I love the South. I am passionate about preserving Southern speech, culture and manners. That said, I have less than zero respect for the Confederate government and do not deny the role of slavery in the decision to secede. The period between 1861-65 was anything but a golden age and should evoke feeling of pain, sadness and regret. The question is where do we draw the line when it comes to removal of Confederate symbols? I’m meh on the Battle Flag. I’d never fly it myself but am not personally offended unless it is displayed by hate groups. Plenty of people who are not racist see it as defense of a culture that is constantly under attack by Hollywood and the liberal media. I have no problem with the Dukes of Hazzard or display of the flag at tailgate parties. I do respect the feelings of African-Americans however, and supported its removal from government property.
Change the Mississippi state flag? Fine with that. Abolish the Jefferson Davis state holiday and replace it with Juneteenth? Fully on board with that. Remove monuments of Jefferson Davis and other leaders of the Confederate government? Yes, I support that too. His VP Alexander Stephens once said that the notion that all men are created equal is “fundamentally wrong.” That is indefensible. However, this is where I would draw the line.
I have no problem with honoring ordinary Confederate soldiers. Plenty of them did not believe in slavery and were conscripted into the Army. Leave those monuments alone. I'd feel differently if the Confederacy sought to conquer the Union. Most people would agree that Vietnam and Iraq were 2 wars that should not have been fought but those troops are still worthy of honor and respect. With the exception of Nathan Bedford Forrest, I’m okay with monuments to Confederate generals including Robert E Lee and Stonewall Jackson. However, this is an issue in which people of good will can disagree. That’s basically what Trump said in the wake of Charlottesville and the media spun it into support for Nazis.
The big problem is that if you don’t draw the line at Confederate monuments, the left-wing mob will not stop. Statues of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson have also been toppled and there is talk of re-naming high schools and colleges that bear those names. New York removed a statue of Teddy Roosevelt, who was actually very progressive on racial issues for a man of his time. He provoked outrage among racist Democrats for inviting Booker T Washington to the White House. Unbelievably, statues of Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S Grant have also been defaced. Jimi Hendrix has also been targeted. What did he do or say that was so bad? Is Elvis next? Shaun King even stated that portraits of Jesus Christ should be considered “symbols of white supremacy.” What the ______!
A couple of years ago, I posted about offensive team names. It was meant to be a joke, but do you honestly believe that they will stop with the Washington Redskins or even the Cleveland Indians? Ole Miss Rebels will be next, which will be followed by the Philadelphia 76ers, New England Patriots and even the Texas Rangers. Aunt Jemima syrup, Dixie Beer and Eskimo Ice Cream were 3 more casualties. It’s also been proposed that the Master’s Golf championship should change its name because the word master has slave connotations. Realtors have been told to use the term primary bedroom instead of master bedroom. Good grief! What about the degree after the Bachelors? Come to think of it, Bachelor’s Degree is offensive to unmarried men. Better change that name for my sake.
I’d be curious to see a poll about attitudes towards America’s Founding Fathers. I’ll bet that their favorability ratings have dropped considerably in the last 20 years, which sure is a shame. I blame the public education system. I was born in 1980 so I am old enough to remember the tail end of the Reagan administration and the collapse of the Soviet Union. At least at my school, we were taught to be patriotic and anti-communist as well as to revere the Founding Fathers. I recall singing patriotic songs in elementary school music class. I doubt that this still happens today. I entered school roughly 2 decades post-Civil Rights and can attest that we were also taught to revere Martin Luther King as well as to view segregation as a terrible injustice.
To the Far-Left, America was built on slavery and white supremacy. It cannot be fixed from within, so the only solution is a Communist revolution that has led to death camps and mass starvation everywhere it has been tried. One of the leaders of BLM openly stated in an interview that if they don’t get what they want, they will “burn the system down.” What further proof do you need that this was never about George Floyd or even police brutality? We are dealing with a violent Marxist organization that seeks anarchy through abolition of the police to create a vacuum to seize power.
IMO, it is unfair to judge 18th and 19th century men by 21st century standards. Even Abraham Lincoln made comments about African-Americans that would be considered racist today. In retrospect, I will not deny that the Founding Fathers had flaws, but they set up a system of government that was fundamentally good and capable of improvement and set the stage for the average person to achieve a standard of living unparalleled in human history. This was at a time when all of Europe was still ruled by monarchs. Hell yeah, they are worthy of honor and respect and you better not touch those statues and monuments. The Bicentennial in 1976 occurred 4 years before I was born but it was apparently a really big deal even on the heels of Watergate and Vietnam. I expect the 250-year celebrations to be muted in 2026. Will America as we know it still exist in 2076? I don’t know.