Readers Write: Aug. 29

Why do politicians need to call out Nazis?

Three separate events happened in Charlottesville:

No. 1: A group wanted to march to protest the removal of some statues. Our tradition of free speech means that we should allow those with whom we disagree to express their opinions. So, they were allowed to march. No. 2: Another group disagreed with the views of the first group, and wanted to confront them. So, the second group is primarily to blame for the violence. No. 3: Some in the first group identified themselves as white supremacists or neo-Nazis. It is certainly not expected that every political leader or TV pundit has to publicly condemn every one of these fringe groups by name every week. That would get very boring. If a person does not specifically condemn the KKK every week, most people would give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that he, like most reasonable people, does not agree with that group.

BILL WHITLOW, AUBURN

Symbols of Old Dixie should be gone with wind

I believe that Lyn Vaughn is wrong (“Leave Confederacy’s old monuments alone,” Opinion, Aug. 19). Monuments and symbols of the Great Rebellion, though a part of the history of the United States, are representative of an ideology and way of life that was held to be unacceptable, indefensible and foreign to the principles upon which the country was founded. In most of human history, the leaders of the rebellion and the generals of the defeated army would have been executed for treason. Only because of Abraham Lincoln’s vision for the future of the nation, “with malice toward none and charity for all” were they spared the historical consequences. The ideas and symbols of the old Confederacy should be gone with the wind. The fact that they aren’t suggests that what they stood for is still an acceptable way of thinking for some citizens.

JAMES C. COOMER, PEACHTREE CORNERS

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