Letters to the Editor: November 21 – 27, 2013

November 21, 2013 10:51 AM6 comments

 There’s Nothing Wrong With J.E.B. Stuart Name

Editor,

For some reason, I must respond to the Letter to the Editor regarding changing the name of J.E.B. Stuart High School. The letter was filled with errors of fact, but I will just mention two of them here and then move on.

J.E.B. Stuart was a West Point graduate, hardly a lifelong proponent of slavery. J.E.B. Stuart High School is located right near Munson’s Hill which was the closest confederate position to Washington. It’s where Stuart encamped and where he was promoted to brigadier general.

Suggesting the school change its name has more to do with someone trying to jump on the current name change bandwagon and getting their 15 seconds of recognition rather than about any real impact the name has.

The real danger here is not the school’s name but succumbing to ignorance and rewriting history– just like what was done in last week’s letter and in so much of the modern day politically correct school curriculums. We all must learn from history– the good and the bad. But let’s base it on truth and facts and not fictional history.

I know first-hand the influence of the name J.E.B. Stuart. And I can tell you it has no racial influence in business relationships, personal relationships or even who attended my wedding. My name is Jeb Stuart.

I’m sure glad its not Jeff Parker High School.

Jeb Stuart

Falls Church

 

Rename Offending Schools After Disney Characters

Editor,

I was inspired by Jeff Parker’s letter demanding that the names on two of our older high schools be sandblasted because of their Confederate “symbolism.” Ironically, what Mr. Parker’s letter tells me is that Virginia and the nation must have made enormous strides in the area of civil rights if he is reduced to screening high school names for their political correctness.

Neo-zealots make bad historians, but that’s another story. Let’s leave Mr. Parker to renaming the offending schools after Disney characters, after which he can start on street names. Mosby’s Woods alone should keep him busy for a while.

Neil Shawen

Falls Church

 

Why Does Benton Take Shots at Larry Sabato?

Editor,

In Nicholas Benton’s column published on November 6 concerning CNN’s election night coverage, he took several potshots at Larry Sabato. In passing, Benton described him as “over-utilized and undeserving,” and later in the column, again inferred that he shouldn’t be consulted for commentary concerning Virginia politics. Benton offered no real defense or explanation for your criticisms of Sabato, who is widely regarded as an authority on Virginian and national politics.

If Benton doesn’t like Larry Sabato, he should write an editorial telling us why. Simply insulting him off-the-cuff really isn’t kind or fair.

Andrew Parker

Arlington

 

Take Bruni’s Advice to Avoid Hyperbole

Editor,

While I largely agree with the position taken by Nicholas F. Benton regarding the antics of the Tea Party in his column entitled “Tea Party Patrons Push Coup D’Etat” last month, I take exception to the unnecessarily hyperbolic and inflammatory language used by Mr. Benton.

Referring to John Boehner as a “duplicitous excuse for a human being” implies that Mr. Boehner is somehow less than human. I may not agree with Mr. Boehner on much, but this goes too far. Indeed, the term coup d’etat typically describes a violent overthrow of the government, usually by insurgent military force. It is ironic that Mr. Benton’s column appears opposite the page from Frank Bruni’s column entitled “Nazis & Obamacare,” which wisely cautions that such “hyperbole and hysteria make any constructive debate impossible.”

There is no doubt that the Tea Party’s tactics are misguided and damaging; however, they are political tactics, not a military assault, and calling them the “the slash and burn forward phalanx” of what is “in fact, a coup d’etat,” ignores Mr. Bruni’s admonishment to avoid “ludicrous extremes” that regrettably diminish the credibility of an otherwise reasonable position.

Thomas Kearns

Falls Church

 

Assails Benton’s Column Attacking The Tea Party

Editor,

I enjoyed Nicholas Benton’s second part of his attack on the Tea Party, particularly his complaint that “Throughout all of this, the goal has remained the same, to undermine American democratic institutions and cultivating in the population an angry, anarchist tone, an ‘each against all’ mentality.”

I’m sure that Benton’s anger stems from the 2008 presidential campaign when we were told by people supporting one of the presidential candidates that we should hate our neighbors because:

• Showing the same level of identification that is needed to buy a beer, board an airplane, or open a checking account, all in order to prevent voter fraud was somehow racist.

• Eating the wrong chicken sandwich became the equivalent of burning a rainbow-painted cross on Harvey Milk’s grave.

• Not wanting to pay for a future One Percenter’s right to potentially expose herself to, or help to spread sexually transmitted diseases equated a “War on Women.”

• And even more disturbing, the notion that women were incapable of making decisions on candidates beyond the issues of abortion and birth control pills paid for by somebody else. The notion that women should leave “big boy” issues like the economy, foreign policy, and our debt to the men of this nation sounds more like a real “War on Women.”

I look forward to seeing the editorial pages of the FCNP address these issues as soon as Mr. Benton is able to tear himself away from the breaking story about the plot by the CIA from 40 years ago to distribute LSD in order to transform a group of selfish narcissists into even greater selfish narcissists..

Jeff Walyus

Arlington

 


Letters to the Editor may be submitted to letters@fcnp.com or via our online form here. Letters should be limited to 350 words and may be edited for content, clarity and length. To view the FCNP’s letter and submission policy, please click here.

  • vseidita

    Jeb,

    J.E.B. Stuart was born into a slave owning family and died as a leader in an army trying with to keep slavery as the law of the land. Are you claiming that he was a member of a minority faction of Confederate Generals who opposed slavery? It is highly offensive to African Americans to drive past a school named for a man who enslaved their ancestors. It is time for Virginia to leave the unseemly part of its history behind. I do not understand your point. What exactly is noble about the cause that J.E.B. Stuart fought for? This has been wrong since forever and voicing opposition to slavery is is not a passing fad.

    Vincent Seidita
    Falls Church

    • JFallsChurch

      I think we should change Lee Highway.

  • JFallsChurch

    Not a historian but George Mason had slaves, but he did oppose slavery….what a hypocrite.

  • Kaye Wynette

    Best read of the week. Short, witty, thought provoking, makes me want want to pick up the Falls News Free Press to read. Great style Jeb!

  • Dexter Williams

    Offended, The only name that matters is the name I make for myself. I for one am sick and tired of people telling me what should offend me. JEB Stuart is fine name for the High School, Vincent I do not need you to be the master of my mind, and tell me what offends me, and who amongst us gets to choose the family we are born into.

  • Hazel Garbo

    Read this, never made a comment before. but do usually read all articles on a weekly basis. I have also read the comments from this week and last week , including the original letter by Jeff Parker. As Jeb, the writer, points out Mr. Parker is purely seeking self glory. Where has he been the last 50+ years. And the comment from Vincent is along the same line. Both Vincent and Jeff should change their names because they offend me. Washington had slaves, should we just call the capitol, DC? This was a better “Read” as one comment but it then the stale comments of Congressman Moran, and actually funnier and more truthful then Maureen Dowd. Hope to see more.

Facebook Iconfacebook like buttonTwitter Icontwitter follow buttonGoogle+Google+