By Doug Hagin

Those who have visited Richmond, Virginia have no doubt seen and been impressed by Monument Avenue where giant statues of Confederate generals Jeb Stuart, Stonewall Jackson, and Robert E. Lee draw lovers of history and stir the deepest emotions of appreciation from Southerners who admire the courage and gallantry these men displayed in the struggles of the War Between the States.

About this time every year these monuments become targets for those among us who despise the South and it’s heroes. Sadly 2004 has proven to be no different than previous years. The Lee monument was recently defaced by a miscreant with more paint than brains. On the bottom of the statue the words “ death to Nazis” were spray painted. Where does such ignorance and hatred come from?

Virginia, as well as many other Southern states honors the births of Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee as well as the birth of Martin Luther King every January. And Southerners who admire their Confederate heritage have welcomed the inclusion of King’s birthday without protest or displeasure.

Many of those who pushed for King’s birthday to be honored, however, have not been so gracious. Instead of accepting that many Southerners wish to pay homage to their ancestors these folks have instead insisted on eliminating the holidays honoring Lee and Jackson. As with all other symbols of the South’s heroes and history these holidays are under siege by those politically correct types who seem to hate anyone different than they are.

This continuing push to eradicate every vestige of Southern heritage and history leads me to one question for all the bigots in America who continue to either attack or bastardize Southern heritage and Southern monuments and symbols.

When will Southerners who are proud of their ancestors who donned the uniform of the Confederate Army catch a break from the relentless and senseless attacks against our heritage? What will it take for us just to be let alone to honor our history and our heroes in peace?

Really we Southerners are simple folks. We do not ask much at all. Let us have our flag; let us place them on the graves of those Southerners who fell in battle for their beloved Southland, the very same Southland we love as they did.

Leave our monuments alone; they are sacred to us. They may not mean much to you but to us they are very special. See these monuments and graves and flags are our only connection with those who laid down their very lives for the South. Again maybe they mean nothing to the politically correct crowd who claims to be in the interest of ensuring no one ever gets offended over anything. But to us they are immeasurably precious.

In very straightforward terms just allow us the same tolerance and inclusion every other group is afforded in America today. Is that really too much to ask? Do Southerners somehow deserve less sensitivity? Does allowing us to revere our ancestors really hurt anyone? Why in this age of walking on eggshells so as not to offend anyone are Southerners still the targets of such vicious attacks?

Sadly the truth is plain to see. Only certain groups are perceived as fit to protect in the eyes of the left-wing political correctors. And Southerners who tend to be quite Conservative do not fit that description.

Along with Christians, gun owners, and anyone who dares espouse Conservative ideals, Southerners are not only not a protected class they are favorite targets of the politically correct bigots.

And make no mistake here my friends, bigots is exactly what these people are. They are guilty of hating just as the Ku Klux Klan or the Black Panthers are. Their hate is based along ideological lines instead of skin color but it is a very real hate none the less.

The facts about the lives and character of men like Jackson and Lee do not matter to these haters. That Lee detested slavery does not concern them. Nor does the fact that Jackson considered it evil. Jefferson Davis actually adopted a Black child during the war yet he too is demonized as a racist.

All these people seem able to see is that these men fought for the South, and the South had slavery, so therefore the South was evil. Instead of studying the facts about the South and why we fought, we were invaded and fought back, they seem to prefer living in ignorance and hatefulness. In fact it seems they were born offended and are only happy when they are offended. A pretty sad way to exist it would seem.

In fact they not only trash these brave men but also dishonor the man they claim to admire so deeply. Martin Luther King spoke of judging men on the content of their character, too bad many who claim to admire him are ignoring his words.