Friday, March 31, 2017

Desperately seeking rationalizations to keep Confederate monuments

In New York City financial district there is a statue of a small girl standing in defiance in front of the statue of a bull. The statue of the girl is called "fearless girl."  This is the link to a story giving the background.

The sculptor of the bull is upset and I think is making a fool of himself.

This blog posting recently showed up on Civil War Memory by Kevin Levin.

He has a friend who is proposing that some equivalent to "fearless girl" could be put up by Confederate statues instead of removing them.

Levin quotes the rationalization of this "very smart public historian."  You know, a person who is part of the established order of distinguished public historians and a Levin approved historian.

This "very smart public historian" is quoted as saying:

It satisfies those who say that taking them down destroys or covers up history; it preserves the monuments as part of the history of the built environment, thus satisfying the historic preservationists; and it gives the subjects of the monuments a 21st century sensibility.
It isn't considered that these justifications to keep the statues are just excuses and the "very smart public historian" is asserting that these "historic preservationists" should be taken seriously rather than dismissed as white banal nationalist fools. The blog posting is hilarious and you don't need parody  when you have postings like this.

I always thought that challenging these monuments and other forms of endorsing the Confederacy had the great value of revealing who was really who. This is a fight over who authors the landscape, and whether the landscape will be racialized as being a white landscape.

It also reveals that Levin and at least one "very smart public historian" are cultural geography illiterates.

Finally, when Levin doesn't mention who this "very smart public historian" is he is covering up who is advocating this agenda. Clearly this "very smart public historian" should not be considered credible in the discussion of any public history anywhere.

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