- Politics and Social Issues
When Will The Insanity Stop?
It is abundantly clear for me that the people on the left will never stop. Even to the detriment of themselves and to America, Continuing down this path of self destruction. In the hope of tearing down the Trump administration, they will do and say whatever it is necessary to stop him and his agenda.
The latest incident at Charlottesville, VA on the surface was about removing a statue of a Confederate General named Robert E. Lee. It evolved to be much more mainly driven by a biased media.
These hate groups such as the KKK is a small minority in our country. They do not deserve the attention given to them by the media.
- Aug. 2017
- Revised Sept. 2017
As someone who has lived through the 60s till now, some 50 years, I have a view that may not be of contemporary wisdom. My background is that I am a first generation immigrant. I emigrated from Taiwan to here when I was 10 years old in 1961.
Growing up as an Asian in a mostly white neighborhood, I had very little trouble assimilating. There were a few rare incidents of prejudice by kids but others usually came to my defense. I must admit, I did not experience any of the treatments that blacks received in this country in our past. However, I did experience the over whelming generosity and goodness of the people in the NYC neighborhood. The good out shine the bad by a mile.
I have always been interested in history and I read about the many empires and civilizations of the past and the conflicts and the wars...My passion due to my work and my interests gravitated to archives and preserving our past. I believe we can learn so much from our past both the good and the bad. I started volunteering at my local county archives 15 years ago and haven't stopped. I was also blessed with a very good memory. I remember details from various incidents that most people have forgotten.
Therefore, I have in my knowledge a good sense of balance, backed up by historical events. I am able to pull up facts and stories and real cases when debating people that I disagree with politically and economically and religiously.
What does this matter? In this particular case, I am reminded of a similar incident back in the 1980s. President Reagan was in office and the media was very much against his conservative views and policies. I remember watching the nightly news and would see reports of the homeless day in and day out. The implication was that Reagan's policies that created this human tragedy...
Meanwhile, the same media was silent during the Carter years and later during the Clinton years. The level of homelessness never changed much throughout. This problem is not an economic one but one of mental illness and drug or alcohol addiction. There is a percentage of our population that just won't accept any help and prefer to live on the streets. The media created an image that Reagan was heartless and forced many people to live on the street, and the people should be outraged and so on... This false narrative had some influence but most rational people saw it for what it was - bias against a popular president of the opposition party.
Who is offended by these old statues that pay tribute to heroes of the past? And why are they being torn down?
What purpose does it serve but to remind people of past grievances? As someone who is interested in preserving history, I am opposed to this witch-hunt, from a practical point of view and an economic one. Why should we spend money and resources to remove something that was sitting there for generations? Where are these statues to be relocated if at all?
I disagree with some who claim such statues should be moved to museums. There are not enough museums in America to hold these statues. It is not only statues. There are schools and building that were named after controversial historical figures. What should we do there? Rename everything? And who is to decide?
I hope common sense prevail here. Leave our history alone with warts and all. There can be a teaching opportunity for adults to tell their children what happened in the past and put things in context.
This latest controversy in Virginia is just one of many that has surfaced recently. It is not a normal process but created by people with an agenda. To prove this point, I ask you where was this problem during the Obama administration, or the Bush Administration before that? This statue of Robert E. Lee has been sitting there minding his own business for a hundred years...
Why now in 2017 did this statue suddenly became a source of controversy and an offense? Who is being offended? Why now?
We have had our race problems. They have been there since the civil war and longer since our founding. Down through history, we have passed various amendments of our Constitution to deal with equality and human rights...
We've come a long way and have elected a black President Barack Obama. Yet, race is still a problem in America sitting just below the surface and flares up every time we have an incident like with Trayvon Martin and Ferguson and now Virginia. Why is that?
It is like a scab on the skin that was never allowed to heal. It gets ripped off and bleed again and again and the people doing the ripping are celebrating as if they are the only champion of human rights. They need to proclaim their "goodness" and others just don't measure up. Almost as if patting themselves on the back for doing the right thing. What is the "right thing?" Is stroking the flame of racism the right thing? Is tearing down a statue of a former decorated general of the Confederacy the right thing?
You have to wonder...where are we going with this? Where does it end? Who gets to decide? And what good does it serve?
Something to Think About...
Assume you have an opposing view on this subject matter, even after reading my article. Here are some logical consequences to follow.
- Who will decide which statues or plaques or buildings be removed or renamed?
- How far back in history should we go?
- Who will pay for these actions? and bear the cost of removal or relocation.
- Where does it end? After all, didn't Jefferson and Washington own slaves?
Lenin in the Park
A few years ago, I took a vacation to visit the beautiful city of Seattle. In one local park, I was surprised to see a statue of Lenin, the communist dictator who caused the death of millions of Russian civilians. He became somewhat a cult figure for the Amercan left. Some people in Academia praise him and Karl Marx, the father of socialism and communism. Should we call for the removal of that statue? I say, no way.
I started this article by asking "When will the insanity stop?"
This incident in Charlottesville, Virginia is one of many and unfortunately probably will not end. In summary, I presented my opinion as a first generation immigrant. I have no vested interested in this particular incident but merely commenting as an observer. I love this country and I realized we are a divided nation at this point in time. I did not vote for Trump or Hillary this last election. However, like it or not Trump is our President for the next few years.
As someone who is interested in history and preservation, I oppose any act that will "change history" or "erase history".
The latest ESPN story is another example of insanity gone steroid. Let me get this straight ESPN: you decided to pull an Asian sports reporter named Robert Lee from a broadcast because of the Virginia statue incident. How insane is that logic?
In effect, you decided to violate an individual's right to work based on a false notion that his name might be confused with a southern general in the civil war. If that is not cause for a civil rights lawsuit, I don't know what is.
For ESPN executives to stand behind this decision tells me they have lost it. It is condecending for them to think the average person on the street can be confused by this. Can anyone defend this act?
If these executives can't see the injustice of this decision, then, they have no business being in business. It just boggle my mind.
Columbus in NYC
Another controversy in NYC revolved around the statue of Christopher Columbus. The mayor of NYC wants to establish a commission to search and destroy "hate" statues and plaques around NYC public parks and buildings. Is this a good idea? What about Columbus circle? Should it be renamed to something else?
A Quote From the Past...
The media plays a big role in driving public opinion. I am reminded of this quote.
“If you're not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.” - Malcolm X
Some Related Links...
- Poll: Confederate monuments should stay, New York voters say
Siena College asked New York voters about the national debate on Confederate symbols
- Westchester Rising paper Vol. 14 Number 34 - September 1, 2017
The Importance of Robert E. Lee Today by Peter Feinman
- The Statue at the Center of Charlottesville’s Storm - The New York Times
A statue of Robert E. Lee was at the center of divisions in the city well before violence broke out this weekend.
- ESPN pulls Robert Lee from covering Virginia football due to name - NY Daily News
An announcer by any other name would announce just as sweet.
- The Homeless Then and Now—Obama and Reagan
As a biographer of Ronald Reagan, I’m constantly asked to compare today’s fiscal/economic situation to what Reagan faced in the 1980s. Today’s record debt/
Postscript Sept, 6, 2017
This article was revised extensively after receiving critique from members of my Writer's group. They have been very helpful to me in understanding where my writings may be misconstrued by some. My tone was perceived to be condescending. Writing an opinion piece is never easy. It is very difficult to separate the emotion from the topic at hand. Their suggestions have helped me in revising my piece and hopefully improve my communication skills. This piece was meant to make people think about the long term consequences. It is frustrating for me at times when we seem to discourage debate and conversation of a political or religion or racial nature when many of our problems are related. If we can't discuss them, how will they ever get resolved?
I welcome comments and feedback below.
A Poll to Gage Public Opinion
Which of the following best describe your opinion on the Statue removal?
© 2017 Jack Lee