Restricted Virginia taxpayers hit hard for cost of removing Confederate monuments

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cash

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At this point I cannot help but to reply to the issue of being "offended" by somebody's speech, or behavior or choice in visual symbols (symbolic speech). If the town council decides to allow some group to put up a statue (with private funding) to Genghis Khan or Shaka Zulu or Nathan Bedford Forrest (in NJ), I might be bemused by the decision but I am not going to get bent out of shape or get offended. Geez, I think some folks are allowing "being offended" to become some sort of cottage industry and devoting their lives to stamping out offending activities. In addition to being annoying, such people are, in my opinion, downright offensive themselves. Have they little else going on in their lives that they have to create an unholy uproar by going on a crusade to cleanse our land of "offensive" speech and symbols? For heavens sake what has ever happened to tolerance of other people's foibles and idiosyncrasies and eccentricities. Yes, public space is not one's front lawn but because space is public, the solution, it seems to me, is not to ban controversial symbols to only those that are "approved" but to permit competing symbolic speech and allow citizens to make what they will of these displayed items. If people are shown a statue of Robert E. Lee, let them see across the pathway one of US Grant, or perhaps a quarter scale model of the CSS Virginia next to one of the USS Monitor (now that would really be cool). Or a display of every flag that ever flew over their state (again, pretty cool). Not only would we be upholding the traditional American respect for diversity (not conformity) of thought and speech but consider all that people might learn from such displays. Instead of banning thought provoking symbolic speech, let's use our public spaces to foster it.

I'll try to explain.

The monuments in question are equivalent to granite middle fingers sticking up in the faces of African-Americans. Not knowing you or your background I can't give you an example to which you can relate, but imagine a symbol that genuinely insults you--not just offends you, without the quotation marks, but in fact insults you--being placed in your neighborhood. Your opinion about it, your objection to it being placed there, is completely ignored. In fact, no one asks your opinion. It's just placed there, and you have to pass by it every day. And to add more insult to injury, you are taxed to pay for that symbol, to pay for erecting it, and to pay for its maintenance.

Would you want to tolerate its continued existence? Would you be satisfied with a "balancing" of that symbol with another symbol that only tangentially has anything to do with you?
 

jgoodguy

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It seems to me the argument was made that the monument was erected "in the spirit of vindictiveness and white supremacy," in the words of Dr. Whitaker.

Interesting that the monument can't stand on its own merits but requires a big, centralized state government law to dictate a local community has no say in what monuments it allows.

If you have to force people to accept your monument, then perhaps your monument doesn't deserve to be there.

I agree. The current trend is for State laws forcing folks to keep monuments they don't want and to take care of them. Eventually that will fail.
 

jgoodguy

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I'll try to explain.

The monuments in question are equivalent to granite middle fingers sticking up in the faces of African-Americans. Not knowing you or your background I can't give you an example to which you can relate, but imagine a symbol that genuinely insults you--not just offends you, without the quotation marks, but in fact insults you--being placed in your neighborhood. Your opinion about it, your objection to it being placed there, is completely ignored. In fact, no one asks your opinion. It's just placed there, and you have to pass by it every day. And to add more insult to injury, you are taxed to pay for that symbol, to pay for erecting it, and to pay for its maintenance.

Would you want to tolerate its continued existence? Would you be satisfied with a "balancing" of that symbol with another symbol that only tangentially has anything to do with you?


And on the other side not much interest in the monuments other than under attended rallies and political pressure. The monuments are dead even to most CSA descendants who do not pay upkeep or even visit them.
 

huskerblitz

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And as for respect, it's incredible and actually disgusting to even mention that in this discussion. There is no statue of Antoine Dubuclet, Reconstruction black Treasurer of Louisiana, the rare State treasurer who didn't steal public money. There is no public statue for Andre Cailloux, a genuine black hero of the Civil War from New Orleans, who died on the battlefield.
Have any been proposed? What is stopping New Orleans residents from doing this? I guess I don't understand the mentality that goes with thoughts that, "well I don't have the ones I want so the other ones must come down."
 

jgoodguy

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Have any been proposed? What is stopping New Orleans residents from doing this? I guess I don't understand the mentality that goes with thoughts that, "well I don't have the ones I want so the other ones must come down."

I think the mentality is I don't like the ones I got and don't particularly like new ones of any kind.
 

DanF

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I don't understand the mentality that goes with thoughts that, "well I don't have the ones I want so the other ones must come down."

How about the related mentality? The one most often expressed on the forum by the Confederacy’s admirers, the one that says," if I can't have the ones I want all monuments need to come down. "

Plenty examples of that just on this thread.
 

sonofboth

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We have such things as national historic monuments and nationally important designations for certain buildings or places. If all and any of those are open to interpretation based on a certain perspective they can all be torn down. Then in another generation someone else could come along and tear down whatever new ones there are because it's politically expedient for them.

The movement against the Confederate flag and its monuments really started when Julian Bond was head of the NAACP in which he made the classic reference to the Confederate flag being equivalent to the horrors that happened in Germany in World War II. My father's and uncles all fought the Nazisand Japan in World War II one of them died another one lost a leg. paJulian Bond at the time stated that no African-American should serve in the Armed Forces of the United States because of slavery and the treatment American Negroes have had.

As for ethnic hatred no group of people have a monopoly on that commodity, and also xenophobia and feelings of racial superiority. I can guarantee you that in that exists in almost every ethnic community in America and around the world at least with some of its members. Lincoln's great quote about those who like slavery should try it on themselves I would apply to those who only see white supremacy and white racism as a problem, test that on themselves by living in some of the neighborhoods I grew up in, where you go down the wrong street and the wrong color it could cost you your life.

Both in the North and the South there was tremendous grief over the suffering and death of the war and everywhere there were statues put up honoring their fallen dead. Projecting on the other side the worst motives possible and basking in the perfection of the virtues of your particular views as a similar dynamic to ethnic prejudice. Of course it's the meat and bones of modern politics.
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18thVirginia

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We have such things as national historic monuments and nationally important designations for certain buildings or places. If all and any of those are open to interpretation based on a certain perspective they can all be torn down. Then in another generation someone else could come along and tear down whatever new ones there are because it's politically expedient for them.

The movement against the Confederate flag and its monuments really started when Julian Bond was head of the NAACP in which he made the classic reference to the Confederate flag being equivalent to the horrors that happened in Germany in World War II. My father's and uncles all fought the Nazisand Japan in World War II one of them died another one lost a leg. paJulian Bond at the time stated that no African-American should serve in the Armed Forces of the United States because of slavery and the treatment American Negroes have had.

As for ethnic hatred no group of people have a monopoly on that commodity, and also xenophobia and feelings of racial superiority. I can guarantee you that in that exists in almost every ethnic community in America and around the world at least with some of its members. Lincoln's great quote about those who like slavery should try it on themselves I would apply to those who only see white supremacy and white racism as a problem, test that on themselves by living in some of the neighborhoods I grew up in, where you go down the wrong street and the wrong color it could cost you your life.

Both in the North and the South there was tremendous grief over the suffering and death of the war and everywhere there were statues put up honoring their fallen dead. Projecting on the other side the worst motives possible and basking in the perfection of the virtues of your particular views as a similar dynamic to ethnic prejudice. Of course it's the meat and bones of modern politics.
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Julian Bond was president of the NAACP in 1998. The Liberty Place Monument in New Orleans was moved to a warehouse in 1989 and in 1993, the City Council voted to keep it out of public sight and declared it a "nuisance." The school superintendent in my rural community removed the Confederate flag from flying above the public schools in the early 1970s.
 

18thVirginia

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I'm going to assume you understand what a question is meant for. I wasn't denying there was a public forum, I was asking if there was. From what I've read it appears more coming from those in power than public. Further, your presumptive questions do not warrant replying.

Well, I don't actually know the numbers of white people, other minority people in New Orleans who've expressed how they might feel about moving the monuments because I don't live in that City, hence my question. But determining from far away that the request to move the monuments comes from officials seems rather "presumptive" to me.

When we were in New Orleans last month, we listened to a young black docent explaining how things had deteriorated for people of color in New Orleans as it became more "Americanized." The city is getting ready to celebrate its 300th birthday and perhaps the locals are more interested in their diverse heritage than in the incredible oppression of people of color fostered by "Americans" like Robert E. Lee and Jeff Davis. Their heritage goes a bit further back and has slightly more history than that of how the English-heritage settlers in Louisiana pushed for increasingly harsh laws against black people, free or enslaved.

But, perhaps that's a misplaced sentiment and New Orleanians should be restricted only to history post 1803 and should celebrate only the ascendance of English-heritage people in the city?
 
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cash

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We have such things as national historic monuments and nationally important designations for certain buildings or places. If all and any of those are open to interpretation based on a certain perspective they can all be torn down. Then in another generation someone else could come along and tear down whatever new ones there are because it's politically expedient for them.

If they were erected because it was politically expedient for those in power to do so, what's wrong with tearing them down because it's politically expedient for those in power to do so?

The movement against the Confederate flag and its monuments really started when Julian Bond was head of the NAACP in which he made the classic reference to the Confederate flag being equivalent to the horrors that happened in Germany in World War II. My father's and uncles all fought the Nazisand Japan in World War II one of them died another one lost a leg. paJulian Bond at the time stated that no African-American should serve in the Armed Forces of the United States because of slavery and the treatment American Negroes have had.

Or was that when some white Americans first began to listen to what black Americans were saying?

As for ethnic hatred no group of people have a monopoly on that commodity, and also xenophobia and feelings of racial superiority. I can guarantee you that in that exists in almost every ethnic community in America and around the world at least with some of its members. Lincoln's great quote about those who like slavery should try it on themselves I would apply to those who only see white supremacy and white racism as a problem, test that on themselves by living in some of the neighborhoods I grew up in, where you go down the wrong street and the wrong color it could cost you your life.

I grew up in Camden, NJ where I was one of only three white kids in my neighborhood, the other two being brothers. In my school, I was the only white kid in the class up through the end of 8th Grade.


Both in the North and the South there was tremendous grief over the suffering and death of the war and everywhere there were statues put up honoring their fallen dead. Projecting on the other side the worst motives possible and basking in the perfection of the virtues of your particular views as a similar dynamic to ethnic prejudice. Of course it's the meat and bones of modern politics.

Or it's completely accurate, especially when there are monuments that specifically say unequivocally they were celebrating the victory of white supremacy.
 

kevikens

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I'll try to explain.

The monuments in question are equivalent to granite middle fingers sticking up in the faces of African-Americans. Not knowing you or your background I can't give you an example to which you can relate, but imagine a symbol that genuinely insults you--not just offends you, without the quotation marks, but in fact insults you--being placed in your neighborhood. Your opinion about it, your objection to it being placed there, is completely ignored. In fact, no one asks your opinion. It's just placed there, and you have to pass by it every day. And to add more insult to injury, you are taxed to pay for that symbol, to pay for erecting it, and to pay for its maintenance.

Would you want to tolerate its continued existence? Would you be satisfied with a "balancing" of that symbol with another symbol that only tangentially has anything to do with you?
Thanks for the courtesy of a personal reply but for the life of me I cannot think of a statue, even one that is only half a V for Victory, getting me upset. It's not that I can't get upset about things. I get upset when I read Civil War mortality statistics, or watch presidential debates, or watch a Hollywood studio really foul up the history of a "docudrama". I just can't get upset about statues or plaques or stone memorials. Perhaps I am amused or bemused and gaze a moment or two and walk away shaking my head about a memorial to some colonel who led his men on a suicidal charge to oblivion (except for this monument). As for me personally I don't get upset by someone joking about my ethnicity (so blended I have no idea what it really is), my religion (who really insults Deists these days), my physical looks (at 72 I am glad I still have people looking at me). I don't mean to sound dismissive but with so many other matters to be concerned with I just cannot fathom why memorials to dead people create so much uproar. Of course if one makes it a high priority to go about life searching for offensive materials, with an innate (or acquired) zeal to eradicate them I am certain they will find something to occupy their interests. Hmm. perhaps a statue to Savonarola is called for.
 

cash

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Julian Bond was president of the NAACP in 1998. The Liberty Place Monument in New Orleans was moved to a warehouse in 1989 and in 1993, the City Council voted to keep it out of public sight and declared it a "nuisance." The school superintendent in my rural community removed the Confederate flag from flying above the public schools in the early 1970s.

There are folks who weren't listening to black peoples' opinions before then, though.

Edit to add: It was in June of 2004 that Julian Bond made that statement. The confederate flag was controversial for far longer than that.
 
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We have such things as national historic monuments and nationally important designations for certain buildings or places. If all and any of those are open to interpretation based on a certain perspective they can all be torn down. Then in another generation someone else could come along and tear down whatever new ones there are because it's politically expedient for them.

The movement against the Confederate flag and its monuments really started when Julian Bond was head of the NAACP in which he made the classic reference to the Confederate flag being equivalent to the horrors that happened in Germany in World War II. My father's and uncles all fought the Nazisand Japan in World War II one of them died another one lost a leg. paJulian Bond at the time stated that no African-American should serve in the Armed Forces of the United States because of slavery and the treatment American Negroes have had.

As for ethnic hatred no group of people have a monopoly on that commodity, and also xenophobia and feelings of racial superiority. I can guarantee you that in that exists in almost every ethnic community in America and around the world at least with some of its members. Lincoln's great quote about those who like slavery should try it on themselves I would apply to those who only see white supremacy and white racism as a problem, test that on themselves by living in some of the neighborhoods I grew up in, where you go down the wrong street and the wrong color it could cost you your life.

Both in the North and the South there was tremendous grief over the suffering and death of the war and everywhere there were statues put up honoring their fallen dead. Projecting on the other side the worst motives possible and basking in the perfection of the virtues of your particular views as a similar dynamic to ethnic prejudice. Of course it's the meat and bones of modern politics.
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As has already been pointed out, white supremacists erected monuments to the Lost Cause for the expressed and explicit purpose of putting their stamp on those events and establishing exactly whose heritage does and does not count. No monuments that I know of were erected by black southerners for the purpose of asserting black superiority. This makes the question about black people's attitudes towards whites utterly and profoundly beside the point.
 
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Bee

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I would apply to those who only see white supremacy and white racism as a problem, test that on themselves by living in some of the neighborhoods I grew up in, where you go down the wrong street and the wrong color it could cost you your life.

Having spent early childhood in a place once called Hell's Kitchen (pre-gentrification), my siblings and I made that mistake many times, and those little Irish escorts showed us the door. I don't hold everyone with an Irish last name responsible (yah hear that, Pat?)
 
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Mdiesel

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It seems to me the argument was made that the monument was erected "in the spirit of vindictiveness and white supremacy," in the words of Dr. Whitaker.

Interesting that the monument can't stand on its own merits but requires a big, centralized state government law to dictate a local community has no say in what monuments it allows.

If you have to force people to accept your monument, then perhaps your monument doesn't deserve to be there.

I wouldn't "force" people to do anything. All they need to do is change state law & then remove the perceived offending memorial.

Everything else, like the cost of removal, before the law is changed seems to be grand standing & attention seeking.
 

sonofboth

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Well my background is I can trace my ancestry back to Jamestown and the Mayflower and to the early Acadians. Which means I'm related to a hell of a lot of people in American history and probably a lot of you, given the mathematics of ancestry. My maternal grandmother was from Northern Ireland and I did spend some time as a kid in County Antrim. At least in Bonnie Belfast you know what neighborhood you're going into as a big mural telling you No Pope Here or Provisional IRA will warn you.

I guess the equivalent of that in the states is tagging. I certainly hope Bee you never had knives put your throat or razors as I have had with racial epithets attached or had family members assaulted and hospitalized. The part of being an adult is to be able to separate the sheep from the wolves and see the person first.

Yes people tear down other peoples monuments, the IRA blew up a statue of Lord Nelson years ago, and when Northern Ireland was separated from the Republic the Fenians quickly leveled the monument to the Battle of the Boyne and King Billy. My favorite statue is the one of Oscar Wilde in Dublin but I suppose some homophobes would not like it. However I think Oscar was the wittiest guy who ever lived next to Samuel Clements of course.

If you all remember Tulanes attempt to rename the dormitory that was built by the United Daughters of the Confederacy the judges ruled that they would have to pay the price for the construction of the dormitory in today's money. That's exactly what is going to happen with at least the Robert E Lee Monument since the land was transferred over, so at the very least are going to have to pay for the removal and relocation going to be very expensive.
 
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sonofboth

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Robert E. Lee

He was just a soldier and greatly helped during reconstruction. My wife who is half Lakota would say the same of Sherman and Sheridan and Lincoln. However bashing people from 150 years is rather pointless we were not in their shoes and faced the consequences they did and should restrain ourselves accordingly.
 

Mdiesel

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So you agree that "Birth of a Nation," "Gone With the Wind," and the erection of pro-Confederate monuments are examples of political correctness for their time? Because they reflected the dominant media spin of their time.

Sure Horace, they didn't use the phrase then but I quess it could apply. If that's your justification for removal of monuments then move to Virginia and ask a representative to vote to change the law & get ride of them.
 

rpkennedy

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He was just a soldier and greatly helped during reconstruction. My wife who is half Lakota would say the same of Sherman and Sheridan and Lincoln. However bashing people from 150 years is rather pointless we were not in their shoes and faced the consequences they did and should restrain ourselves accordingly.

He wasn't just a soldier; he was the commander of the major army of a rebellion dedicated to protecting slavery. And saying that he helped during Reconstruction is overstating it a bit.

R
 
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