Restricted Instead of Removing Confederate Statues, Should We Add to Them?

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Bruce Vail

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Kevin Levin has an interesting suggestion on his blog today, prompted by some "guerrilla" statuary. Here in NY, the infamous "Charging Bull" statue got an addition a month ago when a small statue of a "Fearless Girl" was placed in front of it.

View attachment 128935

The Charging Bull, erected illegally two decades ago, has often been criticized for its seeming glorification of unrestrained capitalish, seemed to many New Yorkers to have met its match in the defiant little girl. Like any "art", both pieces are open to multiple interpretations. However, apart from the individual merits of either statue, the two seem to create a different space than either of them would alone.

In his blog, Levin asks if, instead of removing Confederate memorials or adding interpretive signage as some have suggested in Richmond and other cities, the example of the Fearless Girl should be followed.

http://cwmemory.com/2017/03/28/does-the-robert-e-lee-monument-need-a-fearless-girl/
Interesting. My first impression is this is sort of like vandalism of the original monument.
 

Bruce Vail

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That seemed to be the argument made against a Union monumnet at Olustee.
Yeah, I guess it is. You know by grandma used to say 'what's good for goose is good for the gander.' How would all the Unionists and Lincolnophiles feel about adding pro-Confederate statuary to the countless Union monuments out there? Not so good, I'd guess.
 
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Pat Young

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Yeah, I guess it is. You know by grandma used to say 'what's good for goose is good for the gander.' How would all the Unionists and Lincolnophiles feel about adding pro-Confederate statuary to the countless Union monuments out there? Not so good, I'd guess.
Are there a lot of communities which are looking to remove Union monuments?
 

matthew mckeon

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Kevin Levin has an interesting suggestion on his blog today, prompted by some "guerrilla" statuary. Here in NY, the infamous "Charging Bull" statue got an addition a month ago when a small statue of a "Fearless Girl" was placed in front of it.

View attachment 128935

The Charging Bull, erected illegally two decades ago, has often been criticized for its seeming glorification of unrestrained capitalish, seemed to many New Yorkers to have met its match in the defiant little girl. Like any "art", both pieces are open to multiple interpretations. However, apart from the individual merits of either statue, the two seem to create a different space than either of them would alone.

In his blog, Levin asks if, instead of removing Confederate memorials or adding interpretive signage as some have suggested in Richmond and other cities, the example of the Fearless Girl should be followed.

http://cwmemory.com/2017/03/28/does-the-robert-e-lee-monument-need-a-fearless-girl/
Fearless Girl works because a whole lot of people are angry at Wall St., and therefore its symbol, the spastic cow. And its temporary.

That writhing steer is a little on the nose for Wall St. Too cheap for a golden calf?
 
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matthew mckeon

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I can come up with a ton of ideas. But each one is basically mocking or rebuking the original. I don't think its much better to someone who likes or admires Robert E. Lee.
 

Pat Young

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Fearless Girl works because a whole lot of people are angry at Wall St., and therefore its symbol, the spastic cow. And its temporary.

That writhing steer is a little on the nose for Wall St. Too cheap for a golden calf?
Of course the bull statue is also male, with notoriously gigantic testicles that tourists love to take pictures rubbing. The girl seems to be standing against "boys gone wild" as well.
 

Will Carry

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Some people spend time studying Southern History and culture in order to condemn it. Some people study it in order to understand it. It is far easier to condemn something than to understand it. Those who claim to have done both have likely done neither.

I'm not much in to statues nor and I into public mockery. Those statues days are numbered. Let them die in peace.
 
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The whole point is adding such a statue changes our interpretation of the monument. Instead of honoring the fight to preserve slavery it becomes a monument honoring the victory over the attempt to preserve slavery.
 

matthew mckeon

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The whole point is adding such a statue changes our interpretation of the monument. Instead of honoring the fight to preserve slavery it becomes a monument honoring the victory over the attempt to preserve slavery.
I think everyone gets that. But current defenders of Confederate statuary maintain the monuments honor the dead, or heroism in battle.

As God is my witness I don't want to discuss whether these statues celebrate white supremacy or slavery or valor or sacrifice, or some combination thereof. I'm saying what some people think.
 
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matthew mckeon

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I mean I could get into the spirit of the thing. The Lincoln Memorial with the President holding a two foot granite remote. Nowadays he prefers long form television to going to the theater. The Washington Monument with the visitor's center located in two geodesic domes at the base of the monument. Stone Mountain splashed with the rainbow flag of the gay rights movement. ( After all one guy is named Stonewall after the iconic riot in New York, and Davis cross dressed on at least one occasion).
 
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matthew mckeon

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I've suggested this before, but why not remove all the Civil War statues, the granite infantry, the cannon of the courthouse lawn, the bronze mounted generals and put them all in one big reservation together. Arrange them in battalions and batteries to recreate one of the battles of the Civil War. Scale: one to one. Seems educational to me.
 
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I've suggested this before, but why not remove all the Civil War statues, the granite infantry, the cannon of the courthouse lawn, the bronze mounted generals and put them all in one big reservation together. Arrange them in battalions and batteries to recreate one of the battles of the Civil War. Scale: one to one. Seems educational to me.
that'll be a cavalry brigade made up solely from robert e lee.s
 

Pat Young

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Not that I am aware of. My point was only that if you wanted to put up a Confederate statue on Boston Common or in Lincoln Park, there would be hell to pay.
I think Levin's post was directed at communities where the Confederate statuary is unwelcome to many residents. Places like Richmond and Charlottesville have efforts underway to remove the monuments. So he is offering this as one direction the locales might consider.
 
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Stone Mountain splashed with the rainbow flag of the gay rights movement. ( After all one guy is named Stonewall after the iconic riot in New York, and Davis cross dressed on at least one occasion).
Well, there is this chapter in Stackpole's book From Cedar Mountain to Antietam:

20170329_100616.jpg
 
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