Americans around the nation are either toppling Confederate statues left and right, or calling for their ultimate destruction. Every state with a Confederate history is either having discussions or dealing with mobs and destruction. Americans want to rename Army bases that bear Confederate names, and even sandblast Stone Mountain in Georgia, as well as Mount Rushmore. No one has targeted Gettysburg National Military Park yet, but it is likely on the horizon, and the park says they have absolutely no intention of doing so.
The discussion over Confederate monuments is the hottest political topic right now. On one side, Americans want to preserve these monuments as a part of cultural history; on the other, Americans want them toppled because they represent white supremacy.
Where will it end? President Trump asked the question in this week’s address to the nation. Fox and Friends also posed the question to Condoleezza Rice, the first African-American woman to serve as Secretary of State. She was a guest on the show this week to discuss her new book “Democracy: Stories from the Long Road to Freedom.”
Host Brian Kilmeade remarked that “nine of our first twelve presidents were slave owners”, and asked Rice: “Do you feel that you as an African-American were included in the Constitution?”
Rice said that it is important for American to “keep our history before us.” Rice says she does not advocate renaming or toppling statues. Rice explained that our history is in the past and therefore cannot be changed, but we can change the future by looking at the past. Renaming things and ignoring the past doesn’t allow that: “I want us to have to look at those names and recognize what they did and be able to tell our kids what they did and for them to have a sense of their own history.”
Rice explained that wiping out and sanitizing history just to make yourself feel better is a very, very bad thing.
Answering Kilmeade’s question about the constitution, Rice said, “Let me just say one thing about our constitution. It originally counted my ancestors as three-fifths of a man. And then in 1952, my father had trouble registering to vote in Birmingham, Alabama. And then in 2005, I stood in the Ben Franklin room — named after one of our founders — and I took an oath of office to that same constitution, and it was administered by a Supreme Court justice who happened to be a Jewish woman. That’s the story of America.”
Rice explained that our country has had a long and sometimes violent road to freedom, but that it has “ultimately been about Americans claiming those institutions for themselves and expanding what the definition of ‘We the People’ really means.
Kilmeade asked how modern-day Americans should view slave owners like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Rice explained that these men were people of their times. “I certainly wish they had been like John Adams, who did not believe in slavery, or like Alexander Hamilton, who was an immigrant and a child of questionable parentage from the Caribbean.” Rice said that Jefferson was a man surrounded by contradictions, but that we should celebrate that from the Washingtons and Jeffersons that our country has progressed to where we are now.
Rice has always been the consummate voice of reason, and this interview was no different.
Contrast Rice’s approach with Americans who have declared open season on statues. The fervor has expanded past Confederate statues to calls for removal of all statues of George Washington and even the Washington monument because Washington was a slave owner. New York’s Mayor Bill deBlasio has the city’s statues under a 90 day “offensiveness” review, amid calls to remove statues like Henry Hudson, who discovered the New York area; citizens want it removed because imperialism is offensive to them. Christopher Columbus’ statue is also up for review because he was a slave owner. He is of course also credited with the discovery of the New World. The statue was erected in Columbus Circle in New York City and was a gift from Italy to America in 1892.
Contrast that with ESPN’s latest move to remove football announcer Robert Lee from an upcoming University of Virginia September 2 season opener. Lee, very recently promoted by ESPN, is an Asian-American and was abruptly moved from the UVA game to the Pitt-Youngstown game amid the statue controversy over confederate general Robert E. Lee and the recent white nationalist march across the UVA campus.
Once the ESPN story broke, ESPN received an onslaught of criticism for the decision. ESPN stands by the decision made by its executives and says they did it to support Lee as their employee and to protect him against inevitable controversy. Again, it’s proper to pose the question: Where will it all end?
~ American Liberty Report