In response to the Rev. Joseph Darby’s May 22 letter to the editor, I would like to submit this quote that he overlooked: "I have no purpose to introduce political and social equality between the white and black races. There is a physical difference between the two, which, in my judgment, will probably forever forbid their living together upon the footing of perfect equality; and inasmuch as it becomes a necessity that there must be a difference, I, as well as Judge Douglas, am in favor of the race to which I belong having the superior position, I have never said anything to the contrary."

If you thought this was a quote from some Confederate politician you would be wrong.

These are the words of Abraham Lincoln made in a debate with Stephen Douglas in 1858. When Rev. Darby quoted remarks made by Southern politicians, he conveniently failed to remind us that mid-nineteenth century America was a very racist place — North and South. This selective villainizing is a favorite ploy of Confederatephobes. They like to blame the Confederacy for all the racial evils of America, but as another writer has pointed out, there is plenty of blame to go around.

Rev. Darby also would like us to believe that there is some law or precedent for only displaying the flags of "sovereign existing governments," on Statehouse grounds, but that is pure poppycock. Flying the flag of the Army of Northern Virginia at the Confederate Soldier’s Monument is no different than flying an American flag at a World War II memorial.

I’m sure that the NAACP is quite capable of dealing with many issues simultaneously, but what many people don’t understand is why they devote so much time and energy to a small flag that flies at a Soldier’s Monument when its presence has no effect on the real problems facing our community. Rev. Darby suggests that we "need only face up to and address our past in an air of mutual respect," but his implication that the War for Southern Independence was only about slavery is untrue and divisive.

I request that he show some respect for the sacrifices of my Confederate ancestors and the compromise that removed the battle flag from the Capitol dome and appropriately placed it at the Soldier’s Monument.

If he and the NAACP were able to do that we would already be able to "address the real issues facing our state in a positive way."

BILL NORRIS
Mount Pleasant

Letters to the editor
Post & Courier
Charleston, SC
http://www.charleston.net/news/2007/jun/12/letters_editor/