Debates Forum

Debates Forum

  1. Behind the scenes
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    06 Mar '19 07:001 edit
    Liberals want most (if not all) public items of the old south removed, citing their racist symbolism, while Conservatives argue they are part of history and should be preserved. Here is an idea - Remove the offending items and place them in museums. The general public won't see them, and those who want want to can pay 5-10 dollars to see not only these items, but a short written history that can accompany each one. Not a perfect solution perhaps, but this makes more sense to me than racking up untold billable hours for lawyers to argue these cases endlessly in the courts.
  2. Standard memberwolfgang59
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    06 Mar '19 08:54
    @mchill said
    Liberals want most (if not all) public items of the old south removed, citing their racist symbolism, while Conservatives argue they are part of history and should be preserved. Here is an idea - Remove the offending items and place them in museums. The general public won't see them, and those who want want to can pay 5-10 dollars to see not only these items, but a short writt ...[text shortened]... o me than racking up untold billable hours for lawyers to argue these cases endlessly in the courts.
    Removing historical monuments is, to my mind, vandalism.
    They need to be kept, explained and learned from.
  3. SubscriberAThousandYoung
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    06 Mar '19 15:19
    @wolfgang59 said
    Removing historical monuments is, to my mind, vandalism.
    They need to be kept, explained and learned from.
    Do you think there should be statues of Saddam in Iraq in public locations?
  4. Joined
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    06 Mar '19 15:51
    @wolfgang59 said
    Removing historical monuments is, to my mind, vandalism.
    They need to be kept, explained and learned from.
    Agreed, but the most durable monument to the dreams/nightmares of the “old south” is everywhere around you when you spend time in the present south. Try 3 nights in NOLA, then a week on the lower River, ending at the former Lorraine Motel in Memphis. And the unfinished business isn’t limited to the south. MAGA, anyone?
  5. Joined
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    06 Mar '19 15:57
    @mchill said
    Liberals want most (if not all) public items of the old south removed, citing their racist symbolism, while Conservatives argue they are part of history and should be preserved. Here is an idea - Remove the offending items and place them in museums. The general public won't see them, and those who want want to can pay 5-10 dollars to see not only these items, but a short writt ...[text shortened]... o me than racking up untold billable hours for lawyers to argue these cases endlessly in the courts.
    “...a short written history that can accompany each one...”

    Ay, there’s the rub.
  6. Standard membercaissad4
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    06 Mar '19 16:09
    @mchill
    There is a quote from R E Lee which goes "If I owned all the slaves in the South, I would free them all to avoid the war which is surely coming ". This quote is from a year before the Civil War began. R E Lee owned no slaves. Maybe that quote should be placed on a plaque below his statue instead of removing the statue.
    All statues of Nathan Bedford Forrest (founder of the KKK) should be melted down and used to make toilets.
  7. Joined
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    06 Mar '19 19:04
    @caissad4 said
    @mchill
    There is a quote from R E Lee which goes "If I owned all the slaves in the South, I would free them all to avoid the war which is surely coming ". This quote is from a year before the Civil War began. R E Lee owned no slaves. Maybe that quote should be placed on a plaque below his statue instead of removing the statue.
    All statues of Nathan Bedford Forrest (founder of the KKK) should be melted down and used to make toilets.
    Excellent nuanced comment. It's not as simple as some would have it.
  8. Zugzwang
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    06 Mar '19 19:342 edits
    @caissad4 said
    @mchill
    There is a quote from R E Lee which goes "If I owned all the slaves in the South, I would free them all to avoid the war which is surely coming ". This quote is from a year before the Civil War began. R E Lee owned no slaves. Maybe that quote should be placed on a plaque below his statue instead of removing the statue.
    All statues of Nathan Bedford Forrest (founder of the KKK) should be melted down and used to make toilets.
    "R E Lee owned no slaves."
    --Caissad4

    FALSE. That's a popular historical myth.
    No American here so far has seemed able to notice it.

    It's true that Robert E Lee owned no slaves AFTER the Civil War, but no one owned any slaves then.
    Caissad4's comment wrongly implies that Robert E Lee never owned any slaves
    or, at least, that he owned no slaves when the Civil War began.

    After they lost the Civil War, white Southerners needed to embrace Robert E. Lee
    (though not Jefferson Davis) as a tragic fallen hero (somewhat like Germans used
    to embrace Erwin Rommel). There's ample mythology about Robert E. Lee,
    including exaggerating or lying about his supposed opposition to slavery.

    _Lee Considered: General Robert E. Lee and Civil War History_
    by Alan Nolan is a good place to start unlearning what you assume you know.
    Alan Nolan points out that Robert E. Lee did NOT free his last slave until well into the Civil War.
    (I don't recall the exact year, most likely 1863 or 1864.)

    https://medium.com/@reevesjw/five-myths-about-robert-e-lee-d9d6fa331aa

    "Five myths about Robert E. Lee"
    --John Reeves

    "Myth NO. 1 Lee was opposed to slavery
    After the Civil War, Robert E. Lee attempted to present himself as always having been opposed to slavery...

    The historical record, alas, doesn’t support his claim. Lee owned or managed slaves f
    or over thirty years — in April 1861, he oversaw roughly 200 slaves — and always
    sought to maximize the value of his human property. Lee may have complained
    about the “peculiar institution,” but he and his family benefited from it tremendously.

    Before the war, Lee held two somewhat different ideas about slavery in his mind at the same time.
    He conceded that slavery “was a moral and political evil in any country,” but also
    believed that slavery was ordained by God, and was part of the necessary historical
    development of African Americans. In January 1865, several months before the
    end of the war, Lee wrote that he believed “the relation of master and slave,
    controlled by humane laws and influenced by Christianity and an enlightened
    public sentiment [was] the best that can exist between the white and black races…”

    To sum up, Robert E Lee was a slave owner, whose wealth came largely from his slaves.
    After the Civil War, he misrepresented (at best) or lied about his earlier support for slavery.
  9. Zugzwang
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    06 Mar '19 19:361 edit
    @stevemcc said
    Excellent nuanced comment. It's not as simple as some would have it.
    (Stevemcc replied to Caissad4.)

    Historical ignorance is much more common among Americans than most of them like to concede.
    Caissad4's comments about Robert E Lee and Nathan Bedford Forrest seem far
    from being 'nuanced' or historically well-informed.
  10. Zugzwang
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    06 Mar '19 19:40
    @mchill said
    Liberals want most (if not all) public items of the old south removed, citing their racist symbolism, while Conservatives argue they are part of history and should be preserved. Here is an idea - Remove the offending items and place them in museums. The general public won't see them, and those who want want to can pay 5-10 dollars to see not only these items, but a short writt ...[text shortened]... o me than racking up untold billable hours for lawyers to argue these cases endlessly in the courts.
    For whatever it's worth, it's hard to find Nazi symbols in modern German museums.

    A distinction should be made between purely political Nazi symbols and those attached to the military.
    For example, Luftwaffe aircraft had a black cross as their main insignia but also a smaller swastika.
    That does not mean that no Luftwaffe aircraft should ever be displayed in a museum.
  11. Zugzwang
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    06 Mar '19 19:511 edit
    @caissad4 said
    @mchill
    There is a quote from R E Lee which goes "If I owned all the slaves in the South, I would free them all to avoid the war which is surely coming ". This quote is from a year before the Civil War began. R E Lee owned no slaves. Maybe that quote should be placed on a plaque below his statue instead of removing the statue.
    All statues of Nathan Bedford Forrest (founder of the KKK) should be melted down and used to make toilets.
    Robert E Lee was a Southern gentleman (by birth) who inherited his slaves or took over his wife's slaves.
    In contrast, Nathan Bedford Forrest was born poor and became a self-made affluent
    businessman through legal trading in slaves and other commodities.

    Many slave-owning Southern gentlemen regarded the grim business of slave-trading
    as beneath them, while they (hypocritically) continued to profit from slavery.

    There's some evidence that, toward the end of his life, Nathan Bedford Forrest retracted
    his earlier support for the KKK and became somewhat less prejudiced toward black people.

    For whatever it's worth, Robert E Lee admired Nathan Bedford Forrest as a fighting general of cavalry.
    The distance between them was not as vast as Robert E Lee's admirers like to believe.
  12. Standard memberwolfgang59
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    06 Mar '19 20:02
    @AThousandYoung
    If the statues are already there they should be kept,
    the accompanying plaque should explain who he
    was and what he did.

    If there is no statue then one should not be erected.
  13. Subscriberno1marauder
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    06 Mar '19 20:57
    @duchess64 said
    Robert E Lee was a Southern gentleman (by birth) who inherited his slaves or took over his wife's slaves.
    In contrast, Nathan Bedford Forrest was born poor and became a self-made affluent
    businessman through legal trading in slaves and other commodities.

    Many slave-owning Southern gentlemen regarded the grim business of slave-trading
    as beneath them, while they (hypo ...[text shortened]... l of cavalry.
    The distance between them was not as vast as Robert E Lee's admirers like to believe.
    Nathan Bedford Forrest should have been executed as a war criminal. https://www.history.com/topics/american-civil-war/fort-pillow-massacre
  14. Zugzwang
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    06 Mar '19 21:111 edit
    @no1marauder said
    Nathan Bedford Forrest should have been executed as a war criminal. https://www.history.com/topics/american-civil-war/fort-pillow-massacre
    I was well aware of the massacre at Fort Pillow.
    There remains some historical dispute about what happened or Nathan Bedford Forrest's responsibility.

    "A 2002 study by Albert Castel concluded that the Union forces were indiscriminately
    massacred after Fort Pillow "had ceased resisting or was incapable of resistance."[26]
    Historian Andrew Ward in 2005 reached the conclusion that an atrocity in the modern
    sense occurred at Fort Pillow, including the murders of fleeing black civilians, but that
    the event was not premeditated nor officially sanctioned by Confederate commanders.[27]
    Recent histories generally concur that a massacre occurred ..."
    --Wikipedia

    US military tribunals seemed lenient toward actions on the battlefield or shortly afterward.
    Only two (white) Confederates (in contrast to many Lakota) were executed after
    being convicted by US military tribunals. They were Henry Wirz (who commanded
    the notorious POW camp at Andersonville) and Robert Cobb Kennedy (a saboteur
    who planned to set fires in New York City).
  15. SubscriberAThousandYoung
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    06 Mar '19 21:29
    @wolfgang59 said
    @AThousandYoung
    If the statues are already there they should be kept,
    the accompanying plaque should explain who he
    was and what he did.

    If there is no statue then one should not be erected.
    What do you think of this event:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firdos_Square_statue_destruction
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