Saturday, August 20, 2016

Demonizing Heroes

Modern history has a way of demonizing true American heroes to diminish their importance in history. Most of the efforts to deface the character of heroes deals primarily with their handling of slavery or civil rights issues. Slave owning Founding Fathers such as Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and George Washington have been targeted by modern historians. How can these men be heroes of American history but be on the wrong side of the slavery issue? That is the question they ask and it is a fair one. But without the trail blazing done by these men, slavery would have lasted longer. Each of these men are criticized for owning slaves and therefore, that should diminish their contributions to creating the United States of America. James Madison, for instance, it is argued, did not do enough for slaves because he never freed any slaves even though he talked about the institution of slavery being wrong and unjust. That is true, but Madison truly felt that he treated his slaves better than if they were freed. Freed slaves living in free territories and states were not treated equally. This is the big misconception that freed slaves were treated equally or even fairly in free-states. Most free-states had “black code” laws which restricted the rights of free black persons. In fact, Madison believed the only way that freed slaves would be treated fairly and equally would be if they were shipped back to their homeland of Africa.

Of course the people that are being critical of Washington, Jefferson, and Madison do not realize had they been born in 18th Century Southern United States, they too would have owned slaves. These men are guilty of the times and place in which they lived. That being said, these men were way ahead of their times in terms of the subject on slavery and the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution are proof of that.

Historians like to diminish the role of Dwight Eisenhower on American history because they argue he did not do enough for Civil Rights. This is far from the truth. Ike integrated the Army and sent in the 101st Airborne division when citizens of Little Rock refused to integrate schools. Brown v. Schoolboard passed under Ike and he followed the Court’s ruling that integration should be done deliberately so he rarely pushed the issue. And what modern scholars fail to admit or recognize is that Senators Kennedy and Johnson were stonewalling the passage of civil rights in Congress by suggesting too many amendments.

Even attacks against Chief Justice Roger Taney are unwarranted. Sure he made a huge mistake and terrible decision on Dred Scott, but other than that he was a fairly sound judge. It is also important to keep in mind, Taney inherited slaves and then he immediately granted them all their freedom. If others followed his lead and freed their slaves than the Dred Scott case would have been moot.

Liberal historian’s lessons are taken to heart by many students who deface statues and monuments of these men. But this only shows the childish nature of these attacks against these great men. They are willing to break the law and use misinformation to change history. I assure you Ike, Taney, Jefferson, Madison, and Washington would never have lied or broken the law to get things their way.

Yet, history has been kind to FDR who interned 120 thousand Japanese Americans and Truman who dropped two atomic bombs on Japan killing over 100 thousand innocent civilians. Historians have been kind to KKK member Senator Robert Byrd and suggest he worked his life to make up for his mistakes (as well as FDR appointed Supreme Court Judge – Hugo Black). Well, Robert Byrd’s accomplishment’s pale in comparison to those of Ike, Washington, Jefferson, Madison, and even Taney.

A lot of what this is about is defending the legacy of Democrats while trying to disparage those legacies of Republicans. And then a lot of this is about the righteousness of liberal historians trying to make a name for themselves and rewriting history based on present day proper etiquette. What these ignorant historians do not realize is if they were born in a different era in a certain region of the United States – they would have been the slave owners and the people fighting against integration and civil rights. Today, more people are opposed to abortion (other than in rare cases) than those in favor it, yet these same righteous liberal historians protect those that favor abortion rights even though they are wrong side of history over 40 years since the Roe v. Wade decision. So obviously, these historians are not consistent in terms of their warped view of history.

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