White Supremacist Horse Shows What Confederate Statues Mess Is Really All About

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2017/09/01/white-supremacist-horse-shows-what-confederate-statues-mess-is-really-all-about/

It’s time for us to take a lesson from Black Lives Matter:

Do … not … engage.

This chant, sometimes heard at rallies, is taken by some as a positive — as in:  don’t beat on opponents. But there’s another side to it:  don’t argue.  Just assert your grievance and keep repeating it until you get what you want.

Example:  The University of Southern California apparently must renounce what it calls the white horse that carries the Trojan around the stadium at football games.


It’s a symbol of white supremacy.

What’s the backstory?

It’s irrelevant. If you don’t already get that, I’ll explain it in a moment.

I’ll give you the backstory. But try not to pay too much attention to it. The people upset about the horse don’t care about the backstory, and you shouldn’t either.

In 1961, a fellow rode a beautiful white horse that had been in movies in the Rose Parade on New Year’s Day, according to The Los Angeles Times. Someone from USC saw him, and asked him to ride the horse around the school’s stadium before its first home football game that September. The guy found some movie costume pieces and dressed up as a Trojan, which is the school’s nickname. It was a hit. The school has been doing something similar ever since.

The problem is not, allegedly, with the horse’s color. It’s with his name:


That’s awfully similar to the name of the favorite horse of … Robert E. Lee.

Yes, that one. The general who led the Confederate army. The one whose statue must be removed from every public place.

The one named after the ESPN play-by-play guy.

Some irrelevant disclaimers follow.

I am not a fan of Robert E. Lee. I find his aloofness offputting. His reputation as a general is overblown, too. If you’ve ever walked from Seminary Ridge to Cemetery Ridge at Gettysburg, you know how crazy Pickett’s Charge was.

I am not a fan of the Confederacy. I support the Union. Abraham Lincoln was right when he said in his first inaugural address that the union had become more than just a contractual arrangement by 1861. The South had some legitimate complaints (high tariffs, threats to local culture, increasing political isolation, overweaning federal government), but those did not justify the attack on the union. And slavery was, of course, wrong and horrible.

You know who also thought secession was a bad idea?

Robert E. Lee.

He was against it. He advised Virginia not to do it. But once Virginia did it, he felt his first duty was to his native state. This commitment to duty and honor irrespective of his personal preferences is what makes Lee a compelling figure. His boldness on the battlefield won him admiration, and his commitment to his highest principles won him respect, in both the North and South. That’s why there are statues of him all over the place.

But this is all history. The current anti-Confederate mania has little to do with history or facts. Black Lives Matter isn’t interested in facts. Neither is Antifa.

They are attacking Confederate symbols as a way to attack America. They hate the country. That is their first principle. And attacking the heroes and other symbols of the country is simply a means to an end.

It’s no longer enough to say that the North was right and the South was wrong. It’s also necessary to vilify the South and act as if the South had nothing interesting to say. It’s necessary, in other words, to ignore the true story of the Civil War — which, like America, is complicated.

It’s also necessary to ignore what’s actually going on now. Here’s an example.

The student newspaper at USC described a rally recently where various radicals gathered at a statue of Tommy Trojan — really? — and talked not just about Charlottesville but also about how “white supremacy hits close to home.”

That would be Traveller IX, the white supremacist horse.

The USC official explanation is that Traveller the USC white horse and Traveler (or Traveller) the Robert E. Lee white horse have nothing to do with each other.

That’s implausible. Sixty years ago everyone knew that Robert E. Lee had a white horse named Traveller, however you spelled it. Of course there’s a connection between the two. Denying it is wrong factually and tactically.

The student newspaper reporter explains that “questions” about the origin of the horse’s name have increased “in the midst of the national discussion on race.”

But that’s wrong. There is no national discussion on race. There are radical leftists running around claiming victimhood and making increasingly absurd demands, and the more we take them seriously the more absurd their demands become.

First it was Lee. Then Stonewall Jackson. Then Thomas Jefferson. Then Teddy Roosevelt. Then Abraham Lincoln. Then Christopher Columbus. Now Ulysses Grant.

The big prize is George Washington. If they can get the Father of His Country, they can get the country.

It’s easy, actually, the way they play the game. Take the worst things that someone ever did, and hang them over his head to discredit him. Since we are all human beings with a fallen nature, we all have sins and otherwise discreditable moments. With public figures, many of those sins and otherwise discreditable moments are public information.

To make it even easier, use current social standards to judge people who lived generations ago when social standards were different. (It’s always easier to do the right thing when everyone else thinks it’s the right thing, too.) Do not take the person’s conscience into account; just assume that he could have and should have acted the way most modern-day people would act, and when you find that he didn’t, crush him.

The trick is to do it to people who contributed to the most vital moments of the country, and who still have some lingering public prominence.  That way you discredit the country that ever considered these people heroes. That’s the real target, after all:  the dead white males are dead. The country is still living.  Kill it.

As disturbing as this campaign is, and as fast as it’s moving, we’re getting inured to it. To wit:  The original USC horse rider’s widow wasn’t even surprised when a Los Angeles Times reporter called her. The woman, Pat Saukko DeBarnardi, captured the conflict:

“The problem is this:  maybe three weeks ago it was fine. So now the flavor of the day is … we all have to be in hysteria. … It’s more of a political issue. The horse isn’t political and neither am I.”

The problem is:  These people aren’t interested in your political neutrality.  They’re interested in your surrender. And once you surrender on one thing, they’ll continue finding new things to attack until there’s nothing left for you to surrender.

That’s how totalitarian revolutions work.

So what to do about it?

Stop acting like they have a point, or that they even care whether they’re right. Understand that for them it’s just about power, and how much they can grab.

Do … not … engage.

We’re all Black Lives Matter now.


Matt McDonald is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of New Boston Post. See other articles by him here.