Letter to the Editor for December 14, 2017

Special to the PRESS

Dear Editor,

This letter concerns the disposition of the United Daughters of the Confederacy’s monument to Jefferson Davis erected in 1926 in Washington Park in Brownsville. Davis was an ardent supporter of slavery for all his adult life. Davis was the president of the Confederate States of America and from that point on was a traitor who was responsible for the deaths of patriots who fought to save the United States.  Three quotes from Davis will show his mindset: “Slavery is a form of government instituted for a class of people not fit to govern themselves” Feb 29, 1860. “An inferior race of peaceful contented laborers” Jan 1, 1863.  “I have never asked for a pardon because a pardon requires repentance and I do not repent” 1878.

There was a Town Hall meeting at the Brownsville Events Center on November 29th to discuss what to do with the Jefferson Davis monument.  This meeting was attended by a group of people who want the monument removed from public view and another group of supporters of the monument who want to move the monument to Veterans Park.  This is a terrible idea because the Davis monument would be more visible than it is in Washington Park.  It should be completely enclosed if it is moved to Veterans Park with a viewing aperture for those who wish to see it.

There are two competing petitions from the groups that want the monument removed from public view and those who want it displayed.  The group that wants it removed from public view has ten times as many signatures on their petition as the group that wants it displayed. We hope that the Brownsville City Council will follow the will of the majority.

The group who attended the Nov. 29th meeting who wants the monument public displayed identified themselves as the Sons of the Confederate Veterans and at least one Member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy.  There were a lot of Confederate flag patches on display.  It is common knowledge that the Confederate battle flag is a symbol of different white supremacist groups. I didn’t talk to all the opposition at the Town Hall meeting, so I cannot say that all of them are white supremacists. A number of them are when you look at their social media pages.

The Jefferson Davis memorial was erected by the United Daughters of the Confederacy was erected in 1926 as mentioned in the opening paragraph. In a 1931 speech to this group Florida Senator Duncan Fletcher said, “We fought to maintain free white domination. Were we defeated?”  As long as the Jefferson Davis monument is visible to the public, white domination has not been defeated in Brownsville.  This monument needs to be completely removed from public view.

Walter Birdwell
Laguna Vista

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