Being a writer often forces you to reflect on what you’re writing about and why. Why do I care in this situation? What draws me to this story or topic? You’ll often find yourself at a discourse, writing passionately about a subject, then suddenly wonder why you give a damn at all. Because honestly, many things that we’re passionate about don’t have little to no effect on us. They aren’t even a part of our day-to-day lives until we hear about them. So, I have to ask people who don’t live in Charlottesville this simple question: Why? This isn’t a monument that most of you were even knew existed. I doubt most of you have personal ties to Robert E. Lee himself. Is this a statue that you’ve even seen in person? Is General Lee someone you admire? Does it represent a time in our country that we truly want to remember? General Robert E. Lee even opposed depictions of the Confederacy, and its leaders, under the belief that they would deter the nation from healing after the war. So, if those who actually represented the Confederacy didn’t support the erection of these statues, then why do you?
Yesterday, on Tucker Carlson’s show, he made an observation that was so good that I had to quote it in full.
“One thing President Trump said Tuesday deserves more attention than it will likely get.
On Monday a mob tore down a civil war soldier’s memorial in Durham, North Carolina. Police stood idly by and liberals across the country applauded it. Which statues are next, the president asked today, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson?
It’s not a joke. Suddenly it’s a serious question.
Thomas Jefferson indisputably was a great man. He was the author of the Declaration of Independence. Founder of the University of Virginia and maybe, most importantly, the greatest thinker in American political history.
All of us live in his shadow. Unfortunately, however, Jefferson was also a slave holder. That’s real. It’s a moral taint. We ought to remember it.
But to the fanatics on the left it means that Jefferson must be purged from public memory forever. The demands are already coming that we do that.
In 2015, the students at the University of Missouri demanded the removal of a Jefferson statue. Two years ago, on CNN, anchor Ashleigh Banfield suggested the Jefferson Memorial in Washington might have to go. Needless to say there is literally no limit when you start thinking like this.
Last year, hundreds of activists in New York demanded the statue of Theodore Roosevelt at the American National History Museum be dismantled. They argued that Roosevelt was a racist.
That’s the standard. Nobody is safe.
Watch out Abraham Lincoln. You’re next.
Now, to be clear, as if it’s necessary, slavery is evil. If you believe in the rights of the individual, it’s actually hard to think of anything worse than slavery.
But let’s be honest. Up until 150 years ago when a group of brave Americans fought and died to finally put an end to it, slavery was the rule, rather than the exception around the world. And had been for thousands of years, sadly.
Plato owned saves, so did Mohammed — peace be upon him.
Many African tribes held slaves and sold them. The Aztecs did, too. Before he liberated Latin America, Simon Bolivar owned slaves.
Slave-holding was so common among the North American Indians that the Cherokee brought their slaves with them on the Trail of Tears. And it wasn’t something they learned from European settlers.
Indians were holding and trading slaves when Christopher Columbus arrived. And by the way, he owned slaves, too.
None of this is a defense of the atrocity of human bondage. And it is an atrocity.
The point however is that if we are going to judge the past by the standards of the present. If we are going to reduce a person’s life to the single worst thing he ever participated in, we had better be prepared for the consequences of that. And here’s why: Forty one of the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence held slaves.
James Madison, the father of the Constitution, had a plantation full of slaves.
George Mason, the father of the Bill of Rights, also owned slaves, unfortunately. But does that make what they wrote illegitimate?
If these men were simply racist villains, and that’s all they were, then the society they created is as evil as they were. There is no reason to respect its traditions or uphold its laws.
The First Amendment, for example, the right to speak freely — For hundreds of years Americans have revered it. Now, the left dismisses it as the work of white supremacist slave holders. It is worthless, they tell us. It must go.
It is now routine to hear liberals claim that hate speech, whatever that is, isn’t protected by the First Amendment. Though of course the whole point of the First Amendment is to protect speech that offends people.
It’s a statement of shocking ignorance and yet it is now common.
CNN’s Chris Cuomo said it. He is supposedly a lawyer.
At Pomona College in California, students there are claiming that free speech is “a tool appropriated by hegemonic institutions.”
Whatever that means. They say the right of free expression should only apply to certain racial groups.
But that’s not racist because as you know there is no racism on the left.
They are just sincere people concerned about hate.
There is actually a vitally important debate going on in the country right now. And it’s not about statues or even the alt-left antifa, it’s about American institutions and whether they are worth preserving.
Radicals on the left want to tear it all down as they did the statue in Durham Tuesday.
Equality under the law.
Protections for the individual against the mob.
The absolute right to say and believe anything you choose.
Those will be gone. Replaced by something darker and more rigidly conformist.
Is that a country you want to live in?
If it’s not, now is the time to speak up. elites are refusing to. They are too afraid.”
If you want to see the video, here it is: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2017/08/16/tucker-carlson-if-want-to-erase-past-must-prepare-for-consequences.html
I want to start off by condemning the acts committed by white supremacists in Charlottesville. The “Alt-Right”, a guise adopted by ultra-conservative whites in this country, is a pseudo-political alignment striving for white supremacy. Their belief system is not in line with American virtues and has no place in this country. However, I believe that our nation has finally reached a discourse in racially fueled violence. Both the Radical Left and Radical right have killed for the sake of their perspective causes, further perpetuating angst and hatred amongst this country’s citizens. Political Radicalism, both violent and non-violent, is plaguing this nation. For this, I believe that it’s time for the American people to take a step back and shut their mouths for a moment.
It’s not a difficult task – simply press your lips together, breathe through your nose, and listen. The greatest thing about shutting your mouth is that you might just actually learn something from somebody. You may learn about their perspectives on life, perhaps see how those perspectives originated, and maybe, just maybe, you could begin to understand those who are different than you.
Keeping one’s mouth shut can often be difficult, considering that most of us are so enamored with ourselves that we can accept our faults. Many Americans express their angst over social media nowadays, which has provided the common folk with a public platform (a good thing) that many believe certifies them as an expert on any given topic (a bad thing). In actuality, the individuals expressing the strongest opinions over social media are usually the most grievously misinformed people out there.
Those individuals frequently preach radicalism, and are returned with a cultish following. No, I am not speaking about radical Islamic terror, though some may not understand what radicalism truly is on its own. Radicalism, in any sense of the term, calls for a dramatic systematic reform or change, and you can see this in American politics every day. It doesn’t matter if you’re the overly zealous Republican trying to “Drain the Swamp”, or the hyper-left liberal preaching for socialist reform, when you are way “out there,” you’re participating in radicalism. You may not be as extreme as the progressive social justice warriors rioting in the streets (great way to strive for peace), or the alt-right neo-Nazis spreading racial hatred, but radicals of either persuasion are members of the worst demographic in America.
Your preaching of radical ideologies is forced on “normal” Americans on a continuous basis. Your major media personalities and personal affiliates are masters of perpetuating your own dogma and self-serving rhetoric. Radicals are incapable of listening to the other side, and use their own opinions to sway the undecided (or weak-minded citizens) within this country. While I may identify as a Democrat, that doesn’t mean that my personal ideologies aren’t relatively centric. That does not mean that I can’t participate in a conversation with our other writer, Pops (R), and understand his perspective. The way I do this is by shutting my mouth (as challenging as it may be sometimes) and listening. At times, though Pops would never admit this on his end, we can even admit to being wrong. Crazy concept. A lot can be learned by listening to those with opposing views. I’ve been taking a break from posting for a while because I simply don’t have the patience to watch the “News”. The American people turn on “Fox & Friends”, or CNN’s “New Day”, and hear them preach their perspective messages as if it were the word of God. In reality, both are slightly less savvy versions of “The View” with a political twist. To the American people, I challenge you to do something. Wake up and read from a publication with an opposing view. Participate in a discussion with someone whose political affiliation differs from your own, and attempt to understand where they’re coming from. Trust me, it may be difficult at first, but you can do it.
I’ll leave you with this: If everyone does nothing but speak their piece, but nobody listens to what is being said, how will we ever make progress?
Pops Responds: Nobody ever learned anything from words that came out of their own mouth.