Alabama Gazette - The people's voice of reason

Historical Monuments

 

August 1, 2018 | View PDF



Friends of the Gazette,

It is with great passion and concern that I approach this subject of our historical monuments, knowing the current attempt to destroy them and our History. The sons of Phyllis Schlafly, John and Andy Schlafly, wrote about this organized attempt across the nation to destroy our monuments and the stories that they have carried to generation after generation of American students. There is grave concern over these orchestrated attempts to obliterate our History. With their kind permission, we are reprinting their article of October 10, 2017, titled:

Historical Monuments

Rescuing Columbus from the Savages

John and Andy Schlafly ~ October 10, 2017

On the 525th anniversary of the European discovery of America, the 90-foot tall monument in New York's huge Columbus Circle escaped damage -- but only because the NYPD maintained a 24-hour honor guard during the entire 3-day holiday weekend. Police protection was needed because the violent left wing movement known as "antifa" had announced a nationwide campaign to "deface Columbus Day."

Statues left unguarded were not so fortunate. Around the nation in recent weeks, statues of Columbus have been toppled, splattered with paint, or otherwise vandalized. In downtown Los Angeles, a Columbus statue in front of the county courthouse was shrouded with a white sheet, ostensibly for its own protection, after the L.A. City Council voted to rename the paid holiday as Indigenous Peoples Day.

The Mayor of New York City, who was born Warren Wilheim, but changed his name to the Italian-sounding Bill de Blasio, had let it be known that the monument in Columbus Circle was at risk. He has appointed a commission to review the political correctness of hundreds of monuments, plaques, and statues throughout the city.

New York's Columbus monument was built and paid for by Italian immigrants in 1892, to honor the 400th anniversary of discovery, around the time that Chicago was preparing to host the World's Columbian Exposition. Italian Americans were rightly proud of Columbus, but his voyages were actually sponsored and financed by Spain, his crewmen were Spanish, he spoke Spanish, and wrote his journals in Spanish.

Americans were already celebrating Columbus on the 300th anniversary of the discovery, in 1792, when a Columbus monument was erected in Baltimore. Despite the lack of Italian or Spanish people in the original 13 colonies, the English settlers recognized that Columbus's discovery of the New World was the event that made America possible.

Our nation's capital is the City of Washington, in the District of Columbia, honoring the two men who made our country. Columbus' name is reflected in many other places, including two state capitals (Ohio and South Carolina). For much of the 19th Century, the word Columbia was often used as an alternative to America.

As President Trump said in proclaiming the federal holiday, Columbus's

voyages "undeniably and fundamentally changed the course of human history and set the stage for the development of our great nation."

On Columbus Day, Trump declared, "We honor the skilled navigator and man of faith for his courageous feat-- even in the face of extreme doubt and tremendous adversity."

What a contrast with the apologetic tone of Obama’s proclamation one year earlier, which omitted any praise of Columbus or recognition of his

greatness. Instead Obama whined that “we must acknowledge the pain and suffering of Native Americans” which he said has been “marked by too many broken promises, as well as violence, deprivation and disease.”

By apologizing for Columbus as a man allegedly responsible for bringing pain and suffering, violence and disease to America, Obama was apologizing for America itself. Such ideas are far too common in our schools and colleges, where Columbus is wrongly accused of oppressing the native people with slavery, white supremacy, and even genocide.

The National Education Association, which supplies teachers to most of our public schools, adopted a resolution that “formal apologies are long overdue to the indigenous people of the United States.” The fierce campaign against Columbus is motivated by hatred for America, and will continue even if his statues survive.

It is impossible to exaggerate how great Columbus was, and how much our world depends on what he accomplished. In the 2,000 years since Jesus Christ, it would be hard to name any one man who achieved so much for the betterment of mankind.

Columbus was, first of all, the greatest sailor and navigator who ever lived up to that time, as detailed by the famous historian Admiral Samuel Eliot Morison, himself a sailor who recreated Columbus’s voyages. Yes, a Viking named Leif Erikson apparently landed somewhere in Canada about 500 years earlier, but Erikson left no permanent settlement or any trace that he was ever there.

Yes, there were people already living in North and South America when

Columbus came. By comparison to the European explorers and settlers, however, America’s native people lived in extreme poverty and brutality, lacking the skills that are necessary to build a civilized nation.

Yes, the European settlers brought new diseases such as smallpox that infected the native people (unintentionally, of course), but they were repaid in tobacco, which caused far more deaths among Europeans. Columbus wrote about tobacco in his journal on October 15, 1492, just three days after he arrived in the West Indies.

Among the gifts that Columbus brought to America was Christianity. Evangelization of the native people was a prime motivation for Columbus and his Spanish backers. Columbus gave Christian names to the places he visited, such as San Juan (St. John the Baptist) which became Puerto Rico.

And as we celebrate -- other holidays revered and cherished across America, we continue to see the monuments and the history represented in each one attacked.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

John and Andy Schlafly have alerted us to many other attacks on our history in another Phyllis Schlafly Eagles article of last August 22, 2017. This article titled, "Where Does it Stop?" deals with continuing efforts to destroy our History.

THE PHYLLIS SCHLAFLY REPORT

Where Does It Stop?

by John and Andy Schlafly

August 22, 2017

“Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments,” President Trump tweeted last week. “You can’t change history, but you can learn from it. Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson – who’s next, Washington, Jefferson? So foolish!”

The mob violence did not stop with Confederate generals, but quickly

extended to statues of ordinary soldiers, and then to other great historical figures. Christopher Columbus was attacked with a hatchet in Detroit, Abraham Lincoln was burned in Chicago, and the recently canonized Father Junipero Serra was spray-painted with the word “murder” at Mission San Fernando, California.

In Annapolis, Maryland, a sculpture of Chief Justice Roger Taney was hoisted from its massive pedestal and hidden in an undisclosed location as payback for Taney’s opinion in the 160-year-old Dred Scott case. In Baltimore a Columbus monument erected in 1792 was attacked with a sledgehammer and in New York City, the Council Speaker has demanded a review of the massive, 76-foot-high sculpture at the center of Columbus Circle.

After President Trump asked “Where does it stop?,” some amateur historians responded by claiming that Robert E. Lee was a “traitor” who committed “treason” against the United States. Such comments are ignorant and wrong, for the simple reason that the 11 Confederate states that Lee fought for are now part of the United States.

The Fourteenth Amendment, which became part of the Constitution in 1868, sets forth the conditions under which the defeated Southern states were readmitted to the United States on an equal basis with all other states. Nearly all who fought for Southern independence were restored to full citizenship on an equal footing with their counterparts who fought for the Union of North and South.

A previous generation of Americans, including those who actually fought in the Civil War, debated whether to charge General Lee and other rebels as traitors. They wisely decided not to go down that road, and it’s too late to revisit their decision now.

Some Republican weak sisters – the same people who timidly proposed civil unions as an alternative to gay marriage (remember how that turned out?) – have offered a compromise. Instead of destroying the offending statues, move them to museums or Confederate cemeteries.

Gentlemen may cry peace, peace, but there is no peace: even cemeteries are not safe from the mob bent on the destruction of history. In Los Angeles, an online petition forced the Hollywood Forever cemetery to remove a 92-year-old hunk of granite that marks – “lest we forget” – the nearby graves of 37 Confederate soldiers.

In Madison, Wisconsin, the leftwing mayor removed a two-foot plaque marking the graves of 140 Confederate soldiers who died in a Union prison at Camp Randall after surrendering in battle. In Boston, where over 600 Confederates were held at Fort Warren, a granite slab bearing the names of 13 who died in prison was boarded up so their names cannot be seen.

History teaches what happens when a revolution gets out of hand, and it’s not pretty. When law and order are overthrown, the mob rules.

When the French Revolution reached its peak of mob violence in 1793, the revolutionaries were not satisfied with slicing off the heads of their deposed king, Louis XVI, and his wife, Marie Antoinette. They also invaded the church of St. Denis, where French kings and queens for the preceding 1,000 years had been buried under monuments and statues that marked their lives and reigns.

The mob opened more than 100 tombs and scattered the remains so that the royal bones could never again be identified and reassembled. Then they marched to Notre Dame Cathedral, where they destroyed all vestiges of Christianity and turned the sanctuary into a “temple of reason.”

In our hometown of Alton, Illinois, two Civil War-related monuments have stood for more than a century at opposite ends of town. On the east side, a flamboyant 110-foot column, topped by a winged sculpture of an angel and flanked by a pair of enormous eagles, honors Rev. Elijah P. Lovejoy, the anti-slavery newspaper publisher who died defending his printing press from a mob on November 7, 1837.

On the quieter western edge of town, a simple but elegant granite obelisk, 58 feet tall, marks the final resting place of 1,354 Confederate soldiers who died as prisoners of war in Alton’s federal prison. More than 13,000 Confederate soldiers and civilians were imprisoned there under horrific conditions during the war, resulting in as many as six to ten deaths a day.

For as long as civilization has existed, the end of life on earth has been a time to remember the dead and to reflect on what their lives meant to us who survive. It’s time for the grave robbers and defilers to stand down, or if they will not, to be put down by the law. Requiescat in pace.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) whose 27th book, The Conservative Case for Trump, was published posthumously on

September 6.

 

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