Ben Carson Now Defending Dead White Supremacists Instead Of Just Working For Live One
Ben Carson is secretary of Housing and Urban Development. He sucks at it, but fortunately for him, that's not his actual job. His primary responsibility in the Trump administration is putting a smiling black face on President Grand Wizard's latest racial insult. Last week, the Senate Armed Services Committee approved an amendment to remove the names of Confederate traitors from military bases and other Defense Department facilities within the next three years. The GOP (for now) controls the Senate, so this was not some diabolical Democratic scheme. There was bipartisan support against honoring traitors who waged war on America so they could continue profiting from slave labor.
Donald Trump, however, is a big NO on changing the names, because the New York native is all about Southern “heritage." During an interview on "Fox News Sunday," Carson agreed with the Big Boss. He said it wasn't a “smart move" to rename the bases, and his reasoning was tap-dancing Daffy Duck-meme worthy.
CARSON: Many of the bases were named after Confederate generals as a conciliatory movement after the [Civil] War. To now change that would be having exactly the opposite effect. We have to recognize that we have a history and to try to hide that history is probably not a smart move.
If Americans wanted to make nice to treasonous white supremacists, they could've said it with flowers, not military bases. Carson seems to imply that we need to keep honoring these traitors or our cease fire with the Confederacy will suddenly end after 155 years. I'm sure the rest of the country — and almost every black Southerner — could whoop a new Confederacy's ass. Bring it on.
If by "after the war" he meant "50 to 80 years after the war," sure. https://t.co/6MBCm4sBlv— Kevin M. Kruse (@Kevin M. Kruse)1592145477.0
As historian Kevin M. Kruse observed, these bases weren't even named during Reconstruction. Some were christened as late as 1942, when Martin Luther King was 13 and Joe Biden was literally born. Uncle Joe is admittedly old, but his lifetime is not the sum total of American history.
Confederates are the only traitors America honors. We should ask ourselves why. There are no military bases named after Ethel and Julius Rosenberg. Fort Gordon in Georgia is named after Confederate Lt. Gen. John Brown Gordon, who fought on the losing side at Gettysburg. He was also a suspected leader of the Klu Klux Klan. Some of these bases aren't even honoring traitors who were good at what they did. Fort Pickett commemorates the memory of Confederate Maj. Gen. George E. Pickett, who graduated last in his class at West Point (hey, someone had to) and led half of his command to capture, serious injury, or death at Gettysburg. I suppose we're all grateful he sucked, but he doesn't deserve his own military base.
Racist fanatics have sought to glorify slavery, white supremacy, and domestic terror through honors like naming mil… https://t.co/vDwfkqNUp0— Elizabeth Warren (@Elizabeth Warren)1592011383.0
Carson furthered the absurd narrative that we can only learn from our past if we actively celebrate horrible people. We don't need an OJ Simpson Sports Arena to know men shouldn't murder their ex-wives, allegedly. Germany is smart enough to grasp this, which is why Jewish kids don't go to school at Goebbels High.
CARSON: Smart people, wise people use their history in order to improve. Other kinds of people try to bury their history.
Apparently no one was “wise" enough to suggest naming the High Line in New York City after Osama bin Laden so we would never forget 9/11. There is zero evidence that Confederate memorials and Gone with the Wind marathons inspired Southern segregationists to “improve." They only reinforced the desired racial hierarchy, which is why Trump is such a staunch supporter.
If Carson believes any of the drivel he's saying, I'd almost feel sorry for him, but he's also the same clown who suggested we put Harriet Tubman on the $2 bill instead of the $20.
So fuck him.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle. Tickets are on sale now for his latest Nordo collaboration, "Curiouser and Curiouser," an adaptation of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass." It promises to feel like an actual evening with SER (for good or for ill).