In a dramatic change of course, Haley Stevens, the Democratic congresswoman from Michigan, has come out in support of the United States’ Civil War being fought over the issue of slavery. After she was met with ferocious criticism from many in her constituency and on social media, Haley Stevens has acknowledged that the War between the States was indeed a fight over slavery.
This acknowledgment marks a huge shift in tone for Stevens, who had heretofore been loath to accept any responsibility for the war’s cause. At a press conference earlier this week, Stevens said, “I know that this isn’t going to be a popular opinion, but I have come to recognize that the civil war was indeed fought largely over the issue of slavery.”
In the weeks leading up to this, Stevens had bee fielding intense criticism for her lack of acknowledgment of the reasons behind the war. In the same press conference, Stevens added, “After much contemplation, and consultation with history and African American scholars, I am now ready to fully accept the fact that the American Civil War was indeed fought in large part due to the role of slavery in the southern states.”
Haley Stevens’ support of the war being fought due to slavery is a strong signal to the nation of how important recognizing history is. It also serves as a reminder to politicians nationwide that simply ignoring the country’s history won’t make it go away.
The aftermath of Stevens’ admission and her newfound recognition can be measured by social media reactions, which has been overwhelmingly positive. People from both sides of the aisle have come to praise Stevens’ courage in recognizing the realities of the Civil War and applauding her for her honesty about the past.
In the modern age of politics, this sort of moral courage and forthrightness is all too often absent. Haley Stevens’ stand on this issue is a powerful reminder of how important it is for both parties to have the courage to stand up and not forgets the past.
The message from Stevens is a simple but powerful one: by admitting to the realities of the past, leaders of all stripes can create a path forward to a better future. In a political landscape so often marked by gridlock and stalemate, Haley Stevens’ willingness to embrace a contentious issue can be a valuable lesson to all politicians and citizens alike.