Over the course of the dialogue surrounding Confederate monuments, the motivations of those calling for their removal have varied widely. To truly take a sober analysis of the question before us, we should differentiate between the various motives and rationale, and see which pass muster.
The most obvious, and I think legitimate, argument for removing Confederate monuments is what they represent.
It is irrefutable that the monuments explicitly memorialize the Civil War, and the Confederacy in particular. The room for debate within this line of reasoning focuses on the difference between honoring the Confederacy and honoring the men who fought under its banner. I do not think a distinction is merited.
Many would proffer that the men who fought for the Confederacy were hesitant or reluctant to fight, and for some, indeed this was true. North Carolina as a state had many citizens, especially in the mountains, who opposed the war.
Though the number of slaves may have been great, many were concentrated in the hands of the wealthier plantation owners, ergo the saying “a rich man’s war and a poor man’s battle.”