Commending Robert E. Lee?

Sorry for the lateness of this post, but I didn't want to let the whole Lee commendation by the Hillsborough County Commission get by without reprinting the eloquent statement made to them by attorney Clinton Paris:

Good morning.

I think I've met most of the county commissioners, and some of you may not recognize me because I've grown a beard since I opened my own law firm, but I came down this morning to celebrate with Mr. Hammond his commendation that was given to him by Commissioner Kevin White, but before we got to that, this County Commission did something that I find completely appalling, its recognition of Robert E. Lee on a day like today when you're recognizing Jim Hammond. It is absolutely appalling that this County Commission repeatedly talks about its progress, its ability to be inclusive, and to move Hillsborough County forward as a representative body for this country, and we stop and we recognize someone who, frankly, committed treason, somebody who would ensure that I wouldn't have an opportunity like this to stand before you, and absolutely Kevin White and Ms. Lee wouldn't be serving this commission as they are.

I'm just shocked that my government, especially after I just received my recent increase in taxes, would stop and recognize somebody of — of his character. We can celebrate his military genius and all the things he did on the battlefield, but just let's call it like it is. When called to serve the United States, he declined, period, end of point, and he committed treason, and if he was successful, Florida would not be what it is today, and I think it's appalling that this commission collectively stopped to recognize him across someone like Jim Hammond, who, for decades, has fought tirelessly to serve this community as an entrepreneur, as a social servant, and has had a school named for him.

I think you all should be flat-out embarrassed for what you did.

Thank you.

Two questions: Did Lee commit treason by his actions? And since anyone and his uncle can get a government resolution, is this whole issue much ado about a slow news cycle?

NOON UPDATE: One more question occurred to me — If Robert E. Lee had been gay, would giving him a commendation violated Hillsborough County's Ronda Storms Rule?

Scroll to read more News Feature articles
Join the Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.

Newsletters

Join Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Creative Loafing Tampa Bay. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Creative Loafing Tampa Bay, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected]