Breaking Glass

Hearts and Minds

We’ve only just begun . . .

Have you ever wondered what it was like to live through a sweeping cultural revolution?  If you lived in France in late 1789, for instance, and you reviewed the events of the previous 12 months, you would have shaken your head in wonderment at all that had happened.  Only a year before, could any prophet have seen what was coming, and in just a moment of historical time?  With dread or anticipation, you would only dare speculate how much more rapidly change might occur in the five or ten years to come.

As yet, tumbrils are not rolling in the United States, and aristocrats are still firmly attached to their heads.  But look back just a year.  If anyone had told you back then that, almost overnight, so many of the material symbols of American history would be swept away, that the Confederate story would be stigmatized almost as much as that of the Nazis, the Confederate Battle Flag eliminated, and other symbols and public monuments erased . . . would you have believed it?  Only a year ago, most Americans, conservative or liberal, North or South, would have scoffed.  That is a struggle for a future generation, they would have said—but not yet.  What politicians would dare face the public anger and outrage?  Would any government thus provoke the whole white South, not to mention the sentimental pseudo-Southerners who follow NASCAR and listen...

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