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RoseRed135

Confederate Statues - Should they be removed or... ?

60 posts in this topic

As I understand it, the recent trouble and tragedy in Charlottesville, VA started b/c some people objected to plans to remove the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee from the city center. Apparently, the removal of such statues and other Confederate memorabilia is being discussed - debated - in some other states, as well. Some people say such items should be "gone," period. Others oppose the idea, arguing that they are part of history, especially Southern history. Still others believe that they should be relocated to museums, etc., so that they can retain their historical significance while no longer enjoying places of honor.

Which position do you agree with? Or do you have a different take altogether?

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I think I could cope if the statues are being relocated to museums. It is a part of history (it's a double edged sword to be sure in defining the history). My roots are decidedly Southern. For all my family never owned slaves (that we've been able to trace anyway), my 2x GGF served in the Confederate Cavalry, and from a border state...Confederate states were treated like conquered territory rather than restoration to the Union, which is where much of the animosity stems. It's was a particularly brutal and ugly time in our history. 

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Something/s to consider, the removal of Confederate statues and memorials didn't begin until after this past presidential election- The removal of the Confederate flag began before the election-

The matter isn't being handled with great care or grace- The complete removal of a statue instead of the moving of a statue from a place of glorification to a place of remembrance is where it all went south .. Whoever decides to improperly move these statues during this critical, boiling point in American history is an American Idiot -- and is inciting violence, and deepening the rift- From individuals in prominent positions, to protesters pulling them down with ropes-

White nationalists desire an all white populace- It's repulsive to even consider such, it's never been such- There simply isn't such a condition like that in US history to return to- Haters, hate- And haters who hate haters are included in this group -- many of which falsely consider this activism- But it isn't- It's an act of hate- Such as it was when the defunct Confederate States were treated as conquered territory instead of territory where slavery was no more- And yet that very same blueprint used then is the same being used today -- which is why the more things change, they remain the same-

 

 

 

 

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Five years ago, I would have bristled at the thought of tearing them down. And I was wrong. I see that now.

People don't raise statues just to remember "history." Statues are erected in tribute to something or someone. As much as I love the south for its culture (music, art, architecture, literature, manners, etc.), hospitality, beauty and humor, we really should stop romanticizing that period when it seceded from the union and created its own country, because it wanted to continue enslaving people whose ancestors were kidnapped from Africa.

Slavery was America's holocaust, and those statues glorifying the "war of northern aggression" are akin to building/keeping statues of Geobbels, Goerring, and Hitler, I'm sorry to say.

But then I read a ton of books on slavery. An awful, awful time, and "12 Years a Slave" only covers a fraction of the travesty.

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Slavery in any form is an abomination. In the next part of reading of that era, look at how the North reacted to the freedmen. It wasn't pretty. The North fueled the racial issues in part to continue the punishment to the South. Illiterate freedmen were elected to the State governments. The South was 'reconstructed' back into the Union, not 'restored'...all as a punishment. Overall the North didn't want the freedmen moving North to take "their" jobs...the same way the Northern cities had responded to the influx of Irish in the 1840's. For decades there were signs in business windows "No Irish Need Apply".  There was a plan to move the freedmen to Liberia, rejected by the freedmen....

All in all, it was a very ugly business. A century & a half later, we seem to be moving backward.

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5 minutes ago, Mame925 said:

Slavery in any form is an abomination. In the next part of reading of that era, look at how the North reacted to the freedmen. It wasn't pretty. The North fueled the racial issues in part to continue the punishment to the South. Illiterate freedmen were elected to the State governments. The South was 'reconstructed' back into the Union, not 'restored'...all as a punishment. Overall the North didn't want the freedmen moving North to take "their" jobs...the same way the Northern cities had responded to the influx of Irish in the 1840's. For decades there were signs in business windows "No Irish Need Apply".  There was a plan to move the freedmen to Liberia, rejected by the freedmen....

All in all, it was a very ugly business. A century & a half later, we seem to be moving backward.

All of this ^^^ And we are moving backwards- We take three steps forward and two back- 

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I've lived up North (coast and Midwest) and down (deep) South- The demographics up north near where I live look like this: 96.9% White, 0.8% Black- Down south, they looked like this: 65.91% White, 28.17% African American- I pulled the numbers and wording in red directly from Wikipedia- 

The flag of the Confederacy was in every home I visited down south -- or on one thing or another- The function of this symbol of rebellion is no different than a tradition carried on from one generation to the next-  It's a battle flag- It's also part of the Mississippi State flag:

255px-Flag_of_Mississippi.svg.png

What the flag of The Confederacy doesn't represent is a longing for the days that Southerners once owned slaves, but slavery is built into its history and every bit as much as the genocide of Indigenous People is built into Old Glory:

300px-Flag_of_the_United_States.svg.png

So if one comes down, be it a statue a flag, then let them all come down- We'll no longer have these "glorified" symbols to remind us of US history- Perhaps we will become even more prone to repeat that history without them there to remind us of it-  

 

 

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This land was illegally taken away from indigenous tribes -- and the images chiseled by a member of the KKK-

300px-Dean_Franklin_-_06.04.03_Mount_Rus

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10 hours ago, Komorebi said:

and the images chiseled by a member of the KKK-

Citation please

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Star Tribune / Article - The Real History of Mount Rushmore - July 29th 2016 - Ron Way, author / former official of the U.S. Interior Department and its National Park Service- 

Also. Smithsonian Magazine - The Sordid History of Mount Rushmore

Edited by Komorebi

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Borglum's membership in the KKK is a sidenote, with no bearing on his talent.

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We can't change our history; we also shouldn't glorify its ugliness. That being said, one has to wonder where we stop in negating past history.  Do we tear apart Gettysburg?  Do we tear down the Jefferson Memorial, since he was a slave owner?  Shall we remove Washington from the $1.00 bill?  I could continue, but I'm sure you get my point. The Civil War was not just about slavery.  There were other political, marketplace and federal government issues. It was an ugly battle on both sides.  History in and of itself isn't biased; how it is portrayed is what is meaningful.  What kind of history are we creating for our grandchildren by resorting (yet again) to violence?

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Sidenotes/footnotes, citations, sources, talents, tools, individuals, so forth, when all brought together, become part of the same story, overall- In this case, the story of Mount Rushmore- 

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It is the story of Mt. Rushmore. However, sidenotes & footnotes are not central to the story

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That depends on which facet of the story (any story) one places their attention- At this point in time "glorification" is what's being suggested as the center and or central to the the story that reducing statues will somehow fix a permanent human issue- Babies will continue to be born into situations that breed hate- 

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2 hours ago, Komorebi said:

Babies will continue to be born into situations that breed hate- 

Especially when the hate is being brought into every issue

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I have mixed feeling about the removal of statues/history.  I agree that some  statues need to be removed from public places/walkways and moved to museums etc. where people know what they are viewing and are there on purpose...BUT...I do have an issue with things being removed in the darkness of night like thieves as was done at UT Austin last weekend.  I was taught that things that need doing in the dark were usually unacceptable in general. 

After all, we all know that hind sight is 20/20.

Edited by SueSTx
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10 hours ago, muusetta said:

We can't change our history; we also shouldn't glorify its ugliness. That being said, one has to wonder where we stop in negating past history.  Do we tear apart Gettysburg?  Do we tear down the Jefferson Memorial, since he was a slave owner?  Shall we remove Washington from the $1.00 bill?  I could continue, but I'm sure you get my point. The Civil War was not just about slavery.  There were other political, marketplace and federal government issues. It was an ugly battle on both sides.  History in and of itself isn't biased; how it is portrayed is what is meaningful.  What kind of history are we creating for our grandchildren by resorting (yet again) to violence?

Welcome muusetta! Glad you came in to share your POV (point of view) w/ us! Also, you raise some significant issues, IMO.

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On 8/21/2017 at 1:00 AM, Komorebi said:

I've lived up North (coast and Midwest) and down (deep) South- The demographics up north near where I live look like this: 96.9% White, 0.8% Black- Down south, they looked like this: 65.91% White, 28.17% African American- I pulled the numbers and wording in red directly from Wikipedia- 

 

While the demographics might reflect racial attitudes, they don't necessarily. It's possible they just reflect the fact that there was a higher percentage of African Americans in the South to begin w/ (for obvious reasons) and not many of them relocated to the area where you live now.

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On 8/21/2017 at 1:00 AM, Komorebi said:

 

The flag of the Confederacy was in every home I visited down south -- or on one thing or another- The function of this symbol of rebellion is no different than a tradition carried on from one generation to the next-  It's a battle flag- It's also part of the Mississippi State flag:

255px-Flag_of_Mississippi.svg.png

What the flag of The Confederacy doesn't represent is a longing for the days that Southerners once owned slaves, but slavery is built into its history and every bit as much as the genocide of Indigenous People is built into Old Glory:

300px-Flag_of_the_United_States.svg.png

So if one comes down, be it a statue a flag, then let them all come down- We'll no longer have these "glorified" symbols to remind us of US history- Perhaps we will become even more prone to repeat that history without them there to remind us of it-  

 

 

IMO, you raise some significant issues, Komo.

But perhaps  there's a  difference, people, between putting a flag up in your (general) home and placing one at a public site? Yes? No? Maybe? Same w/ statues, etc?

I'm also wondering if the flags really compare. Yes, they represent a government, and yes, they each may have ugly racist episodes "built into (their) history." But it seems to me that the American Flag also symbolizes a country that, from its onset, tried to promote freedom (if not, unfortunately, for all) - while the Confederate Flag stands for a government that fought to preserve slavery (if among other things, as muusetta points out). Does that make any sense? And does it make a difference?

Same question about states, carvings, etc. Jefferson had slaves, no doubt, but acted on behalf of freedom (again, unfortunately, not for everyone.) Lee led the fight to preserve the institution of slavery (again, among other things). Does that put them in the same category? Or is there a meaningful difference?

For that matter, is there a difference between the fact that the one who creates an image is a racist and the fact that the image being honored is of a man who fought on the side of racism/slavery? Or does it make sense to lump them in together?

Opinions?

On 8/21/2017 at 1:14 AM, Komorebi said:

This land was illegally taken away from indigenous tribes -- and the images chiseled by a member of the KKK-

300px-Dean_Franklin_-_06.04.03_Mount_Rus

 

Edited by RoseRed135

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On 8/22/2017 at 7:59 PM, RoseRed135 said:

While the demographics might reflect racial attitudes, they don't necessarily. It's possible they just reflect the fact that there was a higher percentage of African Americans in the South to begin w/ (for obvious reasons) and not many of them relocated to the area where you live now.

Rose, another reason many didn't was mentioned previously in this thread- 

 

map_nhblack.gif

The map represents the demographics in the year 2000 -- I doubt it's much changed-

From Wikipedia:

"Black-White segregation is consistently declining for most metropolitan areas and cities, though there are geographical differences. In 2000, for instance, the US Census Bureau found that residential segregation has on average declined since 1980 in the West and South, but less so in the Northeast and Midwest.[64] Indeed, the top ten most segregated cities are in the Rust Belt, where total populations have declined in the last few decades.[65] Despite these pervasive patterns, changes for individual areas are sometimes small.[66] Thirty years after the civil rights era, the United States remains a residentially segregated society in which blacks and whites still often inhabit vastly different neighborhoods" [66][67]

Note from RoseRed: Adding this link to the map, as requested by Komorebi:

http://www.censusscope.org/us/map_nhblack.html

Edited by RoseRed135

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2 hours ago, RoseRed135 said:

IMO, you raise some significant issues, Komo.

But perhaps  there's a  difference, people, between putting a flag up in your (general) home and placing one at a public site? Yes? No? Maybe? Same w/ statues, etc?

I'm also wondering if the flags really compare. Yes, they represent a government, and yes, they each may have ugly racist episodes "built into (their) history." But it seems to me that the American Flag also symbolizes a country that, from its onset, tried to promote freedom (if not, unfortunately, for all) - while the Confederate Flag stands for a government that fought to preserve slavery (if among other things, as muusetta points out). Does that make any sense? And does it make a difference?

Same question about states, carvings, etc. Jefferson had slaves, no doubt, but acted on behalf of freedom (again, unfortunately, not for everyone.) Lee led the fight to preserve the institution of slavery (again, among other things). Does that put them in the same category? Or is there a meaningful difference?

For that matter, is there a difference between the fact that the one who creates an image is a racist and the fact that the image being honored is of a man who fought on the side of racism/slavery? Or does it make sense to lump them in together?

Opinions?

 

If all aren't free, then freedom is just an idea- What was promoted from the onset was privilege -- which is what the US flag truly represents- Once the Confederate flag is outlawed, which is eventual, Old Glory will then absorb all of the ugly history associated with the Civil War- The history of those who supported slavery, their statues and their flag will be laid to rest, free from remembrance -- like all the ugliness Americans not only love to forget but pretend they are not responsible for- Which is what a large part of the US flag represents- All the rest is what we, the people, are conditioned to remember when we see Old Glory-

 

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On 8/21/2017 at 1:00 AM, Komorebi said:

I've lived up North (coast and Midwest) and down (deep) South- The demographics up north near where I live look like this: 96.9% White, 0.8% Black- Down south, they looked like this: 65.91% White, 28.17% African American- I pulled the numbers and wording in red directly from Wikipedia- 

The flag of the Confederacy was in every home I visited down south -- or on one thing or another- The function of this symbol of rebellion is no different than a tradition carried on from one generation to the next-  It's a battle flag- It's also part of the Mississippi State flag:

 

What the flag of The Confederacy doesn't represent is a longing for the days that Southerners once owned slaves, but slavery is built into its history and every bit as much as the genocide of Indigenous People is built into Old Glory:

 

Using Wikipedia may not be the most accurate or reliable source of information. According to their own website it is a collaborative, written by anonymous volunteers, it may contain misinformation, invalid information and errors. ( As almost any site on the net can be)

As for flags of the Confederacy hanging in every home in the South ????   Do you think those 28.17% have that flag hanging or any other symbol that represents the ugly history that it stands for.

Because we are lucky enough to live in the US we are allowed to fly almost any flag we want. I have a plaque in my home which shows an American flag which reads home of the free because of the brave.

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BUT...have things gotten out of hand when a man of Asian decent with a name "Robert Lee" being removed from calling a play by play at a college football game because someone might be offended by his name gone too far?

Should modern expectant parents have to research to death their perspective names especially if it is an old Southern family name just to be sure nobody will ever get offended?

How far is too far?

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Lee, Li, Le, Lie....is the most common surname in the world. Obviously its racially nonspecific. Robert is among most popular name for boys for generations....That Gen. Lee happens to be named Robert Edward Lee....a combination of very common/popular names shouldn't punish anyone else for having the same/similar name. How incredibly ridiculous.

 

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