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The Daily Planet’s Opinion: Asheville’s ‘woke’ crowd doesn’t know or care about history; they want to erase (and then change) it
Thursday, 15 July 2021 22:06
“History is not there for you to like or dislike, Jedediah. It is there for you to learn from.”
— Lt. Col. Allen West in response to interviewer Jedediah Bila


Asheville’s one-party, well-oiled political machine was chugging along, as usual, deconstructing the Vance Monument —  the crown jewel of downtown Asheville since it was completed in 1898 — even while the case by those wanting to save the landmark was still being litigated, when it suddenly was thwarted and ordered by the state Court of Appeals to cease the demolition at once and safeguard the blocks and capstone until a decision is rendered..

As H. Edward Phillips III, the attorney for the preservationists, told the Daily Planet in a recent interview, the city appeared to be following the admonition of “Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!” perhaps thinking that the litigation would be dropped when the monument no longer existed. (And we hasten to add that Phillips, on behalf of his clients, said the Vance Monument is clearly not a Confederate monument — rather, he said, it represents civic leader George Willis Pack, who gave two/thirds of the money ($2,000) to build the monument to honor his friend Vance’s many civic contributions.

As as of this writing, the city has stopped the monument demolition, with only the base remaining, and is storing the blocks and capstone in undisclosed locations until the court decides the monument’s fate — probably many months from now.

All of this leads us back to words of wisdom — “History is not there for you to like or dislike, Jedediah. It is there for you to learn from” — from Lt. Col. Allen West during a June 13, 2020 interview on the desecration of Confederate monuments and other historic symbols that one may not like. 

In the interview, West warned that Americans toppling Confederate statues or defacing infamous historic symbols were missing the point of that time in U.S. history. During the interview on “Fox & Friends Weekend” with hosts Jedediah Bila, Pete Hegseth and Griff Jenkins, the former Florida congressman advised that angry desecration of longstanding monuments to racist historical figures is not the path to take.

“The right thing is for everyone to understand — and George Santayana once said — ‘Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it,’” West pointed out.

Following weeks of protests against police brutality and allegedly unjust killings of black Americans like George Floyd, many -- including state government officials -- have turned to look inward at their own communities. They’ve responded by toppling depictions of figures like Christopher Columbus in Minnesota, removing Kentucky’s Jefferson Davis, and graffitiing a Virginia memorial of Confederate General Robert E. Lee.

“No,” West said of destroying or desecrating historical monuments in general. “History is about learning from it. I don’t want to see us become like the Taliban or ISIS. Those are the people [who] destroyed history.”

We stand with West and demand that history — whether pretty or ugly — be preserved.



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