My question is simple. What other items would you like removed from Thomson to satisfy your need for racial change and racial unity?
Mr. James Taylor, a proud citizen of Thomson, would like the two McDuffie County Confederate monuments removed to promote racial change and racial unity. I, Tom Holley, also a proud citizen of Thomson, would like to know where the denouncement of our historical keepsakes will end if we begin with removing monuments. Here are a few ideas:
Obviously, first and foremost, the Senator Tom Watson home and the foundation named in his honor must be removed immediately. Anyone with an inkling of knowledge of local history knows Watson was a flaming racist. So, the foundation and the thousands of dollars it gives for history preservation and for college scholarships, many to deserving black (person of color, African-American - it is difficult to know the most politically correct term) students, must be abandoned.
Many of our most prominent oldest dwellings should be burned because they all were supported by slavery. Snow Hill, the Bowdre-Reese House, the Rock House, Alexandria, Usry House or any antebellum home, for that matter, witnessed the cruelty of slavery. These beautiful homes were possibly built on the backs of slaves and should be destroyed.
Wrightsboro, our old Quaker community, should be burned. The Revolutionary War caused great division among its citizens. Many families fled north while others became local war heroes, but future slaveholders none-the-less. And furthermore, Wrightsboro originally displaced the native (Indian or indigenous people - it is difficult to know the most politically correct term) population.
Anyone in McDuffie County who currently lives on family property that was once owned by a slaveholder should be removed and that property auctioned with the proceeds given to charity. It is unconscionable to think anyone should prosper whose relatives once owned slaves. Furthermore, any current white resident who had ancestors that fought in the War should be forced to pay reparations. By latest calculations, each black resident of the United States is entitled to receive approximately $453,000 as repentance for white sin.
Literally, hundreds of books in our library should be burned because of racial remarks or pure racism suggested within. Gone With the Wind, Uncle Remus, To Kill a Mockingbird, Thomson Guards - Tenth Georgia, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and Animal Farm to name a few. The History of McDuffie County represents a special need for destruction because it actually pays homage to many historical figures, racist some, who lived in this area. It actually mentions the KKK. And, the library itself should be closed because it allowed these books to be available for so long.
The Thomson-McDuffie Museum must be shuttered for two reasons. First, it is named after Edgar Thomson, (see below). Second, some items in the museum collection, past or present, could be considered as racist.
Surely, we all understand that most of our churches must be eliminated. Just look! Most white people go to the white churches and most black people attend black churches. There must be something like racial bigotry involved. The segregation alone should be insulting enough to eliminate them as tax exempt institutions.
Our county name, McDuffie County, must be changed at once. George McDuffie was a personal friend of both John C. Calhoun and Andrew Jackson. We all know that the taint from either was enough to spoil the sterling reputation of McDuffie. For heaven sakes, George McDuffie also fought in several duels. Also, the town name, Thomson, should be changed but not because Edgar Thomson was a slave owner. Surely, the railroad he built transported Confederate soldiers and sometimes, slaves. And, the railroad depot should be destroyed because it’s original foundation was probably built by a slave or a slaveholder.
Most white school teachers and administrators should be summarily dismissed. As we have recently learned from the network news, most whites come from privileged families and for that alone they are racist. To properly understand, one must read the most popular book in liberal circles today, White Fragility: Why it is so hard for white people to talk about racism.
All streets or roads named for historical figures must be changed. Lee Street, Jackson Street, Gordon Street, Old McDuffie Road, Martin Luther King Street (this list is endless) must be changed. Someone may know of something negative in the street’s historical name and thus that person may be offended.
Any person buried in our county cemeteries who can be shown to have been a racist (by my definition or yours?) should be disinterred and their bones cremated. The headstones should be ground for gravel and used in road building. And, their racist names should be stricken from any public record.
OR, JUST MAYBE, we could all take a deep breath, calm down and realize that History is, just that, History. We cannot change history but as we are constantly reminded, we should learn from it. Most of the ideas expressed above were tried in the past in other venues. Fascism, Communism and Marxism used similar ideas to try and change the course of history but all failed miserably while costing hundreds of millions of innocent lives. Can’t we learn from this? We cannot deny our past (no matter how inappropriate or misguided it may have been) by trying to erase it.
The death of George Floyd in Minnesota (not Missouri) was a national disgrace. It understandably brought about this current discussion on racism and policing. The death naturally caused bitter indignation among minorities for often being treated unfairly.
But, resentment flows two ways and that resentment is usually the underlying cause for racism. Ridding ourselves of Confederate monuments or controversial books, or people, or movies, or historic homes or places will have a longterm affect on racism. I, like many other Thomson residents appreciate our memorials, monuments and tributes to history - we learn from them and try to become better and more sensitive people because of them. Removing the Confederate monuments will not promote racial unity. In my opinion, it will aid in crippling it.
A proud citizen of Thomson