Why I Love Black History Month
And So Should All Republicans
History is a difficult topic. Most people only get a few courses in school and read only a handful of books on history, never knowing how many viewpoints and controversies exist. Many history books promote bias narratives and can be hateful, severely biased, idiotic, funny, scary, interesting, often flawed, or flat out boring. With Black History Month, I have many opportunities to “poke the bear”.
Anyone can be painted out to be a hero or a villain when they are neither. Good people can do bad things and bad people can do good things. Finding the truth can be elusive with history. People, including ourselves, are trapped by culture and time. You cannot ask Rev. Martin Luther King for an opinion about Facebook, Star Wars or Playstation 5. We learn about King, not just because of racial equality but his demand to build good character and being non-violent, yet he has critics. But King most likely had an opinion about Gen. Robert E. Lee and would support keeping monuments of Lee in place as well as holidays in Lee’s name. King would understand Lee ended the Civil War at Appomattox, the most deadliest war in US History. And King was a Republican.
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Most unfortunately, this is lost on the advocates of Critical Race Theory, Wokism and reparations advocates. They miss the lessons of history and are neo-racists. History gives us reason to say, the sins of the parents should not visit the child and to pay honor to the dead, even when they are flawed. Yet, these neo-racists want to reverse history. Conservatives and Republicans are right to take issue with the neo-racists who bring nothing of good and do not help people. The neo-racists merely want to take the problems of today and blame such problems on white people. But as Calvin Coolidge, Ronald Reagan’s favorite Republican, said, “You cannot expect to build up the weak by tearing down the strong”.
There are great efforts to accuse the United States of being a white supremacy regime, but before the US Constitution, before the Bill of Rights, the Continental Congress passed the Northwest Ordinance on July 13, 1787 which abolished slavery in the territory. Even the white racists hated slavery because it was an African import run in part by Africans and slavery competed against whites receiving a good wage.
In addition, the first provisional governor of the Nebraska Territory was William Walker, a Native American of the Wyandot tribe, but he went unrecognized as he was a slave owner. In addition, his father was white and had been enslaved by Native Americans. The role of Native Americans in slavery is too often ignored by leftists. Confederate General Stand Waite was a Cherokee slave owner as an example. To confound matters further, there is a monument being built in South Dakota to Chief Crazy Horse but the horse is a European animal brought by settlers. Native Americans adopted many customs of European settlers merely because such customs were practical. Humanity is complex and history reflects such complexity.
After the Civil War, Black men were elected to Congress such as Robert Smalls, and all of them were Republicans. Furthermore, Roberts served in the Confederacy and as well as in the Union Navy. Other Black Congressman elected were Hiram Rhodes Revels, Benjamin Sterling Turner, Robert Carlos Delarge, Josiah Thomas Walls, Jefferson Franklin Long, Joseph Hayne Rainey, Robert Brown Elliott. Yet they are largely forgotten. There only opposition were Democrats, particularly the Ku Klux Klan.
Holt Collier was a marksman and slave and served in the Confederate forces. Like many Free Black and Black slaves, they defended their homes from an all-white invading army in the early years of the war. This part of history is heavily hidden as is the role of Union General Benjamin Butler. The fighting armies would exchange prisoners of war, so what happened to slaves in Confederate forces by the Union became a substantial topic.
The all Black Confederates of Louisiana, the First Native Guard, met with Gen. Butler. The tone was clear: if the Union Armies were seriously opposed to slavery, they should not be returning slaves to the Confederacy in prisoner exchanges. Butler understood the problem and stopped sending slaves back to the Confederacy. This is how slavery was unraveled and defeated and why the Confederacy crumbled. And, might I add, Butler was a Republican. No Federal holiday for General Benjamin Butler.
But back to Holt Collier, he would later go hunting with Republican President Teddy Roosevelt. The publicity of the bear hunt resulted in the creation of the Teddy bear. Think about this. The year was 1902. No Black Panthers movement at the time. Yet, ask everyone you know, “do you know who Holt Collier is?” Roosevelt had bad progressive ideas but his ideas of reconciliation over the war and between the races was genuine.
For Holt and the bear hunt, try this video: