Letters to the Editor

Racism?

As many Americans and some Belleville News-Democrat letter writers feel that the “stainless shield” commonly known as the Confederate flag represents racism, many others disagree.

In a 2015 poll, 57 percent of Americans view the Confederate flag as a symbol of Southern pride. If the majority of Americans knew anything about the 1861 Chiriqui resettlement proposal or President Lincoln’s December 1862 proposal to amend the Constitution, many would view the flag that we fly and Pledge of Allegiance to as racist.

Lincoln’s proposal was as follows: 1) Because slavery was a “domestic institution” and thus the concern of states alone, they and not the federal government were to voluntarily emancipate the slaves; 2) Slave holders would be fully compensated for their loss; 3) The federal government would assist the states, with bonds and grants in aid, in meeting the financial burden of compensation; 4) Emancipation would be carried out gradually, the states would have until the year 1900 to free their slaves; 5) The freed blacks would be settled outside the United States.

So, I ask you, does this make Lincoln a racist? Unfortunately, racism will always exist in the minds of some, but not in the hearts of many.

Kevin Sheridan

Fairview Heights

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