As the nation prepares to vote in the upcoming midterm elections, I couldn’t help recalling a couple of years ago when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stormed around the Capitol building purging it of all things reminiscent of the Confederacy.
That prompted House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to wonder if Pelosi should consider changing the name of the Democrat Party, given her newfound disdain for the Land of Dixie.
“The speaker has the power to do that,” McCarthy said in response to Pelosi, who ordered the removal of the portraits of four speakers who also served in the Confederacy.
“If the speaker is concerned about that, should she also start talking about changing the name of her party and chastizing the occupant of the White House?” McCarthy asked in a reference to Joe Biden, who referred to late Democrat Sen. Robert Byrd, a former KKK leader, as a mentor and “dear friend.”
In a letter to House Clerk Cheryl Johnson, Pelosi requested the “immediate removal of the portraits in the U.S. Capitol of four previous Speakers who served in the Confederacy: Robert Hunter of Virginia (1839-1841), Howell Cobb of Georgia (1849-1851), James Orr of South Carolina (1857-1859), and Charles Crisp of Georgia (1891-1895).”
All of those men were once members of her Democrat Party—the party that has a long, tumultuous history of defending the institution of slavery and fighting to keep it.
Pelosi also called for the removal of Confederate statues in the U.S. Capitol, characterizing them as “monuments to men who advocated cruelty and barbarism to achieve such a plainly racist end. The portraits of these men are symbols that set back our nation’s work to confront and combat bigotry,” Pelosi told reporters. “You have to see the remarks that they had made and how oblivious they were to what our founders had in mind in our country. We must lead by example, so we’re glad that that is gone.”
Pelosi’s comments and actions are the very height of hypocrisy, as well as an attempt to erase and rewrite American history.
For example, Pelosi has yet to address the role her father, Thomas D’Alessandro Jr., played in overseeing the dedication of the Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee Monuments in Baltimore’s Wyman Park while serving as the city’s mayor in 1948
“Today,” her father said in remarks at the time, “with our nation beset by subversive groups and propaganda which seeks to destroy our national unity, we can look for inspiration to the lives of Lee and Jackson to remind us to be resolute and determined in preserving our sacred institutions . . . . to remain steadfast in our determination to preserve freedom, not only for ourselves but for other liberty-loving nations who are striving to preserve their national unity as free nations.”
Ahem. “Preserving our sacred institutions?” Did you mean, perchance, slavery, Mayor D’Alessandro?
But wait. There’s more. Pelosi’s father also encouraged Americans to “emulate Jackson’s example and stand like a stone wall against aggression in any form that would seek to destroy the liberty of the world.”
Not exactly politically correct, is it, Nancy?
And, of course, that is exactly what’s wrong with the hysterical imbeciles who are toppling statues and attempting to erase and cleanse America’s checkered history.
The past is the past. People a century ago or longer thought behaved and spoke differently from people in the 21st Century.
They certainly did so in 1948 when Pelosi’s father praised Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson during the dedication of those statues. I wonder if Pelosi, in her fervor to cleanse history, will call for those statues in Baltimore to be ripped down.
But wait! The statues were removed by the city in the dead of night, thereby saving them from defacement and destruction.
In that case, I wonder if Pelosi will condone the desecration of her father’s grave (as some have suggested with the graves of Confederate soldiers) because he was sympathetic to those two giants of the Confederacy.
Don’t count on it. Pelosi has conveniently forgotten the dark history of her beloved Democrat Party.
For example, its founder, Andrew Jackson, was a slaveholder and Confederate politicians were ALL Democrats.
Hmm. As they say on TV: “And that’s not all!”
The Democrat Party for decades fought desegregation, formed the Ku Klux Klan, resisted Reconstruction following the Civil War, created Jim Crow laws, and instituted the notion of separate but equal in the South—a clear violation of the 14th Amendment of the U. S. Constitution that guarantees equal protection under the law.
The party itself is the very quintessence of hypocrisy. What about it, Speaker Pelosi? Is it time to cleanse the Democrat Party of its past sins? Should you not be working to eradicate its transparent and nauseating connection to the Confederacy?
Speaking of nauseating Democrats, what about Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va? A couple of years ago, on the Senate floor, he blathered that America “didn’t inherit slavery from anybody. We created it.”
That has to be the dumbest declaration ever made on the Senate floor. The Democrat Party has now completed its unconditional surrender to the forces of historical illiteracy.
Slavery has been rife throughout all of ancient history. Most, if not all, ancient civilizations practiced it, and it is described (and defended) in the early writings of the Sumerians, Babylonians, and Egyptians. It was also practiced by early societies in Central America and Africa.
Three thousand years ago, Egyptians enslaved Jews who eventually escaped via something we now know as “The Exodus.”
Then there were the Romans. They enslaved just about everyone they conquered. And lest we forget, what about the million or so Europeans who were kidnapped by African Muslims and forced into slavery?
Here’s another reality. Slavery in America existed long before the first Europeans arrived. American Indians were slaveholders before and long after slavery became an institution in the South. In fact, slavery is the only African institution ever adopted by this country.
And here’s another salient fact: Portuguese — not Americans — brought the first slaves to Jamestown in 1619.
For those in this country who believe slavery in the world ended with the American Civil War, guess what? It still exists today and is even more prevalent than it was in the 19th Century.
Every day across the African continent, black men, women, and children are captured, bought, and sold into slavery, with the Western world paying scant attention. For example, in Mauritania, slavery persists, with tens of thousands of blacks continuing to be held in bondage.
In Sudan, tens of thousands of African women and children from mostly Christian villages were enslaved during the jihad raids of the Second Sudanese Civil War. At least 50,000 remain in bondage today.
According to the Global Slavery Index (GSI), 106,000 black Africans are estimated to be enslaved in Algeria. Migrant women and children of both sexes risk being forced into sexual slavery while men perform unskilled labor.
Sound familiar? For Democrats, it should. It’s what that party supported and protected for decades in the South until President Lincoln and the Union Army ended slavery by force.
And by the way, as bad as the turgid goons who ripped down statues in the summer of 2020 think this country is, America remains the only nation that fought a bloody civil war to end slavery.
But even then (unlike the demented zealots who rampaged through our cities in 2020), with more than 600,000 Americans from both sides dead and millions wounded in the Civil War, there was room for forgiveness, benevolence, and graciousness.
At the South’s surrender at Appomattox, Gen. Ulysses S. Grant allowed Gen. Robert E. Lee to keep his sword. As Lee mounted his horse to leave, Grant saluted him. Then, after announcing the South’s surrender at the White House, President Lincoln ordered the band to play “Dixie.”
It was a stunning and humane way to end the bloodiest war in America’s history–a point that is lost on the destructive imbeciles who ran amok in our cities a couple of summers ago.
(Ronald E. Yates is a U.S. Army veteran, an author, a former Chicago Tribune foreign correspondent, and Professor & Dean Emeritus of Journalism at the University of Illinois.)
His website: http://www.ronaldyatesbooks.com
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