Monumental Lies

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(Bacon’s Rebellion) (March 25, 2022) In this morning’s Richmond Times podcast, Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Michael Paul Williams asserts that the reason there were no Confederate monuments in the city until the 1890s and afterward was because whites wanted them to symbolize the return of white supremacy after the end of Reconstruction. He implies that if the statues were intended to honor the fallen soldiers they would have been erected when the war ended in 1865. He further opines that the statues erected as late as the mid-1920s were chiefly intended to reinforce the symbolism of white supremacy while black voices were progressively silenced. He is wrong for two reasons.

First, penniless Southerners were unable to pay for monuments for many years after the war ended. They instead had to content themselves with laying flowers of the graves of the fallen…

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