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I completely agree with Dr. Stanley Harrold's assessment (“Monumental inaccuracies,” T&D, Aug. 30) of the long and steadfast commitment to opening The Times and Democrat's columns to expressions and often opposing points of view. I confess that I do not consider myself a good or bad writer. In fact, I don't consider myself a writer at all. This may account for some interpretations by Dr. Harrold that are not exactly on target.

My assessment of what happened at Charlottesville, Virginia (“Dangerous national distraction,” T&D, Aug. 25) had very little to do with the neo-Nazis and the like. My observation centered on the city administration allowing two opposing groups to meet in the same place at the same time and some apparent order for the police to stand down while violence erupted. I wondered if there was some hidden reason or agenda for that decision.

The assertion that I believe the Civil War was not fought over slavery leaves out the fact that South Carolina threatened to meet the U.S. Army with its own army over the issue of taxes in 1832. This fact indicates just how divided the country had become by that time period. Slavery had very little to do with it at that point. It became an important issue particularly after the Emancipation Proclamation.

For thousands of years, slavery has been used as a labor system. How could anybody overlook that fact? The only way slavery works is if the owner controls the slave. It must be understood that a slave society involves a horizontal movement within the society. A competitive society involves a vertical movement. In other words, the freed slave was ill equipped to compete in a competitive world and a government based on freedom of thought.

I take offense to the sentence, "He goes so far as to defend slaveholder's efforts to maintain their 'property' in human beings.” I do not defend the slaveholder's efforts to maintain. I defend the fact of the slaveholder's efforts to maintain. Does Harrold believe I defend slavery? Also, yes, $500 times 4 million slaves equals $2 billion of property as defined by law at the time.

I would be careful how I viewed the legacy of slavery. The fact is there is no historical account of a mass movement of Africans to the North and South American continents with the exception of the slave trade. Many African-Americans would be Africans without that trade. Therefore, slavery is responsible for a tremendous enrichment and expansion of the culture of the United States.

Because of the fight for equal rights after the Civil War, Africans-American have jumped from the cotton fields to the most complicated, computerized, competitive and capitalist society in the world. This fact makes them one of the fastest developing groups in the history of the world. I would be proud of that.

Harrold is correct in the military takeover of China by the Communists in 1949. However, I was referring to the attempt to win the "hearts and minds" of the Chinese people. One thing the Chinese Communists are afraid of is a revolution by a dissatisfied populace.

I believe that my great-grandmother loved her son who was killed in the Civil War in Virginia. He is buried in some mass grave. I can understand the desire for some kind of monument in his memory.

I believe we have a multifaceted racial problem and if all facets are not dealt with, then racism will persist. Also, I believe I would like four statues erected in all cities as a great teaching tool to help the younger generation understand the complexity of our mutual history.

As the Southern States had passed segregation laws, W.E.B. Du Bois believed in protests against inequality using the aid of the federal government. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. tempered the idea of protests with emphasis on peaceful protests. Booker T. Washington advocated a different course of action with emphasis on being humble and modest while concentrating on education. Following the teaching of Du Bois and Dr. King, civil rights have been emphasized during the last century. With the development of the technological revolution, I believe it is time to increase the emphases on education and upward mobility through the workforce, which is the main idea as espoused by both Booker T. Washington and Carter Woodson.

The American people need to come together. World War III will be fought economically, technologically, militarily, and/or a combination of the three. In any case, I want to be on the winning side.

Albert Watson of Orangeburg is a periodic contributor to The Times and Democrat’s editorial page.


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