Nikki Haley dodged the slavery issue, just like America does


To the editor: The fact that Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley ignored slavery as a cause of the Civil War in an answer to a question at a campaign town hall shows the continuing power of America’s great sin.

In Germany, the Holocaust, that country’s despicable sin, is fully addressed in schools. The Nazi flag is not flown nor are the soldiers of the Nazi regime honored with statues. Germany recognizes his sin in part as a warning to never let it happen again.

In America, slavery is our despicable and horrendous sin, but whose horrors and effects include not only the Civil War and Jim Crow, but also the denial, racism, and white supremacy that persist.

The flag of slavery, the Confederate flag, still flies in much of our country. The removal of monuments to soldiers who fought to defend slavery and destroy our nation causes division and sometimes violence. The teaching of slavery and racism is restricted in more and more states. In some areas, the Civil War has been taught as the “War of Northern Aggression.”

It’s no surprise, then, that Haley, the former governor of South Carolina, dodged the question. The United States has been dodging the issue since slaves first set foot on the continent.

Chris Soltow, Thousand Oaks

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To the editor: Haley’s failure to recognize slavery as the cause of the Civil War is appalling in itself. She only increased the audacity of her response when she went on to say the following: “The government doesn’t need to tell you how to live your life. You don’t need to be told what you can and can’t do. They don’t have to be part of your life.”

You should go tell that to the women in red states whose governments prohibit them from having abortions even when they are pregnant with a child in a condition incompatible with life, or when the child is the product of rape or incest, or whose life is in danger from her pregnancy.

In fact, I should go tell that to the United States Supreme Court.

Barbara Rosen, Fullerton

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To the editor: Identifying “the cause” of the Civil War is much more complicated than columnist Erika D. Smith suggests.

For example, in its war resolution of July 25, 1861, Congress identified reunification as the official purpose of the war, not the abolition of slavery. The reason was to prevent the slave states of Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, and Tennessee from joining the Confederacy.

Michael Haas, Los Angeles

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To the editor: If Haley, born Nimarata Nikki Randhawa, had lived in the 19th century, she would have faced detrimental treatment due to her non-European heritage from the same intolerant culture she defended with her response.

Leslie Tallo, Gardena

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To the editor: I remember another Republican saying this: “Slaves were a peculiar and powerful interest. “We all knew that this interest was in some way the cause of the war.”

Bob Wieting, Simi Valley

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