They Are Asking For A Bit Too Much

Editor’s Note: These are the views of the author, Michael Goings, and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Dillon Herald.

I have grappled with the desire to write the article that you are presently reading for some time now. Due to the prospect (or perhaps fact is a better word) that some will misread or misunderstand the point that I am endeavoring to make. I have delayed putting into print what I believe needs to be addressed at the risk of going against the grain of many who support and subscribe to the objectives of the Black Lives Matter protest (as I do). After consulting and conferring with a few very prominent people in the field of history and theology on the matter, all agreed that there was a need for such a piece to be presented to the general public. One who agreed was an eminent, tenured professor at one of the most prestigious universities in America who assured me that he would be anticipating this article and would definitely read it. Another person who encouraged me to write it with all deliberate speed was a renown pastor and bishop, who said that it was urgently needed, due to the fact that there is an extremist element in the Black Lives Matter Movement, who are going too far by requesting too much.
During this time when there is a willingness in many aspects of the American culture to either remove certain symbols and rename certain military posts that were named for Confederate generals, who were traitors and racist slave owners, there must be a countermove to silence and stop the extremists who are asking for too much. Such people are not content with eradicating and purging the names of those who attempted to divide and destroy the union through their insurrection and rebellion from places of honor. They want to rewrite history by posthumously dishonoring and villainizing men that Providence chose to enlist in the founding and forming of this nation given these men were flawed with feet of clay and who possessed a prospective and belief in white supremacy and slavery (that was the prevailing belief of that time). However, no one can dispute or deny their essential role as the Founding Fathers of the nation that has developed into the greatest example of a democratic republic that the world has ever known. The fact that many of our Founding Fathers were flawed and predominated by the racist ideology of white supremacy that justified their enslavement of Africans, who were brought here, does not negate the essential role they played in the founding and formation of this nation. Like many men throughout history who achieved great things that have advanced humanity and its general well-being, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and all of the Founding Fathers must be given a pass in regard to their beliefs and practices concerning slavery and all the horrible things associated with it. Giving them a pass does not mean that slavery was right. It simply means that they were men who were motivated by the prevailing beliefs and practices of their culture and time.
Let me allude to a biblical account that I hope will shed some light. Anyone who has read the story of King David in the Scriptures knows of his great flaws and failings as a man and leader of the nation of Israel. Perhaps his greatest sin was to have an adulterous affair with the wife of one of his most gallant and loyal servants and soldiers by the name of Uriah while he was on the battlefield fighting for king and nation. When King David discovered that Uriah’s wife was pregnant with his child, he tried to cover it up by having him sent home in hopes that he would be intimate with his wife and thus solve his problem. However, when Uriah refused to be intimate with her, because he felt it was wrong to do so while his comrades were still on the battlefield, King David’s scheme went to an even lower level of treachery when his loyal servant would not copulate with his wife. He had him sent back to the battlefield and assigned to the point in the battle of greatest peril where he was killed by the enemy. King David, Israel’s greatest warrior, champion and king, in his betrayal against Uriah, had slept with his wife, schemed to cover it up, and ultimately manipulated his death. Nevertheless, in spite of these evil and atrocious acts, he retained his place of honor in the history of ancient Israel as their greatest king and ancestor to the Messiah who shall ultimately reign upon His throne when He comes as His direct descendant.
This biblical analogy adds to my belief and argument that our Founding Fathers should not be denigrated or removed from the pantheon of American heroes and patriots due to their flaws and failings regarding slavery and white supremacy. True, we should acknowledge and admit that their embrace of slavery and other racist ideas and pursuits were cruel, inhumane, and wrong. On that we cannot give them a pass or act as if they were never guilty of practicing or perpetrating American’s original sin. However, as guilty as they were, we can not rewrite history or neglect to acknowledge and honor them for the good they did in helping to find and form this nation and our almost immortal documents (Declaration of Independence, The Articles of Confederation, and The Constitution of the United States) that are the envy of the world.
Though my ancestors were slaves and victims of over four hundred years of slavery, I could never embrace what some extremists in the Black Lives Matter Movement are espousing. For to do so would indeed be a bit too much.

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