Over the last several days, white nationalist terrorists descended on the city of Charlottesville, Virginia in order to protest the recent removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee. As a direct result of their actions, at least three people are dead.
This is merely the latest outrage perpetrated by white nationalists in defense of Confederate symbols in general and memorials to Lee in particular. Yet there are “moderates” on the right who would have us believe that Lee was a good and noble man, that the use of him as a symbol by bigots and terrorists represents a perversion of his legacy.
Most Americans know that the Marquis de Lafayette and thousands of other Frenchmen helped us secure our independence. (Library of Congress)
Earlier this week Jared Kushner’s father-in-law was in Paris to take part in France’s annual celebration of Bastille Day as guest of President Emmanuel Macron. While holding a joint press conference with Macron, the prolific tweeter who lost the popular vote last November proved that he does not need to be in the United States to embarrass the United States. He remarked that “France is America’s first and oldest ally. A lot of people don’t know that.” He went on to add that “France helped us secure our independence, a lot of people forget.”
As I have written, the United States of America declared independence from Great Britain on July 2, 1776. The Fourth of July is not America’s birthday. That being said, July 4 is, nonetheless, a day worthy of celebration. After all, it was on July 4, 1776 that the United States became, in the world of Lincoln, a nation “conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”
Two years ago nine African American worshipers were killed in a racially motivated terrorist attack on the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. In the wake of the attack journalists discovered that the perpetrator had been regularly photographed with Confederate flags. Since that time a growing number of people have called, often successfully, for the removal of Confederate flags and symbols from public places.