How long until the book burnings start?
One wonders if the leftist zealots frothing at the mouth for the destruction of all things with a connection to the Southern Confederacy of 1860-1865 can even recall the catalyst of their current rage. Surely they recall that their current efforts stem from the murder of nine men and women by a racist lunatic. This means little to the professional agitators and malcontents on social media, in academia, in the media, and in government, however, as those poor souls have served their purpose.
Now, in their self-righteous zeal, the Orwellian thought police seek to expunge any and all reference to the Confederacy in furtherance of their long efforts to rewrite, edit, or ignore vast swaths of our American saga. The purge is not limited to Confederate battle flags aloft Southern state houses – no, it has expanded to public parks, statues, military bases, and streets that bear the name of famous Confederates. One Arkansas high school even plans to ban the unofficial anthem of “Dixie,” as it may offend some.
One wonders if, in their zeal to erase “Dixie” from the collective consciousness, the left will remember that the Great Emancipator himself, Abraham Lincoln, upon hearing of Lee’s surrender at Appomattox, asked that the song be played as the first step toward national reconciliation. As the zealots demand rechristening for streets and bases named after Confederate leaders, will they deign to read the history of former Confederate general James Longstreet, who led black militiamen to suppress a riot by the White League in New Orleans in 1874? As they cast down memorials to Robert E. Lee and curse his name, will they pause to reflect on the story from St. Paul’s Church in Richmond, where in 1865 a defeated Lee attended Sunday worship? When a recently liberated black man approached the altar and kneeled to receive communion, the congregation sat, stunned, until General Lee strode down the aisle to kneel beside the man, accepting the Eucharist.
When we seek to tear down and obscure our history, we inch closer toward oblivion. Our American story is complex, full of joy and tears, triumphs and tragedies, but it is our history and our heritage. We must not allow the latter-day tyrants or the simpletons who follow their siren call to accomplish their goal of fundamentally transforming our history. If such acts go unchallenged, can public book burnings be far behind?