Charles McMicken and the Redskins

By: Tom Hagedorn

The Communist Manifesto concludes with the following words: “Communists openly declare that their ends can be attained ONLY by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions.” An important step in that process is to destroy the heroes that unify us. That was certainly on display during the BLM riots of 2020, when statue after statue was pulled down and removed.

But this is simply the endgame of a long process that has been in motion for a century. Over 50 years ago I sat in an American history class at the University of Cincinnati where the professor, a card-carrying member of the ACLU, methodically attacked the character of our nation’s founders. Now, fast forward to today, and that same university is removing all traces of Charles McMicken, the philanthropist who made the generous donation that allowed the institution to open its doors in the 19th century. Although his life is filled with laudable things that he did for others, including freeing his slaves and helping freed slaves, he has been charged with the unforgivable sins of profiting from slavery and fathering children with one of them. Apparently, “love is love” has some exceptions. He’s not alone. George Washington University is considering removing our first president’s name from its campus, also for owning slaves.

But similar things are being done to other unifying symbols within our community. The “Redskins” were removed as the mascot for Anderson High School in Cincinnati. While the reference to skin color may have been a bit much, any other reference to Native Americans would have likely also raised the ire of these new Puritans. People loved the Redskin and revered him as a brave warrior and someone to emulate, not as a source of derision. But the new morality police threw a tantrum until he was thrown down a “1984”-like memory hole.