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Letters to the Editor for Sept. 24, 2021: Rewriting history? Maybe it's time to 'right' history
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Letters to the Editor for Sept. 24, 2021: Rewriting history? Maybe it's time to 'right' history

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Rewriting history? Maybe

it's time to 'right' history

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

As Confederate statues come down and the names of segregationists are removed from public places, there is a constant proclaiming of “They are trying to rewrite history!” Perhaps it is time to look at how that history was written in the first place.

There is a phrase (often incorrectly attributed to Winston Churchill) that states, “History is written by the victors.” That statement is not true for the Civil War.

In truth, the history of the war was written by the losers. Most notably, Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederacy, published one of the first histories of the Civil War. His efforts were followed by many others who had a vested interest in playing down both the reality of slavery and its role as a reason for the conflict, and glamorizing the cause and the gallantry of the men who fought for it.

It follows that the defeated (but still influential in government, law and education) white population in the South would choose this sanitized version of history and encourage its dissemination. It further follows that those of us reared in the South were taught from history books that made little, if any, mention of the horror that was slavery and almost nothing about the brutal attempts to retain white supremacy that continue to this day.

Rewriting history? Perhaps it is time for us deal with righting history.

Tom Lawrence.

Glen Allen.

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