A Jersey Girl Defends Robert E. Lee, by Danusha Goska.
Look, I’m not a Southerner. Why should I get worked up about liberal discourse about statues of Robert E. Lee?
Because that discourse is a microcosm of how the left insists we talk about America. Leftists in power distribute glasses through which I am ordered to see my own identity and my own history. I must see America and Christianity as oppressors. Any nuance is denounced and punished. I am not allowed to feel proud or to acknowledge success. I am not even allowed to see shades of gray. I am denied respect and compassion for my fellow countrymen with whom I disagree. …
The current left is following in the footsteps of past totalitarian regimes:
The left’s draconian approach to the South is a recipe for continued conflict. Liberal Seattle, Washington, hosts a massive, sixteen-foot-tall statue of Lenin. For me and others whose loved ones survived the Soviet Empire, Lenin is the architect of our Hell. I think, immediately, of the Katyn Massacre, when Soviets shot 22,000 captured Polish army officers in the back of the head and buried them in mass graves. If I lived in Seattle, I would not work to tear down Lenin’s statue. I would work to educate the citizenry so that they wanted to tear it down themselves.
I would do this – work respectfully for grassroots education and popularly-supported change – because when the hand of Big Brother reaches down from above to erase people’s popular history, things end badly. If there is one thing that the French Terror, Nazism, and the twentieth century’s People’s Revolutions have taught us, it’s this. The self-described pure ones who erase the past and begin anew with a sparkly new calendar are those most likely to fertilize the earth with more human corpses than she can rapidly consume.
Memo to left: Humiliate a people and you will eventually face rebellion.
As someone who has written a prize-winning book addressing WW II, I’ve often tortured myself and others with this question: what was the final match that touched off the conflagration? If I could turn back time and change just one detail, I would eliminate the Versailles Treaty’s imposition of financial reparations on Germany. That stipulation contributed to many average Germans feeling misunderstood and dominated. Hitler gorged on those feelings. Had Germans not felt so humiliated, Nazism would have lost appeal. We should respect Southerners and their understanding of their history for our own good. We should push for change with patience and compassion -– the same patience and compassion that liberals demand for ISIS murderers.
Southern monument removal is provocative humiliation and intolerance, just in-your-face triumphalism:
Who celebrates most joyously when a Lee statue is taken down? White supremacists. Nothing polarizes people and inspires them to man the barricades like the feeling that they are under attack by others whose goal is, effectively, to erase them by rewriting their history. “You will not replace us,” chanted protesters on May 14, 2017, after the sale of a Lee statue in a Charlottesville, Virginia park. If you don’t want to empower white nationalists like Richard Spencer, then don’t communicate to Southerners that you want to erase them.
The attitude informing Southern monument removal is triumphalism: “We won, you lost; we are good, you are bad; shut up and let us tell your story in a way that makes us heroes and you villains.” Here’s a typical sample of triumphalist rhetoric: Lee was a “traitorous inbred coward and terrorist” and Southerners “were evil. Period.” For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Triumphalism is a provocation: “I’m shoving you because I want to shove you, but I’m also shoving you because I’m spoiling for a fight. When you push back, I’ll get the fight I crave.”
The Left’s selective application of respect, patience, and compassion, combined with the Left’s selective outrage, vitiates and disgraces any attempts leftists make to fight racism and slavery. If you have never condemned slavery as it exists today, including among Muslims in African states like Mauritania, you have never condemned slavery. If you care only about racism and slavery committed by white Americans, you really don’t care about racism or slavery. You care about demonizing and scapegoating white Americans. You are merely exploiting natural human repugnance at injustice to advance your campaign of hate against white American Christians.
hat-tip Stephen Neil