The American Left has declared war on Confederate monuments.
Not just Southern military leaders – most notably General Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville, Virginia – but even the bronze statue known as “Old Joe” in a “memorial to men of the Gainesville [Florida] area who lost their lives in the Civil War.” Old Joe is being evicted from where he’s stood, motionless, outside the Alachua County Administrative Building, since 1904.
The metallic history of the Confederate States of America (1861-1865) is being erased from parks, courthouses, and campuses across the nation. Can the book banning and burning be far behind?
Well, if this is how it is to be, let’s take a page from Saul Alinsky’s book, “Rules for Radicals” – specifically his Rule #4: “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.”
And, let’s start with The Southern Manifesto of 1956.
Its official title was The Decision of the Supreme Court in the School Cases Declaration of Constitutional Principles. The Manifesto is found in the Congressional Record, 84th Congress, Second Session, Vol. 102, in Part 4, dated March 12, 1956.
It was created in response to the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, “a landmark United States Supreme Court case in which the Court declared state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students to be unconstitutional.”
Here’s a quote from the Manifesto:
This unwarranted exercise of power by the Court, contrary to the Constitution, is creating chaos and confusion in the States principally affected. It is destroying the amicable relations between the white and Negro races that have been created through 90 years of patient effort by the good people of both races. It has planted hatred and suspicion where there has been heretofore friendship and understanding.
The Manifesto was signed by 101 members of the United States Congress, including 19 senators and 82 members of the House of Representatives.
Ninety-nine of the 101 signatories were Democrats.
All of the 19 Senators who signed the Manifesto were Democrats: Walter F. George, Richard B. Russell, John Stennis, Sam J. Ervin, Jr., Strom Thurmond, Harry F. Byrd, A. Willis Robertson, John L. McClellan, Allen J. Ellender, Russell B. Long, Lister Hill, James O. Eastland, W. Kerr Scott, John Sparkman, Olin D. Johnston, Price Daniel, J.W. Fulbright, George A. Smathers, and Spessard L. Holland.
Today, some of the Senatorial signatories are memorialized in prominently-placed, metallic representations of their former selves. They include:
(1) West Virginia Senator (and former Ku Klux Klansman) Robert C. Byrd, stands tall in the West Virginia Capital Building, pointing the way toward segregation.
(2) Louisiana Senator Russell B. Long (son of former Louisiana Governor Huey Long) stands studiously near the Russell B. Long Memorial Fountain, located in the Centennial Plaza, on the Law Center campus, at the Louisiana State University.
(3) South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond (drafter of the original version of the Manifesto) is frozen in stride before the South Carolina State Capital.
(4) Arkansas Senator J. William Fulbright (awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President William Jefferson Clinton) stands at-ease behind the Old Main Building, at the University of Arkansas.
(5) South Carolina Sam Irwin (Chair of the Senate Watergate Committee) also received the bronze treatment, and looks happy about it.
Now, is anyone from the Left suggesting removal of the monuments commemorating the Senators who signed The Southern Manifesto?
Good Heavens, No!
Meanwhile, during the August 13, 2017, episode of CBS Face the Nation, Charlottesville Mayor Michael Signer had this exchange with the John Dickerson:
DICKERSON: “Mr. Mayor, the president said that he wanted to know what was going on in Charlottesville and that we want to see what we’re doing wrong as a country, he said. What’s your answer to that?”
SIGNER: “You know, I don’t want to make this too much about Donald Trump, we have a lot of grieving, a lot of work to do as a—as a city and as a country, but he should look in the mirror. I mean, he made a choice in his presidential campaign, the folks around with him, to, you know, go right to the gutter, to play on our worst prejudices. And I think you are seeing a direct line from what happened here this weekend to those choices. He has the opportunity, as do we all, to have a fresh beginning.”
So, Trump essentially caused the riot, suggests the Mayor.
In 2015, His Honor wrote a book entitled “Becoming Madison: The Extraordinary Origins of the Least Likely Founding Father.” The review of it includes this language:
His [Signer’s] focus is on Madison before he turned thirty-six, the years in which he did his most enduring work: battling with Patrick Henry—the most charismatic politician in revolutionary America, whose political philosophy and ruthless tactics eerily foreshadowed those of today’s Tea Party—over religious freedom; introducing his framework for a strong central government; becoming the intellectual godfather of the Constitution; and providing a crucial role at Virginia’s convention to ratify the Constitution in 1788, when the nation’s future hung in the balance. Signer’s young James Madison is a role model for the leaders so badly needed today.
Except for comparing the “ruthless tactics” to “today’s Tea Party,” it’s acceptable, including the part about Madison as a “role model for the leaders so badly needed today.”
Acceptable up to a point, that is.
His Honor is a well-educated man. He must know that Madison, who owned over 100 slaves, originated the Three-Fifths Compromise, which counted slaves as three-fifths of a person for the purposes of taxation and legislative representation.
So, we wonder: Is this statue on the Main Quad Road at James Madison University in Harrisonburg Virginia in danger from the Left?