Editorial: Charleston, America, and the Confederacy's Legacy

Editorial:  Charleston, America, and the Confederacy's Legacy

Last week, twenty-one year old Dylann Roof shot and killed nine people in Charleston, South Carolina’s historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.  An act of violence and racial hatred, the tragedy has sparked a nationwide debate over racism and, in particular, the symbolism of the Confederate flag.  The flag of a now-dead nation dedicated to the defense of slavery, the flag that appears in photographs with Dylann Roof, and the flag that today floats free over the South Carolina Capitol grounds.

I suspect, owing to public outcry and political pressure, the flag in Columbia will come down.  The governor of South Carolina has called for its removal, and yesterday Alabama removed its Confederate flag from the Capitol grounds.  Yet while the flag faces greater scrutiny, the current debate cannot merely rest on the Confederate flag. The discussion instead needs to encompass the Confederacy’s legacy in the United States—what the Confederacy stood for, what it means today, and the place (if any) it should occupy in 21st-century America.

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The Unfortunate Case of David O. Dodd: "Arkansas' Boy Martyr" or Fool?

The Unfortunate Case of David O. Dodd:  "Arkansas' Boy Martyr" or Fool?

Young David O. Dodd hung on the end of a rope in the yards of his alma mater, St. Johns’ College.  His death was not a merciful one, as the rope stretched and nearly five minutes passed before Dodd finally passed away.  Convicted of spying on occupation forces in Little Rock, Arkansas, David had been sentenced to death by Union forces.  The date was January 8, 1864, and David Dodd was only seventeen years old.

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