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It’s Hard To Be A Dead Confederate in 2015

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It’s just so hard to be a dead Confederate today. No one loves you anymore. No one wants to name things after treasonous slaveholders or the northern politicians who facilitated their slave system.

The New Orleans City Council has voted 6-1 to remove four Confederate and neo-Confederate monuments from the city, including one memorializing a white attempt at a violent white takeover of Louisiana’s Reconstruction government. Of course white conservatives are outraged, saying “All History Matters,” as if these people cared about black history. And now they are suing. Hard to imagine them winning.

Fairfax County, Virginia is also seeking to change the name of J.E.B. Stuart High School and Robert E. Lee High School, as well as another high school named after a man who fought against desegregation. But what to name these schools? If we aren’t honoring Confederates, who should we honor? This made me LOL:

One of the school board members, Elizabeth Schultz, said she did not want to rename one of the high schools after Thurgood Marshall, the first black U.S. Supreme Court justice, because there is already a George Marshall High School in the county. She suggested naming it after former President Ronald Reagan, saying the name would be appropriate because he signed the federal law creating Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Those are some sweet mental gymnastics to come at this conclusion. But then look at the source:

Schultz has also opposed efforts to provide protection against LGBT teachers, staff, and students in the district. She was the lone vote against a nondiscrimination policy for teachers, staff and students of all sexual orientations last year, saying there are already too many “protected classes,” according to the Washington Post.

No doubt she would rather just keep the names as is.

The funniest of these stories is the saga of the Roger Taney bust in Frederick, Maryland, where everyone agrees it needs to be taken down (in part because it has been vandalized in recent months with red paint) but no one wants it–including the Roger Taney House, which is a historical site. Charles Sumner was fighting against the memorialization of Taney from the moment the Chief Justice died in 1864 but no one listened even then. Now we are. Still, one would think the thing should end up in his own house, for interpretation about what a racist he was and why the people of Frederick thought that was a good thing for a long time, if nothing else.

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