The Fight To Delete Our History

In July 2015, The Raleigh News & Observer posted an article that included an announcement by then Governor McCrory that he would sign a bill to protect Confederate monuments in North Carolina.

The article reported:

“Our monuments and memorials reminds us of North Carolina’s complete story,” McCrory said in a news release. “The protection of our heritage is a matter of statewide significance to ensure that our rich history will always be preserved and remembered for generations to come.

“I remain committed to ensuring that our past, present and future state monuments tell the complete story of North Carolina.”

The bill had passed the North Carolina Senate unanimously in April, but there was a heated debate in the North Carolina House about the bill.

The article describes the bill:

The bill passed the House Tuesday and would ban state agencies and local governments from taking down any “object of remembrance” on public property that “commemorates an event, a person, or military service that is part of North Carolina’s history.”

That would mean a state law would be needed to remove a monument or relocate one to a site that’s not of “similar prominence.”

The idea behind the bill was to prevent cities or towns from acting abruptly and later regretting their actions regarding various statues.

Fast forward to today.

Channel 12 is reporting that there will be a public hearing next week where the public can address the committee examining the proposal by Governor Roy Cooper‘s administration to move three Confederate monuments from North Carolina’s old Capitol grounds to a Civil War battlefield.

This is trivial pursuit. It changes nothing and costs the state a serious amount of money. Also, according to the law currently in place, a state law would be needed to move the monuments. Why are we wasting the government’s and the public’s time with this? What in the world will moving the monuments change?

As we attack these monuments, we need to remember that Union and Confederate soldiers are considered U.S. veterans under federal law, and that they would be entitled to the same benefits as Union soldiers today. It’s also true that federal law (formerly Public Law 810) makes Confederate soldiers eligible for burial in national cemeteries and for taxpayer-funded headstones, just like Union soldiers. The men who fought for the south were fighting for states’ rights. They are as much to be honored as the men who fought against them.

Moving monuments does not change history–it simply brings up more divisions. We need to put the generally mistold history of the Civil War behind us and move forward. The Civil War was not about slavery–it was an economic war about tariffs and the exploitation of the agricultural south by the industrialized north. To characterize it as anything else is to misunderstand our history. (Just for the record, this is not necessarily a southern perspective–I grew up in New Jersey!)

This Is Not How You Promote Racial Harmony

The following video was posted at YouTube:

Reparations will not bring racial harmony to America. The people asking for reparations were never slaves and the people asked to pay them were never slave owners. Many of the people asking for reparations do not even have ancestors that were in America during slavery. Currently the government of South Africa is taking land from white farmers and giving it to black farmers. That is a form of reparations, and I can guarantee that program will not bring peace either.

Slavery was wrong. Some of the indenture-ship agreements made with early Irish and other nationalities were also wrong. However, we can’t change the past. Taking money from one group of people for no reason and giving it to another group of people for no reason is not going to solve any problems. It simply convinces the group receiving the money that they are entitled to something they didn’t earn.

If you really want to see things change, bring fathers back into the homes in the black community. There are more black children living without fathers in the home than with fathers in the home. Instead of reparations, let’s talk about better schools. Let’s talk about changing the culture in the black community so that an education is something to be desired. While we are at it, let’s improve the culture in the Hispanic community and in the poor white communities. Education is the key–not necessarily college–trade school works just as well. I never went to college–I just wasn’t interested, so I spent two years in a liberal arts trade school program instead. It served me well.

Instead of worrying about reparations, let’s get all Americans working, earning a good living, and taking pride in what they are doing. That is a much more certain road to racial harmony than reparations.


The Insanity Continues

The Daily Caller posted a story today about the latest protest of the National Anthem.

The article reports:

According to, the national anthem is a “racist song” and the NAACP wants to push state lawmakers to change it.

Alice Huffman, the president of the California chapter of the NAACP, said the song is “racist” and that it “doesn’t represent our community. It’s anti-black people.”

 The cites the song’s third verse, which is usually not sang, as evidence of its racist overtones. The third verse includes a line that says, “no refuge could save the hireling and slave from the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave.”

When the song was written in 1814, slavery was still legal in the United States.

Slavery is part of America’s history. It’s not a positive part, but it is a part. In 1814, slavery was legal.

Just as a point of information, according to a website called federalobserver:

…according to the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database, 12.5 million Africans were shipped to the New World. 10.7 million survived the dreaded Middle Passage, disembarking in North America, the Caribbean and South America.

And how many of these 10.7 million Africans were shipped directly to North America? Only about 388,000. That’s right: a tiny percentage.

Slavery is over in America. Unfortunately it is still alive and well in other parts of the world. Those protesting the National Anthem might do better to protest the places where slavery still exists.

This Is Incredibly Misguided And Sad

The New Orleans Times-Picayune posted a story yesterday (updated today) about the removal of the statue of Jefferson Davis from the monument site on Canal Street at Jefferson Davis Parkway. That is so sad. Jefferson Davis was a Democratic U.S. Representative and Senator from Mississippi, the 23rd U.S. Secretary of War, and the President of the Confederate States of America during the Civil War. He is guilty of doing what he thought was right and what the people of his state thought was right. We are wrong to judge him in the context of today rather than the context of the time in which he lived.

Admittedly, slavery was a horrible thing, but it was a worldwide acceptable practice at the time. Jefferson Davis was guilty of complying with the norms of society at the time. It is unfair to judge him by today’s standards. Slavery is part of America’s history, just as it is a part of the history of most of the countries in the world. Unfortunately, there are countries where it is still practiced today.

The article quotes a resident who came to watch the statue being removed:

Pat Gallagher, who lives in Jefferson Parish, said she decided to go out to the intersection because she is concerned about the preservation of all monuments, both Confederate and others.

“I think it’s a slippery slope,” she said of taking down monuments. “It’s part of history — whether it’s good, bad or indifferent. You can’t change history.”

She expressed a special concern for monuments to those who served in the military, ticking off a list of wars and battles in which she said her ancestors have served, beginning with one who fought at Valley Forge and continuing through the Battle of New Orleans, the Civil War, World War II and a nephew now stationed in Afghanistan.

“This is about monuments to military men who fought for their country,” she said. “This is very personal for me. That’s why I’m here — to stand up for my ancestors — all of them.”

“I’m getting sick at heart because they’re getting ready to take this down,” she said, tearing up. 

The article includes a statement by the Mayor:

“There are four prominent monuments in question. The Battle of Liberty Place monument, which was removed three weeks ago, was erected by the Crescent City White League to remember the deadly insurrection led by white supremacists against the City’s racially integrated police department and government. The statue coming down today is the Jefferson Davis statue on Jefferson Davis Parkway. The statues slated to come down next include the Robert E. Lee statue at Lee Circle and the P.G.T. Beauregard equestrian statue on Esplanade Avenue at the entrance to City Park.

“‘Three weeks ago, we began a challenging but long overdue process of removing four statues that honor the ‘Lost Cause of the Confederacy.’ Today we continue the mission,’ said Mayor Mitch Landrieu. ‘These monuments have stood not as historic or educational markers of our legacy of slavery and segregation, but in celebration of it. I believe we must remember all of our history, but we need not revere it. To literally put the Confederacy on a pedestal in some of our most prominent public places is not only an inaccurate reflection of our past, it is an affront to our present, and a bad prescription for our future. We should not be afraid to confront and reconcile our past.'”

This is the sort of thing that happens in third-world countries. I would ask those who see these monuments as a celebration of slavery that need to be removed, what other parts of our history do you want to remove? We can’t change history because we did something that was acceptable at the time that we now realize was wrong. We need to look at the monuments in the context of the time they were erected and realize that we have grown since then. The monuments should be a reminder that even good men make mistakes. As I said, slavery was a worldwide, accepted practice. The fact that those in the southern states wanted to continue it and expand the territory it was allowed in is a reflection of the culture they lived in. We need to understand that despite the fact that slavery and the Civil War represent a very dark period in American history, they are both part of our history. These statues represent that history and need to be left alone.


Has Anyone Seen This In Their Newspaper Or TV News ?

 I realize that this is long, but please read the entire story. It is disturbing.

On February 26, the Frederick Douglass Foundation of New York released the following Press Release:

In Case You Missed It

13 Year Old Jada Williams Persecuted by the Rochester City School District  Over her essay on Frederick Douglass.

On Saturday, February 18, 2012, the Frederick Douglass Foundation of New York presented the first Spirit of Freedom award to Jada Williams, a 13-year old city of Rochester student.  Miss Williams wrote an essay on her impressions of Frederick Douglass’ first autobiography the Narrative of the Life.  This was part of an essay contest, but her essay was never entered.  It offended her teachers so much that, after harassment from teachers and school administrators at School #3, Miss Williams was forced to leave the school.
We at the Frederick Douglass Foundation honored her because her essay actually demonstrates that she understood the autobiography, even though it might seem a bit esoteric to most 13-year olds.  In her essay, she quotes part of the scene where Douglass’ slave master catches his wife teaching then slave Frederick to read.  During a speech about how he would be useless as a slave if he were able to read, Mr. Auld, the slave master, castigated his wife.
Miss Williams quoted Douglass quoting Mr. Auld:  “If you teach that nigger (speaking of myself) how to read, there will be no keeping him. It will forever unfit him to be a slaveHe would at once become unmanageable, and of no value to his master.”
Miss Williams personalized this to her own situation.  She reflected on how the “white teachers” do not have enough control of the classroom to successfully teach the minority students in Rochester.  While she herself is more literate than most, due to her own perseverance and diligence, she sees the fact that so many of the other “so-called ‘unteachable’” students aren’t learning to read as a form of modern-day slavery.  Their illiteracy holds them back in society.
Her call to action was then in her summary: “A grand price was paid in order for us to be where we are today; but in my mind we should be a lot further, so again I encourage the white teachers to instruct and I encourage my people to not just be a student, but become a learner.”
This offended her English teacher so much that the teacher copied the essay for other teachers and for the Principal. After that, Miss Williams’ mother and father started receiving phone calls from numerous teachers, all claiming that their daughter is “angry.”  Miss Williams, mostly a straight-A student, started receiving very low grades, and she was kicked out of class for laughing and threatened with in-school suspension.
There were several meetings with teachers and administrators, but all failed to answer Miss Williams’ mother’s questions. The teachers refused to show her the tests and work that she had supposedly performed so poorly on.  Instead, the teachers and administrators branded her a problem.
Unable to take anymore of the persecution, they pulled her from School #3.  Wanting to try another school, they were quickly informed that that school was filled and told to try “this school.”  During her first day at this new school, she witnessed four fights, and other students asked her if she was put here because she fights too much.
Long story short, they took an exceptional student, with the radical idea that kids should learn to read, and put her in a school of throwaway students who are even more unmanageable than the average student in her previous school.  To protect their daughter, her parents have had to remove her from school, and her mother has had to quit her job so she can take care of Miss Williams.
To date, the administrators of School #3 have refused to release her records, even though she no longer attends the school, and they have repeatedly given her mother the run around.  We at the Frederick Douglass Foundation have contacted school administrators in regards to this situation and have also been told to hit the pavement.

That’s what we intend to do.  If this school will sacrifice the welfare of an above-average student whose essay, that they asked her to write, they find offensive, we intend to make everyone aware of this monstrous injustice.  The school has a job, and it is not doing it.  We would like as many folks as possible to call the Principal of School #3 and complain about this injustice.  Her name is Miss Connie Wehner, and she can be reached at (585) 454-3525.  This treatment of Jada Williams cannot stand.


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