Debate on Southern history, slavery continues

Dear Editor,

We can argue and discuss this subject until Jesus comes again. I’m not going to continue getting in some sort of who knows history best with Mr. Pernell, but he said a couple of things in his most recent response to my letter that I just have to point out, and then I’m not going to comment any further in this newspaper about this subject.

First of all, I do appreciate Mr. Pernell’s civility and professional manner in which he responded to me. Admitting that I was right about some of the things that I said, and not acting like some folks, and just flat out lying by saying that I was just some kind of babbling fool.

I want everyone that reads this to know that I am not a racist. I do not hate African-Americans. I am a Christian man, and my Christian beliefs teach me to love thy neighbor. Just because I want to preserve my southern heritage does not make me pro-slavery, and a hater. I am not a hater of anyone.

Here are a couple of things that I wanted to say about the slavery issue, and why I feel so strongly about preserving southern history, and yes, even the confederate side of it.

Mr. Pernell brought up the fact of the oppression and suffering of the slave trade when slaves were hunted down, and rounded up to be sent back to America. Mr. Pernell is right about that, but he left out the fact that the slaves were captured and sent back by northern slave traders from New England and New York. Not one slave ship that brought those slaves here flew under a Confederate Flag. They all flew under “Old Glory”, the United States Flag, and sold in the north to the southern plantation owners.

Slavery was a horrible thing, and I would never condone it, but it was not just something done by the southern people, but the South sure seems to get the blame for it. The North was the slave trader, not the South. This whole country is to blame for slavery, Mr. Pernell, not just the South, Gen. Lee, The Confederate States of America, or the Confederate Flag. You can add the American Flag to it also.

We don’t go around (white people) calling for the removal or destruction of African-American monuments. There is a very nice one at the State House in Columbia, and I don’t have a problem with it. So leave ours alone.

You mentioned in your previous letter that you don’t have a problem with stirring up strife in the area about the monument. That troubles me, because any peace loving man would want everyone to get along.

Isn’t that what Dr. Martin Luther King preached? A peaceful resolution to things, and not strife or violence?

I just can’t believe that anyone would want to stir up strife and uneasiness about anything. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall inherit the kingdom of God”.

There is just one last thing that I want everyone to know about me and my kind. I am a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, and we just recently inducted a member to our organization that is black, and I think it’s great. His great-great-great grandmother served as a cook in the Confederate Army, and as I understand, she served willingly. We are going to honor that man’s great-great-great-grandmother and her descendants by placing a confederate marker (tombstone) on her grave with full confederate military honors. I am also a “War Between The States” re-enactor, and I will be wearing that hot wool uniform this summer to honor that woman, and her family. I consider it an honor to do so.

It’s not just about slavery, and the oppression of black people. It’s a remembrance of those who served for a cause they believed to be right. States’ Rights!

President Lincoln and the North wanted to impose their will on the Southern People, and we didn’t have any other choice but to fight back.

Jim Harley,

formerly of Barnwell