Jun 12, 2020. But a new poll by Harvard CAPS/Harris taken for The Hill finds that most voters do not support these measures. The distinguished Civil War historian James M. McPherson addressed the Confederate landmark issue in a 2017 interview: I can certainly sympathize with a point of view that people who fought to break up the United States with the purpose of preserving slavery should not be celebrated, but it happened. Rather, Confederate monuments were intended “to celebrate … the re-subjugation of the formerly enslaved and their progeny into the economic peonage and racial caste system of Jim Crow.”. Some far left people have even gone as far as vandalizing statues of Columbus and busts of Lincoln. Salon sophisticates, of course, assume they must fervently and unanimously support the avenue’s statuary purging. Quite possibly the most controversial topic in America right now is Confederate statues, and whether or not they should be removed. No matter how someone answers this question it is going to make people outraged. Similar veneration, of course, inspired legions of Civil War monuments in the northern states. Because the current iconoclastic mania was initially precipitated by Confederate memorials, which range from the heroic equestrian figures of Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and J.E.B. Should Confederate statues stay or go? Our typically college-educated iconoclasts appear to be entirely incapable of dealing with that complexity. They care about the ideas of the past that they disagree with and they wish to banish them. The poll shows that 58 percent say the statues should stay and 42 percent saying they should be removed. Symbols resonate at a metaphysical level. The Confederate statues were put up when they were put up [not just after the war but largely during periods of Civil Rights tension in the 20th century], to send a message about white supremacy, and to sentimentalize people who had actively fought to preserve the system of slavery. The Lincoln Memorial itself was vandalized and a pillar was spray painted red with vulgar language. I think that that needs to be understood as part of the mythology of the Civil War — and people live as much by myths as by reality. Many Southerners fought mainly because they believed their homeland was being invaded. These monuments — from Tallahassee, Fla., to Stone Mountain, Ga., to Cochise County, Ariz. — are among the nearly 700 Confederate memorials that … In other cases, their appeal is more complex and complicated. The sudden calling for the removal of Confederate Statues has unearthed cries from some voices on the far left to put founding fathers and notable Americans like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson on the chopping block. Many of these monuments, which were put up from about 1890 to 1920, illustrate the ‘Lost Cause’ mentality of the Confederacy. Florida school districts continue to look at renaming schools named after Confederate leaders. E. Benjamin Andrews/Wikimedia Commons. The almost certainly imminent removal of the Confederate statues along Monument Avenue — Jefferson Davis was toppled on June 10 — is particularly noteworthy. In the wake of the recent police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and widespread protests against police brutality and systemic racism in America, there are renewed calls for Confederate monuments around the country to come down—from Birmingham, Alabama, where a 52-foot obelisk known as the Confederate Soldiers … The statues must go because they remind us constantly of a past that needs only to be overcome and forgotten. Confederate monuments nationwide are coming down as the country, fueled by the killings of Black people by white police officers, turns up the volume on its long fight … Many argue that the monuments should remain simply for the sake of southern pride, and that is a valid argument. They want to restart society themselves as a perfect utopia. Some of the statues were created by the Union to act as memorials to their fallen American comrades of the Confederacy, not to act as proponents of racism. Many thousands gave their lives to defend it. Monuments are thus selective — history without warts — and there is a vital and by no means necessarily tidy interplay between them and historical actuality. Confederate statues honor the Confederate war heroes and soldiers with buildings, statues, plaques and other forms of commemoration of the Confederacy; and now those buildings and statues are causing violence and arguments throughout the United States. But Trump is right to say that Confederate monuments should stay where they are. If so, this is exactly why they should remain. Antifa, a far left militant group, and others on the far left want to hit the reset button and erase the history that they don’t agree with. We must confront our past, not whitewash it. Based on the fuzzy logic of protestors, it is unclear how removing statues of Robert E. Lee will not also lead to the removal of statues of Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, and others. The problem of what to do with them has convulsed the US since recent violent protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, over a proposal to remove a statue of sometime Confederate generalissimo Robert E. Lee. It's a dangerous expression of the radical left's nihilism. It will impoverish the River City’s cultural patrimony. Copyright © 2021 The Federalist, a wholly independent division of FDRLST Media, All Rights Reserved. Confederate statues remind blacks of the torture, death, slavery, slave sales, and other forms of oppression their people suffered. Should … It is part of their heritage. The rest said, “I don’t know.”. The American South remembers its days of the confederacy. But that doesn’t mean everyone who fought for the South did so because he was a devotee of the “peculiar institution” — let alone a slaveowner. As a historian, I don’t like the idea of banning statues. ALL inappropriate content will be immediately removed. The heritage of others and the stone and bronze figures attesting to their past should be the least of America’s worries with the North Korean and terrorist threats affecting our present. Would we arrange the statuary figures in the same way now? Today they inspire awe and wonder at the accomplishments of ancient civilizations. Public art challenges, changes and shapes the way we see things. Monuments should speak for themselves, they declared. The U.S. is a work in progress. More specifically, most Americans can appreciate that such monuments retain artistic value apart from any ideological baggage they might carry simply because they are of higher quality than the memorials we are apt to produce today. The Student News Site of Van Nuys High School, The Mirror • © 2021 VNHS Publications • Advertise • FLEX WordPress Theme by SNO • Log in, It’s out with the old and in with the new, Crazy covid customers demand to speak to the manager, BLOG | LGBT Nation: The entertainment industry overlooks lesbians, When Armenians needed you most, you stood in silence. The Confederate statues have no redeeming qualities to them, but other statues certainly do. The bronze statue, dating to 1924 and located in front of Durham’s Old Court House, was then yanked down to the ground from its high pedestal and gleefully stomped. It is only right that we should commemorate accomplishments of the past and remember war heroes like Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis. The beheaded statue, as it is, should stay. Princeton historian Sean Wilentz would have us believe Monument Avenue’s statuary panoply was not about redeeming the Lost Cause. Please limit all comments to the topic of the post. The debated fate of a Confederate statue stoked racial tension, violence and even death in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017. After all, their heroes' may not have prevailed in that awful Civil War, but they were revered all the same. Although I agree with the powerful words and sentiments expressed by Mayor Landrieu of New Orleans last week about why he thinks Confederate statutes and symbols should come down, I … He simply articulated the common sense informing a wide swathe of American public opinion: to destroy public monuments, Confederate or not, is to destroy part of the nation’s history. Because the current iconoclastic mania was initially precipitated by Confederate memorials, which range from the heroic equestrian figures … But here I go. The vandals seek the destruction of the artistic manifestations of higher ideals guiding our nation and its leaders throughout its often turbulent history. For example: political commentator Angela Rye said this on CNN on August 15th this year. A Columbus statue was vandalized in New York’s Central Park where Columbus’ hands were spray painted red. Many people have observed that Confederate memorials were mainly erected in defiance of progress towards civil rights for liberated slaves and their descendants. Still, the number of those favoring removal is rising, while the number who say they should remain standing is falling — which is hardly surprising given the legacy media’s coverage of the issue. Because a Civil War hero, Col. Robert Gould Shaw, is portrayed on horseback amidst the black infantrymen under his command, his monument on the Boston Common has been defaced as a loathsome symbol of white supremacy. I … Florida school districts continue to look at renaming schools named after Confederate.... And banned from graves of former Confederate veterans terms, reduced to slogans and Twitter memes honor slaveholders was. 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