Posted on December 22, 2023

An End to Reconciliation

Gregory Hood, American Renaissance, December 22, 2023

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After initially issuing an injunction halting the removal of the Reconciliation Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery, black judge Rossie D. Alston Jr. has ruled against the group Defend Arlington so that the memorial could be disassembled. Arlington National Cemetery swiftly removed the memorial, which will reportedly be relocated to New Market, Virginia, the site of a major Confederate victory. The sole consolation is that the monument will not be destroyed.

The judge justified his ruling by saying that the monument removal did not disrupt graves. Defend Arlington disputes this.

The judge dismissed claims that the plaintiffs would suffer irreparable harm by saying that the monument would not be destroyed, that the monument would still have historical significance “without the statue atop it,” and that their claims of emotional harm are “generally speculative and not concrete.” The judge referred to the monument in his ruling as the “Confederate Reconciliation Memorial,” combining the two terms that many observers have used distinctly. Generally, proponents of the memorial have called it the Reconciliation Memorial, while opponents called it the Confederate Memorial.

Sculptor Moses Ezekiel said that his intention was for it to be a “peace monument” and said the South had fought for “a constitutional right and not to uphold slavery.” The quote featured on the monument reads: “They shall turn their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.” The sculptor was Jewish and had been the first Jewish cadet at the Virginia Military Institute. During his life, that was considered a reason to honor him. That hasn’t lasted.

President William Taft spoke when the cornerstone for the monument was laid in 1912. He said:

You are here to celebrate, and justly to celebrate, the heroism, the courage and the sacrifice to the uttermost of your fathers and your brothers and your mothers and your sisters, and of all your kin, in a cause which they believed in their hearts to be right, and for which they were willing to lay down their lives. That cause ceased to be, except in history, now more than half a century ago. It was one which could elicit from half a nation, and brave and warlike race, a four year struggle in which lives, property, and everything save honor were willingly parted with for its sake. So great was the genius for military leadership of many of your generals, so adaptable was the individual of your race to effective warlike training, so full of patriotic sacrifice were your people that now when all the bitterness of the struggle on our part of the North has passed away, we are able to share with you of the South your just pride in your men and women who carried on the unexampled contest to an exhaustion that few countries ever suffered. The calm observer and historian, whatever his origin, may now rejoice in his heart that the Lord ordained it as it is. But no son of the South and no son of the North, with any spark in him of pride of race, can fail to rejoice in that common heritage of courage and glorious sacrifice that we have in the story of the Civil War and on both sides in the Civil War.

Monument to Confederate Dead, Arlington National Cemetery, photo by Theodor Horydczak (Credit Image: © Circa Images/JT Vintage via ZUMA Press Wire)

This “pride of race” is mostly absent today, which is why the monument needed to go. President Taft referred to “universal popular appeal” for the project, rejoiced in the “oblivion of sectionalism” and even hoped that his Republican Party could win back “our Southern brothers and sisters.” President Woodrow Wilson also approved of an “emblem of a reunited people.” However, the current orthodoxy surrounding Reconstruction is that it was not lengthy enough. Because reconciliation between Union and Southern soldiers was between whites, this reconciliation was illegitimate. One of the statues on the memorial also featured a black “mammy” figure, problematic at a time when we are expected to believe that slaves were constantly rebelling and eager to murder their master’s families. It’s precisely because such rebellions were so rare, even during the Civil War, that one suspects black feelings are so sensitive about it.

President Woodrow Wilson at the dedication of the Confederate Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery, June 4, 1914 (Credit Image: © Circa Images/JT Vintage via ZUMA Press Wire)

Former Senator James Webb (D-VA) protested the memorial’s removal in August. Forty Republican congressmen wrote a letter to the defense secretary asking for the memorial to be spared. They said that previous presidents (including Barack Obama) had a tradition of sending a wreath to the statue on Memorial Day. More importantly, the memorial didn’t honor the Confederacy but celebrated reconciliation, and thus was outside the law’s remit. These protests did nothing. The lesson is that progressives will use any opportunity to force maximum concessions, with judges doing nothing to keep them within the strict letter of the law.

The Washington Post said that the black contracting company, Team Henry Enterprises, which is overseeing the removal, has become “specialists in the complex and controversial work of statue removal over the past three years.” White contractors have refused the work in Virginia, a courageous gesture. The executive director of the American Historical Association, James Grossman, said that the very existence of the monument until this week “reminds us not just how far we’ve come but how much further we have to go.” Yet what, precisely, have we “come” to and where exactly are we going? In this cemetery and in our cities, greatness has been destroyed and simple ruin remains.

There is a lot of chatter on social media that this represents the “end” of reconciliation, and thus renewed Southern resistance is justified. Of course, if such a spirit were still prevalent in the South, things would never have gotten this far. Southern identity has been unmade with trivial ease in just a few years through control of media and academia. There is a renewed effort to defend Southern heritage and even restart the movement for states’ rights and secession (notably from the Southern Independence Association, whose board now reportedly includes John Hill, a descendant of Confederate General A. P. Hill). I support such efforts wholeheartedly. However, the odds for Southern independence are long given the power disparity.

Perhaps more importantly, the same process is well underway against traditional American identity, and there is no charge that can be made against the Confederacy that can’t be made against the Founding Fathers. It follows that if there were sufficient will to free the South, there would be sufficient support to reclaim the whole country. The obstacles and enemies in both cases are the same.

The Founders were essentially white nationalists. Many (including Thomas Jefferson) were far more hostile to multiracial coexistence in the same polity than were Confederate leaders. If the Confederates were “traitors” because they rebelled against their government, so were the Founders. The American revolutionaries were the original anti-colonial movement, but they were still “colonialist” because they wanted to expand across the continent, defeating both European powers and the Indian tribes. Any attempt to defend the American founding on the grounds that it led to modern democracy or egalitarianism will fail, because non-whites and progressives will accurately recognize that was never the Founders’ intention.

George Floyd’s death was the first domino that led to the removal of the monument, because Congress in 2021 set up a “Naming Commission” to remove Confederate names on military bases. According to section 370 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the military must “prevent commemoration of the Confederate States of America or any person who served voluntarily with the Confederate States of America.” It’s fitting that the death of a career criminal and drug addict was the justification for dishonoring military heroes, arguably those who fought in the last war in which American soldiers actually defended their country. Renaming bases has done no more to achieve “racial justice” than removing Confederate monuments has helped black slums such as Memphis and Baltimore. However, it may even be worsening problems within the American military.

The Army missed its recruiting goal again this year, this time by about 10,000 people. The Navy and Air Force also fell short. Air Force vice chief of Staff General David Allvin told Congress that a small minority of young Americans (just 23 percent) are qualified to serve, and “fewer still, we’re finding, are interested in serving.” He says they are “working very hard to change,” but why should non-white or even white Americans want to serve a “racist” country? A halfway approach probably won’t work. After all, the latest Army recruitment campaign, which tried to combine a more traditional, patriotic approach with a black celebrity frontman, fell apart after actor Jonathan Majors was charged with assault. (The actor, known for playing “Kang the Conqueror in the Marvel movie series,” was just convicted and Marvel dropped him.)

Even those currently in the military don’t seem interested in serving. On TikTok, you can find plenty of hip, diverse, multiracial members of the New American military telling people not to join and complaining about having to stay in shape, sleep outside, or eat food they don’t like. Presumably, the generals can’t tell their soldiers to get off the Chinese spy app or they will have a mutiny on their hands. Some right-wing whites might still be eager to serve Uncle Sam, but at the behest of NGOs and media outlets, the military has purged such people.

The destruction of the Confederate monument is simply the latest sign Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s military does not want white Southerners. Not surprisingly, many military families, by far the most important recruiting pipeline, are reportedly telling their children not to join (something I’ve also observed anecdotally). Army Secretary Christine Wormuth says she doesn’t want a “warrior caste.” Well, the woman is getting her wish.

Naturally, Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) wants to solve the problem by having some of the illegal immigrants the Biden administration has been importing serve in the military. If the shortfalls continue much longer, that seems inevitable. America has already suffered defeat in Afghanistan, Russia is advancing in Ukraine, and shipping is being disrupted in the Middle East. American military commitments are likely to increase even as the national will to sacrifice ebbs away.

Though some conservatives may claim otherwise, the ongoing iconoclasm isn’t about Republicans or Democrats, or even about North and South. It’s about hatred of whites.

Destroying the memorial is an implicit suggestion that reconciliation was a mistake. The white South should have been punished more. Given that Revolutionary War heroes, Founding Fathers, Columbus, Theodore Roosevelt, and others are under attack, it takes willful stupidity to believe that the destruction will be limited to the South or that it is about “treason.” Given the current administration’s attempts to frame the January 6 riot as an “insurrection” and ongoing legal efforts to bar former president Donald Trump from running for re-election, it’s hard not to see the monument’s destruction as a threat not only to the South, but to all whites who don’t like our country’s direction.

Yet it isn’t simply about politics. The united country that emerged after the Civil War was a white country that completed the conquest of the West and became a world power. Though the current system relies upon that legacy, including the many sacrifices of Southern soldiers, our rulers are disgusted by it. Thus, even while the government claims more power, and media figures casually throw around terms like “treason” and “insurrection,” the foundation of the national culture is fatally undermined by the government itself. The “rule of law” is a farcical lie given the wholesale abandonment of border enforcement, and the military’s existence is pointless given that the authorities are welcoming an ongoing invasion. The victories won by American soldiers North and South risk being made irrelevant within just a few years. The old America will die, and a new multiracial chaos united by force and fear will take its place.

The iconoclasm and political purges will also increase in the military, even while the armed services starve for lack of competent manpower. One could easily imagine that American soldiers who fought in Indian wars, in the Caribbean, or against insurrections in former colonial positions such as the Philippines may have their honors posthumously revoked so the Army can pay respect to its new heroes, such as  those who murdered white people in the United States.

There is no mystery about where this process ends. From Haiti to the former Rhodesia, from the slums of South Africa to the wastes of Selma, egalitarianism leads to ruin. Status in democratic societies is determined precisely by one’s ability to escape from the endless drift toward entropy. The destruction appeases no one and settles nothing, because the destruction is the point, born out of resentment. Now that the South is gutted, the iconoclastic spirt will simply seek new targets and accomplices. It will have little trouble finding them.

Some conservatives may moan that this is going too far, but the process is entirely logical. American history is indefensible if one accepts that “white supremacy” is the greatest evil and anti-racism is the highest moral standard. Until conservatives reject those ideas, they can’t complain when the logical consequences follow. Appealing to limited government, the Constitution, or the law is doomed when mob violence, a judge’s whims, or the government’s spite can overturn more than a century of precedent to honor a dead thug.

There is little hope that conservatives will react when Union officers, former presidents, or military heroes become new targets. Nikki Haley, who more than any other politician set this iconoclasm in motion, is currently in second place in the Republican presidential primary. By necessity, it will require a movement that puts race first. The original “reconciliation” after the Civil War came when Northern and Southern whites recognized that they had common interests and a common fate. It is this unity that contemporary historians and anti-white activists hate. Perhaps that is a sign we should reforge it today.

The destruction of the Reconciliation Memorial is a sign that old America is already dead. Win or lose, something new is coming. We need to make sure it is something that belongs to us and only us, so our descendants never see days like these.