State Rep. Dianne Hesselbein
Press Release

Rep. Hesselbein: Statement on DVA Secretary Zimmerman’s Column

"The divisive and inflammatory rhetoric used by Secretary Zimmerman in his column is counter-productive and well outside the scope of his duties as secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs."

By - Oct 2nd, 2017 09:21 am

Madison – State Representative Dianne Hesselbein, the ranking-Democrat on the Assembly Committee on Veterans and Military Affairs, released the following statement after learning of a column written by DVA Secretary Daniel Zimmerman defending confederate statues now being removed in communities who find the symbols they represent abhorrent:

“It’s disappointing to learn that at a time when Governor Scott Walker seems unable or unwilling to openly denounce white supremacists, members of his cabinet are defending confederate monuments honoring those who led the fight for secession and to maintain slavery,” Hesselbein said. “The American Civil War will never be forgotten, nor the sacrifice of 11,000 Wisconsinites who died in the struggle to maintain the Union and eradicate slavery. Let us be clear: it is legitimate for communities to confront the past and act accordingly.”

“The divisive and inflammatory rhetoric used by Secretary Zimmerman in his column is counter-productive and well outside the scope of his duties as secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs. At the very least, he owes the public an apology.”

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One thought on “Rep. Hesselbein: Statement on DVA Secretary Zimmerman’s Column”

  1. mkwagner says:

    So I went back and read Secretary Zimmerman’s August 31 letter in the Ripon Commonwealth Press. As a student of history (I have my BA in history and worked towards a masters degree as well) it is Secretary Zimmerman who is sanitizing history. First, let us be very clear, the Civil War occurred between the years 1861 and 1865, though Ft Sumter was fired on in December of 1860. That was not 2 centuries ago. Secondly, these statues were not erected until after World War 1. This was a direct backlash against African Americans, who having been a part of the war effort to make the “World Safe for Democracy” wanted to take their place in the democracy in this country. The backlash against them included “race riots” though in Europe the term to describe these types of violent outbreaks is “pogroms” or ethnic cleansing. Whole black towns were wiped out. Of course that is not taught in our sanitized version of American History. To ensure that the African American “second class citizens” never forgot their place again, statues honoring Confederate heroes were erected mostly in the South but not exclusively as civic reminders of their place in society. It is these statues that are the center of the controversy today. It is these statues erected to enforce white privilege that are the focus of the violence today.

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