By Horatio Bunce
Sorry, I just couldn’t let this go. I see the “party of Lincoln” is still sending their Freedman’s Bureau agents in to create strife between free blacks and whites. Folks, this little event should plainly reveal to you just what kind of character Lamar Alexander is – and how he, like the Freedman’s Bureau agents, is still baiting and exploiting the black man today with his version of the Bureau’s false promise of “40 acres and a mule”.
WKRN in Nashville reported a couple of weeks ago that Lamar! was calling for the removal of the bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest inside the state capitol building:
“The senator said there “is a place to honor” all of those in the Civil War whether it be the “battlefield, birthplaces or museums” but “places of honor should be for those who inspire all of us.”
He then said, “There is a place for General Forrest’s bust, but not in a place of honor at the state capitol.”
Forgetting for the moment that Lamar! did not mention where “a place” would be for confederate monuments, I would think that Nathan Bedford Forrest might be a worthy example of the era to promote – if the goal were truly racial unity, not that many people ever enter the state capitol building for that sort of thing. I believe he is a great example of the power of God to change people, make them new creations in Christ. But then maybe I am expecting too much of a U.S. Secretary of Education to know about U.S. history, heck, his own home state history for that matter. As an alternative, Lamar! suggests that this place of honor in the capitol building should go to other Tennesseans such as Alex Haley:
“Instead, he said that place of honor should have Tennesseans like “Roots” author Alex Haley, Senator Howard Baker, or World War I hero Sgt. Alvin York.”
Ah yes, the alleged “Roots” “author” Alex Haley. Playboy magazine author Alex Haley. Plagiarist fraud Alex Haley. Surely a U.S. Secretary of Education and actual contemporary of Alex Haley would remember that Haley was sued for stealing significant portions of “Roots” from “The African”, a work of fiction by a white man, Harry Courlander written in the 1960’s. The plagiarism trial happened in 1978 when Lamar! was walking across the state in his plaid shirt campaigning for governor. After the presentation by the prosecution, the defense “settled” rather than proceed with the case. Further, it has been proven that many of Haley’s claims regarding his “ancestors” in the book cannot be true.
But it isn’t like Alexander is not aware of all this. Unlike Nathan Bedford Forrest, whose history we might forgive Lamar! for not knowing, Haley was a “close friend” of Lamar! according to Vanderbilt University which has received his correspondence with Alexander as part of the “pre-Senate” papers donated for an exhibit there:
“Other highlights are the papers of Honey Alexander and correspondence with Alexander’s close friend, author Alex Haley. Haley and Minnie Pearl were co-chairs of Homecoming ’86, a statewide celebration that provided Tennesseans an opportunity to rediscover their past and identify the uniqueness of their communities.”
You may also remember that Lamar! invited Haley to co-chair (with Minnie Pearl) the 1986 Tennessee Homecoming campaign. So, he knows Haley. He likely knows he was a plagiarist fraud. He likely knows Haley exploited the lives of slaves in America for a dollar, stole from Harry Courlander to foist a fraudulent “history” of his “ancestors” on America and sell it as the truth. Lamar! likely knows “Roots” is a lie.
So why does Lamar! insist on continuing to promote this fraud as hero? Could it be we really have no interest in the truth about either Nathan Bedford Forrest or Alex Haley? Is it more important that Haley’s fraudulent work has “shaped the contemporary African American consciousness” with lies?