Reader: Confederate soldiers were traitors to USA
To the editor:
I disagree with James D. Whiteside’s letter published in the Daily News on July 24 — the leaders of the Confederacy and those who fought for their army were traitors to the U.S.A.
First, many of the top Confederate leaders were graduates of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point who had sworn allegiance to the U.S.A. Examples: Confederate President Jefferson Davis, Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and J.E.B. Stuart. After the Civil War, Jefferson Davis was actually indicted for treason and imprisoned.
Second, it is probably true that few Confederate soldiers owned slaves. However, those Confederate soldiers fought and killed thousands of Union soldiers in an attempt to divide the U.S. in order to maintain slavery. Slavery in the Confederacy included the degradation, dehumanization and exploitation of Black people by most white people, not just slave owners. Civil War history books describe how some Confederate soldiers murdered hundreds of captured Black Union soldiers.
Third, most Black slaves were sold into America from West African territories, which were colonized by European nations before they became African nations. Africans enslaved other Africans and they were wrong. The Africa to American Slave Trade was organized, financed and led by Europeans and Americans, not “good money for African nations.”
I do understand that there are many white people who have helped African Americans win freedom, win civil rights and earn better lives in America over the past 400 years. However, the leaders and the soldiers of the Confederacy were traitors to the values and ideals of our U.S.A. Removal of monuments that honor Confederate leaders and soldiers is a necessary step to improve our U.S.A.
RONALD S. HAUGHTON