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Confederate statues My view

#21 User is online   hrothgar 

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Posted 2017-August-19, 04:40

View PostThe_Badger, on 2017-August-19, 03:12, said:

Yes, I agree that Daniels remarks are clichéd at best comparing Confederate Statues to movie posters. But many of these statues were erected in the late 1800s/early 1900s and are part of the history of the USA.

As a traditional left-wing Labour (Democrat) voter myself, I would definitely veto any attempt to erect any divisive symbolism such as Confederate Statues in this day and age.

However, given that the USA has participated in numerous wars around the world, some very divisive, killing millions of ordinary people, shouldn't the Statue of Liberty be dismantled too?


Where to begin...

1. The Statue of Liberty is an example and a celebration of the America's best instincts. In what way would tearing the Statue of Liberty down be any kind of apology for the wars that we have fought.

2. Perfidious Albion doesn't get to lecture the United States about fighting bloody wars. Your own history is checkered at best. America's bloodiest foreign wars were fought to protect your damn hides. (And before you go and bring up Vietnam or Iraq, I know all about the Suez crisis. The reason that Britain stopped flexing its muscles is that the only foreign powers that you can threaten any more are local bullies like Argentina)

3. If you really want to critique the US start with the fact that we committed genocide against the native inhabitants of the North America as well as slave trade. (Oh wait, most of this was started when we were still a British colony so that might be a bit hypocritical)

Going back to the original topic of the statues:

If these statues were ONLY a historical landmark, I might agree with you. But they're not. They are living history and ongoing speech.
They say to the black inhabitants of the South "Reconstruction failed. You are still second rate citizens. You will never be us."

And in today's political climate, where the Civil Rights Act is being undone, where the Republican party is championing voter suppression and racial gerrymandering, the continued display of these statues on public land is intolerable.

These statues were erected as an act of political speech during the worst days of Jim Crow and the fight over the Civil Rights Act.
Their removal can and should serve as political speech once again, this time showing that the South is rejecting those old arguments.
Alderaan delenda est
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#22 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2017-August-19, 04:42

View Postspotlight7, on 2017-August-18, 18:48, said:

The American Constitution was written and signed by traitors to their English king.


Lee was pardoned after the Civil War so he is not legally a traitor as you claim.



Slavery has existed for thousands of years and in many nations/empires.


The great black empires in Africa held large numbers of slaves.


Greece and Rome held huge numbers of slaves.


What is the point of your comment? Is it that if slavery is so popular it must be good?
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#23 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2017-August-19, 05:18

View PostVampyr, on 2017-August-19, 04:42, said:

What is the point of your comment? Is it that if slavery is so popular it must be good?

I thought the argument was quite simple. Winston advanced 2 arguments, one legal, one moral.

Spotlight gave 2 answers to the legal argument - that it would lead to the Founding Fathers also being excluded from having statues, since they themselves were traitors (not to mention terrorists by a modern definition) and that Lee is not legally a traitor due to being pardoned.

And the answer to the moral argument is essentially that the practise at the time was widespread and should therefore not be judged exclusively by modern standards.

I personally admire Lee as one of the great generals of his age. I do not admire the Confederacy more generally nor do I - support the views that it stood for. The question of a statue is in part on what values you attach to it. There was a similar debate in the UK some years back regarding Margaret Thatcher - is a statue to her representing her position, her economic reforms or a reminder to working-class people and Scots of how their "masters" can hurt them?

Similarly for Lee - you can see a statue as honouring his military prowess, his grace in defeat or by his association with the Confederacy as a whole. For me, which aspects someone focuses on says something about that person. On a purely military level, if (for example) Patton "deserves" a statue then most assuredly so does Lee.

What it should not be though is a rallying point for racism - I am confident that Lee himself would be horrified by the idea if he were alive today. If America is in such a place that it is impossible to separate one aspect of his legacy from the other then it would be better for there to be no statues - but, once again, that says more about the state of America than the man himself and that is something I find somewhat disheartening over half a century on from the death of MLK.
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#24 User is online   hrothgar 

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Posted 2017-August-19, 05:35

View PostZelandakh, on 2017-August-19, 05:18, said:

I thought the argument was quite simple. Winston advanced 2 arguments, one legal, one moral.

Spotlight gave 2 answers to the legal argument - that it would lead to the Founding Fathers also being excluded from having statues, since they themselves were traitors (not to mention terrorists by a modern definition) and that Lee is not legally a traitor due to being pardoned.

And the answer to the moral argument is essentially that the practise at the time was widespread and should therefore not be judged exclusively by modern standards.



But the statues weren't put up to honor Lee or Jackson or whomever.
That's the excuse

The reasons that the statues were erect during the 1920s was a celebration of the end of reconstruction.
They are political message directed at blacks saying "We won. You are, once again, disenfranchised."

Also, the founder are celebrated for variety of accomplishments not because they were traitors.
Lee - Lost Cause mythology not withstanding - would be forgotten today had he not killed hundreds of thousands of his own men defending the right of whites to enslave blacks.
Alderaan delenda est
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#25 User is offline   spotlight7 

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Posted 2017-August-19, 06:29

Lee was offered command of the Union Army before war broke out.

He was a widely respected military officer from his service in the War with Mexico.



Only a small percentage of the men in Picketts charge at Gettysburg owned slaves.


If slavery were the reason, there would have not been any advance that day.



Statues put up in the 1920s were to tell women that they still could not vote.
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#26 User is online   hrothgar 

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Posted 2017-August-19, 06:40

View Postspotlight7, on 2017-August-19, 06:29, said:

Lee was offered command of the Union Army before war broke out.
He was a widely respected military officer from his service in the War with Mexico.


Yes.

Today, no one gives a rat's ass about Winnifield Scott.
They should need to be reminded about Robert E Lee

Quote

Only a small percentage of the men in Picketts charge at Gettysburg owned slaves
If slavery were the reason, there would have not been any advance that day.


You can still hate blacks even if you can't personally own one...

Quote

Statues put up in the 1920s were to tell women that they still could not vote.


No, you worthless neo Confederate piece of *****
Alderaan delenda est
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#27 User is offline   PrecisionL 

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Posted 2017-August-19, 06:40

Lee spent the rest of his life after the war working for reconciliation.
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#28 User is offline   RedSpawn 

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Posted 2017-August-19, 06:41

View Postspotlight7, on 2017-August-18, 18:48, said:

The American Constitution was written and signed by traitors to their English king.


Lee was pardoned after the Civil War so he is not legally a traitor as you claim.

Slavery has existed for thousands of years and in many nations/empires.


The great black empires in Africa held large numbers of slaves.


Greece and Rome held huge numbers of slaves.

Your assertion seems to include the logical fallacy known as bandwagon.
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#29 User is offline   RedSpawn 

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Posted 2017-August-19, 06:46

View PostVampyr, on 2017-August-19, 04:42, said:

What is the point of your comment? Is it that if slavery is so popular it must be good?

Posted Image

Yuppers. Watch your step, those logical fallacies are a doozy!
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#30 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2017-August-19, 06:50

View Postspotlight7, on 2017-August-18, 18:48, said:

.


Lee was pardoned after the Civil War so he is not legally a traitor as you claim.




The acceptance of a pardon is an admission of guilt. Burdick v. United States
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#31 User is offline   RedSpawn 

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Posted 2017-August-19, 07:22

View Posthrothgar, on 2017-August-19, 05:35, said:

But the statues weren't put up to honor Lee or Jackson or whomever.
That's the excuse

The reasons that the statues were erect during the 1920s was a celebration of the end of reconstruction.
They are political message directed at blacks saying "We won. You are, once again, disenfranchised."

Also, the founder are celebrated for variety of accomplishments not because they were traitors.
Lee - Lost Cause mythology not withstanding - would be forgotten today had he not killed hundreds of thousands of his own men defending the right of whites to enslave blacks.

We talked about 1865-1965 was the era of Jim Crow segregation and racism so 'Negro' suffrage was a very HOT TOPIC. Jim Crow was the South's institutional response to the losses it incurred from the Civil War. It was a feeble attempt to restore THE OLD SOCIALLY POPULAR ORDER and disenfranchise the Negro who, per federal law, was allowed to vote in state elections.

We all know what old social order the South wanted to reestablish and it had naught to do with the notion that all men are created equal. Jim Crow and its symbolic vestiges reminded everyone who the South's heroes and leaders were and which race was the ordained underclass.

Jim Crow was a sanctioned form of political rebellion to the new order and ensured disenfranchisement of the Negro. It was a bold statement Old Dixie declared to demonstrate she was far from relinquishing her control and subjugation of "The Negro" in the Reconstructed South.

When we see a statue of Lee -- exactly who are we honoring? Are we honoring a Virginian man who is not a traitor? Are we honoring a great, courageous military leader? Are we acknowledging that the Civil War was not just about protecting state's rights, the Southern heritage and way of life from meddling federal bureaucrats, but was also a war about how to deal with the peculiar institution of slavery which became a political weapon for greater representation and power in Congress (as with the 3/5 Compromise)?

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#32 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2017-August-19, 07:38

View PostRedSpawn, on 2017-August-19, 07:22, said:

We talked about 1865-1965 was the era of Jim Crow segregation and racism so 'Negro' suffrage was a very HOT TOPIC. Jim Crow was the South's institutional response to the losses it incurred from the Civil War. It was a feeble attempt to restore THE OLD SOCIALLY POPULAR ORDER and disenfranchise the Negro who per federal law was allowed to vote in state elections.

We all know what old order the South was trying to reestablish and it had naught to do with the notion that all men are created equal. Jim Crow and its symbolic vestiges reminded everyone who the South's heroes and leaders were. It also ensured disenfranchisement of the Negro and to make it known that Old Dixie was far from relinquishing its control and subjugation of "The Negro".

When we see a statue of Lee -- what are we honoring? Are we honoring a man who is not a traitor? Are we honoring a great military leader? Are we acknowledging that the Civil War was not just about protecting state's rights, the Southern heritage and way of life from meddling federal bureaucrats, but was also a war about how to deal with the peculiar institution of slavery as a political weapon for greater representation and power in Congress (as with the 3/5 Compromise).

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The states' rights the south cared about was slavery.
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#33 User is online   kenberg 

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Posted 2017-August-19, 08:30

I know this is about statues but I want to mention Charlottesville. Nazis, racists, white supremacists were honoring Lee in about the same way as the terrorists in Barcelona were honoring Allah. In both cases it is an honor that the honoree would unequivocally renounce. I expect a lot of those nuts could not tell you which decade the Civil War was fought and could not tell you what Lee did before, during or after the war. They came to wave swastikas, they did not come to honor anyone.

Now to the statues. Statues are always a problem. They always involve a lot of symbolism. Richard mentioned the Statue of Liberty:
"Your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore, Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door."
We don't actually mean this and we never did. At the least we have always had reservations and qualifications to it.
We put those words there to praise ourselves, but woe to anyone who thinks we really mean it. Many Americans, including my father and my maternal grandfather, were immigrants. We have accepted many immigrants, that is true. Still, caution is advised about the quoted words.

And statues of Lee? I expect many African-Americans view such a statue as a statement that the South is still the South, Appomattox be damned, and I think they are reading the message as it was intended.
American history is complicated and there are some pretty ugly spots. All in all, I regard myself as very lucky to live here. That is very different from claiming perfection or anything near it. The best way to honor our history is to acknowledge our history. The good, the bad, the ugly. And then try to do better. Slavery is part of our history, Lee is part of our history, I expect he thought he was doing right. It wasn't right, it was wrong. Almost all Americans now say it was wrong, and I think most Americans do actually believe that it was wrong. It is long past time to make that clear.

Most if not all statues are symbolic statements. In the case of statues honoring the leaders of the Confederacy, anyone can see what the symbolic message is. If we do not want to convey that message, we should stop sending it.
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#34 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2017-August-19, 09:35

There's a reason why this movement is happening now. For most of the decades since the Civil Rights Act was passed, it seemed like things were moving in the right direction. Yes, it's been slow progress, but progress nonetheless. We even managed to elect our first black President (and almost managed to elect our first female).

But in the past few years, it feels like things have been moving backwards. Maybe it's just stagnating, but it feels backwards because we expect better. Or we're just becoming more aware of how bad things still are. Most overt racism is gone (there are no "whites only" signs anywhere), but there's still lots of implicit and unconscious racism. With all these problems becoming more and more visible, the existence of these monuments feels like a continued slap in the face to African-Amerians and progressives. They announce "The North may have won the military war, but they didn't defeat us in the culture war -- whites are still in charge."

Sometimes I like to compare us to South Africa. They also had institutionalized racism in their Apartheid policy. It ended in 1991, 3 years later they elected Nelson Mandela as their President, despite (or perhaps because of) his history as a political prisoner, and they have had only black Presidents since then. Yet here we are, 150 years since ending slavery, and 50 years since passing major civil rights legislation, and we're still hopelessly mired in racial tension.

We can't even agree that it's time to stop honoring the men who led the fight against ending slavery.

#35 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2017-August-19, 09:41

View Postspotlight7, on 2017-August-19, 06:29, said:

Only a small percentage of the men in Picketts charge at Gettysburg owned slaves.

If slavery were the reason, there would have not been any advance that day.

They may not have owned slaves themselves, but they were fighting to defend the rights of those who did. And they benefited from the economy that depended on slavery.

This is one of the problems with trying to have a discussion about the Civil War, there are still too many people promoting these fallacies that slavery was not the primary issue it was fought over. Revisionist history is how people try to assuage their guilt from celebrating their southern heritage.

#36 User is offline   RedSpawn 

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Posted 2017-August-19, 09:52

View Postkenberg, on 2017-August-19, 08:30, said:

I know this is about statues but I want to mention Charlottesville. Nazis, racists, white supremacists were honoring Lee in about the same way as the terrorists in Barcelona were honoring Allah. In both cases it is an honor that the honoree would unequivocally renounce. I expect a lot of those nuts could not tell you which decade the Civil War was fought and could not tell you what Lee did before, during or after the war. They came to wave swastikas, they did not come to honor anyone.

Now to the statues. Statues are always a problem. They always involve a lot of symbolism. Richard mentioned the Statue of Liberty:
"Your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore, Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door."
We don't actually mean this and we never did. At the least we have always had reservations and qualifications to it.
We put those words there to praise ourselves, but woe to anyone who thinks we really mean it. Many Americans, including my father and my maternal grandfather, were immigrants. We have accepted many immigrants, that is true. Still, caution is advised about the quoted words.

And statues of Lee? I expect many African-Americans view such a statue as a statement that the South is still the South, Appomattox be damned, and I think they are reading the message as it was intended.
American history is complicated and there are some pretty ugly spots. All in all, I regard myself as very lucky to live here. That is very different from claiming perfection or anything near it. The best way to honor our history is to acknowledge our history. The good, the bad, the ugly. And then try to do better. Slavery is part of our history, Lee is part of our history, I expect he thought he was doing right. It wasn't right, it was wrong. Almost all Americans now say it was wrong, and I think most Americans do actually believe that it was wrong. It is long past time to make that clear.

Most if not all statues are symbolic statements. In the case of statues honoring the leaders of the Confederacy, anyone can see what the symbolic message is. If we do not want to convey that message, we should stop sending it.

BARMAR--- can you create a SUPER-LIKE button please?????

By the way, barmar, love the military war versus culture war reference. Language and semantics matter in politics and rhetoric and you are spot-on.

http://www.nytimes.c...o-suffrage.html . June 1865 Letter from the New York Times after the Civil War is over
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#37 User is offline   steve2005 

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Posted 2017-August-19, 15:22

View PostWinstonm, on 2017-August-18, 22:24, said:

Do you fail to understand that the legality I mentioned was the act of treason? If you think treasonous behavior should be memorialized, you have that right. Perhaps we should add Robert Hannsen and Aldrich Ames to your list, as well.

Yes, but US is a land of free speech. US is very reticent to pass laws against such things. There have been laws passed against people profiting from their crimes. I don't believe their is a law that says people can't do things to memorialize criminals even traitors. I don't know US law so maybe there is. But in general US law usually allows such things.
I didn't say it was right to memorialize criminals.


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#38 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2017-August-19, 16:26

Lee did not commit treason. He resigned his commission in the US Army, where he had served honorably for more than a quarter of a century, and retired to his home state.

In a letter to his sister, written the same day he resigned his commission, Lee said:

Quote

Now we are in a state of war which will yield to nothing. The whole South is in a state of revolution, into which Virginia, after a long struggle, has been drawn; and though I recognise no necessity for this state of things, and would have forborne and pleaded to the end for redress of grievances, real or supposed, yet in my own person I had to meet the question whether I should take part against my native State.
With all my devotion to the Union and the feeling of loyalty and duty of an American citizen, I have not been able to make up my mind to raise my hand against my relatives, my children, my home. I have therefore resigned my commission in the Army, and save in defense of my native State, with the sincere hope that my poor services may never be needed, I hope I may never be called on to draw my sword. I know you will blame me; but you must think as kindly of me as you can, and believe that I have endeavoured to do what I thought right.


There was and is no provision in the US Constitution prohibiting States from seceding from the Union. To the contrary, the principles espoused in the Declaration of Independence state outright that

Quote

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…

Under the Constitution, these United States are a federation of sovereign states. We should not lose sight of that.
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#39 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2017-August-19, 16:53

View Postblackshoe, on 2017-August-19, 16:26, said:

Lee did not commit treason. He resigned his commission in the US Army, where he had served honorably for more than a quarter of a century, and retired to his home state.

In a letter to his sister, written the same day he resigned his commission, Lee said:



There was and is no provision in the US Constitution prohibiting States from seceding from the Union. To the contrary, the principles espoused in the Declaration of Independence state outright that
Under the Constitution, these United States are a federation of sovereign states. We should not lose sight of that.


The Civil War ended the idea that secession was or is legal. There still is in the constitution a prohibition called treason for "making war against the United States". At the time of the Civil War, Lee was still an American citizen. Hence, treasonous. He lost his citizenship for making war against the U.S. and was never fully pardoned until Gerald Ford reinstated his citizenship.
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#40 User is offline   nige1 

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Posted 2017-August-19, 16:59

View Posthrothgar, on 2017-August-19, 06:40, said:

No, you worthless neo Confederate piece of *****

Hrothgar argues against hurting minority feelings :)
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