Monumental II (Open Thread)

csa monument So now that the rebel flag is being lowered at state capitols, what do y’all think about the rest of the Confederate tchotchkes littering the landscape down South, such as CSA war memorials in town squares, etc.? Should they be pulled down like Saddam Hussein’s statue in Baghdad or allowed to stand?

Our local rag had a story today concerning that — House Rep Kathy Castor (D-Of Course) proposed replacing one of Florida’s two designated statues at the US Capitol. Currently, one statue depicts Dr. John Gorrie, a physician who pioneered air-conditioning — blessed be his name! Castor agrees that we should keep Dr. Gorrie, and who in this 100% humidity hellhole could possibly disagree with that?

The other statue depicts Confederate General Kirby Smith, who really didn’t have much of a connection to Florida at all other than being born in St. Augustine. Castor says we should replace him:

“I call on all Floridians to consider great leaders, scientists, teachers, artists and more who reflect the essence of our great state and join the effort to select a statue for the U.S. Capitol,” Castor said in a prepared statement. “The time is now as a wave is sweeping the country to revisit symbols and representations that better reflect the accuracy of our nation’s history and a more inclusive legacy. I urge the Florida Legislature and Governor to give this every consideration, focus on Florida’s historical leaders who have been a positive influence and turn the page on a terrible chapter in America’s history.”

Well, you can just imagine the comments section!

I’d be in favor of finding out who invented mosquito repellent and honoring that person, whether he or she ever set foot in Florida or not. That noble soul, along with Dr. Gorrie, made this swamp inhabitable.

But anyway, what should be the fate of Confederate war memorials and statues? I’m leaning towards the opinion that they should be left in place with historical markers added to put the war in its proper context, i.e., state outright that it was about preserving slavery.

Maybe the deployment of these new historical markers could be accompanied by the addition of new memorials, museums, etc., to acknowledge the injustice of slavery and the sustained campaign of domestic terrorism that followed the Civil War, honor slain Civil Rights activists, etc.

I’m really not sure. What say you?






112 replies
  1. 1
    dr. bloor says:

    “I call on all Floridians to consider great leaders, scientists, teachers, artists and more who reflect the essence of our great state and join the effort to select a statue for the U.S. Capitol,”

    So, will Timmeh’s statue depict him throwing a pass, healing a child or simply Tebowing?

  2. 2
    dmsilev says:

    @efgoldman: Now, now. Some of them could be usefully melted down. Bronze is reasonably valuable.

  3. 3
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    I would say memorials to particular individuals (I’m looking at you Nathan Bedford Forrest) should in all likelihood be removed, but memorials to the Confederate soldiers in general should remain. The truth is Lee, and Mosby, and Jackson, and Johnson would probably agree. The CSA had no medals for bravery or any thing else. They felt all sacrificed and all exhibited bravery and to single any individual out would be denigrating to the rest.

    (as per Ken Burns’ “Civil War”)

  4. 4
    Betty Cracker says:

    @dr. bloor: Haha! That would never fly — the FSU fans wouldn’t stand for it.

  5. 5
    Fair Economist says:

    Maybe the deployment of these new historical markers could be accompanied by the addition of new memorials, museums, etc., to acknowledge the injustice of slavery and the sustained campaign of domestic terrorism that followed the Civil War, honor slain Civil Rights activists, etc.

    That’s the approach of Berlin, which I found to be the most honest city I’ve ever seen. They didn’t tear down the Brandenburg gate – but they did build the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe right next to it. It works.

  6. 6
    David Koch says:

    Nathan Bedford Forrest needs to go.

    Not only did he start the KKK, but during the civil war he massacred captured black soldiers. Lined them up against the wall and machine gunned them. He was a war criminal, no different than Nazi Waffen SS.

    Imagine if Germany decided to erect a statute to Reinhard Heydrich, the world outrage would make them cave in a New York second.

  7. 7
    geg6 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    I really don’t give a shit about what traitorous generals thought about anything. Fuck them.

    For myself, I say get them all off public, tax payer funded property. If some single asshole, a group of assholes or a company owned/run by assholes want them to display on their private property, have at it and give them to them. Then I’ll know to avoid them forever more.

  8. 8
    Dee Loralei says:

    habitable, not unhabitable. Yes, I am a pedant. There’s a statue if Forrest in Memphis that needs to be relegated to someplace not public.

  9. 9
    piratedan says:

    I like the factoids about actually discussing slavery, I think that would be useful, but I also think some new monuments would be welcome, if you want to celebrate some civic accomplishments and individuals, it would give some local artisans some work and give city planners and councils something else to do other than screw the poors.

  10. 10
    Keith G says:

    I think public buildings (several schools here in Houston) get renamed.

    I think individual monuments should be handled case by case. If the monument becomes a rallying point for racist sentiment then it needs to go.. If not, let it stand if that what it’s community is okay with.

    I have no problem with the losers of a rebellion getting a bit of face time as a reminder that bad shit happens and that our history is full of people who think they are on the side of angels but are not.

  11. 11

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    I would say memorials to particular individuals (I’m looking at you Nathan Bedford Forrest) should in all likelihood be removed, but memorials to the Confederate soldiers in general should remain.

    That’s about how I feel, too. One thing that would be good would be to see if there were any locals who had served the Union- there were a scattering white Union loyalists all over the South, as well as a lot of former slaves- and make sure they’re memorialized, too.

  12. 12
    skerry says:

    I’d like to see the military bases named for Confederate Generals/Officers renamed.

    ETA: 9 bases named for Generals and 1 for a Colonel.

  13. 13
    gian says:

    Andrew Jackson was instrumental in wresting the floridas from Spain.

    (But I troll)

  14. 14
    realbtl says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I’m kind of with you, the generic monuments need to stay. I’d only add to the inscription “They fought and died for the wrong cause.”

  15. 15

    @Fair Economist:

    They didn’t tear down the Brandenburg gate

    I don’t see why they would, since it long predates the Nazis. I think a lot of Speer’s monstrosities did get knocked down, though.

  16. 16
    jl says:

    @Fair Economist:

    ” They didn’t tear down the Brandenburg gate – but they did build the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe right next to it ”

    Might be a good idea. Monuments to suffering sacrifices and contributions of slaves and free African-American and other progressive citizens alongside the Confederate memorials.

    Would be interesting to see what choices different localities would make. I’m sure many would be OK with that idea. I’m afraid some would rather tear down the Confederate monuments. Just as Stephens condemned Jefferson for being insufficiently racist.

  17. 17
    satby says:

    @Fair Economist: I like this, though anything with Forrest on it needs to be scrapped.

    and OT, copied this from a couple of posts down because it pisses me off:
    The national GOP in Congress is targeting AmeriCorps too.

    I’m an AmeriCorps alum, and it’s the closest thing we have to a non-military national service. So of course it has to go, according to the vile shitstains of the GOP. Every single day, I find new ways to hate them more.

  18. 18
    Bill Murray says:

    You could make a monument to the guy that invented Gatorade. Or I guess to Florida Man. That’s about all I know about Florida

  19. 19
    bystander says:

    Good news, everybody! Bobby Jindal is taking his turn as Lucky Number 13. A little disappointed that he didn’t enter the way they had him appear to deliver the anti-SOTU a few years ago. I thought he was a shoe-in to replace Jonathan Frid in the Dark Shadows re-make.

  20. 20
    shawn says:

    taking them down full stop just feels wrong, because it is like whitewashing our history – i guess thats the problem, how do you remember without feeling like you are honoring – maybe a museum is the place for them

    or as an above poster noted “They didn’t tear down the Brandenburg gate – but they did build the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe right next to it. It works.”

  21. 21
    Turgidson says:

    Someone on the twitters, responding to something TNC or Bouie said I think, suggested that the statues, and monuments remain, but that an additional statue of Grant or Sherman giving the Confederate soldier the finger or pointing and laughing be built in the vicinity. I could get behind that idea.

  22. 22
    kbuttle says:

    Well, if we went the mosquito repellant route, that would put us back a hundred or so thousand years to one of us smearing our skin in ochre chalk made red from hematite.

    A worthy invention to be certain, but I’m not sure sending to Washington a statue of a caveman or cavewoman conjures quite the imagery Florida is looking to reinforce in this age of Florida Man and Stand Your Ground…

  23. 23
    Schlemazel says:

    I apologize in advance, I have told this story here before but it fits so well into this storyline. Went to a 4th of July celebration in Melbourne FLA when we lived in that area. Part of the activities was a battle reenactment between a group of traitor reenactors and a group of kids from Orlando reenacting the Mass 54th (the ‘colored’ battalion that was the focus of “Glory”) There were two engagements, in the morning it was agreed the Union would win & in the afternoon the traitors. The morning show ended with a smattering of polite applause, the afternoon ‘win’ by the South was met with thunderous cheers and hooting. It pissed me off and I really would like to know what the AA kids thought of it.

  24. 24
    Woodrowfan says:

    add a statue for Jackie Gleason, for promoting Miami!

  25. 25
    Mr. Prosser says:

    Any memorial that mixes the names of Confederate dead and service members who died in service to the United States must be split. Keep them if you want but they are not equal. Dump the generals and politicians.

  26. 26
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @David Koch: Nathan Bedford Forrest needs to go.
    Not only did he start the KKK, but during the civil war he massacred captured black soldiers. Lined them up against the wall and machine gunned them.

    What is this “history” you speak of? Lindsey Graham, the Beltways’ second most respected voice on foreign policy and VSP of the First Rank, is unaware

    “I don’t know how you can sit with somebody for an hour in a church and pray with them and get up and shoot them,” he said. “That’s Mideast hate. That’s something I didn’t think we had here but apparently we do.”

  27. 27
    raven says:

    I remember being at a UU fellowship service in Tempe some years back. The topic was whether or not to purge the UU Hymnal of sexist language. There was vigorous debate but I recall the one that won out was a view that historical documents needed to be in place in order to remember and debate the past. I don’t really know. There are people who think we should do away with the US Flag because of Hiroshima and Vietnam among other things.

  28. 28
    Keith G says:

    @shawn:

    taking them down full stop just feels wrong, because it is like whitewashing our history – i guess thats the problem, how do you remember without feeling like you are honoring – maybe a museum is the place for them

    That’s a concern I have, that’s why above I mentioned that individual communities need to sort this out. I don’t want us to erase all the offensive stuff from our history. That is just another dimension of wrong thinking.

  29. 29
    NotoriousJRT says:

    I am with you, Betty, in many cases. But, I have to admit that I believe statues of the leaders who instigated the South to secession and Civil War should be taken down. Jeff Davis – down; Alexander Stephens – down; I cannot summon all the names of those whose rhetoric inflamed the masses to secession and war or whose greed, hubris, and bigotry kept them from counseling the masses to take a less destructive path. Those folks deserve no statures – annotated or otherwise.

    Military men are less clear for me. I believe soldiers joined and fought for myriad motivations. Like General Grant, I feel members of the C.S.A had a terrible cause and were on the wrong side of history and morality. That said, I cannot just make a carte blanche dismissal of their efforts. I think some curating is possible. And, some of these monuments can be offered to other venues that can offer context. It is time to end the implicit endorsement of the subject that may come from leaving a statue or monument in place. That’s why I like the idea of adding historical markers. I grew up in a northeastern town with a Civil War memorial. It had been constructed by local people who mourned the loss of life in their community. These sorts of monuments in the South should be left standing, IMO.

    Finally, I hope communities will be moved to do their own curating; I am reluctant to make decrees about such things – even as I myself might vote to remove or add historical context. We have a moment to challenge the “Lost Cause” / “Gone w/the Wind” romanticism that has veiled what the Confederacy was really about. If that is successful, maybe some positive policy changes can follow.

  30. 30
    Mandalay says:

    @realbtl:

    I’m kind of with you, the generic monuments need to stay. I’d only add to the inscription “They fought and died for the wrong cause.”

    Or for something a bit more potent: “Black Lives Matter”. That project is already underway as graffiti, but putting it on brass plaques would be just fine.

  31. 31
    Gimlet says:

    How long before the Gadsden Flag replaces the Confederate Battle Flag as the icon of choice for Supremacists?

  32. 32
    Librarian says:

    @Fair Economist: why would anyone tear down the Brandenburg Gate? It was built in the late 18th century.

  33. 33
    Eric U. says:

    I am thinking that a lot of these statues were raised as an early expression of Cleek’s law, explicitly to express the fact that they weren’t giving up.

  34. 34
    raven says:

    @Gimlet: It was the flag of the People’s BiCentennial but NOBODY remembers that!

  35. 35
  36. 36
    raven says:

    http://www.ebay.ie/itm/DONT-TR.....2ed5990e1a

    “DON’T TREAD ON ME 1976 – People’s Bicentennial Comm. – ORIGINAL SCARCE

    NOTE: Civil Rights, anti war, anti estabishment alternative to the official event.
    SIZE: 1 3/4”

  37. 37
    Betty Cracker says:

    @raven: True. When I see it, I think — oh look, a tea party asshole.

  38. 38
    Gimlet says:

    @raven:

    I did not remember that.

    It’s now associated with the extreme right-wing of the GOP, the Tea Party. And that is a short hop away from the Supremacists.

  39. 39
    the Conster says:

    @Schlemazel:

    I really would like to know what the AA kids thought of it.

    I don’t think it’s a big mystery. How does it make you feel when you’re disrespected and slighted?

  40. 40
    Aleta says:

    I’d be in favor of finding out who invented mosquito repellent and honoring that person, whether he or she ever set foot in Florida or not.

    I would hope the thought at least crossed the mind of Thomas or Minnie Edison.

  41. 41
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Betty Cracker: In 2005 or so, I saw the bumper sticker “I love my country but fear my government”, and it occurred to me it could be one of them or one of us. Ten years ealier, not much doubt, now, none.

  42. 42
    jl says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    ‘…apparently we do’ indeed. US White people in the South and elsewhere can do very bad things in the name of their idea of ‘their people’.

    Graham seems to be having a little epiphany there. Maybe he will work discuss No True Scotsman next and make a little more progress.

  43. 43
    Fair Economist says:

    @satby: I’d be happy to see Bedford Forrest’s monuments gone too. Leaving some of the monuments up serves a purpose – reminding people that societies can get caught up in doing and being evil without any individuals clearly to blame. But really offensive monuments should go, and he is way up there for “offensive”.

  44. 44
    PaulW says:

    A statue of Florida Man and Florida Woman standing for everything crazy about this state.

    Either that or Henry Flagler, Bringer of the Railroad.

    Or a statue of Bugs Bunny sawing Florida off at the border. The kids will love it.

  45. 45
    Gimlet says:

    I think former Florida Gov. Clinton “Skink” Tyree should get a statue at the statehouse.

  46. 46
    Origuy says:

    Several of the cities of the former Soviet Bloc have collected the statues from the Communist era into parks like Budapest’s Memento Park and Moscow’s Fallen Monument Park.

  47. 47
    Origuy says:

    @PaulW: I would support a statue of Dave Barry or Carl Hiassen to represent Florida.

  48. 48
    Betty Cracker says:

    @PaulW & @Gimlet: Both fine ideas. But Mary McLeod Bethune gets my vote.

  49. 49
    Fair Economist says:

    @Librarian:

    why would anyone tear down the Brandenburg Gate? It was built in the late 18th century.

    Well, it wasn’t built by the Nazis but it was built to commemorate earlier wars and conquests. The Nazis might well have been the worst, but they weren’t the only evil in German history and I found Berlin to be pretty good about making earlier German atrocities clear as well. It was a refreshing change from London where every public square seems to have an anodyne memorial to some horrific colonial war. And the Berlin way comes out a very good message – sort of “our ancestors did much wrong, but we are doing much better”.

  50. 50
    realbtl says:

    @Mandalay: @efgoldman: You miss the point. As far as the leaders, fuck them. But the generic soldiers, I think they deserve credit with the caveat that it was the wrong cause.

    Just because the cause was wrong does not diminish their sacrifice. I think most of us would agree that Viet Nam was the wrong cause. Does not detract from remembering the dead with respect.

  51. 51
    zeecube says:

    Our mayor in New Orleans today announced his intention to remove the big ass (about 65 ft) statue of Gen. Robert E Lee next to the Confederate Museum, saying now’s the time. For the most part, locals not taking kindly to his suggestion, based on the comments (averaging about 400/hr.) in the local rag. At least this story removed Jindal’s announcement about something or another as lead story…

  52. 52
    NotMax says:

    As I mentioned in a much earlier thread, there are currently eight statues of Confederate men displayed by choice of their respective states in the U.S. Capitol.

  53. 53
    JGabriel says:

    Betty Cracker @ Top:

    But anyway, what should be the fate of Confederate war memorials and statues?

    Maybe it’s just because I’m a Commie Northern Yankee, but I’m thinking: garbage dump.

  54. 54

    I’m fine with leaving plaques (suitably updated) and generic statues, old cannons, etc. Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee (and maybe Stonewall Jackson) are historically important enough to be left in place, again with suitably updated plaques.

    But Forrest and other low-level assholes best known for resisting Reconstruction and terrorizing people? Fuck those guys. Melt them down and use the bronze for statues to their victims instead.

  55. 55
    Mandalay says:

    @realbtl:

    You miss the point…But the generic soldiers, I think they deserve credit with the caveat that it was the wrong cause.

    I think you are completely missing the point, and that’s a pretty big caveat you’ve got there. They were traitors, fighting against the United States in the cause of slavery.

    There is no reason to put them up on a pedestal. What about all the Americans who were killed by those traitors who you say “deserve credit”? How do you think they would feel about your position?

    In general, any glorification and romanticising of the Civil War clouds the ugly reality.

  56. 56
    NotMax says:

    Consideration must be given to a tasteful statue of Mickey Mouse astride a space capsule, orbiting an orange tree.

  57. 57
    raven says:

    @Gimlet: It sort of petered out since the war was over by then and folks took different paths.

  58. 58
    jl says:

    @efgoldman: Raccoon riding an alligator. Gotta put up a statue of that.

  59. 59
    Tripod says:

    Maybe they should add plaques to commemorate those who fought and died so that others would be free.

    There were plenty of southerners in the Union Army.

  60. 60
    realbtl says:

    @Mandalay: Shit I can’t put myself in the shoes of a Union soldier but from my reading they did not hate the individual rather the cause for which they were fighting. The cause was the issue.

    And with that I’m done. I usually try and avoid these kind of discussions.

  61. 61
    Tree With Water says:

    “That noble soul [who] made this swamp inhabitable”.

    I can almost hear the spirits of Seminoles long dead muttering amongst themselves, “Did you hear that? The gall of that cracker!”

    I’m a sucker for historical markers, and think your idea of providing a context for those in existence is a really excellent one.

  62. 62
    Robin G. says:

    @Origuy: Hiassen. Dave Barry’s gone pretty batshit in recent years. His new middle-grade book was staggeringly racist.

  63. 63
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Robin G.: No shit? Sorry to hear that. He was tolerably funny back in the day but could never hold a candle to Hiassen, of course.

  64. 64
    NotMax says:

    A Confederate monument in front of one Virginia courthouse is inscribed “The Principles For Which They Fought Live Eternally.”

    Regardless of whether that display should to be removed from its present location, the inscription needs to go elsewhere.

    Many courthouses In Virgina showcase similar displays (such as this one) and are also listed on the National Historical Register of Historic Places. Perhaps that listing ought to be amended.

  65. 65
    Keith G says:

    @Mandalay:

    There is no reason to put them up on a pedestal. What about all the Americans who were killed by those traitors who you say “deserve credit”? How do you think they would feel about your position?

    In general, any glorification and romanticising of the Civil War clouds the ugly reality

    realbt’s point is well supported. Many Northern opinion leaders and even veterans of that war were not as adamant as you seem to be and they were the ones dodging the Minie balls. They seemed to be of the opinion that, “We have to recognize what happened here and we need to move on.”

    And move on they did. There was a nation to put back together, a frontier to fill in, and Native People to ethnically cleanse.

    Ya see, history is complicated and those with a presumed righteous intent only make our study of it more complicated.

  66. 66
    Gimlet says:

    Katherine Harris with one arm on the shoulders of a smiling Jeb and the other arm on the shoulders of a smirking Dubya.

  67. 67
    Aleta says:

    But anyway, what should be the fate of Confederate war memorials and statues? I’m leaning towards the opinion that they should be left in place with historical markers added to put the war in its proper context, i.e., state outright that it was about preserving slavery.

    Maybe the statues should be placed, or remain, at whatever local site is used for events on Confederate Memorial Day. Both the day and the statues are supposedly in remembrance only of those who fought in the Confederate Army, it seems? If the war reenactments or speeches or cannonfire on Confederate Memorial Day are held at a cemetery, or a reenactment field, put the statues in an avoidable section there, next to a nice podium and a flower bed. Donors and businesses could engrave their names on a tasteful bench plaque.

    And maybe a nationwide collection could be taken up for Texas, where Confederate Heroes Day is celebrated on the same day as Martin Luther King’s birthday, on the third Monday in January. So they could afford to have two holidays.

  68. 68

    @Keith G:

    There’s an interesting exhibition at the Autry museum called “The Civil War and the West” that points out that many Union Army heroes were also noted for their enthusiastic genocide of Native Americans, including, sadly, the sainted Sherman.

  69. 69
    realbtl says:

    @Keith G: Thanks, that made my point much better than I did.

  70. 70
    Keith G says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone): Yup, indeed.

  71. 71
    Aleta says:

    @NotMax:

    Confederate monument in front of one Virginia courthouse is inscribed “The Principles For Which They Fought Live Eternally.”

    perhaps change to
    “The Principles For Which They Fought Continue to Kill”

  72. 72
    sharl says:

    Apologies if already mentioned, but there is one Confederacy monument that is worth keeping around, for the laughs:

    The Nathan Bedford Forrest monument, poignantly located next to a barren strip of land by I-65 in Nashville, is the dumbest looking statue I’ve ever seen in my life, including statues of cartoon characters located inside cartoon shows

    It is extremely unlikely that Forrest—who was also, as a hate-bonus, the first Grand Wizard of the KKK—ever screamed out the phrase “Snap into a Slim Jim!” and yet, somehow, it’s impossible to imagine the bar-toothed, wild-eyed man depicted in this alarming effigy uttering any other series of words.

    Even the steed looks like it was crafted out of chocolate by the hand of a dumb child

    Between post-Charleston Confederate backlash (Kershaw’s statue is, after all, a 25-foot fiberglass monument to American racism) and the thing generally being an eyesore, residents want this thing outta here.

    Tough shit. Tear down every statue of every other general, father, son, and daughter of the Confederacy, but leave up the insane goofy hell-rictus of Nathan Bedford Forrest, the most fitting monument to the ugly idiocy of southern history.

    I hope commenter Southern Beale and other B-J Nashvillians will rush to the ramparts to defend this awesome work of public art and remembrance.

  73. 73
  74. 74
    NotoriousJRT says:

    I wonder how Terry McAulliffe is going to deal with Monument Avenue in Richmond? Arthur Ashe could not possibly be more lonely than he is today. I doubt he’d miss them if some of those sharing space with him now were suddenly elsewhere…

  75. 75
    sharl says:

    @sharl: Well, bummer – it would appear that Southern Beale is not gonna be supportive of the Save the Crazy-Ass Sculpture campaign.

  76. 76
    maya says:

    what should be the fate of Confederate war memorials and statues?

    Sounds like a job for ISIS.

  77. 77
    NotoriousJRT says:

    @sharl:
    I think this art is private. Therein lies Nashville’s problem.

  78. 78
    sharl says:

    @NotoriousJRT: Yep, but SoBeale linked to an article about a plan to plant trees and bushes on public space that would block the hilarihorrible statue from being seen from the interstate:

    …a Nashville Democrat — one who is running for mayor of Nashville — says she is seeking to block a long-criticized privately owned Nathan Bedford Forrest statue on land near Interstate 65 so that it can no longer be seen from the highway.

    Metro At-large Councilwoman and mayoral candidate Megan Barry said in a media release Monday that she has spoken to Republican Gov. Bill Haslam about restoring trees and brush along Interstate 65 via private funds to block views of the statue from the interstate.

    We’ll see if that initiative gains momentum.

  79. 79
    Stacy says:

    How about the Lee Jackson highway I drive down everyday in Northern VA. Time for that to go and every other road named for the traitors.

  80. 80
    A guy says:

    Let’s get ride of the jefferson memorial and the washington monument. They owned slaves

  81. 81
    Keith G says:

    @realbtl: I am a pure blood Yankee (Subfilum: Buckeye) who spent 23 years teaching history in the South. I have no problem calling out “The South” and certain types of southerners. I also know that many down here can have two complex thought process whirling around their noggins at the same time: Being disdainful of the choices made by their forebears and the devastating consequences thereof; while at the same time being intrigued by the very human struggles the earlier folks (wrong or right) faced during our nation’s toughest calamity.

  82. 82
    dirge says:

    Leave them as they are, but facing every statue of a Confederate general, erect a statue of General Grant or General Sherman, slightly larger, making an obscene gesture.

  83. 83
    Cervantes says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone):

    Soldier and sainted rarely go together. Sherman is no exception.

  84. 84
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @A guy: You aren’t even trying, DougJ. Or is some new experiment in trolling?

  85. 85
    Patricia Kayden says:

    “But anyway, what should be the fate of Confederate war memorials and statues?”

    Easy question. Take them all down. Place them on private property and not on public land. These are memorials and statues of slave holders and have no place in the public square which is shared by all races.

  86. 86
    Cervantes says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    These are memorials and statues of slave holders and have no place in the public square which is shared by all races.

    This criterion might take you, also, right smack into the Jefferson Memorial and the Washington Monument.

    Perhaps that is your intention, or do you mean to be more precise?

  87. 87
    Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason says:

    Just to bring up an interesting point: Wyman Park in Baltimore has a statue of Lee and Jackson on horseback at one end, and the Union Soldiers and Sailors monument on the other. I’d vote to keep them both.

  88. 88
    heckblazer says:

    @Bill Murray: Gatorade was invented by a team of researchers at the University of Florida lead by Dr. Robert Cade. Before it was introduced it was not unusual for a coupe of college football players to die of dehydration each year in the US.

  89. 89
    EthylEster says:

    There’s a Gorrie Elementary in Tampa. I went to Roosevelt Elementary and we shared a music teacher and an orchestra leader (Mr. Green) with them. But I never knew who it was named for. Thanks, BC.

    Yes, once elementary schools in backward Florida offered orchestra to students.
    My first exposure to classical music.

  90. 90
    CDWard says:

    All Confederate memorials should be utterly destroyed. Anything named after Confederate military or political officials should be renamed.

  91. 91
    Gvg says:

    Gatorade was a patented drink invented by UF and promoted by its football team. it earned royalty money for Uf for a long time and when I was first a UF student then a financial aid counselor there were funds from the royalties that went to need based grants every year. the financial aid guide to applying for aid each year is still titled Gatoraid tho I suspect current students don’t know the connection any more. I believe the patent has expired or isn’t directly controlled by the University anymore but it was. the result is naturally our rivals FSU refuse to use Gatoraid and use I think poweraid. football rivalries being what they are in this state with the University of Miami also having national championships and you won’t be able to get the votes to honor Gatoraid as a state accomplishment. Yes I know the suggestion was in jest but it’s the kind of thing local people know. I would have to think about who to honor and take my time. I have been sick of plantations all being saved no matter how unimportant they were just cause people have some sort of worship of rich semi aristocrats. I really would like to save some Underground Railroad station but they were secret at the time and I am not aware of any in Florida. Those are my idea of brave, like the WWII resistance brave. If you were caught….

  92. 92
    Socraticsilence says:

    Can we just skip 50 years ahead and put future Gov. Tim Tebow up now?

  93. 93
    Tree With Water says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone): Sherman would be the first to scoff at any notion he was a saint. His wife, however, was a devout Catholic whose faith increased with age. There’s a story of them having bickered about it, with his wife saying that he was aware of her religious bent when they married, to which he replied, “Yes, but I didn’t know it grow so much worse”. Or words to that effect. He lost one son to disease after Vicksburg fell, and another to the Catholic priesthood years later. He led an extremely interesting life in a much different America, in a much rougher time by anyone’s measuring stick. In fact, he helped clear Florida of the Seminoles, that Betty Cracker might complain about its climate years later..

  94. 94
    mclaren says:

    Is there even one single public memorial to all the countless millions of slaves who suffered and died in chains in the deep South?

    One?

    I say, replace all the statues of traitors with statues of black children in chains screaming in agony while being thumbscrewed, with statues of pregnant black women getting whipped to death.

  95. 95
    NotoriousJRT says:

    @sharl:
    TRMS quoted the owner of the monstrosity as saying he has “1800 foot flagpoles.” if they try to build a barrier. You just can’t overestimate the stupid and the stubborn in these folks.

  96. 96
    nominus says:

    I think it’s something that should be handled locally, one case at a time. It should be this way to serve as a reminder to the ultra-progressives: you can’t erase history. Let’s not go crazy trying to eradicate any mention of the war, or of the painful century and a half that followed it. You can’t do it without turning into the very Orwellian nightmare you fear. We have businesses making brave and overdue decisions, we have conservative politicians taking action I never would have predicted. Accept the victory and use it as a base to keep progressing. Those unrepentant racists who are squealing now aren’t going to be rehabilitated by taking more of their idols away, and trying to drop the Confederacy down the memory hole is just going to make them cling to their trinkets even more. Keep spreading the love and knowledge, we’ll figure out ways to beat them yet.

  97. 97
    Gvg says:

    I think their are some monuments in cemeries that probably should be left alone. Inscriptions may need amending.
    I hate schools named after confederates. Turns out the school my father went to and last year my nephew is such. I hadn’t known in the 40 years I had heard its name as its a non famous name. good school rep for a publis school and most of the other local school are generally named for retired teacher school principles of 30 years so I had no idea jj Finely was a confederate soldier who became a Florida legislator. Not happy to find out. Generations have attended the school and have good memories of it but I don’t like confederate honoring. I have seen to much bad come of not objecting to whitewash.

  98. 98
    fidelio says:

    The fiberglass Forrest! I have felt, every since that hideous fiberglass offense against the world went up that it would make a great centerpiece for a miniature golf course. Access would be a problem, with the railroad on one side and the interstate on the other, but just think of the possibilities! There could even be a special prize for chipping one up into the face.

  99. 99
  100. 100
    NotMax says:

    @NotoriousJRT

    1800 feet? That gets into obtaining FAA approval.

  101. 101
    Cervantes says:

    @mclaren:

    Is there even one single public memorial to all the countless millions of slaves who suffered and died in chains in the deep South?

    Actually, there’s one on the grounds of the State House in South Carolina, and from it you can see the very flag that has been in the news lately.

  102. 102
    Cervantes says:

    @Gvg:

    Is that elementary school in Gainesville?

  103. 103
  104. 104
    sharl says:

    @NotoriousJRT: Jeez…
    I suppose that events may unfold in a way that at least provides cheap entertainment to the easily amused – like me! – even as it all shows how far we have to go before meeting any reasonable criteria for “civilized society”.
    Le Sigh…

  105. 105
    seaboogie says:

    @geg6: Auction them all off to private collectors, and use the funds to put up MLK statues in their place – that seems right…plus it would generate jobs in the statue removal and placement biz…win/win/win!

  106. 106
    What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us? says:

    @David Koch: I was just going to say the same. Most of the Civil War memorials are OK with me, even statues of Generals Lee, Longstreet, etc. but Nathan Bedford Forrest was an absolute monster and should be expunged from public spaces completely.

  107. 107
    Nate says:

    @nominus: “you can’t erase history. Let’s not go crazy trying to eradicate any mention of the war, or of the painful century and a half that followed it.”

    Yeah, and that might be a problem if anyone, anywhere, were advocating for that.

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    Paul in KY says:

    @Turgidson: I think you could ‘modify’ the Stone Mountain statues to be Gens. Sherman & Thomas, instead of Lee & Jackson.

  109. 109
    Paul in KY says:

    @Librarian: It was the symbol of Prussian militarism & that kind of militarism helped lead to 2 World Wars.

  110. 110
    Paul in KY says:

    @zeecube: This would probably be the statue of him in Lee Square. I have stayed at the Hotel Modern (located at square, nice hotel) twice & seen his traitorous countenance looking down on me. Hope it goes.

  111. 111
    Paul in KY says:

    @Gimlet: Holding a butterfly ballot too.

  112. 112
    CzarChasm says:

    In Richmond, removing the biggest monuments would be…tricky: They have a 1-mile stretch to deal with. With the exception of the Arthur Ashe memorial that was added 19 years ago, every single one of these stone thingamajigs honors someone that lost while they served the Confederacy…there’s even one to Maury, a seanaught! If they were removed, what would happen to the property values? (Most of the street also has some of the most expensive real estate in the city).

    To make it trickier, Richmond is very nostalgic about its history. When I lived there, there used to be this joke:
    How many Richmonders does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
    Answer 1: None, they’re all too busy trying to save the old lightbulb.
    Answer 2: Ten. One to screw the new one in, and nine to put the old one under glass and talk about how great it was.

    If there does become a pogrom against Confederate shrines and iconography, I guarantee you this will be the last Big ‘Un to go.

    (As an aside, it took me forever to edit this comment, as I had to keep changing the pronouns from “we” and “I” to “they”. You really never leave Richmond…)

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