Sunday, June 4, 2017

Tear Them All Down

Across the American south, monuments to Confederate generals are being pulled down one by one.  This is an Objectively Good Thing and my fellow USians shouldn't rest until all of them have been destroyed.  Because, at the end of the day, even Robert E. Lee was a slavery-loving racist, a terrorists who took up arms against the United States and, actually, a pretty shitty military leader to boot:
"The myth of Lee goes something like this: He was a brilliant strategist and devoted Christian man who abhorred slavery and labored tirelessly after the war to bring the country back together.
There is little truth in this. Lee was a devout Christian, and historians regard him as an accomplished tactician. But despite his ability to win individual battles, his decision to fight a conventional war against the more densely populated and industrialized North is considered by many historians to have been a fatal strategic error.
But even if one conceded Lee’s military prowess, he would still be responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans in defense of the South’s authority to own millions of human beings as property because they are black. Lee’s elevation is a key part of a 150-year-old propaganda campaign designed to erase slavery as the cause of the war and whitewash the Confederate cause as a noble one. That ideology is known as the Lost Cause, and as historian David Blight writes, it provided a 'foundation on which Southerners built the Jim Crow system.'”
The American Civil War was entirely about slavery, full stop.  And not just slavery (as horrible as it was), but about a literal belief in the superiority of whites over blacks.  Sorry, but these two essential facts are baked into the cake of American history.  To not pull down every single monument to white supremacy is to fail in our civic and moral duties as Americans.

No comments:

Post a Comment