First they came for John Bell Hood, then Columbus, then...

Friday, June 12, 2020
 | 
Chad Groening, Billy Davis (OneNewsNow.com)

Statue of T. Jefferson at Hofstra Univ.President Trump is refusing to rename U.S. military bases named after Confederate military officers, reviving an issue that he has warned will only lead to more toppled statues and erasure of our history.

Fort Bragg, Fort Hood, and Fort Benning are three of the most high-profile U.S. Army bases in the country, where literally millions of Americans have trained over the years. All three bases after named after Confederate generals, however, so they are now the latest target of Democrats, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the media.  

Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy are holding a "bipartisan conversation" about renaming roughly a dozen military bases that bear the names of Confederate leaders.

President Trump has rejected the idea saying the administration "will not even consider” renaming what he called “magnificent and fabled military installations."

Bob Maginnis, a national security analyst for the Family Research Council, says President Trump is opposing a “knee-jerk reaction” that a majority of people don’t spend time thinking about.

“I think it's an issue of significance for some, but certainly for the vast majority of the people I don't think it really matters,” he tells OneNewsNow. “How many people sit up at night think who was this General Bragg that Fort Bragg was named after? Was he really a bad guy? I don't think so."

Yet the United States has not moved on from the Civil War, which ended 155 years ago. The topic remains a complicated one for some over the legal issue of states enjoying the freedom to break away from the Union to form a new nation, a debate that was taking place in the South only 80 years after Britain signed the Treaty of Paris and recognized the United States.

The reason for that eventual secession --- slavery remaining legally --- makes the issue much more simple for many others, however, which makes flying the Confederate flag and venerating Confederate generals a traitorous and racist act to many.  

Three years ago: George Washington is next

President Trump debated reporters over the Confederate statue issue three years ago, when a statue of General Robert E. Lee was set to be removed in Charlottesville, Virginia, by city leaders. 

A permitted protest and counter-protest infamously devolved into two days of street fighting, numerous injuries, and a fatality, as Neo-Nazis and Antifa groups clashed.

Confederate statue protestReporters challenged Trump to defend the protest, and the statue itself, but the President challenged the media about who was the next target. 

“George Washington was a slave owner," Trump shot back at a reporter. “So will George Washington now lose his status? Are we going to take down -- excuse me -- are we going to take down statues to George Washington? How about Thomas Jefferson?”

Media outlets such as NBC News pushed back on Trump's warning in 2017, calling it a "misplaced" claim. Washington's life as a "wealthy slave owner" pales to his ability to "build a nation" as the first president, when Confederate leaders tried to "tear it down," a historian told the news outlet. 

Yet parents of college students know otherwise: Generations of young people have been taught the "Founding Fathers" were slave-holding racists pursuing wealth and prosperity, and such a belief formed the basis of the controversial 1619 Project by The New York Times, which earned it a Pulitzer Prize. 

Three years after Trump's warning, Confederate statues have been pulled down by mobs in recent days, including a statue of Jefferson Davis that was toppled in Richmond, Virginia. Not content with the former president of the Confederacy, Richmond protesters also pulled down a statue of Christopher Columbus, and a second Columbus statue was chopped off (pictured below) in Boston.

Christopher Columbus beheadedProtesters even defaced a the statue of Matthias Baldwin, a famous abolitionist, in Philadelphia.  

"If the consensus of the United States of America is to remove our entire past, you might as well go back to Washington,” Magginis, echoing Trump’s warning, tells OneNewsNow. “We can rename Thomas Jefferson. We have a lot of cities named after him. Where do you stop?”

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