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Purging our History

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Monuments honoring heroes of the Confederate States of America, American heroes in fact, are being removed from the public square, due to a successful presentation of oversimplified arguments and lies by the same progressive Leftist Democratic apparatus that seeks to fundamentally transform America. These assaults on the Southern heritage by politically correct propagandists and arrogant activist ideologues are assaults on our American culture and heritage, or “AmeriKKKa” as the Left calls America; and, it is nothing short of a cultural cleansing campaign, a purging of the truth and history and a national disgrace.
In 2015, the Atlanta chapter of the NAACP called for the destruction of the Stone Mountain Confederate Monument, that honors Jefferson Davis, General Robert E. Lee and General Stonewall Jackson. They wanted the nearly 2000 square feet and 12 feet deep carving “sandblasted away”.
In February, the city council of Charlottesville, VA sought to remove Robert E. Lee’s likeness from its 100 year resting place. They have been temporarily blocked by a lawsuit filed by the Monument Fund and 29 other plaintiffs.
Soon protests arose in Charlottesville and NAACP President Rick Turner told the crowds: “I think a decision must be made to remove the statue by any means necessary.”
However, the City of New Orleans successfully removed the Battle of Liberty Place obelisk on April 4th and statues of Confederate President Jefferson Davis and General Pierre Gustave Toutant-Beauregard on May 11th and May 17th, consecutively. The statue of Robert E. Lee was removed from New Orlean’s Lee Circle on May 19th, while other efforts are appearing nationwide, in places like Houston, Baltimore, St. Louis and Phoenix.
Starting in 1784, Thomas Jefferson and many righteous men afterwards attempted to abolish slavery until the end of the Civil War, including former slave owners such as James Madison. It is worth observing that while General Ulysses S. Grant owned one slave and his wife owned four slaves until 1859, General Robert E. Lee never owned any.
General Beauregard’s statue was taken down in the dark of night and Lee’s was coming down, when New Orlean’s Mayor Mitch Landrieu (D) revealed an astounding level of ignorance of history, stating: “They may have been warriors, but in this cause they were not patriots. These monuments celebrate a fictional sanitized Confederacy.” Landrieu could not be any more egregiously wrong.
On December 27th 1856, Robert E. Lee wrote to his wife: “Slavery as an institution is a moral and political evil in any country … a greater evil to the white than to the black race … nearly two thousand years [of Christianity] … and even among the Christian nations what gross errors still exist!”
Many Confederate generals did not want to secede and neither did Jefferson Davis. More than the issue of slavery that had profited both New England slave traders and Southern plantation owners, the South saw secession as a necessity in the face of the unfair tariffs the North had applied against the South from 1828 to 1832 and beyond, which were placed on goods not made in the South.The 1861 Morrill tariff was the spark for the Civil War. And so, they too pledged their lives, fortune and sacred honor as they seceded from an oppressive federal government to retain their sovereignty, their Constitutional rights and a free government.
President Abraham Lincoln was not any “Great Emancipator” himself. On August 22nd 1862, he wrote a letter to Horace Greeley, founder and editor of the New York Tribune, who supported a general amnesty for Confederate officials and angered Northeners by signing a bail bond for Jefferson Davis. In part the letter read: “If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it, and if I could do it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that.”
So why do the Leftist mobs of Antifa and Black Lives Matter castigate, impugn and demonize the character and honor of a noble man such as Robert E. Lee, while giving Ulysses S. Grant a pass?
General PGT Beauregard was a St Bernard Parrish native and a man of contradictions, who spent most of his non-military life in New Orleans. He fired the first shots in a war to preserve states rights and slavery, and yet in defeat, Beauregard argued passionately for the right of black people to vote.
So Beauregard is impugned, while a statue of Senator Edward Carmack (D-TN) still stands in Nashville on the south side of Tennessee’s State Capitol Building. Carmack advocated for the repeal of the 15th Amendment, which granted black men the right to vote; he was also the editor of the ‘Nashville Tennessean’ and a coward, who was shot and killed, on Union St. in Nashville, as he hid behind Mrs. Charles Eastman after firing on Duncan Cooper, his nemesis.
It is nearly impossible to find any truth behind the Left’s assertions, that they are campaigning against the “white supremacy” symbolized by Confederate monuments, when most Confederate soldiers did not own slaves by the time the Civil War was burning hot. To claim that the majority of non-slaveholder soldiers, who fought for the South, could have fought and sacrificed their lives and those of their families, so a minority of wealthy aristocrats could retain the “right” to own slaves is preposterous on any analysis.
The logic behind these character assassinations make it inescapably clear that the Left will not be satisfied until every white figure who doesn’t pass their “progressive” scrutiny is cleansed from the Southern culture and American culture too. How much truth must be sacrificed to mold history to fit a single strain of a prevailing political ideology?
Mitch Landrieu and Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh and many other Democrats, along with some misguided and ill-informed “conservatives” say that these men don’t deserve to be honored. Who does then?
President McKinley had fought against “Stonewall” Jackson, as a teenager, in the Shenandoah. McKinley was at Antietam, the bloodiest single-day battle of the Civil War; and at the start of the Spanish-American War, when Southern volunteers and former Confederate soldiers paraded through Atlanta to fight for a united America, McKinley removed his hat and stood for the singing of ‘Dixie’.
Nearly half of the fifty-five members of the Constitutional Convention owned slaves or facilitated the slave trade. Is anything associated with Benjamin Franklin, Patrick Henry, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and other Founders now considered to be immoral too?
Are Americans really going to allow more monuments to be torn down? Are Americans going to sandblast Stone Mountain Confederate Monument and even Mount Rushmore, sandblasting away our American Heritage? I say “NO”.
Left unrestrained, the radicals of this nation will attempt to purge and destroy every vestige of anything remotely associated with any slaveholder. Our Constitution and even our Declaration of Independence have long been under their assaults, because both were written by white men and slave-owners, and these amended documents halt their own authoritarian agenda. They would scrap these documents altogether if they could, placing them in the dustbin of history and divesting them of honor.
A history hidden away and purged is a half-truth and a lie, no history at all. America’s sins in slavery are despicable, abominable and dark, however, Her inalienable rights that served as the mechanism to end slavery are virtues to be praised, brilliant as a rising sun.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author and are not not necessarily either shared or endorsed by iPatriot.com.

Justin O Smith

Justin O. Smith has lived in Tennessee off and on most of his adult life, and he graduated from Middle Tennessee State University in 1980, with a B.S. and a double major in International Relations and Cultural Geography – minors in Military Science and English, for what its worth. His real education started from that point on. Smith worked 8 years for the LaVergne Fire Dept – two years as their clean-up boy – and became a working fireman at age 16, working his way through college and subsequently joining the U.S. Army. Since then he primarily have contracted construction and traveled – spending quite a bit of time up and down the Columbia River Gorge, in the Puget Sound on Whidby Island and down around Ft. Lauderdale and South Beach. Justin currently writes a weekly column for The Rutherford Reader in Murfreesboro, TN, which he calls home and he spends as much time as possible with his two beautiful and intelligent daughters and five grandchildren. Justin Loves God, Family and Our Majestic and Wonderful America, and he is a Son of Liberty.

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