The death of George Floyd has sent ripples throughout several different tributaries of the mainstream of American culture, and it feels at times like a cultural revolution is just over the horizon.
Floyd, a black man, was killed during an altercation with four police officers in Minneapolis just over two weeks ago. Floyd was accused of attempting to use a counterfeit $20 bill when police arrived. Just minutes later, George Floyd was handcuffed and placed face down on the concrete while one officer knelt on his neck for nearly 9 minutes, despite the pleas coming from Floyd that he could not breathe.
This sent Americans, whose nation was founded on the idea that all are created equal, into a rage. Soon, there were protesters marching in all 50 states, demanding racial equality and an end to police brutality. The demonstrators hoped to shine a light on some of the racial disparities that they’ve experience in our great nation, and they did so with a scorched-earth policy of addressing all the nooks and crannies of discrimination.
This included a number of Civil War monuments and statues being either toppled by protesters or removed by the cities that maintained them.
Now, one of the nation’s most prominent military minds is taking this sentiment a step further.
Former CIA director David Petraeus argues in a new opinion piece that names of Confederate “traitors” should be removed from U.S. military bases.
The retired Army general writes in The Atlantic that “it is time to remove the names of traitors like Benning and Bragg from our country’s most important military installations,” referring to the training bases named after Gen. Henry Benning and Gen. Braxton Bragg, who Petraeus argued were subpar military leaders “who left much to be desired.”
“These bases are, after all, federal installations, home to soldiers who swear an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States,” the 67-year-old wrote. “The irony of training at bases named for those who took up arms against the United States, and for the right to enslave others, is inescapable to anyone paying attention. Now, belatedly, is the moment for us to pay such attention.”
He went on…
“We do not live in a country to which Braxton Bragg, Henry L. Benning, or Robert E. Lee can serve as an inspiration. Acknowledging this fact is imperative. Should it fail to do so, the Army, which prides itself on leading the way in perilous times, will be left to fight a rearguard action against a more inclusive American future, one that fulfills the nation’s founding promise,” he concludes.
This suggestion will surely instigate a response from the “heritage, not hate” crowd, who have long believed that the Confederate dead should be honored as American soldiers.
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