Confederate monument article generates strong opinions from readers

By Quanecia Fraser—

Editor-in-chief

An article in the Vol. 6 No. 1 Texan News newspaper generated discussion online with comments such as “DON’T MESS WITH HISTORY!” and another comment calling to “Get Rid of” Stephenville’s Confederate monument.

“The future of Stephenville’s Confederate monument” recieved over 3,000 views on texannews.net. Readers flocked to the comment sections on social media, and on the Texan News website.

Texan News conducted an online survey to gather information about what voters think the city should do about the monument.

The comments online, and survey both show that most likely, the majority of Erath County residents believe Stephenville’s Confederate monument should stay put.

Of the 232 people who a responded to the survey, 186 said the monument should stay where it is.  Thirty-two said the monument should be relocated to the Stephenville Museum or someplace else. Twelve said the monument should be removed. Two said they were undecided.

The majority of those who voted in the survey voted to keep the monument where it is. Photo by Arynn Tomson.

 

On texannews.net, one reader described Stephenville Mayor Kenny Weldon as “spineless” after Texan News quoted him saying any decision on what happens to the monument should be made by Stephenville residents.

Michelle D. Helms commented, “Slavery was probably the foremost cause for succession and the Civil War. History of the time bears that out. Should the monument remain? ABSOLUTELY!”

However, the most comments and some of the strongest reactions were on Facebook.

The article was posted on the Texan News Facebook page, as well as Erath County Breaking News and The NEW Erath County Breaking News Facebook pages.

On the Texan News Facebook page, Danny Pyburn commented twice on the article.

“It’s history,” Pyburn wrote. “It can’t be removed or changed. Only the future can be changed by learning from the past. If you’re offended by a statue or monument, get over it. Nothing happens when you’re offended.”

In a subsequent comment, he wrote “Absolutely do not remove it!!”

On the Erath County Breaking News Facebook page, 149 users weighed in.

Mel Miller, a frequent commenter on the post, wrote that it is “sad that even Stephenville has people so stupid…. I wonder when those opposing it will want Confederate graves removed from the cemetery…I am disgusted by these anti-history and anti-honor people…”

In April, which is Confederate History Month for Texas, the Sons and Daughters of the Confederacy put Confederate flags at the graves of fallen Confederate soldiers in the West End Cemetery near campus.

The West End Cemetery has also been at the center of controversy. In the 1920’s, the graves of African-American soldiers were relocated to the Mount Olive cemetery. In a 2013 Texan News article, Billy Chew, the supervisor of Stephenville’s cemeteries said that the decision was made because white soldiers did not want to be buried next black soldiers.

Kevin Vest commented, “Once again Tarleton is at the cause of Taking the rights away from the tax paying citizens of Stephenville,” Ken Vest wrote. “I believe all men, woman and children were created equal under Gods hands. If you try to remove the past it’s liable to repeat its self!! We all need to respect the soldiers that died for making this country so great. Respect the past and let’s learn from it.”

Glen Gregory commented, “Then take down all the MLK crap too. Or else”

But, others said Stephenville’s Confederate monument needs to be removed or relocated.

Carrie Noll wrote: “I still don’t understand who in 2001 looked around and said, “What we really need here is a Confederate monument.” It’s just baffling. And I hate the flags in the graveyard. Why are we celebrating people fighting a pointless, cruel war to keep themselves economically oppressed by the rich with access to free labor? The poor white soldiers were fighting for the right to be screwed over.”

Becky Barkhoff commented, “How about stepping out of your white shoes for just one second and just consider how a person of color might feel constantly having reminders all over the place that ppl in this town are PROUD they fought in a war that sought to keep black ppl as slaves. How would you feel?…”

Faith Josephine Cox suggested a compromise. “Why not move the monument to the to the little historical area downtown?” she asked. “Where the Stephenville? historical society hosts events. That way, it would still be up for people to view but not front and center in the town and the people that it bothers don’t have to see it or honor it and those who want to can. It seems like the most reasonable compromise rather than everyone getting upset that no one agrees with their opinions.”

Texan News has not yet been informed on any official decision regarding the monument, but will provide an update if an official decision is made.

 


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2 Responses

  1. dana says:

    Good grief! This whole thing is part of AMERICAN history whether some of us like it or not! Hitler tried to destroy history. ISIS is doing it. Come on, we are better than that!!!!

  2. Alan says:

    What people often forget is the majority of soldiers who fought in the war did not not fight for any certain set of beliefs. They fought for their community, their state , and their country in that order. Robert E. Lee said it best before the civil war I was a Virginian first and a citizen of the United States second.
    After the civil war I became a citizen of the United States first and a Virginian second.

    For many of us we get caught up in the circus that the media promotes that we only see bad news and look for the bad.

    What we often forget is all the good that has come from our country.
    Freedom of religion
    Freedom of slavery
    Right to vote to all citizens
    Right to due process
    Right to own property
    Right to live where you want
    Protection by the law
    Marriage equality act
    Protection from unwanted search and seizure.
    These are just to list a few of many and our country continues to improve everyday.
    Their are many countries that have been established much longer then the United States and its 241 years of age.
    A list of other countries and their ages of establishment.
    660 BCE – Japan
    221 BCE – China
    301 CE – San Marino
    843 CE – France
    976 CE – Austria
    10th Century CE – Denmark
    1001 – Hungary
    1143 – Portugal
    1206 – Mongolia
    1238 – Thailand
    1278 – Andorra
    August 1, 1291 – Switzerland
    1419 – Monaco
    15th Century – Spain
    1502 – Iran
    June 6, 1523 – Sweden
    January 23, 1579 – Netherlands
    1650 – Oman
    May 1, 1707 – United Kingdom
    January 23, 1719 – Liechtenstein
    1768 – Nepal
    July 4, 1776 – United States of America
    January 1, 1804 – Haiti
    July 20, 1810 – Colombia
    Sept. 16, 1810 – Mexico
    Sept. 18, 1810 – Chile
    May 14, 1811 – Paraguay
    July 5, 1811 – Venezuela
    July 9, 1816 – Argentina
    July 28, 1821 – Peru
    Sept. 15, 1821 – Costa Rica
    Sept. 15, 1821 – El Salvador
    Sept. 15, 1821 – Guatemala
    Sept. 15, 1821 – Honduras
    Sept. 15, 1821 – Nicaragua
    May 24, 1822 – Ecuador
    Sept. 7, 1822 – Brazil
    August 6, 1825 – Bolivia
    August 25, 1825 – Uruguay
    1829 – Greece
    October 4, 1830 – Belgium
    1839 – Luxembourg
    February 27, 1844 – Dominican Republic
    July 26, 1847 – Liberia
    March 17, 1861 – Italy
    July 1, 1867 – Canada
    January 18, 1871 – Germany
    May 9, 1877 – Romania
    March 3, 1878 – Bulgaria
    1896 – Ethiopia
    June 12, 1898 – Philippines
    January 1, 1901 – Australia
    May 20, 1902 – Cuba
    November 3, 1903 – Panama
    June 7, 1905 – Norway
    Sept.

    26, 1907 – New Zealand
    May 31, 1910 – South Africa
    November 28, 1912 – Albania
    December 6, 1917 – Finland
    February 24, 1918 – Estonia
    November 11, 1918 – Poland
    December 1, 1918 – Iceland
    August 19, 1919 – Afghanistan
    December 6, 1921 – Ireland
    February 28, 1922 – Egypt
    October 29, 1923 – Turkey
    February 11, 1929 – Vatican City
    Sept.

    23, 1932 – Saudi Arabia
    October 3, 1932 – Iraq
    November 22, 1943 – Lebanon
    August 15, 1945 – Korea, North
    August 15, 1945 – Korea, South
    August 17, 1945 – Indonesia
    Sept. 2, 1945 – Vietnam
    April 17, 1946 – Syria
    May 25, 1946 – Jordan
    August 14, 1947 – Pakistan
    August 15, 1947 – India
    January 4, 1948 – Burma
    February 4, 1948 – Sri Lanka
    May 14, 1948 – Israel
    July 19, 1949 – Laos
    August 8, 1949 – Bhutan
    December 24, 1951 – Libya
    November 9, 1953 – Cambodia
    January 1, 1956 – Sudan
    March 2, 1956 – Morocco
    March 20, 1956 – Tunisia
    March 6, 1957 – Ghana
    August 31, 1957 – Malaysia
    October 2, 1958 – Guinea
    January 1, 1960 – Cameroon
    April 4, 1960 – Senegal
    May 27, 1960 – Togo
    June 30, 1960 – Congo, Republic of the
    July 1, 1960 – Somalia
    July 26, 1960 – Madagascar
    August 1, 1960 – Benin
    August 3, 1960 – Niger
    August 5, 1960 – Burkina Faso
    August 7, 1960 – Cote d’Ivorie
    August 11, 1960 – Chad
    August 13, 1960 – Central African Republic
    August 15, 1960 – Congo, Dem. Rep. of the
    August 16, 1960 – Cyprus
    August 17, 1960 – Gabon
    Sept. 22, 1960 – Mali
    October 1, 1960 – Nigeria
    November 28, 1960 – Mauritania
    April 27, 1961 – Sierra Leone
    June 19, 1961 – Kuwait
    January 1, 1962 – Samoa
    July 1, 1962 – Burundi
    July 1, 1962 – Rwanda
    July 5, 1962 – Algeria
    August 6, 1962 – Jamaica
    August 31, 1962 – Trinidad and Tobago
    October 9, 1962 – Uganda
    December 12, 1963 – Kenya
    April 26, 1964 – Tanzania
    July 6, 1964 – Malawi
    Sept.

    21, 1964 – Malta
    October 24, 1964 – Zambia
    February 18, 1965 – Gambia, The
    July 26, 1965 – Maldives
    August 9, 1965 – Singapore
    May 26, 1966 – Guyana
    September 30, 1966 – Botswana
    October 4, 1966 – Lesotho
    November 30, 1966 – Barbados
    January 31, 1968 – Nauru
    March 12, 1968 – Mauritius
    Sept. 6, 1968 – Swaziland
    October 12, 1968 – Equatorial
    June 4, 1970 – Tonga
    October 10, 1970 – Fiji
    March 26, 1971 – Bangladesh
    August 15, 1971 – Bahrain
    Sept. 3, 1971 – Qatar
    November 2, 1971 – United Arab Emirates
    July 10, 1973 – Bahamas
    Sept. 24, 1973 – Guinea-Bissau
    February 7, 1974 – Grenada
    June 25, 1975 – Mozambique
    July 5, 1975 – Cape Verde
    July 6, 1975 – Comoros
    July 12, 1975 – Sao Tome and Principe
    Sept. 16, 1975 – Papua New Guinea
    November 11, 1975 – Angola
    November 25, 1975 – Suriname
    June 29, 1976 – Seychelles
    June 27, 1977 – Djibouti
    July 7, 1978 – Solomon Islands
    October 1, 1978 – Tuvalu
    November 3, 1978 – Dominica
    February 22, 1979 – Saint Lucia
    July 12, 1979 – Kiribati
    October 27, 1979 – Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
    April 18, 1980 – Zimbabwe
    July 30, 1980 – Vanuatu
    January 11, 1981 – Antigua and Barbuda
    Sept.

    21, 1981 – Belize
    Sept. 19, 1983 – Saint Kitts and Nevis
    January 1, 1984 – Brunei
    October 21, 1986 – Marshall Islands
    November 3, 1986 – Micronesia, Federated States of
    March 11, 1990 – Lithuania
    March 21, 1990 – Namibia
    May 22, 1990 – Yemen
    April 9, 1991 – Georgia
    June 25, 1991 – Croatia
    June 25, 1991 – Slovenia
    August 21, 1991 – Kyrgyzstan
    August 24, 1991 – Russia
    August 25, 1991 – Belarus
    August 27, 1991 – Moldova
    August 30, 1991 – Azerbaijan
    Sept. 1, 1991 – Uzbekistan
    Sept. 6, 1991 – Latvia
    Sept. 8, 1991 – Macedonia
    Sept. 9, 1991 – Tajikistan
    Sept. 21, 1991 – Armenia
    October 27, 1991 – Turkmenistan
    November 24, 1991 – Ukraine
    December 16, 1991 – Kazakhstan
    March 3, 1992 – Bosnia and Herzegovina
    January 1, 1993 – Czech Republic
    January 1, 1993 – Slovakia
    May 24, 1993 – Eritrea
    October 1, 1994 – Palau
    May 20, 2002 – East Timor
    June 3, 2006 – Montenegro
    June 5, 2006 – Serbia
    February 17, 2008 – Kosovo
    July 9, 2011 – South Sudan

    I for one am proud to be an American first and foremost warts and all.
    Each day we build a better country not only for our own child but for the children of each other.
    Of course their will be growing pains but this great experiment that was started here in this fine country by the the poor the dissatisfied, the cast offs, the riff raft of other countries. Will continue to develop and make this country greater each day.

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