Did you know that this newspaper is named for a slaveholder? It’s right there on our masthead, the name of a man who for 56 years held other human beings in bondage on his Virginia plantation — a man, according to the official Mount Vernon Web site, who “frequently utilized harsh punishment against the enslaved population, including whippings.” This dreaded symbol of oppression is delivered to the doorsteps and inboxes of hundreds of thousands of people each morning.
Sure, George Washington also emancipated his slaves in his will, won our independence and became the father of our country — but no matter. It is an outrage that this paper continues to bear the name of such a man.
It is time to rename The Washington Post!
Think that’s stupid? You’re right. But there’s a lot of stupid going around today. The latest example: The TV Land network has pulled the plug on reruns of one of America’s most beloved shows, “The Dukes of Hazzard,” because the car in the show, the General Lee, bears a Confederate flag. There is nothing racist about “The Dukes of Hazzard.” It is a show about moonshine, short shorts and fast cars. What is accomplished by banning “The Dukes of Hazzard”? Nothing.
Our country is in a miasma of political correctness. So where does it end? Are we going to rename our nation’s capital (and Washington state for that matter)? Should we close the Jefferson Memorial (named for a man who never freed his slaves)? How about renaming Arlington (which is named after Robert E. Lee’s estate) . . . or Washington and Lee University (names for not one, but two slave owners) . . . or Fort Hood (named for Confederate Gen. John Bell Hood) and Fort Bragg (named for Braxton Bragg, military adviser to Confederate President Jefferson Davis).
This impulse to wipe away history is Stalinist. Just like Joseph Stalin once erased people from photographs, we’re now erasing people from our collective history.
I mean this is a hell of a lot of straw in one place, and it’s covered in manure to boot. Nobody’s demanding we rename anything currently named for George Washington, and nobody demanded the cancellation of the Dukes of Hazzard reruns on cable, either.
Most of all, nobody’s asking to “wipe away history” of white Southerners, either. What people actually wanted was the state government of South Carolina not to fly the Confederate flag on state grounds, especially since the state only started doing that in the 60’s in order to insult and degrade the civil rights movement.
The only thing being wiped away here is the reality that this flag stands for slavery, racism, and hatred. We wiped that history away out of textbooks and social taboo quite some time ago and covered it up with idiotic platitudes like “heritage not hate”. We wiped out that history of why the South went to war in order to preserve the enslavement of human beings with moronic bleatings of “states’ rights” and “economic sabotage of the South”.
Maybe Thiessen knows. Frankly, I don’t give a damn.