Fresno State Professor on Confederate Monuments: “It’s the moral thing to do to take them down.”


Two Fresno State history professors who are well-versed on the topic of the Civil War and slavery are in the process of writing a book – that addresses slavery in the South.

Two years ago, professors Blain Roberts, Ph.D. and Ethan Kytle, Ph.D. wrote an article that was published in the Atlantic that was titled “Take Down the Confederate Flags, but Not the Monuments”. They said confederate monuments could help confront people with the stark reality that slavery did happen. But now after what occurred this past weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia, Roberts said the monuments are causing a lot more harm than anything.

“I think that the case for removal is much stronger than it was two years ago because of the way that these white supremacists have really come out in full force, very violent ways to try to defend these monuments,” stated Roberts on Wednesday.

Roberts has devoted much of her time writing about slavery, and how the South deals with the topic today. As a historian, the professor said these statues are testiments to white supremacy.

She said, “It’s the moral thing to do to take them down.”

Roberts and Kytle are in the middle of publishing a book on how slavery is remembered in Charleston, South Carolina. But, she said it will have to be updated.

“We now will have to rewrite the end to talk about what happened in Charlottesville this past weekend… We’re not sure yet what the final conclusion of our book will be. Are we going to end on a more hopeful note that the nation is finally taking an interest in remembering slavery in a more accurate fashion?” ended Roberts.

Roberts and Kytle’s book entitled, “Struggling with Slavery in the Cradle of the Confederacy: Memory and the ‘Peculiar Institution’ in Charleston, South Carolina” is expected to be released next Spring.

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