Letter: Removing history invites stupidity

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Current unrest and desire to purge anything deemed racist or offensive reached fever pitch with violence and death in Charlottesville, Va. In many parts of the nation, anything related to the former Confederate States of America and persons of the era are reviled and violently destroyed or removed from the public eye.

The Charlottesville, Va., violence was over a statue of Robert E. Lee. Conveniently elided by the media — and the protesters totally ignorant — Lee was one the most decorated soldiers of his time, offered command of the Army by President Lincoln. Antislavery, against secession, Lee refused, owing allegiance to the state of Virginia, hence the South.

Forward to Portland Public Schools removing honorifics to the Lynch family for their philanthropy to public schools, umbrage borne by the connotation of the word lynch to some. PPS shouldn’t stop there and should require anyone so named be banned from the city or required to change their name; aligning with Orwellian “new-speak” of the novel “1984.”

Perhaps PPS, and others of their ilk, use the methods of the late Mao Tse-tung on proper purging of history and “Great Leaps Forward” for social change. Would a better option be teaching factual history and how to learn from it? Removing symbols of history doesn’t make it go away; removal invokes stupidity. You can’t fix stupid.