Editorial: Point anti-Confederate cannons at issues that matter

April 26, 2007

The mini-flap over Shreveport’s first black mayor signing a proclamation observing April as Confederate History month strikes us as musket shots fired in the wrong direction, another civil war of futility.

Better that critics find more significant targets for their efforts and outrage. Try neighborhood carnage wrought by crime. Mount a cavalry charge against the underpinnings of that misery: poverty, fractured families, the drug trade.

In signing another in a continual series of proclamations that crosses his desk every week, it is ludicrous to think Cedric Glover’s pen stroke excuses slavery. Or that he celebrates four years of carnage sadly waged in large part by non-slave owners who, for reasons of loyalty and sectional patriotism, bravely offered themselves as cannon fodder to defend the Old South.

Rather Confederate History month acknowledges an undeniable pivot point in American history that shaped southern culture and national politics long after the last musket ball was fired. And with the sesquicentennial of the Civil War nigh upon us, northwest Louisiana, like much of the South, has a duty to remember its past.

We think most southerners recognize that preserving artifacts and seeking to understand the past aren’t the same as working to restore a flawed culture that was built too much on the misery of so many. And for those who don’t recognize the difference but use history as a needle to pick open wounds, well, pushing Confederate History Month underground will not change misshapen hearts.

We encourage those who would seek to embarrass our new mayor with the unalterable past to instead rail against those ills that threaten our undefined future.

©The Times

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