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A New Monument to Black Confederates?

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A statue of Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States, stands in Memphis Park, formerly named Confederate Park, in Memphis, Tennessee, U.S., August 19, 2017. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Two Republican legislators in South Carolina proposed a new monument on the state Capitol grounds to honor Confederate soldiers—this time commemorating black fighting men who went to battle for the South.

This idea is both ill-considered and offensive. First, the estimated 6,000 African-Americans who did fight for the Confederacy were mostly slaves, and forced to do so—many deserted when the Confiscation Acts and Emancipation Proclamation offered freedom to those who crossed Union lines. Second, black soldiers represented less than 1% of the 750,000 white Confederates—and a tiny fraction of the 200,000 blacks who served the Union military. Finally, it makes no sense to construct new memorials to those who fought against the United States in an effort to destroy our country.

Yes, there may be romance and sentiment associated with the South’s “Lost Cause” but conservatives who want support from people of color must unequivocally acknowledge that this Lost Cause deserved to lose.

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