While a significant portion of the nation contemplates the merit, or a lack thereof, of flying the Confederate flag, lawmakers in Tennessee are debating whether or not they should rename Nathan Bedford Forest State Park.
One lawmaker in particular, state Senator John Stevens (R), will require more convincing than others, however, because renaming a park that owes its namesake to the first Grand Wizard of the Klan is a slippery slope to becoming ISIS.
No shit, he actually used those exact words.
"Here's the thing, I'm not for it or against it," Stevens said. "If people want to change the name of the park, change the name of the park. I'm certainly not going to defend Gen. Forrest. I just think it's a slippery slope when you start changing names and taking down statues.
"What separates us from ISIS?" Stevens asked. "Because that's what they do, they go around and tear down history in those nations that they've conquered. If that's what America is about now, then it concerns me."
I would be concerned if someone proposed that we go around and tear down what few remnants remain of Native American civilization. That is the only conceivable scenario that would be comparable to ISIS destroying the ancient landmarks and artifacts of world heritage.
The Confederate flag, monuments to confederate generals, odes to slavery, and parks dedicated to Grand Wizards do not rise to that level nor will they ever.
The semantics of time-scales and ancient moral ambiguity aside, there's a whole lot more to "becoming ISIS" than destroying or defacing landmarks. There's also the organized sexual violence, sex slavery, mass beheading and executions, and religious persecution.
If you asked me, I'd say if you hold the Confederacy or the Klan so close to your heart, you're a lot closer to ISIS than anyone else is.