It is disheartening (but not surprising) to hear our governor take the position that removing Confederate statues is an injustice to our cultural and historical identity.

As has been reported exhaustively over the past few weeks, the erection of statues across the country honoring the Confederacy – mostly in the extreme South – was not in honor of the history and culture of the United States of America. They were put up primarily in the early part of the 20th century to intimidate African Americans during the Jim Crow era.

The Civil War is part of our history, much as Adolf Hitler and the Nazi movement are part of Germany’s history. It is to be remembered. But let’s be clear: Confederate soldiers and their leaders are not “veterans” of the United States military. They did not fight to preserve the principles of freedom and equality that define our country.

They were soldiers who chose to fight to preserve the enslavement of a race of people required for the economic stability of the South – people they considered inferior to themselves. The black slave was little more than livestock to the Southern plantation owner at the time of the Civil War.

This last week has been upsetting in the extreme. For Gov. LePage and the president of the United States to try to sanitize the motives of the white supremacists, the neo-Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan by refusing to understand that these groups are using the statues as a rallying symbol is revisionist history at its worst.

Carol Lenna