Right on cue as the Democrat Leaders in the Old Dominion are in total panic mode, James Comey tries to change the subject from their very personal failings of moral character to collective guilt
“Expressing bipartisan horror at blackface photos is essential, but removing the statues would show all of America that Virginia really has changed,”
“There is no doubt that Virginia’s leaders need to be held accountable for their personal history, but every Virginia leader is responsible for the racist symbols that still loom over our lives”
Comey is a graduate of a New Jersey High School and was fortunate enough to attend William and Mary located in the historic triangle of Jamestown, Yorktown and Williamsburg.
W&M is close to my Newport News Virginia High School, Homer L Ferguson, which is no more, but it did have the fame of being the powerhouse football team where Michael Vick got his start.
So as a Virginia HS Grad and voter let’s take Jim’s historical revision column as a serious proposal in this current debate.
A history lesson is first necessary since the American Civil War did not start in a vacuum.
The early history of Virginia and slavery is the prologue leading to that that tragic war.
Jamestown was the location where in 1619 when English ships brought the first slaves to America.
However, the story is more complex than that about the history of the original colonies marching into the shame of slavery.
Though the history of blacks in Virginia begins in 1619, the transition of status from indentured servant to lifelong slave was a gradual process.
Some historians believe that some of the first blacks who arrived in Virginia were already slaves, while others say they were taken into the colony as indentured servants.
Historians generally believe slavery in the English colonies in North America did not begin as an institution until the 1660s.
So why stop at Civil War Generals?
Why not consider renaming his alma mater William and Mary since that first cousin married Royal Couple not only condoned slavery but during their reign they let Jolly Old England financially prosper from the trafficking in human lives.
Before I go on, it should be noted that many good friends from my days at my high school are proud William and Mary graduates.
It is an institution of great distinction and this is taken from W&M promotional literature:
- Chartered on February 8, 1693, by King William III and Queen Mary II of England
- The second oldest institution of higher learning in America, and the first to become a university
- Severed formal ties with Britain in 1776
- Became state-supported in 1906 and coeducational in 1918
- Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s first academic Greek society, was founded here in 1776
- We also have the nation’s first Honor Code
We’re a “Public Ivy” — one of only eight in the nation — offering a world-class education at an exceptional value.
Our students are not only some of the smartest in the world
During the reign of William and Mary the institution of slavery firmly took hold in Virginia.
Increasingly toward the end of the 17th century, large numbers of slaves from Africa were brought by Dutch and English slave ships to the Virginia Colony, as well as to Maryland and other southern colonies
When painting collective guilt to avoid individual responsibility, it becomes a means of simply ducking that responsibility.
Rewriting history to service one’s current agenda is an increasingly flagrant problem plaguing our society today.
Studying our history is a means to understanding our past not simply a museum of what past generations did wrongly; it is a prologue to understanding the limits and challenges facing the human condition in our own time.
As James Robbins note in his recent book entitle Erasing America:
It is no coincidence that those most driven to disparage their country’s history are also those most hostile to liberty.
“Progressive thinking is reflexively autocratic, seeking to broaden and deepen government and bureaucratic control over daily life. That is why it is hostile to history, which undermines its.
“Every authoritarian system has to rewrite the past.”
We can accept his premise that everything in the past can be challenged and yield to a pontificating sanctimonious demagogue.
If that is the path taken then, let’s just change the name of William and Mary to “James Comey University” since he has set himself up as the all-knowing beacon of truth justice and the American way and is one of the smartest individuals in the world.