To the editor:

In response to Mark Atkins’ May 5 column, “Thoughts on race issue here in the South,” here are the facts:

The Confederate States under the banner of states’ rights claimed they had a right to renounce their membership in the United Sates and establish their own country. They proceeded to do so.

No blood need have been shed if the U.S. leaders had just recognized their right to leave the union. The United Confederate States of America would have lasted longer than it did.

But the United States refused to honor their claim of states’ rights and fought a war to keep the union intact.

The war would have not been as devastating to the South if they had not continued in their effort to leave the United States, destroying the union.

The Confederacy started and is responsible for all the devastation of the Civil War. They started it, and it ended with their unconditional surrender.

I am a Southerner, but I am not proud of the history of the region. The vast majority of Southern whites were not slave holders, but they chose to fight and die for the cause of states’ rights, which included the right to own slaves based on race.

Also, this region I love tried to leave the country I love and caused many deaths and much destruction to the South. How can I be proud of that legacy?

I am so proud to be an American, a citizen of a country that would not allow one region to leave the union. American citizens gave their lives to maintain the United States of America.

So even though I love the South, I am very glad to also be a U.S. citizen, and I remember with awe and respect those who fought to make sure I would remain one.

Sue Neese

326 Head St.

Paris

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