In defense, facts were twisted out of shape

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In his defense of his Confederate heroes, Thomas Totten manages to get his facts twisted out of shape.

The Republican Party of Abraham Lincoln ended on April 15, 1865. The GOP was never the same after that.

While the author of the Jim Crow laws was a Democrat, that party’s philosophy was adopted by the Republicans when Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act in 1964.

General Grant freed his last slave, William Jones, in 1859.

Historian William Freehling sees the controversy over black Confederates as one side refusing to see the importance of black soldiers while the other side refuses to see the importance of their limited numbers. Frederick Douglass bemoaned the Confederate victory of First Manassas that “among rebels were black troops, no doubt pressed into service by their tyrant masters.”

Of minor significance, some free blacks owned black slaves for reasons of benevolence and philanthropy or to exploit their free labor. However in Africa, blacks were kidnapping thousands of other blacks for sale to the slave traders.

There may have been more slaves in the North than the South in 1800, but with the invention of the cotton gin, slavery became huge the South. The numbers of slaves in chains is unknown.

So, if Mr. Totten wishes to honor the Confederacy and the terrible system that it fought for, that’s his privilege, but to resist removing a public monument to that cause is reprehensible.

JOSEPH HENRY WYTHE

Sandpoint

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