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  #9251  
Old 08-19-2017, 10:25 PM
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Originally Posted by pete View Post
Really good video explaining monuments in the South and their role in promoting The Lost Cause mythology.

https://twitter.com/mic/status/898941499550736384

Really good.
Are we going here again?

It's one thing to denounce white supremacists and neo-nazis, because they need to be denounced. It's an entirely different thing to defend the destruction of Confederate monuments. As a left leaning moderate with and admiration of history, I draw the line there. The destruction of Confederate monuments is fueled by ignorance and hate, and no, just because they are admired and lauded by racists is not a good enough reason to destroy them. The KKK burns crosses, are we going to tear down crosses?

This is only a good video if you have a very specific agenda in mind. It ignores a ton of counterpoints. It is fucking retarded to suggest that since the south delayed the construction of monuments while they were poor and occupied by northern armies, that they didn't want to honor their war heroes, and that their agenda was simply to re-oppress African Americans by building the monuments. African American oppression never subsided actually, they became indentured to the land of their masters in most cases almost immediately after the war, but you would never have known that if you listened to this bogus video, which attempts to directly correlate the statues with slavery.

I am also very skeptical of the stats he used. He cites on his timeline information from "southern poverty law center", which is a group which monitors hate groups and we can assume is highly left leaning and not a fair source of historical information. Also, is the rise in monument construction during the civil rights movement high enough to be considered statistically significant? Finally, why does it even matter, unless you are specifically trying to associate the construction of a statue with racism. That is entirely what this video is about, slanting the construction of monuments as a way to oppress minorities and not to honor war heroes or as historical markers.

He finally gets to an arguable point, the racial beliefs of Robert E. Lee. We shouldn't build statues of people who believed in the ideology of slavery right? Well, if we are going to completely ignore common world beliefs of the era when gauging the virtue of someone portrayed in a statue, than anything idolizing Ben Franklin, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson etc. is fair game. Let's tear it down! In 100 years once homosexuality has been completely integrated into society, are we also going to tear down the statues of those who thought of homosexuality as a sin?

Last of all, he brings up the subject of states rights and once again, takes a shot at Lee. After all, none of those other racists who we've built statues of were directly involved in the conflict, right? At this point his opinion stops being an opinion and is simply him being an idiot. States rights, from people who actually know what they are talking about, has never been described as a "cause" of the civil war or for ceding. It was however used as justification for the right to secede. See the difference? Afterwards the North ruled it unconstitutional, but it made much greater sense that at the time the interpretation of the constitution was that states could break off, and the North afterwards purposefully impeded and ignored the rights of the Confederacy as an independent country in order to start the war.

Back to Lee, because it's become very popular to mock, ridicule, and denounce him lately. Here are 100% historical facts for you, it tore Lee apart to resign from the U.S. army, but he believed in the sanctity of states rights and followed Virginia. While most of you in here call him a traitor, he believed, as many did at the time, that his loyalty remained first and foremost to his state. George Washington was his greatest idol, he married Washingtons grand daughter Mary Anna Custis, and his eldest son was named George Washington. His house on Arlington Hill was ceased during the war because the U.S. government wouldn't let Mary Anna Custis pay the taxes on the estate due to the lack of womens rights, and that is now the site of our national cemetery. While whoever this guy is calls Lee slavery's greatest champion and someone who mistreated slaves, Lee and Mary broke laws by teaching their slaves how to read and write.

Last point, Lee never took pride in the secession, and after the war said it was the most shameful moment of his life and never wished to have a monument or statue constructed in his name.

Those are words from a humble man, so if that's the justification you need tear down some statues with disregard for historical context, so be it. Do so with respect, and don't shit on Lee's legacy by fabricating truths(not directed at anyone here, just a general point). That isn't why these statues or being torn down now though is it?

Last edited by RSchmitz; 08-19-2017 at 10:30 PM.
  #9252  
Old 08-19-2017, 10:52 PM
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I'm not sure we should build statues of traitors who fought against the United States of America on behalf of the institution of chattel slavery.

I'm fine with the statues, but then again, my ancestors weren't brutalized and raped by some of the folks the statues are of. I can empathize with the perspective that some folks may have with regard to being constantly reminded that their ancestors' rapists and oppressors are revered by the society they currently live in.

I would be fine with the monuments being relocated to designated cemeteries and museums. That's it. No need for them to be on public property in places like courthouses and state capitols etc. I don't honestly give a shit how other white folks feel about my ancestors' heritage or history with regard to the Civil War and Jim Crow Era statue erection. My feelings of nostalgia for a different era of White Supremacy are eclipsed by legitimate equality issues being dealt with by minorities in this current era of White Supremacy.

Also, Lee may have been "not so bad" as you outlined, but I've been told that there were plenty of "very fine" people marching with the Nazis and White Supremacists in C'Ville too...

Last edited by ZeykShade; 08-19-2017 at 10:57 PM.
  #9253  
Old 08-20-2017, 12:33 AM
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You're arguing these statues are monuments to history. Again, they're monuments to an alternative history that never existed, one meant to soften hard truths and recast and apologize for the misdeeds of the past so the sins of a system of racial inequality could be perpetuated in the future. The proof isn't hard to find. Just look at the recasting of Lee and the shuffling of the goalposts about his personal views about slavery.

http://dailycaller.com/2017/08/15/fa...ppose-slavery/

http://www.nola.com/politics/index.s...laves_and.html

Note Lee's own words about the so-called necessity of the "painful discipline" of slavery in order to supposedly civilize them.

Note also that, indeed, defense of "state's rights" has been used as an excuse for the Civil War by Confederate apologists when, indeed, the State of Mississippi's own declaration of secession directly cites slavery as its central rationale. I know that this tension between the Confederate propaganda argument for states rights and the real reason for the Civil War (slavery) exists as a real argument because I can remember having it in history class as early as the 5th grade when we were given textbooks that have the state's rights rationale for the Civil War even though a blind man could see South Carolina's secession was triggered by the election of an abolitionist President and that even at 9-10 years old we were bright enough to but 2+2 together that the Civil War was absolutely about slavery.

In so far as the notion that the surge in the election of mass produced Confederate monuments during Jim Crow wasn't about rolling back the rights of blacks because there hadnt been any advanced made in the 3 or 4 decades since the Civil War, I will just say that Reconstruction is easily the most poorly understood and taught era in American history. Yes, it is true that most of those freed by the 13th Amendment lacked the education and opportunity to leave the South and thus found themselves in a disadvantaged situation not altogether dissimilar to what they lived under prior to the Civil War. But, it's also true to say there were significant advancements in the right of political expression and exercise of the right to vote that were absolutely rolled back during Jim Crow. If you don't believe that, here's the list of African American office holders who rose to power in the South during Reconstruction before white Southerners disenfranchised blacks through schemes like poll taxes and literacy tests (shameful practices we've taken up again in the present in different forms).

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List...Reconstruction

Decades later a second surge in the erection of these monuments (and the use of the Confederate battle flag in Southern state flags) came just as the Civil Rights movement was winning its struggle against segregation. And no, it's not a coincidence.

And no, we're not going to just dismiss statistics from the Southern Poverty Law Center just because you don't want to acknowledge them. If you've got a factual basis for repudiating them go right on ahead, but impugning their integrity just because you don't agree with their position on this issue doesn't cut it in the crucible of debate.

As I said, my preference would be these monuments come with proper interpretive exhibits with the real, unvarnished historical record allowing people to draw their own conclusions. Stick Lee's quote about slavery's "painful discipline" next to his statue and then let people decide if they're really comfortable lionizing him as a hero. I suspect, with the real facts out in the open, you'll see greatly diminished nostalgia for the Confederacy. Put the truth out there on front street, and I'll bet you most Americans won't have the stomach to support the immoral underpinnings of that so-called "Lost Cause."

To address the foolish analogy about "removing crosses." The cross is a symbol of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, a man who taught people about tolerance and love (which is probably why shit bricks like the KKK choose to burn them). These statues are representations of men who made war against the United States of America to start an independent nation where men would have the "right" to subjugate and enslave men of another race. There's no reasonable comparison between the two anymore than there was for Trump and his apologists to claim moral equivilancy between counterprotestors marching against racism and the Nazis who eventually ran them over like ISIS terrorists.

In closing, let me just say, there's only three monuments from the Civil War that we should all be truly proud of. They're called the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments. The rest are just testaments to the savagery of war, but those three Amendments canonize the ideals for which so much blood was worth shedding.
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  #9254  
Old 08-20-2017, 02:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pete View Post
You're arguing these statues are monuments to history. Again, they're monuments to an alternative history that never existed, one meant to soften hard truths and recast and apologize for the misdeeds of the past so the sins of a system of racial inequality could be perpetuated in the future. The proof isn't hard to find. Just look at the recasting of Lee and the shuffling of the goalposts about his personal views about slavery.

http://dailycaller.com/2017/08/15/fa...ppose-slavery/

http://www.nola.com/politics/index.s...laves_and.html

Note Lee's own words about the so-called necessity of the "painful discipline" of slavery in order to supposedly civilize them.
I never argued that Lee did not believe in slavery. In that same article you are quoting Lee also says "slavery as an institution, is a moral and political evil in any country." I don't think it gets much more concrete in terms of where his idealism was. Calling him the champion of slavery is a bunch of bullshit, he was a realist. He advanced and advocated for rights to slaves without supporting the abolition of slavery because of the economic and social impact. Today, it's very convenient to paint everyone who wasn't a total abolitionist as someone who was staunchly for the institution. It completely ignores the world view and reality of the mid 19th century.


Quote:
Originally Posted by pete View Post
Note also that, indeed, defense of "state's rights" has been used as an excuse for the Civil War by Confederate apologists when, indeed, the State of Mississippi's own declaration of secession directly cites slavery as its central rationale. I know that this tension between the Confederate propaganda argument for states rights and the real reason for the Civil War (slavery) exists as a real argument because I can remember having it in history class as early as the 5th grade when we were given textbooks that have the state's rights rationale for the Civil War even though a blind man could see South Carolina's secession was triggered by the election of an abolitionist President and that even at 9-10 years old we were bright enough to but 2+2 together that the Civil War was absolutely about slavery.
I haven't said anything to dispute this. It's not a particularly complicated argument. Slavery was the cause of the civil war, yet it isn't mutually exclusive from states rights. The south seceded because they wanted the right to decide for themselves whether they would allow slavery, and states rights extended far beyond that. Don't forget, our original government was a confederation, and when ratifying the Constitution the south was very hesitant and delayed signing it until certain verbage was included. The civil war was fought over the interpretation of that, not just slavery.

Saying states rights were not an important decider for the war is just as wrong as a Confederate apologist saying the Civil War was not fought over slavery.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pete View Post
In so far as the notion that the surge in the election of mass produced Confederate monuments during Jim Crow wasn't about rolling back the rights of blacks because there hadnt been any advanced made in the 3 or 4 decades since the Civil War, I will just say that Reconstruction is easily the most poorly understood and taught era in American history. Yes, it is true that most of those freed by the 13th Amendment lacked the education and opportunity to leave the South and thus found themselves in a disadvantaged situation not altogether dissimilar to what they lived under prior to the Civil War. But, it's also true to say there were significant advancements in the right of political expression and exercise of the right to vote that were absolutely rolled back during Jim Crow. If you don't believe that, here's the list of African American office holders who rose to power in the South during Reconstruction before white Southerners disenfranchised blacks through schemes like poll taxes and literacy tests (shameful practices we've taken up again in the present in different forms).

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List...Reconstruction

Decades later a second surge in the erection of these monuments (and the use of the Confederate battle flag in Southern state flags) came just as the Civil Rights movement was winning its struggle against segregation. And no, it's not a coincidence.
So you are of the opinion that if symbols are used and monuments are built inappropriately, that their actual original purpose and meaning should be ignored, and they should be scrapped/demolished?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pete View Post
And no, we're not going to just dismiss statistics from the Southern Poverty Law Center just because you don't want to acknowledge them. If you've got a factual basis for repudiating them go right on ahead, but impugning their integrity just because you don't agree with their position on this issue doesn't cut it in the crucible of debate.
Except I said I was skeptical, I didn't dismiss their statistics like you claim. You should know the difference. Considering that they are not an official historical database, and they do have an agenda, I absolutely can question them as a source and not accept it on face value. That isn't "repudiating them" or "impugning their integrity".



Quote:
Originally Posted by pete View Post
As I said, my preference would be these monuments come with proper interpretive exhibits with the real, unvarnished historical record allowing people to draw their own conclusions. Stick Lee's quote about slavery's "painful discipline" next to his statue and then let people decide if they're really comfortable lionizing him as a hero. I suspect, with the real facts out in the open, you'll see greatly diminished nostalgia for the Confederacy. Put the truth out there on front street, and I'll bet you most Americans won't have the stomach to support the immoral underpinnings of that so-called "Lost Cause."

To address the foolish analogy about "removing crosses." The cross is a symbol of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, a man who taught people about tolerance and love (which is probably why shit bricks like the KKK choose to burn them). These statues are representations of men who made war against the United States of America to start an independent nation where men would have the "right" to subjugate and enslave men of another race. There's no reasonable comparison between the two anymore than there was for Trump and his apologists to claim moral equivilancy between counterprotestors marching against racism and the Nazis who eventually ran them over like ISIS terrorists.
No reasonable comparison? I wonder, if you asked Native Americans how they felt about the symbol of the cross, if they would share your interpretation and enthusiasm. I wonder, if you asked any of the millions of people burned at the stake, hung, beheaded, or tortured during middle part of the 1st millennia, if they thought the cross was a symbol of tolerance and love, if they would agree with you. Hell, I wonder if you asked slaves how they felt about the cross after being told by a white slave owner that God wanted them to be slaves, if they would interpret the cross as a symbol of good or evil.

So because right now, a particular interpretation of a symbol is popular, that somehow provides justification to destroy that symbol in spite of the beliefs of others?
  #9255  
Old 08-20-2017, 03:05 AM
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Originally Posted by ZeykShade View Post
I'm not sure we should build statues of traitors who fought against the United States of America on behalf of the institution of chattel slavery.

I'm fine with the statues, but then again, my ancestors weren't brutalized and raped by some of the folks the statues are of. I can empathize with the perspective that some folks may have with regard to being constantly reminded that their ancestors' rapists and oppressors are revered by the society they currently live in.

I would be fine with the monuments being relocated to designated cemeteries and museums. That's it. No need for them to be on public property in places like courthouses and state capitols etc. I don't honestly give a shit how other white folks feel about my ancestors' heritage or history with regard to the Civil War and Jim Crow Era statue erection. My feelings of nostalgia for a different era of White Supremacy are eclipsed by legitimate equality issues being dealt with by minorities in this current era of White Supremacy.

Also, Lee may have been "not so bad" as you outlined, but I've been told that there were plenty of "very fine" people marching with the Nazis and White Supremacists in C'Ville too...
States retained some degree of sovereignty under the Constitution which gave them the right to cede. There hadn't been all of these supreme court cases and a war fought to work out the kinks. Are you a traitor if by law, you are no longer a citizen of the country you are asked to fight against? It's very convenient to sit back in the 21st century and call these people traitors.

I'd be okay with the temporary removal of monuments. There is too much racial division in this country right now. It isn't going to solve anything.
  #9256  
Old 08-20-2017, 10:44 AM
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So you are of the opinion that if symbols are used and monuments are built inappropriately, that their actual original purpose and meaning should be ignored, and they should be scrapped/demolished?
My point, and the whole point of the video, is that the actual original purpose and meaning of these monuments was a part of a coordinated propaganda campaign to obscure the real history of the Confederacy, to soften and confuse its sordid moral underpinnings, and perpetuate the Lost Cause myth.

Look at what Dinesh D'Souza Tweeted about Lee being against slavery. That's total bullshit, but millions throughout the country believe that crap because there's been 150 years of false history perpetuated about the Lost Cause that portrays Lee in much more favorable light in order to try to make him a sympathetic figure. Until we confront the lie of the Lost Cause and tell hard truths about America's history from the Civil War through Reconstruction through Jim Crow through the Civil Rights movement through to today, we're just doomed to repeat the same mistakes and commit the same barbaric and immoral inhumanities toward our brothers and sisters. Just look at how we're repeating the same disenfranchisement of minorities at the ballot box like it's Jim Crow all over again. It's time to educate people about the real history, warts and all. Tearing down these monuments alone doesn't accomplish that (which is why I'd rather see a commitment to building counter-exhibits/monuments to correct the historical record), but tearing them down at least puts an end to one prong of the century and a half of disinformation.

And your counterpoint about crosses remains the second weakest of your arguments in this debate (beside trying To give SPLC's statistics side eye). Seriously, I almost fell out laughing when I saw it the first time. Just saying. The Christian faith has been such a deep wellspring of strength for African Americans throughout our history and, indeed, the greatest of our Civil Rights leaders have typically been Christian pastors. The idea that you could ever draw a parallel between the cross and Confederate monuments with a straight face is just really silly, if you'll take a step back and look at it with perspective.
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  #9257  
Old 08-20-2017, 12:50 PM
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When I was a little boy I read a short biography about Lee that cast him as a thoughtful, reluctant leader and a military genius. I loved it. He became a hero to me, and as I grew up I considered myself a Civil War buff. I read tons and tons of history, including several sets of books on Lee. I wish I could show you the original book I read, because it's clear to me now that it was propaganda. I respect people who cherish and study history, but if you're reading texts from scholars and not children's books, it's plain to see that he was at the very least a very complex and conflicted man. I don't think any broad strokes should be used. But my eyes have been opened by reading his own words about slavery and Blacks. I cannot in good conscience hold him in the same regard I used to. And as for any monuments to the Confederacy, it's heros, soldiers, etc., I cannot in good conscience see them as merely symbols of history. No, these statues and monuments are more complex, too. And I just can't get past how hurtful they are to innocent victims. If there were just a dozen or two scattered in key historical locations I could maybe see them that way. But the fact that hundreds were made and mass-produced speaks to something far more insipid. I strongly believe that every community has a right to decide the fate of any of these things.
  #9258  
Old 08-20-2017, 01:05 PM
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And then we have this....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXgcc4c2MKw
  #9259  
Old 08-20-2017, 01:08 PM
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Jerry Lewis has died at the age of 91. I loved his movies.
  #9260  
Old 08-20-2017, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by pete View Post
My point, and the whole point of the video, is that the actual original purpose and meaning of these monuments was a part of a coordinated propaganda campaign to obscure the real history of the Confederacy, to soften and confuse its sordid moral underpinnings, and perpetuate the Lost Cause myth.
Would have been fine if he stopped there.

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Originally Posted by pete View Post
Look at what Dinesh D'Souza Tweeted about Lee being against slavery. That's total bullshit, but millions throughout the country believe that crap because there's been 150 years of false history perpetuated about the Lost Cause that portrays Lee in much more favorable light in order to try to make him a sympathetic figure. Until we confront the lie of the Lost Cause and tell hard truths about America's history from the Civil War through Reconstruction through Jim Crow through the Civil Rights movement through to today, we're just doomed to repeat the same mistakes and commit the same barbaric and immoral inhumanities toward our brothers and sisters. Just look at how we're repeating the same disenfranchisement of minorities at the ballot box like it's Jim Crow all over again. It's time to educate people about the real history, warts and all.
So, in simple terms the answer to my question as to whether you believe the misuse of monuments invalidates all of their historical and symbolic purpose is yes, and we should judge all of these figures from a 21st century perspective. That's some really shaky ground you are standing on there friend. Mount Rushmore features four presidents who have been revered in U.S. history. While you are busy educating everyone about the southern traitors, don't forget, George Washington owned over 300 slaves and supported the fugitive slave act. Thomas Jefferson practiced slavery and owned over 130 slaves.

Abraham Lincoln famously emancipated slaves, but he supported eradicating Indian tribes from western lands and approved America’s largest-ever mass execution, the hanging of 38 Dakota in Mankato for their alleged crimes in the 1862 war along the Minnesota River. Teddy Roosevelt, once wrote: “I don’t go so far as to think that the only good Indians are dead Indians, but I believe nine out of every ten are … .” Time to blow up Mount Rushmore?

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Originally Posted by pete View Post
Tearing down these monuments alone doesn't accomplish that (which is why I'd rather see a commitment to building counter-exhibits/monuments to correct the historical record), but tearing them down at least puts an end to one prong of the century and a half of disinformation.
As long as there is an equal number of counter-exhibits for every revered U.S. idle, which is 90% of my argument. Selectively condemning all confederate monuments without acknowledging the world view of the time isn't educating people. Going back to those on Mount Rushmore, George Washtington did as much good for slaves as he did bad, as did Jefferson. The view today however is that if you weren't 100% against slavery, you were a despicable person.

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And your counterpoint about crosses remains the second weakest of your arguments in this debate (beside trying To give SPLC's statistics side eye). Seriously, I almost fell out laughing when I saw it the first time. Just saying. The Christian faith has been such a deep wellspring of strength for African Americans throughout our history and, indeed, the greatest of our Civil Rights leaders have typically been Christian pastors. The idea that you could ever draw a parallel between the cross and Confederate monuments with a straight face is just really silly, if you'll take a step back and look at it with perspective.
Who cares about the SPLC's statistics? We can move past that...

The cross is a great example of a symbol that has been misused. I'm having trouble seeing your side of the argument here.
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