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

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.

https://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/commentary/2017/07/18/dallas-time-bring-old-confederate-monuments-mayor-looks-ready

UPDATE on Coverage:

http://www.wbap.com/2017/07/20/historian-wants-dallas-to-remove-confederate-memorial/

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.

And;

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.

Signed,

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.

Dr. Chad Pearson
Collin College Department of History
Plano, Texas
Author of Reform or Repression: Organizing America’s Anti-Union Movement

UPDATES:

We continue to get more co-signers.


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.

Imam Omar Suleiman Director of the Islamic Learning Foundation of Texas And Resident Scholar at the Valley Ranch Islamic Center Irving, Texas

Ed Gray Master of Liberal Studies Southern Methodist University Dallas, Texas

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

Dr. Keith Volanto, Collin College Dept. of History, Plano,, Texas, Author of Texas, Cotton, and the New Deal.

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

Rabbi Steve Fisch, Congregation Beth El Binah, Dallas, Texas





Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Hollywood, Florida moves to change Confederate street names.

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/broward/article159552129.html

The above is a link to an article about the name change, to drop the Confederate general names for three streets, in Hollywood, Florida. According to the article the streets, "lie in the heart of the city's African American neighborhood."

The measure passed 5 to 2.

The streets were named after Confederate generals Nathan Beford Forrest, Robert E. Lee and John B. Hood.

Vice Mayor Traci Callari, who voted against the measure, tried to propose a "dual-naming" of the streets for two years so people could get adjusted to the name change.  That wasn't passed. However, Traci Callari has revealed her white nationalist self to the city. She also has made a laughing stock of herself.

What is interesting about this article is why did it take until 2017 for this to happen. Surely people knew who these street names were named after going back generations to when the African American neighborhood formed.

I think the reason that the community in Hollywood moved forward and made their demands is that New Orleans has set an example that it can be done. I think also in African Americans communities if their leadership won't lead the way, they will find leadership that will. I don't know this for a fact, but I just suspect that is the case. I think that since New Orleans has shown it can be done, they will ask why their leadership isn't trying, and really trying to get rid of the monuments.

I have commented on this earlier.
http://newtknight.blogspot.com/2017/04/new-orleans-confederate-monuments-begin.html#.WV0TFojyuiM

I think also the police shootings of African Americans and protests by the Black Lives Matter movement is at some level raising a concern that African Americans matter in history also. You may not be able to convict an officer who blatantly capriciously shoots an African American man, but you can get the street names changed.

These change of street names will inspire other communities to look at their street names.

I think as more and more cities work to remove their monuments the citizens in Baltimore will have to ask why their monuments are still there? When those questions are asked, and it becomes in an issue in the news, and leadership is criticized for not getting the monuments removed, it will provide a conceptualization for other cities to understand why their city hasn't gotten rid of Confederate monuments, why their leadership isn't effective at getting rid of monuments.

By the way look at the interesting wording in this article.
http://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/broward/hollywood/fl-sb-confederate-streets-hollywood-drama-20170703-story.html

I have been very busy working on a project and hope to announce it when it is completed.

Sunday, July 02, 2017

A Comedy at Gettysburg, but not so funny.

One would have thought that after being played for fools in Houston regarding the Sam Houston statue, right wing crazies would wise up. That is where all sorts of protesters showed up to protect the Sam Houston statue in Houston from a supposed Antifa attack which didn't materialize. It seems that someone pulled a prank to get people riled up.

This is an article about what the protest at the Sam Houston statue.
http://www.chron.com/houston/article/Armed-protesters-at-Hermann-Park-protest-statue-11210583.php

After this you would think that claimed Antifa events made by sketchy sources would be more critically viewed and seen as somewhat dubious.

However there were articles such as this in Breitbart. Reading the article you realize that there isn't really any hard evidence or much evidence at all, but I am sure mentioning Antifa and the Confederacy gets clicks.

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/06/27/leftists-promising-to-desecrate-graves-and-protest-during-154th-anniversary-of-battle-of-gettysburg/

The thing was that Antifa said they had no protest plans at Gettysburg.

https://www.facebook.com/centralpaantifa/?ref=br_rs

Despite that it was fairly obvious that there wasn't likely to be any Antifa protesters and that the sources of information that there were going to be Antifa protests seemed bogus, dozens of "self-described Patriots" came to Gettysburg.

These protesters wore camouflage outfits and carried guns. One of the "Patriots," Benjamin Hornberger, 23 of Shippensburg, PA, managed to shoot himself in the leg. According to reports the accident was due to the flag pole he was carrying resting against his holster.

How families visiting Gettysburg felt with all this happening isn't reported. A stray gun shot by individuals carrying loaded weapons could have hit a child.

This is the article describes what happened.
http://www.pennlive.com/news/2017/07/patriot_shot_in_leg_gettysburg.html


The event which the Antifa were supposedly going to protest was an event by the Sons of Confederate Veterans. Evidently the Park Service gave them a permit to have an event at Gettysburg Park. So much for the so-called "High Ground" of the National Park Service.

I have never known the Antifa people to have much interest fighting neo-Confederacy.

I think that someone, or a small group of individuals, have realized that you can easily fool right wing crazies. After all they think there might be child slave camps on Mars run by NASA. http://www.thedailybeast.com/nasa-denies-that-its-running-a-child-slave-colony-on-mars

You can't make stuff like this up, and how can you parody this type of stuff?

So I think someone has figured that right wing crazies will believe anything and is having fun.

As amusing as this might seem, and it does seem to be amusing in some ways, these pranks are a dangerous thing to do. Some person is going to show up someplace on some regular type of business and these right wing idiots will get excited and shoot that person and maybe themselves and nearby strangers.






Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Co-author and co-editor in "Newsweek" article about Confederate monument and southern politics


The above is the link to the article. Euan's interview is as follows: 
Euan Hague, a professor at Depaul University who studies Confederate commemoration, said right-wing GOP politicians are tapping into the reaction caused by the removal of these monuments.
 “There is obviously a core of voters [for whom] this is still a resonant issue,” Hague said. “It’s surprising there is still a vehement devotion to Confederate monuments.”

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The issue is boiling Google gets stupid

I am very busy on a project, but I notice that the issue of Confederate monuments is boiling.

In Tampa people are not taking the retention of Confederate monuments lying down.

http://saintpetersblog.com/rally-tampa-call-county-commission-revisit-confederate-monument-vote/


http://saintpetersblog.com/rally-tampa-call-county-commission-revisit-confederate-monument-vote/

http://www.cltampa.com/news-views/local-news/article/20866026/activists-call-on-hillsborough-county-commission-to-remove-controversial-confederate-monument-again

I see Google News has really screwed up their website so I can't find some articles I found on it yesterday.  In fact I am not finding articles on it which I found yesterday. It seems Google News has been dumbed down.

It seems that sorting for the last 24 hours, by date, and other useful tools have been removed. I suppose they had a focus group of whiners and they complained it was too complicated. Alternatively the Google News group made changes because they had to justify their existence.

Recently I found that the Google maps function tries to get you to take an alternative route if there is a traffic slow down. I warn you do not take the alternative route. Google navigator has no idea what it is doing when it selects alternative routes. Also, it wants toy to reject an alternative route while you are driving. It is a case where an organization can't leave well enough alone.

The Bing news engine still has functionality

Monday, June 26, 2017

St. Louis Confederate monument going down by Friday

http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/confederate-monument-will-be-gone-from-forest-park-by-friday/article_f5ffd027-64fe-5483-8f71-871c517b4f9f.html

Evidently some city leaders regard Confederate monuments as something that needs to be taken care of immediately.

In the above link the removal of the Confederate monument in St. Louis is announced and it is stated that the monument will be out by Friday.

St. Louis city government gave it to a Civil War Museum in Missouri and they settled the lawsuit over the ownership of the monument.

One of the stipulations is that it won't be shown in St. Louis. On private land outside of St. Louis the monument loses most of its power.

So this makes for St. Louis, New Orleans, and Orlando getting rid of their Confederate monuments.

So Baltimore is going to be at least 4th.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Crazed racist speech made at the Museum of the Confederay

https://www.abbevilleinstitute.org/blog/is-the-confederacy-obsolete/

The above is a link to an article published in the Southern Partisan in 1994. It is a crazed racist speech made by Ludwell H. Johnson at the Museum of the Confederacy (MOC) in November 1993 upon being named a Museum Scholar of the MOC.

It was published in Southern Partisan, 3rd Quarter 1994, pages 21-26.

It is now published online by the Abbeville Institute accessible in the above link.

For copyright reasons I could not quote it at length in this article about the MOC, link below.

http://www.blackcommentator.com/441/441_museum_confederacy_sebesta_guest_share.html

As I explain in the Black Commentator article Ludwell Johnson's neo-Confederate views were no secret.

Unfortunately the MOC as part of the American Civil War Museum will be part of the decision how to contextualize the Confederate monuments on Richmond's Monument Ave. Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney announced that there will be a commission because the monuments have a "false narrative."

http://www.richmond.com/news/local/city-of-richmond/mayor-stoney-richmond-s-confederate-monuments-can-stay-but-whole/article_80e564f7-69f3-5897-a579-5799a9293b68.html

I see Stoney  is employing all the buzz words, like diversity.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/richmond-mayor-keep-confederate-statues-but-add-context/2017/06/22/cc30bb72-577b-11e7-840b-512026319da7_story.html?utm_term=.8ed32cf5dcad

The above post article states:

"He said he's personally insulted by the monuments and wishes they had never been built."

So insulted he doesn't want them removed evidently.

The Virginia Flagger's protests against Stoney are artfully being used to make Stoney look like he is some champion against neo-Confederates which he obviously isn't.

I think we see the tactics that will be used to retain Confederate monuments.





"How soon will the alt-right win an election?" article in "Salon"

http://www.salon.com/2017/06/23/how-soon-will-the-alt-right-win-an-election-neo-confederate-corey-stewart-came-shockingly-close-in-virginia/

The above is a link to an article by Matthew Sheffield in Salon, an online publication.

I commented on Stewart's performance in the Virginia governor's election in this blog.

http://newtknight.blogspot.com/2017/06/corey-stewart-loses-by-small-margin-in.html

It is always hard to know if a certain election is the crest of a trend with the trend diminishing in the future or whether it is a sign of things to come.

Stewart did very well for a person for a person who was greatly outspent and was entirely opposed by the Republican Party establishment.

I have been trying to alert the public about the neo-Confederates since the early 1990s and I am glad that someone is finally getting concerned.

I think that Corey Stewart with his defenses of Confederate monuments has made the connection between Confederate monuments and the Alt-right clear. Sheffield with his article alerting the public about Stewart the public will realize that Confederate monuments support the Alt-right.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Popular culture very hostile to the Confederacy, Gizmodo article mocks the Confederacy

It used to be some journalist would criticize the Confederacy or the Confederate flag and neo-Confederates would flood the journalist with emails that were really hostile and sometimes email boxes would over flow. (That is something that could happen in the past.)

Now journalists don't worry about some Confederate email brigade. There are probably too many journals to attack with email floods and the journalists would report on them.

However, this article really goes after the Confederacy.

http://paleofuture.gizmodo.com/confederate-group-fights-for-possession-of-time-capsule-1796323505

The title is "Confederate Group Fights For Possession of Time Capsule Found in Monument to Losers."

In the article Robert E. Lee is called a traitor. A member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) is called a "loser." The author refers to the UDC's "racist ancestors."

Gizmodo is an extremely popular website for those interested in science fiction (sifi), technology, and comic books and graphic novels.

Popular youth culture, sci fi culture, and technology enthusiasts are very much against the Confederacy.

Perhaps because the STEM world (ScienceTechnologyEngineeringMathematics) has always been multinational, muticultural and of deep antiquity.

The fact that the rejection of neo-Confederacy is so complete, and so emphatic means the Confederacy is being rejected by American culture.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Now, Now Memphians, Kevin Levin wouldn't approve of this


Activists in Memphis state, "If you don't take those statues down then we will."

Oh my goodness, loud voices, what would Kevin Levin think! This blog posting gives a good idea of what he would think.

http://cwmemory.com/2015/12/14/new-orleans-should-look-to-richmond/

In this blog posting Levin lectures New Orleans:
"The city of New Orleans is offering the rest of the country a lesson on how not to deal with Confederate iconography in public spaces."
The blog posting link is to an article where there was "name calling, shouts, and acrimony." Oh heavens, bring me my smelling salts!

Levin thinks New Orleans should follow the example of Richmond in the above post. I might point out that New Orleans is Confederate monument free whereas Richmond is infested with them.

Now in Memphis they are being loud and there might be, dare I say it, name calling and shouts. Oh my!

I am kidding, I think shouting really helps get the leadership focused on doing something, otherwise you end up being another Baltimore.

I have completed a 10,000 word essay on Kevin Levin. He really has quite a track record. I have first started sharing it with all the people to whom he has directed personal attacks. That is keeping me somewhat busy.

I recommend this article.

http://thegrio.com/2017/05/26/hundreds-of-confederate-statues-still-standing/

Another article on the Memphis effort. I have contacted the group on Facebook.

http://www.commercialappeal.com/story/news/local/the-901/2017/06/21/9-01-memphians-gather-launch-movement-against-confederate-monuments/415369001/


Orlando, Florida monument moved.

I thought I should take notice of this removal. They are the 2nd city after New Orleans. It seems St. Louis is delayed.

What is happening in Baltimore? Maybe they are working to be the 37th city to remove their Confederate monuments or maybe the 61st city after Bug Tussle Junction.

These are some links to articles.

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/breaking-news/os-lake-eola-confederate-statue-moved-20170619-story.html

http://www.orlandoweekly.com/Blogs/archives/2017/06/20/orlandos-confederate-statue-removed-from-lake-eola

At the new location it will be contextualized.

I think the chamber of commerce groups are thinking that Confederate monuments are bad for business and mayors where there isn't a lot of local support for Confederate monuments are beginning to act. Better to act now with little opposition, then let it fester as an issue.

Each city that removes a monument further legitimizes this as a move. Also, the Sons of Confederate Veterans idea of calling a boycott soon because worthless as more and more cities remove monuments. And as more cities remove monuments, the residents of the cities where Confederate monuments remain are going to ask what is wrong with their leadership.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Richard T. Hines of the "Southern Partisan" promoted in the "Southern Partisan" Plinio Correa de Oliveira's book

The title of this article is "This Secret Catholic Exorcist Cult in Brazil is Making a Deal with the Devil."

http://www.thedailybeast.com/this-secret-catholic-exorcist-cult-in-brazil-is-making-a-deal-with-the-devil

It is about the follows of Plinio Correa de Oliveira, a far right reactionary, who founded the group, Tradition, Family and Property Association, known as TFP.

http://www.tfp.org/

He was the author of a book promoting the idea that societies needed aristocracies who should be the leaders of society. His book was "Nobility and Analogous Traditional Elites in the Allocutions of Pius XII." The following is the link for the book.

http://www.tfp.org/nobility/    The page should be visited to observe reactionary pre-modern thinking.

The book was advertised in the Southern Partisan, Vol. 13, 3rd Quarter, inside cover. What is interesting it is endorsed by Richard T. Hines, who is listed as the Chairman of the Confederate Memorial Committee of the District of Columbia.  The book is promoted as "A Theme Illuminating American Social History." There is a section on antebellum slave holders.

Also, Ed Meese, former Attorney General and Counselor to President Reagan did a recommendation for the book and Morton Blackwell the head of the Leadership Institute wrote a foreword for the book.
http://www.nobility.org/2010/11/01/foreword-by-morton-c-blackwell/

On the side is a list of "Links of Interest." One of the links is the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

Most of the links are to various hereditary societies of people who think they are special because they are descended from various individuals in the past. There is the Order of the First Families of Maine and The Order of the First Families of Mississippi. I guess this helps some people to feel they are special. Of course hereditary societies are inherently anti-democratic.


Friday, June 16, 2017

Another Confederate monument coming down! Orlando, Florida prepares to take down Confederate monument

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/breaking-news/os-lake-eola-confederate-statue-move-begins-20170615-story.html

Mayor Buddy Dyer is going to have the statue removed from Lake Eola Park to Greenwood Cemetery.

This will make Baltimore, if they every get their Confederate monuments removed, at least 4th major city to remove their Confederate monuments after New Orleans, St. Louis, and Orlando.


Business community view of Confederate Monuments

This is a link to a Bloomberg article, "Alabama Won't Quit the Confederacy."

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-06-15/alabama-won-t-quit-the-confederacy

The subtitle is, "A state law preservers old monuments, the trace elements of treason and tyranny."

The article explains the law's workings. It is very critical of the state. These are some quotes.

Alabama markets its racial crucible, but still can't bear to get beyond it. In 2004 Lee Warner, then executive director of the Alabama Historical Commission, resigned from the commission, complaining that other members were less than eager to memorialize the civil-rights struggle.
And:
Meantime, black children continue to move through abysmally underachieving high schools named for Davis and Lee. Like Mississippi, Alabama continues to observe a combined state holiday jointly honoring King and Lee, a slave owner who fought to maintain totalitarian tyranny over black people. It's an occasion both to begrudge King's achievements, and to thwart them.

If white supremacy in America refuses to die, it's in part because too many white politicians insist on filling its decaying lungs with breath. The Memorial Preservation Act is only the latest attempt to resuscitate the corpse.
There are many articles critical of Confederate monuments and this article is a good article doing that. What makes it very significant is that it is in a prominent business publication and it sends a message to the business community that Alabama is retrograde on Civil Rights. Not a good place to locate a facility which will require hiring professionals with various specialized skills.

The Nation has an article about the farce of Republican legislators using various pretexts to keep Confederate monuments. https://www.thenation.com/article/republican-legislators-want-you-to-think-confederate-monuments-arent-political/

The Bloomberg article doesn't pull punches. This is the comment of the author.
That the law's proponents were too cowardly to admit what they were doing -- they just love old stuff -- might be considered incremental progress. But as Landrieu acknowledged, there is no decent way to compromise with the Confederacy. The statues and school names, trace elements of tyranny and treason, must go.
Across the political spectrum, excluding right-wing cranky, there is support for Confederate monuments to go.

It is my intention of keeping a registrar of who votes for the retention of Confederate monuments. If the Republican Party is the party of the Confederacy they should know that it will be documented and it is and it will be their public image.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Corey Stewart loses by a small margin in Virginia

Corey Stewart lost the Virginia Republican Republican primary by a very small margin. But he lost.

One of his issues he campaigned on was the retention of Confederate monuments which he loudly supported. He also strongly identified with Donald Trump in his campaign.

Here are some articles.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/confederate-statue-supporter-nearly-upsets-in-virginia-governor-race


https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/06/a-trump-loving-confederate-sympathizer-nearly-pulled-off-a-huge-upset-in-virginia/

This is a mixed outcome in some ways. The fact that Stewart was defeated is good since he was a supporter of honoring the Confederacy and keeping Confederate monuments. Had he been successful in the primary we could expect other Republicans in Virginia and elsewhere to be stronger supporters of honoring the Confederacy.

It is bad since Stewart didn't have the Republican establishment support, not as much money as the establishment candidate, and by emphasizing the Confederacy nearly won the primary. By being a loud supporter of the Confederacy Stewart got national attention and was able to counter the resources and support of the establishment Republican candidate.

Republicans in Virginia and elsewhere will note this. They may not want to go on record as being big supporters of the Confederacy, but they won't want to be known as opponents either.

Had Stewart been defeated by a large margin, the prospects of the Confederacy in the South would have been greatly diminished.

So Corey's defeat is a defeat for the supporters of the Confederacy, but it isn't much of a victory of the Confederacy either. It is a step down the road which may prove to be a long road.




Tuesday, June 13, 2017

"Why Are Eight Confederate Icons Still Proudly Displayed In The U.S. Capitol?"

The link to the Village Voice article is:

https://www.villagevoice.com/2017/06/13/why-are-eight-confederate-icons-still-proudly-displayed-in-the-u-s-capitol/#CivilWarMemory

I think attention is going to turn to Washington, DC and Confederate statues and monuments on federal grounds.

Arlington National Cemetery Confederate monument isn't mentioned.  I think Donald Trump sent a wreath to the monument this year. I wasn't able to find news reporting one way or the other.

We have a petition asking Trump not to send a wreath to the monument and you can sign here.
https://www.change.org/p/edward-h-sebesta-ask-president-trump-not-to-send-a-wreath-to-the-arlington-confederate-monument

Monday, June 12, 2017

Allison Wicks, "D Magazine" and the opposition to removing Confederate monuments.

American Conservative has published another article defending Confederate monuments by Quentin B. Fairchild.

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/confederate-history-is-american-history/

Intellectually it is just so much thrashing but represents the type of arguments we will face.

I think that what is important is to know which players are behind it.

American Conservative is published by the American Ideas Institute.  The masthead for the magazine and the board of directors for the American Ideas Institute are at this web page.

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/about-us/

You will see that Allison Wicks is the Chairman of the Board of Trustees and the publisher of D Magazine.

This is the 2nd article American Conservative has published defending Confederate statues.

This is an earlier blog in the Robert E. Lee Park blog on a previous article in American Conservative defending Confederate monuments by Rod Dreher.

http://roberteleepark.blogspot.com/2017/05/the-local-dallas-opposition.html#.WT50ymjyuiM

I am not surprised that American Conservative is taking the lead to defend Confederate monuments. In their pages I have found many persons who contributed to Southern Partisan or Chronicles or otherwise are involved in neo-Confederate groups.

Reactionary Dallas appears to be mobilizing to defend Confederate monuments.



Sunday, June 11, 2017

Garrett Epps points out in "The Atlantic" that the fight over monuments is not a fight over the past but a fight over the future.

Garrett Epps, Richmond native, has an article in The Atlantic titled, "The True History of the South Is Not Being Erases: Taking down Confederate monuments helps confront the past, no obscure it." 

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/06/the-true-history-of-the-south-is-not-being-erased/529818/

The article concludes
This is not a fight over history; it is a fight over the future. The neo-Confederate faith is not a heritage; it is a political program. And the proper lesson of Southern history is that this radical message—unapologetic, uncompromising, violent white supremacy—lurks in the American bloodstream like a virus, re-emerging at times when the national immune system is weak.

We may be living through an outbreak.

To survive and prosper, the South, and the nation, must renounce this pernicious creed and disarm its symbols. The bronze and marble men do no honor to the region’s true parents; they do, however, dishonor its children.
One way or another, they must yield their unearned pride of place.
For those who know my views I have always said it was a fight over the future. I have always said that it is a political program of white supremacy, and that it poisons our future.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

"20-minute drive from one of the most vile Confederate monuments in the great state of Tennessee"

From an article about a Canadian hockey player of Caribbean origins in a major Canadian paper is this statement:

“I never look at myself as a black player,” Subban told ESPN recently, a sentiment he has expressed in the past. “I think of myself as a hockey player that wants to be the best player in the league. I know I’m black. Everyone knows I’m black. But I don’t want to be defined as a black hockey player.” 
It is an admirable wish. What makes it especially compelling, in the Nashville context, is that here is Subban, a Canadian, a child of Caribbean immigrants from a diverse city (Toronto) bedazzling Predators fans and potentially winning a Stanley Cup in an arena that is about a 20-minute drive from one of the most vile Confederate monuments in the great state of Tennessee.

 The title of the article is, "P.K. Subban faces off against the politics of the Old South still on display in Tennessee." This is the link to the article.

http://news.nationalpost.com/sports/nhl/p-k-subban-faces-off-against-the-politics-of-the-old-south-still-on-display-in-tennessee

Subban plays for the Nashville Predators hockey team.

The story has the picture of Jack Kershaw's sculpture of Confederate general Nathan Bedford Forrest. It is made of resin and as the article says, "is garishly cartoonish." The article doesn't mention it, but Jack Kershaw was a member of the League of the South. Kershaw was also involved in the opposition to civil rights in the mid-20th century.

In the article Subban actually doesn't say anything about monuments, the Confederacy, or Confederate monuments or Nathan Bedford Forrest.

What is interesting is that a major Canadian paper decided that the story line of their article would be, "Our black Canadian hero Subban is succeeding in America, in Tennessee, in defiance of this place where there are Confederate monuments, and pro-Confederate crazies."

Though Subban isn't quoted saying anything about the Confederacy or monuments to it, it is just assumed that it is a story that he is in such a place where they have Confederate monuments and that is the big story.

Note that the story stresses that Subban is from Toronto, "a diverse city" in contrast to Nashville which, as the article proceeds to explain, is in the center of Confederate crazy-land.

I am sure civic leaders in Nashville will not appreciate that they are seen as Confederate crazy-land. This is not good for business, not good for attacting talented individuals and businesses, not good for real estate values.

This is going to be a factor getting Confederate monuments taken down in America. Cities are not going to want to be seen as Confederate crazy lands.

As the monuments come down in some cities in the South those that still have them will be seen as Confederate crazy-lands.

Friday, June 09, 2017

What is next after Confederate monuments come down

As Confederate monuments come tumbling down, the question arises,  "what next?"

I think the situation has changed dramatically in the last month.

One particularly interesting development is that neo-Confederates groups will have no ability to defend Confederate statues in any significant city. The defense of the Confederacy is no defense of Confederate monuments and being associated with a neo-Confederate group instantly destroys credibility.

Instead there are arguments about preserving history or preserving African American history or some other convoluted argument. No one, is going to argue that the monuments should remain because the Confederacy was a great effort or a Confederate leader was some type of hero. The idea that the Confederacy is "Southern heritage" will be meet with derision.

Even some of the simpler arguments in defending Confederate monuments are subject to ridicule. The title of this article is, "Confederate monument supporters say the darnedest things."

http://www.nola.com/opinions/index.ssf/2017/05/confederate_monument_removal.html

So you have more involved arguments that monuments to white supremacy need to be kept to fight white supremacy. Such as this article in the New York Times.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/15/opinion/the-meaning-of-our-confederate-monuments.html?_r=0

Even this got ridiculed by Sarah Jones of the New Republic. https://newrepublic.com/minutes/142710/yes-tear-confederate-monuments

So now it is arguments like these:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2017/05/24/im-a-progressive-mayor-heres-why-i-voted-no-on-removing-my-citys-confederate-statue/?utm_term=.c6b02b2649d0

or this one.

http://www.zocalopublicsquare.org/2017/05/26/why-wiping-out-monuments-confederacy-may-not-path-more-inclusive-society/ideas/nexus/#.WSieEirn_Ag.facebook

I don't think anyone is agreeing with these arguments unless they are desperately searching for some rationalization to keep Confederate monuments.

I think after a few more cities get rid of their Confederate monuments the number of people who want to have a defense or rationalization for keeping Confederate monuments on their resume' will be very few and confined to cranky right wing magazines.

The removal of the monuments will have a tremendous effect that I don't think people really appreciate.

Every Confederate monument whispers, "Civil rights maybe the slogan of the day, but white supremacy is for the ages."  Monuments speak literally with monumental authority. The persons who put them up had the resources to do so and authority to get them put in prominent municipal spaces and thus securing the endorsement of the municipality whether country or city.

As Confederate monuments and place names disappear, as governmental bodies drop the use of Confederate symbols the Confederacy will be the private passion of individuals which will increasingly be seen as aberrant.

In such an environment the involvement of neo-Confederate groups such as the Sons of Confederate Veterans and the United Daughters of the Confederacy in the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) will be unacceptable.

Confederate awards at U.S. military academies will be questioned.

American history text books which indulge neo-Confederates and the Lost Cause will be unacceptable.

Donald Trump won't want to send a wreath to the Arlington Confederate monument.

Churches will stop hosting neo-Confederate functions unless they are fringe. Other organizations will distance themselves from neo-Confederates.

And as neo-Confederates are rejected by some, their acceptance by others will seem less acceptable.

I think the textbooks ought to be of concern. When reading "The American Pageant" by Lizabeth Cohen of Harvard Univ. and David M. Kennedy of Stanford Univ. you realize why  it has taken so long to get rid of Confederate monuments. I think history textbooks like these are really  pernicious in their effects.

I think it should be the next area to push after the Confederate monuments come down and I think that when the Confederate monuments come down these textbooks will be much more vulnerable.

I think after the monuments come down it won't take too long to get the U.S. military and the JROTC programs to drop the Confederacy. The churches are already dropping the Confederacy after my letter writing campaign. I have some more letters to write, but I think no neo-Confederate group is going to get a major mainstream denomination to allow them the use of their facilities.

So I think the next front will be American history textbooks which indulge the Confederacy and fans of the Confederacy.




"Anti-Confederate monument fever spreads North, East, even West: Opinion" from "New Orleans Times-Picayune"

http://www.nola.com/opinions/index.ssf/2017/06/monuments_st_louis_arizona.html

The above is the link to the article.

It seems that the dam has broken. With New Orleans demonstrating that it can be done, citizens of other cities ask why their city still has Confederate monuments. It is a question that city leaders don't want to answer and would much rather take down the Confederate monuments.

Now a monument in St. Louis is coming down.

http://www.riverfronttimes.com/newsblog/2017/06/08/st-louis-gives-confederate-monument-a-haircut-plans-full-removal

In this article they are talking about changing the name of Confederate Drive and changing it to Scott Joplin Drive in honor of the famous ragtime music composer.
http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/hours-after-workers-remove-top-of-confederate-memorial-in-forest/article_643d7966-69de-5ee8-9595-09685c5b4fd4.html

As each city gets rid of its Confederate monuments the pressure will intensify on the other cities. Referring to a state law forbidding the removal of a Confederate monument won't do much good either. Cities can send scathing denunciations to state legislatures. There can be marches on the capital. There can be contextualization that is scathing also. I don't think the Republican Party wants to be the party of the Confederacy in the news day after day.

And many Confederate monuments are in cities where the Republican Party hasn't passed laws protecting them.

Once Confederate monuments come down there are other things to be attended to. The U.S. Military needs to stop working with neo-Confederate groups including ROTC. Some of our school textbooks are Lost Causes. Churches need to stop hosting neo-Confederate groups.

As for Baltimore it will be amusing to see if it is the 3rd, 4th, ... 17th city to get rid of its Confederate monuments. As its rank order increase, as the possible cardinal number begins to climb, I think residences of Baltimore will begin to realize the reality of their city.

Some Scott Joplin. Click on images to see the entire video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMAtL7n_-rc




Maybe Richmond won't follow the Richmond example

This was published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch today or yesterday.

http://www.richmond.com/opinion/your-opinion/letters-to-the-editor/cod-june-monuments-whitewash-history/article_c5249b40-45f3-5be8-982d-433395236b29.html

The title is "Monuments whitewash history," by John Winn III.

The letter to the editor is given the award "Correspondent of the Day," with a fountain pen drawing. He is listed as a resident of Richmond by the Times-Dispatch. So Levin can't ask Winn his question, "Have you ever been to Richmond?" which he asked Sarah Jones when she proposed taking down the Confederate statues. https://twitter.com/KevinLevin/status/864241228333940737

A single letter, even given the Correspondent of the Day designation, won't by itself bring down the monuments. It will be a voice to bring the Confederate monuments down and that is important.

However, the letter being given the designation Correspondent of the Day may signify that the Richmond Times-Dispatch is shifting on the monuments. They could have just published the letter, but instead decided to give it a special designation. Perhaps they want to be able to position themselves as neutrals going into what they see as an upcoming intensified struggle over the Confederate monuments.

I am sure that those involved in Richmond politics, civic affairs, cultural institutions will note that this letter was given a special designation by the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

I  doubt that the elites of Richmond wanted Richmond singled out as Confederate monument city before the nation. To be set up as the opposite of New Orleans.  To be seen as a new capitol of Confederate monuments as they tumble elsewhere across the nation.Yet, Levin made Richmond the capitol of Confederate monument retention in this article.
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/what-richmond-has-gotten-right-about-interpreting-its-confederate-history-180963354/

I doubt African American Mayor Dwight C. Jones wanted to be set up as the opposite of New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu.

The Virginia Defenders are quite aware of Levin's Smithsonian article. They took pains to explain to me that they wanted the monuments down. I am sure that Jones political opponents in the African American community have taken note of this article.

I have always said that pressing on the issue of Confederate symbols, place names, and monuments would be a lens to see who people really are.

The Smithsonian magazine article really pulled away the curtain and exposed Richmond's soul.

This maybe the first visible fracture in the defenses of the capitol of the Confederate monuments.


For those in Richmond who want to get their Confederate monuments taken down I recommend this article.

http://thegrio.com/2017/05/26/hundreds-of-confederate-statues-still-standing/#oQWeYWxF2IXyGtRl.01



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