Editor: Letter-writer Dawn Dangel [“Good Riddance to Lee’s Name on School,” Letters June 20], I am quite sure that the “keep-the-name crowd” is not trawling for your pity.

To posit that they are just backward-thinking and tone-deaf is the kind of language a poor sport uses. Rather, they see the name of the school for what it was intended to convey: Unity; Washington-Lee (forgiveness); Generals (obvious); colors of blue and gray (togetherness).

The Civil War was a horror, no doubt, but to demonize any one individual for that horror is just plain ignorant. Take a peek at history and the actors before, during and after the war.

Now is the time for those of you who do not like, or hate, Robert E. Lee to cleanse the school of all vestiges of this purported taint. That would mean doing away with “Washington,” the “Generals” and the colors. (One cannot have his cake and eat it, too.)

Carolyn Ward, Arlington

(2) comments


The concept of comparable culpability for slavery is mangled and polluted by passage through National Disgrace’s grand canyon of a desolate brainpan and full throttle lie hole, but it is not necessarily true that his free floating zits of dead brain matter are collectively capable of stripping all relevance from the concept. Slavery is recognized as America’s original and most devastating sin with negative consequences persisting. Compared to the broad and historic evil and lingering impact of slavery, how can the cumulative impact of all displaced loyalty, or a condom more or less, be the leveraged bender of history’s arc? But to isolate Lee as uniquely evil, and to vandalize W-L’s moniker, the vandals expediently and disingenuously inflate displaced loyalty as a mountain range of guilt for which Lee can be singled out while temporarily reducing slavery to an anthill boys-will-be-boys naughtiness, with the design to deny Lee an ounce of moral comparability to still honored slavery practitioners more conveniently given a pass. National Disgrace and his KKK base heap disgrace on anything they embrace, but we don’t punish a lawn with a layer of asphalt because of intruder defecation. If there is a God, and there is, the defecators’ reign of terror is temporary. The honor associated with W-L’s moniker is permanent.


The Founding Fathers practiced slavery, institutionalized it, soiled the constitution with the three-fifths clause. Most professional historians hold the view that slavery, not states’ rights nor anything else, caused the Civil War. In effect, still honored Founding Fathers laid the groundwork for the Civil War. Lee was a participant in a war that would not have happened but for their history. To inflate Lee’s culpability, and deliberately minimize theirs, is a calculated exercise in hypocrisy on steroids. To reiterate, I care not to preserve any tribute to the Confederacy—statues, images, flags or persons. Just civility in the renaming of W-L High. Honor an available honorable Lee with no connection to the Confederacy. Multiple options are available. Two of them signed the Declaration of Independence.

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