Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

MY TURN: Wrong to Replace Truth with Political Correctness

Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

MY TURN: Wrong to Replace Truth with Political Correctness

Article excerpt

In his Port Rail column in the Dec. 27, 2015, issue of The Tuscaloosa News, Larry Clayton raises many legitimate points regarding the current movement by some in this country, including some at the University of Alabama, to attempt to replace truth with that which is politically correct, i.e., removing the portrait of Confederate General John Tyler Morgan from UA's Morgan Hall because it is "offensive" to some.

The dictionary defines truth as "conformity to fact or actuality." Wikipedia defines political correctness as "a term primarily used as a pejorative to describe language, policies, or measures that are intended not to offend or dishonor any particular group of people in society."

Truth is unchanging and eternal; political correctness is temporary and changes as needed to serve the self-interest of politicians. As Dr. Clayton points out, "a university is supposedly devoted to investigating and studying with an open, sound, and honest mind, free of inane, closed-minded, intolerant ideologies."

I am a southerner by birth (Tuscaloosa). I categorically declare slavery in any form abhorrent. So is racial segregation. I freely admit that slavery, not states' rights, was the root cause of the Civil War. The South's secession was stupid, and many in the South opposed secession. In fact, 39 percent of Tuscaloosa County's delegates to the January 1861 Alabama secession convention in Montgomery voted against secession. Nevertheless, the South, including Alabama, seceded.

The Civil War is a fact of history and one of the most researched events of all time. The exact number of casualties will never be known, but between 600,000 and 700,000 soldiers died, with the fatalities approximately equal for Union and Confederate men. Once war was declared, Confederate and Union soldiers alike served gallantly and with honor, each for a cause they held dear. Both sides thought God and right were on their side.

I am a proud alumnus of the University of Alabama (bachelor of science, 1961; doctor of medicine, 1965) and a retired Tuscaloosa physician. After retiring from a long and rewarding medical career, I re-enrolled in the university and have had the thrill of completing 51 semester hours in the Department of History. …

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