Any decision to change the name of the Loudoun County High School mascot -- Raiders -- because it referenced Mosby’s Rangers is misguided. The moniker is not racist or a symbol of white supremacy. No one on the board consulted officials at the Mosby Area Heritage Association to learn about the entire life of Mosby nor of his many followers. For example, the board remains ignorant of Mosby’s work after the war. He became a friend of President Grant and served as consul general in Hong Kong where he ferreted out corruption. Mosby’s men assumed prominent roles in the community. As a sign of reconciliation, one ranger (Fuhr) provided land in Aldie to Massachusetts cavalry veterans to commemorate the men who died in that battle. The Union monument remains on Snickervillle Pike.
The rush to destroy monuments and otherwise minimize the sacrifices of men who died fighting for Virginia -- most did not own slaves but stayed loyal to their state -- is outrageous. These symbols should serve as teaching tools and discussion points. We have enough ignorant students and adults. Why not consult experts and use the tools in the classrooms?
If we look at other historic figures like Oliver O. Howard, who led the Freedman’s Bureau after the war, we may have to change the name of Howard University. Howard, as an officer in the Army after the war, forcibly removed Native Americans from their homeland in Oregon even after meeting with Chief Joseph. I am not suggesting that Howard University change its name. I suggest that people today look at history through the eyes of people who lived at the particular time and focus on context. Look at the totality of a person’s life, and quit abusing history.