The Sons of Confederate Veterans are having their national convention this week in Richardson, an excellent opportunity for exploring U.S. History.
Most Confederate Monuments were erected, and Confederate names given to buildings, over 60 years after the Civil War.
More significantly, the monuments and Confederate names only began to appear in greater numbers a decade after the founding of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
It would suggest that the naming and raising of monuments was associated with active work to defend “separate but equal” and segregation. It ended by 1960 with few if any such monuments, or Confederate names given to buildings, after the end of the 1950’s. Even though the legal foundation was laid with the Brown v Board of Education 20 years earlier, the last major city to legally integrate all schools was Dallas in 1976. The reason for Confederate names and monuments was gone long before 1976, but the failure to discuss and admit the reason for the Civil War has continued to this day at great cost.
The attempt to create a sanitized history of the motivation behind the Civil War was universal across the south. The large majority of slaves were owned by less than 2% of the wealthiest citizens of the south who were the major architects of the Civil War. That justification for the war disappeared after the war. “States’ Rights” were fabricated as the central cause. This happened in spite of the ample historical documentation, most recently recorded in the 2015 book “The Myth of the Lost Cause: Why the South Fought the Civil War and Why the North Won,” by Edward H. Bonekemper III.
There is little doubt that this sudden appearance of Confederate names and monuments across the south, especially during the final 30 years before “separate but equal” was declared illegal, was only another method used by those fighting to keep “separate but equal” required by law. What else would explain this 30-year focus on the resurrection of Confederate names and memorials, then suddenly it was stopped?