Via Todd Starnes. From what I understand, Memphis’s discomfort with Forrest’s tomb long predates the Confederate-flag frenzy of the past two weeks. He has two claims to fame: On the battlefield he was a genius by universal acclaim, after the war he was … an early member of the KKK, albeit one whose views on racial reconciliation seem to have softened shortly before he died. If the mayor had proposed this before the Charleston massacre, I think it would have gotten a semi-respectful hearing (if not ultimately a successful one) simply because of the Klan association. Does the city really want to dedicate a prominent public space to a man with that big of a stain on his legacy? As it is, though, by pushing this after Charleston, it feels less like an anti-Klan move than an anti-flag or anti-Confederate one. And digging up dead bodies to distance yourself from the CSA seems, shall we say, a bit much as the anti-Confederate cultural purges lately turn increasingly absurd. Why, I’m tempted to use the word “overreach,” if not for the fact that that term is reserved by the media exclusively to describe Republican upset whenever a Democrat does something stupid or evil.
Elsewhere in Year Zero news, the National Cathedral will remove two stained glass windows that feature the Confederate flag. The windows were installed in the early 1950s as a gesture of reconciliation with the (white) south; they’re being removed now as a gesture of reconciliation with black Americans. Flag-themed merchandise also will no longer be available for purchase at, er, the Gettysburg national park, although items that feature both the Stars and Stripes and the rebel flag will remain available. The Southern Cross is fine as part of the historical record, but not as a souvenir. Makes me wonder which category one of the Apple app store’s Civil War strategy games would fall into.