Central View: Time for a modern-day bonfire of the vanities?

William Hamilton
Central View
Bill Hamilton.
Courtesy Photo |

Satire: An imaginary phone call: “Mr. President, honey, I tried to call y’all today; however, and I got yawl’s voice-mail system. So, I’m leavin’ y’all this message: I’m a 95-year-old white woman. A college-educated former history teacher livin’ in West by God Virginia. Mr. President, bless your heart, y’all must learn to speak out more forcefully. Y’all were too even-handed during that riot in Charlottesville. While blamin’ both sides for being hateful was fair, y’all missed a chance to nail — pardon my French — some real racist bastards.

“If the statue-smashers and name-changers want to take down buildings and monuments named after racists, they can start right here in West Virginia with former KKK Kleagle and Exalted Cyclops, Senator Robert C. Byrd. In 1941, Senator Byrd wrote his fellow segregationist Senator Theodore Bilbo this here letter and I quote from it: ‘I shall never fight in the armed forces with a negro at my side…Rather I should die a thousand times and see Old Glory trampled in the never to rise again than to see this beloved land of our become degraded by race mongrels, a throwback to the blackest specimen in the wilds.’

“As the Democrat Majority Leader in the U.S. Senate, Byrd funneled millions of taxpayer dollars into 36 buildings, five highways, two bridges, one lock and dam, and one Interstate interchange. All named for himself. He got 9 centers and buildings named for his wife. So, right there’s over 50 things needin’ to be renamed.

“Mr. President, darlin’, if y’all don’t hold with this history erasin’, renamin’ when it is ignorant and unfair, like in the case of Robert E. Lee, y’all need to call out all those hypocritical, linguistic PC fascists. Make ‘em put up or shut up. Get yourself a copy of Professor Steven Wilder’s Ebony & Ivy: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America’s Universities. Y’all will read how the early Ivy League colleges thought slavery ‘stood beside church and state as the third pillar of a civilization built on bondage.’ Mr. President, graduates of Harvard, Princeton, Columbia, Yale, Dartmouth, Pennsylvania, William and Mary and even Oxford are holdin’ some slavery-tainted diplomas.

“Mr. President, y’all are probably surrounded with Fulbright Scholars. Senator J. William Fulbright signed The Southern Manifesto opposin’ Brown vs. Board of Education. Fulbright voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and against the Voting Rights Act in 1965. Princeton graduates should be ashamed of Woodrow Wilson who ordered the “colored” signs put back on the water fountains and restrooms in the White House. Cecil Rhodes, founder of Oxford’s Rhodes Scholarships, worked blacks to death in the diamond mines of South Africa.

“Mr. President, y’all need to send out a Tweet callin’ for folks with college degrees from universities founded or funded by slave owners and racists to burn their diplomas like the hippies burned their draft cards in the 1960s over Vietnam. Have ‘em do it on your south lawn over Charlottesville. A modern-day bonfire of the vanities. But I’ll bet those hypocrites won’t do it. Oh, oh, I hope I’m not runnin’ out of time ‘cause I’m fixin’ to tell you how to build that (click)…”

Nationally syndicated columnist, William Hamilton, is a laureate of the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame, the Nebraska Aviation Hall of Fame, the Colorado Aviation Hall of Fame, the Oklahoma University Army ROTC Wall of Fame, and is a recipient of the University of Nebraska 2015 Alumni Achievement Award. He was educated at the University of Oklahoma, the George Washington University, the U.S Naval War College, the University of Nebraska, and Harvard University. For more, see:

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