HOW TO DEMONIZE THE OPPOSITION AND SOUND INCLUSIVE, TOLERANT, LIBERAL, PROGRESSIVE

When I got the video above in a comment (as part of this news article => Watch: New Orleans Mayor’s Speech on Confederate Monuments That’s Going Viral), I decided I may as well do a post.

Anyway, if you have the time, listen to the video. If you have a bit more, here are my some of my thoughts.

  • The mayor says a great nation does not hide its history. Then he proceeds to hide the part he does not like.  Is that not hypocrisy?
  • There are no monuments to slave history in the United States? BS! Which museum did the mayor mention? Visit a colonial era plantation or many of the presidential homes in Virginia and you will find out about the slave quarters.
  • Look at the history of the world. The Romans put rebels on crosses. They were brutal slaveholders. The Aztecs sacrificed people. Blacks sold other blacks into slavery. Many of our ancestors were quite capable of being vile monsters. Europe had pogroms against Jews and thoroughly bloody religious/political warfare. Vikings raped and pillaged. I understand they would sacrifice a woman at the death of a chieftain. My ancestors include Celts. Did you know the Druids engaged in human sacrifice? And we have not even gotten started. Lots of history to pretty up, is there not?
  • The Confederacy is part of the history of the South. It is part of the history of our country. Like it or not, the Civil War statues honor men who deserved admiration because they actually were admirable. Perfect? No. They fought on the losing side, and they didn’t play jazz. But the United States, because it is a great nation, allowed the losers of a bloody Civil War the opportunity to celebrate its great men, even though they celebrated the courage and tenacity of rebels who had supported the cause of slavery.
  • The mayor’s quote from Abraham Lincoln is just twisted. Lincoln never condemned the remembrance of dead Confederates. Read The Gettysburg Address. Here is how it ends.

    It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

    Lincoln said honored dead. He excluded no one.

The men of the South gave their word. They stopped fighting. Eventually, the North brought its troops home. Did the blacks continue to suffer? Yes. Did some blacks move North? Were they accepted there? Not really. Racism is not a geographic problem. It is a heart problem.

Out of one side of his mouth the mayor speaks of inclusiveness. Out of the other side he excludes. Perhaps the mayor is just engaging in cowardly demagoguery. The dead cannot fight back, and too many of the living fear being called racists.

57 thoughts on “HOW TO DEMONIZE THE OPPOSITION AND SOUND INCLUSIVE, TOLERANT, LIBERAL, PROGRESSIVE

  1. Great post Tom. What a sad time it is for our country that this nonsense of erasing uncomfortable history is done without shame by people who should know better. Faux virtue flaunting at its finest.

    I recently visited Charleston, SC and i was with some liberal friends when we went on a plantation tour. It was fascinating to see how uncomfortable they were learning about slave history, as if learning about how blacks were poorly treated somehow made them complicit. Liberals are a strange breed indeed.

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    1. All of us to some degree are sinners. We all find plain evidence of the sin we would commit disturbing. Perhaps that is why Democrat Liberals are so fixated on bigotry. That is what most tempts them.

      When we repent and turn to Jesus, we admit our sinfulness and accept the Holy Spirit help in correcting the problem of sin. The first thing that happens is that we realize we are forgiven. The Holy Spirit relieves us of our burden of guilt.

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  2. Amen. As we travel extensively in the southeast, we see MANY remembrances of the role of slaves in our great land. Most were treated with reverence-but they were still considered “property.” We especially loved Charleston, but learned a lot near Biloxi. President Jefferson Davis revered people, humans, more than anyone. He “adopted” a son, who was being beaten by his own. His race? You guessed it. Read about it here: http://www.moc.org/sites/default/files/PDFs/jimlimberarticlewinter08.pdf

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    1. Because President Jefferson Davis was the president of the Confederacy, some people hated him. Unlike the Confederate generals, Davis’ job did not allow him to display any military skills. Instead, he had a political job like Abraham Lincoln’s. Imagine how people would feel about Lincoln if the Union had lost.

      Since slavery was wrong — since the preservation of the Union was a good thing too — it is fortunate that the Union won. Nevertheless, at the time Davis and most of the South did not see it that way. And we may as well try to understand why, admit they were as human as ourselves.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I was impressed with this “renaissance man.” I like to read the letters written by a famous person or letters to them. I now see how controversial he was but if people only KNEW of his accomplishments….he and his wife were genteel people. IMHO

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        1. Prior to the Civil War and for many years thereafter, most of the whites in the South (and probably most in the North too) had a blind spot. They saw blacks as their inferiors. What was different in the South is that the vast majority of the whites were accustomed slavery and saw nothing wrong with it.

          What some people seem to think is that this one blind spot is wholly unforgivable, that no one with this blind spot could otherwise be worthy of admiration. Given the prevalence of slavery in some form throughout history, that’s ridiculous. Nevertheless, for some inexplicable reason we are supposed to consider slavery in America a special case.

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    2. “A great pet of the family” indeed.

      Debbie L,

      I live in Biloxi only a couple miles down the beach from Jefferson Davis’ last home, Beauvoir. I mostly grew up on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The centuries’ long cruel oppression of people of color in the South has always been the subject of a good deal of historical revisionism here. This wishful thinking that black people were somehow nurtured with the benevolence of genteel southern white paternalism is just one more sad example of that revisionism.

      Did honorable confederate soldiers die for what they honestly thought of as honorable causes during the Civil War? I’m certain that they did. I’m sure honorable Germans died during WWII as well, but after that war, would we have ever let them erect a statue to Hitler in the guise that they were just honoring their fallen?

      In my (only then recently integrated) 7th grade Mississippi History class, we were taught that slavery was not the real reason for the Civil War, but that it was fought over states’ rights and for reasons of economic injustice between North and South. We were also assured that the war was unnecessary because slavery was going away all by itself in the South. These myths still persists because, like your story of Mrs. Jefferson’s adoption of a “pet” mixed raced boy, there is some small sliver of historical truth to each of them. I learned only later that the problem with these theories were that, “but for” the issue of slavery, there simply would have never been a Civil War. Absent slavery in the South, Civil War just never would have happened.

      For each of the monuments in question, we all might benefit by learning the actual history of that monument. We should ask ourselves when we they erected and, more importantly, why. Were they built to honor the dead or were they built years later after Reconstruction failed as part of the white backlash? Were they built because the person being honored did something worth honoring, or were they built to show that white people were back in charge and black people better stay in their place? In other words, were they really erected mostly to show that white southerners may have lost that “war of northern aggression” at great cost, but in the end, they won the right to continue oppressing and legally enslaving their black neighbors for almost another century?

      The genuine historic monuments to honor the dead on both sides of the Civil War can be found in graveyards like Shilo and Gettysburg. These are somber spaces to honor the souls of men who fought and died valiantly, and it is only fitting that the government often confiscated land from the rebel leaders in order to house the remains of simple soldiers who died as because of these Southern leaders’ pride and folly.

      I guess most of all, as the Mayor does, we might start all our questions about the genuine history presented by these monuments with empathy for the point of view of the people that they were meant to intimidate and cow. What would a little African American who is learning the history of black slavery and Jim Crow think when she looks to the center of her city to find giant statues of the men who fought to keep her from having any future?

      That said, Debbie, I’m glad that you enjoyed your trip down South, and I hope you come back soon. There is a lot of history to see here that is not the magical thinking represented by Beauvoir. And thanks to the Clean Water Act, the fishing is better here now than it ever was when I was a boy.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. @Tony

        Why are those monuments in jeopardy. Is it because we have suddenly acquired greater wisdom? No. The reason is that our cities, because Democrat Liberal have done such an awful job of running them, are filled to the brim with poor colored people. See => http://www.npr.org/2015/08/19/429353601/post-katrina-new-orleans-smaller-but-population-growth-rates-back-on-track.

        New Orleans is 60 percent black. Do I expect blacks to have much empathy for Confederate Civil War generals? No. Given they are being educated by a Democrat Liberal government, I would be silly to expect anything of the sort.

        Here is what I said to another commenter.

        Something about “other people” we always find offensive. All we can do with history is do our best to study it as we find it. There is no such thing as an objective observer, much less an objective historian. There are only people who claim to be objective, they are perhaps the least objective of us all.

        So what do you do?

        The genuine historic monuments to honor the dead on both sides of the Civil War can be found in graveyards like Shilo and Gettysburg. These are somber spaces to honor the souls of men who fought and died valiantly, and it is only fitting that the government often confiscated land from the rebel leaders in order to house the remains of simple soldiers who died as because of these Southern leaders’ pride and folly.

        You set yourself up as “the objective person”. Bullshit!

        New Orleans is one those places tourists go. Monuments are one of the reasons. Instead of tearing down monuments that we find objectionable, we need to learn how to explain to our children as best we can why someone thought this or that monument was needed. For the sake of our children, we also need to memorialize what we think is important.

        Will we find it easy to explain why some monuments were built? No. Almost by definition it takes considerable effort, a large number of people, to build a structure we expect to last. Each contributor has his or her own motives. The motives we assign to them are more likely to reflect our own biases, not theirs.

        You mentioned Hitler. One of the things Hitler’s regime did was take charge of public education. His regime was quite successful in this regard. See => https://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10007820.

        Frankly, I wish government would stay out of both the monument building and the education businesses. Government turns both into pure propaganda. That includes the garbage the mayor of New Orleans is spouting.

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        1. I’m finding your objections a little incoherent. You think these statues are being taken down because of public education? Seriously? Don’t you think that you are being a bit of one trick pony here Tom?

          Don’t you think that the people of New Orleans are the ones who should best objectively know the history of these monuments and what they really honor? Don’t you think it is up to the people of New Orleans to subjectively chose what they believe best represents their city on THEIR public lands?

          Do these monuments have historical value? Perhaps? And in so much as they do, they should be displayed somewhere within a historical context of the sad cause for which they were erected and venerated, not afforded a place of honor by a city that, thankfully, no longer honors these men or what they stood for. The men fought for slavery and their statues were erected by people still thought that the cause of slavery was just. I guess because you are the product of public education you just can’t understand this.😉

          Liked by 1 person

        2. @Tony
          You bring up Hitler. Then you call others incoherent.
          🙄

          The whole point of bringing up Hitler is to make a hysterical outburst!
          😆

          But let’s go further down the path of incoherence.

          1. Has anyone here contested the right of New Orleans to remove those monuments?

          2. Objectivity has something to do with the people of New Orleans removing the monuments? Seriously? The mayor’s speech was designed to justify hating those monuments.

          3. Even though the mayor is supposedly removing those monuments for the sake of the children, those monuments have nothing to do with education?

          4. Does the mayor have any intention of moving those monuments to a more appropriate location? If he does, it is a good guess that that will create an even a bigger controversy. What a Democrat Liberal considers appropriate is usually designed to impose their notion of “appropriate” on someone else.

          The men fought for slavery and their statues were erected by people still thought that the cause of slavery was just. I guess because you are the product of public education you just can’t understand this.

          Slavery is an old institution that predates any written history. Remnants of slavery remained a part of Southern culture even after the Civil War. Hence, we finally experienced the Civil Rights Movement, a movement that succeeded in overriding of the Democratic Party’s objections to recognizing the fact that blacks are entitled to equal rights before the law.

          Nazism, which you brought up, had some connections with Germany’s cultural heritage. Nevertheless, Hitler used propaganda, educational institutions, and monuments to indoctrinate Germans in an ideology that was not exactly new. It was, however, distinctly more vicious. Germans were previously known for the culture, not genocide. Nazism was not about slavery. It was about genocide.

          => https://www.warhistoryonline.com/world-war-ii/top-10-surviving-nazi-built-buildings.html

          It does not always make since to destroy something, no matter who built it. Even the Nazis produced things that were worth keeping.

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  3. Here in Minnesota our governor wants to ban all art depicting wars, particularly Indian wars from the state capitol building. I believe it is part of our history and we are going overboard on political correctness.

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    1. Well, when they say it is for the children, don’t let them get away with that blather. It is about the guilt they feel or the hatred they feel. If we don’t want to foist our own feelings of guilt and hatred upon our children, then we don’t selectively try to bury the sins of humanity and call that tolerance.

      I wonder how Democrat Liberals do their laundry. Do they only wash the colored half of their dirty clothes?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ha, ha, Tom. Good one. We happen to live in one of the most liberal states with a governor who has no gumption whatsoever. History shouldn’t be covered up. We need to learn from past mistakes. Political correctness and tolerance has taken on a whole new meaning these past few years.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Kind of reminds me of the “sanitizing” of the USAF when they removed all the non-PC vintage items (contraband included some images of airplane nose art).
    Probably won’t be long before they remove the images/statues of the old fighter pilot aces since the lifestyles they led are anathema now.
    People typically find it difficult to view history in the context of the times. History is lived forward but viewed backward, as they say. That’s why the shows that portray history with relative accuracy can be so interesting. Even ones we lived through (for example, I’m watching The Americans…a time I lived through and it wasn’t so very long ago, the eighties, but I’d forgotten how very much on the pointy edge of survival we were in many ways. This heavily influenced behavior…interesting stuff).

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    1. Something about “other people” we always find offensive. All we can do with history is do our best to study it as we find it. There is no such thing as an objective observer, much less an objective historian. There are only people who claim to be objective, they are perhaps the least objective of us all.

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  5. As always Tom, your sharing the truths and the untruths is so terribly important…
    We are a nation are talking out of both sides of our heads—-

    When I was in high school, they took all of the seniors on a day trip of “cultural awareness”
    Back then cultural awareness meant exactly what it was—they wanted to expose us to the “culture” of our own history—that of growing up in both Atlanta and Georgia.
    Back then our school, which was a northern Atlanta suburban school, just happened to be all white. We had basically all grown up together but that just was the way things were as Atlanta was in the early throws of her great urban expansion as everything would grow out and out from where we were—the neighborhood now is an eclectic mix.
    But back then we were a mix of Christian and Jew…
    Our trip took us Ebenezer Baptist Church downtown to see the home and church of Martin Luther King Jr—of which we were impressed—we visited historic Oakland Cemetery with it’s mix of famous, pauper, Christian, Jew, freeman and slave…
    We went to Stone Mountain Park, which at the time had a complete operational “plantation” with the attendants in period dress as we wandered through the house as well as the slave quarters that still existed on the property—there were cotton fields and as it was late May it was hot…giving some inkling as to what it meant to wear full wool, hoop skirts, and work long hours in the heat doing back breaking intensive labor… it was about as close to a Gone With the Wind actual set as there was—we ended our excursion at an actual battlefield… Kennesaw Mountain, which is home to one of the last outposts of battle which was to keep Sherman and his advancing Union troops not only out of Georgia but more importantly from ever reaching Atlanta—and we all know how that turned out….
    it was as if in that now bucolic and idyllic green meadow, surrounded by a now modern rapidly growing city, that we could hear those standing cannons come to life.
    It was important—not because what some would see as white upper American kids being parade around a city—but it was important because we were shown pieces of our collective history–especially since the majority of us has lived our entire lives in Atlanta.

    To take away what was… or to whitewash it away is not thoughtful or demonstrating some sort of sensitivity to a tender youth—it is actually perpetuating a lie…

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  6. “Visit a colonial era plantation or many of the presidential homes in Virginia and you will find out about the slave quarters.”

    I visited Mount Vernon this January. In pretty much every room on the main floor we heard about the “enslaved persons”. I visited Monticello a few years ago. While not as heavy handed as Mount Vernon, much was said about the slaves.

    Slavery is a part of America’s history, and we should not gloss it over, but there was so much more to these men than just being plantation owners with slaves.

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    1. Slavery is a part of America’s history, and we should not gloss it over, but there was so much more to these men than just being plantation owners with slaves.

      When the people respect the framers of the Constitution, the people who want to arbitrarily edit it find it more difficult.

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  7. Tom,

    I find your strange anger over the elected representatives of New Orleans following the will of the vast majority if those that they represent by taking down monuments to the defenders of slavery and oppression incoherent because all of your arguments for why it is supposedly wrong are either unintelligible or irrelevant to the issue:

    1. You say they are supposed to both literally and figuratively keep slavery on its pedestal because it is one of the oldest human institutions? Really? And that is your best objection.

    2. You say it is wrong because it is just pandering to liberal political correctness? How about just correct correctness? If a republican governor, like Nikki Haley, does something similar, it is just as much the right and correct thing to do as when a Democratic mayor does it.

    3. It is wrong to tear down these monuments to an evil stain on our history because it demonizes the opposition? Given your penchant for calling everyone who you politically disagree with “liars” and “thieves”, don’t you think we may have a bit of pot calling the kettle a demonizer here? However, what is really being demonized here that you disagree should be demonized? Slavery? Black exploitation? Or is it just the romanticism of slavery and oppression in the South that you think should not be demonized? I don’t get what you think that you are protecting here?

    4. Is it because you think we are losing our real history by tearing down a false narrative? That has to be the most ridiculous argument of why some outsiders to New Orleans are mad about this. Tearing down these monuments to slavery and Jim Crow are not hiding our true history. Doing this is more like tearing off a scab to expose the infection that still lingers. Without coming to terms with our actual ulgly past, not some trumped up romanticism of it, we will never have the reconciliation that may finally heal these wounds.

    5. My favorite of your unintelligible arguments, however, is uniquely you. We should not tear these socialist “public” monuments down because public education is bad. This is just one of the many reasons why I love you brother? You may not be intelligible or have logical consistentency sometimes, but you are always consistent in adding this harangue to any issue, any debate, whether it is remotely
    relevant or not. 😊

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    1. @Tony

      You point to my strange anger. You say I my arguments are unintelligible or irrelevant. Then you provide long, windy answers? I think you say too much just for effect.

      What do I mean?

      1. I never said anyone should keep keep slavery on a pedestal. That’s a straw man argument. It is not even honest.

      2. Nikki Haley did something similar? Are you suggesting that for the sake of consistency I have to track the actions of every Republican on every issue with respect every issue on which I have taken a stand?

      A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. — Ralph Waldo Emerson

      3. What is the purpose of what the mayor is doing? He cannot find something better to worry about? Well, it does allow him demonize somebody. In fact, taking down those monuments serves no other useful purpose.

      First, the mayor demonizes the Confederacy. Then he demonized the people who put up the monuments. Then he whines that for the sake of the children we have to take monuments down. Our poor, dear mayor doesn’t know how to explain that slavery is as old as mankind, that every race has enslaved somebody, sometime, somewhere. Given his own statement, is it not obvious what the mayor thinks of the people who have dared to oppose him? And I have to explain this? After your own comments?

      4. False narrative? At the outset, your precious mayor called a bunch of people liars. When the mayor refers to the cult of the lost cause, do you think he is trying to compliment somebody?

      Once you have a scab, the best thing to do is stop picking at it. Otherwise, an infection can get underneath the scab. Unfortunately, the Democratic Party has made race baiting of some sort (picking that scab) its primary issue for more than two hundred years. First it supported slavery. Then it fought equal rights for blacks. Next it created the welfare state and made enormous numbers of blacks dependent on the public dole. Now the Democratic Party has become a coalition of so-called minorities. You want to live off the state instead of working? You want special rights? You are a victim of any sort? Then join the Democratic Party. Old, young, disabled, sexually confused, black, brown, red, Muslim, Buddhist, pacifist, union member,…. the Democratic Party has a specially protected group for anyone who desires the elevated status of victim.

      5. I never said we should not tear these socialist “public” monuments down because public education is bad. That’s another straw man argument. What I made quite clear is that blacks are not well served by the public education system. Neither is anyone else, but intercity schools are notoriously bad. Since many Civil War monuments are in cities that are now run by blacks, it suits the leaders of those cities to distract the populace from the obvious fact their cities are being run into the ground. Do blacks keep the mayor because he gives them something to hate, or do blacks get rid the mayor because he does a lousy job?

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      1. Talk about straw man arguments? Virtually every argument you make is about some irrelevant Democratic scarecrow. 😏 And once again, you manage to magically conflate and condense the complex history of centuries of black enslavement and oppression to the stereotype of the welfare queen.🙄 And you wonder why the Democrats attract more minorities? The merest recognition that they have been victimized for hundreds of years is just them wallowing in victimhood and demanding entitlements? Yah, brother, taking down a few monuments to white supremacy is an incredibly unreasonable thing to ask. What nonsense? Next African Americans will want us to take a look at our romantic notions about how the poor benevolent slave masters and traders were really the victims? Where could this lead? Maybe to the actual ugly dishonorable truth about these men and our own history? Shudder the thought. 😧

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        1. @Tony
          Everything is just so complicated. You want a big huge government, and you are certain it will work, but everything is just so complicated.

          And you wonder why the Democrats attract more minorities?

          No. I don’t wonder. It is fairly obvious when people sell their votes.

          The suggestion that African Americans might consider their poor benevolent slave masters and traders victims is actually kind of funny. It is actually exactly the sort of thing the Democratic Party wants. For example, Trump colluded with the Russians to steal the election! Gasp!

          Seriously, the blacks in New Orleans are selling their votes cheaply. Just to piss off who knows who, they are wasting their own money getting a few monuments removed.

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  8. Look, folks.. I know most of those who post in here like to make everything in life all about “liberals & conservatives” because it’s trendy and foments this crazy divisiveness but this really has nothing to do with it. The Civil War was strictly about Americans fighting Americans… the brother-against-brother thing. The fellows who set the tone of some level of sympathetic appeasement toward the fighting Confederates were the likes of Lincoln (re: Gettysburg Address) and Grant at Appomattox (essentially allowing the surrendering soldiers to take their horses and weapons and just go home). No revenge, no retribution, no punitive military occupation. The post war years in the South was a near chaotic social upheaval… the Federal government having to send troops into certain areas in order to enforce black equality with local and state governments… and assure that newly passed reforms were carried out. The South was in economic shambles, a large percentage of males having been killed in the war by fighting or disease, or injured. On top of that, millions… of free, uneducated to any degree, former slaves roaming the countryside trying to survive, owning absolutely no property or personal items.

    Like with veterans of ALL wars, as time advances there’s considerable reflection on events and experiences… and mostly the camaraderie of surviving the struggles and being able to live to talk about it. People relived the old days. North and South. But the effect to the South was a complete gut-wrenching change in their entire way of life. They remember the fighting and they remember the leaders in which they placed their faith to lead them in battle. As times slowly began to stabilize from the passage of time the monuments started popping up.

    The country literally went monument crazy, North and South. The vast majority of monuments were paid for by state and local governments and private benefactors… and all around the 1880’s and early 1900’s. The Federal government had no say one way or the other what monument went where, as long it was not on federal land without permission of Congress. Most monuments were of famous (or infamous, depending on your outlook) Confederate personages… typically Generals. But you have to remember… veterans of the war on both sides lived for many decades and governments of the day reflected their interests, as government does today.

    But by the 1940’s the vast majority of CW vets were well gone. Social times have changed… there’s a “new” civil rights awareness that is challenging deep South racist traditions carried on by the descendants of those veterans by time the 1960’s came around. In all the reading I have done on the various efforts to remove “objectionable” monuments it has been the Confederate personages… not monuments remembering the events… that are being removed. Let’s face it… you’re not likely to see a statue of Grant with his sword raised in a full gallop in Atlanta… any more than you’d see a statue of Lee in Detroit.

    The Americans on both sides of that war are memorialized in the various cemeteries on the various battlefields of that war(check out Gettysburg sometime; there are monuments all over that place, including peoples’ back yards). In fact, in the cemeteries there are also statues of famous Southern generals. Our government is certainly not ignoring history as many of these Confederate generals, generally accepted as far superior to Northern commanders, are educational subjects for their battle achievements in our military academies. In fact, the U.S. Army, since WW1 through the 1950’s named their forts and installations in the southern states after Confederate generals (Ft. Bragg, Ft. A.P. Hill, Ft. Hood, etc.). We may end up having to rename them; imagine black soldiers being assigned to a military post named after a general who fought for slavery!

    From what I am reading these are statues located in public places that are being re-located. No one is ignoring any part of Civil War history, regardless of what interpretation you might be buying into as to the cause. Civil War veterans on both sides are being honored in the cemeteries and at the events and battlefields in which they fought.

    Consider this… that little black kid has a greater lesson besides wondering why there is a statue to honor someone who fought for the institution of slavery. The statue honors a rebel.. an enemy to the Constitution to which he pledged his allegiance (as a military officer)… and ultimately betrayed his citizenship. The cause is secondary.

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    1. My only slight objection to what you wrote Doug is about the actual intent of these particular monuments in question. Were they really meant by those who erected them at the time that they were erected to celebrate the military leadership skills of those that they portrayed, or were they erected to proclaim the righteousness of the lost cause that those statuaried leaders tried to defend, namely the institution of slavery? As part of the union blockade that strangled the Confederacy early on, New Orleans spent most of the Civil War (quite profitably) enjoying Union occupation and sitting out all the major battles. As a city that avoided most of the Civil War and colaberated heavily with the Union, why, after Reconstruction failed, were they suddenly so interested in celebrating the likes of the Virginia loyalist, Robert E. Lee?

      The purpose of these monuments to slavery during a time of white southern backlash is not really that hard to figure out. It was to celebrate the reassertion of white supremacy and a visible warning statement of domination over former African American slaves, a domination that would last for almost another century in New Orleans, and throughout the South.

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      1. While I assigned a “reason” for building them was in part due to veterans wanting to affirm their past sacrifices, I would agree one could also presume that there was some influence in those passionate Southerners trying to mark their “South will rise again” pissing ground to make it more visual.. and intimidating to free blacks.
        Nonetheless, I tend to agree with the mayor. Whatever their original intent (the statues), and I will add the contemporary use of the Stars & Bars in some variation on a state flag, is outmoded and inappropriate by today’s standards. But.. only when assigned a position to be displayed officially in a governmental setting. Outside of that I consider it a part of free speech.
        But as I alluded to, the cause for which they fought is secondary to the fact that these leaders, and their followers, were, in fact, rebellious traitors to the Constitution. But we tend to look upon it as more or less a “family squabble”.

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    2. @Doug

      You started off so well.

      The Civil War was strictly about Americans fighting Americans… the brother-against-brother thing. The fellows who set the tone of some level of sympathetic appeasement toward the fighting Confederates were the likes of Lincoln (re: Gettysburg Address) and Grant at Appomattox (essentially allowing the surrendering soldiers to take their horses and weapons and just go home). No revenge, no retribution, no punitive military occupation.

      We know slavery is wrong. We also know grace and mercy is right. That’s what we teach little black kids and little white ones too.

      At the end of the Civil War, a quarter of Southern manhood was dead. Southern lands and homes were shambles.How much more did the South have to be punished? For what purpose?

      The white South did not accept that what they had done was wrong, but they accepted defeat and pledged to remain part of the Union. The war was over.

      What heroes did the South have? Did they have any who had not fought for slavery? Yet those men the South called heroes had been brave and loyal; they had persevered. For the wrong cause? IN OUR MINDS, yes, but which of us is perfect? If that is what God required of us, who could satisfy Him? Which of us wholly knows our Creator’s Will? Who among us wholly obeys Him?

      We don’t honor heroes because they were perfect. Because we are imperfect, we honor heroes because they were heroic.

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      1. Well said.
        Up until the last two paragraphs of Doug’s post I thought he was making a very compelling argument as to why they should KEEP those monuments. They are at this point an established piece of history. That history isn’t just about slavery, it is about a culture that died. Yes, they had slavery as did so so many cultures before them. Our Founders whom we (are still permitted to, at present, sort of) revere had slaves too.

        “I know most of those who post in here like to make everything in life all about “liberals & conservatives” because it’s trendy and foments this crazy divisiveness but this really has nothing to do with it.”

        Well, since I am new here I cannot speak of past thread but in the case of this particular topic I’d say it isn’t about being “trendy”.
        There is a very successful modern day push for leftist deconstructionism of history.
        First, take away the “narrative” by teaching everyone that we are a nation founded on genocide. Then laugh and sneer at our past by taking down “giants” of the past. They were, each of them, homophobic, racist, sexist rich white guys. This is happening in the schools and it is happening everywhere.
        The push to sever all ties to the past (as well as religion) so we can form a new cultural narrative that fits the leftist agenda. That’s not a tale of some boogeyman it is happening before our eyes just as the push to change the gender narrative is apparent. So this isn’t really just about the relocation of a few statues.

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        1. There’s also (paradoxically) a strange (or perhaps not so strange) push to advance a cultural narrative that certain historically disenfranchised groups were responsible for greater accomplishments than they actually were. False hagiography is fine as long as it only belongs to certain groups.
          I wouldn’t be surprised, for example, if they were to replace the statues with some female (or minority) figurehead that fits a more PC agenda.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. So you are suggesting that the removal of four statues (vs. monuments?) is somehow a liberal conspiracy to re-write history?? Ok.. whatever. Why not toss Hillary’s 30,000 emails into the mix somewhere. Gawd almighty.

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        3. “So you are suggesting that the removal of four statues (vs. monuments?) is somehow a liberal conspiracy to re-write history?? Ok.. whatever. Why not toss Hillary’s 30,000 emails into the mix somewhere. Gawd almighty.”

          Have you NOT observed this push toward historical revisionism?*

          *examples available upon request

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        4. It is not just the past they are fooling with. The news media has effectively become the Democratic Party.

          According to some poll, if you can believe the stupid things, more than half the population wants to impeach Donald Trump. What Trump guilty of? Doing his job, I guess. There is lots of noise, but there is no evidence he has done anything wrong except tweet too much and piss off the fake news media.

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        5. Oh c’mon, Tom. You are way too smart to just dismiss all this political divisiveness, the constant drama and crisis emanating from the White House, the constant news breaking trauma each and every day… the total upheaval in international politics (especially after this Paris Agreement fiasco and the country’s official withdrawal from world leadership…) dismissing all this simply because you think it’s “liberals gone mad” and all the mainstream press is pissed off.
          More to your impeachment point… does it really matter WHY the majority of the country is favoring his impeachment? If the majority of the country is not in favor of what you are doing then there must be something inherently wrong with what you are (or aren’t) doing.
          Are you seriously in denial? As this is being written.. it seems dear Putin is admitting to some Russian complicity in the election hacking, albeit he is suggesting it was patriotic Russians incensed over unfavorable remarks coming from the U.S. The point is two-fold… the intel people who determined the Russians did indeed hack the election were in fact not the biased idiots Trump made them out to be… and… Putin is obviously trying to set up the excuse as this investigation unfolds.

          Also keep in mind… it’s not just “pissed off misguided liberals” who are looking toward impeachment. There’s republicans in the mix there too.

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        6. @Doug

          Putin is now a reliable witness? Either he our worst enemy and can’t be trusted, or he is a friend who would not think of hacking our elections, but he cannot be both.

          Is Trump responsible for the constant news breaking trauma? Well, I don’t think so, but I am not a Democrat Liberal. The news media may be reporting what they see as bad news, but I don’t see it that way.

          Nevertheless, if you want to impeach Trump, I am okay with it. I just have two preconditions.

          1. Precisely identify the charge. What high crime or misdemeanor would you have him stand trial for?
          2. Provide proof beyond a shadow of a doubt.

          Even the assertion that the Democrats were hacked by the Russians is dubious. The FBI never examined the Democratic Party’s computers, and all that hacking consisted of was fooling a senior party member into giving away his password.

          No government official, not even a Democrat, has said there is any proof the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians. There is just a lot of news media blather.

          As it is, I am happy with Trump. That is especially true given the alternative was H. Clinton. I am thrilled to have a president who does not think he is above the law. Unlike Obama, for example, Trump does not seem to think he can unilaterally approve treaties (think of that nuke treaty with Iran or the Paris Climate Accord) by calling them something else.

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        7. I guess we wait and see what the investigations reveal.. if anything.
          Regarding your points for impeachment… the process tends to follow what you posted. Although, it’s important to note that impeachment proceedings are not legal judicial proceedings. They are as if your boss called you into his office… to chastise you or fire you for some performance issue.. or just for cause. The House gathers “evidence” and recommends to the Senate that a non-judicial trial is in order. Technically speaking, if the House can agree that they don’t like Trump’s hair.. and the Senate agrees they don’t like Trump’s hair… he can be removed from office. Obviously that’s not realistic but it does illustrate any reason can cause a president to be removed.. if the votes are there.
          Personally I would prefer an impeachment as it pertains to his mental ability to fulfill the traditions and obligations of the office. But that would be way too controversial. Likely it will be because of his bumbling around trying to do things his way and just getting into legal trouble… whether it be the entanglements with the Russians, his conflicts of interest in business, his likely off-the-cuff request of Comey that suggests obstructing an ongoing investigation… whatever.
          There are times I actually feel sorry for the guy… but then I think of America to sober me up.

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        8. I guess we wait and see what the investigations reveal.. if anything.

          They have already revealed the Obama administration was using our intelligence systems to spy on the Trump campaign. Nixon was run out of office just for trying to conceal the evidence of a lesser crime.

          Unfortunately, most in the news media are winking at what the Obama administration did. Yet it is intel leaks the news media passed on that started this stupid Russiagate thing, and that sort of proves that if there was proof the Trump administration had done anything wrong we would already know it.

          You don’t like Trump? That is your right but, we are not suppose to treat political disagreements as crimes. That is what is being done to Trump. When that happens, we cannot prosecute real crimes. Instead of enforcing and obeying the Constitution, our leaders start doing whatever they can get away with.

          Look at Obama’s record. Obamacare clearly violated the Constitution. He issued numerous executive orders to do things Congress should have approved first. He approved treaties that requires two thirds of the Senate to approve. These things are scarier than anything Trump has done.

          Like

        9. “Are you seriously in denial? As this is being written.. it seems dear Putin is admitting to some Russian complicity in the election hacking, albeit he is suggesting it was patriotic Russians incensed over unfavorable remarks coming from the U.S. The point is two-fold… the intel people who determined the Russians did indeed hack the election were in fact not the biased idiots Trump made them out to be… and… Putin is obviously trying to set up the excuse as this investigation unfolds.”

          Doug. NO ONE of any consequence (not Putin, not “the intel people”, no one) is asserting someone hacked the elections. Hacking the election would be hacking the election iow, hacking the votes. What they presumably did was hack the Democratic National Committee so everyone knew the process was tainted and Bernie’s chances were purposely sabotaged.
          Did that influence the election?
          Sure…with good reason. It shined a light on blatant corruption.

          Like

      2. Tom wrote:

        “The white South did not accept that what they had done was wrong….”

        Very true, and the memorials must be viewed in that context and in the context of the renewed southern assertion of white dominance over blacks that followed the collapse of Reconstruction and that continued for almost a century. It is not some leftist conspiracy to “deconstruct” history to finally recognize this from the viewpoint of those who suffered most under the yoke of that renewed form of Southern servitude. Instead, it is shining a brighter light on the true history that had been deconstructed for the 90 years while we white Southerners veiled the barbarity of human bondage and the cruelty of Jim Crow under the rose colored romantic excuse of southern heritage and culture. Would those who oppose New Orleanians’ removing their own statues from the centers of their own city be happier if they had just placed a big sign on them that laid out this real history in all its ugliness? Probably not, but nevertheless New Orleaneans chose a more positive approach.

        “We don’t honor heroes because they were perfect. Because we are imperfect, we honor heroes because they were heroic.”

        Agreed and truly well said indeed. Robert E. Lee should be honored and studied as a great tactician and a man whose obvious virtues inspired the devout loyalty of his troops. Lee was a patriot who distinguished himself in the service of the United States by helping to put down the John Brown rebellion and by his distinguished service to his country in the Mexican American war.

        Unfortunately, Lee above all must be remembered as a traitor who chose loyalty to the flag of Virginia over the Stars and Stripes and who then quite capably lead a bloody rebellion in defense of the cruel institution of slavery. Because of his brilliance and virtue as a commander, Lee was responsible for the deaths of thousands of heroic brothers on both sides, for prolonging the struggle and for quite nearly spitting the nation asunder. His statue perhaps more appropriately belongs in a Civil War cemetery sadly gazing over the graves of those whose lives he helped cut short.

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      3. But Tom.. your speed reading has let you down here. Technically speaking, the cause they fought for is really not the issue here, although most are trying to make it the issue. How do we explain to our young (assuming that is the focus for our discourse here) that we have statues to honor traitors to our Constitution, violating the oaths they took as military Americans, and became rebels to the precepts established by our Founding Fathers?

        Like

  9. Tom wrote:

    “Everything is just so complicated. You want a big huge government, and you are certain it will work, but everything is just so complicated.”

    As our dad used to say, “What on earth does that have to do with the price of rice in China?”

    “The suggestion that African Americans might consider their poor benevolent slave masters and traders victims is actually kind of funny. It is actually exactly the sort of thing the Democratic Party wants. For example, Trump colluded with the Russians to steal the election! Gasp!”

    Again, what are you taking about?

    “Seriously, the blacks in New Orleans are selling their votes cheaply. Just to piss off who knows who, they are wasting their own money getting a few monuments removed.”

    Are you just spewing non sequiturs because you have run out of unintelligibles to write? Next you will say that you object to these monuments to white supremacy being removed because of Obamacare, Climate change, and the lunar landings in the 60’s and why not throw Benghazi in for good measure? 😳

    Like

  10. Anon wrote:

    “What about the Washington monument?
    He was a slave owner is that a monument to white supremacy too?”

    Good point. But was the Washington monument erected to celebrate the institutiona of slavery and to honor slave holding? Or was it actually erected to celebrate the man who was perhaps most influential in the establishment of our democracy?

    I think the latter, and I would also say the same about the Jefferson Memorial.

    Like

    1. Lincoln actually did visit Richmond after the Union had taken it, and he did not lord over the place.

      If really was a disaster when Andrew Johnson took over after Lincoln’s assassination.

      That said. I am not certain why the statue of Lincoln is needed in Richmond. It is kind of like rubbing salt in a wound.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. A strangely selective empathy we have here. The statue of the Great Abraham Lincoln is supposedly “rubbing salt in the wound[s]” of the alleged distant progeny of rebel soldiers (you’d think that those wounds might have at least scarred over some by now). Yet, it is hard to even imagine how the statues of the leading defenders of centuries of African American bondage and oppression might have kept wounds open, fresh and daily salted? There must be very few people alive today who knew anyone who fought in the Civil War on either side. However, every Baby Boomer can remember Jim Crow, the assassination of the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. and the white violence against the Civil Rights movement. Which wounds do you think are more deep and more fresh?

        It seems to me that so-called “identity politics” is so disfavored here because of the belief that it divides us into tribal camps where we only empathize with the wounds of our own kind and thus wallow in our ethnic victimhood, self pity and blame. Perhaps the healing balm to all this is simple love and concern for others.

        Alluding to the Parable of The Good Samaritan in his “On Being a Good Neighbor” sermon, Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. said:

        “If the white man is concerned only about his race, he will casually pass by the Negro who has been stripped and robbed of his personhood, stripped and robbed of his dignity, and left dying on some wayside road.”

        “Identity politics” was not a bugaboo of the Right or the Left back then, but the Reverend King did talk about “provincialism” as the blind inability to see past race and ethnicity and to have compassion for the actual wounds of others. Such provincialism, according to King is “an unbelievable expression of barbaric consequences of any tribal-centered, national centered, or racial centered ethic.” We fail to see a suffering people “as fellow human beings made of the same basic stuff as we, molded in the same divine image”.

        Reverend King goes on to say that “pity” for the fellow human suffering in pain is not what is needed, but instead “sympathy”, and “true sympathy is the personal concern that demands the giving of one’s soul.”

        Comparing the centuries of suffering of African Americans in this country, wounds that only in my lifetime were made illegal to inflict, verses the affront to their notoriously provincial cultural heritage that the Richmond Sons of Confederates are claiming, whose wounds really demand our greater sympathy?

        Like

        1. You are calling my empathy selective? When I read this, I thought of our discussions here.

          Of course it’s going to have an effect. It’s only when politics becomes involved that people find a way to torture the facts to come up with the answer they want. — Anne Sommers (from => http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/may/31/insurance-companies-denied-treatment-to-patients-o/)

          Here is a picture of the statue.
          Here is an article on Lincoln’s visit. =>https://www.nps.gov/rich/learn/historyculture/lincvisit.htm

          The statue was installed in 2003. Cannot even find a website for the United States Historical Society. It seems they paid homage to Lincoln’s memory quite appropriately.

          For more on the site of the statue and a more detailed image of the statue => https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tredegar_Iron_Works

          Like

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