By now you’ve likely heard that ESPN pulled an Asian-American announcer from their University of Virginia football broadcast because his name is Robert Lee.
They were worried that people might be offended because announcer Robert Lee shares a name with Confederate general Robert E. Lee. Perhaps some viewers may have even confused the two. Sure, most of us can tell them apart because the Asian one is Asian, and also alive, but you never know. The other day I met a guy named Alex and I immediately assumed that I was talking to the ancient Greek conqueror Alexander the Great. I must say he looked pretty good for being 2,300 years old. Anyway, he cleared up the confusion, and I paid for my pizza. The point is that these kinds of mistakes happen. I mean, they only happen if you’re insane or you have an IQ of negative 12, but they happen.
Incidentally, I couldn’t help but notice that the president of ESPN is named John Skipper. As you know, the Postmaster General of the Confederate government was named John Reagan. I think it goes without saying that John Skipper must step down effective immediately, lest his first name bring back traumatic memories of the dastardly John Reagan and his traitorous postal service. In fact, it has just come to my attention (because I Googled it) that the CEO of Disney, ESPN’s parent company, is named Robert A. Iger. He not only has the same first name as Robert E. Lee, but he also uses his middle initial, just as Lee did, and his initial is only four letters removed from Lee’s. Is it a coincidence that four is also the number of states that seceded from the Union in the spring and fall of 1861? The similarities are uncanny and extremely offensive. Robert A. Iger should be ashamed. The wounds of the Civil War can never heal until he steps down and leaves the country forever.
I’m trying to make a joke about this but it doesn’t really work, does it? Parodying something requires taking it to its most absurd extreme. But reality has already reached the most absurd extreme. And not just because of ESPN. It hasn’t gotten as much attention, but USC is being pushed by its Black Student Assembly to change its mascot because it has a name similar to Robert E. Lee’s horse. His horse. There are only 14 people in the country who know the name of Robert E. Lee’s horse, and those people know that the names aren’t even spelled the same way.
Meanwhile, the city of Manassas, Virginia, canceled its annual Civil War reenactment weekend due to “safety” concerns. I should clarify that this Civil War event does not include any burning crosses or neo-Confederate militia rallies. It’s just a history-themed festival for families, featuring reenactments, history lessons, food, music, and dancing. But it’s associated with the Civil War, which ended 150 years ago, so it can no longer be held. It’s just too soon. It wasn’t too soon last year, or 20 years ago, or 90 years ago, but now it is. Time truly is a flat circle, just as Matthew McConaughey warned us.
It’s not just the Civil War, either. Mayor de Blasio in New York has ordered a review of all monuments in the city, in order to figure out if any of them could be even the slightest bit triggering to any liberal anywhere in the world. He’s already indicated that a Christopher Columbus statue might come down. The city of Baltimore has been conducting its own purge of offensive statues, and the city’s residents have been helpfully assisting in the effort. A few days ago, masked thugs took a sledgehammer to a 225 year old Columbus monument, the oldest one in the country. It stood for over two centuries without a problem, but now it is a problem for reasons nobody can really explain. The “activists” (read: criminals) who vandalized the historic and priceless work of art say they did so because Columbus was a “genocidal terrorist” who “initiated” many bad things like “rape, slavery, and murder” in the New World. Apparently the Facebook memes where they got their history failed to mention that the Indian tribes who lived here had been raping, enslaving, murdering, and, in some cases, eating each other as a matter of course for centuries. The only thing Columbus “initiated” was an advanced civilization in a part of the world that had only seen naked savagery up to that point.
But that doesn’t matter. Nothing really matters except the feelings of the mob. And the mob has decided that it cannot tolerate any reminder of ancient historical events they don’t know anything about, don’t understand, just learned about on Wikipedia, and yet are somehow more sensitive to than their great grandparents were.
This is all crazy. There is no logic or reason or thought to be found here. The Robert Lee story isn’t any crazier than the rest of it. There is a full blown campaign to utterly obliterate and rewrite our history as a nation, and ESPN is simply following the program. It’s a program driven by mindless panic. We are truly in the throes of a mass cultural hysteria. ESPN has merely demonstrated just how hysterical the hysteria has become. We should thank them for it.
To see more from Matt Walsh, visit his channel on TheBlaze.