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Purging American heroes

With that kumbaya moment at the Capitol in South Carolina, when the Battle Flag of the Confederacy was lowered forever, a purgation of the detestable relics of evil that permeate American public life began.

City leaders in Memphis plan to dig up the body of Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, buried in a city park that once bore his name. A statue of the great cavalryman will be removed.

Panicky Democrats are terminating their Jefferson-Jackson Day dinners, as both presidents were slaveholders.

Other slaveholders include Presidents George Washington, James Madison, who authored the Constitution that equated slaves with 35ths of a person, James Monroe, of Monroe Doctrine fame, John Tyler, who annexed Texas, and James K. Polk, who tore off half of Mexico.

Jefferson, Jackson and Madison are also the names of state capitals, and Washington is the capital of the United States. Is it not time to change the names of these cities to honor more women and minorities who better reflect our glorious new diversity?

Washington, Jefferson and Jackson are on the $1, $2 and $20 bills. Ought they not all be replaced?

But it is Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol, where each state is represented by statues of two of its greatest, that really requires a moral cleansing.

Mississippi is represented by Jefferson Davis and Georgia by Alexander Stephens, the president and vice president of the Confederacy; South Carolina by John C. Calhoun, who called slavery a “positive good,” and Confederate Gen. Wade Hampton.

Kentucky is represented by slave owner Henry Clay; Florida by Confederate Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith; North Carolina by Confederate colonel and Civil War governor Zebulon Vance; Texas by Stephen Austin and Sam Houston who seceded from Mexico to create a slave republic that joined the United States as a slave state in 1845.

Utah is represented by Brigham Young, founder of a Mormon faith that declared black people unfit to belong; Virginia by Robert E. Lee and Washington. California is represented by Fr. Junipero Serra, who established the missions that converted pagan Indians to Christianity.

Among the men revered by generations, five categories seem destined for execration: explorers like Columbus who conquered the indigenous peoples; slave owners from 1619 to 1865; statesmen and military leaders of the Confederacy; all involved in the dispossession of Native Americans; and lastly, segregationists. There is a move afoot to take the name of Sen. Richard Russell of Georgia, an opponent of civil rights laws, off the Senate Office Building to which it has been affixed for 40 years.

What did those named above have in common? All were white males. All achieved greatly. Acting on a belief in their racial, religious and cultural superiority, they created the greatest nation on Earth. And those tearing down the battle flags and dumping over monuments and statues and sandblasting names off buildings, what have they accomplished?

They inherited the America these men built, but are ashamed at how it was built. And now they watch paralyzed as the peoples of the Third World, whom their grandfathers ruled, come to dispossess them of the patrimony for which they feel so guilty.

The new barbarians will make short work of them.

Pat Buchanan is the author of “The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority.”


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