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Heritage, Not Hate, AmIRight?

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DRC_ConfederateMonument_2

The neo-Confederates are outraged that New Orleans is being meant to poor ol’ white Southerners who bask in the glory of 4 years of treason and hundreds of years of racial repression on both sides of that treason. Here’s a Republican candidate for governor from Virginia.

I wonder if I can think of anything worse? Wait, here’s something:

My name is Wesley Norris; I was born a slave on the plantation of George Parke Custis; after the death of Mr. Custis, Gen. Lee, who had been made executor of the estate, assumed control of the slaves, in number about seventy; it was the general impression among the slaves of Mr. Custis that on his death they should be forever free; in fact this statement had been made to them by Mr. C. years before; at his death we were informed by Gen. Lee that by the conditions of the will we must remain slaves for five years; I remained with Gen. Lee for about seventeen months, when my sister Mary, a cousin of ours, and I determined to run away, which we did in the year 1859; we had already reached Westminster, in Maryland, on our way to the North, when we were apprehended and thrown into prison, and Gen. Lee notified of our arrest; we remained in prison fifteen days, when we were sent back to Arlington; we were immediately taken before Gen. Lee, who demanded the reason why we ran away; we frankly told him that we considered ourselves free; he then told us he would teach us a lesson we never would forget; he then ordered us to the barn, where, in his presence, we were tied firmly to posts by a Mr. Gwin, our overseer, who was ordered by Gen. Lee to strip us to the waist and give us fifty lashes each, excepting my sister, who received but twenty; we were accordingly stripped to the skin by the overseer, who, however, had sufficient humanity to decline whipping us; accordingly Dick Williams, a county constable, was called in, who gave us the number of lashes ordered; Gen. Lee, in the meantime, stood by, and frequently enjoined Williams to “lay it on well,” an injunction which he did not fail to heed; not satisfied with simply lacerating our naked flesh, Gen. Lee then ordered the overseer to thoroughly wash our backs with brine, which was done. After this my cousin and myself were sent to Hanover Court-House jail, my sister being sent to Richmond to an agent to be hired; we remained in jail about a week, when we were sent to Nelson county, where we were hired out by Gen. Lee’s agent to work on the Orange and Alexander railroad; we remained thus employed for about seven months, and were then sent to Alabama, and put to work on what is known as the Northeastern railroad; in January, 1863, we were sent to Richmond, from which place I finally made my escape through the rebel lines to freedom; I have nothing further to say; what I have stated is true in every particular, and I can at any time bring at least a dozen witnesses, both white and black, to substantiate my statements: I am at present employed by the Government; and am at work in the National Cemetary on Arlington Heights, where I can be found by those who desire further particulars; my sister referred to is at present employed by the French Minister at Washington, and will confirm my statement.

Here’s another, with Kevin Kruse eviscerating this person.

It’s amazing that this is still up for debate today, as all you have to do is read the secession declarations from the various southern states. Or really anything written by the white South at all between 1860 and April 1865 to know that it was entirely about slavery.

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  • wjts

    Of course they matter – that’s why they should be taken down.

    • They could all be moved to a specialist museum. I believe there’s one in Moscow full of statues and busts of Stalin.

      • Warren Terra

        I suspect you’re referring to the one in Budapest, though I may be confusing it with something in a former Soviet Republic. I think Moscow, or elsewhere in Russia, are more respectful of Stalin than that, though, especially these days.

        • janitor_of_lunacy

          There is (or was, 20 years ago) one near Moscow.

        • Mona Williams

          There is indeed an open-air Stalin-statue park in Budapest, popular enough with tourists to have special buses running to it. Somehow I missed it when I was there.

      • I suggest they get moved to one of the Creation Museums, since Christianity played a big part of this.

        • so-in-so

          Yep, and the “history” they represent is equally credible.

          • rm

            And the target demographic is the same — synergy! Now they just need another tax break.

      • Brett

        They should pick some of the most distinctive, well-designed ones and move them to a field where they could be paired with plaques explaining when, where, and the context in which they were raised. Maybe couple that with a set of smaller ones drawn at random from various states to make people aware of how widespread this was.

        Then destroy/remove the rest.

        • so-in-so

          Move the rest to military target ranges … they can supplement the obsolete military vehicles and fake bunkers.

          If any trains soldiers have a sad, wash them out for disloyalty.

    • Not just taken down, but a point made to smash them into little pieces, grind them up, and spread the ashes to never rise again.

      • Snarki, child of Loki

        No, they should be left intact, in all their treasonous glory..

        ..while partly submerged in a sewage treatment plant.

        • Oh, come on. Can’t we smash at least one?

        • UncleEbeneezer

          Spread the love. Take the traitorous heads off these statues and place them in the urinals at public and prominent restrooms.

          • Aubergine

            Take the heads, put them on pikes in the town square, and let the pigeons do the rest.

  • bexley

    New Orleans = Yankee?

    • Murc

      That is of course idiotic, although my understanding is that New Orleans was always considered something of a suspect city by the rest of the south; too much race mixing, the black folks were a little bit too prosperous, that sort of thing.

      • Crusty

        Kinda European too.

        • CP

          This. Louisiana, like Florida, had a Catholic, Romance-language culture that predates the Anglo population. I’d be surprised if that wasn’t held against it by the “purer” Southern states.

        • Lot_49

          French European: the worst kind.

          • CP

            Ironically, the original Southern aristocracy that was ground zero for Confederate sentiment was plenty Francophile, though not as much as they were Anglophile, if I recall.

          • Thom

            French and then Spanish (then briefly French again)–both slave-trading, slave-exploiting nations at the time.

      • CP

        That is of course idiotic, although my understanding is that New Orleans was always considered something of a suspect city by the rest of the south; too much race mixing, the black folks were a little bit too prosperous, that sort of thing.

        This is increasingly the way it seems to work. South Florida is similarly written off by the white Anglo population in the north of the state (“Florida, the further south you go, the further north you are!”) Same with northern Virginia. Same with virtually every urban environment in the South. It seems the only “true South” is the parts that vote Republican…

        … which, mind you, is inarguably, indisputably, and unquestionably the Party of Lincoln.

        • sigaba

          Works the other direction as well, the south extends up through Pennsylvania along the Ohio valley as far as Michigan.

          Also we can make it really simple: the Real South is wherever the population density falls below about 70 people per square mile.

          • CP

            Yeah, and generally speaking, “North” and “South” oversimplifies the battle lines quite a bit – there were plenty of places on both sides of the Union/Confederacy line that were not happy to be on that side of the war.

          • John Revolta

            Hell, in Alabama they call somebody from Richmond a Yankee.

    • ASV

      I assume he’s referring to the “outsiders” who are the only people who support this action. You know, like people from Minnesota who think they can tell Virginians what to do, such as the perfidious carpetbagger Corey Stewart.

      • Some fine citizen of the internet wrote an apt introduction to Mr Stewart on the first line of his Wikipedia page:

        “Corey Stewart (born August 1, 1968) is an American lawyer and slavery advocate[1].”

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corey_Stewart_(politician)

        • Attezz

          That’s fantastic.

          Looks like it’s been removed, but they missed the more subtle one under “Personal Life”

          “A yankee, Stewart transferred to Georgetown University…”

        • Origami Isopod

          A major contributor to this article appears to have a close connection with its subject.

          See also on the Talk page.

      • Mona Williams

        Stewart is rapidly losing support in Virginia. We Virginians are, on the whole, getting tired of his nonsense.

    • Someone on Twitter pointed out that Louisiana put an awful lot of regiments in blue uniforms during the war. Maybe they have a monument too, but I kinda doubt it.

      • NeonTrotsky

        Hell, how many slaves died in Louisiana? I don’t suppose they have a monument.

  • aturner339

    40% of southerners in 1860 were black. Today it’s likely closer to 30%. it’s funny how they just “disappear” from the definition of southern huh? Almost as if the very concept is deeply racialized.

    • N__B

      it’s funny how they just “disappear” from the definition of southern huh?

      If black people wanted to be true southerners, they should have fought for the confederacy.

      • so-in-so

        Which they totally did, until those dasteredly Unionists forced them away from their masters families.

        So I've been told.

        • rea

          Very often, “families” was literally true. Those southern slave owners enslaved their own kids.

          • so-in-so

            Or increased the headcount of slaves be raping the women slaves and keeping the children in bondage, but sure.

  • DamnYankees

    Many folks on Twitter were making the obvious point that Mr. Stewart was born and raised in Minnesota, so what the hell is he talking about. I believe it was Pareene who said it best, which is that we should be greatful for northerners like Stewart who take this attitude and show so clearly that this sort of attitude has nothing to do with history or heritage – Mr. Stewart having no such connection to these racists – it’s just about white identity.

    EDIT: Also its worth noting that one of the monuments themselves very explicitly say its about white supremacy. It literally uses the words “white supremacy” with a sense of admiration:

    http://images.gawker.com/1414271877477494414/original.jpg

    • Origami Isopod

      I was amused by the Minnesotan saying, “Virginia can keep him, we don’t want him back.”

  • D.N. Nation

    https://twitter.com/CoreyStewartVA/status/856851372922343428

    *is* a hero. *is* an honorable man.

    Also: This nut is apparently from Minnesota? Nice cosplaying.

    • Origami Isopod

      Useful image found in the replies.

    • farin

      As are they all, all honorable men.

    • Harkov311

      Sadly, my home state has a history of Yankees waltzing in to cosplay as Johnny Reb. See also: George Allen

  • Dr. Ronnie James, DO

    Best quote I’ve seen so far referred to Confederate monuments as “the ultimate participation trophy.”

    • so-in-so

      Sure, but more a big middle finger raised to blacks and Yankees.

    • q-tip

      OH HELL YES

  • keta

    Stewart’s continuing chicken fornication isn’t producing as he had hoped.

    (Used an euphemism for “fucking” so as to not offend the delicate sensibilities of major US media outlets.)

    • Captain Oblivious

      +69

    • Q.E.Dumbass

      “Avisodomy” is the more hoity-toity term.

      • wjts

        Something like “pullisodomy” is probably more apt as “avisodomy” would seem to apply to sexual congress with any type of bird.

        • keta

          Yep. “Birds of a feather fuck together,” as the the old saying goes.

          • sharculese

            For 20 years my dad has gone to the same barber, a man we’ll call Bruce, because his name is Bruce. Bruce is incredibly racist, but my dad puts up with it because he only pulls that bullshit out like every 5th session.*

            One of his favorite topics is miscegenation, which he invariable introduces by saying “you don’t see the blue bird trying to get with the red bird do you?”

            Finally, my dad had enough of it and told him, “Bruce you know those are different species of birds, right?”

            And Bruce responded with a legitimately shocked “they are?!”

            *And also it took eight years of the Republican reaction to Obama to make my dad less racist.

            • Q.E.Dumbass

              (°_°)

              lol u fckn srs

              • sharculese

                This is not a joke. This actually happened.

                • Q.E.Dumbass

                  …how do these people manage to make breakfast in the morning without breaking 59 bones and somehow setting their frosted flakes on fire?

                • Origami Isopod

                  People’s ability to compartmentalize is amazing. Bruce has been running a barber shop for 20 years, and apparently he’s decent at cutting hair. There are a lot of people like him: perfectly functional in their careers and in the basics of day-to-day life, butt-ignorant (at best) when it comes to anything that might require them to reflect a little or study something outside their field.

            • CP

              Also different-colored animals of the same species get together all the freaking time. Good gravy.

              • JohnT

                Yep. Take a couple of brown lop-eared female rabbits and a couple of black/white male straight eared rabbits and you can test this. Put themy both in the same cage and you will end up with a lot of hot bunny-on-bunny action and a whole mix of little bunnies soon after.

            • ForkyMcSpoon

              You don’t see the rottweiler trying to get with the golden retriever, do you?

              I mean, because they’re generally neutered.

            • q-tip

              I, too, once had a long-term racist barber named Bruce*! I would encourage your dad to bite the bullet and switch to a new barber.

              * I can still smell the heady mixture of Barbisol and stale cigarette smoke as I think of him

              • sharculese

                His shop is five minutes away and his prices are reasonable. Also, although my dad has ditched most of his gross ideas about race, all his gross ideas about masculinity are still there, so it would be a big deal for him to get his hair cut some place that wasn’t an old fashioned barber shop.

                • q-tip

                  Hear ya. I switched from my Bruce to another old-school (and cheap) barbershop where most of the barbers are Latina — but change is hard, and convenience is important.

                  And for a lot of people the barber/hairdresser relationship is very tight. (Me, I take the first empty chair and zone out after the preliminaries.)

            • Doug Gardner

              You mind if we call you Bruce? Obligatory Python reference…

        • Q.E.Dumbass

          “Gallisodomy,” actually.

          • wjts

            “Gallus” is “rooster”, “pullus” is “chicken”.

            • N__B

              I thought galluses are what hold your britches up.

              • farin

                No, they keep your shoes dry.

                • ColBatGuano

                  Not French cigarettes?

            • so-in-so

              Are we sure he (Stewart) is fully aware of chicken/rooster anatomy before beginning?

            • Q.E.Dumbass

              In zoology, “pullus” means “chick” rather than “chicken;” “gallus” now means the genus name for junglefowl…of which the red variant is the ancestor of the modern chicken. But all the species are very recognizably chicken, so “gallus” it is.

              • wjts

                I had forgotten that “Gallus” is the generic name. However, “pullus” is the root for most Romance words for chicken (“pollo“, “poulet“) and the English words “pullet” and “poultry”. I will suggest that both are acceptable.

                • efgoldman

                  I guess chicken farms are really common in Pedantia

                • Running a chicken or pig farm that grinds its own feed is far and way the best career if you plan to murder people as a sideline, or even the main gig. And you save a few dollars on the feed into the bargain. I should point out that IIRC a South African farmer in exactly this situation was convicted even long after the corpus delicti had become chicken nuggets.

                • Q.E.Dumbass

                  Robert William Pickton didn’t get off easy either.

                • wjts

                  I guess chicken farms are really common in Pedantia[.]

                  Actually, the number of chicken farms per capita is higher in Pedantium.

  • Crusty

    Even going just by pop culture depictions in movies and tv, when you want to show a guy is a secret asshole, you give him nazi memorabilia as a hobby.

    • Jay B

      Well, before.

    • brendalu

      Now I feel I need to go rewatch the episode of Justified with Robert Picardo.

  • so-in-so

    The Heritage IS of hate.

    Nice reminder though that dumb-ass neo-Traitors can be born outside the South.

    • CP

      The Ku Klux Klan, originally a regional, separatist movement founded by former Confederate officers, was reinvented in the 1920s as a nationwide and “patriotic” one with plenty of chapters in the Midwest and Northeast, with many members whose parents or grandparents had probably been fighting the original Klan.

      I think that pretty well personifies the evolution of all Confederate culture and iconography. Might have been a regionalist thing once, but at this point it’s just generic white nationalist. I’ve certainly seen enough Dixie battle flags north of the Potomac. (And then there’s West Virginia, for crying out loud…)

      • Colin Day

        You can take West Virginia out of the Confederacy, but you can’t take the Confederacy out of West Virginia.

      • Ahuitzotl

        of course, a lot of the Midwest got inhabited by ex-Confederates in the 1880-1920 period

  • rea

    The monument in the picture is in Denton, Texas. North Texas, back in the day, was pro-unionist, and paid a bitter price–but somehow became pro-Confederate after the war.

    • As a former resident of Denton, that monument was the only thing I really disliked about the town. I knew we’d never manage to get it pulled down (Greg Abbott would’ve ordered the town burned to the ground), but I always wished they’d put up a monument of similar size to commemorate Quakertown, the local African-American community that’d gotten run out of their homes back in the 1920s.

      • UncleEbeneezer

        Jesus, we were just visiting there last week. Good to hear Denton was fairly pro-Union. Texas in general, reminded me that I am indeed a Coastal Elite TM. The confederate flags, MAGA hats, entitled dudes in camos, etc….I can’t imagine how hard it must be for Black/Mexican/Muslims etc. to live in those environs. The White Supremacy is so thick once you get out of the cities. Couldn’t wait to get back to Los Angeles.

  • Davis

    From Confederal VP Alexander Stephens’ 1861 Cornerstone Speech:

    Our new government is founded upon exactly [this] idea; its foundations are laid, its corner-stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race, is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.

    • aturner339

      And echos of this have sounded throughout American conservatism ever since. Always on the lookout for the true master race/culture.

      • Davis

        The Bell Curve, e.g.

    • Monte_Davis

      So unfair! You have to take that Stephens passage (and 822 metric buttloads of concurring evidence) in context. Only 150 years of rationalization, revisionism, sanitizing, self-deception, and general bad faith can bring out their true, deeper significance as proud testaments of states’ rights and regional patriotism.

    • Lurking Canadian

      Yep. The secession was about slavery. Full stop.

      Whether secession necessarily leads to war is an argument for lawyers and philosophers. Or would be if the bastards hadn’t immediately raised an army using stolen Union equipment then shot first. That sort of smooths out any lingering questions about fault.

      • Colin Day

        And some of that stolen Union equipment was turned over to the Louisiana Military Academy, whose superintendent, William Tecumseh Sherman, had to sign for it.

        Good thing he didn't get to vent his anger against the South

        • Tehanu

          And after he signed for it, he resigned.

  • Mike Furlan

    While whipping was the essential component that made slavery run, and while I believe that most slaves were whipped, upon researching the Lee story I found out that there is not conclusive proof that it happened.

    • Shantanu Saha

      Why? Because the sworn testimony of the alleged victims is not credible? What characteristic do they have that makes them less credible than Robert Fucking Lee?

      • Pardon the intrusion, but shouldn’t that be “the traitor Robert Fucking Lee?”

        Man, I hate that guy.

      • rea

        What characteristic do they have that makes them less credible than Robert Fucking Lee?

        Lee never denied this. There also survives a receipt book showing payment to the constable for whipping the slaves.

      • Mike Furlan

        Long story short, I spent some time on this story almost 20 years ago. Finally having a discussion with https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Wesley_Blassingame.

        It was his opinion that while the story was possibly true it was also reasonable to doubt it.

        Lee was a horrible person, but everything bad said about him was not necessarily true.

        • TopsyJane

          Lee was also accused, anonymously, of having whipped a slave woman himself.

          As Norris’ account suggests, Lee’s father-in-law made promises to his people that he failed to keep and left a steaming mess for his reluctant son-in-law to clean up Lee had to meet the requirements of Custis’ will and secure his children’s inheritance (land for the sons, cash for the daughters). Custis’ will stated that the slaves were to be freed once all legacies were accounted for, but no later than five years after his death. It’s plain from the statement that Norris thinks Lee was meanly keeping them enslaved in defiance of his late master’s wishes.

          Norris says that he made his way through the lines to freedom, but other reports indicate he had a pass from Custis Lee.

          • Mike Furlan

            “Lay it on well”

            Understanding history as “makes sense to me” is comfortable but ultimately self defeating. The story of Lee the Sadist might be true, but then again it might not.

            Ultimately, history by anecdotes fails because for every story of Lee the Cruel, the white supremacist kooks can find one of a faithful slave who loved him and served him until death.

            Slavery was horrible. The early history of this country is shameful, a nightmare of Native American genocide and Black degradation. I’d be happy to see the Washington monument be renamed or go in the scrap heap with the Confederate monuments. But I think we can educate people enough to bring them to this point relying only on easily proven facts.

            • ColBatGuano

              Frankly, if there is a dispute, I’m coming down on the side that Lee did it. He’s gotten 150 year free ride as it is. Hanging for treason should have been his fate in 1865.

              • Mike Furlan

                The point of the story isn’t that Lee had a slave whipped, but that he got a sadistic thrill out of the process.

                As I’ve mentioned, an expert in the field told me that in this case where the slave said one thing, and Lee denied it, a reasonable person could decide to believe either party.

                Slavery and Lee were sufficiently horrible apart from this one story.

                • Origami Isopod

                  The question is why this distinction matters so much to you that you need to bring it up in this thread and thus derail the topic at hand.

                • Mike Furlan

                  Because the story was judged to be dodgy by an expert on the subject, John Wesley Blassingame.

                  He researched this exact document and told me that since Lee denied it and that there was no other supporting evidence that it was reasonable to doubt the story.

                  Truthyness seems to be sufficient for you.

    • Just_Dropping_By

      Except that it is for all practical purposes unacceptable to acknowledge that chattel slavery (and not just as practiced in the American south, but as practiced anywhere) did not look on a daily basis like Ilsa: She Wolf of the S.S.

      ETA: The previous responses hadn’t been posted when I started typing, but point proven.

      • Lurking Canadian

        #NotAllSlaveOverseers

        • veleda_k

          Won't someone think of all those kind, gentle overseers and masters, who only brutalized slaves occasionally?

          • Jay B

            I mean you kill a dish sometimes when you drop in on the floor and you didn’t mean to because it’s expensive to replace a dish. It’s the same basic thing with slaveowners and slaves.

      • BiloSagdiyev

        Because the system was in place and inescapable and about ten other obvious adjectives.

      • brad

        Yes, Southern slave owners, unlike Nazis, wanted their slaves to live and continue to provide unpaid labor. Why, they even gave their slaves sufficient food, most of the time, to continue to endure.

        And what is your fucking point?

        • so-in-so

          Except on the Deep South sugar plantations where, as I understand it, the “business model” involved working the slaves to death over eight years.

      • McAllen

        Yeah, if there's one thing American culture is hostile to, it's apologism for slave owners and slavery.

      • Little Chak

        Truly, I am shocked that you are on Team “Dems must court the racist vote by never challenging racism, if they want to continue to be relevant”.

        It is almost as if, when faced with the choice of being savagely beaten/maimed/killed, and putting one’s head down and suffering silently in bondage, many people will in fact choose to survive.

        You certainly are smug, though, I’ll give you that. What a wonderful “point” it is that you’ve “proven”.

    • rea

      The Lee story is entirely plausible under the circumstances. Lee was executor of his father-in-law’s estate. As was traditional in that family (notably George Washington), the father-in-law’s will specified that his slaves would be freed. The father-in-law, however died heavily in debt. As executor, Lee had 5 years to settle the debts and carry out the terms of the will. Lee chose to keep the slaves working for 5 years to pay the debts before freeing them. Naturally, the slaves didn’t like this solution, so Lee felt constrained to coerce them.

      Lee was a decent enough guy in some ways, but was just the kind of man who would maim or kill someone in the name of stern duty.

    • njorl

      Lee forgot to turn on his bodycam, so it didn’t happen, right?

    • D.N. Nation

      Well thank goodness for that. Lee can rest easy on that spit in Hell.

  • janitor_of_lunacy

    About the only place I can imagine a statue of Lee being appropriate is at Washington and Lee University.

  • Cheerfull

    Corey warns that if Hillary had won, Democrats would have torn down the Washington Monument. Not too bright this one.

    • David Allan Poe

      Everybody knows the Democrats would have torn down the Lincoln Memorial. You probably weren’t aware of this, but Lincoln was a Republican.

      • farin

        It’s a fact people are recognizing more and more.

    • I for one strongly support the excellent plan to tear down the pointless big-dick Washington Memorial. It doesn’t even say which victories of Ramses II it commemorates. However, I don’t count as a Democrat, not being an American.

      • Hogan

        And if you were a Democrat, you still wouldn’t be an American.

  • joejoejoe

    The Liberty monument (cough) in New Orleans name checks white supremacy right on the monument. Carved in stone! “The National Election November 1876 recognized white supremacy in the South and gave us our state”. That one went down the other day. Somebody should ask Mayor Mitch Landrieu why it went down in the cover of darkness with secret private funding and not with him at a ribbon cutting/demolition complete with a parade.

    • NeonTrotsky

      My understanding is that this was for the safety of the workers, who also wore bullet proof vests.

      • farin

        I don’t think it was a satire site that said they were also covered by snipers?

    • Matt McKeon

      The only reason I can think to preserve the Liberty Monument is because it is so unabashedly racist. Like there are still a few “white” and “colored” signs, or a museum has actually has a antebellum slave collar. Because of the in your face ugly of it.

  • Peterr

    On of the local NOLA business people who was threatened if they took part in the removal of the monuments got a bunch of email. She shared some of them with NOLA.com, as well as her replies. For example . . .

    Email #2

    “I am a member of a group of nearly 10,000 individuals that are against removal of the monuments. Our members consist of varying races, genders, age groups, and income levels. The common bond we share is an appreciation for art & historical works, which is something you are bidding on to destroy. We also believe in doing business with those that appreciate the same things as us.

    “You need to decide if it’s in your best interest and the long-term interest of your companies to be known as someone that believes in destroying history.

    “I hope you will reconsider your possible involvement in this endeavor.”

    Her response:

    “We had not intended to bid on this project initially and do not appreciate your ‘thinly veiled threats’ against my business. Therefore, please do not contact us again in regards to this matter.

    “Furthermore, my opinion on this issue is that we do not understand your affection for these statures (sic) of American traitors. These were the individuals who tried to dissolve the union and initiated a war because of their affection for the institution of slavery. Please know that the Civil War was fought because of slavery not because of so-called “States Rights” (Please read the Declarations of Secessions of the Confederate States, particularly SC, TX, GA, AL, VA and others). The states rights argument was the “smokescreen rallying cry” given by the 1% of extremely rich Southerners who owned slaves to convince poor whites to fight and died valiantly so that the 1% could keep their way of life. This was a travesty perpetrated by the 1% that resulted in a national tragedy and tremendous loss of life. This foolhardy war (started by the South with the bombing of Fort Sumter in Charleston, SC) devastated the South economically, racially and mentally.

    “We should not celebrate this kind of sad bravado with statures. In essence, these guys were traitors to the United States of America. Why should they have statures that represent the absolute worst in America. Yes, it is history but do we have statures of Benedict Arnold? Where are the statures of the slaves who endured untold torture and suffering during this period? It is time for these statures to come down. Its been more than 150 years since the Civil War ended.

    “I think that these statures should be put where they belong, in a closed-up museum or somewhere else out of the eye of the general public. Enough is enough.

    “I will pray for whoever gets this job but it will not be me.”

    Well played, ma’am.

    • CP

      The states rights argument was the “smokescreen rallying cry” given by the 1% of extremely rich Southerners who owned slaves to convince poor whites to fight and died valiantly so that the 1% could keep their way of life.

      Was this even done during the war? It was my impression that it was pretty much all retroactive whitewashing once their real cause had lost in order to make it look more palatable for modern times.

      • David Allan Poe

        Don’t think so. The favored method for “convincing” poor whites to fight was conscription.

        • BiloSagdiyev

          And while you wouldn’t know it now, to see the Confederate flags s and front license plates on the pickup trucks, there were mountainous and hilly areas where draft dodgers fled to, hit out, dodged the draft as long as they could, etc etc.

          • CP

            Oh yeah. The Appalachians were a hotbed of anti-Confederate sentiment throughout the war. It’s why the region’s modern day love affair with the Confederate battle flag is so depressing.

      • so-in-so

        I think it was more “one day, if you work hard and save as much as you can, you can buy a slave too!” rather than the more abstract States Rights. There was a post right here on LGM about the literature pre-war supporting the benefits of slavery for the lower classes of white people.

  • BiloSagdiyev

    In the truckstop bathroom of history, since 1866, they’ve been hopping out of a stall with a dildo up their ass and two wetsuits half-off, muttering, “This isn’t what it looks like!

  • Malaclypse

    This is worse (warning, can lead to open weeping if read).

    • Little Chak

      Can confirm (weeping).

  • Unless it is a black person who somehow wound up in the South because for some reason his or her family was there for a few centuries – but is of course in no way a real Southerner – who says those monuments are offensive and need to go.

  • tsam

    Nothing is worse than a Yankee telling a Southerner that his monuments don’t matter.

    Give me about 5 beers and start up with your bullshit. I’ll show you worse.

    • N__B

      Need to ask the refs: are people from the Northwest yankees?

      • Hogan

        Yankee
        n. In Europe, an American. In the Northern States of our Union, a New Englander. In the Southern States the word is unknown. (See DAMNYANK.)

        • N__B

          Bierce needed to take it further: In New England, a Vermonter; in Vermont, a backwoods farmer.

          • CP

            I think it goes;

            For foreigners, a Yankee is an American;
            for Americans, a Yankee is a Northerner;
            for Northerners, a Yankee is an Easterner;
            for Easterners, a Yankee is a New Englander;
            for New Englanders, a Yankee is a Vermonter;
            for Vermonters, a Yankee is someone who eats pie for breakfast.

            • Origami Isopod

              For Vermonters, a Yankee is someone who eats pie for breakfast eats cheddar cheese with their apples.

              • CP

                Ew. What’s with that?

                • N__B

                  That’s fan-fucking-tastic.

            • PSP

              And takes a lot a damn nerve for a team from NY to call themselves Yankees.

              • CP

                The home of the Draft Riots, not Yankee enough? Shirley you can’t be serious.

              • N__B

                The threats from Scotland over them being called the Highlanders prompted the name change.

        • Now there’s a man who deserves a monument, particularly insofar as the “grave” thing is sort of iffy.

      • tsam

        tsam only pawn in game of life.

      • Heck, in Mississippi they think people from Kentucky are yankees.

    • Caepan

      I wouldn’t need the beers. I have gotten into many a heated argument with advocates of Treason In The Defense of Slavery, and usually while sober.

      After a few beers, I will just tell these ignorant racist fuckers to go fuck themselves. But when I’m sober, I can remember facts and dates AND tell them to go fuck themselves!

  • malraux

    Nothing is worse than those bureaucrats up in Baton Rouge telling the people of New Orleans what monuments matter?

  • Nubby

    Paul F. Tompkins delivered a sick burn:

    https://twitter.com/PFTompkins/status/856706413900451840

    • so-in-so

      OMFG, a Margaret Hillman further down that thread thinks It’s a burn on Yankees that northerners didn’t want slaves to be counted at all…

      • so-in-so

        Missed the edit window, Holwill, not Hillman. Still, she thinks the slaves were better off because of the 3/5s than without…

        So much stupid.

        • Little Chak

          Some poor soul is attempting to reason with Ms. Holwill:

          “You mean they wanted their representation to accurately reflect the number of people who could legally vote and weren’t property? Sick burn.”

          “No. Agricultural states (south) wanted 100% to increase their representation in Congress. Northern states wanted 0%. 3/5 was compromise.”

          “Right. The South wanted slaves (who were property and could not vote) to count towards their representation. Not a point in your favor.”

          o_O

          • sam

            I think we can probably all agree that no one covered themselves in glory when debating this particular clause of the constitution.

          • so-in-so

            And further down thread ANOTHER igit joins in with the same point. And the complain that people think neo-Confererates are stupid.

    • NBarnes

      Oh, Jesus. No cream gonna help with that burn.

  • John F

    Nothing is worse than a Yankee telling a Southerner that his monuments don’t matter.

    We don’t say your monuments “don’t matter,” we say they are vile and repulsive.

    • Davis X. Machina

      Precisely. If they didn’t matter, we wouldn’t mind.

      • BiloSagdiyev

        I look forward to the day that it’s boring old irrelevant history. Not in my lifetime, I suspect.

        • efgoldman

          I look forward to the day that it’s boring old irrelevant history. Not in my lifetime

          Traitor states gotta’ traitor.

  • lahtiji

    I am at present employed by the Government; and am at work in the National Cemetary on Arlington Heights

    Even in freedom, he still couldn’t get away from the place.

    • BiloSagdiyev

      Or learn how to spell the word for the place he works. Does he drive a “Camero” to work?

      • Hogan

        I wouldn’t assume he wrote that out himself.

        • efgoldman

          I wouldn’t assume he wrote that out himself.

          Also it was forbidden in most places for slaves to learn to read and write, lest they know what was going on. That as many became literate as they did shows great determination.

      • sharculese

        In the late 19th century? Probably not.

        • BiloSagdiyev

          D’OH! I apologize. If only I didn’t have this day job, I could be a higher quality internet commenter. (Maybe.)

    • sharculese

      The seizure of Arlington was a big fucking deal for the Lee family. I can’t imagine a more fitting punishment than to have his former slaves working there. (Except prison. Prison would have been more fitting.)

      • so-in-so

        Yes, it (seizure/forfiture) should have been done to ALL the slave-worked plantations, with the land deeded to the former slaves.

        Maybe all the CSA grandees would then have self-deported and we’d be rid of theirs desecdants.

      • Dilan Esper

        I was going to post the same thing. It was a big enough deal that the Lee family sued and went all the way to the Supreme Court trying to reverse it (they couldn’t) or get compensation (they eventually did).

        And the symbolism of putting the cemetery there was deliberate. The Union Quartermaster who chose it did so because he wanted to punish Lee for his act of treason (Lee had been offered command of the Union Armies by Lincoln had he stayed loyal).

        So what a great “fuck you” to the Lee family for that man to be working at Arlington Cemetery.

        • sharculese

          What Dilan said.

          For anyone not familiar with this story, Smithsonian Magazine had a great article on it a few years ago: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/how-arlington-national-cemetery-came-to-be-145147007/

        • TopsyJane

          As the Smithsonian article notes, the Lees did in fact get Arlington back, with Custis Lee bowing to reality and accepting compensation. Meigs was a vindictive creep, but a good one to have on your side.

          • randy khan

            Meigs also was responsible for the Pension Building, a really magnificent structure that is now the National Building Museum. It’s worth a visit if you’re in D.C.

  • Spider-Dan

    Any time someone tries to tell you that the Civil War was about states’ rights, remind them that the Constitution of the Confederate States of America federally prohibited any Confederate state from banning slavery.

    It was not about states’ rights. It was about slavery. Full stop.

    • Thom

      I think this is implied in the document, but as far as I can tell doing some quick searches, it prohibits newly added territories and states from banning slavery. They do not seem to have considered the possibility that one of the original CSA states might ban slavery. I also see that they kept the 3/5 clause, which is a bit surprising to me in that it would give more power to slave-owners if slaves were counted in full. This suggests either lazy cut and paste or compromise between states like South Carolina (more slaves) and states like Texas (fewer slaves).

      ETA: I see the clause you mean now: “No bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law denying or impairing the right of property in negro slaves shall be passed.”

      • Uneekness

        This is something that is so fucking obvious that it drives me bonkers. The Confederacy so hated the system of gov’t they were rebelling against that they set up … exactly the same thing in all but a few minor details (and one big one). Almost down to the word. You’d think, being the supposed reason they left, that the framers of the Confederate Constitution would like, idaknow, put something about the ultimate sovereignty of the states in the document. (Don’t give me that BS about the preamble, either. The enabling text of the document does not give states nullification powers, for instance. The preamble carries no legal weight.)

        Of course the one big difference? Slavery. Not just acknowledging it as legal, but fucking making it permanent, as noted above.

        Fuck these monuments.

    • I think it also banned any Confederate state from seceding from the Confederacy.

  • randy khan

    My wife works in historic preservation, where there are divergent views about these kinds of memorials – even though the whole field tilts left – because of the general view that you preserve history, good or bad. But they’re beginning to come around now, in part because the people who want to keep the monuments are obviously odious.

    • Spider-Dan

      I don’t have a problem with keeping (some of) these monuments in a Confederate museum, where they can be viewed in context of the hideous ideology they represent. But having them scattered in public is simply glorification, as they were originally intended.

      • randy khan

        The ubiquity of commemorations of the Confederacy in the South is really remarkable – Alexandria, Virginia has a bunch of streets named after Confederate generals, a statue at the spot where Alexandrians left to join the Confederate Army, and a chunk of Jefferson Davis Highway (U.S. 1, although for a big chunk of its length through Alexandria, it’s got a different name), although it has avoided naming schools for traitors. And moving the statue would require approval from the Virginia legislature.

        • efgoldman

          Alexandria, Virginia has a bunch of streets named after Confederate generals

          Yeah, as I posted yesterday, our kids live in Arlington on Lee Highway, just down the street from where it crosses Custis (I-66) and hotel row in Crystal City, where we stay, is on Jefferson Davis – and there’s no move to change any of it, even in a deep blue area.

      • efgoldman

        I don’t have a problem with keeping (some of) these monuments in a Confederate museum, where they can be viewed in context of the hideous ideology

        Right. The Holocaust Museum, for instance, is an absolute necessity, but it doesn’t memorialize or valorize the Nazis in any way – it factually describes what happened and who did it. There’s only one sensible conclusion that can be reached in context.

        • Donate the monuments to the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Let it exhibit them in an manner it sees fit.

          • UncleEbeneezer

            Yes!!!!

  • Lot_49

    After they take down all the monuments to traitors, maybe we could also rename all the military installations named for traitors, which, in the South, is all of them. Except Fort McClellan, which got closed for some reason.

    • If we’re going to name forts after people who fought the United States, at least pick a winner and go with Sitting Bull.

      • Hogan

        Or Vo Nguyen Giap.

        • N__B

          Or General Robert Ross.

  • Bubblegum Tate

    Here’s a good one I picked up from wingnut Twitter:

    The Civil War was actually about a Southern Ruling class getting shut out in DC and so deciding to set up shop for themselves.

    For bonus points, the guy who said this has also repeatedly said that he knows more about history than any history professor or Ph.D in the country.

    • N__B

      the guy who said this has also repeatedly said that he knows more about history than any history professor or Ph.D in the country.

      I’m sure he does. It’s just that everything he knows is wrong.

      • Bubblegum Tate

        You are correct, sir!

    • Origami Isopod

      Well, yeah, all the universities are full of damnyankee librulz indoctrinating our children with cultural Marxism.

      • Bubblegum Tate

        Only David Barton can save us and re-establish Troo Murrican History!

  • UncleEbeneezer

    So is it safe to assume that Stewart is regularly arguing for the States Right to pass Sanctuary City/State laws???

  • Bitter Scribe

    I’d be willing to reach a compromise. They could keep their monuments as long as one gets added, at least as big and prominently located as the others: A statue of Wesley Norris getting flogged while General Lee looks on.

    • ForkyMcSpoon

      Nah, I prefer my suggestion below: statues of the Union leaders who achieved victories in those cities, or nearby (if applicable) or major Union generals (if there was no major battle in the area) with inscriptions glorifying their achievements.

      More seriously, statues commemorating prominent African-Americans, Native Americans, abolitionists and other sorts of civil rights activists (women’s rights, LGBT rights, etc.) would be a good counterpoint as well.

    • so-in-so

      Too many neo-Confederates would get off on that, and I can’t imagine AA people would be happy to see that as they walked around.

      Maybe barefoot CSA soldiers being sent into battle by a well dressed, boot-wearing officer would make some kind of point. Better, just a plaque explaining what had been there, why it was removed.

      • Origami Isopod

        Too many neo-Confederates would get off on that, and I can’t imagine AA people would be happy to see that as they walked around.

        Seriously. 0_o

  • ForkyMcSpoon

    I know something that’s part of the history and heritage of Atlanta and Savannah!

    Sherman’s March to the Sea!

    We should put up equestrian statues of him commemorating this historical event with plaques describing how it helped lead to the defeat of the Confederacy.

    Since it’s just about commemorating history, and not about white supremacy, surely there will be no objection!

    • Bitter Scribe

      Before he started churning out cornpone columns for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the late Lewis Grizzard spent about 15 minutes as sports editor for the Chicago Sun-Times. In his memoir, in between complaining about the cold weather and about an uppity black sportswriter who had the nerve to think he was just a good as a white man, we got this little nugget:

      One of the staffers was writing for some reason about some sports event that took place in Columbia, S.C., and used a Sherman-burning metaphor. This irritated Grizzard so much that he denied Sherman had ever burned Columbia.

      When the writer proved that indeed he had, Grizzard retorted, “I was taught that when the little bearded fireplug got to Atlanta, they hanged him.”

      I’m sure you were, Lewis. I’m sure you were.

      • Bubblegum Tate

        Wow, Lewis Grizzard. There’s a name I haven’t heard in forever. I thought some of his stuff was funny. I was also 12 years old.

    • rm

      We need to get those goddam relief sculptures off the side of Stone Mountain.

      • efgoldman

        Dy-no-mite!

        • Mike Furlan

          If there was ever a use for the MOAB, that would be it.

    • farin

      And twisted rails wrapped around the lampposts.

  • N__B

    Does this count as a monument to be destroyed?

    • efgoldman

      Does this count as a monument to be destroyed?

      If people stop hirin’ the sumbitch. mebbe he’ll get the message.
      Although some of ’em would rather go down in their racism than act civilized

    • Origami Isopod

      He’s an all-around sweetheart, I see.

  • rm11

    I’ve always contended that Ft. Hood was named to honor the many invaluable contributions the General had made to the success of the United States Army in the latter half of 1864.

  • Bruce Vail

    Lincoln’s great achievement was that he smashed slavery in the United States. His great failure was that his ‘hard war’ has poisoned American politics, probably forever.

    • Origami Isopod

      His great failure was that his ‘hard war’ has poisoned American politics, probably forever.

      American politics was already “poisoned” by racism. Your gripe is that he challenged it.

      • Bruce Vail

        That is a weird conclusion. But you are correct that American politics was poisoned by racism long before Lincoln appeared on the scene.

    • N__B

      What would you propose Lincoln should have done other than the hard war? He had no leverage to negotiate other than by using war and he specifically delayed emancipation to try to cater to the slave-holders. Letting the south secede would have condemned four million people and their descendants to slavery with no end in sight. He had no good choices and he chose the one that (a) freed the slaves and (b) kept the country from falling apart. He couldn’t foresee the betrayal of Reconstruction? I guess he wasn’t perfect.

      • Bruce Vail

        The only thing he could have reasonably done is allowed the South the secede without war. He probably would have been condemned by history as weak and faithless, but there is always an alternative to war.

        • N__B

          Okay, and that condemns four million people and their descendants to slavery without an end in sight. That is not an alternative to violence, it is an alternative to white people suffering violence.

          Or, in his words, during the war: “I have tried it. You cannot concilliate the South, when the mastery & control of millions of blacks makes them sure of ultimate success. You cannot concilliate the South, when you place yourself in such a position, that they see they can achieve their independence. The war democrat depends upon conciliation. He must confine himself to that policy entirely. If he fights at all in such a war as this he must economise life & use all the means which God & nature puts in his power. Abandon all the posts now possessed by black men surrender all these advantages to the enemy, & we would be compelled to abandon the war in 3 weeks. We have to hold territory. Where are the war democrats to do it. The field was open to them to have enlisted & put down this rebellion by force of arms, by concilliation, long before the present policy was inaugurated. There have been men who have proposed to me to return to slavery the black warriors of Port Hudson & Olustee to their masters to conciliate the South. I should be damned in time & in eternity for so doing. The world shall know that I will keep my faith to friends & enemies, come what will.”

          • Bruce Vail

            Yes, but condemning four million people to slavery is precisely what his 15 predecessors as president did — indeed it was written into the Constitution that they should do so.

            I think we can all agree that abolishing slavery was the right thing, but still have differing views on what would have been the best way to do it in 1861.

            • N__B

              but still have differing views on what would have been the best way to do it in 1861.

              Sure. Let me ask again, what do you propose he should have done? If the answer is “nothing but wave good bye to the seven states that seceded simply because he was elected” I’ll ask how that scenario would further abolishing slavery? It seems to me it would be a regression: with the slave states in a divided USA, there was pressure for abolition. An all-slave-holding CSA would have no such pressure.

              I understand you don’t like war, but I’ll repeat: Lincoln doing nothing simply puts all the violence on the slaves; him pursuing the war spreads the pain to white people. Granting that war is terrible, you haven’t addressed how the massive inequality of suffering is better.

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