White supremacy, that ambiguous term, is the voguish justification for the elimination of heritage. Wokes maintain that White supremacy dominated the entire 245 years of America’s existence. They also insist that our Founding Fathers should not be respected but remembered only as White supremacists and slaveholders. Wokes and their ilk exaggerate the effects White supremacy has had on our heritage.
The state of Virginia, a treasure trove of traditions, is currently being subjected to extensive heritage eliminations. Originally one of our most important colonies, Virginia was the home of many of our founding fathers, early presidents and famous families, such as the Lee family. Consequently its heritage should be preserved as much as practical. But Virginia’s monuments and other tributes are being removed by aggrieved busybodies. Loyal citizens did try to prevent the removal of century-old monuments in certain Virginia cities. But removals of monuments, mostly Confederate, continues and more removals are being threatened.
Of the removal of the Robert E. Lee monument in Richmond, state senator Jennifer McClellan said: “ Now, the statue is gone — but our work remains to address the systemic results of White supremacy.” For Wokes and Leftist Democrats like McClellan, “White supremacy” is a broad inclusive phrase encompassing whatever they believe to be detrimental to society. McClellan and her ilk think they should be allowed to decide what is offensive and what should be eliminated. Although McClellan is a well-known state political figure, she lost her 2020 bid to become Virginia’s first Black female governor,
The latest in the line of Richmond’s Black mayors, Levar Stoney described the city’s Confederate monuments with these words: "...the greatest example of nostalgia masquerading as history." But Stoney’s selection of a company to remove Confederate monuments could also be called a masquerade. Bypassing city procurement procedures, Stoney used a shell company to hire a friend and campaign donor to take down the monuments. His friend’s company was paid $1.8 million dollars - $180,000 per day. A local contractor maintained that other companies could have removed the Confederate monuments for as little as $10,000 per day. Stoney’s exorbitant monument removal contract is under investigation.
As Confederate monuments are being removed, monuments honoring victims of slavery are being erected. The Emancipation and Freedom Monument is a 12 foot bronze memorial recently unveiled in Richmond. It commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation and depicts two recently freed Black slaves. A female carries an infant and holds aloft a replica of a document inscribed January 1, 1863, the date of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. A shirtless male is breaking free from shackles and exhibits a back scarred with marks left from whippings.
The year before this emancipation monument was erected, a similar emancipation monument was removed. The eliminated monument, in Boston, was a replica of the original - “The Freedman’s Memorial” – located in Washington,DC. It depicts a seated President Lincoln holding a copy of the Emancipation Proclamation. Kneeling before President Lincoln is a nude freed Black slave with his shackles being broken. Black Lives Matter and others object to this monument, claiming it gives too much credit to Whites for emancipation and downplays emancipation efforts put forth by Blacks.
The Richmond Emancipation and Freedom Monument was unveiled in a park not far from the site of the recently removed Robert E. Lee statue. At the unveiling ceremony, Mayor Stoney said: “The enslaved built this city with their hands. We will rebuild this city with our hearts.” State Senator McClellan’s statement implied more removals: “We have made progress in dismantling the systemic legacy of slavery and Jim Crow in our state, but there’s still so much more work to do.”
Phrases similar to “...there’s still so much more work to do” are often heard after each capitulation to a monument removal or a name change. “More work to do” means that heritage eliminations will continue as long as a complacent public offers no resistance. White docility must end before America loses too much of its heritage.
Gail Jarvis is a Georgia-based free-lance writer. He attended the University of Alabama and has a degree from Birmingham Southern College. His writing is influenced by years of witnessing how versions of news and history were distorted for political reasons. Mr. Jarvis is a member of the Society of Independent Southern Historians and his articles have appeared on various websites, magazines, and publications for several organizations. He lives in Coastal Georgia.