By Michael Lofti
Earlier this Summer, the nation was saturated with narratives against anyone that identified with southern heritage after 21-year-old Dylann Roof entered a South Carolina African-American church and ruthlessly murdered 9 souls. Afterwards, hundreds of thousands demanded confederate flags and all other Confederacy associated iconography be removed from public view across the country after. The fight took center stage here in Nashville when thousands demanded the removal of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest’s bust from the capitol. At least two Tennessee legislators, Rep. Bryan Terry (R-Murfreesboro), the only Native American in the legislature, and Rep. Andy Holt (R-Dresden) called for an end to the divisiveness. In return, ridicule ensued from media across the nation. Meanwhile, Democratic Party Chairwoman Mary Mancini recently published an op-ed that praised a man responsible for the death countless Native Americans, and the media was all but silent.
At the peak of the Forrest controversy, Holt ran an op-ed that called for unity. While Holt acknowledged Forrest’s checkered past and involvement in the Confederacy and KKK, he also re-told a story of Forrest that the media all but refused to report. Forrest was a man redeemed. Holt wrote that Forrest ended up being one of the South’s first civil rights activists who called for the KKK to disband. In addition, it’s widely known fact that Forrest’s funeral was attended more than 3,000 African-Americans in Memphis who wanted to pay their respects for all that Forrest had fought for on their behalf late in his life. Of course, Forrest had committed atrocities. However, Holt wrote Forrest’s heart had changed and we should recognize, celebrate and model such change, not seek to erase it from history.
It wasn’t as if Holt had made this narrative up. Historian Gregory Tucker validated Holt’s narrative in his own column published by the Daily News Journal. Regardless, Tennessee and national media lined up in a hurry to ruthlessly attack Holt. Headlines asked “What next, Andy? Ted Bundy was a women’s rights activist?” The Tennessee Democratic Party, which is led by Mancini, even went on to attack Holt on their Facebook page.
A different story:
In preparation for their annual Jackson Dinner, Mancini wrote in an op-ed recently published by the Tennessean that she and the Democratic Party will be forever grateful to party founder, Tennessean, and former President Andrew Jackson for infusing the Democratic Party with the spirit of equality and an understanding that the White House was the people’s house.
“We will be forever grateful to General Jackson for infusing the Democratic Party with that spirit — we were the “party of the people” then and we are the “party of the people” now—and we will continue to honor that legacy,” wrote Mancini.
We’re talking about the same Jackson that ruthlessly murdered tens of thousands of Native American Indians. The same Jackson responsible for the Trail of Tears.
According to Mancini, Jackson “captured the imagination of the American people.”
One forgets that Jackson didn’t think Native Americans were people, so he committed genocide against them and made them his slaves.
National media was silent. Not a word. Not a single Tennessee journalist, pundit, professor or talking head questioned Mancini’s praise of a man referred to as “America’s Hitler” by Native Americans. Not one.
The Tennessean did, however, publish an op-ed from a Native American historian that called for an end to the celebration of Andrew Jackson while damning Jackson as a monster, but not before praising Mancini as a “voice of liberalism and reason in the community” which leads the reader to believe that this Historian is a liberal himself. That’s all the scrutiny the chairwoman received for praising and celebrating a man that murdered tens of thousands, enslaved thousands more and quite literally attempted to commit genocide. Seriously?
So, media infers that Republican Holt is a dumb racist who would support abusing women because he called for unity and understanding, and sought to clarify some historical points. Meanwhile, Democrat Mancini is a voice of reason.
While I’m certain most Tennessee media outlets will read this op-ed and delete it, I have a message for media:
If you want to understand why America has lost trust in the media, then look in the mirror. America deserves better. To those editors willing to recognize the state of media and publish this, I applaud you. Hope may yet remain for the Press’ freedom and integrity.