The push to erase history

September 21, 2017

The year 2017 may go down in history –- if the concept of “history” even remains valid –- as the time when “history hysteria” reigned supreme. Someday, we grownups may think back to the time when monuments that reminded the faint-of-heart of the Confederacy were quickly taken down; streets named for people with even tangential connection to the Civil War, slavery or the antebellum South were hastily renamed; and any other vestiges that sparked bothersome feelings were erased from our sight and dropped down the memory hole as if they’d never existed.

We see it happening around us, right now. Ever since Charlottesville, the process has accelerated. Paradoxically, the support by racist groups for preserving Confederate monuments has worked in reverse, to hasten their disappearance, just as their coopting of the Confederate flag caused it to now be seen exclusively as a symbol of racism rather than regional pride. If racists really don’t want symbols of the South to be taken down, it would help matters if they just stayed home and left the protesting to others who have very different reasons for supporting preservation.


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In cities all over America, the monuments are coming down. In Dallas, Mayor Mike Rawlings successfully pushed for the quick removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee on horseback, to the tune of approximately half a million dollars. (Want to make money? There appears to be a highly lucrative new growth industry: monument removal.) The statue was in Lee Park, which, of course, must be renamed. It may take the city a dozen years to fix a pothole, but, by golly, when it comes to erasing history deemed politically incorrect, they can’t act fast enough or spend enough money to do it.

Those who tried even to slow down the process in the name of historic preservation were ignored. And in Dallas, this is just the beginning: a task force has been set up to look critically at all the other places, including historic Fair Park with its c.1936 Art Deco murals, that feature references to the Confederacy. The erasing of “sensitive” history seems to be a done deal.


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We can learn about our past in an abstract way, from books, but take it from someone who has walked through a Nazi concentration camp and seen the showers and the ovens firsthand, book-learning doesn’t compare to experiencing history in a personal way. Auschwitz wasn’t left standing to honor racism, but to make us think long and hard about what happened. If we don’t confront that, something just as horrific is going to happen again. American history is the same; try walking around Gettysburg without being affected for life.

Elizabeth Ames of FOX News has written a good essay about what’s happening to our history. She presents an optimistic view of how this rush to destroy “uncomfortable” remnants of our past is likely to backfire.

I hope she’s right. And if it’s going to backfire, that better happen soon.

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Comments 1-6 of 6

  • Robert John Shipley

    09/24/2017 07:32 PM

    Crazy ain't it. Reminded me of what Taliban did.
    By the way, you were my first choice for president and I sure enjoyed your show on FOX. Now I'm looking forward to your next show coming up on TBN. Thank you Mr. Huckabee.

  • Bill Nelson

    09/23/2017 02:55 PM

    I am going through A Patriot's History of the US - excellent resource - and some colleges and universities as well as some high schools and a lot of home schoolers have adopted it as a textbook. I am listening to the audio book presentation of it and have the ebook as a backup and reference.

  • Linda Bowman

    09/22/2017 10:01 PM

    If people think all this will stop with the removal of Civil War monuments, they will be so wrong. Next will be the attempt to remove books, records etc. I have been researching my family history for over 20 years. I have found things that I wish were different but, history is history. I have ancestors who owned slaves and some who were just poor farmer that fought and supported in Confererate side. However, I also have ancestors who fought for the Union. Some brothers against brothers and even fathers against sons. I am sure the decision was not easy for any of them. Both my paternal and maternal ancestors ( every branch) have lived been in this country since the early 1600s. At the time of the Civil War they were living in the Eastern Tennessee area. Being a border state the area was constantly passed back and forth from Union to South control.

    I love my heritage, but I do not believe anyone has a right to own another human being. Slavery was and still is wrong. I would like to believe I would have felt the same way if I lived before and during the 1800s. I just don't know. I am a product of my parents, who taught me that everyone deserves respect until they prove otherwise. Being a person who cannot pass on a chance to study any history book, I pray my grandchildren will have the same chance.

    You cannot change the past. You can change what is written but not what happened. Pretending the Civil War didn't happen will not change a thing.

    I am sorry about the long post. Believe me, I could write much more.

    God Bless the United States of America

    Linda Bowman

  • Sue Ellen Marable

    09/22/2017 02:58 PM

    How sad that our contemporaries show such ignorance. Those of us who know the truth, and who have honestly studied our history, would never dream of disrespecting the ideals and noble leaders who guided the southern Patriots as they championed our State's Rights as written into our beloved Constitution. We Southerners were so blessed to have such a dutiful and moral Leader. His Ideals and Example should be praised and emulated. It is at our peril that we ignore the Truth. I imagine that the great man's slaves were thankful or their sponsorship as they proceeded towards liberty and the opportunities available in this great country. No longer Africans, and with a most fortunate future for their family.

  • Joanna Martin

    09/22/2017 02:20 PM

    Who was it who said something to the effect "Those who forget their past (or history) are doomed to repeat it."

  • Lisa Cook-Dietter

    09/22/2017 02:00 PM

    Simply put, if we have don't have any history - we certainly won't have a future.