During the few recent years, Confederate statues have been removed (in lawful procedures and otherwise), names of places have been changed. A couple of years ago, Memphis city council voted to remove not only a monument but also a couple of graves. And now "Gone with the Wind" screenings have been pulled because of being "insensitive".
My big question to you is this: why now?
First of all, just to get this out of the way. No, I do NOT see the American Civil War as a war of good (the North) against evil (the South). There is much to say about this, including on the issue of slavery and race relations in general, but I am not going to do it in this post. I am just making a point that the conflict between the North and the South was not at all a simple matter to judge, while I leave the discussion of merits and problems of the both sides to another day.
Well, perhaps I should mention just one fact, as a brief illustration. It is the Grant's Order No. 11 that stated that: “The Jews, as a class violating every regulation of trade established by the Treasury Department… are hereby expelled from [Kentucky, Tennessee, and Mississippi] within 24 hours.” But let us not digress.
What is incontrovertible is that the war, while starting in a somewhat mild way, turned quite barbaric eventually. It was a total war, and the Grant and Sherman won it in a very brutal way. Do you realize, for instance, that the city of Atlanta was burned _after_ it had already been captured by the northern troops? The residents were ordered out, and the city set on fire. All in all, the South was brutalized and suppressed, and an occupational military force (officially called by this name) was posted in the southern states for years. The so called reconstruction was a clear imposition of the way of life of the conquering country upon the defeated land.
The result was quite natural. The North came to be hated by nearly half of the country, and the South saw itself largely as not a part of the same country as the North. Before the war, the majority of the US military officers were of southern origin. After the war, men of the South did not want to join the military of the conquerors. The war that had preservation of the Union as its stated aim lead to the great alienation (to say the least) of the part of the country that wanted out in the first place.
All that was eventually realized, and great efforts were extended in order to achieve reconciliation. They were largely successful, but it took decades for the wounds to heal. The people of the South were repeatedly told - and shown - that they are Americans too (and this statement was used in all sorts of slogans). The dignity of the both sides was acknowledged. There were eventually joint reunions for the surviving Civil War veterans from the both sides, like this one in 1913:
And so, why are the graves dug up again now (and sometimes the suggestions are to do it literally)? Why are the Confederate statues toppled, the battle flags of the South removed, the names of the southern man erased from the titles of the streets, and so on? Who wants to reopen the (relatively recently) healed wounds? Who wants (and are quite successful) to split this country in two once again?
Do not deceive yourself. All this is NOT about just the Confederate States of America. It is just that the Confederates are the most defenseless part of our history at the moment, and a very convenient application point for the old and reliable method of "divide and conquer". It will not stop there - and it is not stopping there already. Here is just a couple of examples:
<< A monument in Baltimore to Christopher Columbus — believed to be the first one erected to the Italian explorer in America — was vandalized....
A video posted to YouTube on Monday by a user named “Popular Resistance” shows a man striking the base of the monument near Herring Run Park repeatedly with a sledgehammer. Another person holds a sign that reads: “Racism, tear it down.” Another sign is taped to the monument reading: “The future is racial and economic justice.” >>
<<The Thomas Jefferson Monument, which sits just outside a rotunda at the University of Virginia -- which Jefferson also founded -- was cloaked in black Tuesday evening, and adorned with signs reading “Black Lives Matter” and “TJ is a racist,” local media reported. Nearly 100 students came together to deface the statue, chanting, “No Trump, No KKK, no racist U-V-A,” the Washington Times reported. >>
To be sure, this is not a huge and unexpected news to anybody who has been following these matters. The Columbus Day has long been replaced with all sorts of "Indigenous Peoples Days" by municipalities and school districts. Here is one of the latest cases, this time from Los Angeles:
And the Founders have long been labeled racists, etc. by the activists.
The attacks are not just on the Confederates. The attacks are on all those who belong to what is euphemistically called "the majority culture". And the mandatory talks for students regarding "the majority privilege" are a part of exactly the same process. These people will NOT be satisfied by destroying just the Robert E. Lee statues.