What should be done about Gettysburg?

In essence, they are already in one.

The Gettysburg battlefield IS a museum. That is the only context where those statues belong, not on public streets, public parks, or public parks, not on college campuses, but in museums and on battlefields as a part of the memorial.

Everything I have learned about being disingenuous since December 1999 I have learned from Bricker.
Seriously, I’ve studied his style and used it to great effect. He is a master of the technique.

The history represented at Gettysburg didn’t stop in 1863, either. These memorials also represent the way many people *thought *then about each other, and how many still do. They represent the fight for racism as well as the fight for slavery.

Context is everything. In a historical park or in a museum, fine. History happened. The CSA traitors are not being honored there, their statues are there as a history lesson. Contrast that to a statue of Lee outside a southern courthouse. That sends the message “we think that men who took arms against the nation in order to keep other humans in bondage are people that we revere and we endorse their ideals”.

Similarly, I would not expect statues of Hitler to be in public squares in Germany, but I would expect to see them in German museums.

On the anniversary of Pickett’s Charge, the Union spectators sit atop Cemetery Hill and the Confederate “spectators” emerge from the woods on Seminary Ridge and walk the nearly one mile to the Union “lines.”

Just as it appears that the Confederates will charge, they face each other at the wall, the commanding officers shake hands, and a pithy little speech about unity is given and everyone goes about their business.

Question: Should the shaking of hands be done away with? We wouldn’t shake hands with Nazis, right? Shouldn’t the Union commander yell at the Confederate commander and insult him and tell him he has no place in modern society?

You know, this didn’t have to become a tribal left-right issue. Conservatives could just agree that monuments honoring the Lost Cause, erected to intimidate black people, are bad.

Instead, you get ridiculous bullshit like the suggestion that a completely counter-factual historical enactment ought to involve some kind of enmity. You all should find that embarrassing.

Of course not. Vietnam vets go to Vietnam and visit their former foes in arms. Ditto with WW II vets going to Japan and Germany. When American and German WWII vets meet and reminisce and share a beer, they’re honoring each other’s service. They sure as hell aren’t honoring Hitler.

Just to be clear, you are fine with keeping any Confederate monument so long as the original purpose of erecting the statue was not to “intimidate black people”?

There you go. Charlottesville is honoring the service of the citizens of Charlottesville during the Civil War. I think this is the exact point our side is making. The overwhelming majority of supporters of the statues are not looking at those monuments dreaming of one day being able to own slaves again.

It could be stripped of monuments that specifically honor Confederates, in my opinion. As has been pointed out, however, the Gettysburg battlefield is a historical site - effectively an open air museum. That is markedly different from a town making a monument to a white supremacist traitor the central focus of a common space.

The statue is of Robert E. Lee, who was not from Charlottesville. It bears no inscription of any sort honoring veterans from Charlottesville.

If Charlottesville were to erect a monument that actually honored men who died in the Civil War, would they include those who fought and died for the Union? Thousands of Virginians did join the Union Army; odds are one or more were from Charlottesville. Surely they belong there?

I know you must tell yourself stories about how these monuments are just abstractly honoring bravery or loyalty or memorializing the dead, and nevermind what the Daughters of the Confederacy actually stood for, and nevermind the actual timeline of when these monuments were erected, and nevermind what some of them actually say on them, and nevermind all of the Lost Cause history espoused by their current defenders, and nevermind the white supremacist reverence for them, and nevermind many Southerners deserving of memorializing from this period who were not Confederates who do not have statues, and nevermind the way these statues make your living-and-breathing neighbors feel in 2017.

I’m glad you are forced to tell yourself these stories. It’s better than being the kind of bigot that honors these monuments for what they actually stand for. But even better than that would be confronting the actual history and reality.

Nobody says these people want to own slaves. And it isn’t about honoring bravery. It’s about honoring the idea that “we” are better than “them”. The “them” has grown a bit over the years- blacks have always been “them”, sometimes it includes Jews, Catholics, now Muslims and Mexicans are targets. There are always someone for white supremacists to look down on, and who they look up to are those who were traitors to the nation.

They’re still around, incredibly. Some old biddies representing them were complaining that they owned the time capsule under the “Johnny Reb” statue that was just taken down in Orlando, even though it contained documents donating it to the city.

I knew they still existed, but I figured they had modernized their views from the time when they were the moving force behind most of these monuments. But perhaps I’m not cynical enough.

Notice that the groups protesting the removal of the Lee statue in Charlottesville aren’t named The Memorial Society for Confederate Soldiers or The Sons of the Civil War Infantrymen. In July, it was the Ku Klux Klan. In August it was neo-Nazis and White nationalist racists. The terrorist responsible for the murder of Heather Heyer is from Ohio, not a confederate state.

But I guess that’s fine and dandy for some people.

Should statues dedicated to Gerd von Rundstedt be on display at the Normandy battlefield?

This is the quality of your debating tactics, counselor?

You’re right.

If you were to learn that the KKK and the neo-Nazis also favor a policy of gaining oxygen by breathing, or believe that the square root of 9 is 3, what would be your position on those propositions?

I find it distressful in the extreme to have these guys in the world. And as a Hispanic Catholic child of a Salvadoran immigrant, I assure you they would be no fans of me, either.

But the question of statues and memorials is not foreclosed merely because a couple of groups of assholes support one side of the debate, even though they are champion assholes, gold medal assholes, and summa cum loudly assholes.

For them? I’m against it.

Do you have any cites that those are their policies, or that those policies derive from their purpose? If not, please note that resorting to your imagination is a way of conceding the loss of a debate.