Walter Williams has an interesting column today on the left’s tired attempts to rewriting American history. In it, I think, he encapsulates the proper way to think about this issue. This is no surprise from the always clear-thinking Williams.
He starts his column (which you can read in its entirety here), fittingly, with a quote from Orwell, “The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.” That is certainly an apt description of the left’s incessant need to tear down the elements of history that they don’t approve of.
Some brief history is necessary. Outlawing or tearing down confederate monuments and symbols is certainly nothing new. There have been organized movements to remove the confederate flag and other monuments in southern states since the 1960’s. The movement has gained even more traction since the 2015 South Carolina church massacre, which led to the removal of the confederate flag from the South Carolina capitol building. This success has led directly to the recent events in New Orleans, where four long time historical monuments are now being removed.
Whether controversial historical monuments belong on public property or not should be up to the people who live there, but it is a dangerous game the left is playing. If you believe that those who don’t learn from the past are doomed to repeat it, how much more so for those who willingly repress and destroy the past? Wouldn’t a better solution be to allow a private dealer to purchase the monuments and display them on private property? Well, no, because the goal isn’t to relocate the monuments to somewhere more appropriate, the goal is to destroy them and any memory of them. It isn’t about tolerance and inclusiveness, it’s about political power, pure and simple.
Not to mention, where do you stop? This is ultimately Williams’ point.
“The challenges of rewriting American history are endless, going beyond relatively trivial challenges such as finding new pictures for our currency. At least half of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence were slave owners. Also consider that roughly half of the 55 delegates to the 1787 Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia were slave owners. Do those facts invalidate the U.S. Constitution, and would the history rewriters want us to convene a new convention to purge and purify our Constitution?
The job of tyrants and busybodies is never done. When they accomplish one goal, they move their agenda to something else. If we Americans give them an inch, they’ll take a yard. So I say, don’t give them an inch in the first place. The hate-America types use every tool at their disposal to achieve their agenda of discrediting and demeaning our history. Our history of slavery is simply a convenient tool to further their cause.”