A False Legacy

The Charleston Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy erected the Confederate Defenders of Charleston monument in 1932 at White Point Gardens on the southern tip of the Charleston peninsula. Along the base of the monument reads, “Count Them Happy Who For Their Faith And Their Courage Endured A Great Fight.”

The United Daughters of the Confederacy is listed as a Neo-Confederate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, and they have been criticized for supporting white supremacist ideologies. Established in 1894, the UDC and its local chapters have worked to preserve the “Lost Cause” myth of the Confederacy by raising money to build memorials and monuments for Confederate soldiers, by lobbying local governments to commemorate the Confederacy through special ceremonies and observances, and by reshaping the historical narrative of the Civil War in history textbooks.

This is one of 700 Confederate monuments on public land in the United States. In order to accept the legacy of racial inequality and segregation in America, we must cast aside the dangerous, false legacy of the Civil War and the Reconstruction monuments like this represent, one that seeks to justify or erase the centrality of slavery.