A Response To Hollywood FL Accusations
An email to the commission from John Jacobs, a resident on one of the targeted streets.The following letter was e-mailed to all the commissioners.
The initiative calling for the renaming of three streets in Hollywood has become so racially charged and filled with so much false information that I feel compelled, and obligated to continue to respond with facts, reason, and logic.
A great deal of misinformation is being disseminated by the group behind the effort get the streets renamed. In order to foster the support of the citizens of African American heritage, they have stirred up emotions in those citizens with outlandish accusations. Here are examples of some those false accusations that have been expressed to me, and, unfortunately, by some of the commissioners who should be better educated: “The generals of the Confederacy were traitors to our country, and therefore, were guilty of treason.” They were guilty of “atrocities”; they were “dishonorable men” (two accusations in the exact words of Commissioner Biederman). “General Lee was guilty of genocide. He was responsible for the deaths of millions of people.”
If the statements listed above were true, I could understand the commissioners not wanting to support our streets being named after them, but those claims are not true and should be given no credibility. Anyone asserting that General Lee was guilty of genocide obviously does not know the meaning of that word.
Furthermore, it is absurd to blame General Lee for the deaths of the millions of soldiers fighting for their country (the Confederate States of America was a country at that time, even if the government of the United States did not recognize it as such). More American men died in the Civil War than in any other war in American history because the people fighting on both sides were American. If we are going to blame General Lee for the deaths of the soldiers he led, then we must blame General Grant for the deaths of the soldiers under his command. For that matter, using that reasoning, we could blame President Lincoln for all of the lives lost in that war because it was under his leadership and resolve that the decision was made to fight the war instead of allowing the southern states to secede.
President Lincoln’s stated purpose for fighting that war was to preserve the Union, and the Confederacy’s purpose was to uphold the right of its member states to secede from it.
The men fighting to preserve the Union did not fight for the glorious, noble purpose of freeing the slaves any more than the men fighting for the Confederacy fought for the evil, sinister purpose of preserving slavery.
The commissioners who are supporting the street name changes claim they are not trying to rewrite history, but they are doing just that. To call the former Confederate generals, who were recognized by historians to have been honored by President Lincoln, General Grant, General Sherman, and other leaders in the years following the Civil War, “dishonorable traitors” today, is the very definition of rewriting history.