It is not a surprise to any American that there are statues coming down all over the south. Why? Is this wrong? Are we really losing our history?
So let’s agree that all statues are not the same. For reasons that are not clear there was a statue of Chief Justice Roger Taney in Baltimore. Whether he was a great jurist or not, he wrote the Dred Scott decision. He can never live that down in my opinion. Thankfully, his statue was removed last week.
Most of the fuss over statues surrounds Robert E. Lee, the commander of Southern forces during the Civil War. Lee was/is a very interesting character. Let’s all agree that he was a brilliant military mind. He did stuff on the battlefield that was supposed to be a no-no but not only did he do it, he did it well. His men loved him.
When you hear people talking about Lee they talk about only the great military stuff. There were times when southern forces captured northerners. Sometimes the prisoners were simply shot. Almost all Black prisoners were shot. Lee did nothing that I know of to stop this practice. When Lee put on a Southern uniform and took up arms against the United States. He became a trader. Taking up arms against the US if you are a US citizen is treason. Lee knew this.
In my opinion, if you have to honor those that fought in the Civil War, honor the foot soldiers that were poorly equipped and barely fed. They fought against the North because they thought that their way of life was going to be taken away from them. Honor the foot soldier. They understood courage and sacrifice.
Finally, let’s discuss the reason for the Civil War because there is a ton of misinformation about why the war was started. One of the best lies was that the war was started over “State’s Rights.” This is a fig leaf. The war was started over a state’s right to continue the institution of slavery. The first state to leave the union was South Carolina. In their reason of leaving the Union was very clear. It wasn’t about some nebulous State’s Right. It was …. “increasing hostility on the part of the non-slaveholding States to the Institution of Slavery.” There it is in black and white (no pun intended).
I really don’t care if you want to have a statue of Robert E. Lee or Nathan Bedford Forrest just understand what those men stood for while they were living. Sure you paint a picture of honor and glory but I know that they were all treasonous traders who embraced and fought to keep slavery alive and well.
I’m still having some trouble understanding how a relatively modern apartment tower goes up in flames. Today, apartment complexes are supposed to be built so that the fire is contained. In the United States, modern buildings are supposed to have multiple fire suppression systems including sprinklers. It does not appear that this was the case in this building built in 1979. Initial estimates of five or 10 people who died appear to be completely wrong. Latest estimates put over 58 people dead. Now, it appears that the finger-pointing has started. The relief effort has been described as “absolute chaos”. This is bad.
A mistrial has been declared in the Bill Cosby assault case. I am sorry but I find this whole thing extremely sad. Bill Cosby was one of my heroes. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, it was rare to see a Black face on TV. The constant was Bill Cosby. He was playing an international spy or he was on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. He was funny, thoughtful and always portrayed a black man who was positive. He developed a Saturday morning cartoon based on some of the characters in his stand up. Again, it was funny and positive. I think is pretty clear that Bill Cosby has done something wrong. When over 60 women over a 40 to 50 year period stand up and say similar stories, something is going on. In my opinion, my hero, Bill Cosby, is a serial rapist. It breaks my heart to say that.
Michelle Carter was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter for telling her boyfriend who was trying to kill himself to get in the truck which was filled with lethal carbon monoxide gas via cellphone.
On the other hand, Officer Jeronimo Yanez was found NOT guilty of second degree manslaughter after shooting an unarmed Black man, Philando Castile. His girlfriend streamed the aftermath on Facebook. I would just like to know when it is NOT okay to shoot a black man.
The final round of the U.S. Open begins in a couple of hours. As with any major sporting event, there is lots of discussion. Most of it is nonsense. Most the experts thought that Jason Day, Rory McIlroy or even Dustin Johnson would be contending for this US Open. They are all at home. Now, Brian Harman, who won earlier this year, Tommy Fleetwood, a European player who has never won in the US, Brooks Koepka, is one on those extremely long hitters who the pundits thought should win and win often and Justin Thomas, who shot a 63 yesterday, are all in contention. This should make for an interesting final round.