In the same way that Dylann Roof improbably led to the banning of The Dukes of Hazzard from the airwaves, it seems almost inevitable now that the protest in Charlottesville, VA will lead to the razing of the Jefferson Memorial. The thought occurred to me when I saw the video of a statue of a Confederate soldier being toppled by a “group of more than 100 that included anti-fascists and members of organizations like the Democratic Socialists of America, the Workers World Party and the Industrial Workers of the World…”
The word and thought that crossed my mind when viewing this was, “barbarians.”
As a southerner, my view on confederate war memorials, graveyards, and statues are a bit too nuanced for a tweet or for your typical CNN news reader, so it’s a perspective that gets no airplay, even though it’s shared by millions of people.
The South was on the wrong side of the war fighting for the wrong cause that devastated the region. But the country went through a pretty long period of healing and reconciliation that included honoring the service of soldiers on both sides, a view that was made pretty clear at Appomattox and has mostly carried the day for a century after the war. Confederate soldiers were legally considered US veterans.
Now, a new generation wants to come along and undo that reconciliation. There are people in the south who have ancestors buried in confederate cemeteries who are now viewed by the SJW set as descendants of the equivalent of Nazi’s. They want those grave stones kicked over and pissed on, and every visible sign of history wiped away because it doesn’t confirm to a 2017 version of twitter morality by twenty somethings who are without a knowledge of history.
Part of this is the logical result of the leftist hatred of the south and its culture. They hate hate HATE people like me; southerners from the South. It’s a very popular bigotry but if I complain about it, I’m the bad guy. Of course, I do appreciate the irony that I’m being judged by the circumstances of my birth, but under current year rules, what I was born as is far more important than who I am.
However I feel deep sadness that we’re going to plow over every historical site in the south and replace it with…nothing. A great loss for the entire country, but much of the country won’t realize it until it’s too late.
So getting back to the Jefferson Memorial; the “problematic” nature of the Memorial first publicly came up after the Charleston shooting. Per the LA Times:
“CNN anchor Ashleigh Banfield this week questioned whether the Jefferson Memorial should be taken down because Jefferson owned slaves. “There is a monument to him in the capital city of the United States. No one ever asks for that to come down,” Banfield said.
Fellow anchor Don Lemon responded by saying Jefferson represented “the entire United States, not just the South.” But he added: “There may come a day when we want to rethink Jefferson. I don’t know if we should do that.””
We are getting much closer to the day that we “rethink” Jefferson. Al Sharpton discussed the Jefferson Memorial on Charlie Rose last night and frankly, if you follow the logic, why wouldn’t we get rid of any mention of Thomas Jefferson? He was a slave owner. He did a lot of other stuff to, like help found the country and established our founding documents, but heh, slavery. And of course, how could the Washington Monument be anything but an insult to every non binary gendered person of color? A large pale phallic symbol soaring up to the sky, a patriarchal reminder of white supremacy…
To me, this seems like a more than bizarre self-hating fetish to destroy anything and everything that doesn’t match the narrow lines of acceptability of “the current year.” But since I’m an artifact of an earlier time, it only seems bizarre to me because I’m a relic of an earlier time. To the millennials who danced around that fallen confederate soldier monument in Durham North Carolina, like a tribe of primitive savages, I’m the savage. And thanks to time, they win. They inherit the earth.