“We won world wars out of forts,” Trump said just before indicating that he doesn’t even know most of the fort names. “Fort Benning, Fort This, Fort That, many forts. They changed the name, we won wars out of these forts, they changed the name, they changed the name of the forts. A lot of people aren’t too happy about that.”
Then he repeated it as if he didn’t remember just saying it a second ago.
“They changed the name of a lot of our forts. We won two world wars out of a lot of these forts and they changed the name,” he said. “It’s unbelievable.”
Nine U.S. military installations named for Confederate generals have been renamed to honor people who didn’t fight against the United States.
The Fort Benning that Trump mentioned was named for Henry L. Benning, who NPR noted was not just a Confederate general but a “virulent white supremacist.”
The Georgia installation was renamed Fort Moore last year in honor of Lt. Gen. Hal Moore and his wife, Julia Compton Moore, whom called “one of the Army’s most influential couples.”
It’s interesting how Republicans never pass on an opportunity to remind people that Democrats supported slavery, but they also fight passionately to preserve the legacies of those who fought an entire treasonist war in order to keep Black people in inter-generational bondage and forced servitude. (Also, there’s the irony of Trump boasting that “we won world wars out of forts” named for people who lost their war.)
Hell, while we’re on the subject, here’s a question: Why is it more important to note that Democrats supported slavery than it is to note that the overwhelming majority of the Confederate states of yesteryear are currently red states? It’s the inhabitants of those states that defend the Confederate flag and lament the tearing down of Confederate monuments. Why are these odes to white supremacy so precious to those who want America’s oppressive past whitewashed the most?
Perhaps the red state constituency is part of the problem. Maybe the reason GOP presidential hopeful Nikki Haley was so hesitant to name slavery as the cause of the Civil War was due to her fear of losing the votes of those who consider pro-slavery warriors like Benning, Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis to be heroes.
Anyway, Trump also recently implied the Civil War could have been avoided if slavers and non-slavers “negotiated” better, which is just another indication that Republicans want to have it both ways when it comes to the teaching of history. They want to keep American history oversimplified enough that anti-Black oppression is as obfuscated as possible, and they also want anti-Black oppressors to remain immortalized or else, in their minds, history isn’t being preserved properly.
At the end of the day, if you’re defending the Confederacy, you’re defending slavery and white supremacy. There’s no two ways about it.
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