Confederate Statues and Monuments
August 22, 2017
- This page was written in response to an email I received asking my opinion regarding
the removal of Conferate statues, and the erasing / rewriting of history.
- I think there are two issues that are getting mixed/blurred:
- erasing our history by virtue of removing Confederate statues/monuments
- rewriting U.S. history
- Confederate Monuments
- Slavery and our constitution were incompatible. One of the two had to go and we went
to war to settle the matter once and for all. As a result, our nation paid a terrible price
for the sin of slavery.
- I understand why some are not pleased that we honor those who fought to perpetuate
slavery. They denied the right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness for those
who were brought here unwillingly.
- As an example outside our nation, imagine if monuments to prominent Nazi leaders were erected
- It's one thing to display statues, paintings, etc. of Nazi leadership in museums
that provide some historical perspective, but it would be quite another perspective to have
them prominently displayed throughout the country as if they were "war heroes".
- I feel likewise about Confederate statues/monuments. Those in Confederate leadership
were not war heroes. They were men who wanted to perpetuate the evil of slavery and hid behind
"states rights" in an attempt to do so.
- I suppose the monuments were erected post-Civil War:
- as a means of helping the south heal. The thinking perhaps being: "Yes, we lost but we put up a good fight."
- It could also be the statues/monuments were a way of poking the north in the eye one last time.
Their value today is questionable.
- I recently read where those who oversee Gettysburg National Battlefield
have said that no monuments will be removed. (I hope they have stepped up their patrols.)
In my opinion, GNB is indeed a museum and the monuments, statues, markers, etc.,
are of great historical value and should stay.
- Rewriting Our History
- I do not believe there is an effort to rewrite history, but there are those
who believe these statues/monuents glorify the dark side of our history, and therefore
they should be removed.
- I also do not believe there is an attempt to erase history. To the contrary, I have
read/heard some bemoaning that our sins are the focus of U.S. history and not that we beat back
and overcame our sins.
- However, you might be correct. The downside to removing these statues from courthouses,
town halls, etc., is that there very presence cause some to wonder who these people were and why
it is important we remember them. In that sense, there might well be erased history.
Out of sight, out of mind.
- I completely agree that people should not take it upon themselves to destroy
- That is vigilantism and should have no place in a civilized society.
- However, if local municipalities decide they no longer wish to honor these men in this manner,
I have no problem if they remove or move their monuments to an appropriate setting or designated area
reserved for those who fought for the Confederacy.
- However, this recent push to tear down these statues/monuments is not the result of thoughtful contemplation
but is nothing short of hysteria (Confederate Stauephobia).
- I am convinced statuephobia has only surfaced because Trump was elected president.
There is this attempt to tie Trump, and by assoication his supporters, to racism, which is absurd.
- I suspect we would not be hearing peep about Confederate statues if H.C. had won
the presidential election. Where were the calls to action the eight years Obama was president?
- Joshua Witt, 26, way out in Sheridan, Colorado, (not exactly a hotbed of Confederate memorabilia
nor Klan activity) was stabbed and narrowly escaped death ( click here ).
Why? Because he was misidentified as a "Neo-Nazi", apparently because of his haircut. Huh? The ignorance and bigotted stereotyping of some people is astounding.
- In conclusion:
- Sanitizing these venues could actually be counter-productive to future generations
who might not consider how societies can commit atrocities by defining people as somehow less than human.
- Do I care whether many of these statues/monuments come down or are moved? No.
- Do I think these actions will appease those who advocate they be re/moved? No.
- Beware those who are perpetually angry.