Letter: Heritage is one of hatred toward ancestors

Kimberly Keen
St Augustine, FL

Special to Historic City News

My husband and I moved to Saint Augustine in January 2013 from Atlanta to be closer to family. We are educators and have a young daughter. We were excited to be near the beach and Disney World.

It wasn’t until we started exploring the city that I felt trepidation. I am African American. My husband is white. For our own safety, there are just some places that we don’t go.

If I see a confederate flag outside a home, I won’t take my child trick or treating there. If I see a confederate flag inside an establishment, I won’t go inside. To me, the confederate flag is a sign that someone of my heritage is not welcome.

I feel that way because it has been the banner taken up by the Ku Klux Klan for decades. You can imagine how I felt seeing it carved in stone in the heart of our city.

We need to reframe the way we think about the rebellious uprising against the United States by the confederacy. The confederate monuments were erected by those dedicated to a lost and treasonous cause. We don’t need monuments in celebration of those who took up arms against our country.

To those who argue that the monuments are their heritage and not hatred, I say that their heritage is one of hatred toward my ancestors. Instead of an obelisk glorifying those who served in the civil war, perhaps we could replace it with a monument that unified our community.



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