I strongly disagree with Clayton Rose, president of Bowdoin College, and the removal of a memorial plaque of alumni who fought for the Confederacy. Although I agree with the assumption, it is a horrible ideology that cannot honor courage, principle or freedom.

I do not want my history to be placed in dark recesses. I would like history to be out in the light of day. Bowdoin College should use the current wave of feelings about the Confederacy as a teaching tool. No institution can be prestigious, beyond reproach, while hiding the truth.

The history of the United States has not always been pretty. No matter if people like it or not, the Civil War is part of this nation’s history. Sugar-coating that history is not history, it is just another story people are supposed to accept. And whitewashing that history will not change the past.

Could the Holocaust happen today? It is not because we don’t have that type of people; it is because that history was brought into the light, to be judged by everyone. We were educated about what happened and what could happen. We have seen the horror and can judge for ourselves.

In no way do I advocate for hate and prejudice. The way to counter those feelings is with education. I cannot stress that enough. My hope is to overcome ignorance, hate and violence.

Mike Payton, Mexico

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