I’m honestly wondering whether we should ban Confederate imagery the way the Germans have banned Nazi imagery. It’s been over 150 years since the south was totally and justly defeated at Appomattox and the myth that this cause was about anything other than preserving the genocide of slavery continues to persist. German curriculum, culture and even law devotes extensive time to inoculating its citizenry against Holocaust Denial and it’s time we end Genocide Denial in America.
Slavery was a genocide. This is a fact not an opinion. Millions of Africans died in the triangle trade crossing, and the ones who survived when they got here were subjected to conditions similar to the ones Jews endured in concentration camps-forced labor, famine, family breakup and frequent death. A similar or higher number of blacks died over the course of its two century existence in our country.
And this myth continues to inform our policies today. Conservatives bemoaning lower black literacy rates, lower black property ownership and higher rates of black family breakup,and hostility to police must also reconcile with the fact that it was illegal for blacks to read or own property under slavery and Jim Crow and that slave family breakup was common and by design. Police were used right up until a generation ago as an official tool of enforcing segregation and racial barriers-with many departments continuing this policy in a defacto way in the present. Denying history will only cause us to repeat it. It’s time to say never again to our own genocidal past just as the Germans have.