So, now that the craziness is over; well, abated; well, decreased; and OK, still going on: What have we learned?

Not much, it seems. It appears that thousands of otherwise reasonably normal citizens are willing to risk their and others lives in the face of a deadly virus and to be led into potential criminal acts by others.

In so doing, they have virtually insured the deaths of hundreds, if not thousands, of Americans who will succumb to the virus. All of this to violently protest the action of a few police officers who, for no good reason, pinned a black American citizen down in a brutal and malicious manner until he died.

We can and we will find ways to reduce or eliminate the possibility of innocent or guilty citizens from being injured, let alone killed, by the police when the police are not in danger of bodily harm. Would the same riots have taken place if he had been Caucasian or Asian? Do we care about the former policeman who was killed by rioters while trying to protect his friend’s property? We may never know, but we do know that in the ensuing violent demonstrations, a wide variety of irrational and dangerous ideas came out as by-products.

We, according to some, should defund our police forces or, better yet, do away with them and replace them with some unknown better force. In the meantime, of course, crimes and criminally generated deaths would and have escalated to all-time highs. Incredibly, these ideas have been supported by some politicians, from mayors to governors to federally elected officials. At the local level, some still stand by while rioters continue to defy authority and endanger their fellow citizens.

We should now, according to the uninformed unaware of history, change the names of our military installations that are named after Confederate generals, and tear down their statues and those of Confederate soldiers, presidents and even George Washington.

Why? Because some say that they are a reflection of slavery and racism. Like it or not, they are reflections of America’s most brutal war fought by ourselves against ourselves that cost up to 700,000 American lives and countless wounded — many of whom staggered home without arms and legs that were stacked like cordwood by field hospitals. It was fought to determine whether we would become two countries or one. In that war, Americans on both sides displayed amazing gallantry, incredible courage, relentless stamina and an indomitable spirit which in later years a united people would display time and again.

That war was resolved by a union that was stronger than either could ever have been, thanks to the resolve of an indomitable and much maligned president who then proceeded to free the men, women and children who had , in an abominable period of our history, been enslaved.

Our history is what it was and is what it is. To attempt to rewrite or change it in a fit of rage or petulance will not change it. We should not, we cannot, we must, not permit now or ever, allow a group of misguided citizens to attempt to change the course of history, past, present or future.

By Benjamin W. Covington III, Valle Crucis

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(2) comments

dummy@pcgeek.net

I swear I could pick up an issue of the Democrat at any time over the last 40 years and I’d see the same stunted opinions on the very same topics. Issues are never resolved because there’s just no engaging right wingers in thoughtful dialog. Even when their perspective is entirely demolished by logic, facts, and reality, they simply slink away to argue the same tired bs on another day. There is no introspection, no soul-searching. They don’t have any interest in, or capacity for, adopting a rational perspective. They’ve invested a significant portion of their lives and identity into their own nonsense and, dang it, no one will convince them that they aren’t the REAL victims in all this.

C’mon, Watauga Democrat editors. Every day you post a wall of right-leaning junk that members of the public then dunk all over. Why do we have to set your record straight?

Branch

Benjamin,

If those advocating for removing confederate monuments are doing so because of the historical references they embody, how does that make them “unaware” of history? I would also like to point out that very few of these statues or monuments have any real intrinsic historical or artistic value. Most of them were erected long after the Civil War as a metaphorical middle finger to Black folks, particularly during the Civil Rights era. Blacks had to (and still do) pass by them every day in the public square and be forcefully reminded that they were considered second class citizens, that they were only barely generationally removed from slavery; that they shouldn’t “get above their station” in life. That is the true intent and legacy of these “monuments” — to continue to suppress and humiliate people we could no longer literally keep enslaved.

Removing a statue does not erase history. Toppling Saddam Hussein’s likeness did not eradicate him from textbooks and archives and the cultural consciousness. As for renaming military bases? It is the U.S. army — not just the private citizenry — calling for such a change. The right to gather and protest and demand better is amongst our most sacred rights in this country. Without it, we stagnate and begin to fester.

You praise the gallantry and courage of Americans who were violently pitted against each other to preserve the luxuries and lifestyles of elitist slaveowners? The abolitionists fought with endless petitions rather than with bullets and sabers; it was ultimately the desertion of the plantations by Black slaves that forced the South to succumb to its fate. The only real heroes of the Civil War are the Blacks who held mightily to their precarious new freedom, who threw their own bodies into the fight, themselves reframing the battle; creating the war of liberation that is often described in textbooks. Abraham Lincoln didn’t grant them freedom. Under pressure, he codified the inevitability of Black emancipation. It is your belief in — and glorification of — a fictional white savior narrative, Benjamin, that is historically unaware.

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