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December 08, 2012

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Daniel S. Goldberg

Hi Al,

"I'd classify this more as a modern day faithful slave monument than as a monument to the achievements of African Americans."

Yes.

On the issue of Confederate pensions for African-American veterans, I'm interested as well, but I can say for a fact that such was not provided for in the 1885 Pension Act in N.C. (I'd have to look at the subsequent bills to see where, if ever, such pensions were provided). But the fact that several N.C. pension bills had been passed between 1865 and 1885 suggests that your sense that they were a relatively long time coming for African-American veterans is right on.

Bill Turnier

I see the Union County monument as just another effort at revisionist history of the worst sort. In the NPR story it was noted that all were teenagers and all but one were slaves. we are seeing more stories downplaying the role of slavery in the Civil War and portraying it as a dispute over political theories of relatively modest difference. I guess it is good psychological therapy for those whose ancestors fought for the "lost cause" and feel a sense of inherited guilt. I basically feel sorry for those who feel responsible for the sins of their ancestors. It is an impossible and illogical burden to assume. None of us is worth more or less for the virtues or failings of our fore bearers. We are accountable for ourselves and our actions and somedays that even seems to be too burdensome.

If Union County wanted to build a monument to African Americans honoring their achievements and contributions to growth of the county, it would have been far more appropriate to have built a monument to the countless slaves who lived lives in exploitation building life in the county.

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