Some of the most storied generals in American Civil War history have their portraits shown on the wall of the Governor’s Office in Anchorage. They’re all from the Union side, fighting to free the slaves. They are all complicated warriors, products of their time in history and their own human frailties.
But it’s the portrait of General George Custer that seems to have caught the eye and triggered the ire of some of Gov. Michael Dunleavy’s harshest critics on Twitter, which is where some of them seem to live. The relentless recall Twitterati are saying the portrait is proof Dunleavy is racist.
In this era of wokeness, one cannot be too careful. As with Chairman Mao’s cultural revolution, there is forbidden art and taboo literature (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest) that will be publicly attacked at the corner of Cynicism and Intersectionality.
American historic figures, with all their warts, are among those being sanitized by the Left. Even those who used to be considered the good guys, such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abe Lincoln.
Gen. Custer was a storied Union cavalry commander in the Civil War, and went on to an assignment in the never-ending Indian Wars, where he was annihilated by said Indians while leading his men into battle at Little Bighorn in the Montana Territory against a coalition of Native American tribes. “Custer’s Last Stand” was where he took a bullet to his head and another near his heart.
Custer was also a Democrat. So was General Philip Sheridan, a Union general whose portrait also hangs in Dunleavy’s office. These, along with portraits of President James Polk, Gen. Ulysses Grant, and Gen. William Sherman were similarly displayed in Dunleavy’s office when he was a senator, and there was not a peep of criticism.
Dunleavy, a schoolteacher at heart, is an avid student of American history with a special interest in the Civil War. Polk, who is Dunleavy’s favorite president, was also a Democrat and an advocate of Jacksonian democracy, which promoted greater rights for the common man, although he was also a slaveholder. Dunleavy, of course, is a Republican.
But the commentators on Twitter singled out the sketch of Custer, and the fact that Custer fought Indians, this being the only part of his biography they could evidently conjure up.
The Left forgets that Dunleavy taught Alaska Natives in rural Alaska for years as an educator, and is married to an Alaska Native and has three Alaska Native children.
It’s an inconvenient truth.
The Left has also not yet whipped up a frenzy over the name of the Baranof Hotel in Juneau, nor sanitized William Seward’s statue from in front of the Capitol. But soon, no doubt.
CULTURAL REVOLUTION II?
Chairman Mao’s instruction to his nation was to destroy the Four Olds (old customs, old culture, old habits, and old ideas) and the sanitization of Chinese history begat the Cultural Revolution, during which Chinese intellectuals, writers, artists, and teachers were sent to “reeducation camps.”
Will history repeat itself? If the Twitterati are in charge, it just might.