I must take issue with everything Ken Robinson wrote in his article, “The power of a story” in your May 18-24 issue, which extolled the removal of Confederate monuments in New Orleans. My family is from New Orleans; my great grandparents immigrated there from Ireland and Germany in the 1840s.
My great grandfather and my great uncles fought in Irish regiments raised in New Orleans. They followed Gen. Robert E. Lee as private soldiers in the Army of Northern Virginia. Not all of them returned; they left their remains in some unmarked Virginia grave. Those who returned never asked for a pardon after the war.
My grandparents were born in New Orleans, as was my father, aunts, uncles and cousins. They all are now in various cemeteries in New Orleans. I have bones there.
My ancestors who fought for the Southern Confederacy were not dupes of wealthy slaveholders. They were free men and knew what they were fighting for, their liberty, and what they were fighting against, their subjugation. To tear down memorials to their leaders in New Orleans is not noble or inspiring. It is a hollow victory to destroy monuments that have stood more than 100 years. It is nothing more than ISIS in America. In truth it is pandering to the uneducated and the leftist nihilists that know nothing of the lives of those they scorn and defile. It is race politics, the politics of power, not inclusion and certainly not diversity.
Mr. Robinson does not share with your readers the other targets of the group that the mayor of New Orleans manipulates in this noble cause of freeing our minds from the evil of Lee, Davis and the greatest Creole from Louisiana, Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard. Why not tell the readers that this is only their phase one? Next they want to take down Andrew Jackson, whose equestrian statue graces Jackson Square; the statue of Joan of Arc, a gift from Orleans, France; the statue of Bienville, the founder of New Orleans; Father Ryan, and the list goes on.
If these people are so pure of spirit and noble of purpose, why not share their Antifa slogans spray-painted on these monuments, or the crude and vile chants they aim at anyone who dares to disagree with them? This is nothing more than the politics of hate played out against dead men used to cover an agenda of cultural destruction.
Lee was no slaveholder and hated the institution. He stated over and over again that the end of slavery was the only good to come of the war. What was he to do, go to war against his sons, daughters, family and neighbors? Was he to lead an invading army to burn the homes of his own family, their towns and cities? Is this what would make him worthy to Mr. Robinson?
He took the only course a man of honor could take. He defended his children, his home and his neighbors. Mr. Robinson asked, should we admire Lee? Yes, without reservation, for what a great example his is for any American regardless of color. As another confederate honored with a statue on a pedestal in our city once said, “Live asses only kick at dead lions.”