So I started
thinking about this and I admit I’m going to need some help. Over the course of
the last few years, we’ve seen a significant cultural assault on several
American history sites, statues, monuments, memorials, individuals, and
institutions because woke warriors have complained about their ties to slavery
and other socially repulsive behavior.
Confederate flag has been expelled from southern statehouses, public property,
and even museums. And the public censure continues:
A spokesman for Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David Berger confirmed on Wednesday that the military leader has ordered all Confederate-related paraphernalia to be removed from Marine Corps installations.
Americans, I have no special affinity for the Confederate flag, and even if I
did would not choose to fly one because I know the spirit it evokes amongst so
many of my countrymen who see it. Where I struggle immensely is when the
current spirit of the age cancels key historical figures of great importance to
the story of America – men like Robert E. Lee, James Longstreet, Thomas
Jefferson, and even George Washington.
Lee, like his
hero Washington, held a strong antipathy towards the institution of slavery,
even urging its abolishment. But certainly it would be fair for anyone to
conclude that their perspectives were not as enlightened on the topic as we are
today. Still, the truth of the matter is that there would be no country had it
not been for these two men. Washington was the Father of the Country, and Lee
was integral in putting it back together following the devastating Civil War of
the early 1860s.
As I’ve written before,
Every human is fallen and in some degree reflects the sinful spirit of their age. This seems to leave us with two options. First, we can move in the direction where we reject the idea of building monuments to honor any man, expect the only One to ever live who is actually worthy of our honor.
Or, perhaps we could begin collectively teaching and understanding that monument and statue building can be less about worshipping individuals who are every bit as flawed, abhorrent, and sinful as we are, and more about acknowledging and remembering the part key figures played in our country’s epic struggle to create a “more perfect union.”
But if that’s
the direction we want to go – if we are going to pretend that there can be
nothing redeemable or admirable in the character of men like Washington and
Jefferson because their views on slavery weren’t up to our 2020 woke standard
of acceptability, then I have to ask a serious question.
Why do the
same culture cancelers on the left give Bernie Sanders a pass for his effusive
praise of the literacy programs of Castro and the clean subway systems of the
Soviets? Remember, this was Bernie’s defensive doubling down on those remarks
at a recent townhall:
writes the Declaration of Independence, secures the Louisiana Purchase, commissions
the Lewis and Clark expedition, essentially founds a major university, but his
unsophisticated take on slavery in the 1780s renders him cancelled.
Castro ordered and oversaw the execution of hundreds of thousands of innocent
people, and the Soviets put bullets through the heads of millions. But Bernie
avoids public censure from these prophets of woke because…litter-free train
It’s a most
curious double standard, is it not?