Restricted Op-ed: Get rid of Stonewall monument

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Glorybound

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Op-ed from May, 2011. The views expressed in this opinion piece do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster. I called the Gazette a few minutes ago and talked to Cathy who advised me the monument is still in place on the capitol grounds.

May 28, 2011
Howard Swint: W.Va. Capitol no place for Confederate memorial

Photo153961.jpg



CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The time has come to take down the Confederate memorial at the State Capitol in Charleston and relegate it to its rightful place in history.​

Now is the time because, during this sesquicentennial of the Civil War, there will be resurgence by those who seek to glorify the South's role, and it should not be.

The monument is actually a pedestal for the Stonewall Jackson statue that was erected at a time when revisionist history glamorized the Confederate cause in an attempt to gloss over the horrors of slavery.

The so-called "Lost Cause" school sought to blame the North for provoking the war. Southerners painted the antebellum political climate as a struggle for state's rights and an assault on Southerners' noble way of life.

In actuality, however, the Southern cause was an affront to the basic American value that all people are created equal. Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens supported "the great truth that the negro's... subordination to the superior race, is his natural and normal condition."

West Virginia really is the last place to have a Confederate monument, for plantation life was anathema to the Trans-Allegheny region. Not only did plantation life defend the slave economy, but it also embodied aristocratic suppression of mountain people. Western Virginians were always second-class citizens in the southern patrician society of Tidewater, Virginia, with negligible political power in Richmond.

That West Virginia was formed during a period of the war when Confederate forces were strongest (pre-Vicksburg) and prosecuting the war in Union territory (pre-Gettysburg) stands as testament to our state's resolve and allegiance to the United States.

The brave souls who met in Wheeling had little tolerance for slavery and saw the Confederate cause as ignoble and culturally depraved. They literally risked their lives for our new state and country.

Southern military leaders like Jackson, who had once sworn to uphold the Constitution and allegiance to the United States, effectively betrayed their nation, took up arms to subjugate loyal Americans and burned their homes.

While invoking the name of God in their bellicose cause, they witnessed the deaths of hundreds of thousands of soldiers and systematically hung their own men who deserted. And for what?

The Lost Cause school would hold that it was a war for property rights and a gallant way of life.
The monument on our Capitol lawn stands not for honor and nobility but for oppression, brutality, depravation and extreme racial subjugation.

The South's so-called property rights struggle constituted the enslavement of 4 million people. The plantation economy divided families through the sale of children and utilized the whipping-post.

After West Virginia was formed, there was outright southern hate for the new Mountain State.
Consider southern contributions to the postwar Reconstruction Era after the Union victory: Continued subjugation of African-Americans, the rise of the Ku Klux Klan, widespread racial violence and public lynchings.

One hundred years ago when the Confederate monument was dedicated, the South still harbored institutional obstruction to equal opportunity for African Americans, barriers to voter rights, segregation, Jim Crow, and pervasive racial prejudice. It reached its political zenith with George Wallace and its ethical low with James Earl Ray.

No, the southern cause was not one to be glorified. Those who sought southern glory were rewarded with the destruction of their country.

Fredrick Douglass put it best when a statue to Robert E. Lee was unveiled. He said Lee's motivations were tragically wrong, ignoble and dishonorable.

Lee, who turned down command of the Union Army, could have become president had he remained loyal to the nation to which he swore allegiance (and one his father, decorated Lt. Col. Henry "Lighthorse Harry" Lee, fought for during the Revolutionary War).

Lee, who was unwavering in the cause well after the war's end, witnessed the dissolution of his family, the loss of his wife's fortune and good name, and conversion of his Arlington plantation into a national graveyard.

U.S. Grant said the southern cause was "one of the worst for which a people ever fought and one for which there was the least excuse."

Courageous souls in Wheeling righted the wrong of Virginia's secession by forming a great state draped in honor by none other than Abraham Lincoln.

Let's take down the Confederate Memorial and tell the Sons of Confederate Veterans who gather each year in Richmond to come and get the statue of Stonewall Jackson or West Virginians will bury it once and for all, as we did their cause 148 years ago.

Swint is a commercial property broker in Charleston.

http://www.wvgazette.com/Opinion/OpEdCommentaries/201105271327?page=2
 

Southron

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There is an ongoing program by the NAACP and some related liberal organizations to stigmatize anything relating to the Confederacy. That is what all of this is about. Here in Georgia we had a Scalawag of a Governor that changed the state flag by removing the ANV battle flag from the field of the state flag.

When he ran for re-election he confidently thought he would easily win because the liberal Atlanta press was behind him. You should have seen his face and the face of the reporters on live TV when the elections returns came in! It was pure shock and absolute disbelief. He was solidly defeated by the people of Georgia.

During the last election cycle, he ran for Governor again-only to be defeated again. So the message to slimy politicians here in Georgia is: Mess with our Confederate Heritage and your slimy political career will come to a sudden end at the next election.
 

RobertP

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A quick Google search will show Howard has a propensity for writing Op-Ed pieces in the Charleston newspaper. Most seem to deal with erasing anything Southern from W. Va. Here's a piece from 8/6/11 where he recommends changing county names:

http://wvgazette.com/Opinion/OpEdCommentaries/201108050898

He starts out as follows:

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- West Virginia's 55 counties are as outdated as the old country roads and outlying farms that helped determine their geographic boundaries.
Consolidation may one day come and with it the opportunity to eliminate some of the more fallacious county names as well as establish one that's been glaringly missing. . . .

I've heard that West Virginia has a few more problems on it's plate than the statue of Stonewall Jackson.
Just sayin'
 

RobertP

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I get it now.

howard swint for congress.jpg


Don’t let the Party of "NO" control congress. Vote for Howard Swint from the 2nd district of West Virginia. Much work remains to be done to create jobs in West Virginia. Howard Swint is the right person for the hard work ahead. West Virginia and America need Howard Swint in Washington.
 

16thVA

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Mr. Swint is something of a crank. At the time he wrote the article I read an editorial in a small WV newspaper and the writer was absolutely gob-smacked that anyone would ever dare suggest anything bad about Stonewall. As another editorial in the Charleston Gazette stated, that statue is going nowhere.

As for Mr. Swint wanting the Harper's Ferry bell returned to the National Park, I'm in agreement with him on that.
http://dailymail.com/News/201108151482
 

ole

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Howard Swint seems to be WV's Don Quixote. Tilting windmills while Rome burns. Or am I thinking of someone else?

Attacking a people's hero (I'm certain there must be quite a few West Virginians who consider Jackson a her0), would be like Chicago insisting that the Cubbies relocate to Des Moines or some other city. Might sound like a good idea, but no amount of vote-packing could get beyond that kind of faux pas.
 

oldpete63

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I get it now.

View attachment 4042

Don’t let the Party of "NO" control congress. Vote for Howard Swint from the 2nd district of West Virginia. Much work remains to be done to create jobs in West Virginia. Howard Swint is the right person for the hard work ahead. West Virginia and America need Howard Swint in Washington.
Sounds like another panderer that knows what's good for everyone else. Reading into the article, in my opinion, he's accusing folks that consider Jackson a part of Southern history as being on the borderline of being racist. So, let's change reality and history. Stick to selling property, Swinton - labelling people is not one of your strongpoints.
 
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There are 3 ways to change history - edit the books, write the books yourself or burn the books.

Mr. Swint is trying to do so - but without any finesse and, unfortunately and for god´s sake, without reaching his goal.
Changing the historical county names in this state named for servants of the states because of whatever - just idiotic as long as they´re officially proven innocent. No chance. If he´s elected to senate America is doomed. Well, it´s anyway, but maybe not so early.
 

CSA Today

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But Jackson was born in Clarksburg - West Virginia! :unsure:


And where was Howard Swint born? :unsure:

“We cannot hope to preserve our traditions, our beliefs, and our symbols -- we cannot hope to survive as a people, if we do not know, if we do not remember who we are and what defines us as a people.”

Professor Melvin E. Bradford
 
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