We find ourselves facing an unprecedented period of lawlessness, fueled by a media that portrays every perceived injustice that involves a person of color as a symptom of systemic racism.
It began with the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police on May 25. In the rioting that followed, an estimated 130 mostly minority-owned businesses were vandalized, looted and then burned to the ground. Crowds took to the streets and peaceful protests gave way to widespread looting and violence. On May 31, 18 people were killed in Chicago alone. That is one day, in one city.
Last weekend in Chicago there were 102 shootings resulting in 14 deaths — 12 of them African American and one of them was a 3-year-old child. That scene is being played out all across our great country. Mayors, governors and leaders from across the political spectrum are allowing the lawlessness to continue. Not just looting and property damage, but the wholesale murder of innocent people.
In Seattle, the mayor and governor allowed anarchists to take over six full city blocks in protest. They occupied a police precinct after the mayor instructed the police to leave, and she even suggested that maybe we should see this crazy social experiment as a “summer of love.”
Corporate America has jumped in with huge donations to organizations, such as Black Lives Matter (BLM), since no large company can stand on the sidelines when “social justice” is now within reach. Black Lives Matter is a political organization that seeks to remake America by tearing down its institutions. The first casualty is the truth. The truth is that it hopes to gain power to coerce society to forget our history since, in their minds, it is racist.
Black Lives Matter activist Shaun King called this past Monday for the removal of statues, murals and stained-glass windows that depict Jesus and his mother as white Europeans. He claims they are a form of white supremacy. BLM President Hawk Newsom noted in a televised interview this past week that only the rioting has brought about change. He declares that if the U.S. “doesn’t give us what we want, then we will burn down the system.”
Considering the crazy positions of Black Lives Matter, why are so many people in our community espousing their support for this organization? Their positions of “white privilege” and “systemic racism” are for one purpose. They want to destroy the very country in which minorities have the best chance in the world to achieve their dreams and raise their families in peace.
There have been calls for our local leaders to step up and move our community in a new direction. We agree completely. Let us work together to support Girls Incorporated, the Boys Club and our local churches that reach out to minority communities. They have done more to help disadvantaged, primarily minority children, to escape poverty and pursue their dreams, than any politicized organization that thrives on hate.
Some are saying that the first step is seen as removing our Confederate statue. This historical monument was erected in 1900 by the local John Cabell Breckinridge Chapter of the Daughters of the Confederacy. When the Fiscal Court approved the deed for the monument, they also granted a similar monument in the memory of the Federal dead. They declined the offer.
Now we are told that it is racist and offensive because the statue honors Confederates. The Civil War was fought between the supporters of a strictly federative government on one side, and a national one on the other. The South believed that slavery should be decided by the states.
Let us stop here. We believe the idea of one person owning another is abhorrent. We also believe that is does no justice to history to apply our 2020 values to decisions our ancestors made in the 1820s when they settled this wilderness, 200 years ago. In their time slavery was accepted and widespread in both the North and the South.
Our families chose to vote to secede and were honorable men in their day. They were, and will always remain, heroes to many of us. It is difficult to understand through the lens of our society today the source of their stance on slavery. It is easy to see their concerns about the form of government that they felt had strayed so far from our Constitution.
The reason that the statue is important is that history is important. The Confederates that fought against Northern aggression were not traitors. They were Americans. Americans that only two generations before had fought in the American Revolution to birth this country into being.
They were Americans that after the Civil War heeded the words of Abraham Lincoln to bring forth “a new birth of freedom.” They returned to their homes, endured the pain of reconstruction and worked together to build the greatest country on the face of the earth.
Black Lives Matter and other anarchists tear down statues of not only Confederate heroes but Union ones as well. They have toppled, defaced and vandalized statues of Grant and Lincoln. Even our Founding Fathers’ statues of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson and countless others are being destroyed. Are these the actions of Americans that want racial justice? Of course not. They are akin to domestic terrorists that want to use intimidation and violence to tear down America.
One-hundred-and-twenty years ago, the Daughters of the Confederacy built a lasting memorial to our Confederate heroes that fought, and some who died, for a cause they believed was right. We can honor their sacrifice along with those of our Union soldiers, without trying to see them as more than they were. Though imperfect and flawed, both the North and the South were made up of honorable men and women who fought the bloodiest, most costly war in our country’s history. Their sacrifice does not deserve to be dishonored.
Marcus W. Bosley is a lifelong resident of Daviess County and great nephew of Mrs. Asa (Clementine) Bosley, who was a founding member of the Local Daughters of the Confederacy chapter.