I find the Aug. 23 letter “Historical opinion” to be unreasonably critical of Rev. Joe Darby’s op-ed about the slavery apology. The writer complained that Rev. Darby lacked any real appreciation for the objective history he was calling for and was “simply presenting his own opinions” about the part Charleston played in slavery and post-Civil War Charleston played in the continued degradation of blacks.
The writer put Rev. Darby in the same camp as those who “lose all perspective by refusing to study events with an understanding of the times” as well as those who prefer “cherry-picking information and ignoring other pertinent material,” thus presenting as history “little more than half-baked research often reeking of political correctness.”
If Rev. Darby had praised instead of criticized, as he did, claims that the Civil War was primarily about tariffs, states’ rights, freedom from federal regulation, trade and “Northern invasion,” I wonder if the writer would have insinuated he lacks credible objectivity.
Historians can debate things: Every economic or political force that moved the country toward Civil War, or what the uneducated white masses who fought each other believed they were fighting for.
But for the trafficked and enslaved brutalized without recourse, for the mother and child ripped apart that one may be sold like a piece of furniture, for every free black or ex-slave who enlisted to fight, and for whites with decency enough to hate the evil and want it crushed, or the indecency to knowingly embrace and defend it as a “right,” that war was, before God, about slavery. And, by the way, all op-eds are opinions.