The Patriot Post® · Hate vs. Hate in the War to Whitewash History
The despicable violence in Charlottesville is one predictable and inevitable outcome of the Leftist objective to eradicate opposing viewpoints. Whitewashing history (pardon the pun) and engaging in political violence are tools to that end.
As the Dallas Morning News observantly noted, “History is not easily compartmentalized. It isn’t simply right versus wrong, black versus white, or blue versus gray. But there’s an entire crowd of folks who want to do just that because they believe it is all those things, and most egregiously, they believe there is an individual right for all to go through life unoffended.”
Dr. Lee Cheek, senior fellow of the Alexander Hamilton Institute, concurred, noting, “The events in Charlottesville have no connection to understanding the political traditions of the American South, and everything to do with battles among professional ideologues without any attachment or knowledge of the historical situation.”
Millions of Southerners are proud of their heritage for reasons that have nothing to do with slavery. They revere Confederate General Robert E. Lee, who stated in 1856, five years before the commencement of the War Between the States, “In this enlightened age, there are few I believe, but what will acknowledge, that slavery as an institution, is a moral & political evil in any Country. It is useless to expatiate on its disadvantages. I think it however a greater evil to the white man than to the black race, & while my feelings are strongly enlisted in behalf of the latter, my sympathies are more strong for the former.”
For the record, Lee was not a slave owner but was in charge of the estate of his wife’s father in 1857, who decreed that his plantation slaves should be freed in five years. In 1862, Lee did just that, and part of that former plantation is now Arlington National Cemetery. Similarly, but rarely mentioned, Union commander Ulysses Grant managed the 850-acre White Haven plantation of his wife’s father near St. Louis, and actually worked and had purchased slaves, whom he also later freed.
Lee is heralded as a brilliant military strategist who served America faithfully in the Mexican War and as Superintendent of West Point. However, when called upon by President Abraham Lincoln to lead Union forces against the seceding South, he declined, incapable of bearing arms against his family, friends and home state. He accepted the commission as commander of Confederate forces in order to defend his beloved state of Virginia. Following the war, Lee worked tirelessly to convince his fellow Southerners to seek peace and reconciliation.
None of this matters to the Left, though. There is no understanding of the complexities of history, no appreciation for context. Slavery has existed throughout human history, regardless of color or nationality. In fact, there are more people enslaved worldwide today than ever before, including slavery practiced by Muslims. Mohammad owned slaves. One wonders if American progressives will now call for banning all things Islamic.
Indeed, how far will this go? Historical monuments of the Confederacy are being removed in Memphis, Lexington, Baltimore, New Orleans and elsewhere to appease angry leftists. These fascists even desecrated an Atlanta monument dedicated to unity and reconciliation.
Violent leftists have rioted in recent years in Brooklyn, Baltimore, Chicago, Ferguson, Charlotte, Berkeley, DC, Oakland and other cities, destroying businesses, setting cars on fire, and dragging people from their cars and beating them, declaring their right to do so because of past and current “injustices” — such as hearing words they don’t like.
As detestable as the KKK and white supremacists are, they have a right to speak and to peaceably assemble. Our First Amendment was written specifically to protect unpopular speech, and we show our own intolerance by silencing those with whom we disagree. The violence in Charlottesville would not likely have occurred had not the leftist agitators shown up looking to pick a fight, though the murderous Nazi thug is obviously responsible for his own actions.
So again we ask, how far does this go?
Do we eliminate all monuments to Democrat/progressive hero Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who opposed anti-lynching legislation, turned a blind eye to the Nazi eradication of Jews, and imprisoned 100,000 Japanese-Americans? What about progressive icon and racist Woodrow Wilson, who re-segregated the federal workforce?
Progressives have already declared war on Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence, who owned slaves but sought to prohibit slavery in the newly formed nation. They now call for taking down the Jefferson Memorial.
Even Lincoln, author of the Emancipation Proclamation, is not immune to leftist hatred. The Lincoln Memorial was desecrated Tuesday. Is that because Lincoln, a staunch opponent of slavery, was willing to save it in order to preserve the Union, or because he also believed in the superiority of the white race?
If we truly want to rid our nation of its shameful history regarding racism, let’s start by abolishing the racist Democrat Party. After all, it was the Democrats who waged war to preserve slavery, founded the KKK, enacted Jim Crow laws, and fought against Republican efforts to pass the Civil Rights Act.
Democrat President Andrew Jackson owned slaves and signed the Indian Removal Act of 1830.
It was Harry Truman who wrote to his wife, “I think one man is just as good as another so long as he’s not a n—er or a Chinaman.”
It was the Democrat Party that praised Senator and former KKK Exalted Cyclops Robert Byrd until his death a few years ago, a man who filibustered the Civil Rights Act for 14 hours. It was Lyndon Johnson, a virulent racist but a political pragmatist, who told two Southern Democrat governors his signing of the Civil Rights Act would “have those n—ers voting Democrat for 200 years.” And it’s Johnson’s “Great Society” that has yielded today’s urban poverty plantations, where blacks slaughter other blacks without too much notice from the Leftmedia.
What about Bill Clinton, whining about the upstart Barack Obama: “A few years ago, this guy would have been carrying our bags”? Oh, by the way, turns out Obama is the direct maternal line descendant of slave owners! Or the absolute devotion of Democrats to Planned Parenthood, founded by eugenicist Margaret Sanger for the express purpose of exterminating blacks through abortion and sterilization? According to Tuskegee University, the KKK lynched 3,446 blacks in 86 years. Planned Parenthood is a white supremacist’s dream, killing more blacks in two weeks than the KKK killed in a century. And the Democrat Party fights to ensure that $500 million a year in taxpayer funds is funneled to Planned Parenthood to kill all of those black babies.
Oh, and no small irony, it turns out that Obama, who has stoked the fires of racial hatred for his entire political career, and been the loudest voice for black supremacy, is, himself, the direct maternal descendant of slave owners. (Oops.) Hard to erase that history, though references to Obama’s family ties to slavery are sparse because, again, that doesn’t fit neatly with the Left’s race-bait political narrative.
Can we at least agree to remove the Seattle monument to Vladimir Lenin? Anyone? Anyone?
As 20th century philosopher George Santayana concluded in his treatise, “The Life of Reason”: “Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” English writer Aldous Huxley put it more succinctly: “That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.”
How far do we go to whitewash history? When do they start burning books? Will the Left accelerate the violence in order to oppress of opposing viewpoints? If so, then Charlottesville is only a whistle stop along the road to national dissolution.
Footnote: Before tearing down statues became a Leftist fad, Virginia’s Clintonista Governor, New Yorker Terry McAuliffe, characterized the Robert Lee and Stonewall Jackson statues on Richmond’s Monument Avenue “parts of our heritage.” After Charlottesville, McAuliffe now characterizes them as “flashpoints for hatred, division, and violence.” And speaking of “New Yorkers,” the latest Leftist to jump on the race-bait freight train is New York governor Andrew Cuomo, who has found some Lee and Jackson statues to remove in his state. Perhaps he should pick up a history book – New York is named for one of the most notorious slave traders in history, the Duke of York. Finally, on the subject of historical revision, longtime friend of The Patriot Post, distinguished George Mason University professor Walter Williams, has issued erudite warnings about the consequences of historical ignorance here and here, including the removal of historic markers to Confederate generals and the rewriting American history.