Sunday, July 26, 2020

Now They're Coming After. . . Walt Whitman

I've written a few times over the past couple of decades about Camden, New Jersey, a once-great city with a fascinating history that is now, and finally, ascendant.
One icon of Camden is the great poet, Walt Whitman. His final home is well preserved and generally accessible in downtown Camden - 330 Mickle Boulevard, to be exact. I've driven by it hundreds of times. He's buried in the local cemetery. He was supportive of Abraham Lincoln, the Union, and traveled to Washington, DC during the Civil War to tend to wounded Union soldiers. Most recently, he's better known as the author of "Leaves of Grass," the book of poetry that a certain President gave to a rather famous intern around 1998 or so. You know the thing.
It doesn't mean he was perfect, especially by today's standards. You know, "presentism," the devious practice of applying modern "standards" to historical figures. I won't be around, fortunately, to see how a few generations or so deal with people of today's times. I can only imagine.
Whitman has been an element of pride for Camden for decades. But here comes along a few malcontents, brainwashed 'critical theory' adherents at Rutgers-Camden University, who now want to remove a statue of the great poet, the bard of Camden.
What stupid asshats. My temptation is to ask, "then what?" When Whitman's legacy, memory, and work are eradicated from Camden, then who or what is next?
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