Saturday, September 11, 2010

America, Land of the Free (Minded Bigot)

I ran across this in a blog by Matt Zeitlin and find it interesting for what it says about "post-racism" America (you know, they did elect a black President, so they are surely post-racist, right?):
Really? Really?

Can anyone explain why Nathan Bedford Forrest has *anything* named after him? Being a Confederate general is bad enough — like, really, really, History Greatest’s Monster bad — but being a Confederate general who was one of the most important members of the early Ku Klux Klan, perhaps the most pernicious, anti-American organization in our country’s history. Oh yeah, and the Fort Pillow Massacre.

This is just basic stuff. I would even trade all the stuff named after Sherman if the South got rid of everything named after Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, Forrest, Stuart and so on. Why can’t more stuff be named after Faulkner or Thomas Jefferson or George Mason or anyone who didn’t commit treason in defense of slavery?


Oh God, this really is terrible. It’s from 2008, but I hadn’t heard about it until today, so it can be blogged in good-faith:
More than half the students at Nathan Bedford Forrest High School in Jacksonville, Fla., are black, and some members of the community object that they are forced to attend a school that was named in honor of a racist.

Nathan Bedford Forrest was a slave trader before the Civil War, a top-notch Confederate cavalry leader during the war, and the Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan in Tennessee when it was over, according to University of North Carolina-Greensboro emeritus professor Allen Trelease, a Civil War scholar.

Forrest High got its name in 1959, when the Daughters of the Confederacy, angry about the Supreme Court’s 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision forcing school integration, pushed for the name.

All 2,300 of the school’s students were white at the time. Now, 54 percent are black, and some feel it’s time to change the school’s name.

On Nov. 3, the Duval County School Board voted 5 to 2 against changing the name. The five members who voted to keep the name were white. The two who voted against it were the board’s only black members.
I like to think that there has been great progress in the US in ridding itself of racism. But stuff like the post above makes me shake my head in disbelief. This isn't one red-neck fool. This is a school board elected by a community!

Go read more about Nathan Bedford Forrest at Wikipedia. It is a little hard to accept naming a school after someone who did this:
Achilles Clark, a soldier with the 20th Tennessee cavalry, wrote to his sister immediately after the battle: "The slaughter was awful. Words cannot describe the scene. The poor, deluded, negroes would run up to our men, fall upon their knees, and with uplifted hands scream for mercy but they were ordered to their feet and then shot down. I, with several others, tried to stop the butchery, and at one time had partially succeeded, but General Forrest ordered them shot down like dogs and the carnage continued. Finally our men became sick of blood and the firing ceased."
Using the exemplary standard of the Duval County School Board, you would expect to see a fairly large number of Adolf Hitler High Schools in Germany.

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