You printed John Balentine’s opinion in the Aug. 23 edition; it was stated in his column’s second paragraph, and before he empathetically related the interesting “Tale of the Stranger,” who is buried in the Gray Cemetery. I find his opinion offensive.
He creates a false narrative that somehow all evidence of the “Tale” could vanish in an “anti-Confederacy hysteria.” He neglected to mention that to most folks it is not the Confederacy that is being removed. It is a set of symbols that for many decades and generations have been a blatant, obvious signal of support for white supremacy lunacy, that expands into greatly substandard conditions (in education, healthcare, housing, vocational opportunity and disproportional incarceration) for people of color. This same lunacy seems to justify outright racial violence to maintain these discriminatory, bigoted standards. Over the many years, how many of those people reverently moved by the presence of statues of defeated Dixie generals also participated in the thousands of lynchings and Klan rallies? Or maybe they just exhibited everyday demeaning, insulting hateful behavior to anybody whose skin color didn’t match theirs. That is what most reasonable people want to finally remove from public display and endorsement. It is not hysteria to reject bigotry and hate.