*(What is “political correctness”? ? Where did it come from? ? Why is it dangerous? ? ?This 28 minute video explains it:
On September 4, 1804, Somers Point native Richard Somers and the crew of his ship Intrepid were killed in Tripoli during America?s first war against Islamic terror.
This?Saturday, September 13, at 1pm, the City of Somers Point, the Somers Point Historical Society and Liberty and Prosperity will hold a brief ceremony to remember them. ?As in past years, I and other local speakers will tell a small part of their remarkable story, together with military journalist/scholar Chipp Reid of Annapolis.
At one time, most Americans knew that story, and were proud of it.?? It was taught in our public schools and colleges.?? It was celebrated in popular novels, plays and songs.
Today that story is banished from our nation?s culture.??? Every part of it offends the elites who now dominate our schools and popular culture.
Richard Somers, like most American commanders was 23 years old when his warship sailed across the Atlantic in 1801.? ?Before there were teacher?s unions and a Federal Department of Education, ?most Americans mastered reading, writing, math and science skills by age 16, and learned a skill or profession to earn a living by age 18.?? Most Americans were comfortable and established in a career or business by their mid-20?s.
Before joining the navy at age 20, Somers was fully prepared and experienced in taking charge of sailing ships.? Back then, many people Mays Landing, ?Scullville, and Somers Point built, equipped, supplied, and sailed ships until they saved enough to buy a share in one.??? Then they ?stuffed those ships with cheap American lumber, salt fish, grain, bog iron, and tobacco and sold them for big profits in Europe.?? Then they filled their empty ships with goods from Europe for sale back home in America.? There was opportunity for everyone.?? Nobody needed any permit from the government and taxes were almost non-existent.
These Americans did not conquer, exploit, or enslave anyone to get rich.? America ?had no army or navy and was the most peaceful nation on earth.? It didn?t work.?? During our first ?15 years of independence, Americans were attacked, robbed, captured, and enslaved first in the Mediterranean– and later in the Caribbean Sea.? One tenth of federal taxes was needed for ransom or tribute to free captured Americans.?? Finally, Americans had enough and said ?Millions for defense.? Not one cent for tribute!? We built our first navy in 1798.?? Richard Somers was one of the first to join.
In 1801, Thomas Jefferson sent that navy to fight a ?War on Terror? very similar to what we have today.??? Old monuments like the one by the New York Avenue School in Somers Point, and old folk songs like ?Golden Vanity? tell of the ?Turkish? enemy.? The small kingdoms of ?Barbary Pirates? in North Africa did not act alone.??? They were a vital part of a massive Muslim ?Caliphate? led by Turkey, that ran from what is now Iraq to the shores of the Atlantic, and also included much of Eastern Europe.?? This Caliphate was at war with most of Christian Europe for ?roughly 300 years?until young Americans like Richard Somers changed history.
These ?Barbary Pirates? did not merely attack and capture random ships that stumbled into their neighborhood.?? Carefully researched and documented books like ?The Stolen Village? and ?Christian Slaves Muslim Masters? show that Muslim sea-fighters from North Africa systematically raided Christian ships and coastal villages as far away as Iceland. ?More than a million Europeans were captured and sold into slavery in North Africa?until Americans like Richard Somers stopped them.
Today, Americans are embarrassed by the fact that Americans were enslaving blacks in this country, while we fought to free Christian European slaves in North Africa.? But many Americans back then also embarrassed.?? It is no coincidence that efforts to abolish slavery in this country grew and intensified when veterans who witnessed the horrors of slavery overseas returned home.
It is important to come to Somers Point and learn the remarkable story of Richard Somers the ceremony held each September.?? It is even more important to end the censorship of ?political correctness? so that this story can again be taught in our schools and again be part of our popular culture.
Seth Grossman, Executive Director