A blogger friend of mine quoted: "The civil war is over. The confederacy lost. And surely we are better for it." -- Mayor Mitch Landrieu, New Orleans - after the last Confederate monument/memorial was removed.
One can only imagine if the Confederacy had won the Civil War. We cannot totally predict that suppositional reality but we can somewhat speculate the opposite result of a war that was waged, no matter how much one couches it in Constitutional clap trap, to preserve the institutionalization of slavery and most importantly would have preserved the notion of the endemic superiority of one color of skin over another.
An ascribed status through accident of birth would have relegated one to a life of servitude and the other to a life of privilege. There would be no get out of jail free card as the permanency of DNA skin color cannot be changed. The thought of that is, for me, impossible to digest. It would have ensured ultimately a war between one race against another. Assuming persons of color would have allies, and a plethora of them, one can only imagine, the lives that would have been lost. Surely it would have been staggering even more so, perhaps, than the lives lost in the Civil War itself -- some 600,000.
In modernity one cannot completely calculate the savagery of what one man can do to another over a superficial something as the color of one's skin. It is the evil hemisphere of the reptilian part of our nature that perpetuated the cruelty of an apartheid-like system but perpetuate it we did. Testimony to its racism is cemented in the depths of our mind, body and the sinews of our soul. We still, even now, through Republican voter suppression and other nefarious acts, have kept the legacy of slavery institutionalized, sown into the very marrow of our bones.
It is a cancer that will either kill us or someday make us stronger. I hope it is the latter that is a monument to, as Lincoln called it, the better angels of our nature because anything else would mean massive destruction of these United States and would strike a blow to the heart of justice, equality and democracy this nation has tried so hard to perfect. It would ultimately be a death knell killing off those ideals which have made us who we are and which we represent and export to the world. Who would we be then? No one good of that I can be assured!