I read recently that Rep. Jim Hagedorn was the only member of the Minnesota delegation in the House of Representatives to vote against removing Confederate statues from the U.S. Capitol.

My great-grandfather fought for the Union in the Civil War, and four of his brothers died fighting for their country.

Hagedorn’s vote is a slap in the face to all Minnesota families of Civil War veterans, Black and white. It is also a reminder to all Minnesotans who have ancestors who were slaves before the Civil War that institutional racism is alive and well in southern Minnesota.

Historical artwork prominently displayed in public buildings should exemplify the values that our country holds in high esteem. Officials of the Confederacy, who supported slavery, considered African Americans as less than human, and tried to destroy the Union, should not be honored by their display in the U.S. Capitol.

Kim A. Shaffer

Blue Earth

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