As The Post and Courier reports:
Republican Reps. Bill Chumley of Woodruff and Mike Burns of Travelers Rest announced Monday they plan to file a bill ahead of the January session to add the African-American Confederate memorial to the 31 monuments and markers already on the 18-acre Statehouse grounds.
“This history is the truth and is being white-washed,” Burns told The Post and Courier. “Some of our history is good and some of our history is not so good. But they deserve to be honored for what they did on behalf of South Carolina.”
Chumley said a specific design for the monument will be revealed at a later date, with options including a sculpture, a structure with plaques listing the names of black Confederate veterans, or some combination of the two. The proposal from the two Republican politicians comes after two state senators called for a monument honoring Robert Smalls, a former slave who commandeered a Confederate ship and fought for the Union during the Civil War.
Senator Darrell Jackson, one of the senators behind the call for the Smalls monument, believes that Burns and Chumley’s proposal is a “sarcastic reaction by Confederate flag supporters.”
What makes memorializing black Confederates problematic is that it is impossible to separate the fact that many fought because they were forced to, as well as led to believe that they would be freed upon fighting for the Confederacy. But by also honoring these black Confederates it contributes to the lost cause myth of the Confederacy, erasing the true reality of what the Confederacy was fighting for — slavery and white supremacy.
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