Dr. Joseph LeConte was a geologist, medical doctor, and conservationist who went on to found the, then conservationist and now environmentalist group, Sierra Club. Three years ago, it was discovered that he was not only a supporter of the Confederacy and slave owner, but had white supremacist views. Both he and his brother, John, were also involved in the manufacture of weapons and ammunition for the Confederacy during the Civil War too.
As a result of realizing the awful sentiments Joseph LeConte had about black people and his Confederate sympathies, efforts have been made to rename venues named after him. What is of concern isn’t just the fact that LeConte held such beliefs, but it looks like there was no attempt to find out if he repudiated any of his racist views. Automatically efforts are made to take down his name and the honors given to him and his brother at the insistence of U.C. Berkeley students in order to placate feelings over objective facts. Monuments are reportedly dedicated to Joseph LeConte on the Berkeley University’s grounds and, so far, no efforts have been made on the part of the school to remove the dedications on them.
Unfortunately, the emotion of removing such dedications is insisted upon to be taken as based on truth and, as many of you may know, the Left has been on a history-destroying spree since the tragic death of George Floyd. The Left holds slavery and racism as a heretical albatross on the neck of the West that they insist we must atone for. Consequently, they dehumanize their opposition (much like efforts were conducted by Confederates and their sympathizers did to black people), but they have no problem accommodating cultures (chief among them Islam) that practice slavery. To this day, slavery is still practiced in most Muslim countries and was even practiced by early native American Indian tribes. Some Indian tribes continued to have slaves even after the passage of the 13th Amendment and, so far, no demands by the Left that either group somehow make amends.
By no means should this essay be taken as a defense of people who hold racist or white supremacist views nor of the mistakes the West or any other culture has made. Rather, it is to reveal, not only the Left’s double standards, and a defense of historical figures who can hold terrible views initially and do really bad things only to later make efforts to correct their mistakes after realizing their error. For example, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were both slave owners but at some point regreted their owning slaves. They, in turn, made efforts to end the practice despite still retaining but then later releasing them.
Simultaneously, this commentary is also a condemnation of the Left’s recent efforts to erase history which is eerily similar to the Year Zero notion the Khmer Rouge applied to Cambodia before their infamous Cambodian genocide occurred. Communism itself is another system of slavery, where people are servile to the state. The Left is also indulging in racism as symbolized not only by their taking down a statue in Los Angeles of Raoul Wallenberg who saved thousands of Jews from being sent to Nazi Germany’s concentration camps, but many minority-owned businesses were looted, vandalized, and burned resulting from the riots they fomented building on the outrage over George Floyd’s death.
However, as I have pointed out before, the Left essentially opposes rationality as demonstrated by their antagonism to science, technology and, civilization. They insist that primitive cultures (i.e. the barbaric or savage) are the ideal human state, regardless if it is their National Socialist cousins of the late 1930s or contemporary environmentalist terrorists. Leftists have always adored mass movements based on barbarism and savagery.
While the West’s history is messy and we have made mistakes, unlike the Left and the cultures they revere, we learn from and make efforts to make up for our errors. Despite our initial embracing of slavery, for example, the United States and even Great Britain expended military resources and many Americans of all races gave their lives in order to end the peculiar institution. But since the accusers have a crystal clear history and present record of supporting bigotry and slavery, no effort is made demanding they and their affiliated groups not only repudiate but also somehow make up for their past or present sins.
Like the saying goes: We learn from history that we do not learn from history. The Left knows this and, by their actions, they are obviously signaling their desire to openly practice racism and slavery again while having free reign to exterminate their opposition. This is evidenced by their efforts to erase history so people forget their past errors and tear down civilized cultures and institutions that stand in the way.
PHOTO CREDIT: By Sigmankatie – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=25728679