This column is not political but it is history — and apparently knowledge of history is woefully lacking. Why would anyone want to take down a statue of Abraham Lincoln, the Republican president who freed the slaves with the Emancipation Proclamation? If they were taught the history, some did not learn it. The old adage of “those who don’t know their history are bound to repeat it” has never been more obvious than it is now. This brief, simple overview, compiled from The History Channel and Biography.com, should at least make you scratch your head and hopefully compel you to do your own deeper research.
The statues that have been removed/destroyed/vandalized have all been of Confederates. Who were the Confederates? Democrats. Who are tearing up the statues? Put it this way, they surely are not Republicans. Who has removed paintings in the U.S. House of Representatives that are likenesses of former House members who were also Confederates? Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic Speaker of the House. Do these people not even realize the import of their gestures? They are telling the world that their party — the Democrats — is the group responsible for the hatred toward the Confederates — even though they were the Confederates.
U.S. Sen. Robert J. Byrd, a Democrat, was a member of the Ku Klux Klan, an organization that was decidedly segregationist, to the point that they lynched blacks for being black, among other destructive actions. How did the KKK get away with it? Southern law enforcement wouldn’t go after the perpetrators and witnesses “didn’t see anything.” Byrd was a senator for 51 years so he served with many who remain in Congress. Numerous schools, buildings and offices have been named in his honor. His portrait hangs in the senate. Yet there has been no threat of removing anything with his name on it and no looting and rioting about him. Why is that?
The Civil War officially ended April 9, 1865, when Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered the Confederate Army to Union General Ulysses S. Grant. The KKK was established on Dec. 24, 1865, eight months after the close of the war, in Pulaski, Tenn. Even though the Civil War was over, most southern states wouldn’t accept defeat and they continued to fight against the Republican Party’s platform of economic and political equality for black Americans. Indeed, the southern Democrats had one main goal — reestablishing white supremacy.
These days the disruptive groups are anti-fa and Black Lives Matter. It’s not the local law that won’t do enforcement, it’s the governors and mayors of Democratic states and cities that allow rioters to run rampant.
On the TV news in 1963, I personally saw Democrat Alabama Gov. George Wallace trying to stop two students from entering the University of Alabama’s doors. Wallace’s slogan was, “Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.” It took the National Guard to enforce a judge’s order that the students be allowed in.
“Actions speak louder than words.” Take stock of what people do, not just what they say. That holds true for individuals or political parties. ❖