Editor, Commonwealth:

The singular question is actually every student’s favorite — one of multiple choice. From there it gets a bit more complicated than most. Even worse, there is no correct answer.

Armchair historians, amateur lawyers and pandering politicians continue their perverse efforts to justify and glorify the Lost Cause that was the Confederate States of America. The underlying ignorance, racism and inhumanity that have spanned three centuries persist into the 21st.

Let’s ignore the legitimate U.S. Articles of Confederation, the U.S. Constitution, the U.S. Supreme Court (Texas v. White) for good measure … or even common decency. So, let’s say that the CSA was a sovereign government. That “nation,” its soldiers and a small fraction of its citizens declared war on the U.S.

Or, contrary to federal law, the enterprise was a conspiracy among oligarchs and their political puppets to overthrow at least a substantial portion of the U.S. government.

Or, there was a concerted campaign to kill and maim a half-million citizens, while wreaking havoc on the national economy and infrastructure.

Any reference to past generations and their crimes belongs in museums, classrooms and literature. There are few statues, organizations or plaques dedicated to any other wartime enemies, traitors or the 9/11 hijackers.

My own ancestors were illiterate redneck farmers and white trash. Most didn’t “know any better.” I can excuse them, but I owe it to my children and great-great-grandchildren to put the past where it belongs and focus on the present for a better future.

Mike Stanton

Bellaire, Texas

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