What to do with Confederate statues?


I personally think it should not have happened. Slavery is fundamentally unAmerican, and should have been abandoned when the US gained independence. It was unjust to have had a war over slavery.



Unjust from whose standpoint?



But it wasn’t. We can’t change that decision now. It happened. We can’t wish it away or change the past. All we can do is understand it and try to use it to make our understanding of the past better and our future brighter.

The fact is that the civil war was fought over slavery and it’s place in the American economy. It was not going to go away, despite the best efforts of the abolitionist movement. African Americans and many abolitionists did not view the war as unjust, but as ending an unjust system that was a blight on our country. And many southerners were eager to prove that their way of life was entirely just in the eyes of god and they viewed the war as a way to make that happen, and equally did not view the war as unjust.

You may think it was an unjust war, but you can’t change what happened in the past. The fact that many of the participants felt it to be an entirely JUST war (on both sides) is telling.



1965 was also the centenary of the war. The Durham statue that was smashed was of an anonymous soldier, and the inscription was “In Memory of the Boys who Wore Grey”.
After enough time has passed, people do want to turn their history into folklore. We could try to teach people the truth of the events, and understand them in the context of their times, including a full and truthful telling of the struggles of the oppressed. I would totally support that.
Every indignity and every bit of suffering has led to the society we now live in. No matter what you think of Jefferson or Lee or Custer, their triumphs and mistakes led us here. If you believe, as many do, that our country is nothing but a pit of oppression and despair, then tearing it all down probably makes sense to you. My advice would be that if you would rather live in a place like Lagos or Peshawar or Volgograd, it would be a lot easier to just go there than it would be to turn the US into one of those places. Besides, you could get a ticket today, and be there tomorrow. The best part is if you find that those places do not meet your utopian standards, you can always just come back.

So the Charlottesville rally was a planned national gathering of the KKK and other racist organizations. What I saw was a couple hundred sad looking misfits. I suspect that had there not already been talk of removing the statue, they would still be in their parent’s basements, commenting on stormfront. Not only are they vastly outnumbered by Antifa or BLM, but also by regular people who do not want to listen to their crap. The argument that we must scour small town America for offensive monuments to keep them from attracting hordes of racists is absurd. They are supposed to hold their meetings in isolated fields, around a fiery cross. I doubt that there are enough of them left to do even that with any regularity.

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I do. There’s plenty of good art with Hitler in it, and lots of historically significant infrastructure that has Nazi imagery on it. Destroying it won’t help anyone.

But you know, if you get past all the “someone should destroy the art that offends me instead of doing something that would be creative and positive” that infests this thread, there’s some great ideas here…

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Some of us actually want to study and better understand the past. The “folklore” your talking about were carefully calculated lies meant to bolster white supremacy. The Lost Cause mythology wasn’t built in folkways, generally, it was built by powerful people and it was meant to hide the truth of the civil war and its cause. Period.

And hiding that by celebrating the confederacy only makes us smaller and more ignorant.

That is very reductive, and I suspect you know that. The people you accuse of wishing to “tear down” the US, are simply seeking to give a fuller, more accurate picture of the past that doesn’t whitewash it.

What about Berlin, Dublin, Paris, London, Edinburgh, Tokyo, or any number of other wonderful places to live? Our options here aren’t just the US and hell. Many of us don’t WANT to leave, we want to have a better US. We are not getting that right now and plenty of people are feeling like this is a much less safe place to be. For some people, it’s never been a safe place to be.

Who brutalized and murdered people and received no condemnation from the most powerful person on earth for it. That’s a real problem.

It doesn’t take a majority. It takes enough people who don’t care and won’t listen, and an active minority willing to usurp power for their own agenda. The economic right has crawled in bed with the white supremacists. They have money and power, which the anti-fascists and BLM does not have. The “regular people” (whoever the fuck that is) don’t generally see it as an ongoing steady problem, but as a flare of a problem. Most “regular people” think like you, that it’s not widespread, or something to be concerned over. A few bad apples you say. A few bad apples got a white supremacist sympathizer elected to the most powerful position on earth. He can launch a thousand nukes within a few minutes.

I think you are seriously underestimating the threat we’re all under here. You and yours might not be on the front lines of this, and you might not feel the threat directly, but it’s there. We have to nip it in the bud now, or we’re all screwed - no more America kind of screwed.


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One could make an argument that they 3rd Reich’s style was aesthetically pleasing. Didn’t stop the allies from blowing shit up during the war. There is certainly art with Hitler, but there are no public monuments or public works of art celebrating the 3rd Reich in Germany and for a very good reason.

As for the confederate memorials, since they were indeed put up as a symbol of white supremacy, they should come down. I’m okay with them going to somewhere more appropriate, with some context with them. There really isn’t a reason for them to be in public squares across the south, where black Americans walk every day. But then again, maybe that should be up to individual communities. Personally, I don’t want to see them recontextualized in place, but elsewhere away from public squares. We have several plaques around town commemorating the battle of Atlanta. I find them far more appropriate than massive statues to slave holders, frankly. There is a set of canons in East Atlanta Village, I think - again, okay. There are some confederates and slave holders I assume in the big down town cemetery and I personally don’t object to that. We also have an entire section of Auburn avenue dedicated to Dr. King, as well as his tomb and the original Ebneezer church building (with the big fancy new one across the street).



Not too far from me, is a massive confederate memorial in what is a prominent, but not public park. Elsewhere, I found a suggestion on how to make it better:

Because, yes, I do like shrimp and grits and all that pimp shit… I’d add Killer Mike, too! All proud sons of the ATL!



In other words even after the South had a full century to come to terms with the horrors it had committed through generations of institutionalized slavery the good people of Durham decided that the men who died to defend the practice deserved a monument more than the people who had been victims of it.

Hey, the centenary of WWII is coming up in 20 years or so. Maybe the German people could commemorate the occasion by erecting a bunch of monuments to the Boys who Wore Armbands.






There is still a sizable population of these arseholes all over Europe just waiting to make their move again, like here in the USA. Which gets me to thinking… there must have been “nazis” before Nazi Germany. There must always exist a violent fringe underbelly of every society, seething, rubbing its hands, dreaming of race wars and guns and bombs and racial purity, and killing their scapegoats, and looking for an opportunity to assert power.




Melt them down into urinals.

Or use the material to make statues memorializing the tens of millions of enslaved Americans who toiled to feed and cloth the South’s “heroes.”

I’ve plugged this before. Listen if you haven’t already:



Sell them. To the highest bidder. At a public auction.




Judging by that high-quality Anarchy symbol, I’m going to go ahead and point at shit stirring teenagers.



I’m late to the party, but I got all 3 Run the Jewels albums and really enjoy all three, though I am working backwards. Listened to 3 mostly, then 2, and 1 a little bit.



nostalgia comes in waves, sometimes nostalgia feeds on and in turn is fed by the politics of the moment.

50 years since the civil war: 1910-1915
100 years since the civil war: 1960-1965

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So you’re saying he thinks he’s hot snot on a silver platter, but he’s really just a cold booger on a paper plate?

(Sorry, I got tired of the “turds in the punch bowl” analogy.)



Well, keep in mind that for much of the modern era, this wasn’t an underbelly, but mainstream thought. There was certainly anti-semitism that was entirely respectable and accepted, violent and systemic, prior to the rise of the Nazis in Germany. And racism was a mainstream, globally circulating discourse meant to keep whites in power, especially in settler colonies around the world. Governments of nation-states worked to instill particular identities during the late 19th and early 20th century, and in many cases that meant racially centered identities. Remember how much the Nazis pulled from the US Jim Crow laws in order to craft the Nuremberg laws. And the eugenics movement, which took racial categories at face value was also mainstream and taken as real science.

But I’d argue that resistance to that (through various anti-colonial, anti-imperial, anti-racist, anti-capitalist movements) helped to codify nazism and racially charged fascism into what we saw in the 20s and 30s. Without the Bolsheviks coming to power and resistance movements to colonialism exploding into the public consciousness during the interwar period (along with the disruptions of the Great War and the depression), you don’t get fascism, I think, as a colonial/imperial phenomenon IN europe itself.