“Barack knows that we are going to have to make sacrifices; we are going to have to change our conversation; we’re going to have to change our traditions, our history; we’re going to have to move into a different place as a nation.” – Michelle Obama
This quote comes from a speech Mrs. Obama gave in May of 2008 and is far more prophetic than one would think. Since it was uttered, our elected and unelected leaders have been working hard to do exactly what the words said – changing our history and moving into a different place as a nation.
One of the clearest examples came in 2010 when the federal Department of Education began their attempt to force each state to adopt the Common Core State Standards. It was almost comical that these ‘standards’ only served to reduce the level of education that had been previously required. It was funnier still that the use of the word ‘state’ was included in an attempt to convince parents that their own home state actually had something to do with the development of these standards. They did not! The CCSS were developed by a group of business leaders and other non-educators who knew nothing of how children actually learn.
By the time the standards were adopted by most states, though, ownership of our textbook companies had already been largely overtaken by people who hate America. Controlling stock of Pearson is held by folks with ties to Muslim extremist groups. This became evident when our children were reading that the nineteen terrorists who flew airplanes into the Twin Towers, the Pentagon, and that crashed in a field in Pennsylvania, were not actually terrorists. Instead the textbooks referred to them as “freedom fighters.” Having watched the events unfold on September 11, 2001, I can say with a great deal of certainty that those men were not freedom fighters, but terrorists filled with hatred!
Because we have allowed this change in our history to take root, it has gained a foothold and is moving our nation to a different place. We have allowed those in authoritative positions to attempt to replace the truth of our history with lies. If we don’t remember our history, the good and bad of it, then we are destined to make the same mistakes over again. History doesn’t repeat itself, stupid people repeat history.
The most recent attempt came on the heels of the mass shooting at a church in Charleston, SC, just last week. Because the accused shooter seems to have had a Confederate flag at home, lawmakers have determined that this flag was the impetus for the shooter’s action and, therefore, must be removed from the state house. Where will this take us next? Will they ban all the videos of the “Dukes of Hazzard” since the General Lee automobile used in the series had a Confederate flag painted on the top of the vehicle? The Confederate flag no more caused this shooting to take place than the British flag caused the Revolutionary War!
This week in TN, in response to the removal of the Confederate flag in South Carolina, US Congressman Jim Cooper of Nashville and state House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh, D-Ripley, have requested that a bust of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest be removed from the state capitol. “In general, our Capitol should be representative of the people of Tennessee. Right now if you’re a young girl, like my granddaughter, Marley Mac, for instance, and you visit the Capitol, there are no busts in the building that look like you,” Fitzhugh said. Republican Governor Bill Haslam quickly boarded the Democrat train to political correctness.
While riding the coattails of Cooper and Fitzhugh, Nashville Mayoral candidate Megan Barry has asked that trees and shrubs be planted along I-65 in an effort to hide a large statue of General Forrest from the interstate. “We have witnessed the deadly effects of racism in Charleston and throughout our history,” Barry said in a prepared statement. “In Nashville along I-65, there is a large monument of Nathan Bedford Forrest on private land, which serves as nothing more than a symbol of division.”
South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, Congressman Cooper, Leader Fitzhugh, and candidate Barry have a point. The history of our nation runs rampant with evil. However, there are larger portions of our history that are good and decent, one of which is access to a free public education. We should not be embarrassed to teach our children about our past. It is who we are, good or bad. Learning about the bad teaches us the mistakes that we should avoid, while learning the good prompts us to aspire to a greater goal.
Removing or hiding statues and banning flags does not change our history, unless we let it; and we mustn’t let it. It is only through the reminders of past mistakes that we can learn from them and not repeat them ourselves. Consider those among us today who are slaves to the federal government, which provides all of their food and shelter needs via handouts. Do they really know freedom? Think of those who are sold into human trafficking as sex slaves to the highest bidder. Do they really know freedom?
Perhaps we need to teach the truth of our history with a stronger sense of urgency so that when others call on changing it, we will know the difference.