Instead of remembering the fallen servicemen and women on Memorial Day, the New York Times editorial board decided to publish an editorial about how the United States Military supposedly advocates for white supremacy. Specifically, the editorial board took issue with Military bases being named leaders in the Confederate Army. In their mind, the bases should be renamed.
"It is time to rename bases for American heroes — not racist traitors," the editorial stated.
Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs Jonathan Hoffman slammed the editorial board, saying the group of so-called journalists decided to "attack the US military" instead of paying tribute to the "many stories of valor still waiting to be told this Memorial Day weekend."
On a solemn day for remembering those that have given their lives for our country fighting against tyranny and subjugation, the NYT has more than a million possible stories of the ultimate sacrifice by American patriots that they could tell. But they don’t. pic.twitter.com/xMiaHuTxN1— Jonathan Hoffman (@ChiefPentSpox) May 24, 2020
Instead they chose to attack the US military - the most diverse meritocracy in the country and the most powerful force for good in world history. We have many stories of valor still waiting to be told this Memorial Day weekend.— Jonathan Hoffman (@ChiefPentSpox) May 24, 2020
As Ellie pointed out, naming military bases after Confederate leaders wasn't promoting white supremacy but was a way of bringing the north and south together after the Civil War:
The base naming, the column concludes, was an effort to placate the south after the war and embrace the era of Jim Crow laws. What the editorial board did not discover through "expertise, research, and debate," however, was that not long after the Civil War, the United States was at war with Spain. Bitterness from the bloody fighting between the north and the south during the Civil War caused national concern that conflict with Spain and subsequent foreign affairs would not be successful without a united front.
Allowing the U.S. military bases to bear names of southern leaders was seen as an olive branch to the south, still reeling from the loss of the war and the blood-soaked battlefields in their backyards. It was never meant to condone racial prejudice, which was still very prominent in northern and southern states at that time.
Regardless of how the NYT feels about military bases being named after Confederate leaders, Memorial Day is not the day to push this issue. If they want to make the case that bases in the south should be renamed, then fine. So be it. But pick one of the other 364 days of the year, not the day that is dedicated to remembering the fallen.