Washington and Lee worthy of honor
The recent decision of Christ Church in Alexandria, Va., to remove plaques honoring President George Washington and Gen. Robert E. Lee (“Christ Church and the slavers’ blood money,” Web, Oct. 29) illustrates well the current trend in America of ignorance catering to political correctness with no regard for truth. And what is the truth?
Washington and Lee are two of our nation’s greatest patriots. Few Americans have ever sacrificed more for honor and patriotism than these men. However, to the racially motived antagonists prevailing in our culture today, even our most honorable heroes have become targets.
The implication here is that, since these men owned slaves, these men were racist and are undeserving of a place of honor in our history. This is as fundamentally absurd as saying we must remove all monuments to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. or President John F. Kennedy because they carried on extramarital affairs.
Neither Washington nor Lee stood in defense of slavery. Washington said, “I can only say that there is not a man living who wishes more sincerely than I do to see a plan adopted for the abolition of” slavery. Lee, who only took command of the Confederate Army because he could not fight against his home state of Virginia, reportedly said, “In this enlightened age, there are few I believe, but what will acknowledge, that slavery as an institution, is a moral & political evil in any Country.” These are hardly the words of racists.
It is time to stop the divisiveness created by a few in this nation. We are stronger when united. Heroes like President Washington and Gen. Lee should be honored, not scrutinized under 21st-century political correctness.