Whose Community? A Report From Liberated Tampa - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Whose Community? A Report From Liberated Tampa


The Hillsborough County Commission has voted to remove the memorial to Confederate soldiers from in front of the Tampa Courthouse where it has stood, creating shade but no offense, for more than a century. The statue will be moved to a cemetery east of town. Appropriate, as leftist cultural assassins are clearly trying to kill every aspect of history that they find disagreeable to their exquisite sensibilities.

True to their fiscal conservative, social liberal approach to most matters, Hillsborough’s commissioners did not come up with the money to redact this part of Florida history, leaving it up to various virtue-signaling groups and individuals to pay the freight. The one-way trip, by the way, from history to oblivion, will likely cost between $140,000 and $180,000. Money that may well have purchased something useful, but the indignation-industrial complex will have its way, though the heavens fall.

We know that culturally, corporate America is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of the disturber-of-the-peace left. The modern, with-it corporate leadership now concerns itself as much with getting folks born with XY chromosomes into the ladies’ room, and insisting that there are no differences between men and women (see Google), as they do with profits. Increasingly, major league sports franchises, ostensibly existing for the purpose of putting on ball games, have become social busy-bodies and leftist nags as well.

In the recent local assault on history, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Tampa Bay Rays, and the Tampa Bay Lightning have all contributed money to help pay to exile the new non-persons in gray. In a joint statement explaining this non-sports investment (the dwindling number of people who care about the Rays are entitled to wonder if the money spent on erasing history could better have gone to shoring up the Rays’ bullpen — but let it pass) the teams announced, from high atop the moral high-horse, “This monument does not reflect the values of our community.”

The audacity of this is knee-buckling. “Our Community”? “OUR COMMUNITY”?

First of all, the Rays’ executives have barely been off the boat from New York for a decade. Most in the head-sheds of the Lightning and Bucs have been here about long enough to get Florida license plates on their Mercedes and BMWs. This is not unusual for Tampa, or most of Florida, which is kind of a catch-basin for people from elsewhere. Natives are really thin on the ground here. (I just happen to be one.) But most newcomers aren’t as presumptuous as these team owners, who feel entitled to lecture the taxpayers who bought them their expensive stadiums about whom they should commemorate. These folks have more brass than you’d find at a spittoon factory.

But I guess one has to commiserate at least a bit with contemporary race hustlers, and those who just feel the need to find ever new ways to demonstrate that their hearts are pure. In the post-Jim Crow, affirmative action, sensitivity-trained America, it gets harder and harder to find genuine examples of anti-black racism. So statues commemorating long-dead Confederate soldiers, thin gruel though they are, will just have to do.

I have clear memories of Jim Crow. A very nasty business. I stuck my neck out in the sixties to say that it should come to an end, my efforts less than warmly received from some quarters. So I know real racism when I see it. And these two Confederate soldiers, headed for a suburban bone-yard, aren’t it.

Don’t you must love the smell of moral vanity in the morning?


Larry Thornberry
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Larry Thornberry is a writer in Tampa.
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