Culture Club


cjones08212017

This current debate about statues isn’t really about statues.

White Supremacists gathered in Charlottesville to protest the cities plan to remove a statue of Civil War general Robert E. Lee. The racists marched with the KKK and Nazis chanting “Jews will not replace us” and “blood and soil.” What the hell do statues honoring the Confederacy have to do with Nazis and Jews? Nothing. That’s because this isn’t really about the statues. For them, it’s about removing something offensive to African-Americans and people with a conscience. This is about White Supremacy.

The majority of these statues are monuments to racism. Most were erected during the Jim Crow and Civil Rights era. They were established to give comfort and support to the terrorism being inflicted on blacks.

Donald Trump has given comfort and support to White Supremacists, the KKK, and neo-Nazis. While equating peace activists with Nazis, he said that removal of Civil War monuments should be left to the local communities. Today, he abandoned that position and said it would be “foolish” to remove statues of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson and mused that monuments to George Washington and Thomas Jefferson would be next. “Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments.” This coming from a man with a monument at his Virginia golf club, dedicated to a battle that never happened.

I think there’s a lot about Virginia that Donald Trump doesn’t know. For example, he doesn’t actually own the winery in Charlottesville he brags about owning.

In defending the Confederate statues, Trump adopted the same language and argument of the KKK. People like Trump, racists, don’t understand there’s a huge difference between our founding fathers and Robert E. Lee. Robert E. Lee was a traitor.

I’ve seen arguments that Washington and Jefferson were also traitors, but if there are any monuments for them in England then that’s their problem. You can heap all the plaudits and praise you desire upon Lee, but the man still broke an oath he swore to protect the United States in order to wage war upon it. The man waged a war to preserve slavery, even if you believe he hated slavery. He also authorized his Confederate troops to capture free blacks for enslavement while they were in Pennsylvania.

If you can respect that Robert E. Lee chose to fight the North in defense of his native Virginia and you view him as honorable, then why use him as a monument for hatred?

Another argument from conservatives is that removing statues is a trait of ISIS and the Taliban. That is true. The Taliban also opposes books, education, science, and a free press. That sounds more like Republicans. They’re also in favor of killing people who raise their voice against them. Hmmmm. Which group in the United States did that last weekend?

People like Trump cry that taking down the statues will erase history. Taking down the statues will not erase history. Those monuments are all over the place, yet their defenders have a piss-poor understanding of history. For example, Trump’s bogus story on General Pershing’s pig-blood bullets for Muslims.

Do you want to know history? Read when these statues went up. Read what else was going on at the time. Read why they were erected. Read the Confederate Constitution. It’s basically a cut-and-paste of the U.S. Constitution, with a lot of references to slavery included (I’ll give you a head start on learning about it. It was in favor of slavery).

Much like Trump’s approval ratings and credibility, the statues are crumbling.

Citizens of Baltimore were surprised to wake up to four of their statues having been removed during the night. Why in the hell are there Confederate statues in northern states anyway? Likewise, in Arizona, there’s an argument to remove the statues there, and they weren’t a state during the Civil War. Statues are being taken down in New Orleans. Lexington, Kentucky and Memphis, Tennessee are working on it. Alabama made a state law prohibiting the removal of these monuments, so Birmingham is blocking the view of one of their statues, arguing that the city didn’t exist during the Confederacy…so leave them out of this.

Liberal cities in the South are fighting to remove them. Let them. I’m sure plenty of these Confederate monuments will remain in the smaller towns where they won’t face any opposition. Let those stay. Pigeons gotta poop on something.

The defenders of the statues repeat the slogan “heritage not hate,” when they’re not shouting “blood and soil” and epithets toward Jewish people. But these monuments were erected in the name of hatred. Today, their biggest defender is the most hateful person in the United States in Donald Trump. Is this really your heritage? If it is, you might wanna trade.

These people deflect and defend Nazis. They would rather cry over a statue whose meaning they can’t grasp than cry over or mourn the death of Heather Heyer, who was killed by a White Supremacist last Saturday in Charlottesville.

I am a white guy from the South and I can tell you now, that’s not my heritage.

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8 comments

  1. Excellent column and illustration.
    Suggestion: Type in Word which has spell-check, paste to html page. “Mourn” doesn’t contain an “a”

    Like

    1. Hi Cynthia. We fixed that. Occasionally we have typos. Typos don’t mean we don’t know how to spell the word. They also don’t mean we do know how to spell the word. Fingers get clumsy. We do have an editing process, and we have a proofer.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I’m with Stephen Colbert on this one – Bless their hearts. I’ll pray for them. (AKA, the Southern way of saying “f*** them, they’re evil”).

    If that’s incorrect, please feel free to correct me! I’m a Northern gal, after all. 🙂

    Like

  3. “Citizens of Baltimore were surprised to wake up to four of their statues having been removed during the night. Why in the hell are there Confederate statues in northern states anyway?”

    Maryland didn’t vote to secede (good thing for DC) but it was a slave-holding state, birthplace of Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman. First blood in the Civil War was not at Fort Sumter SC but during a pro-south street riot in Baltimore. Lincoln was snuck through that city in disguise just before his 1861 inauguration to avoid southerners who were planning to assassinate him while he was changing trains.

    One of the statues removed in Baltimore was of the Supreme Court Justice who wrote the Dred Scott decision in 1857, saying that blacks could not be American citizens and had “no rights the white man is bound to respect.” Another statue of the old bigot was just removed from the grounds of the Maryland State House in Annapolis.

    I am glad to report that Maryland is now one of the most reliably blue states, including our nearby Peoples’ Republic of Takoma Park, which is so blue it’s practically ultraviolet.

    Liked by 1 person

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