As America continues to reckon with its legacy of racial injustice in the aftermath of George Floyd's brutal killing by police in Minneapolis, I've lately reflected on how I was taught about this legacy in our public school system. In retrospect, it seems that at both the elementary and middle-school levels, my history lessons on events such as the Civil War and its aftermath were troublingly one-sided. For example, on several occasions, we had volunteers from the Mosby Heritage Area Association, or MHAA, come present in our classes. There they would recount, almost gleefully it seemed, the history of Mosby's Rangers in Loudoun County. The memory of these marauding terrorists should no longer be celebrated in our public schools, or anywhere else for that matter.
The MHAA should also consider renaming itself. The "heritage" of John Singleton Mosby, including his men's 1864 murder of outspoken abolitionist John D. Read, is certainly not one of which to be proud. Ultimately, Mosby and his associates were nothing more than Confederate guerrillas intent on upholding America's peculiarly barbaric system of slavery.