Incredible Quantity and Quality Responses on Racism, Statutes, and Monuments

What a response I have received about my posts in the last two days!  Without question, we have never had this many submissions.  I think it is well worth reading the diversity of viewpoints that are addressed here.  I want to thank every person who added to their comments.  Later, we can talk about what all this means.  Please read on…..

 

  • I have no particular love or hate for statues, but please take actual history into account. Those commanders were not themselves “traitors” – their state legislatures voted to withdraw from the US, and those commanders remained loyal to their states as ever. Lincoln’s 2nd Inaugural Address included the famous – but perhaps misunderstood – quote: With charity for all & malice toward none. Lincoln effectively indicated that the states & their leaders would resume their adherence to the US, and the US will accept them again as fellow Americans. Like the divorce lawyers say: As if it never happened.

 

  • I think you have to account for both the statue and the setting. A statue in a museum represents history, it can have more context and other information. A statue on the Courthouse lawn is an honor. We don’t put statues of thieves and murderers in front of the Courthouse to remind people not to be criminals.

 

  • Unfortunately, I think you are correct. This issue has been on my back burner for a long time and I have reached one very simple conclusion: Until someone really wants to understand institutional or systemic racism, is willing to embrace wherever the evidence points and is willing to actively pursue the issue, they will never change. All one has to do to allow racism to thrive is do nothing, absolutely nothing, as it’s already baked into the system.

 

  • Hasn’t changed my mind about racism, but has upped my awareness of things (images, symbols, language, etc) that I thought were innocuous but have been used to oppress and even persecute people of color. And that’s worth something to me.

 

  • I am one person who did have an epiphany- and I have decided to educate myself further to help stop the systematic racism so prevalent today.

 

 

  • Any group that claims to be different due to skin color is racist.

 

  • Thank you for your thoughts. While I don’t dispute your view, I would like to tell you that I have personally fielded all sorts of texts, emails, phone calls from white people who have changed their views on anti-Black racism given recent events. People who I knew to be those “silent moderates” that King bashes in his Letter from a Birmingham Jail; others who held legitimately racist views and now realize where they have been wrong. One of my dear friends and colleagues actually finally got his racist dad to understand where he has been wrong for 60 years. There’s real movement – something’s afoot, and I’m cautiously optimistic.

 

  • This article demonstrates correct thought & correct expression. The author not only outlines her ideas clearly, but she also tries to show how evidence supports her view that it is our hearts that must change – that toppling statues & vandalizing property does not propel us to that goal. The title indicates she is “Black,” and she uses the words “us” & “we” in that certain context, as if to confirm, but her ethnicity & origin are much less important to me than the fact that she is a brilliant human being I’d love to get to know better. Many complain about text, but it is the great equalizer: Anyone, regardless of origin, background, ethnicity, parentage, wealth, gender, etc., etc., has the opportunity to use text to inform, explain, persuade, whatever. The question remains whether we can fight the real racism, or if we’re going to perpetuate it by creating symbols to attack.

 

  • The more important question is not how events, rallies and protests have changed others but how have they changed you. They’ve changed me and how I view racism and how I need to respond.

 

  • Only God can change a man’s heart. The root of the problem is that we have as a society that has put God aside. Until this changes we face many problems.

 

  • According to Article Three, if the United States Constitution, treason is defined only as a citizen levying war against the United States or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. I contend that the Confederates committed treason and, although spending my entire life in Texas as a white, genteel woman, I can still reason their guilt and do not think there should be statutes of them commemorating them in places of honor. I thank you for responding reasonably and hope everyone will realize the import of their decisions and actions.

 

  • People that support the defacing of monuments are barbarians and no better than the Nazis and Communists that burned books. Those of you that support this will look back and find yourself cowards that accepted the madness of the crowd. You that claim a grievance against the past should look at yourself as being unable to resolve your internalized issues. Some of you expect figures of the past to be judged by the standards of today, that is madness.

 

  • Guess how many statues of Hitler stand in Germany…Exactly. 0. He is studied in history books and museums as a reminder of what a grievous mistake was made in the past so as to not repeat those in the future.

 

  • We like to do the opposite here… glorify them all and learn nothing

 

  • Let’s not compare all Confederate statues to Hitler. Seriously, that’s like comparing a baby chick to a condor.

 

  • We don’t have statues of Hitler, but we DO have statues of Vladimir Lenin in the U.S. Look it up, why aren’t we tearing them down?

 

  • I drove drove past the Lenin statue on Monday. No one has bothered with it.

 

  • Private property doesn’t stop anyone around here. If they want it down it would be down but to many think this is the right path. They even march on May Day…a Communist holiday.

 

  • Forget the past repeat the past oh the madness oh the sadness forget the gladness. One of my original songs.

 

  • Private/Public property doesn’t matter to cancel culture. If something is offensive it should come down, right? Lenin is responsible for exponentially more deaths and slavery than the civil war. It should come down, right?

 

  • Lenin clearly doesn’t belong on private property! I support the communists’ efforts to liberate his statue from the chains of private ownership.

 

  • Karl, I agree with you that Hitler is not to be honored…where have you seen a statue of Hitler in America? That’s the point we don’t honor killers, we don’t honor hatred, we don’t honor people that have enslaved humans. That’s why the statues have to go…yesterday.

 

  • I totally agree and the fact that Hitler and his regime were defeated put some closure around a dark time that could be viewed with some distance. Racism has had no such closure, thus no way to achieve the same perspective.

 

  • We also done have a statue of Bin Laden in the US. So why would we want any statues that fought against the United States. Burn them down, or remove them. And don’t give me that “erasing history” stuff, until you can explain how removing statues can magically make history disappear.

 

  • When does all this hate stop?  It stops when black/brown Americans are treated equally as white Americans.

 

  • Nothing wrong with equality at all.  I pray for that.  That’s all that is required here… nothing more, but in now way should any of us (black, white and brown) should accept anything less.

 

  • Well said, Karl.   I am afraid this will backfire come November.

 

  • Damn good question, and I don’t have an answer. I guess the white male forgot his history and balls!!!!!!

 

  • In my opinion, if the statues don’t honor all Americans and American history, then it needs to go. Are you saying white males history of enslaving black people and brown people was okay?!!!!!!

 

  • The white American never “enslaved” anyone.   The black tribes in Africa enslaved other tribes, they sold them to the Arab traders( like Obama’s great grandfather) who sold them to ship owners on the coast of Africa, killing any they could not sale.  By the time they were bought by by Americans, both North and South, they had already been bought and sold several times.  Now, I believe that slavery was wrong then and now, since Arabs are still buying and selling them, but very, very few Confederate troops owned or even wanted a slave since they were very expensive to buy and maintain.  The Southern troops fought to keep Northern troops from destroying their homes and families.  The South didn’t start the war by invading the North, instead they fought against the North invasion.  What the Southern man has done today is to forget he is a man and is being “invaded “ by haters of any person , black or white , who is not a loser like them.   They are trying to destroy our history and make Ii cowards like them.

 

  • Are you kidding me… really! Slavery in the United States was the legal institution of human enslavement (we did not choose to be owned or enslaved) primarily of native Africans and African Americans, that existed in the United States of America from the beginning of the nation until passage of the Thirteenth Amendment in 1865. Slavery had been practiced and was legal in all thirteen colonies at the time those colonies formed the United States. Under the law, a black enslaved person was treated as property and could be bought, sold, or given away. Slavery lasted in about half of U.S. states until 1865. As an economic system, slavery was largely replaced by sharecropping and convict leasing. you may want to just reread a few history books on this topic and then talk to some historians. Also, I’d like to ask you if blacks were enslaved would you trade places with a black person back in 1800’s would you trade places with a black person today? If you think it’s so fair why not spend a week or two being black. I have a feeling you might change your thoughts on black Americans and the history of enslavement of black people and the oppression of black people after living a few days in our shoes.

 

  • You missed the whole point.  In your post you stated Southern whites “enslaved “ Black people, they did not.  Other blacks and Arabs did that. Why aren’t you mad at them??  I grew up in Tennessee, many of my friends were black and some of their grandparents were former slaves, and yes, I talked them.  Do you have any “firsthand “ knowledge?   Even if you are black, neither you or your parents do.  When Lincoln “freed “ the slaves. In reality he didn’t free anyone, the riots over “freeing “ them did not take place in the South, but in the North, where in parts of New York, blacks were hung on every street light. There were black Confederate military units of free blacks and many others just joined ”unofficially“ Southern units., there was not any large uprising of slaves in the South even without any white men , but stayed on the farms and produced the food for the Confederate Army. Many never left the farms and even returned after the Union Army forced them to leave.   Many Confederates who went to war with their masters, returned the soldier to his home to be buried.  Did you know all this???  There are many Black men in the Sons of Confederate Veterans that are fighting to protect the statues to the memory of the Confederate Veterans.  These statues are NOT TO SLAVERY OR EVEN THE CONFEDERATE GOVERNMENTS, but to brave men who fought to protect their homes.

 

  • I would never walk in the shoes of a BLM or a KKK or any hate group. However I have many Black friends who are strong Americans that I have great respect for and would certainly walk in their shoes.

 

  • Misunderstanding statues shows no study of history; destroying these statues publicly shows no respect for property, public or private. The vandalism has gotten out of control.

 

  • Mexico accepts their history good and bad …crying babies don’t exist for removals of the past.

 

  • They erect statues of Vladimir Lenin around the world.

 

  • I don’t see these conquering heroic statutes of Confederates as being history. The majority of them were put up in the Jim Crow era as a means of subjugation. They are not history. Those traitorous commanders were neither heroes or victorious. If they were to put up a statute that accurately depicted history then maybe a half-starved, rag-torn, defeated Confederate soldier dragging his way home would be appropriate and an aid in remembering history accurately. Just saying.

 

  • Then, we might consider taking down statues of the Northern Generals who were slave owners.

 

  • My opinion is though loyal to their individual state, they were disloyal to the United States. Although I tease about having a Texas passport, my real passport says I am a citizen of the United States and, if some of those commanders had been US commanders and we know they were, they had taken an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States. What happened to their oath and would we tolerate commanders in our services who began to serve at the pleasure of a state that had gone to war with us? I am aware of Lincoln’s kind heart, I am just not sure I agree with it. Again, is it really history being portrayed if it is not portrayed accurately? I would like to have a real account of history. It angers me that until a month ago, I had never heard of Black Wall Street and the Tulsa Massacre. What about that history? Why was that hidden?

 

  • Obviously, we can see that these issues are more complicated than most people wish to acknowledge. None of it is as simple as is portrayed by those who throw rhetoric around. The truth deserves real, in-depth consideration of all aspects of these issues, and should likely lead to reasonable compromises so we can all move on, in accord, as fellow Americans.

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