Certainly one can rightly honor the bravery of fallen soldiers no matter whether they wore blue or grey. But honoring the man's bravery or military insights is not equivalent to honoring the cause for which he fought. The cause championed by the South should cover every American with shame.
The culture war skirmishes at the College of Charleston represent something more than Dixie-fried corruption and anti-intellectualism. They reflect the misuses of history that have long been a powerful political tool in the hands of white, conservative elites.
Is their a southern narrative other than one which lays proud claim to the Civil War? I think the answer here lies in a nostalgia for a simpler life, a life less corrupted by the influences of modernity.
As long as the Southern White anti-government, anti-tax, anti-child, anti-poor, and anti-Black faction controls the party, no one of good conscience should run as, vote for, or identify with the Republican Party.
This is a conflict between two different views of who we are, what's important, and where the U.S. is headed. It's a repeat of the ideological clash that resulted in the America's first Civil War. Who started this fight?
I knew it was counterintuitive for an African-American (me) to visit Richmond's Museum of the Confederacy two days before Martin Luther King Day and the second inauguration of our first black president. But I went anyway, because I'm on a journey into a past I didn't know I had.
For almost exactly a hundred years, Hollywood has been complicit -- no, salient -- in promoting pro-Confederate falsehoods about the Civil War and Reconstruction. Now Spielberg and Kushner and everyone involved in Lincoln have at last declared, "Enough!"
Under ideal circumstances, living relatives of both Williams and Bryan could provide DNA reference samples to compare against the remains to make the final assessment, but the obstacle is Williams' name.
I hate to disappoint the 675,000 whiny diaper babies calling for secession in the wake of the election but, sorry, no matter how hard they stomp their feet and pout and fling their feces at the electoral map, demands for secession might as well be demands for goblins and unicorns.