In 2001, the world was aghast when the Taliban were purging Afghanistan of all remaining non-Islamic statues. Among them were two Buddha statues in the Bamiyan Valley dating back over 1700 years that were destroyed despite international outcry and numerous requests to allow them to be relocated elsewhere. The Taliban’s strict interpretation of their religion forbids any symbols of living things, so that meant they had to be destroyed. Today, we have a similar eradication occurring in our own country only in the name of political correctness instead of religion, the purging of the Confederacy.
This latest round of historical cleansing stems from the 2015 shooting at a church in South Carolina by a pathetic high school drop out and druggie. But this isn’t because of what he did; killing nine people. It was because he was white, the victims were black and there were photos of him with Confederate flags. Blasted across the media as proof that anything to do with the Confederacy is racist and dangerous to modern day living, statues have been removed, building and street names changed and the Confederate flag all but outlawed.
The South has long been a target of the moral elite and this latest purging is right out of current Chicago Mayor and former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel’s playbook of “You never let a serious crisis go to waste”. This was simply a golden opportunity to progress an agenda that couldn’t get traction before. Now, because of this horrific incident, the offended could finally rid their world of the hideous reminders of a long gone era.
How widespread has this absurdity been? Just recently, the high school in the small Vermont city where I spent the majority of my law enforcement service lost their “Rebel” team name. Apparently the team name used since the school’s founding 55 years ago during the Civil War Centennial and chosen as the school colors were blue and gray and the city was ‘South’ of its major rival, was too closely associated with the Confederacy for the politically correct.
In another case, a Georgia police sergeant lost her job because someone saw the Confederate flag she had been flying at her house for over a year to display her pride in her Southern heritage and honor her recently deceased husband, and was offended.
In both of these cases, there was zero evidence of racial discrimination, bias, violent intent or any other factor – just political correctness at play.
If this same psychopath shooter in North Carolina had been wearing Mickey Mouse ears during his homicidal rampage and killed only men with facial hair, because that is what HE believed Walt Disney would have wanted, would we expect a nationwide movement to shut down all the Disney theme parks? Of course not, that would be stupid. But so is thinking that one demented little piece of crap’s interpretation of the purpose of the Confederacy should shape the rest of the world.
History is a mixed bag of great accomplishments and dark, disturbing events. Our nation’s relatively short 241 years of existence is full of examples of great strides in technology, arts and civil rights as well as horrific abuses of human rights, pain and suffering. But history is just that, history – events that occurred in the past. It is the path that got us to where we are today and as intellectual and enlightened as we like to believe we are, we wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for what we as a nation went through.
While the United States did not grant Confederate soldiers full US veteran status as some believe, the men who fought for the South were our own just as the Union forces were our own. Their young nation was split and at war with itself, and it was their geography that determined the Southern soldiers’ destiny. It is not an excuse or an apologist view to want to treat those who lost their lives in this or any human conflict with a little bit of respect.
You might wonder why someone who mostly writes on Second Amendment topics cares about the South or the Confederate flag. It is simply because this is just another example of politically correct censorship and eradicating the world of things that some moral elitist is now offended by. We’ve seen far to many examples of firearms being banned for their offensive cosmetic features, as well as other draconian gun control laws, laws that have absolutely nothing to do with public safety and will never do anything to reduce crime or save lives, only make some people “feel better”.
Sanitizing our nation’s history by erasing symbols of something we find offensive today is just another step towards living in George Orwell’s “1984” where the past is rewritten to match the current party line. Removing these memorials, names and symbols is a slap in the face to all those whose lineage goes through the South and dismisses any of the positive contributions from that era and region of our own nation.
Heritage doesn’t equal hate just as a firearm does not equal violence. It is the intent of the individual, and ONLY the individual that determines what happens next.
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