A stereoscopic view: The Ladd and Whitney Monument and burial site in Lowell Massachusetts decorated in remembrance.
As the nation is about to commemorate the Sesquicentennial of the start of the Civil War, E. J. Dionne, Jr. sounds a warning in his Washington Post column. Don’t spin the story – get it right!
The Civil War is about to loom very large in the popular memory. We would do well to be candid about its causes and not allow the distortions of contemporary politics or long-standing myths to cloud our understanding of why the nation fell apart…
Why does getting the story right matter? As Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour’s recent difficulty with the history of the civil rights years demonstrates, there is to this day too much evasion of how integral race, racism and racial conflict are to our national story. We can take pride in our struggles to overcome the legacies of slavery and segregation. But we should not sanitize how contested and bloody the road to justice has been. We will dishonor the Civil War if we refuse to face up to the reason it was fought.
Read Dionne’s full Washington Post column here.