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The South Wasn't All White


I read with interest your story about the controversy over inclusion of Confederate soldiers in the memorial to the dead of the Civil War. I was puzzled, however, by your presentation.

First you discuss the reaction of black students, and then, in a separate section of the article you discuss the (largely opposite) reaction of Southern students.

Are we to take it that there are no black students at Harvard from the South? This certainly is contrary to my experience here. Or do students in this group reverse their viewpoints depending on whether they are approached as blacks or as Southerners?

More likely, the error that the article makes is an unconscious assumption that the norm among the Confederacy was whiteness, so a "Southerner" is a "white Southerner." This is the same error that justifies treating the Confederate flag as a "regional symbol."

We should keep in mind, however, that at least one large group of Southerners was not rooting for the victory of the Confederate side. Alan Zaslavsky,   Associate Professor of Statistics

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