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."

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.

Even this got ridiculed by Sarah Jones of the New Republic.

So now it is arguments like these:

or this one.

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.

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