Roll, Jordan, Roll

Letter From Texas

So the anti-Confederate backlash comes to Dallas . . . but, then, maybe not. Maybe that isn't fundamentally what happened when the Dallas school board, in June, voted to rename mostly black and Hispanic Jefferson Davis Elementary School for Barbara Jordan, the late Houston congresswoman. Here, likely, is what happened: Within the community at large, a failure of nerve occurred, a moral power outage, leaving residents plunged in darkness. The same failure of nerve afflicted New Orleans over a year ago, when the name of the infamous slaveowner George Washington was removed from an elementary school, to be replaced with —I don't recall and don't care to; Sojourner Truth or some like luminary.

You could say, and I wouldn't argue the point, that on both occasions the antebellum South received deliberate kicks in the groin, and that this form of reprisal was unfortunate and unjust. Davis, Washington: prisoners in a kangaroo court due to peripheral association with the peculiar institution of slavery. Malarkey! Also, you can bet your bottom dollar this species of malarkey is sure to spread, two large Southern cities having capitulated so cravenly.

However, the reputation of Our Glorious Cause isn't my prime concern at the moment. I'm no nostalgic Confederate, I have to confess, despite the veneration I pay my Confederate great-grandfathers, along with Marse Robert, Bedford Forrest, and—a particular...

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