Perfect timing for WGN’s Underground; Renaming buildings is “erasing” history?; Who was Logan & what was his act?; Another Watergate or a “witch hunt?”

The debate over Trump’s immigrant policies, as well as the fact that many cities, universities, and churches have announced they will become a “sanctuary,”  has led to a lot of comparisons to the 1850 Fugitive Slave Law and local resistance to it. For instance, the piece by Eric Foner, and this one in the Huffington Post by Barbara Krauthamer. It is a legit and instructive comparison, and it illustrates that the timing for the second season of WGN’s Underground couldn’t be more perfect (it premieres March 8). As I have indicated before, I am a little concerned about how the promotions look like an action packed superhero story, but if they do a great job of dramatizing the efforts of both black and white Americans to circumvent the oppressive federal law that was the Fugitive Slave Act, the show will be seen as extremely relevant to current events. Also with perfect timing, they have just released their last and fullest trailer:

Yale’s removal  of John C. Calhoun’s name from one of their buildings has stirred up the whole debate again about these sorts of efforts, and over on National Review they have an opinion piece decrying this “erasing” of history. Similar diatribes are all over the internet today. Look, I don’t know if this was the right thing to do or not, but I am so sick of this argument that it is an erasure of history. This writer is arguing that if we take Calhoun’s name down, we hide the fact that we used to have slavery and that we have progressed away from it. Huh? Just because we remove a name (that most people walk by everyday without even thinking about), it somehow means that we suddenly forget and stop teaching that America was a slave owning nation, or that slaveholders used to be leaders? Come on. Further, this is Yale’s decision, not ours. And it is the decision of every institution,  local community, and state to decide what they want to honor or not to honor. You’d think a publication like National Review would be more sympathetic to local rights.

Yesterday was Valentine’s Day, but did you catch Heather Cox Richardson’s excellent post on We’re History, detailing a horrific February 14th in the life of Theodore Roosevelt? (It was actually posted last year)  I’ve always told this story in my classes (in fact I just did so today), because it is the perfect example of how personal tragedies and events can have a major impact on leadership, and by extension, a nation.

So an obscure law called the Logan Act has obviously been in the news lately. But who was Logan, what did he do, and why did it lead to a law that had created another controversy for Comrade Trump?

One more word on the Russian scandal and the Putin Puppet: the similarities and comparisons to Watergate are quickly becoming more credible, which is being pointed out by people like Clinton’s campaign manager,  editorialists in the New York Times, and most interestingly, venerated journalists like Dan Rather. But then people like the nutcase Sean Hannity and other Trump loyalists, insist that it is all a liberal witch hunt, or a fake narrative invented by CNN. When you hear blowhards like this make such statements, just keep in mind that Nixon’s supporters first insisted much the same, arguing it was a fake narrative invented by the Washington Post. Just sayin’ (Come on DeepThroat II, where are you?)

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