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> Confederate Memorials, Should they be removed?
entspeak
post Oct 11 2017, 07:53 PM
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There have been two white supremacist rallies in Charlottesville recently and the past few months have been filled with discussions about the removal of memorials honoring Confederate military and government figures.

Should memorials erected to honor the acts and individuals who fought for the Confederacy be taken down (and, possibly, moved to places like museums?)

Why/Why not?
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Mrs. Pigpen
post Oct 12 2017, 11:04 AM
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Should memorials erected to honor the acts and individuals who fought for the Confederacy be taken down (and, possibly, moved to places like museums?)

Why/Why not?


I'm not a fan.
I read a writeup pretty recently from a retired diplomatic attache's blog.
He mentioned living in Spain during the tumult following the death in 1975 of Francisco Franco.
I'll post an excerpt:
QUOTE
One of the things that struck me during those unsettled early years of the transition from dictatorship to democracy was the Spanish passion for tearing down statues and renaming the hundreds of streets and plazas that bore the name of Franco or of some other now politically incorrect former dignitary. As an American, I found it curious and hypocritical (more below).

I remember, in particular, a small monument across the street from my aunt's home in San Sebastian, on the Avenida de Colon, in the now posh Gros neighborhood. Erected, I think, in the 1940's, it recalled the September 13, 1939 liberation/occupation (you decide) of San Sebastian by Franco's forces under General Mola; it stood in a small square, more of a triangular space really, near the Santa Catalina bridge that spans the Urumea river. If memory serves, it was a small, rectangular plinth with some kind of bronze laurels or swords on top and a greenish plaque that read along the lines of, "In commemoration of when the Marxist chains that held down San Sebastian were broken." Every September 13, the local Movimiento types would hold a short ceremony in front of the monument; they would lay a wreath, sing the national anthem, and maybe some other nationalist ditty. With the death of El Caudillo, this monument became an issue of contention, along with the names of various streets which had been de-Basqued during the long Franco regime. It must have been in 1976 or so, can't remember exactly, when somebody took a sledgehammer to the little monument, and ripped off the swords or laurels and the plaque and threw it all in the river. The Movimiento sorts, still around and fighting a losing battle to preserve Franco's legacy, rushed out, put up a new temporary wooden plaque and laid a wreath in front of the battered plinth. The new plaque and wreath, in short order, were floating down the Urumea to the sea. The Franquistas came back, put up another temporary plaque, and this time stood guard for a couple of days. As soon as their vigilance came to an end, well, you guessed it, more debris in the river, and another couple of whacks at the plinth. This went on for some time. As far as I know, the little monument is now gone and most youngsters in San Sebastian probably don't know it ever existed. I also doubt they know what September 13 was about.

All this, at the time, struck me as odd. I understood, of course, that Franco had not been everybody's cup of tea, to say the least. His regime initially had been exceptionally brutal--so brutal, in fact, that in the 1940s, the German Nazis, yes, those Nazis, the real ones, not the ones with Tiki torches, urged Franco to ease off on the executions as he was on the verge of wiping out the skilled working class. As the years went on, however, the regime settled down to a drab almost comical routine of pomp, empty pronouncements and corruption, but one that also brought unprecedented stability and prosperity to Spain
*snip*
Spaniards could travel abroad freely, open businesses, own property, worship, and complain about all sorts of things. It wasn't exactly Athenian or Jeffersonian democracy, but not exactly the USSR or the DPRK, either. Watching a Franco statue being removed in Madrid, I remember asking a somewhat left-leaning Spanish friend of mine what he thought this would accomplish. He said, "We want no trace of that odious dictatorship." I asked him if he thought all the dams, highways, bridges, airports, housing blocs, etc., built under Franco should also be removed in the interest of erasing the dictatorship. What about all the stuff built by Spain's long-line of autocratic monarchs? He smiled sheepishly and invited me to a drink and some tapas. Conversation over.

I used to bore my Spanish friends with how in the US we didn't go around tearing down statues or trying to erase history, and that it seemed we had greater respect for history than they did. I remember, quite specifically, citing the streets named for and the statues to Confederate generals, and the Confederate-inspired state flags in the South, as a sign of our greater enlightenment. I also pointed out that the US military names weapon systems after formidable Native American opponents. I guess, if my Spaniard interlocutors remember those long-ago conversations, they are probably having themselves a laugh at my expense. Go ahead, I deserve it.


The Confederate statues date back to the 1800s. We're a very new nation, relatively speaking. We don't have a lot of historical memorabilia from that far back.
Visiting the site where an original structure/monument was placed offers a different "feel" than seeing it in a museum.
You picture the people who lived there long ago. There's a sort of solemnity to it.
Italy is replete with things like that, and I believe it offers a good example for comparison.
I think there is value to keeping a historical landmark in its original position, and removal would take some of that value away.

I'm not the only one, this is a largely accepted viewpoint which is the reason the National Register of Historic Places keeps an official list of cultural resources worthy of preservation.
For example, the 1884 statue of Robert E Lee was on that list.
From the website:
The National Register is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect historic and archeological resources. Properties listed in the National Register include districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects that are significant in American history, architecture, archeology, engineering, and culture.
National Register properties are distinguished by having been evaluated according to uniform standards. These criteria recognize the accomplishments of all people who have contributed to the history and heritage of the United States and are designed to help state and local governments, federal agencies, and others identify important historic and archeological properties worthy of preservation and of consideration in planning and development decisions.


Since these statues/monuments have been established to have historical value, there should be a very compelling reason for their removal that would supersede their documented importance.
I don't see any new very compelling reasons.
Their removal at this point in time seems either very arbitrary, or entirely politically motivated.

This post has been edited by Mrs. Pigpen: Oct 12 2017, 12:45 PM
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Trouble
post Oct 12 2017, 08:08 PM
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QUOTE(entspeak @ Oct 11 2017, 01:53 PM) *
There have been two white supremacist rallies in Charlottesville recently and the past few months have been filled with discussions about the removal of memorials honoring Confederate military and government figures.

Should memorials erected to honor the acts and individuals who fought for the Confederacy be taken down (and, possibly, moved to places like museums?)

Why/Why not?


Not without a rigorous discussion first. The destruction and or removals had a two year head start. According to Wikipedia, the removal of various historical monuments has been going on since at least the Charleston Church shooting. Regardless of ones' position a counter view was certain to occur and to the best of my knowledge there has been no debate. Was it reasonable to begin a two year campaign of removing statues and not expect some form of resistance? In Baltimore the statues were removed for public safety concerns. Yes that is right, council people were afraid of rioting. Rioting which over time lead to the Antifa group being labeled by Homeland Security as a terrorist group because of the their aggressive tactics which prevent debate.

So how do you debate the issue when you cannot debate the issue?

Obviously for those who did not share Antifa's views committees had to form and get out ahead of the problem by introducing legislation like the Tennessee Heritage Protection Act and the Alabama Memorial Preservation Act.

I accept Mrs.P's arguement of intrinsic value to time and place for any given memorial. I have a similar view. How many real life instances can we find where people discussed this the merits of any given memorial as opposed to name calling?
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entspeak
post Oct 13 2017, 03:12 AM
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QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Oct 12 2017, 06:04 AM) *
The Confederate statues date back to the 1800s. We're a very new nation, relatively speaking. We don't have a lot of historical memorabilia from that far back.

Most of the statues were erected in the 20th century... and as your blogger points out in a section you chose not to quote:

QUOTE
I know the story of some of those statues and Confederate-inspired state flags. A lot of them appeared well after the 1861-1865 Civil War, and many were acts of rebellion by Democrats against growing demands for racial equality and against--horrors!--the Republican Party and its support for those demands.

Most were erected as Jim Crow laws were put in place and as a middle finger to the growing civil rights movement - they have nothing to do with celebrating anything other than white supremacy.

QUOTE
Visiting the site where an original structure/monument was placed offers a different "feel" than seeing it in a museum.
You picture the people who lived there long ago. There's a sort of solemnity to it.

These are not solemn monuments documenting a shameful period in our history that we need to acknowledge. These are monuments honoring the individuals - traitors, who fought against and killed US citizens in order to protect a perceived right to own slaves because they believed their government should be this:

QUOTE
Our new government is founded upon exactly [this] idea; its foundations are laid, its corner-stone rests upon the great truth, that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery -- subordination to the superior race -- is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.

- Confederate Vice President Andrew Stephens


This is what the individuals memorialized in these statues believed in and fought for... it is why the statues were erected... to celebrate their efforts and to intimidate those who have sought to establish racial equality in this country. These are not solemn monuments, they are the equivalent of swastikas on synagogues.

QUOTE
I think there is value to keeping a historical landmark in its original position, and removal would take some of that value away.

What value is there in keeping a statue erected decades after the Civil War as a means of rebellion against progress in racial equality? What is the value in keeping those middle fingers to progress up?

QUOTE
Since these statues/monuments have been established to have historical value.

Just because a statue is of a historical figure doesn't mean it has historical value.

QUOTE
Their removal at this point in time seems either very arbitrary, or entirely politically motivated.

Some feel that keeping these statues simply keeps - as Robert E. Lee, himself put it - "open the sores" of a war fought primarily to keep a section of US citizens enslaved. The timing is irrelevant.

Edited to add:

I am not saying that these statues should be destroyed or vandalized - which is what your blogger was talking about. But, I also don't see removing them from their current places as center points in the public square as erasing history - the only heritage it might diminish is that of white supremacy (which is why many of them were built in the first place). Keeping them where they are provides no context for what they should be... statues of white supremacist traitors who fought to enslave people of color. A museum could provide that context and they will then have a better educational and historical value... as the statues of white supremacist traitors who fought to enslave people of color.

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Mrs. Pigpen
post Oct 13 2017, 12:24 PM
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QUOTE(entspeak @ Oct 12 2017, 10:12 PM) *
Most of the statues were erected in the 20th century... and as your blogger points out in a section you chose not to quote:


I thought it was a courtesy not to quote the anti-Democratic party portions of his post.
If you read it, it's a pretty biased piece overall and I didn't want that to detract from the pertinent portions.
But okay, yes, I agree the Democrats erected those statues originally and not for the cleanest reasons.
I also agree with his overall point that this isn't really about statues.
I'll provide a link now, so others can also peruse it in its entirety

QUOTE
Some feel that keeping these statues simply keeps - as Robert E. Lee, himself put it - "open the sores" of a war fought primarily to keep a section of US citizens enslaved. The timing is irrelevant.

Timing matters.
For context, let's give an example of prudent timing.
The Confederate flag was removed from the state house grounds in South Carolina after the Dylann Roof murders.
The timing obviously mattered, and it was appropriate.

Currently we have people demanding to tear down statues immediately, all over the country, that have been up (for the most part) over a century.
This fact didn't seem to bother them as recently as 12 months ago, but now it's very very important to bring those statues down.

And (most importantly in my estimation) they're making their demands as a mob.
So I am unpersuaded.
I might be more persuaded in a few years.
If a few years down the line the same folks are just as adamant they want the statues removed for the same reasons, I will be persuaded they are sincere and not just using contrived outrage as a bludgeon to undermine leadership they do not approve of.

This post has been edited by Mrs. Pigpen: Oct 13 2017, 12:29 PM
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entspeak
post Oct 13 2017, 04:01 PM
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QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Oct 13 2017, 07:24 AM) *
QUOTE(entspeak @ Oct 12 2017, 10:12 PM) *
Most of the statues were erected in the 20th century... and as your blogger points out in a section you chose not to quote:


I thought it was a courtesy not to quote the anti-Democratic party portions of his post.
If you read it, it's a pretty biased piece overall and I didn't want that to detract from the pertinent portions.
But okay, yes, I agree the Democrats erected those statues originally and not for the cleanest reasons.
I also agree with his overall point that this isn't really about statues.
I'll provide a link now, so others can also peruse it in its entirety


His partisan dig aside, it's the most important point - these monuments serve no historical purpose; they were put up to intimidate and, as Robert E. Lee warned against, "keep open the sores of war" - a treasonous war fought by the Confederates because they felt whites were the supreme race. They are continued acts of rebellion to racial equality.

QUOTE
QUOTE
Some feel that keeping these statues simply keeps - as Robert E. Lee, himself put it - "open the sores" of a war fought primarily to keep a section of US citizens enslaved. The timing is irrelevant.

Timing matters.
For context, let's give an example of prudent timing.
The Confederate flag was removed from the state house grounds in South Carolina after the Dylann Roof murders.
The timing obviously mattered, and it was appropriate.

Currently we have people demanding to tear down statues immediately, all over the country, that have been up (for the most part) over a century.
This fact didn't seem to bother them as recently as 12 months ago, but now it's very very important to bring those statues down.

"For the most part?" Where did you read that? According to a cataloguing effort by the Southern Poverty Law Center in 2016, only roughly 1/5th were put up "over a century ago." A couple handfuls of them were put up in the last decade.

When people wake up to a wrong is irrelevant, what is important is that the wrong be fixed. Nobody is offended when swastikas are removed from synagogues; nobody should be offended if we remove statues and symbols erected as acts of white supremacist intimidation and rebellion.

As for mobs, I am no fan of Antifa. I'm not saying these should be vandalized or torn down. But, it doesn't seem to me to be valid to keep them up just because the current "leadership" wants to cater to a portion of his base who also hold mistaken beliefs about what these statues mean, or delude themselves about protecting "southern heritage" (or use it as a code word for white supremacy), or are out and out racists. The current "leadership" also seems to mistakenly believe that "for the most part" these monuments were built "over a century ago."

Much of this new spark to pull them down is in response to white supremacists feeling validated and trying to come out of the shadows. Now is the perfect time to let them know, through action, that - while they are free to speak - they are not free to act on their white supremacist beliefs and that white supremacy will not be tolerated in this country. And, that is what these confederate memorials symbolize... a belief in white supremacy, and that is why they should be removed from the public square.

That's not a persuasive argument? Why not?

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Mrs. Pigpen
post Oct 13 2017, 06:33 PM
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QUOTE(entspeak @ Oct 13 2017, 11:01 AM) *
"For the most part?" Where did you read that? According to a cataloguing effort by the Southern Poverty Law Center in 2016, only roughly 1/5th were put up "over a century ago." A couple handfuls of them were put up in the last decade.


My concern applies only to monuments and statues that are specifically listed as documented items on the official National Historic list of cultural resources worthy of preservation.
Nothing erected in the past decade should apply.
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entspeak
post Oct 13 2017, 07:33 PM
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QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Oct 13 2017, 01:33 PM) *
QUOTE(entspeak @ Oct 13 2017, 11:01 AM) *
"For the most part?" Where did you read that? According to a cataloguing effort by the Southern Poverty Law Center in 2016, only roughly 1/5th were put up "over a century ago." A couple handfuls of them were put up in the last decade.


My concern applies only to monuments and statues that are specifically listed as documented items on the official National Historic list of cultural resources worthy of preservation.
Nothing erected in the past decade should apply.

It's a list. Does the fact that someone (we don't know who or why) included such monuments on the list change what the statue represents? What about my question regarding the persuasiveness of the argument against keeping them up? Why is a list more persuasive than that? Who put them on the list? Should we not question the worthiness of these monuments to be on this list for the very reasons I mentioned?

Edited to add:

Besides, the National Park Service has stated that a monument's inclusion on the list is not, necessarily, an impediment to a local or state governments choice to remove them... so long as no federal money is attached to the monument, they can remove them if they choose. And, even if there is federal money attached to the monument, the discussion can be had with the Advisory Council on Historic Places regarding its historical value and why it should or shouldn't be kept in place - at which point, my argument in the previous post and my question about worthiness becomes relevant.

List or no, the historical value of these monuments should be questioned - we should not blindly keep them simply because someone put them on a list and said we should. So, perhaps, I don't understand exactly what the concern is here? Do you feel they have historical value? If so, what is it?

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Mrs. Pigpen
post Oct 14 2017, 03:17 PM
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QUOTE(entspeak @ Oct 13 2017, 02:33 PM) *
It's a list. Does the fact that someone (we don't know who or why) included such monuments on the list change what the statue represents? What about my question regarding the persuasiveness of the argument against keeping them up? Why is a list more persuasive than that? Who put them on the list? Should we not question the worthiness of these monuments to be on this list for the very reasons I mentioned?


What does anything on the list represent?
Heck, Lizzie Borden's home is on that list. What does that represent?
Should only historical statues/monuments/landmarks that originated for edifying reasons qualify for preservation?
If so, there's little point in preserving many, if not most of them.
Humans don't have a lot of really edifying history behind them (and much of the edifying tends to be hagiographic).
What did the Roman colosseum represent?
Our founders were traitors who owned slaves. Down with the Jefferson memorial!
FDR incarcerated US citizens of Japanese lineage.

Maybe we shouldn't preserve any of it, just take it all down and house it (or portions) in museums somewhere.
What is the point in any of it?
But if there is a point then once an item is considered to be a protection worthy part of history it shouldn't be taken down for arbitrary political reasons, and I definitely don't see the urgency of this matter.
So, again, in time (a few years down the road) I think the matter might be reconsidered. And over the course of the next few years historians who are in charge of making the decisions on what deserves and doesn't deserve preservation should weigh in on that determination.

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entspeak
post Oct 15 2017, 02:05 AM
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QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Oct 14 2017, 10:17 AM) *
What does anything on the list represent?
Heck, Lizzie Borden's home is on that list. What does that represent?
Should only historical statues/monuments/landmarks that originated for edifying reasons qualify for preservation?
If so, there's little point in preserving many, if not most of them.
Humans don't have a lot of really edifying history behind them (and much of the edifying tends to be hagiographic).
What did the Roman colosseum represent?
Our founders were traitors who owned slaves. Down with the Jefferson memorial!
FDR incarcerated US citizens of Japanese lineage.

Maybe we shouldn't preserve any of it, just take it all down and house it (or portions) in museums somewhere.
What is the point in any of it?
But if there is a point then once an item is considered to be a protection worthy part of history it shouldn't be taken down for arbitrary political reasons, and I definitely don't see the urgency of this matter.
So, again, in time (a few years down the road) I think the matter might be reconsidered. And over the course of the next few years historians who are in charge of making the decisions on what deserves and doesn't deserve preservation should weigh in on that determination.

At what point did removing a statue because it was erected to celebrate the white supremacist acts of the Confederacy, or as an attempt to intimidate, or to put the middle finger up to those who would further the progress of racial equality become an "arbitrary political reason?" How is that "arbitrary?" That seems to be the opposite of arbitrary.

Lizzie Borden's home was not built to intimidate anyone, or stand as an act of rebellion, or to celebrate what Lizzie Borden did as a good thing, was it? And, while a monument or memorial may be a historic place, not every historic place is a monument or memorial.

Was the Jefferson Memorial erected because he was a slave owner and to commemorate that fact? No.

Nobody is without flaw, but we all know that Thomas Jefferson and George Washington - though they did have slaves - do not have monuments celebrating their slave ownership - that's not why those monuments were built. The memorials represent the good they did. The Confederate memorials were not erected to celebrate the good things people like Lee and Stephens did; they were erected to celebrate their involvement in the Confederacy and the Civil War - to celebrate their treason and their white supremacy... labeling those acts as heroic, loyal, and something to be proud of.

I'm not against monuments that represent bad times in our country's history or history that we should be ashamed of... I am against monuments that celebrate and commemorate those things as good, heroic, loyal, and something to be proud of. That's the difference. If Thomas Jefferson had a memorial statute that celebrated his slave ownership, I'd say that had to come down, too.

Do you see the difference? The distinction isn't arbitrary.

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Mrs. Pigpen
post Oct 15 2017, 08:10 PM
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QUOTE(entspeak @ Oct 14 2017, 09:05 PM) *
At what point did removing a statue because it was erected to celebrate the white supremacist acts of the Confederacy, or as an attempt to intimidate, or to put the middle finger up to those who would further the progress of racial equality become an "arbitrary political reason?" How is that "arbitrary?" That seems to be the opposite of arbitrary.


It wouldn't be arbitrary in 1950, but it seems arbitrary in 2017 to me.
How many people today still view things as the people who set them in place originally did?
Very very few I'm sure.
Like most things over time, they've become a part of the culture of the area (in this case "the South").
It doesn't surprise me their removal feels like an assault on their culture to many people.
I'd prefer not to get into a Civil war debate, but I think it's reasonable to believe every situation was unique to the individual.
Everyone had his own reasons to fight.
There were honorable and dishonorable people on both sides. Just like any other war.
People tended to be loyal to their home.
Example: Nazi Germany was a toxic ideology in my estimation, but I still think Rommel was an honorable man.
I think the same of Robert E Lee.

QUOTE
Lizzie Borden's home was not built to intimidate anyone, or stand as an act of rebellion, or to celebrate what Lizzie Borden did as a good thing, was it?
And, while a monument or memorial may be a historic place, not every historic place is a monument or memorial.


True. But if Lizzie Borden's home were built as an act of rebellion that led to a civil war it would probably be worth saving as a historical item too.
More so, in fact, than it is now.

That said (as I mentioned before) that doesn't necessarily mean it has to stand forever. But the removal process should take time (years), include the opinion of historical experts, and not come across as a reaction to the wishes of a politically motivated mob that seems to only have an interest in creating civil disharmony and unrest.
Again, there is no urgency here.

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entspeak
post Oct 16 2017, 12:42 AM
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QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Oct 15 2017, 04:10 PM) *
QUOTE(entspeak @ Oct 14 2017, 09:05 PM) *
At what point did removing a statue because it was erected to celebrate the white supremacist acts of the Confederacy, or as an attempt to intimidate, or to put the middle finger up to those who would further the progress of racial equality become an "arbitrary political reason?" How is that "arbitrary?" That seems to be the opposite of arbitrary.


It wouldn't be arbitrary in 1950, but it seems arbitrary in 2017 to me.
How many people today still view things as the people who set them in place originally did?
Very very few I'm sure.
Like most things over time, they've become a part of the culture of the area (in this case "the South").
It doesn't surprise me their removal feels like an assault on their culture to many people.
I'd prefer not to get into a Civil war debate, but I think it's reasonable to believe every situation was unique to the individual.
Everyone had his own reasons to fight.
There were honorable and dishonorable people on both sides. Just like any other war.
People tended to be loyal to their home.
Example: Nazi Germany was a toxic ideology in my estimation, but I still think Rommel was an honorable man.
I think the same of Robert E Lee.


White supremacy is white supremacy... whether it's 1950 or 2017. How does the passage of time make protesting white supremacy arbitrary?

Yes, over the years there has definitely been an attempt to reframe the Civil War into something less and/or different than what it was - to argue that it wasn't really about slavery... that makes it easy to integrate these things into one's culture, by making the men depicted less the traitors and white supremacists they actually were.

Of course, people in the South would love to have us all believe that these statues are part of some innocent "southern heritage." You know who hasn't reframed that history? The descendents of slaves. As Robert E. Lee said, such monuments keep open the sores of war. If your grandmother was raped by a well known serial rapist who had a monument built 60 years ago celebrating his acts as a rapist, would you feel it inappropriate for that statue to be up, to be reminded that people celebrated your grandmother's rape by putting up a statue? Would you accept their argument that your grandmother's rape is not what this statue means to them now? The descendants of that man have been able to revise the history in their mind about what happened, so, do you feel the statute commemorating the rapes should stand? It's easy for white people to frame this as a purely historical preservation issue and accept that other white people don't view those monuments in the same way as blacks or anyone who has fought to progress racial equality in this country. It doesn't affect us personally. That doesn't make it any less a continued insult to the people who remember, the people who were told the first hand accounts from grand-parents, or great-grand parents, of the torture, humiliation, rape and killings that these men participated in and, so that they would be allowed to continue, fought a war to protect the institution that allowed those horrors.

Someone tells me that these monuments are part of their southern heritage, I would question what they believe. That is not a heritage to be proud of. It is not a heritage to celebrate. If they say that slavery and white supremacy is not what these statues commemorate, I'd say they need to look at history and not try to change it or, ironically, erase it. Again, just as nobody would be offended by the removal of swastikas from synagogues, nobody should truly be offended by the removal of these statues if they aren't white supremacists.

The people who established the Confederacy had an agenda... they made it clear that the cornerstone of the Confederacy was going to be the belief that blacks were an inferior race - the Vice President of the Confederacy stated that explicitly - white supremacy was the corner-stone of the Confederacy, he said. No matter what "unique" situation there was, that was what the Civil War was about and that was people were fighting for. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about that. Robert E. Lee owned slaves, he never spoke out against slavery, and was a general in a war fought to keep it. Sorry, them's the facts. But, regardless of his honor, or any good he may have had in him, he was a traitor to this country. And, while he did some good after the Civil War, his actions as a part of the Confederacy and the Civil War are not something to be praised with memorials - he, himself, said as much.

QUOTE
True. But if Lizzie Borden's home were built as an act of rebellion that led to a civil war it would probably be worth saving as a historical item too.
More so, in fact, than it is now.

That's a shift in the argument. These monuments did not lead to a civil war, they were built after and in order to commemorate the traitorous acts and white supremacist beliefs of the people who fought in that war.

For an example of southern heritage that should remain... Robert E. Lee's home is a historical place - the grounds of the mansion are Arlington Cemetary. I would never argue that his mansion should be taken down. In fact, his memorial there honors his attempts at peace and reconciliation after the Civil War. It is not a Confederate monument.

QUOTE
That said (as I mentioned before) that doesn't necessarily mean it has to stand forever. But the removal process should take time (years), include the opinion of historical experts, and not come across as a reaction to the wishes of a politically motivated mob that seems to only have an interest in creating civil disharmony and unrest.
Again, there is no urgency here.

Not every person protesting to get these statues removed is a member of Antifa. Antifa's chaos doesn't negate the need to remove these statues. They need to go. As I said, we are having a surge in white supremacist actions and they are trying to mainstream themselves again... in part, by making use of these monuments.

This post has been edited by entspeak: Oct 16 2017, 12:31 PM
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Julian
post Oct 16 2017, 01:05 PM
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"You lost. Get over it."

That's a defining phrase of our time. It gets directed over in the UK by pro-Brexit 'Leavers' at those who voted to remain in the USA. I've seen and heard it used by Republicans (or just non-affiliated Trump supporters) about anyone who isn't a fan of the incumbent president.

But I hardly ever hear anyone say it to "the South" in the context of the Civil War. The South lost, right? They lost the civil war, and the North won. There are men and women who died in that war on both sides who deserve to have their deaths marked in some way - in much the same way that the senseless deaths on all sides are commemorated in official war graves around the world, particularly for those killed in the two world wars.

But there aren't many statues of losing generals or political leaders from those conflicts, are there? Those few that there have been aren't generally held in high esteem. Winning a war not only wins the dispute, but it (rightly or wrongly) gives the winning side the right to author the narrative. (I'm not a big fan of nouns as verbs, but "right to write" felt clunky, especially to non-rhotic Brit ears).

So why is this even an issue? To hell with the "history" (much of which is historical revisionism designed to rehabilitate racists, as entspeak argues), take 'em down. The South lost. Get. Over. It.

/SARCASM off

What I really think is that America has always impressed me with the widespread reverence and national priority you place on your history. I visited the Gettysburg battlefield museum and was impressed to see the whole way in which the site was treated with reverence and respect by everyone, regardless of their present day politics. Go to a English civil war battlefield (say, Naseby or Bosworth Field) and you're more likely to be asked to move on by the local landowner. Possibly at the point of a shotgun, so I'm a bit jealous that what history you have (for what it's worth, I spent the years between my fourth and thirteenth birthday in a house that predates the sailing of the Mayflower by at least a century. I didn't live in a museum, or a stately home; it was a rented farm cottage that happened to date from the reign of Henry VIII.

So, from the outside, it seems very peculiar that there is stuff like this going on over there. It seems out of your national character, at first glance, but given the thick overlaying of racial politics, perhaps I shouldn't be surprised. The very fact that people of mixed heritage are 'claimed' by this community or that one, or feel that they have to choose to identify as such and - more crucially, that everyone on all sides seems to think racial identification in this regard really matters - seems to me, on the outside, to be a continuation of the old 'One Drop' rule under the cover of modern identity politics.
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Mrs. Pigpen
post Oct 16 2017, 01:09 PM
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QUOTE(entspeak @ Oct 15 2017, 07:42 PM) *
White supremacy is white supremacy... whether it's 1950 or 2017. How does the passage of time make protesting white supremacy arbitrary?


The answer lies in who holds the power.
I'll start with the concept of "culture" and address that one first:

As an example, lets go to the Maori culture in New Zealand.
The New Zealand military recently approved the full facial tattoos for Maori service members. The push for it is cultural pride (apparently enough pride to get a full facial tattoo, but not quite enough pride in culture to go for the traditional chisel instead of modern tattoo gunbut I digress).
Ignoring the pros/cons to this decision and getting right to the cultural pointMaoris traditionally exhumed dead bodies and cannibalized sailers. Are practicing Maoris in 2017 the same threat as practicing Maoris of yesteryear? The years are about the same (Maori wars took place in New Zealand from 1845 to 1872).

We havent seen Jim Crow laws in a long while. During that time (and in the years closer to it), there would be a good argument that white supremacy held real power. Today not so much. There are five times as many members of the Church of Satan as there are members of the KKK.

Lets put some context on protesting: 100 neo-nazi's losers/nobodies marched down an obscure Virginia town and somehow scared 320 million Americans into hysteria. Three times as many anti-white supremacist protesters showed up to protest those protestors.
The opposition is making these irrelevant losers more relevant than theyve been in decades.


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post Oct 16 2017, 03:42 PM
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QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Oct 16 2017, 09:09 AM) *
QUOTE(entspeak @ Oct 15 2017, 07:42 PM) *
White supremacy is white supremacy... whether it's 1950 or 2017. How does the passage of time make protesting white supremacy arbitrary?


The answer lies in who holds the power.
I'll start with the concept of "culture" and address that one first:

As an example, let's go to the Maori culture in New Zealand.
The New Zealand military recently approved the full facial tattoos for Maori service members. The push for it is "cultural pride" (apparently enough pride to get a full facial tattoo, but not quite enough pride in culture to go for the traditional chisel instead of modern tattoo gun, but I digress).
Ignoring the pros/cons to this decision and getting right to the cultural point‚šMaoris traditionally exhumed dead bodies and cannibalized sailers. Are practicing Maoris in 2017 the same threat as practicing Maoris of yesteryear? The years are about the same (Maori wars took place in New Zealand from 1845 to 1872).

You aren't seriously arguing that, because the Maori have changed their death rituals and no longer eat their enemies, that, somehow, the white supremacists of 2017 are different from the white supremacists of the 1950's, are you?

Let's put this in perspective. We feel that domestic Islamic terrorist threats are a problem. In 2015, we had the San Bernadino shootings and the attack in Chattanooga. We feel something should be done about domestic Islamic terrorism. Yet, more people died at the hands of white supremacists in 2015.

So, why is domestic Islamic terrorism an urgent threat in 2017, but white supremacy is not?

QUOTE
We haven‚š‚žt seen Jim Crow laws in a long while. During that time (and in the years closer to it), there would be a good argument that white supremacy held real power. Today not so much. There are five times as many members of the Church of Satan as there are members of the KKK.

More than half of the KKK groups operating in the US formed in the last 3 years. And, while this may be news to some, you don't actually have to be a member of the KKK to be a white supremacist. Richard Spencer is a white supremacist with tens of thousands of online followers - he is not a member of the KKK, he is the founder of the National Policy Institute. Attendance to his white nationalist conferences has risen since Trump's election.

Do we wait until they actually have the power to enact laws before we deal with them? This is like arguing that we shouldn't do anything about fundamentalist Islamic terrorism in this country until Al Qaeda has a majority in Congress.

QUOTE
Let‚š‚žs put some context on protesting: 100 neo-nazi's losers/nobodies marched down an obscure Virginia town and somehow scared 320 million Americans into hysteria. Three times as many anti-white supremacist protesters showed up to protest those protestors.
The opposition is making these irrelevant losers more relevant than they‚š‚žve been in decades.

Well, that might be easy to say from whatever bubble you might be living in. Where I live, police are reporting an increase in anti-Semitic violence, and in racist intimidation. I have more friends talking about the racist rhetoric being bandied about on the street and on the subway. People living in the small section of my borough in New York are posting images of the Juden Raus letters they are receiving in the mail. This may not be hitting you where you live, but it's not hysteria by any stretch.

Again, Confederate symbols are symbols of white supremacy... that was the explicitly stated "corner-stone" of the Confederacy - no amount of revisionism can change that. Anyone saying otherwise is either lying or been lied to.

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Mrs. Pigpen
post Oct 16 2017, 04:29 PM
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QUOTE(entspeak @ Oct 16 2017, 10:42 AM) *
Let's put this in perspective. We feel that domestic Islamic terrorist threats are a problem. In 2015, we had the San Bernadino shootings and the attack in Chattanooga. We feel something should be done about domestic Islamic terrorism. Yet, more people died at the hands of white supremacists in 2015.


This interests me. Where did you get this statistic? I can't think of any white supremacist attacks that year in the CONUS that would dwarf the San Bernadino and Chattanooga attacks (unless you're talking about attacks around the globe, in which case we're going worldwide and there are a LOT LOT LOT more people around the globe died from Islamic terrorist attacks).

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post Oct 16 2017, 05:18 PM
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This debate reminds me of a Facebook meme I read:

"Racism is so much a part of America that if you were to protest racism, many people would see it as protest against America."

And boy do I agree with that statement there. Whether that protest be kneeling during the anthem, marching in the streets, or simply making the statement "Black Lives Matter". Many White conservatives have seen demonstrations against racial injustice as attacks on American culture. They have placed more values in symbols than the very human lives of their fellow Americans or the ideals and principals for which we supposedly are suppose to believe in as Americans. This debate is no different.

Entspeak, I don't have a lot to add that would not be repetitive of what you have already said. Mrs P I consider you a very modern moderate conservative and you still are, but modern conservatism still protects institutional racism. Modern conservatives were taught and will teach their children to protect this same institutional racism, mostly by teaching their children a.) it doesn't really exist or b. ) that it only just barely exists and is merely an excuse for those that don't make it in the world.

I look at young White kids in 2017 that proudly wear the confederate flag, I've seen prominent Blacks in the past try to appropriate the confederate symbol, lucky most Blacks were not buying in to it.

Too many Americans protect the institutions of racism. I will reiterate a couple of points that should be practical enough for a "modern moderate conservative" Symbols erected as forms of institutional racism are racist regardless of how long they been standing. And there is nothing wrong with keeping our history as a nation, the good the bad, and the ugly, but to memorialize, or allow the memorialization of these figures to continue is just one more form of racism that will continue on into another generation.

Mrs P.'s point, if I understand it correctly, "whats the rush?" But this sentiment exemplifies the power of racism in the American psyche. There is no "rush". Its been decades. DECADES! In some cases, a century or more. For it to take this long there must be a resistance. What political group do you suppose this is coming from? No rush, allow me to ask a question... if most people don't think like they use to, "What is taking so long?" What is taking "modern moderate conservatives" so long, why aren't you helping in the fight to end racism?










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entspeak
post Oct 16 2017, 08:13 PM
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QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Oct 16 2017, 12:29 PM) *
QUOTE(entspeak @ Oct 16 2017, 10:42 AM) *
Let's put this in perspective. We feel that domestic Islamic terrorist threats are a problem. In 2015, we had the San Bernadino shootings and the attack in Chattanooga. We feel something should be done about domestic Islamic terrorism. Yet, more people died at the hands of white supremacists in 2015.


This interests me. Where did you get this statistic? I can't think of any white supremacist attacks that year in the CONUS that would dwarf the San Bernadino and Chattanooga attacks (unless you're talking about attacks around the globe, in which case we're going worldwide and there are a LOT LOT LOT more people around the globe died from Islamic terrorist attacks).


Nope, only domestic. According to the ADL, there were 52 killings by domestic extremists in 2015. 37% were by Islamic extremists, 38% by White Supremacists.

Will killings by white supremacists only count if they are mass shootings? And, they need to "dwarf" the amount of deaths at once by Islamic extremists? That's an odd bar to set.
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post Oct 17 2017, 06:59 PM
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QUOTE(droop224 @ Oct 16 2017, 12:18 PM) *
I look at young White kids in 2017 that proudly wear the confederate flag, I've seen prominent Blacks in the past try to appropriate the confederate symbol, lucky most Blacks were not buying in to it.


The South of 2017 is not the same culture of the South in 1950 which was not the same as the culture of the South in 1885.
Just as other cultures have changed (Sweden isn't a land of Vikings anymore, and France isn't the society of the guillotine, and Maoris no longer act like Maoris once did).

QUOTE(droop224 @ Oct 16 2017, 12:18 PM) *
I look at young White kids in 2017 that proudly wear the confederate flag, I've seen prominent Blacks in the past try to appropriate the confederate symbol, lucky most Blacks were not buying in to it.


The South of 2017 is not the same culture of the South in 1950 which was not the same as the culture of the South in 1885.
Just as other cultures have changed (Sweden isn't a land of Vikings anymore, and France isn't the society of the guillotine, and Maoris no longer do what Maoris used to).

Per symbols, I gave my husband a Che shirt for Christmas a couple of years back (intended it to be a gag gift).
He loved it. Wore it all the time (well, not in his current job he had to put that way back in the closet since he started back on active duty but he'll wear it again when he retires).
He's not a Communist. He's pretty much the opposite of a communist.

QUOTE(entspeak @ Oct 16 2017, 03:13 PM) *
Nope, only domestic. According to the ADL, there were 52 killings by domestic extremists in 2015. 37% were by Islamic extremists, 38% by White Supremacists.

Will killings by white supremacists only count if they are mass shootings? And, they need to "dwarf" the amount of deaths at once by Islamic extremists? That's an odd bar to set.


I'll start with the last first.
Do only "mass shootings count"? Definitely not.
But if you are going to draw a comparison between white supremacist murders and Islamic terrorist attacks this implies a causal relationship between the ideology and the crime.
So for instance, Dylann Roof shoots up a church. Thats obviously a crime inspired by white supremacy. If there had only been one victim, or none (say it was thwarted) it would still be a white supremacy crime. By contrast, if Lee Bob shot a sheriff during a heist, or Jethro shot a drug dealer when he was trying to steal some meth.Those arent de facto white supremacy inspired crimes.

I spent a great deal of time trying to track down those statistics, and ADL doesn't seem very forthcoming with their data. They also made some strange claims, for instance:
QUOTE
As has been the case every year since 1995, white supremacists have been responsible for the largest number of deaths, at 20

To include 2001 when the World Trade center, four airliners, and a portion of the Pentagon went down? Those were domestic flights.

With no luck on that end, I saw a government GAO study that is (kinda, sorta) similar (though it cites anti-government terrorism it also mentions white supremacist terrorism).

Link to the GAO report:
http://www.gao.gov/assets/690/683984.pdf

There, also, some of the examples of white supremacist violence are kind of strange upon inspection.
Theres a policeman shot in a robbery attempt, a drug dealer shot, a sexual offender shot. None of these seem racially inspired.
There were some prison shankingswell, yes, Im sure there are a lot of white supremacist gangs in prison (and every other type of gang, probably highly separated on racial lines, we could discuss why that is but it should be pretty obvious as humans are tribal and tend to congregate with people they have commonalities withnot a whole lot of hobbies in prison so theyre more likely to congregate by race. Also, oh yeahtheyre a bunch of violent criminals penned up together).

One of the larger examples (and in the exact year mentioned, 2015) of an ostensible white supremacist motivated attack was this guy.
It happened recently so we should all remember it well:
https://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/10/us/roseb...per-mercer.html

There is nothing to indicate this is a white supremacy inspired attack. Most notably, all of the victims were white. He asked if they were Christians and if and when they said yes he shot them.

Most of the GAO statistics seemed to come from START, so I continued on the bunny trail there. The following site seems to be where everyone (exception perhaps the ADL)
has generated the data.
I did a search from 2002 to 2016, search criteria country: US, casualties (fatalities only, Ill start with that.any number)
This will show all domestic ideologically motivated attacks from the timeframe of 2002 to 2016. Only incidents where there is essentially no doubt of terrorism. Including only successful attacks (the chart shows number of deaths, and injuries)

http://www.start.umd.edu/gtd/search/Result...0#results-table

Different search to include unsuccessful/thwarted attacks also.

http://www.start.umd.edu/gtd/search/Result...0#results-table

The above data does not support the ADLs claims. Its more along the lines of what I thought. One of the reasons I do not like the attention serial killers get isit tends to inspire wackos to commit copy cat crimes. I feel similarly about giving attention to the white supremacist folks. Theyve been given an awful lot of attention lately.

Are all people who want to take the statues down Antifa people? No, of course not. Are all people who want to leave the statues up ipso facto white supremacist people? No, I dont think so. For reasons I've explained a couple of times above.
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post Oct 17 2017, 08:06 PM
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QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Oct 17 2017, 02:59 PM) *
Are all people who want to take the statues down Antifa people? No, of course not. Are all people who want to leave the statues up ipso facto white supremacist people? No, I dont think so. For reasons I've explained a couple of times above.

I've never stated that all people who want the statues up are white supremacist people, so that means nothing to my argument. And nothing you've stated alters what Confederate symbols mean... you've only talked about how white people have made themselves more comfortable... of course, they were never the uncomfortable ones to begin with when it came to slavery.
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