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Reporters Brian Palmer and Seth Freed Wessler, along with a team of Type Investigations researchers, spent more than a year investigating public funding for sites—monuments, statues, parks, libraries, museums—and Confederate “heritage” organizations that promote an inaccurate “Lost Cause” version of American history. According to scholars, that ideology distorts the nation’s collective past by venerating Confederate leaders and the common Confederate soldier; framing of the Civil War as a struggle for Southern states’ rights against “northern aggression”; denying Southern culpability and slavery itself for any role in precipitating the war; and presenting chattel slavery as a humane, Christianizing institution. This is more than mere Confederate myth-making, it is a century-and-half old strategy that was historically deployed to terrorize and disenfranchise African American citizens and to reinstall white supremacy across the South in the wake of Reconstruction. The historic sites that perpetuate these myths have been central to racial violence in recent years, from the Dylann Roof shooting at the AME Zion Church — he had visited Confederate sites before his attack — to the deadly violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, centered around the defense of a Confederate monument.
Smithsonian Magazine and Reveal, in partnership with The Investigative Fund: The Costs of the ConfederacyDefenders of Confederate memorials often speak of them as history to be preserved. But a project from Smithsonian Magazine and Reveal, in partnership with The Investigative Fund, found that many of these monuments, created by Jim Crow governments, receive substantial taxpayer support in the present. Lead reporters Brian Palmer and Seth Freed Wessler found at least $40 million in public monies over the past decade directed to Confederate sites and organizations that embrace white-supremacist ideologies and suppress or whitewash slavery.
Moser writes a shocking and moving expose of a shootout in Abbeville, South Carolina that failed to receive national attention. A family with extremist ties killed two local officers. Moser investigates just how strong those ties were and if the supremacists' violent past is really past.