Thursday, December 28, 2006
As a Civil War amateur historian, I cringe at the current movement of the politically-correct crowd to try and distance our nation from southern “heroes.” All over the south, Civil War memorials to Jefferson Davis and prominent southern generals have come under attack as being symbols of bigotry and hate. Perhaps they are, but they are also symbols of the legacy of this nation and its struggle for democracy.
Last year, the city of Memphis, TN considered renaming Forrest, Davis, and Confederate Parks. And now, the University of Texas will form a panel to consider the future of statues of Jefferson Davis and other southern generals on the Austin campus. The picture above is of Robert E. Lee from the UT campus, who most remember as one of America’s greatest generals. Ironically, he was also responsible for changing the college education system by providing college students with a “diverse” education.
The reasons for fighting the Civil War are many, ranging from preserving state’s rights to abolishing slavery. Whether or not you or I believe the war was fought for the wrong reasons does not matter. The fact is that almost 1,000,000 Americans died or were wounded fighting for their beliefs.
To remove these statues or rename these parks will not solve the racial problems in our country today. There will always be extremists (both black and white) who are haters no matter how many statues are removed or built. The leaders of tomorrow will not be cut from this cloth and should have the opportunity to look to the past to learn from our country’s history/mistakes in order to strengthen its future.
Heritage, not hate!