Reader: What Civil War history did you study? 

It's peculiar that Diana Belles, in referencing mass-murdering racist Dylan Roof (posing with the Confederate flag) saw no irony in criticizing "anti-Confederate sentiment." Why would she not think the two are inextricably tied and that a hateful scumball like Roof would pose with the emblem of Southern traitors? I hate to disabuse her, but the Confederate flag is as much a symbol of hate as the Nazi swastika, yet Belles seems to reside in some fantasy world where symbols don't have meaning and aren't used to advance hateful messages.

As for the statue of Lee in New Orleans, located on Lee Circle, at the end of St. Charles Avenue, I used to work for a company on Lee Circle in the late '60s. Each day going to work, I'd look out my office window to see that odious statue of a traitorous rat perched upon a pedestal. I hoped someday it would be taken down — and finally on May 19 it was accomplished. And why not, given New Orleans is now a majority African-American city? Why should these citizens have to live with a statue of a Southern traitor in their midst?

Lastly, I don't know what history Ms. Belles studied, but mine clearly referenced the WAR of Southern REBELLION and marked the Confederates as traitors. As the losers in their efforts at secession they merit no respect or places of public display in New Orleans or other Southern cities. However, most of us from the North are prepared to allow them space in museums where today's pro-Confederates can go and admire them to their heart's content.

What Ms. Belles sees as "dragging Confederates through a cesspool of misinformation," I see as exposing their nefarious cause to the light of actual history — as opposed to hagiography and bullshit.

— Phil Stahl, Colorado Springs

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