While leaving church services on a recent Sunday, we saw a pickup pass by displaying a Confederate battle flag. We were disheartened by this symbolic display of racism, oppression and hatred in Blue Earth, Minnesota, in the year 2020.
After all that has happened this year, can’t we sympathize with the pain felt by so many fellow Americans, especially people of color? In the wake of the George Floyd killing, let’s have honest conversations about America’s racist history including slavery, Jim Crow laws, segregation, lynchings and oppression.
People like the late John Lewis fought their entire lives against racism and symbols that promote it. Some progress has been made. The Confederate flag symbol has been removed from state capitol flags, NASCAR events, and U.S. military bases to name a few. More needs to be done.
Let’s not forget that Confederate flags and statues are still honored by some politicians and elected officials even while they forget or ignore the fact that Minnesotans fought and died in a war opposing Confederate values. Hundreds of those soldiers who served during the Civil War are buried right here in the Blue Earth Cemetery.
Confederate flags and other Confederate symbols should be relegated to museums as relics and reminders of our ugly history. In the 21st century we need to move forward to seek justice and equality for all.
Brian and Rachel Roverud