A major campaign has been mounted to “cleanse” America’s history of political leaders who were racists, people who advocated and owned slaves, and those who promoted segregation and “Jim Crow” after slavery ended 150 years ago.
So the move is on to wipe the name of various major figures off of buildings, and the removal of statues and monuments erected in their honor.
The biggest “villains” in this quest to “correct” the past are President Thomas Jefferson, Vice President and Senator John C. Calhoun, Confederate President Jefferson Davis, and President Woodrow Wilson.
There is no question that all four, and others, can be condemned for their beliefs and behaviors.
But if we are to “discipline” them, then should we NOT add eight of the other nine pre Civil War Presidents who owned slaves; and the multitude of political leaders since the end of the Civil War who promoted segregation and racist views in the century and a half since 1865?
So while we are at it, whyÂ not wipe out all American history, instead of recognizing the sins and shortcomingsÂ that exist, as any good history professor will do in class, including this blogger, and also point out the major contributions that these leaders had on the totality of American history?
We cannot wipe out the past, and the move to sanitize it is a massive mistake!Â We need to TEACH and LEARN about it, and draw attention to it for present day political leaders, not try to make believe it never occurred in the first place!Â The goal should be to demand that today’s leaders stop promoting racism, nativism, and misogyny by exposing their transgressions!
So NO, to the attempt to reconstruct history, and wipe out the past, too common, ironically, to what happens in left wing and right wing dictatorships!