Hattie’s View
by Ellen Coffey

No, you can’t change history, but you can change the future.

You may remove the information from history books, destroy or deface statues and historical figures, but you still can’t change history. Wars and war heroes, both living and dead, fought, not out of hate, but to protect and defend the value and principles of freedom.

Rosa Parks simply took a stand, by taking a seat, but not out of hate. Her action spurred a boycott that got results and lifted the law of segregation on public buses.

Similarly in August of 1963, in Washington D.C. one speaker Joachim Prinz, then president of the American Jewish Congress, recalled, in his five-minute speech, his moments as a Rabbi in Berlin during Adolph Hitler’s time. A time when Jews remained silent. He said “America must not remain a nation of onlookers. Americans must not remain silent.”

Next up, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. known for his motivating peaceful protests had become tired and weary from the trip, the humidity and 87 degree heat. King was the final speaker on the program that day in August and concluded his five minutes with a part of his”I have a dream” speech. After that, even his enemies wanted to hear what else was in his dream for America.

He sought only peaceful techniques rather than violence.

Chances are that’s not what motivated the folks who took to the streets in Charlottesville recently.

Have we become a nation of dissidents gathering in our city streets fighting among our selves? Is it with specific intent to remove or demolish monuments only connected to Confederate War Soldiers and the Civil War? It’s occurring all across the country.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t much care about the statues one way or the other, but I do care about motives and the violence these rallies breed, and I do care what is to follow. Think a minute. Will we soon have to remove these same names from towns, schools, airports, parks, streets, stadiums, etc. And remain silent about our history?

Let’s just take Robert E. Lee as an example. Chances are, few know much about this man. General Robert E Lee was a member of the 1829 Senior class at West Point.

Chances are you did not know Lee was recognized for his bravery and birthright code during the war with Mexico. Chances are you didn’t know, this either, in 1861, Robert ELee was offered command of the Union armies. Oh yeah. You could say his overall approval rating was very high and his reputation exemplary.

He was respected for his obedience to authority. Although Lee had strong convictions, he was mostly silent about politics. He called slavery a “moral and political evil.” His devotion, allegiance and pledge were to his beloved native state and all the people of Virginia.

Chances are few elected officials today display such loyalty to their native states.

Chances are some American dissidents who rally the most, yell the loudest and demand destruction of relics of American history could be descendants of the very people whose statues they seek to destroy.

Chances are they might not know after the war Lee paid a hefty price for his convictions.

He was indicted for treason, but the case was dropped in 1868. He died in his beloved state of Virginia, in 1870, after suffering a stroke. Chances are you didn’t know Lee was a consolation to his peers even in defeat. Upon his death, Lee was mourned and revered throughout the nation as a gentleman warrior.

Like I said, it’s not that it bothers me so much about the statues. What does irritate me that so many know so little about the lives and history of men like General Robert E Lee.

Who, if any one of these dissenters, today could be remembered and so revered to have a statue erected in their honor? I think not.

Anyway, although every historical monument and all statues be destroyed or removed it won’t change American History.

It’s the facts Y’all