To: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Esteemed County Commissioners:
Concerning the ongoing flap over the portrait of Robert E. Lee at the County Commission, the name of Lee County, etc… brought forth by the NAACP, each of you should be aware of certain facts.
First and foremost, is that the recent outcry from the NAACP is not unique. Having faced down attacks on everything Confederate, since the 1991 NAACP resolution to “remove all vestiges of the Confederacy from public property”, the Sons of Confederate Veterans, in defense of those icons, recognizes that the majority of these attacks come every February…like clockwork.
Black History Month seemingly has little to do with studying history and everything to do with acting up. Every February demarks a “homework assignment” for aspiring NAACP leaders: Find something Confederate and raise hell until it’s gone.
Frankly, with our efforts to research and document African-Americans who served in the Confederate armed forces, and their genealogy, it is quite possible the SCV spends more time studying Black History than the NAACP. The descendants of Confederate soldiers have embraced the fact that their ancestors fought side by side with African-Americans. The SCV continues to reach out to African-Americans in an effort to understand and share our unique cultural ties as Southern People.
Why must your constituents endure this perennial bashing and subsequent defense of Confederate Heritage? Today, it’s Lee County…what’s next? Fort Myers was named after Confederate Colonel Abraham C. Myers (Jewish by the way). Are the people supposed to believe that giving into removing the portrait of Lee, a man considered almost a saint, even by his enemies, will be the end of the wailing? Hardly…not so long as money can be made by keeping the controversy alive.
Must the majority suffer simply to appease a vocal minority? Is that democracy? Lee County doesn’t even have the legal right to change its name. The Legislature reserves that right. Only Dade County has been granted the right to change its name, owing to their special Home Rule Charter.
As for placing a portrait of Abraham Lincoln beside Lee’s portrait, that’s just a stepping stone to bigger and more ridiculous demands. If the Commission surrenders, their weakness will be exposed, and the NAACP will know it can make you dance to any tune it calls. Your "sense of guilt" is your weakness, and the NAACP knows this.
Oh yeah, let’s celebrate Lincoln…for invading a sovereign nation, suspending the Constitution, killing a quarter million Southerners, having died without freeing a single slave, and for stating the following:
"I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in anyway the social and political equality of the white and black races – that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race. I say upon this occasion I do not perceive that because the white man is to have the superior position the Negro should be denied everything." The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume III, "Fourth Debate with Stephen A. Douglas at Charleston, Illinois" (September 18, 1858), pp. 145-146.
I wonder how long it will take the NAACP to complain about his portrait?
I strongly urge each of you to consider putting an end to this ultimate waste of time and taxpayer funds, and the endless debate about the Lee portrait, county name, etc. Please consider passing a motion to leave Robert E. Lee’s portrait in place as is, to recognize that changing the County’s name is outside the purview of the County Commission, and to table further discussion of these specific matters indefinitely, so that they will not keep coming up on your agenda, ultimately distracting you and many of your constituents from more important and potentially beneficial issues.
Thank you for your time and thoughtful consideration.
John W. Adams
Past Florida Division Commander
Sons of Confederate Veterans