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Friday, June 26, 2015

David Brooks, "The Robert E. Lee Problem": What About Modern-Day Slavery in India, Pakistan, China, Saudi Arabia and Qatar?



In his latest New York Times op-ed entitled "The Robert E. Lee Problem," David Brooks tackles the recent debate in the US concerning "the Confederate battle flag and other symbols of the Confederacy." Brooks writes:

"Lowering the Confederate flag from public properties is thus an easy call. There are plenty of ways to celebrate Southern heritage and Southern life without choosing one so enmeshed in the fight to preserve slavery."

Specifically regarding Confederate General Robert E. Lee, Brooks concludes:

"My own view is that we should preserve most Confederate memorials out of respect for the common soldiers. We should keep Lee’s name on institutions that reflect postwar service, like Washington and Lee University, where he was president. But we should remove Lee’s name from most schools, roads and other institutions, where the name could be seen as acceptance of what he did and stood for during the war.

This is not about rewriting history. It’s about shaping the culture going forward."

Okay, I agree with David concerning symbols of the Confederacy and Lee, but indeed, what "about shaping the culture going forward"? You see, slavery still exists today.

There are 14 million adults and children who live today in slavery in India, and more than 2 million Pakistanis who are enslaved. There are also 2.9 million people living in slavery in China.

There are also thousands of forced laborers in Qatar and Saudi Arabia, and the list continues.

Yes, the Confederate battle flag should not be flown on South Carolina's Capitol grounds, but what about the 30 million people who still live in bondage, manufacturing our clothes, sporting goods and electronic equipment? Don't they also deserve our attention?

1 comment:

  1. Before Mr. Brooks condemns a great American war general, he should propose that EVERY monument or plaque that honors Fernando Wood be removed to a basement storage unit:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fernando_Wood

    "...Wood was one of many New York Democrats sympathetic to the Confederacy, called 'Copperheads' by the staunch Unionists. During his second mayoral term in January 1861, Wood suggested to the New York City Council that New York secede and declare itself a free city, to continue its profitable cotton trade with the Confederacy. ..."

    Thin edge of the wedge in "... shaping the culture going forward". Personally, I would start with demanding Louis Farrakhan to stop preaching today, that the Jews were responsible for all of America's slave trade. http://www.adl.org/anti-semitism/united-states/c/farrakhan-nation-of-islam-noi-in-his-own-words.html

    It is solely a symptom of Identity Politics that has suddenly made every ante-bellum southern slaveowner
    'responsible for the DNA of racism embedded in every American today'. It is too difficult for post-modernists to comprehend that there might not have been a Confederacy if we had not invaded Mexico (1846–48), first. Oops, there go all the memorials to Winfield Scott and Ulysses S. Grant...

    Ask David Brooks why so many liberals protested the 2006 film "Amazing Grace" because it gave credit for Britain's anti-slavery movement to Evangelical Christians.

    Sorry about the fact that slavery still thrives today.
    More sorry that our media has ADD...

    k

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