Tuesday, 26 May 2020

New York Times Targets US Military with 'White Supremacy' Accusations on Memorial Day Weekend

The New York Times editorial board painted the U.S. military with the broad brush of racism on Memorial Day weekend in an editorial demanding the armed forces rename any facility that bears the name of a Confederate officer.
“Military installations that celebrate white supremacist traitors have loomed steadily larger in the civic landscape since the country began closing smaller bases and consolidating its forces on larger ones,” The Times said Saturday.
“Bases named for men who sought to destroy the Union in the name of racial injustice are an insult to the ideals servicemen and women are sworn to uphold — and an embarrassing artifact of the time when the military itself embraced anti-American values. It is long past time for those bases to be renamed,” the editorial board said.

Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Rath Hoffman fired back on Twitter.
“On a solemn day for remembering those that have given their lives for our country fighting against tyranny and subjugation, the NYT has more than a million possible stories of the ultimate sacrifice by American patriots that they could tell. But they don’t,” he tweeted Sunday.
“Instead they chose to attack the US military – the most diverse meritocracy in the country and the most powerful force for good in world history,” Hoffman said. “We have many stories of valor still waiting to be told this Memorial Day weekend.”
Others also waded into the debate.

The Times headlined its editorial, “Why Does the U.S. Military Celebrate White Supremacy?” and linked the names of Confederate generals to the actions of Dylan Roof, who in 2015 killed black worshippers at a Charleston, South Carolina, church.
The editorial board said the “toxic legacy” of the Confederacy and what it proclaimed as links between the Confederate flag, white supremacy and Nazism “clings to the 10 United States military installations across the South that were named for Confederate Army officers during the first half of the 20th century.”
The Times then attacked Gen. George Pickett, whose famous charge at Gettysburg has made him a legend and for whom Fort Pickett in Virginia is named; Gen. Henry Benning, for whom Fort Benning in Georgia is named; Gen. John Gordon of Georgia, for whom Georgia’s Fort Gordon is named; and former Gen. Braxton Bragg, for whom Fort Bragg in North Carolina is named.

The editorial board said that in looking at the Confederacy and its aftermath, “Adolf Hitler himself took notice, praising the United States as the near epitome of the racist state.”
“The federal government embraced pillars of the white supremacist movement when it named military bases in the South,” The Times said.
It said that the men for whom the forts are named “were traitors. These rebel officers, who were willing to destroy the United States to keep black people in chains, are synonymous with the racist ideology that drove them to treason.”
“[T]he base names were agreed upon as part of broader accommodation in which the military embraced stringent segregation so as not to offend Southerners by treating African-Americans as equals. The names represent not only oppression before and during the Civil War, but also state-sponsored bigotry after it,” the editorial said.

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