In light of the ongoing protests of the removal of statues that relate to Confederate history it is important that we keep some actual (not alternate) facts in mind.

Fact No. 1: Bringing down historical statues does not limit freedom of speech. It is up to local municipalities, state and the federal government to make such decisions and individuals can do as they wish on their own land. Even in our state I see many Confederate flags. While I object to those celebrations of slavery I recognize the right for individuals to display them but they should never be erected on government property.

Fact No. 2: Bringing down historical statues does not erase history. Information in history books and online sources does not magically disappear when a monument to slavery is brought down. In fact, the case has been made that many of these statues were first erected soon after the Civil War and during the mid-1960s to sanitize southern history, re-establish right supremacy and diminish the legitimacy of the civil rights movement. Where does it stop? It stops where reasonable governmental authorities stop it, fully recognizing the fact that there is no equivalency between people such as George Washington and Robert E. Lee.

Fact No. 3: There are no "very fine people" among white supremacist protesters. Any very fine person who innocently joins them actually believing that they would be part of a "free speech" rally should soon see the racist signs and hear the racist chants and depart immediately.

Fact No. 4: The Nazi party was not a socialist party. Despite the fact that the word "socialist" was in its name, it was (and is) fascist and represents the far right, not the far left. Hitler used the word "socialist" to gain support from labor groups but soon abandoned that ideology in favor of far right fascism.

Fact No. 4: Trump has NOT lost any moral authority due to his initial and third statement on Charlettesville. Yes, he tried to establish a moral equivalency between the leftist protestors and the radical far right neo-Nazis and, yes, he never repudiated their support but Mr. Trump has never had any "moral authority" to lose. Trump lost all moral authority when he used the birther movement to gain national political attention. He may or may not be a racist but he continues to play one on TV for his own political gain. Which is worse?

Thomas Hanley