Monday, August 21, 2017

Three Critical Cities and the neo-Confederacy's ultimate

There are three cities that are critical as ultimate hold outs for Confederacy monuments and the Lost Cause mentality in general. These are: Richmond, Lexington, and Dallas.

Dallas is on the list since not only does it have a in-depth neo-Confederate and Lost Cause past, it is known as a reactionary city. People say that it is the city that the civil rights movement passed by. It is the city which Martin Luther King said the African American community slammed the door in his face. It has the replica Arlington plantation house. Dallas is notorious for far right groups.

Richmond is on the list since it is the former capital of the Confederacy. It has Monument Avenue full of Confederate monuments. It has the Museum of the Confederacy now part of the American Civil War Museum. It has an elite which identifies with the Confederacy.

Lexington, Virginia is like the holy city of the Confederacy. I visited in July 2017 and did extensive photo documentation and bought a lot, a lot of artifacts. There is Washington & Lee University, named after George Washington and Robert E. Lee. There is the Virginia Military Institute which is self-identified with the Confederacy. It has a church with a picture of Confederate soldiers fighting behind the stage. There is the Robert E. Lee Episcopal Church. VMI manages the Virginia Civil War Museum by Market Place.

I would like to say that when I visited the Lee Chapel and the Washington & Lee Campus, I thought of Kevin Levin's condescending comments to some African American law students who were trying to get the university to lose the Lost Cause. I was disgusted.

The whole town is living in a time warp in the Confederacy. There shouldn't be a university like Washington & Lee or a military institute like the Virginia Military Institute in America.

Lexington, Virginia will be the last redoubt of the Lost Cause, a little white Valhalla of the Confederacy.

It seems to be a small upscale town with the two universities and some tourism as the local industry. It is fairly white as far as I can tell.

I think the pressure points are that a Confederate university or institute may not seem very desirable for an academic career and the university and institute might not be well thought of.

When I was there I visited Stonewall House and they told me that the numbers visiting having been declining each year. I think the tourism component of this Lost Cause city of the Confederacy will be declining. I don't think that Confederate identified institutions of higher education make a local climate for start ups.

I think that students will come to see the university as some antique hold over in a back water and not the place to get an education for the future. The students the university and institute get will be those who don't care or aren't put off by going to a Confederate university or institute, in a such a city. The student body will thus acquire a reputation which will further put off many students and intensify the process of self-selection of students who would want to live in such a Confederate bubble like Lexington.  The process will feed upon itself.

Cross comparing American processing of the historical memory of the Civil War to the German processing of the historical memory of the 3rd Reich is now mainstream

As shown in this Politico article. You can't get more mainstream than that.

Global Perspective on Confederate Monument removal in the United States and campaigns against monuments to Cecil Rhodes abroad.

What is happening in the United States is part of a larger global movement. These articles will provide some of that perspective.

My speech at the Saturday Rally

This isn't the actual text of my speech. I decided to further simplify it. However, it is what I talked about to a cheering audience. After the monuments there are other things to which we need to attend.

I think with the monuments being down, some of these things will happen without  anyone asking.

I do however, plan a mass mailing to churches where a church has hosted the United Daughters of the Confederacy or the Sons of Confederate Veterans. I do plan to write all the denominations which have lent their facilities to a national neo-Confederate convention. I think it will help that they know that someone is tracking this. The U.S. Military, the National Park Service, and the textbook publishers will be more of a challenge but I have some ideas.

I think after the monuments go down, they will be less willing to retain practices that enable neo-Confederacy and the Lost Cause.

As monuments start coming down, people will expect that their city follow suit. Chamber of Commerce groups will not want their city to have a Confederate monument. It will be a marker of backwardness and make their city an object of ridicule.

I am planning on making a video about what I saw at the Gettysburg National Park.

So with yesterdays speech I launched these topics.

I have been researching and leading a small resistance against the neo-Confederate movement for 25 years.

In 2015 after the Charleston massacre my co-author called and pointed out that not until peopled died did the state of South Carolina do the right thing and take down the Confederate flag.

After Heather Heyer was killed last Saturday the nation is flooded with calls to remove Confederate monuments, plaques, flags across the nation.

This leads me to ask.

How many will have to die before the National Park Service stops accommodating the Confederacy?

How many will have to die before the U.S. Military academies stop letting the United Daughters of the Confederacy give Confederate awards to cadets?

How many will have to die before the U.S. Military High School Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps program stop allowing the Sons of Confederate Veterans to give awards to cadets?

How many will have to die before American History textbooks, particularly in Texas, stop being Lost Causes, stop pandering to pro-Confederates?

How many church massacres will there have to be before American churches, mainstream churches, stop lending their facilities to the Sons of Confederate Veterans and the United Daughters of the Confederacy?

People shouldn’t have to die before we do the right thing.

In closing, I ask the United States military, I ask the textbook publishers, I ask the churches, I ask the National Park Service, I ask our city, our state, our nation, let us do the right thing, give up the Confederacy. 

University of Texas at Austin finally does the right thing

I downloaded the report of the special committee charged with evaluating the removal of Confederate statues at University of Texas - Austin. Lots of nonsense in it and they ended up removing only one statues, Jefferson Davis, out of five Confederate statues. The head of the committee was the person who was the head of diversity at Univ. of Texas - Austin. Gives a person an indication how seriously Univ. of Texas -- Austin's diversity efforts are. Not very in my mind.

Suddenly they are taking down the other four statues.

This started late Sunday night, 8/20/2017. Evidently the Committee's report was thrown into the trash bin. Seems there was suddenly a need to do the right thing and babbling nonsense didn't seem to be of much use.

The statues are now removed.

The Committee at the Univ. of Texas - Austin now looks to be fools.

"Blue & Gray" shut down. I am glad. Civil War historians should take note

Blue & Gray has shut down.

I am glad. They were the typical Civil War Round Table mentality that the Civil War was all about fighting and to bring up the issue of race was uncouth.

I think that the Civil War history professors need to realize that the Civil War Round Table generation is going away and how they might not appear as a bunch of left overs from the past.

Richmond, Virginia, oh what will the neoliberals favorite mayor do?

Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney originally came out with a plan for contextualization. But that was several weeks ago. That was before Charlottesville. Confederate monuments are coming down all over the place.

So now he sees both sides of the debate.

Well that was two days ago in the Los Angeles Times.

The Los Angeles Times reports:

"As memorials toppled across the country, the African American mayor of the former capital of the Confederacy defended his city’s own. 
Removal doesn't do “anything for telling the actual truth,” Levar Stoney said.
That was Monday. 
Two days later, the Richmond mayor said Confederate monuments had become a “rallying point for division and intolerance” and should be removed.

This is a Richmond Times-Dispatch article on Mayor Stoney, August 14, 2017 about his being committed to Confederate monument contextualization.

So in the end the monuments will go, but Mayor Stoney will not get credit for any vision or being like Mitch Landrieu.

Instead he will be remembered as a mayor who didn't think that the winds can shift and the weather van can suddenly turn around. That is a mayor who didn't have any convictions and guessed wrong on where this issue is headed. The wages of a centrist Democrat who triangulated wrongly.

Perhaps Mayor Stoney can be known as the great waffler.

Some more articles about Richmond and the struggle there.

At this point even the ACLU is calling for the monuments removal. Wonders never cease.

Baltimore Stops making excuses and has removed its Confederate statues.

Baltimore has removed it statues. Suddenly, after the death of Heather Heyer there are no more excuses and the monuments disappeared in a couple days in the middle of the night. Where previously there was a lack of money, suddenly there seems to be money.

As you know I said all the talk about the lack of money was an excuse and the plan to give the monuments away was a delaying tactic. This is a previous post. Though the prior mayor was in particular full of nonsense and did the so-called contextualization, the current mayor wasn't in a hurry either regardless what the Baltimore Sun might say in the above article.

What this shows is that a lot of excuses are given but where there is a will there is a way. Someone had to die before Baltimore would do the right thing. Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has a place in history that perhaps she will not appreciate.

Also, when it could have made a real difference Baltimore failed. It would have been great to have Baltimore start taking down Confederate monuments, it would have keep the pace of Confederate monument removal moving along. It would have made nearby Confederate monuments less tenable. It also would have applied pressure on Richmond to get the monuments taken down.

As it was Baltimore did it after some cities and when a lot of cities have decided to take monuments down. I think people in Baltimore should ask who really runs Baltimore.

This was a contextualization plaque that was put up in Baltimore. I was in Baltimore and took photos.

I think it shows how pathetic Baltimore is. The plaque is the little white dot on the left side.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Hell has frozen over! Kevin Levin changes his mind about Confederate monuments

Hell has frozen over! Beelzebub is ice skating. Lucifer is throwing snowballs. Satan is wearing mittens and a heavy overcoat.

I present this article by Kevin M. Levin in The Atlantic titled, "Why I Changed My Mind About Confederate Monuments."

If Levin has changed his mind, what was his opinion before?

Levin gives some very good reasons for seeing that empty pedestals offer an opportunity for learning about history. I think it offers good reasons for others clinging to Confederate monuments to give them up.

I think it also signals to the Civil War history profession and public historians that they too should give up on retaining Confederate monuments.

So there are a lot of good things about this article.

However, I think Levin saw the freight train of history and decided to not get run over by it.

It is nice that Levin has changed his opinion. However, his historical role against Confederate monument removal can't be denied.

I am very busy doing historical research to support the local Dallas effort for monument removal.

I think that later this year it needs to be reviewed what was the role of the Civil War history profession in this revolution regarding Confederate memorialization. Blue & Gray has folded, perhaps the community of Civil War historians should consider that some Civil War Round Table attitudes need to be folded also.

Incidentally with Jefferson Davis statues being taken down I am so glad that I rejected strenuously the effort to get "The Confederate and Neo-Confederate Reader" a Jefferson Davis medal.

It will be interesting also to see if the Museum of the Confederacy stops its trade in Confederate nostalgia.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

The ideology of violence of the neo-Confederate movement, op-ed published in the "Dallas Morning News"

I discuss the Red Shirts, Michael Andrew Grissom, Frank Conner, "South Under Siege," "Southern by the Grace of God."

Some excerpts:

The United Daughters of the Confederacy renovated and operates the Oakley Park Museum in Edgefield, S.C., of which a 2001 UDC Magazine article explains, "Today it stands as a shrine to the Red Shirt campaign of 1876."

Radical neo-Confederate writing is also directed at Unitarians, the LGBT community, Muslims, Hispanics and others. The publications of pro-monument groups such as the Sons of Confederate Veterans incite fear and suspicion for a lengthy list of enemies. We should not be surprised that their publications incite violence and, sadly, we should prepare for more to come.

Maurice Ash of Up n UP News has produced this video of what is happening in Dallas and Charlottesville

This is the link to the video. If you are on Facebook please share.

It is about the struggle against Confederate monuments in Dallas and Charlottesville.

I wonder if Robert E. Lee Episcopal Church is re-thinking keeping their name.

With current events I have been swamped with keeping track of what is happening. However, I want to share this from my 7/25/2017 trip to Lexington, Virginia where I visited the Robert E. Lee Episcopal Church next to the Washington & Lee University campus.

They have a Confederate Christ. The staffer there was annoyed by people being concerned about it.

Notice that the banner with Robert E. Lee is up on the church stage. I think it is time that the Episcopal Church deal with the Confederacy. I would emphasize that they are not as bad as the United Methodist Church. St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Richmond, Virginia has dealt with the Confederacy and were really great. However, they are hoping to reach an urban demographic, whereas Lexington, Virginia is very white.

My web page on mainstream denominations and the Confederacy.

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Texas Division Sons of Confederate Veterans Facebook calls me evil. UPDATE: Kirk D. Lyon's Comments. UPDATE2: Some music videos

There was a Facebook posting with a photo of the Dallas Morning News edition Viewpoints section with our letter asking that Confederate monuments be taken down.

There are a variety of cranky statements.

These are some of the comments. I think they show the true spirit of Confederate "heritage."

Greg Loren Durand stated:

They can't seem to be able to spell my name correctly. I am not a Marxist. Durand should contemplate that after the Lee statue is removed and the park deConfederated, there will be Gay Pride celebrations there once a year.

However what was really interesting was that the Texas Division Sons of Confederate Veterans declared me to be "evil."

I will have to take my Gothic vampire cape to the dry cleaners tomorrow.

Then there is this hope that I die.

The supporters of the Confederacy are reduced to a raging residual, a Confederacy of cranks.

Tracking this struggle to get rid of Confederate monuments is also like watching a insane comedy.


Kirk D. Lyons has this little homophobic comment. I am called the crawfag. I used to use the name Crawfish A. Crustacean as an online name.

UPDATE2: Some music videos. Might as well have some fun with these clowns.
Bach's Toccata & Fugue in D Minor. You have heard this before.

Nothing is really as impressive as this piece by Bach, but that is my view. There is a lot of Gothic type organ music on YouTube but I feel it is largely derivative from this piece by Bach.

These are some other classical music pieces.

Then there is Danse Macabre by Camille Saint-Saens.

There is Suite Gothique by Leon Boellmann.

Of course I think that Mussgorsky's Night on Bald Mountain, Fantasia would be a worthy addition.

Protest by reactionary groups planned for Dallas.

See this previous post about This Is Texas Freedom Force and their support by the Texas Division Sons of Confederate Veterans for a protest in San Antonio this coming Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017. It will give you a lot of background information.

On Facebook This Is Texas Freedom Force have a July 28th posting in which they explain that they have two members in Dallas-Fort Worth talking to an unspecified local organization.

They state that they are there:

"... to talk to the local organization about their plan of attack/how they want to handle the Confederate Monument attacks by the Mayor & BLM here in Dallas."
This is the link to their posting.

Actually the Black Lives Matter movement is totally not involved with this effort to remove Confederate monuments. Or I should say I don't know of any involvement.

I don't know what local organization to which they are referring.

Things are developing fast. Yesterday Michael Phillips was interviewed for KLIF, a local AM radio channel. I have been finding out that the Freedom Shrine at the Frank Crowley  Courts building that has the Robert E. Lee letter is only one of many across the country. The George Allen Court building in Dallas also has this same Freedom Shrine. I did a lot of photo documentation.

This Is Texas Freedom Force working with the Texas Division Sons of Confederate Veterans planning on rally in defense of Confederate statue in San Antonio. Counter protest planned. UPDATE: They are working with people in the DFW area to have a pro-Confederate rally in Dallas.

UPDATE: The This is Texas Freedom Force is evidently working with groups in the DFW area to have a rally for Confederate monuments in Dallas. See my blog posting that follows this one.

It seems the contest over Confederate statues is going to be very different than Richmond and New Orleans. It isn't going to be a country club tea party (Richmond) or a simple removal in the face of threats of violence (New Orleans.) 

Texas is a state in transition from a reactionary Republican state to a multiracial Democratic state. We have the issues of immigration and a large Hispanic population. In my daily life I hear Spanish all the time. Reactionary groups here are bonkers over immigration. 

I feel that the situation is potentially explosive. I don't want to be alarmist, but I also feel that I always want to underestimate the potential outcome of a situation. So many people are alarmist on the Internet you can develop an instinctive aversion to saying that a situation is something that people should feel alarmed about. 

So this is what is happening. 

This is the Facebook link for the counter protest event.

This is the Facebook link for the pro-Confederate protest. 

You can see that they use as their image a combined Texas/Confederate flag. 

This is the Facebook page for This Is Texas Freedom Force

This is their web page.

The Texas Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans is planning on giving this event their support, and I think they are planning on giving them their full support.

In this post the Texas Division states that This Is Texas Freedom Force needs to be supported and reposts This Is Texas Freedom Force posting for the rally. 

In this post the Texas Division says that they have 134 members committed to showing up. 

Further they are mobilizing their membership to show and are asking that each SCV camp commander be called to get persons to show up. They hope to double the number of attendees to over 250. The Texas Division is going all out to support this pro-Confederate event. 

What type of group is This Is Texas Freedom Force? 

This photo states "This is how TITFF handles parking lot logistics." Which shows soldiers with machine guns. 

From their web page pictures I see persons carrying guns and machine guns and persons dressed in fatigues. I am assuming these are members of This Is Texas Freedom Force. 

It is very revealing that the Texas Division SCV is willing to work with This Is Texas Freedom Force. I think it reveals who they are.

Further I think this issue will surface the reality of Texas. 

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Our letter to the public and the city asking that the Confederate monuments be taken down and for people to stop having plantation weddings. UPDATES: On news coverage and co-signers UPDATE 2: Our letter has been published by the "Dallas Morning News" UPDATE3 Updated list of signatures added in

Michael Phillips is circulating this letter for signatures by various scholars. We expect to have 20 to 30 signatures. Phillips was interviewed today by WFAA Channel 8 and it is supposed to be in the news 10pm tonight CST.

This is a very recent column in the Dallas Morning News.


Dallas Morning News has published our letter. We have about 100 co-signers.

UPDATE on Coverage:

Evidently our mayor Rawlings has written a letter to the Communities Foundation of Texas "beseeching" the North Texas non-profit to let one of its partners Dallas Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation take up the topic of Confederate monuments.

Memo to Mayo Rawlings, you don't need this group to take up the topic of Confederate monuments, you need a crane to take up a Confederate monument instead.

The column reports that the Dallas Truth people "don't want to be pushed into a corner right out of the gate, either." Don't worry Dallas Truth people, we can do this for you.

The Dallas Truth people say that they "want to create a framework and build community trust first." And they don't "want to be rushed into something."

Sounds like it is a group that will want to talk a lot and I suspect with them monuments will not be going anywhere fast. I think their process will be a lot of sentimental feel good talk and the monuments will end up remaining with contextualization.

This is the letter.

To the people of Dallas, Members of the Dallas City Council, and Trustees of the Dallas School Board from the Committee of Scholars:

As Kathryn Allamong Jacob masterfully explains in her book, “Testament to Union: Civil War Monuments in Washington, D.C”:

“Mundane as they may appear, ubiquitous as they may be, public monuments constitute serious cultural authority. They are important precisely because, by their mere presence and their obvious expense, they impose a memory of an event or individual on the public landscape that orders our lives. These monuments confer a legitimacy upon the memory they embody. Their size and costliness testify to its importance. And by imprinting one memory, they erase others.”

Furthermore, monuments have authority because of their prominent placement in public locations, often near prestigious institutions or government buildings.  Their location implies that the community endorses the ideals the monuments represent.  Jacob explains that “public monuments help shape collective memory. They weave an intricate web of remembrance in which certain threads are highlighted, or validated, while others are dropped or disappear.”

This effort to shape the public’s understanding of the past is a method of shaping the values of the present. If someone is supposedly a hero fighting for a cause, then the cause that person fought for must have been heroic as well.  A monument to a movement or nation or event inherently defines that movement, nation, or event as being glorious. Monuments monumentally endorse a set of values.

Monuments in public spaces represent what the city, county, state or nation seeks to represent as its core beliefs. Monuments work to shape identity. Shaping identities and influencing values is a strategy to influence, if not control, the future.

Every Confederate monument standing today loudly proclaims that, whatever might be said about civil rights and racial equality in contemporary political discourse, that the enduring values of this place, this city, and this people is white supremacy.

Discussion of Confederate monuments has focused on what offense they might give to African Americans, but it is overlooked that they poison others with their message of white supremacy. It is not surprising that white nationalist Richard Spencer grew up in Dallas and marches in defense of Confederate monuments, for he grew up in the shadow of such edifices.

Every Confederate monument proclaims that African American lives, their suffering, and the crimes committed against them really don’t matter.  For if African American lives mattered these monuments would be gone. These monuments instruct the public, including judges, police officers, and jurors that fair treatment under the law for African Americans represents an avoidable inconvenience. The plaque at the Lew Sterrett Justice Center honoring Robert E. Lee in the hallway to the Dallas County Central Jury Room instructs those jurors that African American freedom is expendable.

These monuments also instruct African American youth, that despite all the claims that might be made in the schools, that their hopes and their dreams are not treasured by society. British journalist of Barbadian descent, Gary Younge, in his book, “No Place Like Home: A Black Briton’s Journey Through the American South,” describes his feelings while walking amidst a series of one hundred-year-old statues depicting Confederate leaders on Monument Avenue in Richmond, Virginia:

I turned around to walk back up Monument Avenue, feeling angry and confused… I had spent about an hour walking along a road in which four men who fought to enslave me… have been honoured and exalted. I resented the fact that on the way to work every day, black people have to look at that. Imagine how black children must feel when they learn that the people who have been raised and praised up the road are the same ones who tried to keep their great-great-grandparents in chains.

Confederate monuments are ongoing source of alienation. We should not be surprised that when alienation is taught, in the schools, in political debates, and in public spaces that young people receive the message and become alienated themselves.

The city has a massive Confederate War Memorial near the Dallas Convention Center.  This work features statues of Confederate generals Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and Albert Sidney Johnston, as well as the Confederacy’s only president, Jefferson Davis.  The figures surround a statue of a Confederate soldier atop a 60-foot pillar. One inscription on the monument pays tribute to “the genius and valor of Confederate seamen.” 

We have a Robert E. Lee Park in Oak Lawn that features an equestrian statue of the commander of the Army of Northern Virginia near a replica of a slavery-era plantation home.  Meanwhile, multiple sculptures referencing the Confederacy and the Great Seal of the Confederate States of America can be found at Fair Park.  A Confederate flag hangs at Fair Park’s Great Hall, which also includes a massive medallion on one wall incorporating a female figure representing the Confederacy.  A mural featuring portraits of Confederate generals John Bell Hood, Albert Sidney Johnston, and Dick Dowling adorns another wall.

Although the name of Robert E. Lee Elementary School will be changed, there are numerous other Dallas schools named after prominent Confederate military officers and political leaders:  William Cabell, William H. Gaston, John Ireland, Sidney Lanier, Stonewall Jackson, Albert Sidney Johnston, John H. Reagan, and Oran M. Roberts. 

Some of the individuals honored have no direct relationship to Dallas history while some figured prominently in Dallas’ past, but all willingly, and often enthusiastically, participated in a treasonous war fought to preserve chattel slavery, that caused the deaths of 750,000 Americans and the maiming of tens of thousands more, and attempted to tear the nation asunder. The time has come for these tributes to the Confederacy to come down and for public buildings that bear the names of those whose fame is primarily tied to their service to a slave republic to assume a new identity.

Most loathsome of Dallas’s monuments, and perhaps singularly loathsome of Confederate monuments everywhere is the one-third replica of Robert E. Lee’s plantation home, Arlington House, in Lee Park.  Weddings frequently take place there.  Plantations were sites of the rape, beating, and torture of slaves.  The faux plantation features a portrait of Robert E. Lee, a white supremacist who fought for slavery and white supremacy.  The participants in such weddings demonstrate by their actions that they consider the horrors of slavery a triviality. They befoul their marriages and bequeath to any heirs a legacy of racial callousness and indifference to evil.

These monuments have stood mostly unchallenged for decades because the American history textbooks used in public schools are in themselves largely, metaphorically, Confederate monuments, which obscure, if not erase history, diminish the value of African American lives, and train generations of Americans to not comprehend the horrors of human bondage as practiced in the United States.

The Robert E. Lee so elaborately honored at Lee Park and elsewhere in Dallas was a harsh slave master.  Wesley Norris, who suffered the misfortune of being owned by Lee, recounted that he endured a beating after he attempted to escape in 1859.  When Norris was captured, Lee said he would teach Norris “a lesson he would never forget.” Norris offered the following account of what happened next:

[H]e then ordered us to the barn, where, in his presence, we were tied firmly to posts by a Mr. Gwin, our overseer, who was ordered by Gen. Lee to strip us to the waist and give us fifty lashes each, excepting my sister, who received but twenty; we were accordingly stripped to the skin by the overseer, who, however, had sufficient humanity to decline whipping us; accordingly Dick Williams, a county constable, was called in, who gave us the number of lashes ordered; Gen. Lee, in the meantime, stood by, and frequently enjoined Williams to lay it on well, an injunction which he did not fail to heed; not satisfied with simply lacerating our naked flesh, Gen. Lee then ordered the overseer to thoroughly wash our backs with brine, which was done.

During the Civil War Lee stated that slavery represented the most appropriate relationship between whites and African Americans since African Americans were an inferior race.  After the Civil War, Lee campaigned against granting African Americans civil rights.  He stated in testimony to the Reconstruction Committee of Congress that Virginia would be better off if it got rid of African Americans.
This is the man families honor when they hold weddings at Lee Park at the replication of Arlington House.  Consciously or not, they celebrate their marriage by paying tribute to the slave past.  For this reason, the clergy should not agree to perform weddings at Arlington House.  Whatever the resolutions, position papers or published policies of denominations might be regarding race, whatever fine phrases these proclamations might say, religious leaders of prominent churches, temples, and other places of worship who perform marriages at the Arlington House replica in Dallas will be complicit in a Robert E. Lee plantation wedding. They will give their seal of approval to a ceremony that renders frivolous the oppression of African Americans in the slavery era, whitewashes history, and promotes a white supremacist worldview.

Organizations that meet at the replica plantation house show contempt for African Americans as well. When the owners of properties like The Claridge, 21 Turtle Creek, 3525 Turtle Creek, The Mayfair, The Vendôme, and The Wyndemere sponsor “Lighting Up Lee Park” we see how the upper classes of Dallas embrace a duplicate Robert E. Lee plantation, and adorn it to celebrate the birth of Christ. What does this say about the Dallas Christian community that this doesn’t raise a cry of disgust?

These monuments glorify violent insurrectionists who sought to tear the United States of America apart.  The implied endorsement of the Confederate cause these monuments represent is toxic to today’s politics.  Multiple polls, both national and statewide, have shown disturbingly high percentages of the Texas public supporting secession. In May 2016, the Texas state Republican Party platform committee at their convention in Dallas astonishingly voted down a secession resolution by only 16 to 14 with one abstention. It might be thought that such a resolution would not get a single vote or even be presented for a vote by a mainstream political organization. This past June, participants in the Texas Boys State government education program sponsored by the American Legion, during an exercise in which they portrayed members of the state Legislature, voted for the secession of Texas from the United States. The tributes to the Confederacy that pockmark the landscape are teaching the state’s next generation of leaders that treason is an honorable political option.

Sadly, Americans today need to be reminded why secession took place in 1861. The purpose of the Confederacy was clearly to preserve white racial dictatorship. Confederate Vice-President Alexander H. Stephens made this clear in his infamous “Cornerstone Speech” on March 21, 1861, when he said that the Confederate nation that he and the other leaders of the secession movement hoped to establish rested “upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.”

In the “Declaration of Causes Which Impel Texas to Secede from the Federal Union,” Feb. 2, 1861, of the Texas secession convention repeatedly cited slavery as the reason for leaving the Union:

In all the non-slave-holding States, in violation of that good faith and comity which should exist between entirely distinct nations, the people have formed themselves into a great sectional party, now strong enough in numbers to control the affairs of each of those States, based upon the unnatural feeling of hostility to these Southern States and their beneficent and patriarchal system of African slavery, proclaiming the debasing doctrine of the equality of all men, irrespective of race or color—a doctrine at war with nature, in opposition to the experience of mankind, and in violation of the plainest revelations of the Divine Law. They demand the abolition of negro slavery throughout the confederacy, the recognition of political equality between the white and the negro races, and avow their determination to press on their crusade against us, so long as a negro slave remains in these States.
            For years past this abolition organization has been actively sowing the seeds of discord through the Union, and has rendered the federal congress the arena for spreading firebrands and hatred between the slave-holding and non-slave-holding States.

            By consolidating their strength, they have placed the slave-holding States in a hopeless minority in the federal congress, and rendered representation of no avail in protecting Southern rights against their exactions and encroachments.

            . . . They have, through the mails and hired emissaries, sent seditious pamphlets and papers among us to stir up servile insurrection and bring blood and carnage to our firesides.
             They have sent hired emissaries among us to burn our towns and distribute arms and poison to our slaves for the same purpose.


That in this free government all white men are and of right ought to be entitled to equal civil and political rights; that the servitude of the African race, as existing in these States, is mutually beneficial to both bond and free, and is abundantly authorized and justified by the experience of mankind, and the revealed will of the Almighty Creator, as recognized by all Christian nations; while the destruction of the existing relations between the two races, as advocated by our sectional enemies, would bring inevitable calamities upon both and desolation upon the fifteen slave-holding States.

To its shame, Dallas still honors the Confederacy, its institution of slavery, and Confederate leaders.  It is time for these memorials to come down.  Some will argue that the Confederate monuments are “history.”  There is a fundamental difference, however, between history and propaganda.  History does not have as its primary object glamorization.  History is about analysis, context, and explaining the origins of ideas, institutions, and events. Confederate memorials do none of these things.  We should not continue to honor the Confederacy even as there are people who played a critical and positive role in Dallas history who receive inadequate or no tribute such as:

·         The African American slaves and sharecroppers whose unpaid labor built the city’s and the county’s economy.

·         Carl Brannin, who fought for the rights of workers in Dallas.

·         Jessie Daniel Ames who, unlike Lee, actually lived in Dallas and led the Association of Southern Women for the Prevention of Lynching.

·         A. Maceo Smith, who led voter registration and poll tax payment drives in Dallas and was the man most responsible for the creation of the “Hall of Negro Life,” the only acknowledgement of the African American contribution to Texas culture and history at the state’s Centennial Fair held here in 1936.

·         John Leslie Patton, a Dallas school principal who fought to bring a consciousness of African and African American history to black students in this city in the 1930s and 1940s.

·         John Mason Brewer, who taught in this city in the 1930s and preserved for the ages Texas’ African American folklore.

·         Juanita Craft, a leader of the Dallas NAACP who battled to end segregation at the State Fair at Fair Park.

·         W.J. Durham, a local NAACP attorney who fought to end discrimination against African Americans at Neiman Marcus and other Dallas department stores.

·         John W. “Preacher” Hays, who not only fought for Dallas workers but resisted racism within the white union movement.

·         Pancho Medrano, a crusader for Latino/a, African American, and workers’ rights.

·         Rabbi Levi Olan, an often-lonely voice for civil rights in Dallas in the late 1940s and the 1950s.

·         Adelfa Callejo, who in 1961 became the first Latina to graduate from Southern Methodist University’s law school, who led protests against the murder of 12-year-old Santos Rodriguez by a Dallas police officer in 1973, who resisted selective and racist deportations of undocumented workers, and fought to democratize Dallas politics through single-member city council districts.

Confederate monuments, if left to stand, will proclaim a sad truth about Dallas to the world, that these accurately reflect the values of modern Dallas however much it might be denied.

The residents of Dallas have to decide who they want to be. Do they want to be the residents of an American city with democratic values that promote civil rights and racial equality, or do they want to be residents of a Confederate city with plantation values, with the values of a hierarchical society of inequality?

The residents of Dallas have to decide whether they want to leave the metaphysical plantation of the past and enter a brighter American future or to be forever prisoners of it.

In short, who do we want to be and what future do we wish to choose: American and democratic, or Confederate and anti-democratic?

Other cities have chosen the American future. The Charlottesville, Va. City Council voted to sell its Robert E. Lee statue. And this spring, the city of New Orleans made international headlines when it removed four racist monuments.  Three were statues of Jefferson Davis, Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard, and Robert E. Lee. The fourth was the so-called Liberty Place Monument, which glorified the assault by the White League, a Reconstruction-era racist organization that assaulted New Orleans’ bi-racial police force and temporarily overthrew a Republican governor accused of ushering in an era of “negro domination.”

As Mayor Landrieu said after the removal of the Lee statue in his city, “To literally put the Confederacy on a pedestal in our most prominent places of honor is an inaccurate recitation of our full past. It is an affront to our present, and it is a bad prescription for our future . . . The Confederacy was on the wrong side of history and humanity. It sought to tear apart our nation and subjugate our fellow Americans to slavery. This is the history we should never forget and one that we should never again put on a pedestal to be revered.”

More and more cities are choosing to give up the Confederacy. We can do this also, if we are willing to confront the reality of what these Dallas Confederate monuments do.

We ask the citizens of Dallas not to hold weddings or wedding receptions at Robert E. Lee Park or any other location that celebrates or attempts to honor the Confederacy and that guests not attend any such functions.

We ask the religious leaders not to perform weddings at Robert E. Lee Park or any other locations that celebrate the Confederacy, nor perform weddings which will later be celebrated at such places.

We ask businesses to not provide goods or services for plantation weddings at Robert E. Lee Park or any other locations that celebrate the Confederacy.

We ask that organizations not have events at Robert E. Lee Park or any other location that celebrates the Confederacy and we ask the citizens of Dallas not to attend any events at the Robert E. Lee Park or any other locations that honor the Confederate slave republic.

We ask that the city of Dallas to remove all Confederate monuments to storage or a museum. We ask that the city of Dallas to eliminate Confederate place names such as Robert E. Lee Park and Confederate Drive. We ask the city of Dallas to not celebrate or promote the Confederacy with sculpture and art work at Fair Park.

We ask the Dallas Independent School District rename all schools named after Confederate leaders: William Cabell, William H. Gaston, John Ireland, Sidney Lanier, Stonewall Jackson, Albert Sidney Johnston, John H. Reagan, and Oran M. Roberts and to not give the schools dual names under the pretext of historical preservation.

We ask the city of Dallas, the Dallas Independent School District, Dallas cultural institutions, and the people of Dallas to choose a path to a multiracial democratic American society and away from the dark past of white supremacy.


Dr. Michael Phillips
Collin College Department of History
Plano, Texas
Author of White Metropolis: Race, Ethnicity, and Religion in Dallas, 1841-2001

Edward Sebesta
Dallas, Texas
Editor of Neo-Confederacy: A Critical Introduction and The Confederate and Neo-Confederate Reader.

For the full list see the online version. This is the last list I have received.
Betsy Friauf
Independent Scholar and Baylor University Charlton Oral History Research Grantee
Plano, Texas

Ed Gray
Master of Liberal Studies,
Doctoral Candidate, and
Co-Chair of the Human Rights Cluster
Southern Methodist University
Dallas, Texas
Mrs. Ashley Austin-Hill
Joy Tabernacle African Methodist Episcopal Church
Dallas, Texas
Imam Abdul Rahman Bashir
Religious Director
Islamic Association of Allen
Allen, Texas
Imam Nadim Bashir
Head of Religious Affairs
East Plano Islamic Center
Plano, Texas
Dr. Candace Bledsoe
Professor, Liberal Studies Graduate Department
Director, Action Research Center
Southern Methodist University
Dallas, Texas
Elena Bonifay
Chief Operating Officer
The Dallas Weekly
Dallas Texas
Rev. James B. Briggs
Senior Pastor, Daybreak Metropolitan Church
Addison, Texas

Rev. Gerald Britt
Vice President, External Affairs
Dallas, Texas
Author, “Civic Sermons: Ideas for a Different Civic Culture.”
Rev. William Carlisle
Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church
Greenville, Texas
The Reverend Dr. Neil G. Cazares-Thomas
Senior Pastor, Cathedral of Hope United Church of Christ
Dallas, Texas
Author of Daring to Speak Love’s Name 

Dr. R. Adrian Clarke
Dallas, Texas

Dr. Ed Countryman
University Distinguished Professor, Department of History
Southern Methodist University
Dallas, Texas
Author of Enjoy the Same Liberty: Black Americans and the Revolutionary Era. 

Dr. David Cullen
Professor of History
Russellville, Arkansas
Co-Editor of The Texas Left: The Radical Roots of Lone Star Liberalism and The Texas Right: The Radical Roots of Lone Star Conservatism.
Rev. Beth Dana
Minister of Congregational Life
First Unitarian Church of Dallas
Dallas, Texas
Rev. Rebecca David-Hensley
Member, North Texas Conference
United Methodist Church
Dallas, Texas

Dr. Crista J. DeLuzio
Associate Professor and Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor, Department of History
Southern Methodist University
Dallas, Texas
Co-Editor of On the Borders of Power and Love: Families and Kinship in the Intercultural American Southwest.

Dr. Darryl Dickson-Carr
Chair and Professor, Department of English
Southern Methodist University
Dallas, Texas
Author, The Columbian Guide to Contemporary African American Fiction

Dr. W. Marvin Dulaney
Associate Professor Emeritus, Department of History
University of Texas at Arlington
Arlington, Texas
Author of Black Police in America.

Dr. Jeffrey A. Engel
Professor, Department of History
Director, Center for Presidential History
Southern Methodist University
Dallas, Texas
Author of Into the Desert: Reflections on the Gulf War
Sandra Farlow
Community Unitarian Universalist Church
Plano, Texas
Rev. Wendy Fenn
Retired Associate Minister for Congregational Life, Presbyterian Church USA
Dallas, Texas

Rabbi Steve Fisch
Congregation Beth El Binah
Dallas, Texas

Dr. Neil Foley
Professor, and Robert and Nancy Dedman Chair in History
Co-Director, Center for Southwest Studies
Southern Methodist University
Dallas, Texas
Author of The White Scourge: Mexicans, Blacks, and Poor Whites in Texas Cotton Culture

Rev. Eric Folkerth
Pastor, Northaven United Methodist Church
Dallas, Texas

Dr. Dennis Foster
Professor and Daisy Dean Frensley Chair, Department of English
Southern Methodist University
Dallas, Texas
Author, “The Fatal West: W.S. Burroughs’s Perverse Destiny,” in Perversion and the Social Relation.

Cantor Vicky Glikin
Temple Emanu-El
Dallas, Texas
Rev. Jonathan Grace
Church at the Square, City Square
Dallas, Texas
Tom Greem
Retired First Assistant Attorney General of Texas
State of Texas
Sulphur Springs, Texas
Tom Greem
Retired First Assistant Attorney General of Texas
State of Texas
Sulphur Springs, Texas
Dr. Michael Gregg
Pastor, Royal Lane Baptist Church
Dallas, Texas
Rabbi David Gruber
Interfaith Wedding Rabbi
Frisco, Texas
Dr. Rick Halperin
Director of the Embrey Human Rights Program,
Southern Methodist University
Dallas, Texas

Dr. Kenneth M. Hamilton
Associate Professor and Director of Ethnic Studies, Department of History
Southern Methodist University
Dallas, Texas
Author of Booker T. Washington in American Memory.

Dr. Hanan Hammad
Associate Professor, Department of History
Texas Christian University
Fort Worth, Texas
Author of Industrial Sexuality, Urbanization, and Social Transformation in Egypt.

Dr. Carl Hasler
Professor of Philosophy
Independent Scholar
Dallas, Texas
Rev. Ben A. David Hebskey
Oak Lawn United Methodist Church
Dallas, Texas
Ms. Victoria Henderson
Public school teacher
Dallas, Texas
Rev. Ben Anderson David Hensley,
Associate Pastor of Worship and Discipleship
Oak Lawn United Methodist Church
Dallas, Texas

Dr. Constance Hilliard
Professor, Department of History
University of North Texas
Denton, Texas
Author of Straightening the Bell Curve.

Rev. Jeff Hood
Dallas, Texas
Author of The Courage to be Queer.

Dr. Robert Hunt
Director of Global Theological Education
Director of the Center for Evangelism and Missional Church Studies
Perkins School of Theology
Southern Methodist University
Dallas, Texas
Author, Muslim Citizens of a Globalized World

Imam Yaser Birjas Issa
Valley Ranch Islamic Center
Irving, Texas

Dr. Mike Itashiki
Professor, Department of Sociology
Richland College
Dallas, Texas

Rev. Larry M. James
Chief Executive Office
Author of The Wealth of the Poor: How Valuing Every Neighbor Restores Hope in Our Cities 
Imam Abdul Nasir Jangda
Qalam Institute and Mansfield Islamic Center
Dallas, Texas
Elena Jeffus
Northpark Presbyterian Church
Dallas, Texas
Dr. Suzanne Jones
Professor, Department of Education and Developmental Education
Collin College
Frisco, Texas

Rabbi Nancy Kasten
Community Educator
Co-Chair, Faith Forward Dallas
Dallas, Texas

Dr. Max Krochmal
Associate Professor, Department of History
Director, Comparative Race and Ethnic Studies
Texas Christian University
Fort Worth, Texas
Author of Blue Texas: The Making of a Multiracial Democratic Coalition in the Civil Rights Era.

Judith Kubliski
Member, Community Unitarian Universalist Church
Plano, Texas.
Ms. Michelle Landry
Student, The University of Texas at Dallas
Dallas, Texas
Dr. John Richard Lundberg
Professor, Department of History
Tarrant County College
Fort Worth, Texas
Author of Granbury’s Texas Brigade: Diehard Western Confederates.

Rev. Dr. George A. Mason
Senior Pastor
Wilshire Baptist Church
Dallas, Texas

Rev. Dr. Henry L. Masters, Sr.
Retired Pastor, Hamilton Park, St. Paul and St. Luke Community
United Methodist Church
Dallas Texas
Author of Making Room in the Inn: Christmas Hospitality through an African American Experience.

Dr. Alexis McCrossen
Professor of History
Southern Methodist University
Dallas, Texas
Author of Making Modern Times: A History of Clocks, Watches, and Other Timekeepers in American Life.

Rev. Dr. Donta McGilvery
Founder, Dallas Improvement Associaiton
First Institutional Baptist Church
Phoenix, Arizona.

Dr. Andrew Milson
 Professor and Associate Chair, Department of History,
University of Texas at Arlington.
Arlington, Texas
Author of American Educational Thought: Essays from 1640-1940

Hafsa-Wania Mohammed
Student, University of Texas at Dallas
Richardson, Texas
Almas Muscatwalla
Community Volunteer
Faith Forward Dallas
Dallas, Texas
Rev. Heather Mustain
Minister of Missions, Wilshire Baptist Church
Dallas, Texas
Lilly Neubauer
Northaven United Methodist Church
Dallas, Texas
Dr. Beth Newman
Associate Professor, Department of English
Southern Methodist University
Dallas, Texas
Author of Subjects on Display: Psychoanalysis, Social Expectation, and Victorian Femininity 
Hillary Owen
Highland Park United Methodist Church
Dallas, Texas
Rabbi Andrew M. Paley
Senior Rabbi, Temple Shalom
Dallas, Texas

Dr. Chad Pearson
Professor, Department of History
Collin College
Plano, Texas
Author of Reform or Repression: Organizing America’s Anti-Union Movement
Jacqueline Marie Powers
Dallas, Texas
The Rev. Patrick D. Price
Community Unitarian Universalist Church
Plano, Texas

Dr. Stephen Rabe
Ashbel Smith Professor, Department of History
University of Texas at Dallas
Richardson, Texas
Author of The Killing Zone: The United States Wages Cold War in Latin America.

Dr. Milan Reban
Professor Emeritus, Department of Political Science
University of North Texas
Denton, Texas
Co-author of The Politics of Ethnicity in Eastern Europe.
Muhammed Rizwan
Bangladesh Muslim Center
Daniel Roby
Executive Director
Austin Street Center
Dallas, Texas
Rev. Karen Romestan
Dallas, Texas

Dr. Ariel Ron
Assistant Professor, Department of History
Southern Methodist University
Dallas, Texas
Author, “Henry Carey’s Rural Roots: ‘Scientific Agriculture’ and Economic Development in the Antebellum North,” Journal of the History of Economic Thought (June 2015).

Rev. Bill Rose
South Dallas Community Church
Director of Mentoring, Champions of Hope
Dallas, Texas

Dr. Lisa Roy-Davis
Professor, Department of English
Collin College
Plano, Texas
Patrick Salvant
The Oak Cliff Media Company
Dallas, Texas
Dr. Marjorie Hamilton Scott
St Luke African Methodist Episcopal Church
Garland, Texas
Imam Khalid Shahid
Dallas Masjid Al Islam
Dallas, Texas
Rev. Kerry Smith
Pastor, Greenland Hills United Methodist Church
Dallas, Texas

Dr. Sherry Smith
University Distinguished Professor of History (Emerita)
Southern Methodist University.
Dallas Texas
Author of Hippies, Indians, and the Fight for Red Power
Lisa McCarthy Stewart
Director of Outreach and Missions
Highland Park United Methodist Church
Dallas, Texas
Dr. Sherry Stewart
Trietsch Memorial United Methodist Church
Highland Village, Texas
Rev. Joreaner Stimpson
Joy Tabernacle African Methodist Episcopal Church
Dallas, Texas
Imam Omar Suleiman
President of the Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research and
Resident Scholar at the Valley Ranch Islamic Center
Irving, Texas

Dr. William J. Stone Jr.
Associate Professor, Department of Communication, retired
University of Texas-Arlington 
Arlington, Texas

Dr. Robert Tinajero
Professor, Department of English
Director of the Race Relations Institute
Paul Quinn College
Dallas, Texas

Lupita Murillo Tinnen
Photographer, Educator, and Member,
LULAC Professional Leaders Council #22293
Oak Point, Texas
Author, “Immigrant Laborers,” Hypertext Magazine. 
Anand Upadhyaya
Student Support and Community Service
Dallas County Community College District
Balch Springs, Texas
Harbhajan Singh Virdee
Gurdwara Nishkam Seva
Irving, Texas
Dr. Keith Volanto
Professor, Department of History
Collin College
Plano, Texas
Author of Texas, Cotton, and the New Deal

Dr. Michael W. Waters
Founder and Senior Pastor, Joy Tabernacle A.M.E. Church,
Dallas, Texas,
Author of Stakes Is High: Race, Faith, and Hope for America

Dr. Steven Weisenburger
Mossiker Chair in Humanities and Professor, Department of English
Southern Methodist University
Dallas, Texas
Author of Fables of Subversion: Satire and the American Novel

Aaron White
Associate Minister
First Unitarian Church of Dallas

Dr.  Kyle Wilkison
Plano, Texas
Author of Yeoman, Sharecroppers, and Socialists: Plain Folk Protest in Texas, 1870-1914
Sandra Wilkinson
Marjorie von Wilkinson Stephens Foundation
Dallas, Texas
Sandra Wilkinson
Marjorie von Wilkinson Stephens Foundation
Dallas, Texas
Dr. Byrd Williams
Professor, Department of Photography
Collin College
Plano, Texas
Author of Proof: Photographs from Four Generations of a Texas Family.

Brian C. Wilson, M.A.
Adjunct Professor, Department of English
Tulsa Community College, Southeast Campus
Tulsa, Oklahoma

Dr. Steve Woodworth
Professor, Department of History
Texas Christian University
Fort Worth, Texas
Author of This Great Struggle: America’s Civil War.

Dr. Ben Wright
Assistant Professor of Historical Studies
University of Texas at Dallas
Richardson, Texas
Co-editor of The American Yawp and Apocalypse and the Millennium in the American Civil War Era.
Pamela Young
Community Leader and Activist
Faith In Texas and Mothers Against Police Brutality
Fort Worth, Texas
Dr. Elaine Zweig
Professor and Lead, Department of Child Development and Education
Collin College
Plano, Texas
Co-author of The Architecture of Educational Frameworks.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Popular Posts Last 30 days

Popular Posts All Time