Heritage we shouldn’t celebrate
I read, with interest, the June 30 front-page article “For next generation, a new Thurmond legacy,” on Paul Thurmond’s acceptance of the need to take down the Confederate battle flag near the South Carolina capitol. He feels this way despite his Confederate heritage through his great-grandfather, who was with Robert E. Lee at Appomattox.
That relationship would also apply the same heritage to his deceased half sister, an African American named Essie Mae Washington-Williams. I wonder what Ms. Washington-Williams thought of that heritage. Would it have made her proud? Ready to join the United Daughters of the Confederacy (although she likely would not be admitted despite a direct family link)? Anxious to display the Confederate flag on a license plate or fly it at herhome? Highly unlikely on all counts.
Her reaction would probably echo Mr. Thurmond’s assertion that “I will never understand how anyone could fight a civil war based in part on the desire to continue the practice of slavery.” Any reasonable person knows that the war was based entirely on continuing the practice of slavery.
I, along with other African Americans who share similar ancestry, see no positives associated with that Southern heritage. That should be the case for all Americans. After all, Germans generally don’t celebrate Nazi military heritage. Why should Americans celebrate Southern Confederate heritage?
Elbert Marsh, Silver Spring