General Lee portrait offends local NAACP


I recently read your article on the NAACP’s latest complaint about the portrait of General Robert E. Lee, the great American hero after whom Lee County was named. It is so very unfortunate that the NAACP — a once valiant organization that fought for equal rights for Americans of color, and espoused the ideas of tolerance for all Americans regardless of race, color, creed, or national origin — has stooped to such a level of intolerance for others that they are now protesting the portrait of the man whose outstanding traits of Christian charity, loyalty to his family and State, and heroic devotion to duty have placed his name among the greatest of America’s heroes. General Lee has been honored and revered by such other great Americans as Dwight D. Eisenhower, Harry S. Truman, Woodrow Wilson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Ulysses S. Grant, as well as foreign dignitaries such as Sir Winston Churchill, and now the local chapter of the NAACP has decided to feel offended by the portrait of General Lee that is displayed in the Lee County Commission chambers? One really has to wonder who has the more accurate assessment of Robert E. Lee — men of the stature of Eisenhower, Truman, Wilson, Roosevelt, and Grant or the heads of the Lee County NAACP.

It is so very unfortunate that the NAACP always seems to use Black History Month to stir up racial animosities, where there need be none, with petty complaints such as this one, rather than setting their sights on truly worthwhile projects to improve the plight of people of color who are suffering from societal problems in no way associated with heroes, memorials, or icons of Southern history. The NAACP claims that they are not attempting to remove General Lee’s picture from the Commission chambers — they simply want to add a portrait of Abraham Lincoln. This is a very transparent attempt on their part to needlessly stir up racial animosities in Lee County, and has nothing whatsoever to do with attempting to honor Abraham Lincoln. The timing of this complaint — Black History Month — makes it obvious that this is an attempt by persons within the NAACP to jockey for position within that organization, and has absolutely nothing to do with promoting black history or black heritage. Is this the only way they can promote their own history and heritage — by attempting to tear down the history and heritage of other Americans? This conduct on the part of the NAACP is despicable in the level of its intolerance and bigotry!

I read recently that the NAACP will begin an infusion of new blood into the organization which will strive to put these old race-baiting tactics behind it and do things meaningful to the betterment of the black community, rather than wasting their efforts and money by attacking the "straw men" of Southern symbolism and heritage. The old "lunch counter" leadership needs to be replaced by forward-looking new leaders who are willing to meet the problems of the black community head on, and alter the paradigms of this organization into something positive.


D. A. Anthony

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