Sunday, August 20, 2017

Leave It to the WSJ Editors to Apologize for Trump and the Racists

 And Throw in a Little False History as an Aside

It is painful to read the WSJ editorials as they try and twist their way out of not condemning Trump on hatred and racism.  They do not oppose the bigotry of Donald Trump because of the bigotry of Donald Trump.  They oppose it because it interferes with such things as tax cuts for the rich, privatizing the public schools and cutting federal spending on helping people. 

It won’t educate an inner-city child trapped in a rotten school, it won’t create more economic opportunity, and it won’t lead to more racial tolerance.

Actually it will lead to more racial tolerance and create better schools for inner city children and more economic opportunity for those other than the WSJ folks who live in a world where they are privileged.    Exposing the hate mongers for what they are will be a big help.  These people thrive only in shadows;  in sunlight their ideas wither and die.

But it wouldn’t be a WSJ editorial with lies, distortions and half truths.  For example there is this.

That is a long and difficult history of progress, one that deserves to be known in its complexity, rather than not known or forgotten. Robert E. Lee spent the rest of his life after the Civil War, notably as president of what became Washington and Lee University, trying to heal the wounds between north and south.

That’s at least one legacy of Lee we can all celebrate because we can’t see much purpose beyond political symbolism in reopening the Civil War 152 years later.

Yeah, the rest his life as a college prez.  The time before that, figuring out ways to kill tens of thousands of Americans to preserve slavery.  Let's let that part of the story die.

Good old W & L.  Let’s see some truth.  This is from a Politico post explaining the real reasons why statues of men like Lee were erected, to celebrate white nationalism and the subjugation of African Americans.

At the Charlottesville statue’s dedication, one of the two keynote speakers extolled Lee as “the idol of every Southern heart—aye, of every human heart, North and South, East and West.” Gazing up at a Confederate flag that flew nearby, he hailed it as “that starry flag of the world’s heart and hope, that shall yet float in universal triumph over land and sea.” The other keynoter called Lee “an ideal of a whole land” who “symbolized the future.”

Those two speakers weren’t Grand Dragons of the KKK: They were the presidents of Washington and Lee University and the University of Virginia. Both institutions barred African-Americans. And not only were Charlottesville’s public schools segregated in 1924, the town didn’t even have a high school for black citizens: Authorities considered a ninth-grade education sufficient.

As for Washington and Lee, well their history is a little suspect. It was not until the 1960’s that the school admitted African Americans.  As for women,  that came later.

Once an all-male institution, Washington and Lee first admitted women to its law school in 1972. The first undergraduate women matriculated in 1985. Since then, Washington and Lee has flourished.

So Lee’s legacy was a school that until it was forced to do otherwise was an all male all white college.  We are not sure we join the WSJ in celebrating that legacy.

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