Are Confederate Memorials Preventing “Social Justice?”

As a stalwart Southerner who came of age before the 1960s, its hard to believe how much that era has transformed our society. Unfortunately, the majority of today’s citizens were born long after that decade, so what they know about decades prior to the 1960s comes from agenda-driven Leftist mainstream media. In previous articles, I have expressed my concern about how the massive cultural upheavals of the sixties has harmed our country, especially the South. This situation has gotten worse.

The detrimental effects of the sixties revolution would not have endured so long without the Left’s control of news media, social media, the entertainment field , and academia. Clever manipulation of all information outlets has essentially made the counterculture of the 1960s our primary culture. Politicians, academia, and media applied the moral laxity of the Flower Children to the entire nation.

Education has been greatly harmed as schools watered down academic standards and implemented social promotions. The public’s attention spans have shrunk, and a general “dumbing down” has occurred . Television programming avoids complexities offering the public uncomplicated, one-sided explanations of news and history. In fact, versions of news are so standardized and clichéd that many now rely on opinions from TV actors, comics, Rap singers, and other entertainment celebrities.

The post-sixties mindset rejects the concept of personal responsibility, maintaining that societal constraints are the primary determinant of success or failure. Media outlets never deviate from this point of view which relies heavily on stereotypes, and the South is rigidly stereotyped.

In their portrayals of the South, elitist news conglomerates no longer even pretend to be fair and balanced. Their opinions are heavily influenced by organizations like the scandal-ridden Southern Poverty Law Center. These news conglomerates claim that Confederate memorials were not created to honor Southerners but to symbolize White Supremacy and intimidate minorities. However, they insist that memorials honoring Northern military figures are free from ulterior motives . Consequently, New York’s equestrian statue of Union General William T. Sherman is uplifting while Charlottesville’s equestrian statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee symbolizes racial hatred.

The MSM reports of the Charlottesville riots maintained no distinctions between the various groups defending the monument. All were lumped together as White Supremacists, neo-Nazis, Klansmen, and other racist haters. But some were non-violently protesting the removal of Confederate monuments. According to the MSM, those who defended the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee were more at fault for the riots than those who demanded its removal, including the George Soros funded Antifa. – And President Trump continues to be vilified for his innocuous comment: “There was blame on both sides.”

The media’s one-sided exploitation of the Charlottesville incident has been co-opted by Democratic presidential candidates. Candidate Kamala Harris reviles defenders of the Robert E. Lee statue, claiming they “celebrated men who fought for an America that kept human beings enslaved.” Joe Biden kicked off his presidential candidacy with a video relying heavily on the Left’s version of Charlottesville. His video intermixed depictions of swastikas and Confederate flags, equating the two as images of hate.

Referring to President Trump’s comment that there were “Very fine people on both sides”, Mr. Biden stated: “With those words the President of the United States assigned a moral equivalence between those spreading hate and those with the courage to stand against it.” Trump stood by his comment and, as a result of media harassment, he responded a second time: “I was talking about people that went because they felt very strongly about the monument to Robert E. Lee — a great general, whether you like it or not.”

In addition to the removal of Confederate monuments, streets and buildings throughout the South honoring Southern heroes are being renamed. The Left-wing media’s intractable influence is evident when you consider how many Southern streets have been stripped of their Confederate designations and renamed for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Throughout America, there are over 900 streets that have been renamed for Dr. King. Communities don’t object to the honoring of Dr. King but they resent old established streets being renamed for him.

Consider the case of Kansas City, MO. The Paseo (Paseo Boulevard) was opened for use in 1899 and for 120 years has been one of Kansas City’s most popular streets. The community vigorously objected to the proposal that it be renamed Martin Luther King, Jr Boulevard. The Board of Parks and Recreation also rejected the name change and recommended several alternative sites for renaming. Nevertheless, although opinion polls indicated that 95% of the population opposed the change, the city council voted 8 to 4 to rename The Paseo for Dr. King. In what will hopefully become a trend, the community is circulating a petition to have that vote rescinded, and the original name restored.

The Left views memorials to Robert E. Lee as a hindrance to their ongoing efforts to reorder society. They insist that images honoring General Lee symbolize slavery and racism while those honoring Dr. Martin Luther King symbolize tolerance and fairness. The radical Left maintains that these two men are so diametrically opposed that society cannot sustain tributes to both. Consequently, General Lee memorials are being eliminated. But those that remain are essentially a bulwark against the overturn of our traditional culture.

About Gail Jarvis

Gail Jarvis is a Georgia-based free-lance writer. He attended the University of Alabama and has a degree from Birmingham Southern College. As a CPA/financial consultant, he helped his clients cope with the detrimental effects of misguided governmental intrusiveness. This influenced his writing as did years of witnessing how versions of news and history were distorted for political reasons. Mr. Jarvis is a member of the Society of Independent Southern Historians and his articles have appeared on various websites, magazines, and publications for several organizations. He lives in Coastal Georgia with his wife. More from Gail Jarvis

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