The Civil War as Portrayed In History and The Statues of General Lee

By now we’ve all seen pictures, film clips, and perhaps the documentary of the Charlottesville rally held on August 11 and 12, 2017. I’ll offer only a quick recap before I get to my point. 
Heather Heyer, was killed and several others seriously injured when James Fields, Neo-Nazi, drove his car into a crowd of counter-protesters, then put the car in reverse, and plowed through the crowd of brave souls who had been chasing the car to stop him. 

After days of silence on the subject of that violence in Charlottesville, batshit crazy Donald Trump blamed “both sides, both sides,” for the outcome of the rally: the Nazis and those protesting the Nazis. 

Those words were interpreted by hate groups as a presidential stamp of approval. Trump was honored with a tweet of thanks by former KKK leader David Duke for his support of their cause.

White-Nationalists and Neo-Nazis had gathered, armed with bats, pepper spray, and tear gas, carrying tiki torches, many donning Donald Trump’s golf costume of choice: white polo shirt, tan slacks, and some wore Trump MAGA (Make America Great Again) hats. 


They marched and chanted: “Jews will not replace us.” and “Blood and soil” both phrases taken from directly from the Nazis of WWII who chanted the same in German. Nazis argued that the pure German blood that ran through their veins was superior to the blood of the Jewish population. 

They also chanted “White Lives Matter,” a counter to “Black Lives Matter.” According to the website of that name, “it is a movement rooted in the experiences of Black people in this country who actively resist our dehumanization.” 

The thing about Neo-Nazis is that they are in America. This is not their soil, it never was their soil, it is the soil of Native American Indians who were brutally robbed of it. 

Additionally, these idiot White Nationalists live in a country known as “the melting pot” of many cultures. If they don’t agree with that American ideology, they should go back to one of the many countries of their ancestors. 

DNA tests are an affordable way they can view a list of their choices, because those who were marching have the blood of many nations coursing through their veins, their blood is not “pure.” Their arguments are based on ignorance in addition to intolerance. These pathetic Neo-Nazis are lost, and in need something to be a part of, but they’ve chosen poorly.

The motivation for this Neo-Nazis gathering was, in addition to intimidation and violence, to protest the city’s decision to remove a statue of Civil War General Robert E Lee.

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Now it’s time for an over simplified history lesson by a tree hugging vegan liberal (me).

Robert E Lee was a General in the Confederate Army, the pro-slave south. He is a posthumous war hero for those who say “he represents the lost cause of the Confederacy,” and claim “he is a symbol of Southern honor and national reconciliation.” 

Others consider Lee a symbol of slavery, racism, hate, and shame for the cruelty of this country’s history. 

Lee opposed “Radical Republican” proposals to free slaves. **In those days Republicans held the ideologies of today’s Democrats, and vice versa. Contrary to what argumentative morons say, although Abraham Lincoln was a Republican, he would be called a Democrat today. By the same token, Lee would be considered a “Radical Republican” in today’s world. Some revisionist morons would also argue that Lee opposed slavery. He did not. In fact he captured freed slaves and returned them to bondage. 

Lee’s 1856 letter to his wife is evidence that he was fighting to keep slavery intact: … In this enlightened age, there are few I believe, but what will acknowledge, that slavery as an institution, is a moral & political evil in any Country. It is useless to expatiate on its disadvantages. I think it however a greater evil to the white man than to the black race, & while my feelings are strongly enlisted in behalf of the latter, my sympathies are more strong for the former. The blacks are immeasurably better off here than in Africa, morally, socially & physically. The painful discipline they are undergoing, is necessary for their instruction as a race, & I hope will prepare & lead them to better things. How long their subjugation may be necessary is known & ordered by a wise Merciful Providence.”

General Robert E Lee’s war time decisions directly led to the Confederates loss of the Civil war to the Union. His overly aggressive tactics and major offensives into Union territory ended in defeat and high casualties. 

Toward the end of the war, December, 1864, Lee was given orders to emancipate slaves because they were needed as soldiers to fight. This was not Lee opposing slavery, this was Lee following orders to recruit slaves, forcing them to fight a war that was not in their interest. Lee surrendered his entire army to Ulysses S. Grant in April 1865.

Lee was a man who lost a war, but he has been memorialized as a hero across the country with numerous statues, paintings, and even a Barracks at West Point, built in 1962, was named after him. This boggles my mind, 1962…wasn’t that about the time of the civil rights movement? Curious.

A faction of black democratic members of congress have joined forces in an effort to remove all Confederate statues and battle flags from federal property, additionally they want federal buildings currently named after confederate leaders renamed. 

Now I offer an understatement: They have a good point. 

Many of these monuments were created in the last hundred years in response to the civil rights movement— for the sole purpose of perpetuating racism.

The confederate flag has been considered a symbol of racism as long as I can remember, so why were they ever deemed acceptable to hang on federal property? The idea that these items have not been taken down and destroyed in all these years is offensive to me, as it should be to all Americans. At best, a few of these items should be moved to museums to represent slavery and oppression, but they do not belong in parks with plaques which imply the Confederates fought a heroic war. 

These Neo-Nazi White Supremacy groups are fighting for statues of a general who lost in the war against slavery, many of which were erected by racists who opposed the civil rights movement. This fight has nothing to do with preserving American heritage, as Trump says. 

School History books, for many countries, are often one sided. They tell stories of heros, explorers who sailed the ocean blue, ate turkey and corn. The truth isn’t so nice. Why do we continue to censor the truth of our own country’s history? In today’s world, if you want to know the true history of a nation, or what is really going on in it’s current government, you have to learn it from an outside source. We aren’t as free as they tell us we are. (My opinion.)

#ImpeachTrump

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