What's The Ill Charlottesville? or The Revolution Was Televised (Apologies to Gil Scott Heron)

What's The Ill Charlottesville? or The Revolution Was Televised (Apologies to Gil Scott Heron)
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Unfashionable as it is to say, President. Trump was right to a degree in his comments on Tuesday.

 

Now he was wrong about some things. Few, if any, of those demonstrating against the removal of the statue of Lee from the re-named Emancipation Park were people of good will who are opposed to an Orwellian re-writing of history. Most appear to be “Alt-Right,” an odious mix of: Neo-Nazis; Klansmen; white nationalists; and other white supremacists

 

But he was right in stating that not everyone opposing the rally was on the side of the angels.

 

Along with the various and sundry clergy following in the way of Bonhoffer and Kolb, there were people following in the way of the Spartacists, who fought in the streets with the Freikorps in Berlin and Munich in the wake of the Kaiser’s abdication after World War I.

 

The conflict theorist, John Robb, has said that the key take away from Charlottseville is that both sides are trying to inflame further conflict, which again, harkens back to the conflicts that followed the fall of the German Empire.

 

For mood music, put on The Stones’ Street Fightin’ Man.

 

Although, I must say of the Alt-Right, with their Home Depot Tiki-torches and Hobby Lobby shields, getting pushed around by Antifas (whom they outnumbered), "you ain't exactly representin.'" 

 

There are those who want drama and not progress. They exist on both sides, as President Trump stated. There are clear lessons from history on this issue and they should be considered.

 

For that reason, as a student of history, I tend to object to re-writing it.

 

For those of us born in the Twentieth Century, this tends to bring to mind Stalin's Purges and Orwell's 1984, but it is a far older phenomenon.  Shakespeare, early in the development of modern British Constitutional monarchy and writing of the late Roman Republic, crafted these famous words:

 

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;
I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.
The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones;
So let it be with Caesar. The noble Brutus
Hath told you Caesar was ambitious:
If it were so, it was a grievous fault,
And grievously hath Caesar answer'd it.
Here, under leave of Brutus and the rest--
For Brutus is an honourable man;
So are they all, all honourable men--
Come I to speak in Caesar's funeral.
He was my friend, faithful and just to me:
But Brutus says he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honourable manThe Life and Death of Julius Caesar, Act 3 Scene 2.  

 

People have tried to control the present by re-inventing the past for a long time.

 

Lee, Jackson, Longstreet and Stuart are towering figures in American history, particularly American Military history. Lee and Jackson, particularly, were honorable men who made decisions, based on their understanding of the nature of our Republic (a commonly prevailing one then), that put them on the wrong side of history. If we discard that part of our history, we increase . . .  not decrease . .  . the chance that other people of good will might repeat that error, as Lee and Jackson’s dilemma and their choice will disappear along with the rest of their legacy.

 

Additionally, there are those who fought for the Confederacy whose legacy is far more ambiguous.

 

Consider, for example, former Confederate Major General “Little Billy” Mahone, who after the Civil War became a US Senator from Virginia as part of his “Readjuster Party” which sought to represent freed Blacks and poor Whites.

 

Mahone probably did not do that out of the goodness of his heart. He did it because he thought meeting the needs of those groups would advance the interests of his state and give him political advantage, by keeping these groups nominally in the Democratic fold. While Mahone, the son of an Irish immigrant and tavern-keeper, probably had no particular prejudice against Black people, he had been a slave owner and troops under his command, giving no quarter, had killed large numbers of “US Colored Troops” during Mahone’s great victory at The Crater.    

 

However, Mahone, in the 1870s and 1880s had assembled the very coalition that FDR would rely on in the 1930s and 1940s and on which the Democratic Party largely relies today. We are, in my opinion, better served by studying this ambiguity, rather than trying to banish it.

 

On the other hand, men of good will can disagree.

 

Ralph Northam, M.D., the Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, currently running for Governor in that state, has called for statues of Confederate figures in public spaces to be removed from public display and placed in museums.

 

While this is a stereotypical position for any ambitious Democrat, it is a notable position for an alumnus of the Virginia Military Institute (Mahone’s alma mater, where Jackson taught Physics and Artillery Tactics for 10 years prior to the Civil War), especially one, like Northam, who was both President of the Cadet Honor Court and a Battalion Commander in the Cadet Regiment.

 

Northam will probably lose the support of most VMI alumni in the Old Dominion, a large number of them affluent and well connected, over the position he has taken. Unlike most ambitious Democrats taking such a position, he stands to lose from this public position. He has, in Nassim Taleb’s phrase, “Skin in the Game.” It is what lawyers call, a declaration against interest,” which is momentous, for example, admissible in a court even as hearsay.

 

In Northam’s case, as in Lee and Jackson’s, an honest man has made a decision that may, or may not, be right and may have adverse consequences. The verdict is with history, . . .er . . . so long as history can consider it, of course.         

Comments

Lem Bray Added Aug 17, 2017 - 5:22pm
Good article.  The problem is "glorification" not remembrance.  Yes, they need to be remembered, especially in the class room.  But not glorified for there is no glory in the attempt to bring down the nation and allow those who were oppressive and torturous slave owners to continue to own slaves.  Yes, many cultures in the past allowed slavery.  The Samaria was essentially a slave and a slave holder.  His/her head could be ordered removed by  the master and he could summarily remove heads in certain circumstances.
 
In every case there are notables for just actions and for unjust actions.  Nothing justifies slavery of the kind that doesn't allow the individual the option to opt out of the contract and escape unbearable oppression.  No honor is owed to those that sought to up hold that circumstance no matter their own just status.  So remove those memorabilia from places of honor.
John Minehan Added Aug 17, 2017 - 5:36pm
Lem, glad to hear from you, haven't seen a post in awhile . . .  .
 
But . . . let's not forget that genuinely decent people missed that critical point.  If we do, the chances it will happen again increase.
John Minehan Added Aug 17, 2017 - 5:42pm
This topic always reminds me of what Jean de Lattre de Tassigny said to High School Graduates in Hanoi in 1950 (quoted in Fall's Street Without Joy), "But if you are a Communist, go and join the Vietminh, for there are men there who fight well in a bad cause."
Lady Sekhmetnakt Added Aug 17, 2017 - 6:20pm
Most decent people aren't going to lose sleep over these statues being removed. But the mainstream media is wrong to blame the actions of the Neo-Nazis on Trump just because he said that the violence came from both sides. As an outside observer that is my interpretation also, does that mean I'm complicit with the Nazis? Even if Trump is wrong that just makes him mistaken not a Nazi sympathizer. 
 
Although my ancestors were not in this country or otherwise affected by slavery like most people I oppose slavery, which still goes on in the world in vast numbers BTW. That said the Civil War was primarily about states rights not slavery. Also it's fairly wrong to call it a civil war because that implies both sides vying for control of the same territory and that was not the case. The south separated from the union and was invaded by the north. Hardly a "Civil War". 
Lem Bray Added Aug 17, 2017 - 6:50pm
Jenifer, I disagree.  The observers were attacked because they yelled -- "Go home."  That was their free speech right. 
 
What is a demonstration without observers?  And if your cause is unjust you must expect your observers to be unsupportive.  
 
Martin Luther King did it the right way.  Without responding  with violence when he marched in unsupportive areas.  Rather those freedom marchers took beatings and murder with passiveness.
John Minehan Added Aug 17, 2017 - 6:59pm
"Rather those freedom marchers took beatings and murder with passiveness."
 
The fact that they dealt with oppression with steadfast fortitude, but without violence, gave their cause great legitimacy.
 
On the other hand, some of the Antifa folks are more in the tradition of the Spartacists.  I think I'd rather embrace We Shall Over Come than Street Fightin' Man as a meme.
John Minehan Added Aug 17, 2017 - 7:01pm
"Although my ancestors were not in this country or otherwise affected by slavery like most people I oppose slavery, which still goes on in the world in vast numbers BTW."
 
Something I saw when I was in the KSA back in the '90s, in one form or another. 
Lem Bray Added Aug 17, 2017 - 7:04pm
Did the media not show the situation accurately in their videos?  Are there cell phone videos of that which you speak of?  I haven't seen any.  Were the Antifa folks blocking the way of the marchers or standing on the sideline shouting "Go Home"?  I've seen no such video.
John G Added Aug 17, 2017 - 7:08pm
Which Jackson are you talking about? Andrew?
Lady Sekhmetnakt Added Aug 17, 2017 - 7:17pm
I've just read reports, not videyed any videos. And FYI I listen to sources from the left and right not just one or the other. 
John Minehan Added Aug 17, 2017 - 7:20pm
From what I saw in footage of  Charlottesville, the Nazis pretty much got their heads handed to them.  As Marx said of the Regime of Louis Napoleon, "History repeats itself, the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce."
 
It was less Arendt's "Banality of Evil" and more a "Lameness or Malcompetence of Evil." 
 
The impression was more The Ballad of Bungalow Bill than Street Fightin' Man
John Minehan Added Aug 17, 2017 - 7:21pm
Which Jackson goes with the set of Lee, Longstreet and Stuart, John?
Lem Bray Added Aug 17, 2017 - 7:21pm
Just saw a picture of linked arms blocking the path of the marchers.  Police failing.  They should have been there and removed the blockade.  Perhaps they disagreed with the marchers also.
John G Added Aug 17, 2017 - 7:22pm
No idea. I'm not an American and have little interest in the Civil War in geek terms.
John G Added Aug 17, 2017 - 7:23pm
Can you never answer a straightforward question with a straightforward answer?
John Minehan Added Aug 17, 2017 - 7:30pm
Can you?  Roper will blame my heritage.
Lem Bray Added Aug 17, 2017 - 7:31pm
Not appropriate to block a demonstration.  As Voltaire said, "I disapprove what you say, but will defend to the death your right to say it." 
 
Still it was a police failing to ensure that the demonstrators with a permit were blocked from their march. 
 
Shouting down should be enough.  And there are videos of attacks against those who were just doing that, shouting "Go home." 
Lem Bray Added Aug 17, 2017 - 7:33pm
Meant, "not blocked."
John Minehan Added Aug 17, 2017 - 7:37pm
'Not appropriate to block a demonstration.  As Voltaire said, 'I disapprove what you say, but will defend to the death your right to say it.'" 
 
As I understand it, the torch light rally on Friday not was done without a permit.  Seems like that non-compliance should have been enough to pull the permit for Saturday, not a content-based prior restraint but a Time, Place & Manner" Restriction.
 
"We aren't cancelling you because you are Nazis, we are cancelling you because you are non-compliant."
John Minehan Added Aug 17, 2017 - 7:39pm
John Robb thinks Charlottesville PD dropped the ball, some police agree and some don't.
 
Worth looking at how to avoid violence without suppressing speech, which is not easy.
Lem Bray Added Aug 17, 2017 - 7:41pm
Also it wasn't appropriate for the marchers to try to break the blockade.  That was the job of the police.  Plenty of the marchers had cell phones and the ability to call 911.
John G Added Aug 17, 2017 - 7:50pm
FFS. Pathetic.
Lem Bray Added Aug 17, 2017 - 7:52pm
Don't know if the "linked arm blockade" was Friday or Saturday.  Pitcher was on Hardball a few minutes ago.  Will go back to it when it comes up online which will probably be tomorrow.
Lem Bray Added Aug 17, 2017 - 7:53pm
picture.
Lem Bray Added Aug 17, 2017 - 8:06pm
John G.,
Right now we need a BDS for the U S until we get our racial anamosities under control.  Our leadership needs a taste of South Africa Apartheid BDS.  I doubt your effort on Israel will have any effect.  Neither party is just enough to have a BDS work for or against them.
 
And perhaps the DOW is a sign of the beginning of that BDS against the U S.  Or it could be just smart business to drop out of the market at this point.  Just too much money in the capital equity market from quantitative easing and too low income tax on the upper bracket plus not enough infrastructure upgrading to warrant investment in the U S market.
George N Romey Added Aug 17, 2017 - 9:22pm
Our future just melts into a toxic stew of hate and division. The once mighty empire continues to crumble.
John G Added Aug 17, 2017 - 9:22pm
I was referring to Minehan's childish response.
William Stockton Added Aug 17, 2017 - 10:50pm
Here's the bright side.  Out of conflict rises unity.  
 
History is packed full of examples where only the "best" ideas survive.  The ideas that didn't survive died along with their beholders.  The Sad truth and I think we about to test this theory once again . . . and perhaps not just in the USA.
wsucram15 Added Aug 17, 2017 - 11:17pm
LEM..HEY>>HOW ARE YOU?
 
wsucram15 Added Aug 17, 2017 - 11:21pm
John..I have seen video of a line of the cops just standing there...they dropped the ball.
William is right..conflict causes unity.  But its going to get ugly.
You never block a demonstration..that was wrong.
Lem..sorry this is Jeanne..so glad you are back, kick some butt.
Flying Junior Added Aug 18, 2017 - 2:55am
Apparently your clique thinks that it is fashionable to be a Trump apologist.
 
I am not a liberal because it is fashionable.  I more or less retired from politics in the 1980s.  When Bush I led our country successfully after Reagan did a bang 'em up good job, and finally Clinton was elected, I figured everything was okay.
 
I came out of retirement in 2006, much to my dismay.
 
It will never be "fashionable" to support the monster Trump in any way.
 
Read this, right-wing sympathizers.
 
From the Irony or Coincidence Desk:
 
The North Carolina State House of Representatives just passed target="_blank">House Bill 330, that aims to give civil and criminal target="_blank">immunity to motorists who unintentionally hit people in the middle of the street. Drivers would be protected if they exercise “due care” in navigating the street – but still hit protesters.
 
Due to the death of Heather Heyer, this bill is in indefinite limbo.
 
Chew on that, alt-right crazies.

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article167100452.html#storylink=cpy
John G Added Aug 18, 2017 - 3:47am
 LB I doubt your effort on Israel will have any effect.  Neither party is just enough to have a BDS work for or against them.
The USA is but a small part of the world. 'Israel' understands that its continued existence in the long term lies outside the USA. 
As the USA's relative power declines so will 'Israel's' ability to flout human decency and international law. So too its blatant meddling in the domestic politics of other countries.
kartik Added Aug 18, 2017 - 4:20am
Nice Article
Dino Manalis Added Aug 18, 2017 - 8:30am
It was appropriate to blame all hate groups, but the president's focus should have been on the innocent woman who was killed by that crazy neo-Nazi.  Confederate monuments should be dealt with at the local level.
Lem Bray Added Aug 18, 2017 - 8:47am
There is a difference between "hate" and "love" groups.  Hate groups only attack their fellow man.  Love groups defend their fellow man.  And it is easy to say that the North was a hate group in the civil war because they attacked in defense of the black man and the Union.  But clearly there is a difference in mankind's journey to be civilized.
 
wsucram15, I'm fine but still a lot to do on my VA law suit.  Won't be around long for awhile but this was an important subject that caught my eye.
E. Michael Helms Added Aug 18, 2017 - 4:14pm
No one seems to want to call out the Charlottesville protesters, i.e., the disgusting antifa thugs and the Black Lives Matter cadre (who've been known to loot and burn while "protesting). Odds are very good that many of the "protesters" the MSM portrayed as victims in Charlottesville were paid for and bussed into the area, as they've been when showing up at other events. One reporter who covered a protest in Austin, TX, a couple months ago reported she recognized several antifa members in Charlottesville whom she'd seen in Austin.
One fact that has been largely ignored by the media: Virginia state law protects military monuments/memorials from desecration or removal. Why is Mayor Mike Signer, a lawyer himself, not aware of this? Or, is he simply defying the law of the state in which he practices? I've written a brief article about this for Writer Beat, but need someone(s) to recommend the article to be published. Any takers?
Lem Bray Added Aug 18, 2017 - 5:07pm
Nothing like rewriting facts.  Does it honor your feeling of white supremacy?
John Minehan Added Aug 18, 2017 - 5:31pm
"And perhaps the DOW is a sign of the beginning of that BDS against the U S.  Or it could be just smart business to drop out of the market at this point.  Just too much money in the capital equity market from quantitative easing and too low income tax on the upper bracket plus not enough infrastructure upgrading to warrant investment in the U S market."
 
Well, a stock market collapse, destroying Billions in paper gains would reduce inflationary pressures.  
John Minehan Added Aug 18, 2017 - 5:35pm
There are some on the Left who want only to fight, but that seemed to be everyone in the torchlight parade.  Tough to defend the "Unite the Right" people. 
 
Big problem, as John Robb points out, is that conflict becomes an end in itself. 
Lem Bray Added Aug 18, 2017 - 5:47pm
Not much.  Still too low income tax.  The excess has to go somewhere.  It may sit in a cash account for a while but ultimately it is spend or goes back into over valued equity driving the value of the dollar down.  The market is still overvalued.  It will take another 3 x the 350 drop to get anywhere near where it should be.  But as long as top bracket taxes are too low it will go back to where it was.
 
That is the problem of looking at the market as the economy.  It should be a reflection of the economy not "quantitative easing" or tax rebates allowing infrastructure degradation to be a drag on the real economy.
wsucram15 Added Aug 18, 2017 - 6:05pm
Lem..you are awesome.  Its nice to see someone on here who calls it like it really is.  People really are trying to get others to understand that these are dangerous times and we need to stand together.
 
Best of luck on your suit...TTYS.
Saint George Added Aug 19, 2017 - 2:02am
That said the Civil War was primarily about states rights not slavery.
 
Wrong. The issue of states' rights wasn't brought up by southern historians and politicians' memoirs (e.g., president Jefferson Davis and Vice President Alexander Stephens) until after the Confederate States of America lost the civil war. That argument was made purely for purposes of historical revisionism; collectively, those making that argument belong to something now called the "Lost Cause" school of thought. The rhetoric by notable spokesmen of the south (e.g., pulpit speeches by religious figures, political rallies, newspaper editorials, etc.) before the war started was all about slavery, and not about the putative right of states to secede from the union.
Saint George Added Aug 19, 2017 - 2:14am
The south separated from the union and was invaded by the north. Hardly a "Civil War".
 
The south fired the first shots against U.S. soldiers at Fort Sumter in South Carolina.
 
Sweetie, if you want to be a more effective historical revisionist and propagandist for slavery, you'll need to lie in a more subtle manner.
 
The psychological trick to becoming a revisionist is to distort history without suggesting that you don't know anything about the subject. It's a tricky balancing act but I'm sure with a little more practice you'll get the hang of it.
E. Michael Helms Added Aug 19, 2017 - 2:14am
I detest white supremacy, black supremacy, and all shades of supremacy in-between. I denounce the KKK, skinheads, neo-nazis, antifa, Black Lives Matter, and all racial supremacist groups. I am an American, a Southerner, a USMC combat veteran, and a supporter of Confederate heritage. I also believe slavery was wrong, but condemn the northern slave ship owners/traders as much as Southern slaveholders. Slavery also existed in the northern states. Slaves produced products the northern states desired but whose climatic conditions prohibited growing. Many northern financiers invested in the slavery-produced products for monetary gain. The blame for slavery lies on both sides of the Mason-Dixon Line.
John Minehan Added Aug 19, 2017 - 6:17am
Without the emotional issue of Slavery, you have a peaceful secession, as with New England's noises in 1815 with the Hartford Convention.
 
If it were about "States' Rights," I doubt any state sends its Militia in 1861. 
John Minehan Added Aug 19, 2017 - 8:15am
The run-up to the Civil War illustrates Erick Erickson's idea of "You will be made to care."  The Polk Administration and Southerners in Congress push the Mexican War to add Slave States.  To get Southern support for the Compromise of 1850, a new, more wide ranging Fugitive Slave Law is enacted.  The Supreme Court invalidates the Missouri Compromise with Dred Scott.
 
Bit by bit, people in the North, who lived on "free soil" and may never have seen a Black person, began to feel like the South was rubbing their noses in the "Peculiar Institution."
 
This kind of colossal over-reach is a textbook example of how you lose an "Information Operations" war.    
Dino Manalis Added Aug 19, 2017 - 8:29am
Trump should apologize for not focusing entirely on the woman who was killed by that maniac!   That's all that matters, while the removal of statues has to be handled locally.
Billy Roper Added Aug 19, 2017 - 10:04am
John Minehan Added Aug 19, 2017 - 11:29am
Billy, you have a guy, Ralph S. Northam, M.D., who was a Cadet Captain and Honor Court President at VMI, calling for those Confederate monuments to be torn down. 
 
It is over.  Your side lost. 
 
More, you got pushed around by a bunch of people who knew enough NOT to take toy Hobby Lobby "shields" to a street fight.
 
Your guys aren't the Freikorps and the Antifa don't have to be the Spartacists. 
 
As Marx wrote of the regime of Louis Napoleon, "History repeats itself, the first time as tragedy and the second time as farce."  
John Minehan Added Aug 19, 2017 - 11:34am
When the appropriate theme music for you side is The Ballad of Bungalow Bill not Street Fightin' Man, give it a rest.  No one wants to hear it.
wsucram15 Added Aug 19, 2017 - 3:40pm
John..some good peaceful protests today. The one in Boston I had friends at..I knew it would be large, but the 15K+ size of anti -nazis was unexpected.   With that size crowd, I am sure there were problems, but no one died today.  I have to say the Boston police (very well know for their no nonsense attitude towards gangs) did a great job on this one.
 
The White Supremacists were MUCH smaller in number, were escorted in, had their rally and escorted out by police.  the opposition was TOO large for them to do anything else.
I think this happened in LA also.  As this pops up, people are going to fight back and white people are joining the battles against these people.
You are right, People dont want to hear it anymore. They just dont.
John Minehan Added Aug 19, 2017 - 4:00pm
This kind of tells the story . . . .
wsucram15 Added Aug 19, 2017 - 4:04pm
A rally is going on in Venice Beach right now BUT the Alt Right Google side cancelled due to death threats that no police or FBI are aware of. However, the Venice Beach gathering by anti-nazis looks like its pretty laid back.
There are two rally planned in SF for White Supremacists I dont know about resistance.
There was a scheduled WS Rally for 9/11 at Texas A&M and it has been cancelled for safety. 
I did hear some of the protestors in Boston hit polices with stones?
So I asked about it and no one I know saw anything like that but they said that there are still people there. Assholes are assholes.
John Minehan Added Aug 19, 2017 - 4:07pm
"There was a scheduled WS Rally for 9/11 at Texas A&M and it has been cancelled for safety."
 
Wow.  Wonder why they got a permit at all--especially on that date, seems rather "un-Aggie." 
wsucram15 Added Aug 19, 2017 - 5:10pm
IDK..I dont pretend to understand the rationale.  I wish I could so I could reason with it...but I have tried.
Anyway..I should be hearing more about the scheduled rallys tomorrow.  I go back to protesting soon and phone call is tomorrow.
John Minehan Added Aug 19, 2017 - 5:30pm
I post that just to note that there is probably a "rest of the story" there . . . .
wsucram15 Added Aug 19, 2017 - 6:34pm
And there is...lol.  They had a permit, it got cancelled by authorities.
 
I think you will see this especially since the ACLU backed off defending their right to free speech after the behavior in Virginia.
 
I have been telling everyone for a long time incitement speech is not protected under the 1st amendment.  Look up the fighting words doctrine, from SC case.   Still in affect, after this...might get worse.
John Minehan Added Aug 19, 2017 - 6:41pm
Also issues with "time, place and manner . . . ."
Bill H. Added Aug 19, 2017 - 8:11pm
Trump is going to continue to be careful of how he treats his WS voters.
After all, his father was apparently quite active with the KKK.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/02/28/in-1927-donald-trumps-father-was-arrested-after-a-klan-riot-in-queens/
Bannon is now in a position to apply even more power from his racist supporters now that he is free of the chains of being in the White House.
Things are going to get worse before they get better.
John Minehan Added Aug 19, 2017 - 10:28pm
Well, as to protests, Boston about got it right and that's a template for other cities.  Also, the WS crowd did not cover itself in glory, so they may behave for a while.
 
Let's see . . . .
John G Added Aug 19, 2017 - 10:51pm
Do these WS groups have ties to the military or the spooks?
John Minehan Added Aug 19, 2017 - 11:08pm
Direct?  Probably not, that sort of thing is frowned on, quite a lot.
 
Indirect?  Through things like the Oathkeepers?  That is a MUCH harder question.
John G Added Aug 20, 2017 - 12:36am
I suspect that it's not that hard.
John G Added Aug 20, 2017 - 3:56am
Glenn Verasco Added Aug 20, 2017 - 4:50am
Great stuff, John!
 
I am on the fence about the monuments. The slippery slope argument makes sense. So does the analogy to Germany's lack of Nazi statues. Ultimately, I think it should be a local decision. And if I were a local government official, I would suggest decreasing the amount of statues while guaranteeing that some would remain. But I don't know about that idea either. It's a tricky subject, and I often lean against taking forceful action when there is no clear answer.
 
I also think we should continue to make light of the tiki torch boys. If white people are privileged in our society, these boys are not the beneficiaries. We should pity them, allow them to speak without any media attention, and speak some sense into them when we can.
 
The same goes for Antifa, I guess. But they seem hellbent on destroying free speech and rational discourse. I don't know who would be more difficult to reason with.
 
Strange times...
Leroy Added Aug 20, 2017 - 9:12am
"Sweetie, if you want to be a more effective historical revisionist and propagandist for slavery, you'll need to lie in a more subtle manner."
 
Saint, her daddy taught her history, so she can't be wrong.  You are a neo-nazi fascist if you disagree.
 
But, in this case, I agree with her.  That is why it is often referred to as the War of Northern Aggression.
 
Although Lincoln opposed slavery and particularly the expansion of slavery, slavery was not his purpose:
 
“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. What I do about slavery and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union.”
 
He didn't believe he had the constitutional right to interfere with it.  It was a state right:
 
"I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so."
 
It was all about states' rights with slavery being the central issue.  When most say it wasn't about states' rights, they deflect the issue by saying the South never mentioned anything about its right to secede from the union.  In that I agree.  It was about their rights under the Constitution to slavery.
 
In hindsight, slavery was wrong, but it was legal at the time.  The North did not go to war to free the slaves.  Slaves gave the South an economic advantage over the North.  It was more about taxes and tariffs and the restraint of trade; i.e., it was about the economy.  Most presidents came from the South because of the economic power of the South due to slavery.  It was about breaking that power. 
 
Although I disagree with slavery, I have to wonder what would have happened if the South had won.  The battle is the same today with the federal government usurping the rights of the states.  If that battle had been won by the South, would we have the out of control federal government that we see today?
 
John Minehan Added Aug 20, 2017 - 4:43pm
"I am on the fence about the monuments. The slippery slope argument makes sense. So does the analogy to Germany's lack of Nazi statues."
 
But, does the FRG then lose von Stauffenberg and Rommel, who made bad decisions, despite being honorable men, and then paid the ultimate price for attacking the Regime they initially supported?
 
Good people do bad things.  people (as de Lattre de Tassigny said) "fight well in bad causes."  it does no good to forget either of these things.
Saint George Added Aug 20, 2017 - 5:25pm
Saint, her daddy taught her history, so she can't be wrong.  You are a neo-nazi fascist if you disagree.
 
Thanks. I think I'm beginning to see the light (though it's a very dim).

That is why it is often referred to as the War of Northern Aggression.
 
No, it's not "often" referred to as the War of Northern Aggression. It's only called that by a small faction of revisionists belonging to a school of thought known as "The Lost Cause".  And that approach to the history of the Civil War didn't start until after the Confederate States of America lost the war. We didn't hear much about "states' rights" from the south before the war. The Lost Cause storytelling was started by former confederates, of course, namely vice president of the CSA, Alexander Hamilton Stephens, though some other southern politicians and historians joined in.
 
And by the way, the CSA wrote its own Constitution, mainly based on the already existing USA Constitution — except, of course, recognizing blacks as "chattel", the private property of slave-holders. The congress of the CSA also passed a law forbidding any of its own states from seceding from the CSA. So they themselves were no great defenders of "states' rights."
wsucram15 Added Aug 20, 2017 - 5:25pm
Those statues are not monuments "from the civil war era" they are from the Jim Crow era. 
For gods sake I think its Tennesse has a full dress KKK statue up.  Does anyone read on this page?  John Come on. 
Look I dont think we are responsible for the deeds of the past, however if we continue to allow the acts of the past to haunt all of us.... then they are no longer the sins of the past but the present.
 
 
John Minehan Added Aug 20, 2017 - 5:32pm
"target="_blank">Dillon Hopper USMC"
 
The kid did relatively well in the Corps, left as a SSgt after 12 years and served as a Recruiter.  Recruiting Duty is a fairly big deal in the Army but might be an even bigger deal in the Corps.
 
On the other hand, he did 12 years and didn't stay 20, so something happened. 
 
It could be a bad thing, like losing his clearance (he was in Information Security type) or it could have been a personal thing (some people HATE recruiting duty and would leave the service if told they had to do it more than once) or it might have, formally or informally, had to do with his racist beliefs.  (if anyone finds out you have Supremacist views of any kind, you are bounced and he was setting his organization up for about a year before he left the Corps.  On the other hand, he changed his name to "Hopper" in 2006 and set up his organization under his old mane of  "Irizarry.")    
John G Added Aug 20, 2017 - 6:01pm
Or it could be that he never really left at all.
Saint George Added Aug 20, 2017 - 6:10pm
For whom do you shill, john-g? Russia? Who is your ideological compliance officer? Do tell.
 
Curious minds want to know.
John Minehan Added Aug 20, 2017 - 9:50pm
"Those statues are not monuments "from the civil war era" they are from the Jim Crow era."
 
There are a lot of pieces to that one. 
John Minehan Added Aug 21, 2017 - 1:28pm
"Those statues are not monuments 'from the civil war era' they are from the Jim Crow era." 
 
The reason I mentioned Ralph Northam, M.D. is that he got his undergraduate degree at the Virginia Military Institute.
 
On that campus, the largest building has four named Arches: 1) Washington Arch, named after a major slave owner; Jackson Arch, named after a slave-owner who was a LTG in the Army of Northern Virginia; 3) Marshall Arch, named after the man who, as Secretary of Defense, integrated the US Military; and 4) Daniels Arch, named for a man who was martyred as an Episcopalian Seminarian as a participant in the Civil Rights Movement.
 
Marshall' 01 and Daniels' 62 were VMI alumni.  The first two named Arches were present when both men were Cadets.  Northam '81, as mentioned before, is also a VMI alumnus.  The first three named Arches were present during his Cadetship.
 
Being exposed to monuments to slaveholders and Confederate Flag Officers did not prevent Marshall from integrating the Armed Forces nor did it prevent Daniels from participating in, and being martyred during, the Civil Rights Movement.  In the same way, being exposed to these things did not keep Northam from advocating the removal of Confederate statuary from public display.
 
However, the example of Washington, Continental Army Commander, first President under the Constitution and a  man who freed his own slaves in his will, a seminal figure in the Colonial and Early American history of Virginia, and of Jackson, one of the masters of the Operation level of war in American . . . and world . . . military history and a man who freed his slaves and risked  criminal prosecution for teaching slaves to read as a Presbyterian Elder, was also  probably not lost on any of the three later  men mentioned.
 
As Shakespeare said, "The evil that men do lives after them; The good is oft interred with their bones; So let it be with Caesar."  But that is (and was intended to be) simplistic and incomplete.  Good people make bad decisions.  They accept things that are unacceptable because that is what has always been done or it is the fashion of the times o for short term advantage.  But that lesson may be the most valuable of all. 
 
Finally, "the  Era of Jim Crow" was also the Era of the Spanish American War, where North and South were united by a foreign war and people were willing to acknowledge their fellow citizen who had "fought well in a bad cause" (to borrow a quote from Lattre de Tassigny on another war).  .   
Katharine Otto Added Aug 22, 2017 - 1:06am
Leroy and St. George,
That war is often called the War of Northern Aggression, depending on where you live.  And if you read Thomas DiLorenzo's excellent book, "The Real Lincoln," you will learn that the war was not about slavery or states' rights.  It was about tariffs, because the Confederacy didn't charge tariffs, so cut the Northern mercantilists and government out of a lot of loot. For that reason, many Brits supported the South.
 
diLorenzo claims Lincoln wanted a war.  A move for compensated emancipation was already sweeping the world, and people were finding slavery wasn't so economically feasible, after all.  
 
Lincoln, however, who had been a corporate railroad lawyer, used the war to justify giving huge tracts of land and other goodies to the railroads and robber barons, to develop a food supply from the Midwest, to feed the urbanized Yanks who had depended on the South for food. 
 
It was a war of Northern Aggression because it did not occur on Yankee soil.  Wounds are still raw, because the South was economically devastated, homes, farms, produce, livestock, courthouses, and people were killed, maimed, burned, and left without a bean to eat or a shred of pride.  Meanwhile, the displaced (aka "freed") slaves no longer had homes or food, no skills, no literacy, so migrated to factories up Nawth, where conditions were worse.  
 
 
wsucram15 Added Aug 22, 2017 - 4:11pm
John how can you say that...?
Jim Crow is the separate is equal law. I dont care who we fought or why and what war we were in. We most likely had separate forces with them and put them to die first. I dont know that but it would not surprise me. The white people have done some messed up stuff to not just black people but people of all different cultures.  Look at the muslims.
During Jim Crow laws..Black people were not allowed to eat, sleep, have a home, get an education, could not vote..etc.
They were separate from whites in all ways and made to feel less than even though they were no longer slaves.
Come on John...think how you would feel if you had no rights and were inferior to blacks in every way.  Could not have a house, your kids had to go to a school with an uneducated teacher or you had to teach them if you could, you could not buy a house, could not vote to change the laws, could not eat in a restaurant with black people and there werent any other restaurants around and you were starving.
 
You know one of my favorite stories came from Thurgood MArshall, an attorney in Baltimore at the time.  He was coming home from work as an attorney, and could not find a "black" bus, so he had to walk.  He had to pee.  He tried many bars and restaurants along the way..but they were "white only" establishments.  So in that walk, he finally peed his pants . Black men didnt dare pee in public.  He said he was humiliated and then angry.
Its what made him take Brown v Board of Education and become the SC justice he was.
But think how you would feel if that was you...everything was black and you were unable to even go to the bathroom.  Those laws enabled that mindset. 
wsucram15 Added Aug 22, 2017 - 4:26pm
I mean everyone thinks civil rights started over equal rights, that came later..it began over the poor housing conditions people were forced into.  One of those "housing buildings" still stands in Baltimore.  Its disgusting. Back then, it was an isolated place among a bunch of business.
Im sorry, I remember black colleges. One of my mothers best friends was the Dean of Women at Morgan State College. I remember she lived in a much better neighborhood then most black people, but it was still affluent black people and I remember her talking about the segregation and this was the 60s.  She spoke with me many times about this topic over the years.  This woman was more highly educated than I would say 85% of the people I have spoken to in my life and she was still pigeon-holed by the color of her skin.
Im sorry..it does not make sense to me.  I am white and I know I have had opportunities others have not.  But now the tables are turning and people dont like that. 
Why? Our people abused it, its time to get along.
John Minehan Added Aug 22, 2017 - 4:31pm
However, as I stated, the statuary did not have much to do with Jim Crow, it had more to do with regional reconciliation after a very decisive Civil War, much of which came after the Spanish American War and WW I.
 
For example, VMI, Lt.Gov Northam's alma mater, had a building (Jackson Memorial Hall) built in 1914 with federal funds appropriated by a US Senator who had shelled the campus in 1864 as a Union Artillery battery commander.
wsucram15 Added Aug 23, 2017 - 8:38am
But John..it did, it might have begun during that time but those laws were implied up to the 1950s.  Come on.  People died over that..and not any war.  They are STILL dying over this issue.  Its ludicrous.
White people that sympathized and black people have died. Its not acceptable john and I am sorry you feel this way.
No war is an excuse to make another feel enslaved or less than. This has gone on long enough. I wont be a part of this and my generation unfortunately allowed the ignorance for too long.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Aug 29, 2017 - 12:53am
From afar it appears that the whole thing was a setup. The good news is people who previously worshiped the ground cops walk on have finally learned that cops are not their friend and never have been. 
John Minehan Added Aug 30, 2017 - 1:25pm
Well, it can't have served the Alt-Right too well that they got abused so readily.  As I said, above, "you're not representing."
 
As a result, the air seems to have gone out of this particular version of the Alt-Right balloon, although it is too early to say it has done so for the concept generally.
 
Further, the hardcore Antifa types have made it apparent that they are somewhat in the Spartacist mode, which does not help them.
 
It is a good thing that (SO FAR) we have avoided clashed between Freikorps and Spartacists that marked the fall of the Kaiser, but kind of a minimum amount of good news (not to sound ungrateful for small blessings)