Allen Guelzo ends his article on Princeton and the Civil War by wondering whether it was wise to include the Confederate dead in the Memorial Atrium, adding that it’s a question that “Princeton still struggles with.” Really? Are we to have a campaign to excise those names? If so, let’s not stop there: Perhaps we should invalidate the degrees of the students from slaveholding parents, and, while we’re at it, take a close look at the presidents who allowed all those racists in in the first place.
However, I detect a note of uncertainty in the statue-topplers as they attempt to reach the moral high ground. Have all those efforts to dismantle Confederate memorials done a single thing to improve the life of a Black person in this country? I have yet to hear of one. On the other hand, the toppling of a statue of a current head of a teachers’ union might have some positive results in the lives of some people.