Recently, former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley was asked about the cause of the Civil War. Her response caused a stir as it made no mention of slavery. This was surprising and disappointing for many people, as the root of the Civil War can be widely agreed to be the institution of American slavery. The fact that Nikki Haley chose to ignore slavery when discussing the Civil War, demonstrating a lack of awareness of the issue and its role in the civil conflict. The problem with Haley’s answer isn’t just that it ignores the history of slavery. It also legitimizes the Lost Cause movement, which is essentially the justification for white supremacy in the United States. This white supremacist narrative denies African-Americans their agency and seeks to erase the racism at the heart of the Civil War. This isn’t the first time Haley has displayed an ignorance about the Civil War and its roots in slavery. In 2017, she declared that memorials to Confederate Heroes should be treated with “respect” and that “history shouldn’t be forgotten”. This statement ignored the fact that these memorials glorified a group of people who fought to perpetuate an institution that relied on the dehumanization of African-Americans. In light of this incident and her additional comments, it is clear that Nikki Haley has a deficient understanding of the Civil War and its causes. It’s critically important that we recognize the origin of the Civil War if we are to create any form of meaningful understanding and reconciliation in modern America. To ignore what caused the Civil War is to ignore the lessons of history and continue reproducing racism and racial divisions in the present.