Letter: Mike Panchura, Sterling

Editor: Thomas Lee, for whom Leesburg is named, owned slaves. John Campbell, the 4th Earl of Loudoun, for whom Loudoun County is named, most probably owned slaves.

Given that Thomas Lee (1690-1750) and the 4th Earl of Loudoun (1705-1782) were slaveowners, has the time come to re-name or destroy everything that is currently named after both of these guys so as not to offend anyone?

Is it time to re-name the town Leesburg? Is it time to re-name or destroy Leesburg Pike? Is it time to re-name the Leesburg Diner? Is it time to re-name Leesburg Hobbies & Collectible? Is it time to re-name Loudoun County? Is it time to re-name the newspapers Loudoun Times-Mirror and Loudoun Now?  Is it time to-re-name the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce? Is it time to re-name the Loudoun Symphony Orchestra? Is it time to re-name or destroy the Loudoun County Parkway?

Is it time to re-name or destroy all of these entities even though doing so would cause chaos and confusion and would cost millions of tax dollars and millions of private dollars?

Of course, the time has not come to do that. Re-naming or destroying everything that is currently named after Thomas Lee and the Fourth Earl of Loudoun would be stupid. Just as stupid as destroying the statues, and re-naming the schools, that are associated with our country’s historical figures.

Mike Panchura, Sterling

3 thoughts on “Letter: Mike Panchura, Sterling

  • 2020-06-23 at 3:51 pm

    Don’t forget that Arlington County and Fairfax County were named after English noblemen who owned slaves as well. If you start looking you will find that a huge percentage of 400 year-old names would have to go if you carry this path to the “logical” conclusion.

    You can’t learn from history by erasing it. Our task is to create a “more perfect union” and that must be built by understanding our collective failures and improving on them. If not, we will accelerate the pace toward what is rapidly becoming Animal Farm.

    Peace and reconciliation are not easy but it isn’t going to be found in on the paths of Stalin and Pol Pot. Demonizing those you disagree with certainly isn’t going help. And yet many seem eager to tread that path.

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