About 20 years ago, I met a man in Dallas who had a huge collection of Confederate symbols in his home office. We became great friends and often see each other socially with our spouses. On several occasions, we discussed the Civil War. His great ancestors had fought in the war, and it was a topic of huge interest to him.
Let’s add Dallas to the list of places where activists want to erase history by taking down statues or references to the old South.
Both sides grabbed their modern-day bayonets – social media – and dug in.
One camp, led by a growing cadre of social justice activists, wants to see all symbols of the Confederacy wiped away or hauled off to a museum.
The other camp, including organized groups such as the Sons of Confederate Veterans, doesn’t want the city to touch any of the tributes. They say the old monuments and school names should be left in place because they reflect America’s – and Dallas’ – history.
I am not personally involved in this fight. In other words, I don’t have my modern-day bayonet dug in.
At the same time, please put me down with those who want to preserve the history and the names.
As my aforementioned friend said, my ancestors did not fight for slavery. They were, he went on to say, fighting for their understanding of states’ rights. In fact, most of the Southern soldiers did not own slaves. We should honor their service, especially that of men like General Robert E. Lee, who fought with the U.S. Army before the Civil War.
More importantly, where does this stop? How far back do we go?
For example, do we remove all references to African history because they were the ones who captured the black men and sold them to the Europeans? Should we delete all references to pre-17th century African culture because it enslaved black people?
How about the Aztecs down in Mexico? They made slaves out of the men captured and then raped the women. They were also very active in human sacrifice. My guess is that most of men captured by Montezuma would have loved a Gitmo to go to. Should we stop any reference to Mexican history?
My point is that history is history, and it should be left alone. It should be studied, and the actions of 16th-century men and 13th-century Aztecs should be understood in proper context.
Finally, it would be a lot more valuable if we would devote our time and energy to fighting black-on-black crime in our communities or improving the public schools that most Democrat leaders do not send their children to.
This whole thing about removing Confederate symbols is just the latest distraction by black Democrats who don’t want to face the real problems their policies have caused.
Memo to Dallas and others: Cut this nonsense and let’s do something about these minority districts desperately looking for economic growth and better schools.
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