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“The evil that men do lives after them. The good is interred with their bones.” — Julius Caesar
What began with the removal of “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” from public libraries and the Confederate flag from state capitols has escalated into the wholesale removal of memorials to George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Charles B. Aycock, Robert E. Lee and now the destruction of Silent Sam. These actions were justified in the name of racial harmony, citing the institution of slavery sowing seeds of white supremacy and racism that linger today.
A common thread runs through these recriminations: All have roots in the South.
The inference that racism is somehow a legacy of the South is as offensive as it is misleading. The neo-abolitionist notion that a cultural cleansing will end the scourge of racism is pure bigotry stoked by Hollywood, Broadway and revisionist history. This sanctimonious belief is a classic example of “spotting the splinter in our neighbor’s eye.” The race riots of the ‘60s are generational reminders that racism has no geographical or cultural boundary.
Regardless of what we saw at the Super Bowl, the pursuit of social justice did not originate with the National Football League. Achieving social justice is as old as Socrates.
Stoking bigotry fills church coffers and ballot boxes far more efficiently than stoking tolerance. It is the milk of division politics, thematic for MoveOn.org and essential for a Divided States of America. We have truly “met the enemy, and he is us.”