Tag Archives: Robert E. Lee

Being Diverse is Not a Job

(September 21, 2021) Today’s America is self-absorbed with relative trivialities compared to the objective evils in some other parts of the World. During recent years while China has been putting a million or more Muslim residents in so-called re-education camps, America has been unable to look outward. Our only goal seems to be to teach our students to hate our country until it achieves so-called Diversity.

But being diverse is not a job. If you put together an organization that is diverse, it merely sits there. It doesn’t accomplish anything. Today America absurdly thinks it is turning Diversity into a job. . . And a high-paying one at that.

Meanwhile we abandon traditional values. We replace them with safe spaces, cancel culture, chaos, and cultural genocide in the South. We dismantle our academically best high schools, lowering admission standards in the name of Diversity. Schools that are supposed to challenge America’s brightest students to the highest accomplishments are being weighed down by excessive Affirmative Action enrollees. We destroy testing systems that enable the best-suited students get into college. Oregon has even abolished all academic requirements for graduating high school, thereby making the diplomas meaningless. Our corporations, government institutions, and military organizations waste 100s of millions of dollars on Diversity propaganda and so-called Anti-Racist training.

Chief among such institutions is the military. Only three months ago the Chairman of the Joints Chiefs of staff, Army General Mark Milley, testified that he wanted to learn more about so-called white rage, as if it were a significant internal threat to America. In the name of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion his Army disparages Confederate Memory and will be replacing the names of all bases that have long been namesakes for Confederate generals. While distracted by such trivial obsessions, Milley failed in Afghanistan. He and his boss, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, have dodged responsibility for the debacle. Both refuse the honorable option of resigning so that better leaders can replace them even as they denounced Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Scheller for criticizing them and thereby losing his job.

Given the wimpy performance of “woke” leaders Milley and Austin, America’s military should once again consider the potential inspiration that respect for Confederate veterans might provide. Their descendants carried Confederate symbols into battle to signify a fighting tradition to be witnessed in all of America’s major wars after 1865. Failures like Milley and Austin show us that Americans should be wary of tearing down century-old Confederate statues. Dishonoring them implicitly demeans later generations of American warriors who were inspired by the Confederate soldier.

During World War II, the first American flag to fly over the captured Japanese fortress at Okinawa was a Confederate Battle Flag.  It was put there by a group of marines to honor their company commander, a South Carolinian who had suffered a paralyzing wound during the fight. Some of the tank crews that freed prisoners from German concentration camps also flew the Confederate Battle Flag. Finally, postbellum Southerners consistently came to our nation’s defense more readily than did other Americans. Even presently, 44% of American military personnel are from the South even though the region represents just 36% of the nation’s population.

If the Afghan collapse teaches us anything it should be that a country taught to hate itself cannot succeed. It is going to put incompetents obsessed with trivialities, like Milley and Austin, in control. In contrast, when General Robert E. Lee lost at Gettysburg, he rode out to meet the soldiers returning from Pickett’s failed charge. Unlike Milley and Austin, he immediately took responsibility in the presence of soldiers of every rank. After he got his army safely back to Virginia he sent his resignation to President Jefferson Davis, but Davis declined it. Lee never thereafter blamed anyone else for defeat at Gettysburg. His leadership was the kind that might have inspired today’s army leaders to better results in Afghanistan. But they must first end their obsession with demonizing the Confederate soldier and distracting themselves with the self-hatred generated by Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion propaganda.     

What Price Vengeance?

(September 16, 2021) The celebrations accompanying removal of Confederate statues, such as Robert E. Lee’s equestrian one on Richmond’s Monument Avenue, are deliberately provocative. The very act of taking them down is the opposite of inclusive. In fact, there could hardly be anything more divisive in the former Confederate states than the cultural genocide represented by such celebrations. Those promoting the takedowns are not giving enough thought to the long-term impact and are instead intoxicated with a temporary ecstasy of revenge. A few days after the television cameras leave, they’ll realize that nothing has changed for the better. The only people who will feel a sense of accomplishment will be the typical academics, smugly satisfied with the destructive effects of their anti-Southern propaganda. 

The argument from the Southern Poverty Law Center, uncritically repeated by the corporate media, that the statues were raised to promote white supremacy is overwhelmingly false. They were erected to memorialize the loved and lost.  

First, five percent of the white males in the Confederacy were killed during the Civil War. If America were to enter a war today and suffer the same death ratio, a total of seventeen million soldiers would be killed. That’s over forty-times the Americans killed in World War II. Even if the hypothetical modern war were one that our opponents could convince American academics was “wrong,” the public undoubtedly would still want to memorialize our fallen soldiers and their leaders—because of the magnitude of the loss if no other reason.  

Second, photographs show that numerous blacks were among the 100,000 people witnessing the dedication of the Monument Avenue Lee statue 130 years ago.   

Third, many Southern monuments were erected with private donations. That’s remarkable, considering the region’s widespread postbellum poverty. Fatherless children and widows took years to raise the funds with nickel and dime donations and proceeds from bake sales and subscriptions. Over 90% of the funding for the “Silent Sam” statue removed from the University of North Carolina after standing for more than a century, for example, came from donations by the United Daughters of the Confederacy and university alumni.

Finally, conditions in Richmond’s black community will likely not improve one bit even if all the city’s Confederate monuments are removed as Mayor Levar Stoney intends. During a recent interview, the Manhattan Institute’s Heather Macdonald stated that improvement in the academic, income, and violent conditions endured by many blacks will at last require initiatives from the communities themselves. They must promote personal responsibility. Black leaders like Shelby Steele, John McWhorter, Larry Elder, Candace Owens, and Glenn Lourey generally agree. According to Steele, the Federal Government has spent as much as $22 trillion dollars in racial preference programs since the mid 1960s. The results are dismal.  Despite Affirmative Action, blacks still lag far behind whites in academic performance. Federal low-income housing has driven fathers out of the home because welfare mothers will not get a subsidy when the father lives there. 

Public honors for historical Southern leaders are an unwarranted casualty of the continued excuse-making for racial disparities. In truth, there is no big multiracial country less racist than America. Even though blacks compose only 13% of our population, Barak Obama was elected President in 2008 and reelected in 2012 when 65% of America’s population was white. 

The case that racism explains why blacks are disproportionately incarcerated is weak. In New York, for example, blacks represent 23% of the population but account for 70% of the armed robberies. Notwithstanding the corporate media news coverage, few unarmed New York blacks are killed by white policemen, where most of the police force is itself black. Black-on-black crime is really a much bigger problem than white cops shooting unarmed blacks.  Nearly 90% of the blacks and Hispanics murdered in New York City are killed by other blacks and Hispanics. 

Black community problems are behavioral, not the results systemic oppression. Nothing will change until the culture changes. Black children need fathers in their homes. Ambitious black students need school vouchers. Democrats, however, want to keep blacks dependent on government subsidies and preferences, instead of encouraging them to be self-reliant. That way the Democrat politicians get the votes they need to stay in office. Critical Race Theory and Fifth Wave Feminism have sufficiently united blacks and Feminists to give them control of the Democrat Party. So long as that Party remains in control, they will sacrifice anything connected with Southern Heritage as an appeasement to their so-called oppressed constituents. Under such conditions the name “Lee” may not remain in any school and Confederate memorials will likely topple like dominos.  

Defenders of Southern Heritage are doomed to lose if they do not defeat the white misandry of Critical Race Theory and Fifth-Wave Feminism. 

Ralph Northam Mutilates Lee Statue

(September 9, 2021) Merely one week after Virginia’s Supreme Court authorized him to remove the 130-year-old equestrian statue of Robert E. Lee from Richmond’s Monument Avenue, Governor Ralph Northam mutilated it by cutting it into three parts. One cut was at the waist of the bronze structure. The guv claims there was no way to transport the statue without the amputations.

Perhaps, so. Perhaps alternatively he rushed the project just as his White House buddy did the Afghanistan withdrawal. Like Biden, maybe Northam calculates he can rely on the corporate media to hide his errors. Finally, perhaps he intentionally wanted to disfigure the statue to soothe personal guilt for the racist photos on his page in his medical school yearbook. After all, he never has denied that he might be one of the two guys in the racist costumes.

Yesterday he was soon joined by other Lee mutilators at various FaceBook and online chat rooms. The Lee critics at the ones I visited were predominantly self-righteous whites condemning Lee’s alleged contributions to racism and confessing their own shame that America was ever tainted with such an evil.

Like Northam’s, however, their actual experience was not shame.  Genuine shame is emotionally one of the most painful experiences we can have. It makes us want to hide. It is soul destroying and even the stuff of suicide. Their experience was really the opposite of shame. It was display. It was preening. It was an act of separating themselves from supposedly unaware whites. They were showing how superior they are compared to the rest of us. In their minds, each has transformed himself into a kind of honorary black person. Therefore, they reason, the guilt does not attach to them but only to other whites. . . and it was completely fake.

Yesterday also provided a reminder that the continued spread of Critical Race Theory and so-called Antiracism will likely lead to more Confederate statue destruction. The first postulates that the most important thing about you is not your behavior but the color of your skin. If you are white, you are an oppressor of blacks. The second contends that it is impossible to be non-racist; it is only possible to be either racist or Antiracist. Since all races are biologically equal, in the Antiracist analysis, inequality of outcomes is proof of racism. Thus, equality of opportunity is a mask for white supremacy, which can only be offset by Antiracist policies that even the outcomes. It is the anthesis of a meritocracy. While America is distracted with such nonsense, China marches on toward global economic supremacy, laughing at us all the way. 

Chris Rufo revealed yesterday that Google is instructing its employees in Antiracism. They hired Ibram X. Kendi as one of their lecturers.  Kendi argues that Antiracist policies increase equality of outcomes whereas racist policies decrease it. Therefore, he opposes the use of ACT and SAT test results as a factor in the college admissions process. Without them, he argues, more blacks get into college.  Even though school vouchers will enable black parents in the public system to put their children into better schools and thereby improve each child’s educational outcome, it’s doubtful that Kendi would approve of that Antiracist policy, because he would reduce his popularity among the public school systems that also pay him enormous fees.  

Robert E. Lee and Race Obsession

(September 3, 2021) The pending removal of the Robert E. Lee statue on Richmond’s Monument Avenue is the latest consequence of a culture obsessed with imaginary systemic racism. Presently, the only legal systemic racism is fifty years of Affirmative Action, which benefits minority races. According to black Hoover Institution Senior Fellow Shelby Steele, Affirmative Action was the first of a long chain of futile initiatives prompted by white guilt to lift blacks out of poverty. All failed because their true motivation was to provide the ruling white elites the moral authority to continue governing. 

Affirmative Action never closed the academic performance gap and government housing forced black fathers out of the home. Instead of promoting self-reliance in the black community, they discouraged it. They were, however, habit forming bribes for black votes. Confederate statue destruction is merely the latest bribe. Although chiefly a symbolic gesture, it is vote and donor magnet for race-hustling politicians and “activists.” Razing Monument Avenue statues will do nothing to lift black self-esteem, but it may deepen the racial divide with those who admire Robert E. Lee’s leadership qualities. 

Compare, for example, President Joe Biden’s Afghanistan leadership to that of Lee at Gettysburg. Both faced decisive defeats but Biden’s concluding press conference tried to celebrate his chaotic withdrawal as a kind of victory for ending a twenty-year war. In contrast, when the repulsed soldiers of Pickett’s Charge returned after heavy losses to Confederate lines, General Lee rode out to meet them. He immediately took responsibility for the failure. When a distraught general tried to summarize the carnage in his brigade Lee replied, “Never mind, General, all this has been my fault. It is I that have lost this fight.” To General Pickett he said, “Your men have done all that men can do. The fault is entirely my own.” Neither then, nor anytime later, did Lee blame any of his subordinates. 

Unlike Biden who tried to manage the Afghanistan departure in luxury from Camp David, Lee shared his soldier’s hardships. He normally slept in tent whereas other army commanders appropriated the home of a nearby prosperous citizen. About a month after he got his army safely back to Virginia, he submitted a battle report to President Jefferson Davis. It praised his soldiers and took all the blame on himself. He wrote, “I know how prone we are to blame others for the nonfulfillment of our expectations. . . The general remedy for want of success in a military commander is his removal. . .” He then proffered his resignation, which Davis rejected.  

Lee’s soldiers knew that his acceptance for the Gettysburg failure was genuine. It enabled the army to recuperate to a point where it thrashed General Ulysses Grant’s bigger army at the Battle of the Wilderness ten months later. No commander, North or South, was more beloved by his soldiers than General Lee. General Grant amplified the point after Lee’s surrender at Appomattox. When Lincoln’s War Secretary asked Grant what impact Lee’s surrender would have on the remaining Confederate armies, Grant replied, “All the people except a few political leaders of the South will accept whatever [Lee] does as right and will be guided by his example.”

In contrast, President Biden told us that he had consulted with NATO before starting the Afghanistan withdrawal even though the British Parliament promptly denied his claim. Earlier Biden stated that it was extremely unlikely that his evacuation would be as chaotic as the fall of Saigon 45 years ago. In truth, the fall of Kabul was worse. After he could no longer hide the chaos, Biden promised that all Americans that wanted to evacuate would be taken out. That did not happen. He also boasted of taking out a hundred thousand Afghans, most of whom could not possibly have been vetted for terrorist backgrounds. To change the media narrative, he made a video address to American Jews concerning their September holy days. He falsely claimed to have visited a Pittsburgh Synagogue which was violently attacked in 2018.  Finally, when saying “the buck stops with me” he often tried to put the blame on Trump for a conditional executive agreement that Biden falsely claimed had straitjacketed him.

As the political leader of the Identity Politics movement Biden’s conduct must give us pause. America cannot prosper if her own political leaders constantly disparage her. Both Shelby Steele and Brown University Economics professor Glenn Loury consider themselves Americans first and black men second. Loury states, “The richest and most powerful segment of the worldwide black population is here in America. We have black billionaires. Who thinks the American dream is a fraud? Are you kidding me? Tens of millions of non-European immigrants have come to this country in the last fifty years. The statistics show that they are doing well. America is an open and free society.”

Identity Politics is poison. Tearing down Confederate memorials will not advance the status of blacks. While Affirmative Action and monument destruction can be vote magnets for the white ruling class, they might become increasingly offensive to the white middle class who get no benefit from them. Nobody knows how this will turn out. Today’s polarization rivals that of the 1860 presidential campaign. The 1860 candidates thought they were only arguing politics as usual. With 20-20 hindsight we know something much worse came next. 

Gettysburg Compared to Afghanistan

(August 23, 2021) General Robert E. Lee took full responsibility for his Confederate army’s biggest defeat at the Battle of Gettysburg in July 1863. He made no attempt to blame subordinates or civilian leaders. As a result, he minimized dissension thereby encouraging the people of the South to continue their support for the Army of Northern Virginia and its commander. Although eventually forced to surrender in April 1865, after Gettysburg he would go on to thrash Union Lieutenant General Ulysses Grant when the war’s two most famous opposing commanders first met at the Battle of the Wilderness in May 1864.

By comparison, President Joe Biden, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Mark Milley have all tried to deflect blame for the present Afghanistan debacle onto former President Donald Trump and others. They charge Trump with negotiating an agreement last year requiring our troops to be out of Afghanistan this past May 1st

In truth, however, Trump’s agreement was contingent upon several factors. Among them was a requirement that the Taliban prevent Al Qaeda and other groups “from using Afghan soil to recruit, train, or fundraise toward activities that threaten the United States or its allies.” 

On March 25th of this year General Richard Clark testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee: “It is clear that the Taliban have not upheld what they said they would do . . .” During a press conference that same day, President Biden stated that “If we leave [Afghanistan], we’re going to do so in a safe and orderly way.” Thus, Biden could have delayed the withdrawal due to the Taliban’s non-compliance, or alternatively replaced the agreement with one of his own as he did with many Trump executive orders. Nonetheless, Biden decided to start removing troops on May 1st, promising to complete the job by the politically advantageous twentieth anniversary of Nine-Eleven next month.

Once the debacle became obvious, Biden and his underlings also blamed the Afghan war veterans to the dismay of many American soldiers who felt indebted to the Afghans who had fought along side them during the twenty-year war. Given numerous instances of such relationships, Biden felt compelled to backtrack by also promising to get Afghan allies out of the country after initially disparaging them.  The conflicting narratives of Afghan veterans as cowards or heroes suggest that the public is not getting the full truth. 

By contrast, Robert E. Lee’s Gettysburg battle report, which he sent to President Jefferson Davis after he got his army safely returned to Virginia from Pennsylvania, praised the conduct of his soldiers but offered his personal resignation. Davis declined to accept the resignation.

Although Lee’s selfless conduct is consistent with his reputation, it should be noted that he could have offered excuses like Biden’s. For example, Lee urged that General P. G. T Beauregard form a new army at Richmond to be organized from the city’s garrison and soldiers from the Carolinas, including Bory’s army from Charleston. Even if merely “an army in effigy,” it would force the Union commander—whose army was shrinking through enlistment term expirations—to face an enemy on two fronts. That would minimize the number of Union soldiers available to confront Lee in Pennsylvania. President Davis never acted upon the recommendation and Lee did not have the authority to order Beauregard to proceed.

Lee demonstrated similar unselfishness after the war when Federal prosecutors questioned him before a Grand Jury convened to consider a treason case against Jefferson Davis. No doubt Lee realized that if Davis were to be convicted of treason that he was also vulnerable. Prosecutors asked leading questions suggesting that Lee could have avoided responsibility for his actions by stating that he was taking his orders from Davis as the Confederacy’s commander-in-chief. But Lee did not take the bait. He took the onus for his actions entirely on himself stating: “I am responsible for what I did, and I cannot now recall any important movement I made which I would not have made had I acted entirely on my own responsibility.” 

Biden, Robert E. Lee, and Afghanistan

(August 17, 2021) Two years ago, Joe Biden opened his presidential campaign with a deceitful television ad. Concerning the clash between white nationalists that rallied in Charlottesville, Virginia and their contra-protesters, Biden falsely claimed that President Trump remarked that there were “fine people on both sides.” To anyone who truly watched the videos of Trump’s comment, it is obvious his remark referred to the contra-protesters and a third group of peaceful demonstrators who attended merely to show their support for keeping a century-old statue of Robert E. Lee in the park where all three groups converged. Even when challenged about the untruth of his accusation, Biden refused to admit his error. It was politically convenient for Biden to defame General Lee’s historical reputation and indirectly smear any Lee statue supporter as a so-called “white supremacist.”

It worked. Three years later Charlottesville’s municipal government removed the Lee statue as well as one for Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson. Shortly thereafter it also removed statues of trailblazers Lewis & Clark and Midwestern pioneer George Rogers Clark. Moreover, Biden’s implied disparagement of Lee added fuel to activists who want to remove all Confederate statues and symbols. Earlier this year, even Washington & Lee University dropped the General’s name from the Lee chapel and minimized his connection to the venerable honor code pledge ceremony. Whereas a decade ago Americans regarded Lee and Confederate symbols as expressions of regional pride, political forces like those of the Biden-Harris administration have radically changed that perception. 

Consider the results from a 2017 survey conducted by the American Battlefield Trust, the nation’s oldest battlefield preservation organization. Then known as the Civil War Trust, the organization polled subscribers to their Hallowed Ground magazine. Four points are significant. 

First, only 17% wanted Confederate monuments removed from public places “if that’s what the local community wants to do.” The remaining 83% felt that the statues should remain. Second, 97% replied that Confederate monuments should remain on battlefields. Third, 91% said that Robert E. Lee was a man “worthy of respect today” whereas 9% do not believe he should be respected presently. Fourth, only 22% of respondents were from former Confederate states whereas a combined 52% were evenly split between the Northeast and Midwest. Notwithstanding those results the American Battlefield Trust has fallen under the same politically correct influence as the Biden-Harris administration. They increasingly disparage those who fought for the Confederacy. 

Yesterday former CIA analyst and Afghanistan expert, Matt Zeller, castigated the Biden-Harris administration for inept handling of the U.S. troop withdrawal. According to Zeller, Biden’s speech yesterday was coverup for the maladministration that led to the debacle. Zeller even went so far as to say that Joe Biden’s claim that the Biden-Harris administration had carefully planned the evacuation was a “bold faced lie.” Specifically, Zeller said, “There was such a profound bold-faced lie in that speech—The idea we planned for every contingency?  I have been personally trying to tell this administration since it took office, [and] I have been trying to tell our government for years this was coming. We sent them plan after plan on how to evacuate these people. Nobody listened to us.” Zeller voted for Biden as President in the 2020 election.

While any accusation that an American president is lying should be scrutinized, four points suggest that Zeller’s claims are credible. First, Joe Biden repeatedly lied about Trump’s “fine people on both sides” remark. Second, Zeller made his remarks on MSNBC, which is normally a propaganda shill for the Democrat Party. Third, the Biden-Harris administration has been MIA during the debacle. Biden was on vacation at Camp David. Harris is traveling on an Asian junket. Although, Press Secretary Jen Psaki returned from vacation, she dodged the hard questions by turning them over to a white male, Jake Sullivan. The abrupt collapse was, therefore, unexpected. Fourth, notwithstanding the Biden-Harris breakthroughs in providing top government jobs to women, they call upon the military (no doubt composed of many so-called toxic males) to enforce order on the chaos that the Biden-Harris team created.

In contrast, Robert E. Lee took responsibility for his failures. After defeat at Gettysburg, he never responded to newspaper criticisms of his performance at the battle or on the entire campaign. But after he got his army safely returned to Virginia, he wrote President Jefferson Davis with a battle report that praised his soldiers but offered his own personal resignation. Davis declined it.

Lee’s record of silence toward newspaper critics merits comment now that intersectional so-called minorities (principally elite racism experts and feminists) have focused nearly all the attention toward Lee on his relationships with blacks. Even though one of his father-in-law’s slaves wrote a story in a newspaper accusing Lee of having whipped him, Lee’s modern intersectional critics erroneously suppose 150 years later that Lee’s failure to respond publicly proves his guilt. (He denied it in private letters.) That is untrue because, as noted, it was his normal practice to decline to respond to critical newspaper stories.