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.