Saturday, January 20, 2007

Washington Post article on RE Lee

This is an insight about how RE Lee, and to a certain extent Southern Heritage, is being continually marginalized in present-day culture. It's interesting to note this paragraph:

And when the Virginia General Assembly created a special commission last year to plan a year of events to commemorate the Lee bicentennial, the panel wanted Lee license plates and more lessons about Lee in the public schools. Instead, after intensely emotional debate -- one African American delegate said Lee's likeness reduced him to tears -- all that was given was a $5,000 grant to publish a tourist brochure on Lee-related events in the state.

Seems that said thin-skinned African-American delegate hasn't read much history either. In reality, Lee only joined with the Confederacy when Virginia threw its support south. If Virginia stayed neutral, then he would have taken command of the Union armies, defeated the rebellion, and then been hailed a hero by the same blacks that lament his image now. When Lee was president of Washington College, he expelled students who harassed the local blacks, was one of the ex-Confederate generals who spoke of reconciliation with the Union, and sincerely wished well of the freed slaves. If you're going to cry over a ex-Confederate General, cry over NB Forrest. It's a sad statement when one cannot be bothered to look any deeper to see the true character of a man, but yet have say in how he is remembered.

Read the rest of the sad story here. If you're a CW reenactor who involved with doing school and other public presentations, this article should be recommended reading.

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