‘Freedom’ was not on the agenda

Published 10:37 pm Tuesday, May 27, 2014

To the editor:

I continue to be amazed each year at the thoughts and actions of many southern whites who cherish the history of the Confederates in the Civil War.

As a northern-raised black in his mid-60s, I find the history of those who fought to preserve slavery to be reprehensible. We all know the Civil War was not fought to free the slaves, but to preserve a nation. But the key difference between the North and the South was the issue of slavery.

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I, therefore, found it rather curious to read the statement in Sunday’s Suffolk News-Herald (“A Confederate Memorial”) by Kevin Beale. While addressing a gathering sponsored by The United Daughters of the Confederacy, he said, “We cannot forget what our ancestors endured, fighting for our freedom and beliefs.”

Please underline our word of the day, “freedom.” Be mindful that the very issue the South fought to preserve — that of slavery — degraded, debased and destroyed a people through hideous acts of torture, rape and brutality.

Mr. Beale should step back and try to appreciate a different perspective on this dark past. I can assure you that black folks who were part of civil rights struggles have a real sense of what it means to fight for freedom.

Whatever Mr. Beale’s ancestors fought for, it was certainly not freedom. They never understood the concept.

LaMont Adger

Suffolk