I can understand why people might be offended by statues of Confederate generals on horseback with inscriptions describing them as great heroes. On the other hand, what about monuments and memorials such as the following? I know of one memorial to all of the soldiers who died during all of the wars who were from a particular county. The memorial is on the county court house lawn. The memorial includes soldiers from the C.S.A. While it does contain a brief platitude such as “in loving memory” or something like that, it simply lists their name, rank, unit, and date of death and maybe a few other similar details that I cannot remember. Most of them were enlisted men. I am almost certain that few, if any of them, owned slaves, and that many of them were drafted or forced to join due to poverty. There is also a section for county residents that died while in the Union army during the Civil War but that section has substantially fewer names. What does the SDMB think? Should the Confederate portion of this memorial be removed from the court house lawn?
What do the local voters think?
I haven’t been there lately, but I’m pretty sure that the vast majority of them don’t even think about it at all.
I’d argue it really depends on time placed, area placed, and content. Monuments on any battlefield to a unit that was there? No problem. Monuments placed in the 19th century? No problem. Monuments to soldiers as a whole from an area and including CSA (especially since plenty of CSA soldiers had no choice anyway)? No problem. I think it really has to be more like placement in the 1950/1960s (might make an exception for something that was erected on the centenary) and especially of non-local people to possibly be offensive. Things like design, size, placement, age, those memorialized; all those things really matter and why I’m against a blanket “all are offensive” perspective.
All Confederate statues should be removed and melted down for paperclips or whatever. I don’t care if they owned slaves or not. They were violent anti-American separatists. We don’t have to go so far as to shame them, but for chrissakes at least don’t honor them. It’s very important that nobody ever get the impression that they’ll get a statue for treason.
It seems wild to me that conservatives are having a collective panic that some Americans “hate America”, yet they’ll squall like stuck pigs if you remove a Confederate statue. Those guys killed more Americans than any other army in history. If that’s not “hating America” then I don’t know what is.
Why not? Shaming is very under-rated.
Remove monuments honoring them? Yes. Be clear that they weren’t heroes but rather violent anti-American separatist traitors, in historical texts and public statements? Yes. Be clear that we’ve been whitewashing history all this time? Yes.
That’s sufficient for me. I guess there’s some shaming involved in it, so I don’t see much purpose in going beyond that.
I’m not convinced shaming is all that effective. After all, we “shamed” an additional 12M into voting for Trump last go around.
Did we? We might have gotten some Trumpers off their capacious duffs who might have otherwise stayed on the couch on their front porch (cite?), but shaming didn’t make a single non-Trumper into a Trumper. It just exposed them for what they are, which is people I will have nothing to do with for the rest of their lives.
My feeling is that a memorial to soldiers who died is not offensive. A statue in honor of a traitor like Lee is totally offensive. What would you think of a statue of Benedict Arnold?
I’m fine with memorials to soldiers who died, as long as there are also memorials to the slaves who died from their oppression and maybe for those Southerners who suffered for refusing to fight for treason.
Ah, good point!
Yeah, want your name on anything honoring fallen American soldiers? Then you better be a fallen American soldier.
Aimed a gun in the general direction of an American soldier? Sorry, you don’t deserve anything more than a cold wet hole unmarked in the ground.
What’s next, WW2 monuments honoring the SS of Malmedy for their valiant service?
We’ve got one – sort of
Arnold was a brilliant soldier and tactician who won battles for the Americans – before he turned traitor and started doing the same thing for the British. (He burned New London, Connecticut to the ground, among other things.) The monument doesn’t name him or depict him, but does commemorate the service he at one time gave
Yeah, don’t have statues to actual literal traitors. How is this a discussion?
How does poverty come into it?
They always had a choice.
Especially in the years before the war began, when abolitionists were making the case that slavery was immoral, Un-Christian, and needed to be abandoned. If you made a choice to fight to defend slavery, you sealed your place is history voluntarily. If your side lost, of course, which it did.
“Oh, who knew that killing Union soldiers to defend slavery would result in being seen as a traitor to the UsA?” Uh, you did.
It makes me think of Franklin’s famous remark about “hanging together or we will all hang separately.” It takes a certain kind of blithe un-self-awareness not to understand that you were gambling by waging war on a government you’d sworn your loyalty to previously, and that that government, if victorious, would very reasonably regard you as a traitor if they won the war.
There is a statue of George Washington in London. One could make the same argument. For whatever reason we don’t have mobs of the British vandalizing it.
In general, I think it’s fine to have statues and such named after even flawed historical figures.
For the historical record, for those who need it, the founders of this country left England. Then they fought the British when the British showed up in the new place.
That’s a condensed version, you know.
Cognitive dissonance is one of their chief weapons. That, and pretending to be the victim any time someone presents a historical fact that doesn’t suit them. Think of them as toddlers in adult-sized pants.
One Pol Pot, coming up! Where do you want it; front lawn or next to the Josef Stalin by the entryway?