The Washington Post in its article “Democrats say Confederate monuments are now white-supremacist rallying points,” was just fomenting more race hatred by reporting only one side of the issue, although this was apparently the only side presented by the Sunday morning political talk shows.
Although the article characterizes the participants as “leading Democrats,” they were mostly Jewish and black. Sen. Benjamin Cardin, who is Jewish, said you don’t need monuments to appreciate history. I say, maybe you don’t need them, but why can’t you have them if you want them. Most of these monuments have been in place for around one hundred years, and nobody objected for 99 of those years. In the last year, these monuments and the history they represent have come under vicious attack.
Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney, who is black, took issue with Trump’s comparison of Lee and Jackson with Washington and Jefferson, because they “did not take up arms against the United States of America.” It’s true they did not take up arms against America, because the United States did not exist. They took up arms against the government of their colonies, the British government. Washington and Jefferson were rebels; they were just rebels against a different country.
Adam Schiff, who is Jewish, said the President should “do everything possible to bring our country together, to help make us a more perfect union.” This sounds great, but it is also a recipe for surrender to violence. Do whatever the protesters want you to do in order to make the violence and conflict go away. This avoids asking who is right and who is wrong.
This morning, Fareed Zakaria spent some time comparing the ante-bellum South to Nazi Germany. He equated slavery with genocide. By that standard, why didn’t he equally condemn Jews, who owned slaves in old testament times, or the ancient Greek or Roman civilizations for genocide. By that reasoning, we should have no prisons. If someone is found guilty of a crime, locking them up and depriving them of their liberty is equivalent to killing them. So, if someone is convicted of robbery, by Fareed’s reasoning, they should be executed. It’s the same thing to him. It would certainly save us a lot of money on jails. Fareed is usually intelligent. I don’t know if he really believes this, or if he is being pressured by CNN executives to stir up more hatred and violence. His argument is that Lee and Jackson are morally equivalent to Hitler and Goebbels.
Along these lines, the hatemongers in the Democratic Party say that Trump’s has no right to compare George Washington and Robert E. Lee, because Washington was creating a country, and Lee was rebelling against one. They fail to recognize that Washington and Jefferson were rebels rebelling against the British. They had to destroy the colonies’ domination by Britain before they could create the United States. There are probably few monuments to Washington and Jefferson in Great Britain. But there are many in the US. Similarly there are few monuments to Lee and Jackson in northern states, but like the United States, the Confederate States loved their leaders. Lincoln recognized the importance of reuniting the country after the Civil War, although he did not get a chance to do so. Nevertheless, after Reconstruction, which in many ways continued the animosity between North and South, the nation did come together. On December 25, 1868, President Andrew Johnson granted an unconditional pardon to all Confederate soldiers who took an oath of amnesty. Lee’s written oath of amnesty was pigeon holed and not acted upon until President Ford granted Lee full citizenship in 1975, according to “Professor Walter’s History Lessons.”
According to Wikipedia, in 1913 the largest reunion between Union and Confederate troops took place at Gettysburg. Around 53,000 veterans attended, about 9,000 from the Confederate side. Addressing the reunion, President Wilson said, “We have found one another again as brothers and comrades in arms, enemies no longer, generous friends rather, our battles long past, the quarrel forgotten—except that we shall not forget the splendid valor."
The 1913 reunion was the largest, but one was also held in 1888, on the 25th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg. According to the Blog of the Gettysburg National Military Cemetery, at the 1888 reunion, Union General Daniel Sickles said:
Twenty-five years have passed, and now the combatants of ’63 come together again on your old field of battle to unite in pledges of love and devotion to one constitution, one Union and one flag. To-day there are no victors, no vanquished. As Americans we may all claim a common share in the glories of this battlefield, memorable for so many brilliant feats of arms. No stain rests on the colors of any battalion, battery or troop that contended here for victory. Gallant Buford, who began the battle, and brave Pickett, who closed the struggle, fitly represent the intrepid hosts that for three days rivaled each other in titles of martial renown.
His speech was followed by one from Confederate General John Gordon, then the governor of Georgia:
My fellow countrymen of the North, if I may be permitted to speak for those whom I represent, let me assure you that in the profoundest depths of their nature they reciprocate that generosity with all the manliness and sincerity of which brave men are capable. In token of that sincerity they join in consecrating for annual patriotic pilgrimage these historic heights, which drained such copious drafts of American blood poured so freely in discharge of duty, as each conceived it, a Mecca for the North, which so grandly defended it; a Mecca for the South, which so bravely and persistently stormed it; we join you in setting apart this land as an enduring monument of peace, brotherhood, and perpetual union.
There were other speeches by veterans of both sides. The NPS blog closes by saying:
No hard feelings were expressed in any of the official or unofficial remarks. If any hard feelings remained no one mentioned them. This was a time to celebrate the sacrifices made on the field by the soldiers of both sides and to celebrate the fact that the veterans again lived in a united country under one flag and under one constitution.
It is sad that today the Democratic Party is destroying the camaraderie that was established over 100 years ago between the soldiers who actually fought against each other in the war by trying to characterize the Southern soldiers as war criminals.