Letter: Focus on issues of the present

Jun. 29, 2013 @ 01:57 AM

To the editor:

I take exception to the editorial printed a couple of weeks ago on Silent Sam (the Civil War monument on the campus of UNC Chapel Hill). I have never heard of this issue, and I think it is totally up to the campus whatever they choose to do or not do with the statue.

Slavery and the ongoing residue from that are awful. Segregation and low-paying jobs are bad. We all agree on those issues, but people like you bring up these historically divisive issues and create polarization where we need to be inclusive.

We need to work on our school system. We need jobs. We need an economic investment incentive. These are some of the things WE need NOW.

My main complaint, however, is you. You're stupid. You have no idea why my great-grandfather left his wife and two young boys on his red dirt farm in Alexander County and joined his state militia only to be killed at Gettysburg and buried in a communal pit near Richmond. You can't even imagine what these 321 young men were thinking when they left campus and went off to war.

Could it possibly have been?

Their governor was having a hard time with the state legislature. The political, personal and financial power managers were arguing as much as they are today, to the point of inaction, much as it is today in Washington, D.C.

Trying to restore order, he said, "When I raised the gavel to its apex I was a Federalist, but when it fell I was a Secessee." A man had burst through the door shouting, "The Yankees have bombed Fort Sumpter!" the game was over, all bets were off the table. My great-great-grandfather was not a traitor.

David Barnes

Lenoir

Editor's note: The editorial was written by the Herald-Sun of Durham.