A. Peter Bailey

(TriceEdneyWire.com)—The barrage of commentary from the Charlottesville confrontation by lovers and supporters of the former Confederate States of America, especially in regards to General Robert E. Lee, brought back memories of my reaction to an obnoxious statement made by prominent American historian, Arthur Schlesinger Jr.

Extremely irritated by the demands from those advocating an Afrocentric interpretation of American history, Schlesinger, who was a swooning admirer of President John F. Kennedy, accused us of “using history as therapy.”

My response to him was included in a December 17-19,1992 column written for the Richmond Free Press. Schlesinger, I noted, “has written history books, books that barely mention anyone other than White males. If anyone can be said to have used history, not only as therapy, but as a powerful instrument for promoting and defending the interests of people of European descent, it’s Schlesinger and his colleagues in colleges and universities throughout the country.”

I continued, “I don’t recall ever hearing or reading an article or book in which Schlesinger charged romanticizing supporters of the Confederate enslavers of African people as using history as therapy. Those people marching in Charlottesville and their past and present fellow believers have almost made most people ignore the fact that Robert E. Lee and all those other Confederate generals who were West Point graduates committed treason (“The betrayal of one’s country by waging war against it…”) and thus were in every sense of the word traitors (“one who betrays one’s country, a cause or a trust especially one who commits treason”) to the United States.

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