In the recent post, Stop Your Cultural Bulldozing, America: Disney World Taking Down Bill Cosby’s Bust Is Like Removing The Jefferson Memorial, I described the danger of removing well-earned cultural honors and memorials for individuals who later are found to have engaged in less than admirable conduct by current standards. I wrote in part…
“Sure, it’s uncomfortable having a bust of an unapologetic sexual predator in a Disney World attraction, and it might prompt some uncomfortable question from the kiddies. Well, good. It’s never too soon to learn that human beings are flawed, complex creatures, and that even the most brilliant and talented have dark sides, do terrible things, and can be cruel, selfish, dishonest and even criminal. We honor Thomas Jefferson for his crucial role in giving this nation life, and defining its mission and values for the ages. We’re not honoring his hypocrisy, his cowardice, his own rapes, or his slaveholding….
“First they came for Cosby, and we did not speak out…”
There is no stop to this slippery slope, and the political correctness mob will never stop.”
Some people I respect a great deal really went after me for that pronouncement, particularly on Facebook. “Hyperbole!” “Scaremongering!” “Just because a theme park doesn’t want to sport the bust of a rapist and stunning hypocrite in a TV Hall Of Fame doesn’t mean that there is any danger of politically correct zealots toppling the statue of Tom from his memorial!” “There is no such slippery slope,” I was scolded.
Under pressure from the NAACP, the state Democratic Party will scrub the names of the [Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson] from its annual fundraising dinner because of their ties to slavery. Party leaders voted unanimously Wednesday night in Hartford to rename the Jefferson Jackson Bailey dinner in the aftermath of last month’s fatal shooting of nine worshipers at a historic black church in Charleston, S.C. The decision is believed to be unprecedented and could prompt Democrats in other states with similarly named events to follow suit.
“I see it as the right thing to do,” Nick Balletto, the party’s first-year chairman, told Hearst Connecticut Media on Wednesday night. “I wasn’t looking to be a trailblazer or set off a trend that’s going to affect the rest of the country. Hopefully, they’ll follow suit when they see it’s the right thing to do.”
Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson are, correctly, regarded as the founders of the modern Democratic Party. Not only that: they are both beyond question great Americans, not merely Presidents (I think both, especially Jackson, have a legitimate claim to greatness in their Presidencies), but towering and significant presences in our national story that all of us, not merely Democrats, ought to know about and honor for their role in making the United States what it has been. Jefferson, of course, is credited with writing the mission statement for the United States, and the words that laid the ideological and ethical foundation for everything that followed. It is true that he was a slaveholder, but he did as much with his pen to seal the eventual doom of slavery as any Union general did with a sword. Jackson was also a slaveholder. Yet it was his steely resistance to any thought of the United States disuniting over slavery or any other dispute that provided the principles upon which Abraham Lincoln based his determination not to allow the Confederacy, and slavery, leave the Union unrestrained.
Yet all the NAACP has to do is whistle, and the Democratic party abandons its heritage and standard-bearers, airbrushing history to conform to a powerful constituency’s exploitation of the emotion following a mass shooting that neither Jefferson nor Jackson would have tolerated, and that only a lunatic could blame them for in any way.
Scot X. Esdaile, the head of Connecticut’s NAACP, applauded the insult to the two men, as well as to the intelligence of any thinking Connecticut citizen, saying, “I would applaud the current leaders in Connecticut in making the symbolic first step and striving to right the wrongs of the past,” What wrongs does this “right”? Balletto still wins the award for fatuousness, pointing out that blacks and Native Americans are a major constituency of the Democratic Party—so the party shouldn’t have the integrity and courage to refuse their efforts at historical Stalinism, apparently, and intoning that
“When something offends someone, it’s beyond being politically correct It just causes a need for change.”
That’s all it takes to justify the Democratic Party spitting in the faces of its spiritual founders. Somebody being offended.
Go ahead. Tell me the national party won’t follow this miserable example. Tell me the NAACP–which is advocating the destruction of the huge sculpture of Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson on Stone Mountain, Georgia (I bet ISIS would do it for them!)—won’t be emboldened by this latest success to press its advantage with the national Democratic Party as well. Tell me that a political party who so easily rejects its own creators would resist continuing to remove honors and memorials to the historical importance of the nation’s creators and defenders—especially the same ones. Hillary Clinton has already expressed her desire to take Jackson’s image off the twenty dollar bill. Tell me that the Jefferson Memorial, and—who knows?— even the Washington Monument might not eventually fall prey to this…
“dishonest, incompetent, unfair, irresponsible, destructive….and so, so short-sighted and stupid”
…process whereby compliant thought and political belief is compelled by controlling access to history, and all of its complexities and contradictions. Certainly, that’s quite a bit down the slope yet.
But please don’t tell me again that there is no slope there.
“You can’t change history, but you don’t have to honor it,” says the craven Balletto. Wrong. You have to honor what deserved and deserves to be honored, or history becomes merely political propaganda, useful only to support current political agendas. A nation that doesn’t honor and respect its history has no history.
Source: Conn. Post