Part of our work as the PGCLMP is to name the truth.
This article from author Clint R. Smith III, an excerpt from his recent book, is featured in the upcoming issue of The Atlantic as part of their Inheritance series. He gives an overview of the Lost Cause myth that persists in the minds of many Americans and the ways the truth about slavery, Confederate monuments, and the Civil War are obscured.
Gramling then turned his attention to the present-day controversy about Confederate monuments—to the people who are “trying to take away our symbols.” In 2019, according to a report from the Southern Poverty Law Center, there were nearly 2,000 Confederate monuments, place names, and other symbols in public spaces across the country. A follow-up report after last summer’s racial-justice protests found that more than 160 of those symbols had been removed or renamed in 2020.
Gramling said that this was the work of “the American ISIS.” He looked delighted as the crowd murmured its affirmation. “They are nothing better than ISIS in the Middle East. They are trying to destroy history they don’t like.”