Removal of Confederate statues and flags?

Jul 2014
1,445
world
#11
I would prefer that the statues and monuments be left alone. It is illogical to remove only the ones that happen to be located in what were southern locations. Shall we take down the Jefferson Memorial since he owned so many slaves? And the Washington Monument; he also owed slaves, signed the Fugitive Slave Act, etc. Shall we raze Andrew Jackson's Hermitage? Same with Jefferson Davis' Beauvoir? These guys were not Nazi's....
In a sense they were worse than the Nazis. The above mentioned guys were hypocrites who talked about liberty and persuit of happiness while owing and raping slaves.

I agree with you regarding the destruction of the statues. That is shameful.
 
Jul 2016
8,186
USA
#13
In a sense they were worse than the Nazis. The above mentioned guys were hypocrites who talked about liberty and persuit of happiness while owing and raping slaves.
The Nazis, in the middle of the 20th century, rounded up and executed ~12 million individuals, including ~6 million Jews, in the middle of a massive war they started that cost the lives of well over 50 million people.

So if someone was worse then them, I'm sure you have the evidence to prove it against that individual, correct?
 
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Chlodio

Ad Honorem
Aug 2016
3,485
Dispargum
#14
As an outsider in this argument it reminds me of visiting the Kremlin in Moscow and seeing the red stars of the Soviet Union still on top of the spires. A Russian told me that this was a deliberate move to remember their history, as there had been too much erasing of the past under the old regime. Seems to me that is what those in favour of the removal of Confederate statues are trying to do - erase history and pretend it never happened. In any case these statues honour the soldiers and their sacrifice, not the cause the politicians had them fighting for. In Germany today there are memorials to the soldiers of WWII. No one conflates these with memorials to the Nazi regime.
There are some differences. Do the Kremlin's red stars provoke division? How many Russians want to bring back the Communist era? I like the idea of a monument that says "Don't do this again," but that's not the message of the Confederate statues. I'm pretty sure the overwhelming majority of Germans acknowledge the mistake of Naziism. No German looks at a statue of a German soldier and says, "Let's bring back the Nazis." Unfortunately, that consensus of opinion does not exist in America. Many Americans still harbor strong sympathies and affections for the Confederacy. If the Confederate statues were just about courage on the battlefield, then Generals James Longstreet and William Mahone would have more statues. Longstreet only has two or three and one of them is brand new. It only went a year or so ago at Gettysburg. Mahone has no statues at all. The reason is because both generals after the war worked toward national reconciliation. In a South still bitter over their defeat these two generals were seen as traitors to the Confederate cause. So when the statues went up in the late 19th and early 20th centuries Longstreet and Mahone were ignored and forgotten. The statues that are being argued over are not about courage on the battlefield. They are part of political narrative, one version of history being advanced at the expense of another. We Americans need to find a way to commemorate the Civil War in a way that tells the full story.
 

robto

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
5,903
Lisbon, Portugal
#15
As an outsider in this argument it reminds me of visiting the Kremlin in Moscow and seeing the red stars of the Soviet Union still on top of the spires. A Russian told me that this was a deliberate move to remember their history, as there had been too much erasing of the past under the old regime. Seems to me that is what those in favour of the removal of Confederate statues are trying to do - erase history and pretend it never happened. In any case these statues honour the soldiers and their sacrifice, not the cause the politicians had them fighting for. In Germany today there are memorials to the soldiers of WWII. No one conflates these with memorials to the Nazi regime.
That's where you are wrong. Those statues were not erected to simply honour the sacrifice of the average soldier that died fighting for his ideals, if that was the case we would see a lot of confederate memorials explicitly paying homage to the "average soldier", but what we really witness is tones and tones of statues of high confederate generals and even confederate politicians mostly posing in an heroic manner or in equestrian style - that it's not in anyway comparable with the overall sad and melancholic nature of German memorials to the soldiers of WWII.

Those heroic statues were erected in the context of racial conflict - during the promulgation of the "Jim Crow laws" and the Civil rights movement in the 1950s and 60s. The funders and backers of those statues had a clear political message of legitimizing white supremacy, Southern ascendancy and a rewriting of history.
 
Likes: Fiver
Jul 2016
8,186
USA
#16
That's where you are wrong. Those statues were not erected to simply honour the sacrifice of the average soldier that died fighting for his ideals, if that was the case we would see a lot of confederate memorials explicitly paying homage to the "average soldier", but what we really witness is tones and tones of statues of high confederate generals and even confederate politicians mostly posing in an heroic manner or in equestrian style - that it's not in anyway comparable with the overall sad and melancholic nature of German memorials to the soldiers of WWII.

Those heroic statues were erected in the context of racial conflict - during the promulgation of the "Jim Crow laws" and the Civil rights movement in the 1950s and 60s. The funders and backers of those statues had a clear political message of legitimizing white supremacy, Southern ascendancy and a rewriting of history.
I'm sure you're well aware, being that you're from Portugal, but tell Historum which statues we're talking about, who originally paid for/commissioned them, and the exact affiliation of those groups. Surely being that you're comments are so generalized, the answer is clear cut and absolutely supports your theories.

Thanks!
 

Sam-Nary

Ad Honorem
Jun 2012
6,761
At present SD, USA
#17
The Nazis, in the middle of the 20th century, rounded up and executed ~12 million individuals, including ~6 million Jews, in the middle of a massive war they started that cost the lives of well over 50 million people.

So if someone was worse then them, I'm sure you have the evidence to prove it against that individual, correct?
I'd think the comparison made is in the nature of the persecution...

For example, Hitler and the Nazis were blatantly obvious with who they hated and that those people WOULD lose their rights under Nazi rule. And that goes all the way back to "Mein Kampf," in this, there really isn't... or shouldn't be anything that can be used to deny Nazi party racism. The thing that lead to the war and the cost, both in military and civilian losses was that no one really believed that Hitler would go as far as he did until late 1944 to 1945. Even the spies who found out about the Holocaust as it was going on weren't believed.

In contrast, many American leaders tried to play to the idea that "all" were created equal. That line in the Declaration of Independence would carry an implication that would go beyond just whites but the entire US population as a whole. And Lincoln himself would even touch on that issue, "We once read the Declaration of Independence to mean that all men are created equal. We know read it all men are created equal, except negroes. Soon we may read it to mean, all men are created equal except negroes, foreigners, and Catholics. When such an event occurs I would prefer to immigrate to some country that makes no pretense of loving liberty. To Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure and without the base alloy of hypocrisy."

It wouldn't be until the Cornerstone Speech when someone in America made any reference that would be as blatantly honest with regard to racial opinions that would be on par with the obvious racism/antisemitism that was in "Mein Kampf" and that was in either 1860 or 1861 during the secession crisis and well after the founding of the US.

In this, the comparison is not so much about the lives lost, but I the honesty of the perpetrators. The Nazis were openly honest with regard to their racism. Many American leaders meanwhile generally claimed to support "equality," but used it as a proverbial mask to hide those racial biases, which could come off as hypocritical... Now, as far as I know, with some that wouldn't entirely apply, as I said earlier in the thread, men like Washington and Jefferson freed their slaves and Jefferson's "wolf by the ears" comment would give some indication that even he was not a partisan supporter of slavery and simply didn't know how to address the issue of slavery without causing massive internal chaos. But not every member of the US government from the 1790s to 1860 saw things in the same way and by the secession crisis, you see Alexander Stephens say, "our new nation is founded on the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man." That line in the Cornerstone Speech is the first time where an American political leader would essentially make an open statement not only demonstrating racism, but how partisan it had become with regard to the defense of slavery by that time.
 
Likes: Fiver

Maki

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
2,279
Republika Srpska
#18
Sure. The Confederate President Jefferson Davis managed to get the CSA Congress to authorize him to suspend the writ of habeas corpus (not for the 1st time during the war) in order to suppress disloyalty and enforce the draft, an act that Vice-President Stephens described as Davis "aiming at absolute power". The Governor of Georgia Joseph E. Brown asked what would the South gain from winning independence when their own government tramples their constitutional rights. He also claimed that the South should fear Davis more than Lincoln. The CSA also enforced conscription, something that was widely abhorred in the South. A soldier from the Carolinas remarked that the Confederacy was no different than Lincoln's government, a Virginia private said that conscription was a "gross a usurpation of authority" and claimed that conscription was enough for him to denounce the Confederacy. There was also a widespread suppression of dissidents, The Richmond Wing compared these actions to those of Lincoln and in April 1862 a Richmond diarist claimed that "It is indeed, a reign of terror" in Richmond.
 

Chlodio

Ad Honorem
Aug 2016
3,485
Dispargum
#19
That is a salient idea, but wouldn't it be a more accurate and fair analogy to point out that "no" American wants to bring back slavery?

As yet another conversation veers unfortunately into Nazi comparisons...
"Confederation" is one thing and slavery is another;
as a centralized one-party regime is one thing, and Jewish genocide is another.
And the bravery of self-sacrificing patriot-soldiers is yet again another.
I think there are far more Americans per capita denying that the Civil War was about slavery than there are Germans per capita denying the holocaust. I think we Americans have a bigger problem in the way we commemorate the Civil War than the Germans do in the way they commemorate WW2.

As to parcing up the Civil War into different parts, again I must take issue. We need to find a way to tell the whole story, not just those parts of the story that are pleasing to some people.
 
Jul 2016
8,186
USA
#20
I'd think the comparison made is in the nature of the persecution...

For example, Hitler and the Nazis were blatantly obvious with who they hated and that those people WOULD lose their rights under Nazi rule. And that goes all the way back to "Mein Kampf," in this, there really isn't... or shouldn't be anything that can be used to deny Nazi party racism. The thing that lead to the war and the cost, both in military and civilian losses was that no one really believed that Hitler would go as far as he did until late 1944 to 1945. Even the spies who found out about the Holocaust as it was going on weren't believed.

In contrast, many American leaders tried to play to the idea that "all" were created equal. That line in the Declaration of Independence would carry an implication that would go beyond just whites but the entire US population as a whole. And Lincoln himself would even touch on that issue, "We once read the Declaration of Independence to mean that all men are created equal. We know read it all men are created equal, except negroes. Soon we may read it to mean, all men are created equal except negroes, foreigners, and Catholics. When such an event occurs I would prefer to immigrate to some country that makes no pretense of loving liberty. To Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure and without the base alloy of hypocrisy."

It wouldn't be until the Cornerstone Speech when someone in America made any reference that would be as blatantly honest with regard to racial opinions that would be on par with the obvious racism/antisemitism that was in "Mein Kampf" and that was in either 1860 or 1861 during the secession crisis and well after the founding of the US.

In this, the comparison is not so much about the lives lost, but I the honesty of the perpetrators. The Nazis were openly honest with regard to their racism. Many American leaders meanwhile generally claimed to support "equality," but used it as a proverbial mask to hide those racial biases, which could come off as hypocritical... Now, as far as I know, with some that wouldn't entirely apply, as I said earlier in the thread, men like Washington and Jefferson freed their slaves and Jefferson's "wolf by the ears" comment would give some indication that even he was not a partisan supporter of slavery and simply didn't know how to address the issue of slavery without causing massive internal chaos. But not every member of the US government from the 1790s to 1860 saw things in the same way and by the secession crisis, you see Alexander Stephens say, "our new nation is founded on the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man." That line in the Cornerstone Speech is the first time where an American political leader would essentially make an open statement not only demonstrating racism, but how partisan it had become with regard to the defense of slavery by that time.
Previous poster I quoted said Southern politicians were worse then the Nazis. A hyperbolic statement like that is not about honesty or about philosophy, its about misery and horror. So which founding fathers were as bad as the Nazis, with what charges?

This needs to be exact. if I said you were worse than the Nazis and my reply was you weren't a good man overall, even when looking in hindsight by the super sensitive and easily traumatized 21st century, that isn't enough evidence. I would need to provide actual specific charges with actual evidence.

For example, Thomas Jefferson carried on a sexual relationship with his slave. Many call that rape, since a slave cannot legally deny their slave owner, there is no implied consent. However, find me any powerful person of the 18th century, be they American or otherwise, who weren't "forcing themselves" on the help. For God's sake, its pretty much the plot line of every British movie set in the 18th-early 20th century. Its the basic plot of Dowton Abbey. Its the plot of Mad Men. Powerful people have sex with their underlings, and the staff cannot say no without major negative repercussions.

I'm not defending the Confederate institutions, I live in the South and yet I do believe the entire war was in fact caused by slavery, the articles of secession are pretty clear on that, and the CSA losing was a good thing. However, post war there were quite a few dead, quite a few maimed, quite a few living Confederate soldiers, plus untold number of civilians whose lives were turned upside down. The Reconstruction was botched to say the least, and when the govt needed the South again they made concessions that empowered the very generations of Southerners who fought the war and didn't see themselves as the bad guys, who had a very strong sense of pride and nationalism.

They are the ones who put up those statues and named the colleges that they funded and built, and named the buildings they funded and built. They named them after important people, which is how most big things get their name. If people a hundred years later want to change those names or rip down the statues, if its the true will of the people and not just a very loud and obnoxious few, then fine, they can. Demographics change.

But the argument against them being presented here largely isn't invalid, that their history deserves to be torn down because in hindset certain historical figures appear bad. Most people back in the day were jerks, regardless of what color they are. The more power, the more they're usually jerks. Heck, most people today, including many of the social justice warriors who constantly have to virtue signal their goodness online, are total jerks too. And full equality, up until very recent history, wasn't universal. It still isn't, and probably never will be because people aren't actually equal (though they should have equal protection under the law, equal rights). But because that didn't happen until recently doesn't condemn the entire history of the world before the very late 20th century and only in a few countries.
 

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