Andy Prutsok asks: “Is it Political Correctness or Something Else?” It’s Something Else
Prutsok reports that members of Suffolk County’s chapter of the SCV are hurt by the mayor’s refusal to issue a proclamation declaring April Confederate Heritage and History Month. One member suggested:
These were real heroes,” he said. “They stood for faith, honor and duty. Those are the things we need to be teaching our young people today. These basketball stars are not heroes.”
He said one of his most prized possessions is his 10th grade history book from Suffolk High School, which he described in some detail. It had chapter headings like “Defending Virginia,” and had illustrations of Confederate soldiers carrying their flag on horseback.
You can rest assured that I am not propping up basketball stars as our new pantheon of heroes. As I’ve stated in previous posts recent decisions limiting the public acknowledgment of Confederate history has nothing to do with political correctness. I actually have no idea what it even means. Seems to me that it is overused more as a means to evade the tough questions surrounding public history. If organizations like the SCV want to continue to celebrate their preferred version of the past than they should do so. However, what they need to begin to acknowledge is that the political make-up of local governments has changed in many places over the past few decades and with it the memory of local and national history. It is important to remember that these more recent developments in no way detract from the very same conditions that created the SCV’s preferred narrative of our past at the turn of the twentieth century. I can hear the calls of African Americans in the 1890’s and beyond wondering why their history was not being included in public ceremonies. Answer: Because they could not take part in the public discussion (i.e. they could not vote!).