By Joe Darby
In recent years, as more and more Confederate statues have been removed from public places, some people who questioned the long-term wisdom of such actions have asked what I think is a very reasonable question.
“Where will it all end?”
Where will it all end, indeed? It seems that there will be no end to the forcefully demanded revisions of history, as well as to the variety of people who are now being disparaged by the politically correct crowd.
Please consider the case of Long Beach State University in — where else — California. For many, many years there has been a statue on campus of a character called Prospector Pete.
The art work represented one of the thousands of Americans who went west in the mid-nineteenth century to seek their fortunes in the great California Gold Rush. Not only was the statue a salute to that historic movement, but LBSU’s athletic mascot was a Forty-Niner and that was the nickname of their sports teams.
But — and I am sure you’ve anticipated this by now — Prospector Pete’s presence has offended some people. It seems that miners were not very nice to Indians. Now I’ve read a bit about the Old West but I’m far from being an expert. I don’t recall, however, learning anything about miners mistreating Indians a whole lot.
I mean those guys stayed pretty busy panning for gold, wielding picks and shovels and doing other mining things. And when they did strike it rich, they hightailed it straight into town to enjoy the offerings of the saloons and the dance halls. I doubt if they detoured to many Indian villages to throw rocks or insults before heading for the rot-gut, the girls and the gambling in town.
But, maybe they did. Or, maybe they didn’t. The point is, Old Pete the Prospector no longer sits in the middle of the Long Beach campus but now has been removed to an apparently out of the way alumni center. Oh, and they’re changing the name of their sports teams from the Forty-Niners to the 1949’ers, in honor of the year the campus was originated. Somehow that doesn’t seem to have the same ring, but what the heck do I know.
So, if liberal pressure groups can force the removal of a statue of a miner, the kind of hard working person who helped make American history, it really does make me wonder who will be next. Will they go after the statues of all military people, because military people have guns? That would have to go for statues of police officers too, wouldn’t it? Perhaps statues of all white men will have to come down because, as the left knows for a certainty, they are of an elite, privileged class.
Before I close, I need to mention that one of the greatest human beings of the 20th century is now coming in for more than his share of liberal criticism. Winston Churchill, the one man most responsible for the defeat of the quintessentially evil Adolph Hitler in World War II, is being outed as a racist.
It seems that Churchill opposed the independence of India and that he wanted to retain the many African colonies that were once part of the British Empire. And while that may be the case, Churchill was born in 1874 and was a man of his time. It is truly unfair to hold a man born almost 150 years ago to the standards of 21st century liberalism. But Churchill’s saving of the world from Hitler does not mitigate his attitude to the British Empire, in the eyes of today’s so-called progressives.
It’s all really kind of scary.
What’s next? Perhaps Europe should begin tearing down all of its medieval castles. I mean, after all, they were the homes of aristocratic warlords — certainly an elite privileged class — who were really mean to their poor peasants.