President Trump is at it again, tweeting about the statues that are being pulled down that "all represent our History & Heritage both the good and the bad."

It is also very common to see defenders of the Confederate symbols say that they represent "heritage not hate." I would like to put a little context into what those Confederate symbols actually represent. The vast majority of Confederate monuments were erected by the United Daughters of the Confederacy between 1890 and 1950.

These monuments were erected during the imposition of Jim Crow laws and served as a very visible reminder of the societal structure supporting white supremacy. The state flag of Georgia was redesigned in 1956 to include the Confederate stars and bars and in 1962 the state of South Carolina put the Confederate flag on top of its state capitol building in Columbia just as the Civil Rights movement was starting to spread across the south.

Again, these flags served as very visible reminders of white supremacy, having very little to do with heritage. Alexander Stephens, vice president of the Confederate States of America, was very helpful in describing the motives of the South when he said the following in 1861 in Savannah, Georgia: "our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite ideas [as those of slavery foes]; its foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, 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.”

All those Confederate statues, monuments, schools, and Army bases that are named after Confederate generals all follow from this desire to maintain and admire white supremacy. It is long past time to remove them from the public square and put them in museums where the full story of their creation and symbolism can be told in context. They are certainly not reflective of any "heritage" worth protecting.

(46) comments

gary4books

There are cost when we allow people to demonstrate and express themselves. That is the price of a free society. Some destruction and looting may be part of the process and all who do it should go to jail. The USA is NOT being destroyed. It is just a cost we pay to be free.

awteam2000

That only works if members see themselves as members of that society: If they see and feel the government is fair, just, and inclusive. Basically, “ If you got my back, I got your back”.

Over the history of civilizations , governing decline and failures lead back to - invasions , disease or a distrust in the governing bodies , many times a combination.

KR999

"The state flag of Georgia was redesigned in 1956 to include the Confederate stars and bars?" This writer has no credibility because he obviously has no clue what the Stars and Bars flag was. Anyone who calls the battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia "the Stars and Bars" is ignorant of what they're talking about.

gary4books

True. Many people do not know the difference between the "Confederate Flag" and the "Battle Flag" or even the "Government Flag." But it is important. The "Stars and Bars" is best used for "heritage use" and not the "Battle Flag." It should stay where it was defeated in the past.

Drgmtown62

I had it wrong, too. I was always taught that the white flag of surrender was the official flag of the treasonous confederacy.

KR999

Who was/were the ignorant person(s) who taught you that, I'd be happy to set him/them straight on a few historical facts. And, by the way, the "c" in "Confederacy," in the context you used the word, should be capitalized.

Drgmtown62

Doomed To The Scrapheap Of History. There. Fixed it for you.

Dwasserba

Capitalized or not, Treason.

KR999

You still haven't answer my question. Who taught you that BS rubbage?

MD1756

What happened to the rule of law. Even if you agree that the statues must come down, surely you can't agree that it be done illegally? Otherwise we have a slippery slope. When is it ok to destroy someone else's property (or property that belongs to everyone) you don't like? Personally I think the public should stop spending money on any statue memorializing a person or people outside of a few specific contexts (historical sites, museums, etc.). I also think buildings, facilities, parks, etc. should not be named after any person(s) (again with few specific exemptions such as a museum that is about certain person(s). If it's ok to tear down a statute because your offended is it ok to tear down someone's garden flag (let's say it has dogs and you hate dogs because they use your front lawn as their bathroom) or garden or religious statue because you don't like it? What about tearing down international flags flown by a city because the display includes countries you don't like because you believe they don't give their citizens enough freedoms? Disregard for the rule of law should not be acceptable and everyone should be concerned about the lawlessness of those taking matters into their own hands. I'm just waiting for when the issue comes down to tearing down statues/monuments of a certain slave holder, tax objector, rebel (who was mad because he didn't get a commission as an officer in the British army), and in part, because of his actions, slavery was not ended in the US until the 13th Amendment. Anyone who promotes illegally tearing statues down now must surely promote the destruction of the Washington monument since he was a traitor to the country that came in and saved his butt after he started a world war in 1754. The colonists generally had more freedoms than those living in England and taxes levied were in part to pay for wars that colonists kept starting with France, the Indians, etc. IF GW had been given a commission in the British army during the F&I war like he wanted, I wonder if he would have become "the father of our country?"

2Girls

Pretty sure the letter talks about removing the statues from the public square and putting them in museums with context. Great straw man argument you knocked down though.

MD1756

Yes the letter was focused on public property, but the basis of my argument applies. If one doesn't have to follow the law in deciding what to do with public property, then why wouldn't people think it's ok to do the same to private property if they are offended? That's just the start and it would have the potential to go downhill from there. If you don't like what is going on, work to change it but do so legally.

awteam2000

Did Washington secede from the new formed country? Did he declare himself King of the new Union of Colonies now the new United States of America: which was designed to address differences, Inequities, a new means of working out differences in life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, with the moral goal of recognizing all men are created equal? This new formed Society was governed by a not prefect but adjustable, amendable constitution with no power in one man’s hands. And sworn to the decoration of independence as their values.

It’s now under test.

You may not know but George Washington had to deal with two succession efforts while as president. One in Pennsylvania and one in Maine. He shut them both down.

In his exit address from office, he warns the American people to be suspicious of anyone who seeks to abandon the Union, to secede a portion of the country from the rest, or to weaken the bonds that hold together the constitutional union. To promote the strength of the Union, he urges the people to place their identity as Americans above their identities as members of a state, city, or region, and to focus their efforts and affection on the country above all other local interests. He reminds the people that they do not have more than slight differences in religion, manners, habits, and political principles, and that their triumph and possession of independence and liberty are the result of working together.

At least that’s what I taught in grade school 🏫.

MD1756

Consider this: If slavery was not allowed stand when the colonies rebelled do you think the colonies from PA to New England would have been successful without the help of the colonies below PA? Face it, Washington was a traitor to his country. Are we better off for it? I would say yes, but it doesn't make it right. I get the sense (from reading a lot of history) that Washington was driven more by personal ambition than by ideals to a new form of government. If British aristocracy welcomed Washington in, I don't think he would have followed the path he did. I think it is overly simplistic and wrong to imply that England was governed by a form of government that did not address differences when needed. As far as all men created equal, England was far ahead of the US in putting that into practice (1803 and 1833 Acts regarding slavery). Washington believed in the right to rebel until he was in power. People are allowed to divorce, why not various geographical/cultural areas? The is nothing in the U.S. Constitution that discusses whether or not states have the right to secede. Yes it is inconvenient, and yes we would be weaker if portions of the country seceded, but is it right to kill people to make them bend to your will (if they are not harming others)?

jerseygrl42

what shameful commentary Bradley....they represent a portion of our history that needs to be remember , not buried...as well as the more than 600,000 men who gave their lives to end slavery ...those who choose to bury or ignore history tend to repeat the same mistakes

2Girls

Putting statues in a museum with historical context is hardly burying or ignoring them.

Dwasserba

Some of us had relatives who fought for the Union. Buried but not forgotten. How would that even happen.

jwhamann

I'm sure a few Confederate generals just wanted to put to use the military strategy the they worked so hard to learn at West Point. Slavery had nothing to with it for some of them. It was just a big chess game between Union and Confederates.

awteam2000

That “chess game” was lethal. Roughly 2% of the population, an estimated 620,000 men, lost their lives in the line of duty. Taken as a percentage of today's population, the toll would have risen as high as 6 million souls. All over “wanting to put to use the military strategy “

Lincoln said the cause of the war, slavery, in saying that "slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. All knew that this interest was somehow the cause of the war."

hayduke2

Yup, same excuse some German generals probably used. What a silly comment.

gabrielshorn2013

I'm just wondering hay, what the probability of the Union going to war would have been if the initial stated purpose was to "free the slaves". The initial stated purpose of the war was to "save the Union" after some of the Confederate States seceded. It wasn't until halfway through the war, and after the Emancipation Proclamation, that the stated purpose changed, and we were already engaged in battle. Would the Union have been able to raise an army? We already know what happened after 1863 when the North instituted the draft to raise the army to continue the fight. In NYC alone hundreds of people were killed in that rioting.

hayduke2

Good question Gabe and no way for an absolute answer. However, my response was to the " just doing my duty " or " using my training" post from J

awteam2000

I agree, Lincoln was able to exploit the war “for a greater cause”.

From the outset of the Civil War, Lincoln proclaimed the war’s goal to be the reunion of the nation. He said little about slavery for fear of alienating key constituencies such as the border states of Missouri, Kentucky, Maryland, and, to a lesser extent, Delaware. Followed by writing , “If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that.”

I wonder how much longer the institute of slavery would have continued without the war? 30 years? 50 years? Till today? But there was a war.

On January 1, 1863 the “Emancipation Proclamation“ was declared freeing slaves in rebelling states but freeing none in loyal states. But the war continued. Now, too much blood had been shed.

So on Nov. 19, 1863, Lincoln said: "We here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain ... that their deaths would bear fruit in "a new birth of freedom". ‘The Gettysburg Address.’

jsklinelga

Gabe

Hypothetical. Trying to guess what would have happened if history was different But what AW posted is borderline dangerous. Nothing is sacred. To protest modern day America they will attack everything searching for the negative. President Trump does not have to campaign. Consider the alternative.

phydeaux994

I’m stickin’ to it. Donald John Trump will resign before Election Day. To spend more time with his family. 🦧 “Biden will be your President. Some people don’t love me, maybe”

awteam2000

A little off removing statues and the point of the civil war.

But since you mention Trump, he’s totally irrelevant. Brings nothing to the conversation of worth. A total empty suit. No plan for to address COVID-19, no police reform plan, no plan to address social unrest, and he’s looked at as a buffoon across the world. Didn’t he sneakily try to overturn Obamacare with an appeal brief to the Supreme Court in the dark of last night? Why? To kick 20 million people off ACA with no replacement insurance plan in the middle of a pandemic? Yes! That’s your guy.

How did that 2020 campaign rally kickoff go? It was a few short of a million. Right?

When did he discuss conservative values? Please share, I missed it.

Last night, on Sean Hannity, he couldn’t express an agenda going forward. But plenty of pointless racist slurs. Name calling. He even conceded defeat, by saying “Biden will be the next president because they don’t like me.”🤦‍♂️ Don’t forget John Bolton is an idiot.

I wouldn’t be surprised if he resigns before November.

KR999

I gotta admit, Jim, I believe you have a good point there. [thumbup]

jsklinelga

Mr. Gray,

When I first read the excerpt from Mr. Stephen's speech I was angry. Clearly I had a misconception of our forefathers. Then I read the whole speech. Outlining the reasons for rebellion, slavery was one of the last reasons. Read the speech.

We all know how repugnant the institution was as did our forefathers. Stephen's alludes to this in his speech

"The prevailing ideas entertained by him (Jefferson) and most of the leading statesmen at the time of the formation of the old constitution, were that the enslavement of the African was in violation of the laws of nature; that it was wrong in principle, socially, morally, and politically. It was an evil they knew not well how to deal with, but the general opinion of the men of that day was that, somehow or other in the order of Providence, the institution would be evanescent and pass away. This idea, though not incorporated in the constitution, was the prevailing idea at that time."

This is why history is so, so important. And I noticed you left out the last part of Steven's reasoning. "This truth has been slow in the process of its development, like all other truths in the various departments of science." Science.

Greg F

Read on...it may be about states rights, but for what purpose of those rights. https://psmag.com/education/of-course-the-civil-war-was-about-slavery-26265

Thewheelone

Sorry JSK, but the whole speech is geared to keep southern institutions intact and you are smart enough to know that the plantation economies, headed by a few aristocrats with a lot of money were calling the shots. The poor dirt farmers and working class who gave their lives in the war were convinced that their plight would be worsened by the intrusion of federal laws on their way of life, which was really not so great anyway. Besides, previously The Articles of Confederation were an abysmal failure and lacked the unity of a strong federal government.

jsklinelga

thewheelone

I agree with your assessment about plantation economics controlling the political climate. That is certainly the reason, slavery for the forefathers " was an evil they knew not well how to deal wit"" Because without the South we could not have had a Union. We needed them.

And yes they certainly influenced the secession. They were the ones most affected by the tariffs and the northern population centers control of the economics. Once again I do not want to minimize their slave holding. It was also an abhorrent factor.that by the Grace of God, and hundreds of thousands deaths, led to their defeat.

Off topic. Has much changed today? Money and power still rule. Just one example is our pharmaceutical industries. Or the political/lawyer refusal to cap medical malpractice settlements which help create outlandish medical costs. I am sure you could add to the list..

bosco

There is a process to remove or rename such things, but mobs and anarchy are not it. [ninja]

jsklinelga

bosco [thumbup]

Greg F

Yep...like clockwork, Boscooko spouting the trump mantra again labeling the whole thing as a mob.

veritas

What is this "whole thing" of which you speak? I thought the topic was the removal of statues. Not sure what your definition is of thousands of random people running through the streets shouting threats and obscenities and destroying stuff that belongs to the public as well as private citizens, but for most thinking and thoughtful people, this constitutes a mob.

KR999

Well said veritas, very well said! [thumbup][thumbup][thumbup] Keep in mind, though, that BS comments from the likes of Greg F and hay, aw and fido and the rest of the RLBTT (Radical Left Bully Tag Team) are only going to multiply the closer Trump gets to whooping that draft dodger Wheezy, Creepy Uncle Joe Bite'em in November. TRUMP 2020!!!

phydeaux994

In D.C., one statue was toppled by a group who came prepared with ropes and manpower needed to do the deed. Another such attempt failed thanks to the MPD. I didn’t hear about any other such attempts around the Country. And where did you read or see the news about thousands of random people running through the streets shouting obscenities and destroying stuff that belongs to the public as well as private citizens?? Where did that take place?? And I saw nothing like that happening during the two weeks of daily peaceful protests by law abiding citizens. I take the veracity of some of your comments with a grain of salt based on my past experience with you. Peace.✌️

bosco

Yawn.[ninja]

KR999

" Boscooko?" Very mature, Greg F, almost as mature as sammy's name calling. I bet you do very well staying within the lines when coloring in your color book, too. [thumbup]

Greg F

Bosco, you forget those "mobs and anarchy" ended Vietnam. Call it what you like, you just don't like if it's not all lily white people (which you fail to call mobs) doing anything you just disagree with.

corgikid

Greg F - Those mobs you are referring to did not kill cops, set up their own countries, and burn down buildings and businesses, beat up people who disagree with them, and make demands that can never be met.

awteam2000

Corgikid, On August 28, 1968, outside the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, thousands of Vietnam War protesters battle police in the streets. The protesters were beaten by the police in retaliation there was thousands of dollars in property damage. The riot was known as the “Battle of Michigan Avenue,” caught on television. You can see news tapes on YouTube.

hayduke2

corgikid - that is revionist history and not factual to the time period.... BTW, please show me where these mobs have killed cops.

phydeaux994

Please change your handle kid, you’re giving Corgis a bad name. They’re Liberals, “The Queens Dogs”.

veritas

[thumbup][thumbup] What Bos said!

2Girls

Check out what happened to the city of Memphis when they tried to remove a statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest.

https://www.npr.org/2018/04/18/603525897/tennessee-strips-250-000-from-memphis-as-payback-for-removing-confederate-statue

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