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On erasing memory by Victor Davis Hanson.
… In our race to rectify the past in the present, could Ken Burns in 2017 still make his stellar Civil War documentary, with a folksy and drawly Shelby Foote animating the tragedies of the Confederacy’s gifted soldiers sacrificing their all for a bad cause? Should progressives ask Burns to reissue an updated Civil War version in which Foote and southern “contextualizers” are left on the cutting room floor?
How about progressive icon Joan Baez? Should the Sixties folksinger seek forgiveness from us for reviving her career in the early 1970s with the big money-making hit “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down”— her version of The Band’s sympathetic ode to the tragedy of a defeated Confederacy, written over a century after the Civil War. (“Back with my wife in Tennessee / When one day she called to me / Said, “Virgil, quick, come see / There goes the Robert E. Lee!”) If a monument is to be wiped away, then surely a popular song must go, too.
Are there gradations of moral ambiguity? Or do Middlebury and Berkeley students or antifa rioters in their infinite wisdom have a monopoly on calibrating virtue and defining it as 100 percent bad or good? …
… When Minnesota Black Lives Matter marchers chanted of police, “Pigs in a blanket, fry ’em like bacon,” was that a call for violence that was not long after realized by a spate of racist murders of policemen in Dallas? Are such advocates of torching police officers morally equipped to adjudicate which Confederate statue must come down?
And did President Obama swiftly condemn the forces that led the shooter to select his victims for execution? After Major Nidal Malik Hasan murdered 13 fellow soldiers in cold blood, screaming out “Allah Akbar” as he shot, did “both sides” Obama really have to warn America that “we don’t know all the answers yet, and I would caution against jumping to conclusions until we have all the facts”? And did it take him six years before he discovered the catalysts when finally calling the murders a terrorist attack? Did Obama have to dismiss the Islamist anti-Semitic terrorist slaughter of targeted Jews in a kosher market in Paris with the callous and flippant quip that the murderers had killed “a bunch of folks in a deli in Paris”? Were there demonstrations over that moral equivalence?
And was it inevitable that the anti-Semite, homophobe, and provocateur with past blood on his hands for inciting riot and arson, the Reverend Al Sharpton, would advocate yanking public sponsorship of the Jefferson memorial? He who is with sin now casts the first stone? …
… A final paradox about killing the dead: Two millennia after Roman autocrats’ destruction of statues, and armed with the creepy 20th-century model of Fascists and Communists destroying the past, we, of a supposedly enlightened democracy, cannot even rewrite history by democratic means — local, state, and federal commission recommendations, referenda, or majority votes of elected representatives. More often, as moral cowards, we either rely on the mob or some sort of executive order enforced only in the dead of night.
In the race to purge our past of unpleasant history, Al Sharpton passes the baton to John Kass who has an idea.
… But there’s one thing wrong with Sharpton. It’s not that he goes too far. It’s that he doesn’t go far enough.
Because if he and others of the Cultural Revolution were being intellectually honest, they’d demand that along with racist statues, something else would be toppled.
And this, too, represents much of America’s racist history:
The Democratic Party.
The Democratic Party historically is the party of slavery. The Democratic Party is the party of Jim Crow laws. The Democratic Party fought civil rights for a century.
And so by rights — or at least by the standards established by the Cultural Revolutionaries of today’s American left — we should ban the Democratic Party. …
… So, the offensive statues will go, and then perhaps offensive iconography, offensive images, offensive books.
One book comes to mind. Let me quote a passage from it.
“Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book has been rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street and building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And that process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.”
George Orwell. “1984.”
What print outlet would applaud Antifa’s violence? Why the execrable NY Times of course. John Hinderaker posts.
New York Times reporters Thomas Fuller, Alan Feuer and Serge Kovaleski are responsible for this admiring profile of the far-left Brownshirts called antifa: “‘Antifa’ members are ready to literally fight right-wingers.”
“Members of antifa have shown no qualms about using their fists, sticks* or canisters of pepper spray to meet an array of right-wing antagonists whom they call a fascist threat to U.S. democracy.” … *(Sticks? These are baseball bats. Not sticks. – PCKRHD)