Restricted "Monument honoring abolition of slavery unveiled in Richmond two weeks after Robert E. Lee statue was removed"

JerryD

Private
Joined
Aug 23, 2021
This is simply representative of new found power exhibiting pure spite.
I dont see it as spite as much as merely reflecting changing societal values. Like I said before, every generation has the right to decide who they want to honor. The US is going though a racial reckoning (long past due, I might add), so images that conflict with that reckoning are no longer valued. I would have kept Lee in Richmond, for instance, but I probably would have removed his statue in New Orleans, as he had no connection with that place.
 

ForeverFree

Major
Joined
Feb 6, 2010
Location
District of Columbia
When & IF this statue is vandalized, I bet the vandals won't be treated the same way the Lee monument vandals were treated.
The Shaw/USCT monument in Boston was vandalized in 2012, 2015, 2017, and 2020. A monument to USCT in Cleveland's Woodland Cemetery was broken into pieces in 2016. A monument to Frederick Douglass in Rochester, NY was vandalized (ripped from its base) in July, 2020. The Soldiers & Sailors (Union) monument in Cleveland, Ohio was vandalized in May, 2020. I don't know if or how many people were prosecuted for these, but it doesn't seem like many were.

In November 2018, the African Burial Ground National Monument in New York City was defaced. The perpetrator was given a sentence of 30 days, at home.

Today, it doesn't surprise me to see monuments defaced or vandalized. For the record, I have said this about defacing monuments:

...acts of monument defacement are wrong. I hope the people who did this will just stop. The defacing of public monuments is unacceptable, and we should all righteously condemn the people who are responsible.​
Some say that this was indeed the work of "Black Lives Matter" activists, and that for various reasons, they decided to place their message on Confederate monuments. For them, I have two comments, beyond the usual statement that two wrongs don't make a right.​
First: the defacement of public memorials sets a horrible precedent. Once it becomes "OK" to vandalize some monuments, it opens the floodgates to vandalizing any and all of them. So, for example, we might see tit-for-tat or copycat defacements of memorials to the Underground Railroad or Civil Rights workers. Do we really want that to happen? I hope not.​
Second: the use of vandalism is an ineffective and counter-productive way to put forth the message that black lives matter. The method used to deliver the message overshadows, cheapens, and debases the message. The people who see this stuff will not get the idea that black lives matter. The message they get is that the folks who did this are disrespectful, unlawful, uncaring, and self-serving idiots. For many people, these acts serve only to reinforce the idea that black people are nothing but thugs.​
...I support the idea of engaging in discussions about the appropriateness of these monuments in today's public spaces. To those who are committed, I say go ahead and build movements that advance the case and cause for change, and at least try to see if some type of democratic process can be used to affect that change.​
But I do not support defacement as an appropriate means of protesting against monuments that many of us don't like. Other citizens have rights, too. They have as much a right to support these monuments as others have to reject them. Vandalism and defacement serve only to delegitimize fair protest, it ruins objects that are fairly called works of art, and which, for good or ill, say something about our history. And, as mentioned above, these acts can lead to the general feeling that any memorial that anybody finds objectionable can be defaced and vandalized.​

- Alan
 

ForeverFree

Major
Joined
Feb 6, 2010
Location
District of Columbia
He was working on that much sooner than this past January. His public comments, & actions on the topic are easy to find.
You're right. Northam announced plans to remove the monument in June 2020, which was more than a year before the new monument was installed. The removal was held up in court, and Northam ordered the removal as soon as the ruling was issued. It just so happened that the ruling came two weeks before the new monument was unveiled. I will still say that the gods are whimsical, indeed.

Northam didn't come after these monuments in earnest, until AFTER he was caught up in his own racial controversy.
I agree that, as part of his reckoning with his own history, his view of things changed. I recall the quote, "The man who views the world at 50 the same as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life." I believe there are people who've done as much or even more questionable stuff than what Northam did, but there was no reckoning with it because they weren't public figures.

Lame duck or not, he'd love another 6 year term down the road. Just like the fella taking his spot on their party's ticket.
It remains to be seen if he will run again. But as you know, those monuments in Richmond are as close to sacred cows as you have in Virginia. Their status as such was a factor in the controversy. Removing these statues in the past would have been political suicide, and I don't know if that's changed.

- Alan
 
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GwilymT

Sergeant Major
Joined
Aug 20, 2018
Location
Pittsburgh
This is simply representative of new found power exhibiting pure spite.
Honoring Emancipation is spiteful? As noted numerous times above, this Emancipation monument has been in the works for nearly a decade and has nothing to do with the recent events surrounding the Lee statue. What is objectionable about celebrating the end of slavery? Is Emancipation offensive?

To think this statue spiteful because an unrelated Confederate statue was recently removed betrays a belief and understanding that the primary cause of the CSA was indeed the protection of slavery.
 
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CowCavalry

First Sergeant
Joined
Aug 17, 2017
Or will we examine potential vandals motives and determine if it isn't the people's will, but just simple racism? Or just sick individuals who get off desecrating graveyards and monuments because they are too cowardly to face living, breathing, human beings over issues they find objectionable?
If any investigations were done regarding the past vandalisms of public monuments I am unaware of them and highly doubt there were any. But the question you pose is interesting, if this indeed does happen my guess is the furor in the press and following investigation will rival the Warren Commission's.
 

Pete Longstreet

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Forum Host
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Location
Hartford, CT
PL,

You said "but instead they added fuel to the already burning political and racial fire." Those were your words.

There is nothing racial about the controversy concerning these monuments. Saying that the controversy "adds fuel to the... racial fire" does not unify, it is itself divisive. The Lee monument was not being criticized because Lee was white, it was criticized because Lee was a Confederate. Many of the people who protested the Lee monument were white. The governor who ordered the removal of the Lee monument was white. There were white and black people in Virginia who were happy to see the monument come down. In fact, opposition to the monument united many blacks and whites. The white population is not a monolith that feels that criticism of Confederate objects is an attack on white people, and in fact, nobody should construe criticism of Confederate objects as an attack on white people. For these reasons, I cite the comment about adding fuel to the "racial fire" to be problematic.

I feel I have to say this: I am not in any way saying that your views are racist, I'm not saying they are race baiting or whatever. I'm not trying to make you feel defensive in your views. I appreciate this chance to say things you might not hear in any other forums you might visit. I am suggesting that the best way to put out an "already burning... racial fire" is to simply not add to it. In this case it means rejecting the notion that this is about race, or look to it as adding to racial conflict. This will not go away as a racial conflict as long as you think it adds to racial conflict... it's a self fulfilling prophecy. There is certainly a conflict here, but it doesn't have to be racial fire. And it shouldn't be.

- Alan
Alan, yes those are my words. And if you think race and politics is not a factor in this monument debate, then you are seriously mistaken. You should find it problematic, because it is. Although you keep leaving out the word "political" which I also used.

I'll say this: before you make an assessment of someone, you should gather more facts of who that person is and what they have been through. I see this division and racial conflict first hand. I live it everyday. I see it's ugliest form and have to deal with it on a daily bases. So, if you want to ignore reality and think it is something that it's not, that's ok... but I live in this reality. It's well known the tension regarding race relations in this country . I don't know your background or anything about you, so I will not try and define who you are as a person. But my point this entire thread has been to "unify" the people. The whole country and probably the world were watching the the Lee Monument debate. It was a chance to bring people together with opposing views, but find common ground. You appear to be twisting my words to fit your narrative, but again, if that is how you feel, then we can agree to disagree.
 
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unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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Feb 20, 2005
Location
Ocala, FL (as of December, 2015).
If any investigations were done regarding the past vandalisms of public monuments I am unaware of them and highly doubt there were any. But the question you pose is interesting, if this indeed does happen my guess is the furor in the press and following investigation will rival the Warren Commission's.
My guess on future events would be worthless, but that's just me.
 

Viper21

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Moderator
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Jul 4, 2016
Location
Rockbridge County, Virginia
You're right. Northam announced plans to remove the monument in June 2020, which was more than a year before the new monument was installed. The removal was held up in court, and Northam ordered the removal as soon as the ruling was issued. It just so happened that the ruling came two weeks before the new monument was unveiled. I will still say that the gods are whimsical, indeed.


I agree that, as part of his reckoning with his own history, his view of things changed. I recall the quote, "The man who views the world at 50 the same as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life." I believe there are people who've done as much or even more questionable stuff than what Northam did, but there was no reckoning with it because they weren't public figures.


It remains to be seen if he will run again. But as you know, those monuments in Richmond are as close to sacred cows as you have in Virginia. Their status as such was a factor in the controversy. Removing these statues in the past would have been political suicide, and I don't know if that's changed.

- Alan
There's much more to Mr Northam than this thread, or site will allow me to discuss. I encourage anyone interested to research his actions, & words, & make up their own minds.

The catalyst for his anti-Confederate movement is astonishing. How anyone could be caught so red-handed, & get away with bold facing lying about it, is shocking. Many folks have been forced to resign, or had their careers destroyed for less.
 
Would be interesting to know the source of funding
From http://mlkcommission.dls.virginia.gov/lincoln/support.html

Screenshot 2021-09-26 at 10-43-46 Virginia's Dr Martin Luther King Jr Memorial Commission.png
 
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