More Woke-Hate Politics in the Making

Arlington Confederate Memorial

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2021 was enacted on January 1, 2021.  This included creating a commission, called the Naming Commission, to rename all military assets with names associated with the Confederate States of America. According to the 2021 NDAA, within three years of its enactment, the Secretary of Defense is required to implement the plan developed by the Commission to "remove all names, symbols, displays, monuments, and paraphernalia that honor or commemorate the Confederate States of America or any person who served voluntarily with the Confederate States of America from all assets of the Department of Defense.

President Donald Trump vetoed this NDAA because of the Naming Commission, but his veto was overridden by Congress.  

Renaming nine Army bases are the most famous targets of this Woke-Hate Commission: Fort Benning, Fort Bragg, Fort Gordon, Fort A.P. Hill, Fort Hood, Fort Lee, Fort Pickett, Fort Polk, and Fort Rucker. The list of woke-hate renaming targets is far more extensive and includes Navy ships, West Point buildings, and almost anything remotely touching slavery. As if this sort of Reconstruction meanness is not enough, on September 19, 2022, the Naming Commission recommended that the Arlington Confederate Memorial be dismantled and removed. What next?

The online Arlington National Cemetery narrative on the Confederate Memorial is already so   apologetic about honoring Confederate dead that it dances between amusing and insulting. A principal objection of the Naming Commission is that the Memorial Statue depicts the loyalty and mutual affection that so often existed between master and slave in Southern culture. Booker T. Washington (1856-1915),  the founder of Tuskegee University and most famous and respected African-American educator from 1890 until his death in 1915, gave credit to those circumstances in his 1901 autobiography, Up from Slavery. Booker Washington believed that education and economic self-sufficiency were the proper keys to African-American advancement. The remarkably common  predominance of  mutual affection and loyalty between master and slave can also be verified by simple statistical analysis of more than 2,300 interviews with former slaves conducted by the F. D. Roosevelt Administration from 1936 through 1938. Margaret Mitchell also depicted this in in her 1936 world-wide, best-selling and Pulitzer Prize winning novel, Gone with the Wind, made into an Academy Award sweeping movie in 1940. Margaret Mitchell researched the historical and cultural background of her novel for ten years before its final publication.

However, the globalist-humanist establishment that dominates the present Federal government, academia, media,  and entertainment, and is grasping for total control of our culture, cannot hear, see, or understand anything that contradicts their own bent and unforgiving, virtue-signaling narrative.  In the new woke-hate era, the globalist-humanist establishment has rejected Judeo-Christian traditions of mutual respect and affection and decreed that the only proper attitude for slaves and descendants of slaves is ever-hardening resentment, for which Critical Race Theory (CRT) has become the obligatory method of indoctrination.

The Naming Commission fits well into the CRT indoctrination of Armed Forces and Department of Defense military and civilian personnel. It is more than just indoctrination. It is a method of purging conservatives from the Armed Forces and DoD.

Arlington National Cemetery is located on Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s confiscated estate. On April 20, 1861, Lee left the house in which he and his wife, Mary Anna Custis Lee, had lived for 30 years to command Virginia forces and later Confederate forces.  In early1864, the U.S. Federal Government ceased the property from Mrs. Lee. The  Department of War began to bury some Union soldiers there in May 1864, and Secretary of War Edwin Stanton declared it a memorial military cemetery.

Originally, Confederate dead could not be buried at Arlington. However, both Union and Confederate veterans began to develop a forgiving and mutually appreciative spirit of comradery in the 1880s and 1890s and often gathered in Blue-Gray reunions.  The Washington Post covered a large Blue-Gray Reunion on October 19, 1880, in Atlanta. A large Blue-Gray Reunion was held in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on August 12, 1883. On September 24, 1887, a Blue-Gray Reunion was held in Evansville, Indiana, where 10,000 Union and 3,000 Confederate veterans attended and were greeted by the Governor of Indiana.  On December 14, 1898, four days after the Spanish-American War had ended, President William McKinley, a Union combat veteran of the war, kicked off a nationwide “Peace Jubilee” in Atlanta, proclaiming:

“In the spirit of fraternity we should share with you in the care of the graves of Confederate soldiers….Sectional feelings no longer hold back the love we feel for each other. The old flag again waves over us in peace with new glories.”

One of the heroes who returned from Cuba was former Confederate cavalry leader,  Lt. General “Fightin’ Joe Wheeler, who 33 years after serving as a Confederate General, served as a U.S. Army Major General in the Spanish-American War and the Indian wars. He also served several terms in Congress representing Alabama. Joe Wheeler is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.  

Meanwhile, the United Confederate Veterans (UCV) identified Confederate graves around the Washington, D.C. area and successfully petitioned the government to have those remains transferred to Arlington. On June 6, 1900, Congress appropriated $2,500 for the removal and reinterment of Confederate remains. By 1902, 262 Confederate bodies were interred in a specially designated section, Section 16. Unlike the orderly rows in the rest of the cemetery, graves in the Confederate section were arranged in concentric rings. The cemetery added more Confederate graves over the years, eventually totaling 462. 

In March 1906, Secretary of War and future President William Howard Taft authorized a memorial statue for the Confederate Section. In November 1910, former Confederate soldier and sculptor Moses Jacob Ezekiel (1844-1917) was commissioned by the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) to design the memorial. It was unveiled by President Woodrow Wilson on June 4, 1914, the 106th anniversary of the birth of Jefferson Davis, the President of the Confederacy, who had also served in the U.S. Army during the Mexican War, in both houses of Congress, and as U.S Secretary of War. The sculptor, Moses Jacob Ezekiel, was also the first Jewish cadet at the Virginia Military Institute (VMI). His own grave lies directly in front of the memorial. Most U.S. presidents, including Barack Obama, have sent a memorial wreath to be placed on the monument every Memorial Day.  

But alas, the age of reconciliation has been trampled in favor of a new age of woke hatred, intolerance, vengeance, cancel-culture, historical ignorance, intellectual disfunction, and moral cowardice.

Following the unfortunate death of African-American George Floyd on May 25, 2020, while being arrested and in custody of the Minneapolis Police, the visible suffering of Floyd appeared constantly in media across the United States and the world. Protests erupted in over 140 U.S. cities in at least 21 states. There was widespread looting and destruction of property, hundreds of injuries, and according to Forbes, 19 deaths in the first two weeks. Black Lives Matter and Antifa were active in organizing many of the protests. 

Thus, followed Critical Race Theory (CRT) indoctrination and the Naming Commission of 2021.

There are presently 8 members of the Naming Commission. Four were appointed by Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin. This includes the Chair, Admiral (ret) Michelle Howard; Brig. General (ret) Ty Seidule, an anti-Robert E. Lee, and extremely anti-Confederate former West Point instructor; USMC Commandant General (ret) Robert Neller; and Kori Schake, a DoD Executive and John McCain presidential political campaign adviser.

The other four are Lt. General (ret) Thomas P. Bostic, appointed by Senator Jack Reed (D,RI); Jerry Buchanan, Oklahoma businessman and retired U.S. Army sergeant, appointed by Republican Senator James Inhofe; Lawrence Roma, Obama official and retired USAF Lt.Col, appointed by Rep. Adam Smith (D,WA);  and Rep. Austin Scott (GA-8), appointed by Alabama Rep. Mike Rogers, ranking Member of House Armed Forces Committee. Scott was instrumental in the Georgia Legislature in replacing the Confederate Battle Flag dominated state flag with a new flag.

The Naming Commission appears to have a strong anti-Southern supermajority. Moreover, its nauseating virtue-signaling and heavy-handed cultural engineering is based on a false historical narrative, which is blatantly and unconstitutionally punitive. The Commission’s objective is thinly disguised cultural cleansing. It is going to be about as helpful as the Salem Witch Trials.

Time is short. Let your Senators, Representatives, and Legislators know of this woke-hate abuse of power, trampling of truth, desecration of American history, and arrogant disregard for common decency and public sentiment.   

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