As the world of manic reaction sweeps through the nation I am amused at the outrage we generate on behalf of a few. The latest adventure in political correctness is beginning the removal of all vestiges of the confederacy, so in a few years the history books will reflect the Union had a war, but we don’t know who the combatants were, or why they fought. I can only assume given enough time and support, this movement will accomplish what Hurricane Katrina could not, the destruction of Jefferson Davis’ home and library, Beauvoir, located in Biloxi, Mississippi.
Don’t mistake these thoughts as support for the Confederacy, or the institutions it attempted to defend. I grew up in the North, where separate but equal was never mentioned, and we did not have to forcefully integrate our schools as they did in the South. I am not a proponent of flying the Confederate battle flag and calling it heritage as so many do, because a simple search into when the flag became so important to the South will show it was a white political response to the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s.
I suppose you could say the statues, monuments, places of interest, and schools recognizing or named after leaders like Jefferson Davis, Stonewall Jackson, or Robert E. Lee are the same thing, but let’s consider this for a bit.
Does renaming Lake Calhoun in Minnesota to “Bde Maka Ska” change history, or just eliminate the possibility people will ever wonder who John C. Calhoun was and his role in the political reality of mid-19th century America?
Does the removal of statues and other historical relics reflect that we have moved beyond racism, or does it just change the flavor of the racist rhetoric?
If we are to purge all reminders of our distasteful past then shouldn’t all the places like Fort McHenry, Fort Monroe, and Fort Sumter be torn down? These garrisons all benefited from the labors of slaves and stand as reminders of our ugly past.
How about destroying all the western forts, where we waged an unjust war against the natives so we could take their land?
Speaking of the west, clearly Mount Rushmore needs to go. Of the four faces carved so beautifully into the South Dakota landscape, there is nothing to love there. Two were slave owners and two were Republicans. How can we let that scar on the face of the earth remain? While we are destroying the landscape, I understand there is already a movement to level Stone Mountain, Georgia. Maybe when they are done with that -- the experienced team could just move on to Rushmore?
If you hate America, for all the sins of the past and present, then why celebrate any heritage? Let’s just wipe it all off the face of the earth, from Alcatraz to Washington DC with all its monuments to racism and manifest destiny. If you take down some, why not take down all?