UT wants to forget the past?
Thursday, December 28, 2006
As a Civil War amateur historian, I cringe at the current movement of the politically-correct
crowd to try and distance our nation from southern “heroes.” All over
the south, Civil War memorials to Jefferson Davis and prominent southern generals
have come under attack as being symbols of bigotry and hate. Perhaps they are,
but they are also symbols of the legacy of this nation and its struggle for democracy.
Last year, the city of Memphis, TN considered renaming Forrest, Davis, and
Confederate Parks. And now, the University of Texas will form a panel to consider
the future of statues of Jefferson Davis and other southern generals on the
Austin campus. The picture above is of Robert E. Lee from the UT campus, who
most remember as one of America’s greatest generals. Ironically, he was
also responsible for changing the college education system by providing college
students with a “diverse” education.
The reasons for fighting the Civil War are many, ranging from preserving state’s
rights to abolishing slavery. Whether or not you or I believe the war was fought
for the wrong reasons does not matter. The fact is that almost 1,000,000 Americans
died or were wounded fighting for their beliefs.
To remove these statues or rename these parks will not solve the racial problems
in our country today. There will always be extremists (both black and white)
who are haters no matter how many statues are removed or built. The leaders
of tomorrow will not be cut from this cloth and should have the opportunity
to look to the past to learn from our country’s history/mistakes in order
to strengthen its future.
Heritage, not hate!