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The big problem with removing Confederate monuments

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Today Rich Lowry argued that it’s time to mothball the Confederate monuments. His arguments are sound. I agree with him.

The monuments should go. Some of them simply should be trashed; others transmitted to museums, battlefields, and cemeteries. The heroism and losses of Confederate soldiers should be commemorated, but not in everyday public spaces where the monuments are flashpoints in poisonous racial contention, with white nationalists often mustering in their defense.

Removing the Confederate monuments makes sense, like removing a bag of sugar from an ant-infested kitchen cabinet makes sense. No sugar, no ants; no monuments, no nexus for protest and counter-protest.

But there’s a big problem with this.

The Civil War has been over for 152 years, but it is not done being re-litigated. I found this out the hard way back in 2015. I wrote a piece titled “It’s time for the Georgia legislature to stop honoring slavery.” The pushback was immediate and furious.

I live in the South, but I’m a northerner. I have no ancestral or cultural connection to this place. The people who do still bristle at the idea that the South’s secession and subsequent economic destruction was the fault of slavers trying to preserve the benighted institution of slavery. They have stories of ancestors who fought in the war, who suffered the after-effects, and who believe that the continuing call of the left for some kind of reparations to African Americans is really an attack on them and their families.

They see the removal of monuments as an attempt to purge their families from history–what John Davidson called a damnatio memoriaeMy piece on Georgia is cut-and-dried. Stone Mountain, by Georgia law , was created to “be maintained and operated as a Confederate memorial.” Before the state took over Stone Mountain, it was used by the Venable family as a KKK meeting location.

Sam Venable owned Venable Brothers Contractors, the largest granite contractor in the south; as such he was the sole owner of Stone Mountain.  On November 25, 1915, Venable was one of 40 men who participated in the “formal induction ceremony” of the revived Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, along with the speaker of the Georgia House, led by “Colonel” William J. Simmons.

Even knowing this terrible history, try bringing up the bas-relief carving on Stone Mountain’s face to most Georgians, or southerners in general.

The mountain was leased to the state by the Venable family, and finally sold in 1958.  Sam Venable was a well known leader in the Ku Klux Klan, and it was his idea to have Gutzon Borglum—who famously sculpted the presidential faces on Mount Rushmore—carve the mountain to honor the Confederate leaders.

If even an obvious example like this causes massive, head-exploding pushback from many white southerners, then what would a national effort to remove many public battle monuments of Confederate leaders bring?

It would be like adding gasoline to a house fire.

In June 2016, I likened Donald Trump’s siren song to racists to Godzilla rising from the sea. The monster was always there, it was simply dormant until some radioactive event awakened it.

This is a man who casually throws around terms like “the blacks love me,” then accuses the only black GOP candidate of being “pathological.” He speaks casually of Mexican rapists and murderers, then has a taco bowl at his Manhattan tower to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. He accuses an Indiana-born federal judge who prosecuted Mexican drug cartels of bias because the man is of Mexican heritage. This is the casual racism I heard growing up. This is the monster we thought was dormant and simply waiting for a generation to die.

We thought the Dylann Roofs of the world were aberrations. But instead of pursuing healing (which Gov. Nikki Haley and Charleston residents divinely did; I wrote about it with tears streaming from my eyes), the race-baiters dug until they found the monster. They went after the symbols of the Confederacy, cultural icons which are tied to the casual racism that was waiting to die.

And they stirred it back up and gave it new life.

Erick Erickson shared a similar opinion. “The leaders of the party, confronted by Todd Akin, abandoned ship for his stupid statements on rape and abortion. But the Party of Lincoln intends to circle the wagons around a racist. Damn them for that.”

Racism is here in all its ugliness. The violent racist fringe of both the right and the left must be prevented from taking more lives. This will require a proper use of government force. That means we should indeed use overwhelming shows of force to keep those groups from having another go at it. We should deny them ground on which to fight, and the weapons with which to fight.

We should treat them as terrorists, because at heart, they are terrorists.

However, when government, no matter how well-intentioned, strikes at the cultural and familial bonds of a rather large chunk of America, a group that’s been fighting a racist past and latent feelings of inferiority (look how well Trump did in the south), that action will be perceived differently by southerners than the rest of America.

The surest way to explode the “alt-right” into a large movement is to remove Confederate monuments en masse. Deny the “alt-right” access to those places, by all means. Restrict their ability to assemble large numbers of people–force them to rent an arena or other place, that’s what colleges do with speakers they don’t like. I’d rather suffer the ignominy of having cuffed an evil group’s First Amendment rights in a small way than the sure result of inflaming millions of otherwise peaceful people into joining that group’s terrible ranks.

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Culture and Religion

CNN does 67 updates for Sri Lanka story with ZERO mentions blaming Islamic terrorists

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CNN does 67 updates for Sri Lanka story with ZERO mentions blaming Islamic terrorists

The narrative has already been set by American mainstream media on how they’re supposed to handle the Sri Lanka terrorist attacks on Easter Sunday. There are certain things that can be said and others that must be avoided at all costs. With reporting that has spanned nearly 24 hours and included 67 updates to the story, guess how many times CNN blamed Islamic terrorists for the attack.

If you guessed anything higher than zero, you gave CNN way too much credit.

I scanned the entire series of live updates they’ve been doing since the news broke. It’s all within one long story, making it easy to search for individual words, so I did. The results were depressing but expected. Even at this late hour, they still have not acknowledged the possibility that the act was committed by Islamic terrorists.

The closest they came to blaming radical Islamic terrorists in their primary coverage story was a mention in a quote by Diplomatic editor Nic Robertson in which he notes the obvious – that it has the “hallmarks” of Islamic terrorism – but then quickly notes that there are no known radical Islamic terrorist groups in the area.

“It is a very confused picture in terms of who may or may not be responsible. The Sri Lankan civil war ended 10 years ago, a 25 year long civil war, and the Tamil separatists there were a secular group. It would be very, very unlike them and their tactics ever to attack churches and particularly on such a holy day.”

“It has the hallmarks — or is intended to have the hallmarks — of Islamic extremists. But, again, these kinds of groups are unknown in Sri Lanka.”

This last notion is absolutely untrue, of course, as we now know the Chief of Police in Sri Lanka issued a warning about the Nations Thawahid Jaman (NTJ), an Islamist group led by Mohomad Saharan.

The CNN report mentioned the word “Muslim” four times: twice to note the percentage of the population of Sri Lanka that is Muslim, once to warn against reprisals against Muslims, and another to note there have been attacks against Muslims by Buddhist groups. Not once was it even speculated the attacks were carried out by Muslims.

The leftist narrative must be maintained and CNN will not break their allegiances. This was just some people that did something. It may look like an apple, but CNN will scream “banana, banana, banana” for as long as they can.

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Culture and Religion

Since leftist media won’t say it: Radical Islamic terrorists murdered hundreds of Christians

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Since leftist media wont say it Radical Islamic terrorists murdered hundreds of Christians

Update: CNN still hasn’t acknowledge the possibility it was Islamic terrorism after 67 updates over the last 24 hours.

Original Story:

The dramatic shift in how mainstream media characterizes terrorist attacks over the years reached what I hope is the pinnacle of their obfuscation today. The terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka against Christian churches and areas where Christians were likely to gather were committed on Easter Sunday by Muslims in a city known for radicalization. This was a clear and unambiguous attack by radical Islamic terrorists specifically targeting Christians.

But you’ll have a hard time coming to that conclusion if all you’re reading or watching is leftist mainstream media.

The reporting today has been in stark contrast to the immediate labeling and narrative-building surrounding the terrorist attacks in New Zealand mosques last month. There was zero doubt based on media reporting that the attacks were targeting Muslims. But today, it’s hard to even find the word “Christian” in any of the posts or news reports. On top of that, there’s a stark difference when reading the Tweets of condolences from leftists who refuse to acknowledge this as an attack against Christianity despite the immediate and crystal clear labeling of the New Zealand mosque incidents as attacks targeting Muslims.

Some of this was noted by Brittany Pettibone:

OAN’s Jack Posobiec added that a new phrase has been coined by the media regarding the Notre-Dame fire:

Was this the same response they were giving following the Christchurch attacks? No. As Imam Mohamad Tawhidi noted, the differences were very clear.

Why do the media and leftist politicians do this? Why are they quick to label attacks against any other religious group exactly as they appear, but they’re so unwilling to call out any attacks against Christians as attacks against Christians?

This is the time we’re in, folks. The left has a narrative they want jammed into our heads and that narrative has no room for acknowledging violence and persecution is committed against Christians. The only stories that fit their narratives are stories that can blame Christians for wrongdoing. In those cases, the perpetrators’ status as Christians is broadcast loud and clear. But if Christians are victims, the left will go to extreme lengths to negate that fact from the record.

Of all the major news outlets, I was only able to find one that didn’t shy away from the truth. The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board stands alone in declaring the intended victims of this attack as who they are and why they were targeted.

WSJ Editorial Board

The intentional suppression of what happened, who committed it, and who was targeted is beyond insulting. The terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka are being framed by the media as some people did something.

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Culture and Religion

Romans 8:18 – ‘sufferings of this present time’

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Romans 8:18 sufferings of this present time

For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. – Romans 8:18 (KJV)

There has been suffering around the world since the fall of man to sin. While this suffering will persist until the second coming of Christ, we are to remember that it our suffering is not to be regarded as important. It doesn’t matter what hardships face us. The reward at the end is so much greater than anything we can be put through in this life.

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