Dear Fellow White People:
Fear not, hillbillies. Robert E. Lee is not going to be “erased from the history books.” Nobody is asking you to pretend he did not exist. Rather, we’d like you to start thinking of him in the full context of history. He led an army against our country, and between the men under his command and those he fought against, presided over the deaths of over a quarter of a million soldiers. His opinion of slavery could best be summed up as, “It’s complicated.” The price he paid for his actions? He had to write a letter to President Andrew Johnson and ask to be reinstated as a U.S. citizen. He lost a little bit of property, and the right to vote. And that’s it. Do we really think he deserves a statue for this? We can, and should, acknowledge Lee’s role in our history without celebrating it.
It’s time for us to do some serious house cleaning, fellow white folk. It’s past time for us to realize that our deified Founding Fathers were real men, and imperfect. George Washington set the tone for role of the President in our government. Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence. Both of these men also thought it was okay to own fellow human beings. This is a fact about men we’ve been taught to revere, and it cannot be forgotten. Should we take their statues down too? I don’t know. This is still the country they started, and that should not be ignored. But it is our responsibility, fellow white folk, to make these ignorant tiki-torch-bearing “blood & soil” puppets come to terms with the fact that our country was built by shedding other people’s blood, on other people’s soil.
Thanks for listening.