Now that even the morally obtuse Trump has been forced to say white racist terrorism is wrong, we move on to a knottier issue: Should Confederate statues and memorials stay, or should they go?
Here’s a case in point. If you drive down Hillsborough Street toward the State Capitol in Raleigh, you come to a somewhat phallic memorial that reads, “To Our Confederate Dead.”
Stay? Or go?
I say go.
The Confederates fought for slavery. They went to war to preserve the proposition that human beings should be allowed to own other human beings – and abuse, overwork and mistreat them at will.
They also took up arms against the United States of America. Some might call that treason.
Both slavery and secession were wrong. We ought to say they were wrong. We ought to take down any statue or monument – especially on public property – that honors a moral wrong.
To be clear, no one should do this unlawfully or through violence. You do it through the political process.
I know what the other side of this argument will be: It’s heritage, not hate; we should honor our history and appreciate our ancestors; that was a different time; they thought they were fighting for their way of life; we should recognize their sacrifices, suffering and bravery in battle, etc.
And I welcome anyone who wants to argue the other side. Especially if you do it without personal insults.
I was torn myself when I first pondered this question. But then I thought: How would I feel if I were African-American? How would I feel about North Carolina honoring people who enslaved, tortured and murdered my ancestors?
Take ‘em down.