Funny how politics changes everything. Forty-six years ago this summer, I took Army training in Ft. Jackson, SC. About 2/3 of the unit was black and most of them had rebel flags on their lockers or civilian clothes. It was Southern heritage to them, not racism. The statue of Robert E. Lee that was pulled down in Virginia had been there since the 1930s and was dedicated by Franklin Roosevelt. Nancy Pelosi walked by rebel statues in Congress for 30 years. Now she says they are racist and should be removed. Apparently she didn’t think so during the Russian spy crisis, now debunked.

If Democrats are going down this road and blaming the KKK and slavery on Republicans, they need to relearn their history. The KKK was started by Southern Democrats to go after freed slaves and Republicans, mad because the first Republican president freed the slaves. Yes, we once had slaves in the US, as many other countries did. Lincoln outlawed it in 1860, but other countries still have slavery, especially the Middle East and Africa.

The Civil Rights Act of 1965 wouldn’t have passed if not for Republicans. Most Democrats voted against it. Jim Crow laws were made by Democrats. All of this was in the past, but Democrats today are acting like they still exist and are the Republicans’ fault. Racism in the US was nearly gone until Barack Obama stirred it up and misrepresented history.

When I saw Lee’s statue pulled down, it reminded me of watching the Taliban destroy historical artifacts in Iraq. Our history is what it is. We should keep the good and learn from the bad, not repeat it. Less than 2% of people had slaves in the US. Let’s not re-fight the Civil War.

Democrats are also going after freedom of speech, saying anything they don’t agree with is hate speech and should be illegal. Other countries have that policy and they are all socialist, communist or just plain dictatorships. We can’t go down this road, folks. If the people doing this win, we won’t like where it ends up and neither will most of them. They can’t all be the elite. What kind of world will our children and grandchildren have? If we lose our Constitution, we’ll have to live under the rules of whoever is in charge and they could change every other day.

Sid Guill, Mattoon

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