Let the Confederacy die a well-deserved death
Can we finally purge the Confederate battle flag, statues, monuments and names from places of honor? If an individual wants to fly that flag on their car, their home or wave it in public, that’s their right. People have a First Amendment right to confirm their bigotry for all to see. But as for honoring the Confederacy in the public square? That day is gone.
There are ten U.S. Army bases across the South named after Confederate generals. For instance, Fort Bragg in North Carolina is named for one of the most incompetent Confederate generals, Braxton Bragg. Before the war Bragg ran a sugar plantation with 105 slaves, many of them children. Fort Benning in Georgia is named for secessionist and white supremacist Henry Louis Benning who once warned that blacks could achieve positions of power if they were free and why should white people stand for that?
The bases were built at the height of Jim Crow at the same time statues and monuments of Confederate white supremacists went up in the South. Why? The military was anxious for land for bases and gave in to Southern politicians and locals who wanted to romanticize their treasonous past. By the way, Gen. David Petraeus has argued that no base should be named after people who committed treason against their country. Who can argue with that?
But you’re erasing history, the defenders claim. Bullshit.
Let me ask you some questions without the benefit of Google. What was the Dred Scott decision? What was Plessy v. Ferguson about? Marbury vs. Madison? Who was Crispus Attucks? How was chattel slavery different from indentured servitude? Who was Nathan Bedford Forrest? What were the Intolerable Acts about? Who was John Brown? Who was Nathan Hale? Who was George Mason? Who was Sacagawea? What were the Coercive Acts? Who was William Tecumseh Sherman?
If you can’t answer those questions yet support Confederate monuments and statues then perhaps maintaining American history isn’t your true motivation.
American history can be found in schools and universities, libraries, bookstores, movies, documentaries and museums across this country. There’s no shortage of information about American history. Where is history being erased?
No country pays fealty to a vanquished civil war foe by flying their flags, erecting statues and monuments and naming military installations after them. And like we’ve seen, it’s not as if these monuments and naming ceremonies took place in the aftermath of the Civil War. No, the vast majority were erected over a half century later during the rise of the Ku Klux Klan and the widespread lynching of blacks. It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that paying homage to these losers were done to bolster white supremacy.
Lastly, why are Republican politicians and a Republican president defending these emblems of the Confederacy when Abraham Lincoln was a Republican who led this nation against that treasonous internal enemy? Why have Republicans sided with Robert E. Lee and the Stars and Bars over Honest Abe and the Stars and Stripes? Why are Republicans kneeling on behalf of white supremacy?
No one will forget the turncoats and white supremacists who fought to destroy our union and keep blacks enslaved. We don’t need to pay respects to wicked men. We have Union generals, American soldiers, Medal of Honor winners, scientists, doctors, educators, Civil Rights leaders, women’s rights and LGBTQ activists and other true American heroes that deserve statues, monuments and naming privileges.
No, we’re not erasing history. By destroying the monuments, relegating statues to museums and stripping names, we’re giving them exactly what they’re due. Shame.