Rep. Chuck Basye, R-Rocheport, was among a group who gathered to dedicate a gravestone to Confederate guerrillas who died nearby in May 1865 and are buried on his family’s land. After a Tribune story Sunday about the event included that the group saluted the flag, critics took issue with Basye’s participation, calling it inappropriate and hurtful.
Basye, who is serving his first term in the House, said at the ceremony that “it’s important that we respect our history. I know a lot of it isn’t pleasant. A lot of people did some pretty bad things at the time, but it’s history, and it shouldn’t be changed. We should respect it and learn from it.”
Nobody wants to change history. We remember and acknowledge the Civil War. We don't want the worship of the flag of the south and the hate and attack on the United States that it stands for.
State Rep. Brandon Ellington, D-Kansas City, said in a statement that the massacre in Charleston, S.C., last Wednesday “should remind us all that the Confederate flag remains a symbol of hate, and racism is real.” Twenty-one-year-old Dylann Roof, a self-professed white supremacist, is in custody in South Carolina on suspicion of gunning down nine people at a historically black church.
“It’s incredibly disheartening to read that a fellow member of the General Assembly, Rep. Chuck Basye, took part in a misguided ceremony to lift up treasonous Confederate guerrillas and even saluted the Confederate flag,” Ellington, the chairman of the Missouri Legislative Black Caucus, said in the statement. “Rep. Basye’s participation in this celebration of the Confederacy was hurtful and wrong.”