Saturday, May 09, 2009

Letter to Obama asking him not to send a wreath to the Arlington Confederate Monument, Update

James Loewen and I have written a letter asking President Barack Obama not to send a wreath or other token of commemoration to the Arlington Confederate Monument.

We have sent out copies of the letter, along with signing forms, to prominent academics and are in the process of collecting signatures. For each person we contact, we will ask them to forward the letter and signing form to their contacts. This should result in an expanding network of contacts. This way we should be able to collect a good number of signatures for the letter. I have gotten the most enthusiastic initial response.

The history of the monument involves white supremacy and some other radical neo-Confederate sentiments. I plan on posting the letter later.

I think with President Barack Obama he will not sending a wreath or any other token to the Arlington Confederate Monument if asked. It is just a matter of letting him know that this has been done in the past and Obama preventing some functionary accidentally sending a wreath because sending one is on some White House to-do list left over from the previous administration.

President Barack Obama has a prior history of opposition to Confederate memorialization. There is an article in the Chicago Sun-Times, Oct. 3, 2005 about him objecting to a display of the Confederate flag.

UPDATE (5/10/09): I have gotten two very prominent scholars to sign so far just today. I expect that Monday the effort will really take off when people get in to read their emails.

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