Two minutes on Robert E. Lee

One from the What the fucking Fuck? Department, a traitor who led an army against the nation he swore an oath to protect, a guy who told his fellow rebel generals to stand down after his surrender at Appomattox, of whom Ulysses S. Grant said [1]:

“setting an example of forced acquiescence so grudging and pernicious in its effects as to be hardly realized”

is depicted on a stained glass window in the Washington National Cathedral. Go pray under that window, if you’re feeling inspired (you’d have to go back in time, to any day between 1953 and 2017 when this window, and the one to fellow Confederate General Stonewall Jackson –accidentally killed by his own troops– were finally taken down [2]).

Among his posthumous honors:

Robert E. Lee has been commemorated on U.S. postage stamps at least five times, the first one being a commemorative stamp that also honored Stonewall Jackson, issued in 1936. A second “regular-issue” stamp was issued in 1955. He was commemorated with a 32-cent stamp issued in the American Civil War Issue of June 29, 1995. His horse Traveller is pictured in the background.[156]

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And none of this was even during the tenure of smirking weasel Trump megadonor Looey DeJoy.

Read this paragraph, and try not to feel slightly indignant:

After the war, Lee was not arrested or punished (although he was indicted), [126] but he did lose the right to vote as well as some property. Lee’s prewar family home, the Custis-Lee Mansion, was seized by Union forces during the war and turned into Arlington National Cemetery, and his family was not compensated until more than a decade after his death.[127]

Imagine that! The family of the West Point-trained traitor who led an army against his nation in a war that cost more than 600,000 American dead was not compensated until more than a decade after his death. They had to wait more than ten years to be paid for the confiscated land that would become Arlington National Cemetery. Fucking hell! SO UNFAIR! I suppose they never got paid for the slaves they lost either… sheesh.

Viciously stripped of his US Citizenship by vengeful Radical Republicans in Congress (they were insane in their hatred of slavery and pro-slavery forces who had killed Americans to defend it), he had to wait over a century to have his citizenship restored! Read the sickening details of what was done to this great American/Confederate:

In 1865, after the war, Lee was paroled and signed an oath of allegiance, asking to have his citizenship of the United States restored. However, his application was not processed by Secretary of State William Seward, a radical Republican and firm opponent of slavery, and as a result Lee did not receive a pardon and his citizenship was not restored.[159][160] On January 30, 1975, Senate Joint Resolution 23, A joint resolution to restore posthumously full rights of citizenship to General R. E. Lee was introduced into the Senate by Senator Harry F. Byrd Jr. (I-VA), the result of a five-year campaign to accomplish this. Proponents portrayed the lack of pardon as a mere clerical error. The resolution, which enacted Public Law 94–67, was passed, and the bill was signed by President Gerald Ford on September 5.[161][162][163]

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I’ve got nothing against his noble horse, Traveller, but fuck Robert E. Lee and the horse he rode in on.

And, word to Merrick Garland, it’s time not to repeat the mistakes of our shared American past. Incitement to violence, incitement to insurrection, a plan to violently thwart the peaceful transfer of power after an election, are big fucking deals in a democracy and prosecuting the organizers, funders and inciters should be at the top of your list, if you want your family to have a country to escape to the next time Nazis are after you.

[1]

In 1866 Lee counseled southerners not to resume fighting, of which Grant said Lee was “setting an example of forced acquiescence so grudging and pernicious in its effects as to be hardly realized”.[128] Lee joined with Democrats in opposing the Radical Republicans who demanded punitive measures against the South, distrusted its commitment to the abolition of slavery and, indeed, distrusted the region’s loyalty to the United States.[129][130] Lee supported a system of free public schools for blacks but forthrightly opposed allowing blacks to vote. “My own opinion is that, at this time, they [black Southerners] cannot vote intelligently, and that giving them the [vote] would lead to a great deal of demagogism, and lead to embarrassments in various ways,” Lee stated.[131] Emory Thomas says Lee had become a suffering Christ-like icon for ex-Confederates. President Grant invited him to the White House in 1869, and he went. Nationally he became an icon of reconciliation between the North and South, and the reintegration of former Confederates into the national fabric.[132]

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[2]

In 1953, two stained-glass windows – one honoring Lee, the other Stonewall Jackson – were installed in the Washington National Cathedral.[175] The stained glass of Lee shows him on horseback at Chancellorsville; it was sponsored by the United Daughters of the Confederacy.[176] In 2017, these windows were removed by a vote of the cathedral’s governing board. The cathedral plans to keep the windows and eventually display them in historical context.[175]

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