Yet another of our valley institutions, Lord Fairfax Community College, is the latest victim of “cancel culture.” Per the LFCC president, “I've said many times that his name is just not good enough for us … we are much better than what [his] name would show."

LFCC is named for Thomas, the sixth Lord Fairfax. The name was chosen in 1969 by the college's original board in recognition of the region's roots in Colonial American history. It also added consistency, as the regional planning body had adopted the name “Lord Fairfax Planning District Commission.”

So, who was the sixth Lord Fairfax? And why should a public college bear his name?

In 1748, George Washington was 16 years old. His two older brothers (Lawrence and Augustine) had been sent to England for their formal education. But after the death of their father, there was no money for George to be schooled abroad. George would have to depend solely on the tutoring and guidance of others.

The two individuals who stepped up to educate young George were his brother Lawrence – and Lord Thomas Fairfax, for whom LFCC was named. And that wasn’t all: Lord Fairfax remained young George Washington’s sponsor and friend, as the young future president surveyed much of the previously uncharted territory right here in the valley.

For this, Lord Thomas Fairfax should be honored for helping to raise and educate the man we call the Father of our Country (and whose honor, I fear, may be next on the “progressive” chopping block). But Lord Fairfax was a slaveholder. So, today’s virtue-signaling diletantes must “cancel” him because he is no longer “relevant.” I guess that under this new regime, it is no longer the duty of our educators to connect students with our past (both the good and the bad) so that they will have a firm foundation on which to build our nation’s future.

Previous efforts to expunge and deny an existing national culture – such as Marxist-Leninism, Chairman Mao’s Cultural Revolution, ISIS, and now the ascension of “woke” cancel culture in America – have woeful traits in common. All of these movements amounted to bullying, offering no respect to the history or culture they attempted to erase and replace. But perhaps most significantly, they all repudiated the basic human qualities of understanding, forgiveness, and redemption – the qualities of basic generosity that are required for a civilized society to thrive and endure.

A question: Have you ever owned or driven a vehicle powered by an internal-combustion engine? Ever had a swimming pool, or taken a 10-minute shower? You say you didn’t recycle, until it became cool? Well then, whatever you may achieve in life, your name will never be recognized or honored – because in the eyes of today’s cancel culture you are a “climate criminal.”

In other words, you’re next!

Please, help end this madness.

James R. Poplar III, of Quicksburg, proudly served with the U.S. government for over 40 years. He specialized in national security affairs at both Vanderbilt and the National Defense University.