What to Do about Southern Statues and Defending Our Founding Fathers
by Tom Donelson on August 21, 2017 at 3:35 PM
If you want to know why many blacks want Southern statues removed, review this statistic, the DNA of the average black is only 73% African, the rest mostly white; meaning Southern Slaveholders were rapist. Female slaves were at the mercy of their slave masters and many slave masters took advantage of women they owned.
David Goldman once asked, “Why hasn't Hollywood ever made a film about Sherman's march through Georgia? This is my favorite moment in American history. He killed very few people (and almost no civilians) but he burnt plantation houses and humiliated the South. As Machiavelli wrote, a man will forgive the murder of his father before the loss of his inheritance. Not Grant, who killed off Lee's army, but rather Sherman--who kept casualties low but the flames high--is hated in the South. That shows what the South really was fighting for, just like their song says: "We are a band of brothers/Native to the soil/Fighting for the property/We gained by honest toil." Sherman might be our greatest military commander of all time, yet we do not celebrate his achievements.” Sherman fought a war against the southern institution of slavery by denying the South the fruits of their peculiar institution.
The Civil War cost 28% of the Southern men military age, so this does explain why many southerners view their statues and memorials as sacred. Many southerners see their statues as a memorial to the brave who sacrificed their lives in the Civil War but what is missing in this modern context is the cause they fight for. As David Goldman observed. “I can accept the idea that Robert E. Lee was a decent man. Decent men fought for causes even more wicked than the Confederacy. Would the Germans erect a monument to Field Marshal Rommel, a professional soldier murdered by Hitler? Of course not. They are left to mourn their dead in private. America had a different sort of dilemma. We fought the Civil War to preserve the Union, including a South that was only sorry that it lost.”
Goldman took the view of many blacks when he wrote, “We allowed the defeated South to console itself with the myth that it fought for "states' rights" or whatever rather than to preserve a vile system of economic (and sometimes sexual) exploitation. Meanwhile the freed slaves had a very bad century between Appomattox and the Civil Rights Act of 1965. Don't expect them to look with understanding on the supposed symbols of "Southern heritage."
As David Goldman noted, much of black America is in jeopardy as for every 100 black women of marrying age, there are only 81 black males with the rest either dead or in in jail. 73% of African-American children are born outside of marriage and 60% of blacks entering college will not graduate within six years. There are issues that need to be addressed within our minority communities and certainly, a study of history could aid into dealing with our present circumstances.
The problem with the crusade against southern monuments is who is leading the parade. Those on the left, including many of the street thug alt-left, don’t really care about symbolism of the Confederate statues but view this a first step toward attacking our founding fathers since many of them were slave holders. It doesn’t help that many of these individuals have no problems with statues of Lenin while decrying Robert E Lee statues. Many of these same leftists are the immoral equivalence of the alt-right they oppose.
Andrew McCarthy summed up this position when he noted, “What bothers many ordinary Americans is that there is far more uproar over a statue of Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville than over one of Vladimir Lenin in Seattle. What bothers us is that elite opinion’s determination to conceal the presence of anti-fa at last weekend’s bloody debacle — the better to smear the American Right with the alt-right — is just phase one. Inevitably, phases two and three will follow: The presence of leftist radicals is grudgingly admitted but rationalized as a necessary defense against monstrous evil; then, in time, their presence is venerated as exemplary courage against a monstrously evil society.”
McCarthy makes it clear who he blames for the Charlottesville riots, “This time, though, in Charlottesville, the white supremacists were the instigators. They caused it. They orchestrated this disgusting event, they came ready for the violence they knew they were provoking, and one of them committed a murder. If the roles were reversed, we wouldn’t want to hear a bunch of imbecilic “there’s blame on both sides” moral equivalence. We’d want the most culpable bunch called out and condemned, by name — and without any irrational hedging about phantom “very fine people” who confederate with sociopaths on the latter’s terms.” But it doesn’t mean that one can’t condemn the anti-fascist alt-left street thugs. Andrew McCarthy doesn’t buy into that taking down southern memorials will lead to a slippery slope that our founding fathers will be the next on the chopping blocks, “A great deal of Confederate iconography was not commissioned in remembrance of soldierly valor or mawkish depiction of genteel Dixie. It was crafted in defiant 20th-century resistance to the extension of equal rights, dignity, and opportunity to black people. Trump’s ill-informed meanderings about “culture” aside, many people taking offense at the statues have every reason to feel offended because, taken all in all, the reasons why they stand are at least as offensive as the images they convey. Maybe if we grasp that, instead of getting hysterical over it, we can see why the loss of Robert E. Lee shouldn’t threaten Thomas Jefferson. The disappearance of an honorable soldier in a dishonorable cause is not a slippery-slope rationale for casting out the founder who grafted onto America’s soul the conceit that we are all created equal — a solemn declaration of far more enduring consequence than its author’s flaws.”
John Hinderaker disagreed, “The people who are tearing down statues of Confederates in the South are barbarians, not notably different from the Taliban fanatics who blow up Buddhas and other historical monuments. Many have noted that if the barbarians want to erase Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis today, it is only a matter of time before they come for George Washington and Thomas Jefferson…We can add Abraham Lincoln to that list. Last night, a bust of Lincoln in Chicago was vandalized, apparently as a political action. ” Not only have Southern Memorials been targeted but George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and even Theodore Roosevelt have been targeted.
The difference between the alt-right and alt-left, conservatives have condemned the alt-right and as Jonah Goldberg noted, “The alt-right does mainstream conservatism a favor by making it clear they do not want to be part of our movement, they want to be an alternative to it.” “We don’t have a starting point with William F. Buckley, we don’t have the same starting point as Richard Lowry and Jonah Goldberg and National Review,” Spencer told Buzzfeed. The alt-right is “radically different from George W. Bush, the conservative movement, etc. It really was a notion of an alternative.” This is very helpful for me as a conservative because it underscores the thing I want underscored the most: I have nothing to do with these bigoted tribalists. It’s one of the only things we can agree on.” The alt-left is also doing the same thing but as Jonah Goldberg noted, “The funny thing is that if you actually read or listen to antifa, or virtually any of the radical groups today or in the past – ANSWER, Black Lives Matter, the Weathermen, the Black Panthers et al. – they make it quite clear that they want to be an alternative to mainstream or “corporate” liberalism. Even peaceful radicals of the Bernie Sanders stripe make that clear. They really are an “alt-left” in a meaningful sense because to one extent or another they hate the market system, revile free speech and find common cause with anti-American forces here and abroad. The problem.
The difference between the conservatives and left is that many on the right have long disowned the alt-right but the liberal movement today are actively supporting their more violent leftist brothers. Powerlineblog.org John Hinderaker observed that New York Times Reporters supported the violent leftist street thugs, “New York Times reporters Thomas Fuller, Alan Feuer and Serge Kovaleski are responsible for this admiring profile of the far-left Brownshirts called antifa: “‘Antifa’ members are ready to literally fight right-wingers….Members of antifa have shown no qualms about using their fists, sticks or canisters of pepper spray to meet an array of right-wing antagonists whom they call a fascist threat to U.S. democracy…Is antifa violent? Well, that depends on what the meaning of “violent” is:“You need violence in order to protect nonviolence,” she said. “That’s what’s very obviously necessary right now… The mere existence of supporters of President Trump is violent, so it is OK to attack them with baseball bats. The Times reporters show no sign of disagreeing with this “reasoning.”
In another piece, John Hinderaker reported “A group called Patriot Prayer scheduled a rally in Seattle yesterday. Joey Gibson, the group’s leader, said the purpose of the rally was to promote free speech and America. This naturally drew the ire of the Left, and the fascist group called “antifa” planned a counter-demonstration… Debra Heine has a more informative account: The rally, organized by the conservative group Patriot Prayer, came one day after violent clashes in Charlottesville, Virginia, that left three people dead and dozens injured…Counter-protesters — including antifa, Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), Veterans for Peace, Indivisible Seattle, Black Lives Matter, and the Freedom Socialist Party — marched “in solidarity against hate,” specifically against what they called “the bigotry, racism and violence” of the “far-right” organizers. Solidarity Against Hate counter-protesters waved communist flags, yelled “f*ck America,” squirted police with silly-string, and burned the American flag.” The failure to condemn the alt-left fascist can only mean that what left of the traditional liberals and many leftist leaders and politicians not only tolerate this violence but accept it as part of their own tactics. The failure to condemn means the left not only owns these thugs but the result of their violence including when Bernie Sanders supporter James Hodgkinson attempted murder of Republicans that resulted in severely wounding Steve Scalise and others. The left can’t defend or tolerate the alt-left violence and not be held responsible for the results. At least many of us on the right can’t be held for the violence of the alt-right since we have condemned them and now it is time for those on the left to disown the alt-left including those in the media.
Which leaves us how to deal with the Southern Memorials. If it would be helpful if the left at least acknowledges that not every southerner who wants to keep the memorials up are bunch of racists and work for consent to remove these symbols and in the process make the case why. It is not too much to ask since many Americans support not removing these symbols and a political debate is needed to ensure all sides are heard and the reason explained. The final aspect is that removing Jefferson Davis is not the same as dealing with George Washington. Davis was the President of an enterprise that at its core was immoral and George Washington ushered into this world along with other founding fathers the greatest document designed to protect individual liberties and principles that have guided our nation for over two centuries. Our founding fathers may have been imperfect but the legacies they left is nation as perfect as humanly possible. If men were angels, we would have perfection but we are not but what founding fathers produced a nation with ideals that proved to be superior as any produced by humans before or since. A war on George Washington or other founding fathers is a war on what made American great. If the left fights that war on our founding principles, then the battle must be fought.