Joseph Manago of Flushing wrote in a Dispatch published in the August 17th issue "I suggest people thoroughly study the gravity of the underlying political and economic causes of the Civil War."
Those causes boil down to one thing: slavery. Human slavery.
I would suggest that rather than tear down these statues and attempt to erase the ugliness of the past, we use the tools at hand to educate ourselves and our children. Leave the statues where they are, and place a new plaque on each.
"This statue of [rebel general], a man who violated his oath to defend the U.S. Constitution and waged bloody war against the United States, was erected by unreconstructed Confederates and white supremacists in [year] as part of the attempt to deny their fellow citizens of their rights and privileges as American citizens. [Rebel general] fought valiantly in defense of his own right to buy and sell human flesh as the need arose."
What made compromise impossible in the antebellum period was slavery. The debates over the tariff, a central bank, disposition of the western lands, the transcontinental railroad, and the admission of new states were all complicated by the issue of slavery.
Our refusal as a society to own up to our ugly past might very well be the cause of our present political malaise.
Neil C. Giannelli