The recent letter by David McDougall suggesting the removal of the name of Robert E. Lee from Kent Police headquarters proves that his own logic was fatally flawed in arriving at that suggestion.
First of all, he admits that former police chief Lee didn’t have any control over the choice of his birth name. Secondly, he didn’t even do the due diligence to find out why this man was honored as police chief for 18 years. In other words, he was reacting by emotion rather than fact.
So, I have a simple suggestion to enlighten him and other souls who might happen to wonder why Chief Lee’s name is on the building. Just put this title under his name: “Chief of police 1948-1966.”
For many years, I’ve seen schools, public buildings and monuments “named” without explaining who they were. You just shake your head and wonder why officials honor a person without explaining for the following generations who that person was and what he did.
So my final suggestion for edification of students and the public about any public figure is this example. On any statue of Robert E. Lee and his generals, simply add the following words to their monuments: “A traitor who fought against the United States to keep slavery alive in contradiction to our founders assertions that ‘all men are created equal.’”
Having studied the Civil War extensively in my lifetime, there is no doubt that the Northern States had to win or this country would have been split irretrievably. Men like Lee, Beauregard, Nathan Bedford Forrest, Johnston, Hood, Jeb Stuart, Jefferson Davis, Pickett, Breckinridge and Bragg all were traitors, and deserve to be in the history books and on statues as reminders to all generations that their folly and greed caused the deaths of more than 800,000 Americans.
We don’t have to blow up statues and eradicate history like ISIS does. We should just publish their infamy for all to see and to heed.
– Patrick Buckley