Tuesday, May 24, 2016

NAACP and Mr. Potter fighting to tear down the Vietnam War Memorial

NAAAP Demand the dismantling of the Vietnam War Memorial
by Mark Darien   29 May 2063

NAAAP (National Association for the Advancement of Asian Peoples) is calling for the dismantling of the Vietnam War Memorial. 
"Asian people have endured ridicule and discrimination since the days of Chinese exploitation to build the transcontinental railroad back in the 1800's," explained Hyun Shik, national president of the NAAAP.  "America singled out Japan over 118 years ago and made an example of them by dropping the A-bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki killing over a quarter of a million civilians instantly.  They didn't drop it on Germany to end that part of the war, did they?  Of course not.  Germans were wrongful aggressors, but at least they looked like they could be Americans.  Ten years later, America began her aggression against Asian people in Vietnam.  Over the course of twenty years, well over a million Vietnamese killed.  And when the American soldiers left, what did they do?  They left all their children behind, children born to the Vietnamese women the soldiers raped and no longer wanted."
Hyun Shik rubbed his eyes as if wiping away a tear or two.
"What we used to call the Vietnam War was really The War Against America.  It was a war by the Vietnamese people to defend their homeland against the aggression of American Imperialism.  The American soldier saw us as gooks, gooks to be used, raped, and killed at their pleasure.  We shouldn't be honoring them."
The NAAAP is one of many splinter groups of the NAACP, an organization originally formed 154 years ago to defend the rights of minorities.  About fifty years ago, the NAACP became less interested in the rights of all minorities and concentrated their efforts on fighting injustices aimed at Black Americans.  The NAAAP emerged fifty years ago to defend the rights of Asian people.  Other minorities quickly formed their own groups such as the NAAHLP (National Association for the Advancement of Hispanic and Latino People) and the NAANAP (National Association for the Advancement of Native American People) in response to their abandonment by the NAACP.

Ok, so the above article is fictional, but written to show how easy it is to distort history to any individual's - or group's - liking.  The article also connects the dots to show where the current trends may actually lead us another forty to fifty years down the road.  Unfortunately, we often forget that what we so vehemently fight for today, at this given moment, will have impact tomorrow and beyond.  Rarely does any individual think what those impacts may be past today.

Monument honoring 85
veterans. Not pictured: their
reasons for fighting
That is why the current furor over the Talbot Boys in Easton, Maryland is one of many important battles veterans and every citizen needs to pay attention to and, ultimately, defend.  A small group, namely the NAACP of Talbot County led by president Richard Potter and a small group of his friends and family, who are supported by a handful of White guilt sympathizers, are Hellbent on destroying a monument dedicated to honorable veterans who fought on the Confederate side of the Civil War.   Their reason is the monument offends them. 

First, Mr. Potter admits he sought a way to "advance his generation," code speak for "I want my fifteen minutes of fame." 

Second, when the county commissioners ruled to keep the monument where it was, but allowed for another monument to honor the Union soldiers, Mr. Potter - so offended by the Confederate monument - could have, but has yet to form, an effort to raise money for the Union monument to tell the whole story.  Instead, he filed a procedural violation complaint in hopes to have a second chance at removing the monument.

But let's go back to the future and the effort to tear down the Vietnam War Memorial.  Does anyone believe any of the over 58,000 soldiers whose name appears on that wall fought the war because they had complete disregard for the Vietnamese as humans?  Does anyone believe any of the over 58,000 soldiers whose name appears on that wall fought to advance American Imperialism?  Does anyone believe that any of the over 58,000 soldiers whose name appears on that wall raped the local women because they were just "gooks to be used, raped, and killed at their pleasure"?

Sadly, when our Vietnam vets returned some forty plus years ago, they were greeted with chants of "baby killers" and spat upon.  They were treated not much unlike the way we treat our Confederate veterans today.  And just as we looked on with disgust at how we treated our Vietnam veterans being forced into shame and hiding their service record, we should look on with disgust how history revisionists are choosing to characterize our Confederate veterans.

Yes, we can look in hindsight and see the power plays of the wealthy plantation owners and the strong influence they had in promulgating the Civil War.  Taking the actions of the wealthy and powerful and their selfish motives for bringing this country to a Civil War and then transferring their motivations to the average fighting man is akin to characterizing every Vietnam veteran as fighting the war to advance American imperialistic aggression at the expense of the Vietnamese people.


Every Vietnam veteran had different motives for fighting the war.  It can almost be guaranteed none of the reasons were to promote American imperialism and none of them raped the country, literally or figuratively.

And no Confederate soldier fought the Civil War to preserve slavery.


Mr. Potter and friends lie whenever they say the Confederate soldiers fought to preserve slavery.  The average Confederate soldier had many reasons to fight.  With an average fourth grade education and a strong sense of community, his predominate reason was probably to defend his community and way of life as he knew it and believed it should be.  For the Talbot Boys, that meant when Lincoln began throwing Marylanders in jail on nothing more than a suspicion of being Confederate sympathizers and then sent troops to patrol streets and seize armories, including the Easton armory, the average Talbot citizen felt their communities were under attack.  At this point it didn't matter what the rich and powerful were fighting for, whether it was to preserve slavery or some other esoteric reason.  What did matter was the general mistrust of a strong, centralized government taking control.  We fought a strong, centralized government less than a hundred years earlier to gain our independence and this War was no different.

Some thirty years after the end of the Civil War, President McKinley began recognizing Confederate soldiers because of the valiant efforts of a couple Confederate veterans who also fought in the Spanish American war as well as the many sons of Confederate soldiers who fought that war.  By 1958, the year the last Confederate soldier lived, full recognition of their status as honorable veterans was granted.
Had Mr. Potter not shirked his civic duty and served in the military, perhaps he would view veteran monuments in a different light, even the Confederate ones.  We honor veterans, all veterans.  We don't pass revisionist history views on veterans no matter how unpopular a war was or how wrong the reasons for the war were.  We can fault the leaders of the day for their decisions, but we don't fault the veteran for honoring his or her civic duty when called upon.

The NAACP and Mr. Potter may believe they are only fighting to rid the land of Confederate symbolism, but if they are left unchallenged, they are setting the stage for other generations to tear down memorials based on nothing more than pop culture rhetoric.  Today it is Confederate veterans in the crosshairs.  Tomorrow, it might be Vietnam veterans.  Or maybe Iraqi War veterans.  Or maybe Korean veterans.  Or maybe....

The NAACP, Mr. Potter, and others would serve the community better by focusing on real, present day problems.  Blacks and Latinos lag significantly behind their White peers in annual income.  Both minorities are over represented in the at or near minimum wage job market and under represented in the middle and upper wage job market.  If Mr. Potter wants to leave a real legacy and "further his generation", his time would be better spent closing the socio-economic gap.

And if the NAACP, Mr. Potter, and others were sincere about healing the community, they wouldn't be pissing on the graves of veterans.  They would be raising funds for a second memorial honoring Union veterans so that the whole story of that tragic era in American history can be told lest it be forgotten.

For the TL;DR folks:
A handful of people in Talbot County insist a monument honoring Confederate veterans be taken down even after they had their day in front of the county commissioners.  Instead of acting constructively by raising money to erect a second monument to honor the Union veterans, the NAACP, Mr. Potter, and others have decided to take the divisive and destructive path and continue to find legal alternatives to override the county commissioners' decisions.  Caught in the crosshairs of their revisionist tunnel vision are all veterans, both past and present.

Related Links
A month's journey circles back to the Talbot County Commisioners
Maybe Union soldiers aren't welcomed in Talbot County
Why did the NAACP let the Yankees die?

On the road to irrelevancy
Only time will reveal the true motives of Talbot Boys detractors
Final thoughts on the Talbot Boys

For your listening pleasure: Taps at Arlington National Cemetary
Final resting place for both Union and Confederate soldiers and honored equally
More on the ties between the Civil War and Arlington National Cemetary

Posted by Five Drunk Rednecks

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