This is the gravestone of my great-great-great grandfather, Benjamin Parks Middleton, located in the Bethel Baptist Church cemetery between the towns of Hazelhurst and Georgetown in Copiah County, Mississippi. He was a farmer from that area and, to my knowledge, was not a slave-owner.
Benjamin served as a private in the 6th Mississippi infantry unit of the Confederate States Army during the War Between the States. Eighty or so years earlier, his grandfather, Holland Middleton, served as a captain from Richmond County, Georgia in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. At the time of Benjamin’s death in 1891, he could not have known that his two-year-old grandson, Troy, would log more days in combat than any general officer in the United States Army fighting real, flesh-and-blood Nazis (not the modern Hitler fanboy variety) during World War Two. Hundreds of thousands – nay, millions – of Americans alive today can trace similar lineages and share similar stories.
I cannot say for certain, but my guess is that none of these men shared the Current Year’s enlightened views on race relations in our Vibrant, Diverse, Multicultural Society. Does that make them History’s Greatest Monsters whose sacrifices and accomplishments are not worth publicly remembering? For the crime of failure to conform to modern sensibilities, must we disavow our ancestors, the men who built America?
Sadly, among a small but increasingly vocal and violent segment of America, the answer to these questions is a resounding “yes.” What began as a call to remove from the public square monuments to the service and sacrifice of those who – rightly or wrongly – reasonably believed they were following in their grandfathers’ footsteps in fighting the Second War for American Independence now has mushroomed, predictably, into a call for removal, by any means necessary, of public monuments to anyone so thoughtless as to be caught Wrongthinking While Dead.
This exceedingly myopic view of history and human nature will, if left unchecked, leave a trail of destruction in its wake before eventually burning itself out on its own incoherence and hatred. Before that time comes, however, we who disagree must resist by all peaceable means available. We who wish to live in an honest America, a truthful America, a warts-and-all America – an America open to real diversity of thought – must resist these totalitarian efforts to shoehorn American history into a political ideology.
If you think so, say so. Pay no mind to the names you will be called, for they are mere words designed to shame you into silence, but which have no meaning.
In the end, the cultural Marxists running amok in America during the Current Year will be defeated in their efforts to retcon American history, if for no other reason than that their worldview betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of human nature. Humans seek to honor their ancestors, not cast them aside as so much garbage. Humans seek truth and understanding, not political claptrap masquerading as history. Humans seek the real diversity of thought, not the fake Diversity of totalitarians.