The media groaned when President Trump said Tuesday that while people may not have a problem with a statue of Robert E. Lee being removed in Charlottesville, it was only a matter of time before the same leftists turned their attention to the Founding Fathers, many of whom were slave owners. Trump specifically wondered if George Washington and Thomas Jefferson memorials would be the next to go as their slave-owning histories made them unfit for memorialization in today’s hyper-sensitive, historically-blind era of American politics.
And look at that. Within a couple of days, Trump’s prophecy is already coming true.
Chicago pastor Bishop James Dukes of the Liberation Christian Center is calling on Mayor Rahm Emanuel to remove the names of two slave-owning presidents from parks on the South Side, saying the city of Chicago should not honor these men in predominately-black communities. Dukes, who apparently believes that memorials of old white guys are the biggest problems facing the black communities in Chicago, said he wants both the names and the statue of George Washington taken out of the parks.
“When I see that, I see a person who fought for the liberties, and I see people that fought for the justice and freedom of white America, because at that moment, we were still chattel slavery, and was three-fifths of humans,” he said. “Some people out here ask me, say ‘Well, you know, he taught his slaves to read.’ That’s almost sad; the equivalent of someone who kidnaps you, that you gave them something to eat.”
Dukes said that the nation’s first president might be a hero to white children, but he was not particularly respected among blacks.
“There’s no way plausible that we would even think that they would erect a Malcolm X statue in Mount Greenwood, Lincoln Park, or any of that,” he said. “Not to say that Malcolm X was a bad guy; they just would not go for it. Native Americans would not even think about putting up a Custer statue, because of the atrocities that he plagued upon Native Americans. And for them to say to us ‘just accept it’ is actually insulting.”
The pastor is also looking to remove Andrew Jackson’s name from a nearby park.
“I think we should be able to identify and decide who we declare heroes in or communities, because we have to tell the stories to our children of who these persons are,” he said. “In an African-American community, it’s a slap in the face and it’s a disgrace for them to honor someone who was a slave owner.
So there you have it. Trump was right.
And of course, we knew that, because Dukes isn’t the first man to suggest that we turn our nation’s collective back on Washington, Jefferson, Jackson, and many other Founding Fathers. Hell, we’ve already done it to a large extent when it comes to Columbus. It was always only a matter of time. And, convenient for them, if you say anything to defend these men, you’re a racist. A Nazi sympathizer. A traitor to the Union. A proponent of genocide.
Well, you can’t say it’s not a winning strategy.