Full truth for Civil War and Civil Rights Movement

Published 8:57 pm Thursday, January 22, 2009

Last week at the city council meeting a man stood up and made an appeal to the council for them to vote to change the name of Jeff Davis Avenue. In his appeal he said that we should change the name from “a betrayer of the Union” to J. L. Chestnut Jr. Boulevard, and if we did not then we should all be ashamed to pledge our allegiance to the flag or even pray because we are supporting betrayal of our country.

I do not agree with this man. Jefferson Davis, like most Southerners, seceded from the Union only after the Union betrayed its constitutional rights. If you will only look in history books written prior to 1960 you will find a totally different viewpoint of the Civil War.

We have been taught in modern times that it was a war all about slavery. That simply is not true! It was about property and an aggressive attempt to tell people

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what they could and could not do with it. Unfortunately, slaves were considered property as they still are in many parts of the world. Many people who fought in the war did not even own a slave. I know this as a fact because I had seven ancestors who fought, and not one of them owned a slave. They were fighting for the land they had cleared with their own sweat and tears as anyone would have done in their shoes. I wish we could see the truth in Selma.

The picture that has been painted of the Civil War is not total reality. Neither is the one painted of the Civil Rights Movement. Being in the medical field, I have had eyewitnesses who worked the ER tell me things that occurred in the camps along the Selma to Montgomery March which would make one cringe. Until the truth is told on BOTH sides of the issue then there will continue to be mistrust in our community between the races.

This mistrust will hinder our healing as a community because those of us who have seen and heard of things which have never been reported are asking why this is so. The truth will set us free not a one-sided melodrama of inaccurate information that appeals to the emotions of those who have no way of receiving unbiased information.

May we ALL come clean and let each other see the good, bad and the ugly that has occurred. Our children deserve a community that is transparent.

Lisa Williams