How Do We Pry the Confederate Monuments Out Of Trump's Tiny Hands?

Thom plus logo Every time in American history there was the possibility of serious movement forward in civil and human rights, there has been a backlash by white racists resulting in new monuments to the Confederacy.

The Confederacy, of course, was the police state oligarchy that took over the American South in the 1820s and committed treason against the United States of America, killing hundreds of thousands of American soldiers and civilians in the process.

The explosion of monument building coincided with large scale Civil Rights movements around the end of the 19th century, during the rise of the modern Klan in the era around 1920, following the Brown vs Board decision by the Supreme Court, and in response to the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s.

Donald Trump has now appointed a "task force" to preserve these monuments to white supremacy, segregation and treason. Just like in 2016, he is basing his 2020 candidacy on a naked appeal to white racism.

He's now stepped up his white supremacy campaign, saying that he will veto the defense appropriation bill if it contains an amendment that would rename US military bases that memorize Confederate traitors.

Donald Trump is not America's first white supremacist president. Hopefully, he will be our last.

-Thom

Comments

avn013's picture
avn013 6 weeks 5 hours ago
#1

IWhy is a civil war a war between Good and Evil? And how come the soldiers of the good side always win?

Is a successful revolution the triumph of the Good and a failed one the failure of Evil (simply a revolt)? Corollary: Whose triumph is the Russian revolution ( concluded in 1923, after 6 years)?Good's? Evil's? Or it depends on the eye (mind) of the Beholder?

deepspace's picture
deepspace 6 weeks 3 hours ago
#2

"Racism is all he's got." -- Amanda Marcotte

The disgusting MAGATs are going all-in on hate. Never mind the pandemic and the economy -- this is war! White privilege is at stake!

Legend 5 weeks 6 days ago
#3

#1. The good side does not always win. Chinese Civil War in the 40's is an example.

deepspace's picture
deepspace 5 weeks 6 days ago
#4

Ignorance is not necessarily stupidity; willful ignorance certainly is. The content above demonstrates that quite explicitly. Racism is a learned behavior, an instilled attitude drilled into the immature minds of young children who don't have the mental capacity, the life experience, or the wisdom to resist.

As these childish bigots grow into damaged adults, the hateful indoctrination they endured in their tender years remains an integral part of a truly retarded thought process, which usually lingers throughout their pathetic lives in one form or another. Regardless of how it may be shrouded in sleazy language that feigns respectability and acceptance, a faux intellectualism, it will always be painfully visible in its raw form to those wise and experienced enough to see through the pitiful attempts to conceal it -- especially to those who are the generational victims of hate and bigotry.

The abject racism on full display here is the coin of their realm. Such immature fools should not preach to others what it means to be an adult, as it reveals their own immaturity and foolishness for all to witness -- an unconscious projection attributed to others who challenge them. The logical fallacies shamelessly proffered above assume anti-racists are merely "unhappy" or "afraid" or "destructive" or lacking a "rational approach."

The tell is contained in the second paragraph of post #4: "I do understand that in some people's eyes statues and monuments can be offensive [...] why some people find them objectionable." [bold italics mine] In other words, a reader must assume that the writer of such disgusting garbage does not find monuments that glorify racism offensive or objectionable himself. It's just, you know, those "other" people who do -- those "colored" people, and anyone who may empathize with them.

While in the Army, I lived in Germany for 18 months and, gee, failed to notice any monuments to Nazism and fascism -- exactly what our "Greatest Generation" fought against! Go figure. Have Germans failed in their own "understanding that was part of who [they] have become today"? Certainly not! Most of them (not all) fully understand that it is highly destructive for a society to glorify the horrible mistakes of the past; consequently, they teach their children a better way -- not to hate -- in "the process [that] will continue to evolve."

It's too bad that in our country we have so many willfully ignorant fools who are too immature to evolve. Hopefully, Trumpism is their last hurrah when the Racist in Chief is at last relegated to the dust bin of history come November.

Destroying Confederate monuments isn’t ‘erasing’ history. It’s learning from it.
Defenders of the memorials are the ones trying to forget the past.

whatabout's picture
whatabout 5 weeks 6 days ago
#5

Thom, I am always mystified by the left's attempts to erase or adjust the parts of history they don't personally accept as fact.

I do understand that in some people's eyes statues and monuments can be offensive but I think a more rational and adult approach might be the addition of a large plaque placed right beside the offending statue or monument stating why some people find them objectionable.

On the flip side, I would love to get your position on the destruction or removal of say, MLK monuments all over the country.

Fools and uninformed children support the removal of the parts of our countries history just because they are unhappy with their presence. They happened, and rather than being destructive, how about growing up and make better choices such as understanding that was part of who we have become today and the process will continue to evolve.

Being afraid of statues or monuments is a terrible way to go through life.

A quick edit and thank you for at about the 54-minute mark in hour two of your show today, did I hear you say you want selected statues torn down and melted, the concrete bases broken up and then erased or wiped from history forever?

I was driving at the time but I will try to find your exact words online. If I am correct, you just drove home the point I was making in my post. If I am in error, I apologize in advance.

vetinla's picture
vetinla 5 weeks 6 days ago
#6

@ 5 Agreed!!

Why tear them down? IMO, leave them defaced, and put up a larger plaque explaining the truth, and why they're defaced, and not worthy of praise.

Instead of vandalism, it could be a learning moment for someone.

avn013's picture
avn013 5 weeks 6 days ago
#7

@Legend

Chinese civil war at 1940? Are you sure? I just checked wikipedia: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_Civil_War

The CCW was civil war "lasting intermittently between 1927 and 1949". Neither armistice,nor peace treaty. Legally still debatable if it has been ended. Go figure out who won.

Presumably, (please correct me if wrong), you believe "communism" is defacto Evil, and trying to "prove" it a posteriori, by implying that the "Good" side, i.e. the side fighting "communism" won, is simply a cyclic kind of argument, which may satisfy your beliefs, but for some others proves nothing.

deepspace's picture
deepspace 5 weeks 5 days ago
#8

whatabout skipped his comment ahead, flipping #s 4 and 5 so that they are now out of logical order, by editing it rather than just posting a new comment, which would have kept the posts in the proper sequence. Several hours had passed between his original post and his edit job, which also significantly changed the content, so it was obviously done on purpose to confuse readers. How childish -- the petty tactic of an intellectually dishonest troll, who can't defend his own words when challenged.

whatabout's picture
whatabout 5 weeks 5 days ago
#9

Moderator,

I ask again that you do something with your posters that continually attack or complain about other posters because they do not agree with their point of view.

Mr/Ms. Deepspace being a prime example.

Everyone can clearly see I duly noted my edited post hours later after hearing Thom's show and the reason I did so was to point out that Thom was agreeing with me that the tearing down of statues of our American history was a blatant attempt to erase the fact it ever happened. My edit kept everything in my post in context. If some posters were not so busy posting ad hominem attacks that would be very apparent to them.

As for posters whining and complaining about editing or having a polite contrary opinion to that of our host which I understand is within the rules, I find their actions by attacking the opinions of others to be a childish cry for attention and that is specifically against the rules as you have clearly pointed out to that individual in the past.

Please take up this matter with the offending individual and just a note to anyone here with their panties in a wad, if I edit any of my posts it will be noted and for a reason that is apparent to all but those who constantly raise their hand shouting "pick me first, pick me first".

Thank you Moderator for your prompt attention to this request.

Happy Fourth of July everybody and remember the flags go up at sunrise and come down at sunset unless they are lighted.

Legend 5 weeks 5 days ago
#10
deepspace's picture
deepspace 5 weeks 5 days ago
#11

Whatabout evidently is claiming a special privilege by expecting that the content of his posts can never be challenged, which he conflates falsely with an ad hominem attack. If one reads my post carefully (which is now #4) with any degree of comprehension, it is clear that the general attitudes of racists and bigots are being disputed, as they should be whenever they crop up. If whatabout identifies with those attitudes, which he obviously does by his own words, then so be it -- it's a conflict of his own making. If I used the same metric of logical fallacy that he is employing, then his last post immediately above (unless he again changes the sequence by "editing") could be equally interpreted as an ad hominem attack.

Still, the question remains: Why would whatabout edit an existing comment already set in place, knowing that it will screw up the order of the thread when someone else has posted another comment/reply after him? Wouldn't it be much easier and more logical simply to post an additional comment in the proper order -- respecting the sequential integrity of the thread -- if he felt the need to further explain his position? Imagine what a confusing jumble of disjointed responses and replies and thoughts that the comment section of this blog would become if everyone employed the same tactic of editing that whatabout has. How could a hapless reader who comes by to visit make any sense of such a hodgepodge of gibberish? Or is that the point?

Legend 5 weeks 5 days ago
#12

Interesting last paragraph on Whatabutts #9 post. We have lots of right wingers in my neighborhood that think flying the American flag makes them more patriotic. Yet, they fly it night and day without it being lit. We even had 1 neighbor that would fly the Betsy Ross 13 star flag. Also flew an American flag with the Coiled snake and "Do not Tread on Me" printed over the stars and stripes. In other words a defaced American Flag. Is this patriotic?

deepspace's picture
deepspace 5 weeks 5 days ago
#13

By "lighted" does he mean to set on fire? };--)))

Alongside the Stars and Stripes, a lot of Stars and Bars are proudly displayed by so-called "patriots." That's the flag of despicable traitors and losers who took up arms against their own "guvmunt" -- the very definition of treason. And they were roundly defeated, after much death and destruction, just like the Nazis in Germany.

The ubiquitous Confederate battle flag is a prominent symbol of racism and hate, which good citizens should commemorate by spitting on it and burning it in the public square this Fourth of July, along with tearing down all the traitorous monuments of the losers, most of which were erected during the Jim Crow era in the backlash against the Reconstruction period, well after the Civil War ended. Why must the American People still endure such backward, discredited attitudes more than a century and a half later?

If Southerners and dead-enders want to appreciate their treacherous and bloodthirsty history, then all their repugnant memorabilia should be relegated to museums, like Auschwitz has become, where it can be thoroughly scrutinized in the proper historic context as the scourge that it is. That hurtful and bigoted crap does not deserve a place of honor in our public spaces!

avn013's picture
avn013 5 weeks 5 days ago
#14

@deepspace: "willful ignorance"? How is it possible that can one prove that someone else chooses to be ignorant? Is willfully ignorant?

IMO “ignorance” itself is a limit difficult to reach. Absolute knowledge is the “opposite” limit that is also difficult to reach. By definition (?), what we know is based on the information we have available and on our brain’s structure. The latter is “shaped” genetically (DNA) and by experience, usually serendipitous and circumstantial events. How the mind emerges from the brain is a mystery to me. Is the mind “free to choose”? If yes, then AI still has a looong way to go, and most probably will never get there. This case leaves plenty of room for some type of consciousness, soul (and in ancient philosophy some people believed that soul was material!). If not, then bye-bye free will, we are more like sophisticated robots that think they can think autonomously. In this case AI is certain to catch up with us and possibly to supercede us. If that is part of evolution, a new species is certain to appear.

I have a different reading for Germany. Germans as a people voted Hitler (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolf_Hitler) and his “Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei” (aka Nazi party) in. His party, in some respects, could be considered left of Bernie Sanders. German people expected that this time (WWII) would eventually become the great nation they always aspired to be (and in many senses they deserve it, as much as the French, Russians, English and pretty much everyone else). However, not only the lost, but they lost severely. On top of that they will find out about the holocaust. Many new it (they were working there), more suspected it, but the extent of the genocide and the methodical, scientific methods applied to erase human lives to zero, I think was beyond the imagination not only of many Germans but of most of humanity in general. Past history has had genocides and genocides. I think what distinguishes this one is the scientific method used. Science till then and till the two nuclear bombs (which we have yet to apologize) was much higher respected by the average person anywhere. My impression is that unlike most (all?) of the Allies (“winners”), Germans felt that they were guilty not so much for starting (once again) a war (Europe’s, favorite past time), but for realizing their collective responsibility in exterminating their own people (in Germany and in conquered places) (to whom prisoners of war “belong”? To whom people of a conquered place “belong”?), i.e. in violating the basic (and hardwired) human right to life. IMO Germany had accepted this guilt and tried to rectify to the extent possible (how can a society “rectify” enough, is another story). That is why Nazi monuments have been erased. (And hopefully, nothing similar will be erased anew in Germany all in other places, but we humans, sometimes tend to forget or even re-interpret after a few generations). In this respect, my reading of the resistance to erase the monuments, is still controversial. If the vast majority of USA-ians thinks that any monuments represent an ugly part of their history, which has been resolved then the monuments will be replaced by the others that reflect the current attitude on the same topic or other. If the vast majority believes that these monuments are an appropriate reflection of their selves (as presumably was the feeling when the monuments were built), then they stay. If the community is split then dialogue starts. Violence may be a mean of expression (acceptable or not), but if it is not accompanied by some form of dialogue it usually makes things worse. Division into Yankee and Dixie states(communities) is not necessarily a division between “Black lives matter” and its negation. I would be surprised if there exists a monument that most of people strongly believes that it glorifies slavery. Hm, if “slavery” can also mean “cheap labour”, well, I don't know, I would not be very surprised. Are there monuments that remind us that slavery is a dark piece of our history that should not be repeated? If yes, how many and where? Can we install some more, just for the education of the next generation?

Dividing people into ignorants and knowledgeable, or “willful ignorants” and “not-willful ignorant” etc, neither differs much from the orange-great-Divider’s divisions in to “patriots” and “enemies of MAGA”, nor from his “inclusive” policy of “well both sides were violent” (2017?, 2018?)

So, this time I will disagree. The “beauty/ugliness lies in the eye of the beholder”.

@whatabout. I agree. Fear is the first enemy in the path of knowledge. ("The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge" , Carlos Castaneda, 1968)

deepspace's picture
deepspace 5 weeks 4 days ago
#15

avn013: You seem to be laying out the case for relativism, whereby reality is dependent upon one's subjective perceptions. Having put a lot of thought into it while expressing quite well with strong reasoning your sense of German history and what constitutes collective responsibility "in violating the basic (and hardwired) human right to life" is much appreciated. It brings to mind a quote attributed to various authors made famous by John F. Kennedy: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” An excellent book on the subject is "They Thought They Were Free" by Milton Mayer.

When looking at a tree, do you "see" the actual living tree in all of its glory or merely the reflection of it filtered through fragmented thoughts?

Although I hesitate to delve into the metaphysical aspects on a political blog of what it means for an individual to be fully conscious, aware not only of our common surroundings but also of one's own mind as it relates to life in general, which courses through ourselves as well as outwardly in all living things (the greatest mystery and our most precious possession), I do think that as we relate to one another on the everyday pragmatic level in society it is important to accept as true a certain set of facts and shared experiences that can be agreed upon as right or wrong. The Holocaust was wrong. Slavery was wrong. Not responding intelligently to a pandemic is wrong. Billionaires buying politicians and controlling the media is wrong. Polluting the planet is wrong. Etcetera.

Why? Because such actions destroy life and the goodness of it. Sometimes an answer is so simple it defies any attempt to explain it further or to rationalize it according to one's particular conditioning, try as we might.

Forgoing the deeper philosophical aspect, an example of what I meant on a more generic level regarding ignorance versus willful ignorance is that of a doctor and a patient. Is the patient stupid because he or she is not as knowledgeable about medical science as the doctor is? No. Is the patient stupid if he or she refuses to follow the advice of the doctor? Yes.

Again: Destroying Confederate monuments isn’t ‘erasing’ history. It’s learning from it. Defenders of the memorials are the ones trying to forget the past.

Again: If Southerners and dead-enders want to appreciate their treacherous and bloodthirsty history, then their repugnant memorabilia should be relegated to museums, as Auschwitz has become, where it can be thoroughly scrutinized in the proper historic context as the scourge that it is. That hurtful and bigoted crap does not deserve a place of honor in our public spaces!

No?

Legend 5 weeks 4 days ago
#16

If you think that Confederate Generals should be honored read this.

vetinla's picture
vetinla 5 weeks 4 days ago
#17

Captain Henery Wirtz, discussed in the above link, was punished for war crimes. We have a few modern day, so-called VIPs, who need to suffer the same trials for their complicity in this nations modern era war crimes. For me, as a vet, ( US Army 66' to 69'. I will NEVER fly the American flag with any pride, until that occurs..

SueN's picture
SueN 5 weeks 2 days ago
#18

Deepspace, please be kinder. No personal attacks.

deepspace's picture
deepspace 5 weeks 1 day ago
#19

Okay. Kinda kind.

avn013's picture
avn013 5 weeks 1 day ago
#20

deepspace: Maybe i am too late for continouing the argument from point #15 (up to now) but ....

Thanks for bothering with a long answer and the link to Milton Meyers' excerpt.

I believe in an objective reality, and i think (i could be wrong of course) we mean pretty much the same thing with "objective reality"). Furthermore i concede that my interpretation of this objective reality is subjective, most likely different (to some extent at least) from yours, or anybody else's interpretation, and in this sense i accept your well-meant criticism that my writing supports the case of relativism of interpretations of the same objective reality.

Although a journalist who did not finish his studies, may be saying the truth and may have excellent ideas, I would like the experts' (a couple of historians for example,with "opposing" point of views") analyses on the "They thought they were free". The fact that Milton Meyer may be jewish does not make his version more objective. The fact that he is American, may insinuate that what he wrote about Germans maybe (at least in part) fictional, because he may be trying to describe USA in an artistically psychological and theatrical way (quite effectve as didactic method). To the extent that this is true, the objective truth of what the Germans (as a people) learned or did not learn from WWII remains in the realm of our (relative) opinions, and possibly (but not necessarily) not close to the realm of objective Truth.

I am not familiar with the civil war. Where i grew up, it was considered as an antagonism between the industrial north and the agricultural south (or part of it). Abolition of slavery was more of an excuse rather than the cause. In this reading, it was a clash for the future direction of USA: move forward (and rapidly) towards the technological revolution (with all the mixed bag it brings) or delay (i do not think it is avoidable) it by having some states follow the traditional way of things. To the extent that this interpretation is true, some monuments may not symbolize only slavery, but other things as well.

As a negative counter example. Does the lack of confederate monuments imply respect for black lives, for blacks in general? Presumably in Detroit and most of MI there are no such monuments. Yet the Algiers Motel incident back in 1967 has yet to be resolved in a respectable way. Furtermore, i would bet that rates of discrimination against blacks show little, if any correlation, with the absence or presence (defaced or not) confederate monuments.

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