There are two sides to the current controversy over the removal of Confederate monuments around the USA. One side sees these monuments as historical markers, reminding us of the important and tumultuous history of America. The other side sees monuments that reflect racism and oppression.
Lets be very clear on this matter. There are hundreds of Confederate monuments currently standing that honor traitors to America. These are anti-Americans. These are people who fought and died to keep black people enslaved. They are not American heroes. They may be Confederate ‘heroes’, but they are also traitors.
Just today, Trump tweeted:
- “Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments”
- “You can’t change history, but you can learn from it.”
- “Robert E Lee, Stonewall Jackson – who’s next, Washington, Jefferson? So foolish!”
Trump argued that if statues of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson are removed, what is going to keep people from removing statues of George Washington or Thomas Jefferson. This is one of those slippery-slope arguments made by the uneducated and the simple-minded. Both Washington and Jefferson founded America, fought for America, and helped mold this country, however imperfect it was at the time. Lee and Jackson are traitors to America. They took up arms against America. The formed and led armies that killed Americans.
Trump is quick to embrace Abraham Lincoln as a great leader – and Trump thinks he will go down as one of the best presidents ever, perhaps only behind Lincoln. However, you can’t embrace Lincoln and fight to keep up Confederate statues at the same time. These are mutually exclusive points. These Confederate monuments are honoring the same people who fought against, and who ultimately murdered Abraham Lincoln.
Winston Churchill is credited with having said, “History is written by the victors.” Why, then, does America still struggle to not insult anyone who still embraces the vision and policies of the Civil War losers?
The only thing worse than being on the wrong side of history is pretending to straddle both sides, and not being brave and honest enough to embrace the moral side.