Take Down the Statues of Robert Byrd
President Trump had it right when, during his press conference on infrastructure he addressed the nonstop questions on Charlottesville, he asked if those obsessed with fears of white nationalism if they would also remove statues and monuments to George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, both slaveowners, in addition to the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.
Trump’s critics responded that while Washington and Jefferson were slaveowners, they did not go to war to defend slavery. True enough, but also true is the fact that white nationalism had its roots in the Democratic post-Civil War south and that the KKK was founded by Democrats to suppress blacks liberated by the Republican administration of President Abraham Lincoln.
The alt-left movement, which shares the blame along with arguably racist groups such as Black Lives Matter and Antifa, hate America so much that they want to erase all vestiges of American history and throw them down an Orwellian memory hole to be supplanted by alt-left politically correct ideology.
Notice that no one has demanded that statues of former senator and KKK icon Robert Byrd be removed, statues honoring the hard-core former white nationalist whom Hillary Clinton once called her friend and mentor, including one prominently displayed in the West Virginia state capitol:
With the tearing down of confederate statues, removal of confederate flags, and the destruction of anything from America’s past that is controversial or downright deplorable, one statue has managed to escape scrutiny from protesters.
It involves a U.S. Senator from West Virginia. A prominent, highly successful member of the Democrat party. And a mentor to the woman who almost became President of the United States.
He also happens to be a former card-carrying member of the KKK. In fact, he created his own chapter along with 150 of his friends and colleagues.
Where is the outrage and destruction of this statue?
That is former Senator Robert Byrd who was once elected a top officer – the Exalted Cyclops, whatever the hell that is – in the local Klan unit in the early 1940s.
He is a man who once vowed never to fight in the military along with “race mongrels” or “with a negro by my side.”
After his passing, Hillary Clinton eulogized Byrd in a 2010 video in which she called him “my friend and mentor.”
The alt-left seems very selective in its righteous indignation, ignoring the historical record of a Democratic Party which embraced white nationalism, founded the KKK, and honored one of the great bigots of modern times -- Robert Byrd.
The alt-left’s historical amnesia omits the fact that it was Senator Robert Byrd, Democrat of West Virginia and former “Grand Kleagle” with the Ku Klux Klan, who holds the distinction of being the only senator to have opposed the only two black nominees to the Supreme Court, Thurgood Marshall and Clarence Thomas, and led a 52-day filibuster against civil rights legislation.
Sen. Al Gore, father of the former vice president, voted against the act, as did Sen. J. William Fulbright, to whom Bill Clinton dedicated a memorial, current senior Senator from South Carolina Ernest Hollings, Sen. Richard Russell and, of course, Sen. Strom Thurmond, who was a Democrat at that time.
Cory Booker, among others, forgets that it was Democrats who unleashed the dogs and turned on the fire hoses on civil rights marchers. It was Democrats who stood in the schoolhouse door and are still standing there by opposing school choice and trapping minority children in failing schools. It was Democrats who blocked the bridge in Selma.
Booker’s amnesia omits the fact that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 would never have been possible without Republican leadership. Not only was that legislation a personal victory for Illinois Republican Sen. Everett Dirksen, then Senate Minority leader, Republicans in both the House and Senate supported the measure in far greater percentages than Democrats. Only six GOP Senators voted against the act, compared with 21 Democrats. The party of Abraham Lincoln beat back the fire hoses and dogs of the party of Robert Byrd.
As one pundit put it, the Democrats should know a lot about Jim Crow laws, since they are the ones who wrote them. Condoleezza Rice, President George W. Bush's national security advisor, explained at the 2000 GOP national convention why a black college professor would be a Republican:
"The first Republican I knew was my father John Rice. And he is still the Republican I admire the most. My father joined our party because the Democrats in Jim Crow Alabama of 1952 would not register him to vote. The Republicans did. I want you to know that my father has never forgotten that day, and neither have I."
President Trump has been roundly and unjustly vilified for allegedly not being forceful enough quickly enough in his condemnation of racism in Charlottesville. Compare this to the free pass given to President Barack Hussein Obama after the murder of five Dallas police officers when he used a memorial, not to condemn the racially motivated shooter, but rather racist cops. As the Washington Times reported:
President Obama defended the Black Lives Matter movement Tuesday at a memorial service for five slain Dallas police officers, saying bigotry remains a problem in police departments across the U.S.
While paying tribute to the fallen officers for sacrificing their lives to protect anti-police protesters from a sniper, Mr. Obama also called on law enforcement agencies to root out bias that he said is contributing to violence on the streets of America.
“We have all seen this bigotry in our lives at some point,” Mr. Obama told an audience of about 2,500 at a concert hall in Dallas. “None of us is entirely innocent. No institution is entirely immune. And that includes our police departments. We know this.”
The officers -- Michael Smith, Lorne Ahrens, Michael Krol, Brent Thompson and Patrick Zamarripa -- were killed during a Black Lives Matter protest Thursday night by a black sniper who told police he targeted white officers….
Fox News commentator Katie Pavlich added: “Worst part of Obama’s lecture about racial bias today? He did it at a memorial for 5 officers who were killed because they were white.”
The alt-left and the media -- apologies for being redundant -- are attempting to rewrite some history and make us forget the rest. It is the Democrats who are historically the party of white nationalism, a party that honors racist Klan members, and which ignores a sitting president who glosses over a black nationalist out to kill white cops
The alt-left talks of white nationalism but ignores the true character of movements like Black Lives Matter. As the Daily Caller reported and a video showed:
Black Lives Matter protesters marching on the Minnesota state fair on Saturday spewed violent anti-cop rhetoric just hours after a Harris County, Tex. sheriff’s deputy was ambushed and executed at a Houston-area gas station.
“Pigs in a blanket, fry ’em like bacon,” activists with the St. Paul, Minn. branch of Black Lives Matter chanted while marching behind a group of police officers down a highway just south of the state fair grounds.
We saw their bloodlust in New York as “protesters” of police brutality chanted their lust for dead cops. As Heather MacDonald writes in her new book, The War On Cops (Encounter Books, 2016):
In the summer of 2014, as we have seen, a lie overtook significant parts of the country and grew into a kind of mass hysteria. That lie holds that the police pose a mortal threat to black Americans -- indeed, that the police are the greatest threat facing black Americans today. Several subsidiary untruths buttress that central myth: that the criminal-justice system is biased against blacks; that there is no such thing as a black underclass; and that crime rates are comparable between blacks and whites, so that disproportionate police action in minority neighborhoods cannot be explained without reference to racism. The poisonous effect of these lies manifested itself in the cold-blooded assassination of two NYPD officers in December that year. The highest reaches of American society promulgated those untruths and participated in the mass hysteria. President Barack Obama, speaking after a grand jury decided not to indict the police officer who fatally shot Michael Brown, declared that blacks were right to believe that the criminal-justice system was often stacked against them. Obama repeated that message as he traveled around the country subsequently. Eric Holder escalated a long-running theme of his tenure as U.S. attorney general: that the police routinely engaged in racial profiling and needed federal intervention to police properly….
Meanwhile, protests and riots against the police were gathering force across the country, all of them steeped in anti-cop vitriol and the ubiquitous lie that “black lives” don’t “matter” to the police. “What do we want? Dead cops,” chanted participants in a New York anti-cop protest….
The racial hatred spawned by the alt-left and the Democrats goes ignored as chants of “white nationalism” drown out the diminishing mantra of “Russia, Russia, Russia”. The racial insensitivity and hypocrisy of Obama, Holder, and the race-based Democratic Party feed off of identity politics.
Think a statue of Robert E. Lee honors white nationalism and racism? Then what, pray tell, does a statue honoring the likes of KKK leader Robert Byrd represent. If one warrants taking down, then so does the other.
Daniel John Sobieski is a freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.