If We Erase Our History, Who Are We? - By Patrick J. Buchanan
When the Dodge Charger of 20-year-old Nazi sympathizer James
Alex Fields Jr., plunged into that crowd of protesters Saturday, killing
32-year-old Heather Heyer, Fields put Charlottesville on the map of modernity
Fields ran down the protesters, and then backed up, running down more, what was
happening seemed but a bloody brawl between extremists on both sides of the
issue of whether Robert E. Lee's statue should be removed from Emancipation
Park, formerly Lee Park.
Heyer's death, the brawl was elevated to a moral issue. And President Donald
Trump's initial failure to denounce the neo-Nazi and Klan presence was declared
a moral failure.
did we get here, and where are we going?
June of 2015, 21-year-old Dylann Roof gunned down nine Christians at an evening
Bible study in Charleston's Emanuel AME Church. A review of Roof's selfies and
website showed him posing with the Confederate battle flag.
Nikki Haley, five years in office, instantly pivoted and called for removal of
the battle flag from the Confederate war memorial on the State House grounds,
as a "deeply offensive symbol of a brutally offensive past."
ignited a national clamor to purge all statues that lionize Confederate
soldiers and statesmen.
Maryland, demands have come for removing statues and busts of Chief Justice
Roger Taney, the author of the Dred Scott decision. Statues of Gen.
"Stonewall" Jackson, President Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee have
been pulled down in New Orleans.
Charlottesville, pressure is building for removal of the statues of Lee,
Jackson, Davis and Gen. "Jeb" Stuart from historic Monument Avenue in
Richmond, capital of the Confederacy.
Southern towns, including Alexandria, Virginia, have statues of Confederate
soldiers looking to the South. Shall we pull them all down? And once all the
Southern Civil War monuments are gone, should we go after the statues of the
slave owners whom we Americans have heroized?
George Washington and his subordinate, "Light Horse Harry" Lee,
father of Robert E. Lee, were slave owners, as was Jefferson, James Madison,
James Monroe and Andrew Jackson. Five of our first seven presidents owned
slaves, as did James K. Polk, who invaded and annexed the northern half of
Mexico, including California.
with his exploitation of Sally Hemings and neglect of their children, presents
a particular problem. While he wrote in the Declaration of Independence of his
belief that "all men are created equal," his life and his depiction
of Indians in that document belie this.
Jefferson is both on the face of Mount Rushmore and has a memorial in the U.S.
term applied to the "Unite the Right" gathering in Charlottesville is
that they are "white supremacists," a mortal sin to modernity. But
here we encounter an even greater problem.
back over the history of a Western Civilization, which we call great, were not
the explorers who came out of Spain, Portugal, France, Holland and England all
conquered in the name of the mother countries all the lands they discovered,
imposed their rule upon the indigenous peoples, and vanquished and eradicated
the native-born who stood in their way.
during the centuries-long discovery and conquest of the New World, really
believed that the lives of the indigenous peoples were of equal worth with
those of the colonizers?
believed European Man had the right to rule the world.
in the 16th century, Western imperialists ruled much of what was called the
civilized world. Was not the British Empire, one of the great civilizing forces
in human history, a manifestation of British racial superiority?
if being a segregationist disqualifies one from being venerated in our brave
new world, what do we do with Woodrow Wilson, who thought "Birth of a
Nation" a splendid film and who re-segregated the U.S. government?
1955, Prime Minister Churchill, imperialist to the core, urged his Cabinet to
consider the slogan, "Keep England White."
is a belief in the superiority of one's race, religion, tribe and culture
unique to the West. What is unique, what is an experiment without precedent, is
what we are about today.
have condemned and renounced the scarlet sins of the men who made America and
embraced diversity, inclusivity and equality.
new America is to be a land where all races, tribes, creeds and cultures
congregate, all are treated equally, and all move ever closer to an equality of
results through the regular redistribution of opportunity, wealth and power.
are going to become "the first universal nation."
men are created equal" is an ideological statement. Where is the
scientific or historic proof for it? Are we building our utopia on a sandpile
of ideology and hope?
on to Richmond!
J. Buchanan is the author of a new book, "Nixon's White House Wars: The
Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever."