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Friday, June 26, 2015

Separating History and Hate

TRIGGER WARNING:  There actually was an American Civil War.
For John, BLUFRegarding our history we need to update, but we don't need revolution.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

At Tech Crunch is a story on overreaction to Governor Nikki Haley's move to remove the Confederate Battle Flag from the State Capitol grounds, "Apple Bans Games And Apps Featuring The Confederate Flag [Update: Some Games Being Restored]".

Note the update that common sense is being restored.

We need to distinguish between symbols that just make things worse and the artifacts of our history, which help us understand.  Sure, President G Washington owned slaves.  He wrote in his will that they should be freed on the death of his widow.  She ignored that request.  I wonder if the descendants of those slaves were the "property" of Robert E Lee, Confederate General?  There is a national monument to General Lee, what used to be known as the Custis-Lee Mansion.  But, back to G Washington, we are the nation we are, and not like France or Germany over the decades, because of G Washington.  We should know that fact.  We should know our history.

There is the question of renaming Army Posts named after Confederate Soldiers.  The Stars and Stripes, the newspaper of the military overseas (and on line) took a poll, "Should US military bases named after Confederates be renamed?".  Note, the question asks, should we change the names of bases such as Fort Lee (Virginia), Fort Hood (Texas) and Fort Benning (Georgia).  Put another way:

Do you think these posts should be renamed to honor people who fought in the U.S. Army exclusively?  Vote, and share your thoughts in the comments section below.
As of this time this morning, with 19654 votes it was Yes (Change) at 12% (2382) and No (Keep the names) at 88% (17272).

For those who think that is just a breakdown along racial lines, here are the 12 April 2015 stats:

Service% White& Minorities% Black% Other
Army73.9 %26.1 %21.5 %4.6 %
Navy66.2 %33.8 %19.3 %14.4 %
Marine Corps83.7 %16.3 %11.1 %5.2 %
Air Force78.1 %21.9 %15.6 %6.3 %
Coast Guard82 %18 %6.1 %11.9 %
Total74.6 %25.4 %17.8 %7.6 %

A lot of Black men and women went through Fort Benning for their initial training.

I would note that Senator Sherrod Brown, (D Ohio) has entered a resolution to honor "2022 as the bicentennial year for the celebration of the birth of President Ulysses S. Grant", a Republican.

The United States is a complicated nation, with a lot of different, moving pieces.  Change is part of the nation, but wholesale change without thought and preparation is not good for the Republic.  And some change is just crazy.

Regards  —  Cliff

  I am sure they meant Caucasian, but didn't have the space in the table.

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