Letter to the editor: Why are traitors honored in public?


To the editor:

After 400 years of white domination of black Americans, Iowa Sen. Jake Chapman’s recent statements appear to dismiss their mistreatment. I am proud of Iowans who have stood up to object to racial injustice and police brutality. After all, more than 13,000 Iowa soldiers were killed by Confederate soldiers.

We have museums and libraries to preserve our Civil War history. The Civil War statues honoring Confederate traitors were erected during the Jim Crow era from 1877 to 1964 in order to intimidate black citizens into submission to white supremacy.

Roughly 700 Confederate statues were spread over 31 states, exceeding the 11 states that originally seceded from the U.S. Glorification of slavery and white supremacy was their goal. Why are there not more monuments to the real heroes who saved our United States of America, such as General Grant, General Sherman, Colonel Thompson?

The Confederacy only lasted four years but has been so romanticized that it has an overblown importance compared to our American Revolution. If the Confederacy had won the Civil War, would we be divided into two countries? Would slavery still be legal in certain areas of our continent, or would it have spread to the whole continent?

Julie Stewart Ziesman


  1. We are all fine with Democrat Civil War heroes of the South being removed, but why the Lincoln Memorial vandalism or that of Gen. U.S. Grant? How about Gen. Casimir Pulaski? He was a Polish nobleman who fought in the Revolutionary War. What was the purpose of vandalizing his statue in Freedom Plaza along with the World War II Memorial? Let’s not ignore what this has turned into because it is uncomfortable for some who just want to focus on these men whom the Democrat Party used to revere and now want to remove any trace of.

  2. Why is no one demanding Yale University be renamed? Elihu Yale was a slave trader, and even bars named after him in England are being renamed. I guess some slave traders get a pass when they are powerful enough. How about Slave Trader University? It is historically accurate. Yale did rename one its colleges in 2017 because, as the Yale University President wrote at the time, “John Calhoun’s legacy as a white supremacist and a national leader who passionately supported slavery as a ‘positive good’” was “fundamentally in conflict with Yale’s mission and values.” Yet Yale’s name remains. Hypocrisy.

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