…because of hurt feelings:
When the government called on them to leave their homes and fight overseas in two world wars, the men of Greenwood answered – black and white alike.
And when they fell in battle they were remembered on two separate lists, divided on racial lines.
Now, 70 years on, that segregated memorial is at the centre of a controversy that has again divided the South Carolina town.
Greenwood’s mayor, Welborn Adams, has said the segregated memorial belongs to an ugly past and should be replaced.
Because that’s how we refuse to repeat the mistakes we made in the past, I suppose. By pretending they never existed…
The memorial is owned by the American Legion post in Greenwood and is on city property. Mr Adams took out a loan to buy new plaques and thought it would be a simple task to replace them.
But days before he to unveil the new plaques, opponents threatened to try to have him arrested if he went ahead with his plan. Mr Adams said he cried in his office when the city’s lawyer told him that opponents were right about the law.
And did his tears cause the law to reverse itself? They didn’t? Gosh!
“Segregation was the accepted social order of that time,” Eric Williams, who spent 32 years as a historian with the US Park Service, told the AP. “If we alter the monument, we alter its historical integrity.”
Awww, Eric, you don’t understand – the past makes your mayor cry! We can’t have that, can we?
Surely people’s feelings should be allowed to trump something as insignificant as history?