This recent war on statues is getting personal. It all started with one of General Robert E. Lee in Virginia and has spread across the country. A statue of General Stonewall Jackson at the West Virginia Capitol, and any other statues that protesters decide are Confederate, are being attacked. Even George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, who our history books show had nothing to do with the Civil War are being criticized. In Ohio, protesters want to take the Christopher Columbus statue out of Columbus.
There are over 700 statues in the South honoring the losing side, including a mountain in Georgia. Up to now I (Will Rogers) felt safe from “statue harassment” but that might end soon. See, my full name is William Penn Adair Rogers and I was named after a Colonel in the Confederate Army. The Cherokees in Indian Territory were split in their allegiance during the war (like a lot of families and neighbors in border states), and my Dad, Clem Rogers, fought for the South.
This statue of me on Soapsuds (first photo) is in Claremore, and there are three more like it in Texas. The one I’m most concerned about though is in the U.S. Capitol, overlooking the entrance to the House of Representatives. Former Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who in thirty years probably never noticed my friendly gaze, declared that she is disgusted with sharing space in the Capitol with any statue connected to a Confederate. I may have to call on “my” Congressman, Markwayne Mullin, to stand in front of me and fend her off. (second photo)
President Trump has been on vacation. Or at least it was supposed to be a vacation. He should have done what Coolidge did in 1927; go to the Black Hills. “The President is going to the Black Hills of Dakota. Everybody in the West that wants to hide out until the thing blows over, goes into the Black Hills.” (May 25, 1927)
He made a mistake of vacationing in New Jersey where they have telephones, internet and TV. Some vacation! North Korea threatens to bomb Guam. Then Charlottesville, the home of Thomas Jefferson and his University of Virginia, votes to take down a statue of Robert E. Lee, a West Point graduate and a General every American was proud of, right up to 1861. This riled up the Ku Klux Klan, and that in turn riled up antifa, which neither the President nor I had heard of before last Saturday. He watched the battle on TV, with police nowhere in sight, and made a grave mistake by assuming that both sides were at fault. It took two days for his staff to tell him the difference between the good guys and bad guys. Next, in Barcelona, Spain, an Islamic group killed at least 13, including an American tourist. The President jumped on this one immediately, calling it an Islamic Radical Terrorist attack.
A lot of prominent folks got upset that Trump did not immediately come down hard on the KKK and resigned from various commissions and councils. Here’s Will: “it seems like a Presidential commission don’t get nothin’ done. They really don’t earn the breakfast that they give ‘em at the White House the day they appoint ‘em.” (Radio, Apr. 30, 1933)
Are you ready for the solar eclipse tomorrow? I was outside all afternoon today practicing not looking at the sun. I think I’ve got it down pat. Tomorrow afternoon for a few minutes should be a cinch.
Historic quote by Will Rogers:
(after Oklahoma Gov. Walton placed the state under martial law, Sept. 15, 1923, because of disturbances arising from the Ku Klux Klan) “I am not far enough away to express an opinion on that case as I don’t want any White Robed Gentlemen leading me forth in the middle of the night and massaging me with Tar, and sprinkling feathers on me for a chaser.” WA #45, Oct. 21, 1923