Fuck Yeah Ohio is all about awesomeness and badassery. We’re all about “FUCK YEAH!” even though, sometimes, an “it’s complicated” would be in order. Remember when we talked about Prescott Bush?
Ulysses S. Grant is also one of those complicated folks, so let’s take a break from our normal politics moratorium to talk about one of his failings and his ultimate redemption.
During the Civil War, in an attempt to combat funding the Confederates via the illegal trafficking of cotton, General Grant signed General Order No. 11, which expelled the Jewish community from his military district covering large parts of Tennessee, Mississippi, and Kentucky. This order is widely regarded as the single most anti-semitic official order ever made by the US Government.
Since Fuck Yeah Ohio is all about “FUCK YEAH!”, and has no patience for bigotry of any kind, why does Grant get an entry in the Ohio Badass Hall of Fame? Doesn’t this blatantly anti-semitic, hateful, order disqualify him from ever being mentioned?
No, and here’s why: He changed. He apologized and worked very hard to redeem himself in the eyes of the Jewish community.
Prompted by President Lincoln, Grant quickly revoked General Order No. 11. He would later say “I have no prejudice against sect or race, but want each individual to be judged by his own merit. Order No. 11 does not sustain this statement, I admit, but then I do not sustain that order.”
He would go on to win the majority of the Jewish vote and, once elected to the presidency, he appointed more members of the Jewish faith to public office than all previous presidents combined. He also spoke out for Jewish rights multiple times, intervening on their behalf in Russia and Romania, and became the first American President to attend a synagogue service. His death was mourned in the Jewish community and his funeral attended by a rabbi.
Ulysses S. Grant proved that he was capable of changing for the better and we should celebrate that fact, especially in an election year, when our friends and family may disappoint us. Maybe they’re capable of change too. Perhaps, in the future, they’ll become advocates for the things and people they now oppose.
- Gen. Grant’s Uncivil War Against The Jews - The Jewish Week
- A reappraisal of Ulysses S. Grant - Jewish Herald Voice
- General Grant’s Infamy - Jewish Virtual Library
- Ulysses S. Grant and the Palestinian Envoy - Jewish American History Foundation
- fuckyeahohio posted this