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All things Confederate-ish must go

Dana Milbank on

It won't do simply to rename schools named for the Confederate Gen. J.E.B. Stuart. We're going to have to rename Stuart Little, Stuart the Minion from "Despicable Me," Jon Stewart, Martha Stewart and Jeb Bush. All statues of Jubal Early must come down. So must all things that share names with this Confederate general: early-bird specials, early morning, early retirement, early voting and early NBA-draft entry.

If Confederate hero Nathan Bedford Forrest must go, so must the Redwood forest. Also the Gulf Stream waters. Fort A.P. Hill, an army base named for a Confederate general, must be renamed. So must Capitol Hill, Beacon Hill, Nob Hill, Bunker Hill, the Sugarhill Gang, Blueberry Hill, and Bill and Hill.

Let us dispense with Jefferson Davis, by all means -- but take with him Miles Davis, Sammy Davis Jr., Davis Love, the Davis Cup, the University of California at Davis, the Jefferson Hotel, Thomas Jefferson, George Jefferson, Louise "Weezy" Jefferson, Jefferson Pierce (Black Lightning) and especially Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, who also shares a name with Confederate Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard. Now that New Orleans has taken down its Beauregard statue, we're also going to have to relocate Bo Jackson, Bo Derek and Bo Diddley.

Memorials to Confederate Gen. Leonidas Polk cannot be moved without also erasing all trace of President James Polk, polka dances, polka dots, Hawaiian poke and Pokemon. Picket lines must be outlawed and picket fences flattened to avoid honoring Gen. George Pickett, and I will stonewall any attempt to disappear Gen. Thomas Jackson without also renaming Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Reggie Jackson, Percy Jackson, Action Jackson and Jackson Hole.

I regret to say we must also rename my Washington Post colleague Philip Rucker, who shares a name with (though is not related to) Confederate Gen. Edmund Rucker.

That's asking a lot of Phil, but we all must do our share. I will be demanding a new name for my public high school, Calhoun High School. It's not named for John C. but for Sanford H., a 20th-century New York school administrator who, to the best of my knowledge, did not own slaves. But you can't be too careful.

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Follow Dana Milbank on Twitter, @Milbank.

(c) 2017, Washington Post Writers Group

 

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