Valerie Pennanen’s offensive and insulting letter criticized my suggestion that African-Americans honor and pay tribute to the more than 300,000 Union soldiers who gave their lives to give them their freedom. She said 40,000 African-Americans also fought and died. They are in fact included in my over 300,000 figure. Why should I single out those 40,000?
I never suggested, as she states, “African-Americans just sat idly by and waited for the Civil War to turn out in their favor is historically inaccurate and unfair.” She can believe whatever she wants, but I object to her accusing me of something I did not say.
I do agree with the professor, however, that, “I can think of no earthly reason to suppose today’s African-Americans are any less inclined than the rest of us to remember the Civil War and give due honor to its many (and diverse!) heroes and heroines.”
Actually that was the purpose of my letter – just do it!
- Gene Wolfe, Lansing