The shocking video of a Black man being murdered on the streets of Minneapolis by a white police officer caused a historic cry across the globe against racism and white supremacy. In a place as far away as New Zealand, people of African descent along with adjacent supporters together marched in solidarity for the end of racial discrimination and the policies that encourage law enforcement and other institutions to propagate the myth that one race of people should dominate others. That Black man was George Floyd, murdered on May 25, 2020. It was his death caught on camera that supposedly exposed the nasty, festering, pulsating, pus-like infection of racism.

It was the summer of 2020, four years ago, that Wall Street and Main Street across the country ripped their proverbial shirts in shame and pledged that it would do whatever it takes to end the racism in America. Confederate flags that had flown over public institutions in the South were removed. The fight to take down Confederate statutes and monuments dedicated to those who assisted in the treacherous act of secession resulted in these being taken down in some places. Schools that bore the name of Confederate generals and allies were replaced with names more in step with racial harmony.

We saw the end of Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben, and that handsome, smiling Black man that had graced the Cream of Wheat brand for close to a century. Companies boasted how they would make diversity, equity, and inclusion their prime focus and do more to pepper their lilywhite boardrooms with talented and qualified Black executives. Anna Wintour, global editor of Conte Nast publications, even publicly apologized for her apparent discrimination against Black writers and editorial staff and vowed that all the magazines she oversaw, such as the American and European versions of Vogue, would undergo changes of inclusivity.

Now as we head into the six-month mark of 2024, DEI programs across the country have been shuttered by legislation. Here in Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis gutted DEI from state universities and colleges and re-coined the Black phrase “woke” to fit his political agenda of anti-Blackness through the “Stop WOKE” Act or the Individual Freedom Act, which the 11TH U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found as “unconstitutional” because it “exceeds the bounds of the First Amendment.“

DeSantis has also used his authority to instigate book banning, the restriction of women’s reproductive health rights, wanton discrimination against the Trans community, and a white or Euro-American revisionist scope of American history. His symbolic white robe and torch bearing leadership in Florida has emboldened Republican elected officials across the South to take similar stances and measures.

Monday the University of North Carolina became yet another public institution to trample on its DEI programs but with a more sinister twist. The funds that were allocated for DEI in a sum of around $4 million dollars will now be appropriated for campus law enforcement. Such is the case in Woodstock, Virginia where last week the Shenandoah County school board decided in a 5-1 vote to overturn a previous decision made in 2020 to remove the names of Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee from two of its schools. There is no need to get into the history of who these two Confederate generals were because the facts are ever present and clear. But this is just one example of the tide that is continuously shifting towards the strong resurgence of thought that the ideology and principles of the fallacy of white supremacy of Euro-Americans is threatening to take over the country.

Proponents of the Shenandoah County school board say that they want to honor the “legacy” and “traditions” of the South and that venerating the Confederacy and its fallen treacherous soldiers is part of honoring an “illustrious” past. The pushback that occurred in 2020 surrounding the elimination and removal of monuments, school names and statues that celebrate the Confederacy centers around the erroneous thought planted in the late 19th and early 20th centuries that the South’s choice to secede from the Union was a matter of state autonomy and rights. A generalized cookie cutter answer.

When pressed as to what the South believed its autonomy and rights to be, the answer becomes vague. Each state of the United States does operate in a sense individuality and with autonomy. However, individual states make up the totality of the whole of America. Autonomy and state rights were exercised in the preCivil War era. Yet the facts bear out that the South wanted the wholesale institution of the bondage of Human beings to be unrestricted. The South wanted to continue to profit and reap the benefits of enslaved Human bodies in perpetuity.

If anyone in 2024 challenge the perception of the matter of slavery in America by merely relegating the South’s treasonous action of secession from the United States by promoting the white-washed theory of “states rights,” the reference is just a muddied white robe covering the truth. States wanted the right to control and monetize Black bodies. So, when the Shenandoah County school board reinstated the Confederate names of Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee to their schools, what the overwhelming majority white members of the board did was sanction and placed a stamp of approval on the kidnapping and enslavement of Africans from West Africa to the Americas, and the future enslavement of millions of African descent. It also nodded in approval to the inhumane treatment of, domestic terrorist attacks on, and racist discriminatory acts perpetuated on Blacks in subsequent years, including the Black population in Virginia. Some heritages and legacies should not ever be venerated or uplifted. The defeated Confederacy is one of them.