Your column "Confederacy celebration promotes ignorance toward American history"
Dear Mr. Buchanan:
I open with some definitions taken from Webster’s Third New International Dictionary of the English Language Unabridged (Chicago: Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc.; 1981)
BIGOTRY: Obstinate and unreasoning attachment to one’s own belief and opinions with intolerance of beliefs opposed to them.
IGNORANCE: A lack of knowledge, either in general or of a particular point.
PREJUDICE: Unreasonable predilection for or objection against something; or an opinion or leaning adverse to anything without just grounds or before sufficient knowledge; or an irrational attitude of hostility directed against an individual, a group, a race, or their supposed characteristics; or an opinion or judgment formed beforehand or without due examination.
Your remarks show that you lack knowledge as to the causes for the War of 1861-1865, and particularly the motivation of the Southern States in seceding and fighting. You also show an obstinate and unreasoning attachment to your own belief and opinions about that War, with intolerance of beliefs opposed to them; and an unreasonable objection and irrational attitude of hostility against the Sons of Confederate Veterans arising from an opinion formed without just grounds and before sufficient knowledge.
You do not realize that the seceded States seceded for the same reason that thirteen States seceded from Britain in 1776, Mexico from the Spanish empire in 1818, and Texas from Mexico in 1836 – to escape an overweening, intrusive government and form a government that pleased them better; a government of the consent of the governed.
You do not realize that the secessions were not triggered by slavery, but by taxation.
You do not realize that, if the seceded States had wished to preserve slavery, all they had to do was re-join the Union and ratify the Corwin Amendment, which stated: “No amendment shall be made to the Constitution which will authorize or give to Congress the power to abolish or interfere, within any State, with the domestic institutions thereof, including that of persons held to labor or service by the laws of said State.”
If you are intellectually honest, you will write and publish another column refuting this one.
We shall see.
Clifton Palmer McLendon
Gilmer, Texas