Gov. Nikki Haley, five years in office, instantly pivoted and called for removal of the battle flag from the Confederate war memorial on the State House grounds.
This ignited a national clamor to purge all statues that lionize Confederate soldiers and statesmen.
In Maryland, demands have come for removing statues and busts of Chief Justice Roger Taney, the author of the Dred Scott decision.
After Charlottesville, pressure is building for removal of the statues of Lee, Jackson, Davis and Gen. “Jeb” Stuart from historic Monument Avenue in Richmond, capital of the Confederacy.
Many Southern towns, including Alexandria, Virginia, have statues of Confederate soldiers looking to the South. Shall we pull them all down? And once all the Southern Civil War monuments are gone, should we go after the statues of the slave owners whom we Americans have heroized?
Gen. George Washington and his subordinate, “Light Horse Harry” Lee, father of Robert E. Lee, were slave owners, as was Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe and Andrew Jackson.
Another term applied to the “Unite the Right” gathering in Charlottesville is that they are “white supremacists,” a mortal sin to modernity. But here we encounter an even greater problem.
Looking back over the history of a Western Civilization, which we call great, were not the explorers who came out of Spain, Portugal, France, Holland and England all white supremacists?
Who, during the centuries-long discovery and conquest of the New World, really believed that the lives of the indigenous peoples were of equal worth with those of the colonizers?
And if being a segregationist disqualifies one from being venerated in our brave new world, what do we do with Woodrow Wilson, who thought “Birth of a Nation” a splendid film and who re-segregated the U.S. government?
Nor is a belief in the superiority of one’s race, religion, tribe and culture unique to the West. What is unique, what is an experiment without precedent, is what we are about today.
We have condemned and renounced the scarlet sins of the men who made America and embraced diversity, inclusivity and equality.
Our new America is to be a land where all races, tribes, creeds and cultures congregate, all are treated equally, and all move ever closer to an equality of results through the regular redistribution of opportunity, wealth and power.
We are going to become “the first universal nation.” But are we building our utopia on a sandpile of ideology and hope?
Writes for Creators Syndicate.