TAKING DOWN MEMORIALS AND ERASING HISTORY

The definition of a memorial is something, especially a structure, established to remind people of a person or event. It is not necessarily meant to celebrate, but to primarily serve as a reminder.  It often honors such persons or events, but often is just a bookmark, lest we forget. 

Guernica, Picasso’s painting of death, destruction, and suffering certainly does not celebrate the Spanish Civil War.  The Holocaust Memorial is not a celebration of joy.  The Barbarians crashed the gates of Rome and knocked off the marble heads of the statues in the Forum.  That is why they were Barbarians! The Iranian Revolutionary Guards destroyed the Buddhas of Bamiyan that were a UNESCO Heritage Site created in the 6th century. They belonged to all of us as historical milestones of our heritage.

Tearing down memorials is a mark of barbarism and ignorance by people who often do not understand what they are doing, and furthermore, is a crime against the community. That is demonstrated by the recent destruction of the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial.  Unless, of course, they did it to protest the North’s attack on the South and continued use of black slaves to work the cotton fields.  Although I doubt that, it is more likely they were “dumb ass stupid.” They didn’t know that  Ulysses S. Grant was the lead general of the northern troops appointed by Abraham Lincoln, and was the reason the South lost the war.  He subsequently became President of the now re-United States of America.

That does not explain the desecration of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. That was an act of anarchy.

Memorials are created by the people of a community, past or present, to remember.  A group of citizens often serves as the inspiration to create the monument.  They may go out to raise funds for it. The elected government of the time must approve it and assists in making it come to fruition.  The creation of such a memorial is an act that belongs to the whole community, and not the property of one or another race, religion, or group. The destruction of which is then a crime against the communal property of the people. To remove it must be an act of the community, not individuals that have gone rogue, or city councils, that on their own decision to remove a memorial that was placed there by people of the past.  It is not their right to do so! 

Erasing history was a common trait of the Nazis and Communists.  Hitler loved book burnings, and also burned Jews. Stalin had photographs air-brushed to remove people he wanted gone in addition to his infamous purges that erased people, luckily not my parents who were just barely a step ahead of the NKVD, the People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs (the secret police). Stalin had one of his rivals, Leon Trotsky, hacked to death by the NKVD.    The lack of response to prevent crime is tacit complicity of society to destroy history.  It was so with the Nazi’s, and it is likewise so now with our dear progressive citizens on the left who encouraged violent protest, even looting, and the wanton torching of buildings, which could not have happened without their support. I don’t think I misunderstood their intent. It is more important to protest than to contain Covid-19, they said.  Besides, buildings can be rebuilt.  And Hollywood came to the help of those arrested by providing bail money. To watch evil happen, then support it, is just as bad as actively participating in it.

Ben Crump, the attorney of George Floyd’s family, said this, “I’m not sure pulling the statues down is the right thing if we now don’t get the lessons to understand how we can learn from those things, so we don’t repeat those mistakes of the past. You know, they say history — if not studied — we will often repeat it.” Ben Crump urged Americans to step back and take a “broad view” of the underlying issues. A wise man, indeed!

The Confederacy pulled away from the Union precisely because the Union was moving toward a new path.  Slavery had been institutionalized in the country ever since the Founding Fathers failed to address that issue at the beginning because if they had done so, the South would not have joined the other colonies.  To say they were traitors to the country fails to understand that slavery was part of the country that would not have had a chance to become “the United States of America.” That is what the Missouri Compromise was all about, keeping the balance between slave and free states, something that the Lincoln-Douglas debate set about to change.  

The Kansas-Nebraska Act allowed settlers to decide if their new state was to be a free or slave state.  Such action paved the way for the imbalance that eventually led to the inevitable secession of the South.  If anyone was to blame, it was James Buchanan who fought for the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which allowed the imbalance to happen.  Claiming that the  South was treasonous is rather presumptuous and does not consider the historical timeline, the rules of engagement, and sovereignty. Fort Sumpter was in South Carolina, the first state to secede, and the fort belonged to the South. The Union refused to vacate the fort, a Southern possession. The legality of secession is still debated by the legal experts and has not been resolved.  Jefferson Davis’ treason charge was, in fact, dropped. As it stands now, a case could be made for the South in claiming treason of the North for changing the path of the nation and the methods they used to effect it.  But as usual, the victor makes the rules. But despite this dropped the treason case against the most culpable, Jefferson Davis, and pardoned every Confederate general. 

Slavery was a worldwide institution. The 1800s saw the end of it throughout most of the world. The USA was not the first nor the last to abolish it; Norway and Sweden were the first Europeans to banish slavery in 1803.  It was Thomas Jefferson that stopped the importation of slaves in 1807.  It was not until 1834 that Britain abolished slavery. France followed suit in 1847, fifty years after the French Revolution. Spain still had a slave trade in Cuba until 1888. It was not until 1964 that the World Muslim Congress renounced slavery.  China and North Korea still use prisoners for slave labor today to such an extent that often a North Korean prison term is a death sentence.  It is believed that in Mauritania, there are still 43,000 enslaved people, mostly black with Arab overlords!

As the North and South fight over slavery unfolded, the question remains, who betrayed whom? Slavery was deeply embedded in society.  Christianity, Islam, and Judaism’s holy books supported it, something Jefferson Davis didn’t miss.  He often quoted Ephesians, VI, 5-7: “Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ;” The blame for slavery needs to be shared by a lot more than the just the USA. It is quite complicated! If reparation payments ever come to pass, most countries of the world, including Africa, would have to contribute.  Slavery was and remains a sad chapter in human history.  Our efforts should be to wipe it off the face of the earth as it still plagues us.  Taking down statues misses the point besides not doing anything but encouraging violence, ignorance, and destroying art and history. Where is the effort against continuing slavery in the world where the outrage and anger should be more appropriately directed? Companies that were still using child slave labor in 2018 would surprise you, Microsoft, Apple, Nestlé, Hershey, Philip Morris, and others.  It is a lot easier to spraypaint the Lincoln Memorial than checking to see if the Nikes you are were wearing were made prior to 2017 in  South East Asian sweatshops that used child slave labor.  Ignorance is bliss!

Taking down memorials is an evil act of barbarous people doing barbaric things. It destroys human effort and creativity, that cost money, talent, and skill to remember noteworthy (not necessarily deserving or outstanding) persons and events of the past, actualized by elected representatives of the population of that era who thought it appropriate to put it up. That our society allows and tolerates this, even catering to the bloodthirsty mob, demanding this wanton act of destruction is a demonstration of our lack of resolve, if not impotence, and lack of respect for the population who thought it deserving to be memorialized.  

A number of the statues they took down so far are Union heroes or had nothing to do with the Confederacy.  This is how they think regarding destroying history, we need to eliminate the South altogether. The South is not us! Then there is the white Jesus, who has to go with his white Apostles, even white chess pieces moving first is racist. Francis Scott Key’s composition, the Stars Spangled Banner, is a racist piece of music that deserves the knee. George Washington had slaves, as did Thomas Jefferson, along with the family of Kamala Harris. The OK hand sign really refers to the O KKK and so on.   

But with denying these historical events, are we justified in holding ourselves superior to the Barbarians, the Nazi’s, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, or the mob of the French Revolution demanding the Guillotine?  A wise man, Winston Churchill, again comes up with the appropriate quote for this situation, “The people that forget the past have no future!” Do we need a “broader view?”

Destroying memorials is physical thought control, something the Nazis had perfected, and the Communists have employed this very effectively as recently as in the takeover of Venezuela. We will tell you what you should think, what you are allowed to believe. It makes you wonder if leftist cheerleaders organized the current societal upheaval.  A short video is worth a look to what happened in Venezuela:

 https://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/world/2020/june/venezuelan-warns-us-socialist-destruction-starts-with-tearing-down-statues-and-censoring-everything

From 1933 to 1945 Germany the thought police were all over and even infiltrated the family.  Children were encouraged to “rat out” their parents if they detected wrong thoughts. We are closer to 1984 than you think.  George Orwell was only 36 years late in dating his chilling prophetic novel, although his book might have been more accurately named 2020.  This is just the beginning, J.K. Rawlings, author of the Harry Potter series, predicts that the progressive movement will eventually reinvent all of science and history for us in the progressive interpretation of the future.