Joe Jackson and Maj. Stephen Pless, Coweta’s two Congressional Medal of Honor winners.

Or we could have a statue honoring former Gov. Ellis Arnall, a Newnan native whose reforms to a corrupt state government and support for Civil Rights earned him national acclaim.

In closing, this Confederate statue doesn’t belong on our public square where it serves as a reminder of white supremacy to a large segment of our community.

It should be moved to a more suitable location such as a museum or Oak Hill Cemetery.

Tom Thomason

Newnan