Let’s meet South Carolina Republican and governor candidate Catherine Templeton field a question about Southern Heritage in the age of Trump:
“I guess you’ve seen all the monuments being took down in Louisiana and all the anti-southern things going on, and I feel anti-southernism is not a conservative value. I’d like to know your opinion on southern heritage and southern defense.”
And so let’s see what her answer is (you only have to listen for a minute or so):
“No on my watch… You cannot rewrite history — I don’t care whose feelings it hurts.”
“…We’re standing on the shoulders of giants in South Carolina.” And it’s why we are who we are and where we are, and I very much respect the men who gave their homes their fortunes and their lives to put us in this position. Fortunately we have a law too, you know, that protects us, and I’m sure it will be enforced.”
The “Law” she mentions requires two-thirds approval in the South Carolina legislature for any historical monument to be removed. Later Templeton says she’d support a law that would block the removal of monuments under any circumstances.
Being a damn yankee (California born and bred), I know I am in no position to decipher what southern heritage means to southerners, but I do know that most of those monuments in the south sprang up during the 1960s Civil Rights era. They were designed not so much for southern pride but as a warning shot to the non-white southerners. They are a dog whistle that has taken form in concrete and bronze.
I have a lot of pride in being from California, but I do not protect the memory of the Conquistadors and the Missionaries from the veracity that the history of California is a history of native peoples genocide. I don’t understand why the history of insurrection and treason in defense of slavery is such a noble cause for southerners like Templeton.