Paul D. Bohac of
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As I watch and read news reports describing the removal or defacing of American historical statues, I fear we are confronting an American ISIS. Like the ISIS acolytes convinced of the righteousness of their "cause," it seems that some of "my fellow Americans" believe that destruction or removal of public historical displays will change or deny the truth of history.
History, as a discipline, reflects on past events within the context of a specific era. History cannot be erased or ignored. Applying today’s perceptions to historical events merely demonstrates arrogance and ignorance devoid of understanding.
Secession and the subsequent Civil War was not only about slavery, it was also about federal intrusion. If one reads the historical newspapers of that era, it would become evident that secession was not a violation of law, there was a general belief that the 10th Amendment in the Bill of Rights: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people," would allow secession.
That a civil war followed secession was the decision of the federal government.
President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on Jan. 1, 1863, as the nation approached its third year of bloody civil war. The proclamation declared "that all persons held as slaves" within the rebellious states "are, and henceforward shall be free."(www,gov/archives)
The proclamation did not free all slaves, only those "within the rebellious states" a distinction rarely recognized in today’s "politically correct" environment. Removal of portraits of former speakers of the house because they were from the "rebellious states," or a statue of a former president (erected via private funding) because it does not conform to current ideology, is political pandering at its most egregious.
Paul D. Bohac, Callaway