Restricted VMI Board of Visitors to remove Jackson statue

vmicraig

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When determining the reasoning for events that I don’t see a clear logical situation for, my husband says, “follow the money.”
He believes that most of not all of the times such situations are present, there seems to also be a direct correlation to a financial situation at the root.

In this case, I could see decreased alumni donations, reduced applications, loss of revenues and possibly large donations for buildings and infrastructure being withheld because of what could be perceived as an non politically correct stance.

Of course the same can be said of those who appreciate the historical components of VMI and what that history means to so many.

But, it wouldn’t shock me to later learn it came down to financial reasons. And, it’s a real shame that money can be the evil it tends to be.
Nope - purely political reasons behind it. Nothing financial to gain at all except the funding that Governor Northam and his crew implied could be withheld if VMI did not remove the statuary. He has his agenda and the Former Superintendent did not agree with it, hence his forced resignation last week after Northam's Chief of Staff told him he had to go. That's a whole other argument, though.
 

Georgia

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And this is what “trendy” anarchists (& those who cow down to them) do. Confederate memorials are just the low hanging PC fruit, because by extension no American history is safe. Don’t get me started. Of course, the “chiseling” away of Mt. Rushmore is gonna be more problematic, but this is what totalitarian regimes try to do. Erase all history; indoctrinate the younger generation (been to a leftist college campus lately?); and eventually self-destruct. Easy be a “Monday morning QB” from 160 year old vantage point.
I see your Mount Rushmore and raise you Stone Mountain. (There’s nothing kind about the situation that created it- the family who had the bas relief done was supposedly racist, happened during the beginnings of the Civil Rights/Segregation issues in Georgia, etc.)
 

Pete Longstreet

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I’m sick of not knowing what to do. I’ve asked friends who happen to be black and I get varied answers from them as to the interpretation and how they feel concerning things like monuments. I believe it’s the same if you ask white persons- some may be more sensitive to things than others.

I know there isn’t a playbook and there definitely isn’t an answer that will satisfy and please all. But, I’d do better with the changes if I knew what was trying to be accomplished and to what end the line will
be drawn. Are founding father’s getting a pass? Should they? If they do, then why not this person?

What’s the goal of these activities and are we sure we are doing the correct measures?
You'll never satisfy everyone, so that's why we as Americans try to compromise and find "middle ground". But in today's world, there is no compromising, it's just do whatever to drive a certain agenda. As far as the founding fathers getting a pass... they aren't, and neither is the entire history of the United States.
 

James N.

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I see your Mount Rushmore and raise you Stone Mountain. (There’s nothing kind about the situation that created it- the family who had the bas relief done was supposedly racist, happened during the beginnings of the Civil Rights/Segregation issues in Georgia, etc.)
Not so - the design dates at least to the 1920's when noted sculptor Gutzon Borglum of later Mount Rushmore fame was engaged to do the work. (There have been several previous threads here on Stone Mountain you might want to search.) In fact, around that time the U.S. Mint issued a commemorative quarter depicting the original Lee-Jackson centeral group. Borglum has been accused of racism but that really has nothing to do with his work on the sculpture, which was massive by comparison with what's there now. Regardless, his work slowed and eventually stopped altogether and he then moved on to Mount Rushmore leaving an unfinished work that was later removed to be finished by others; not until the 1970's was it more or less "completed."
 
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As I do not subscribe to The Washington Post I was unable to open the link you provided but I did find a similar one here and from the VMI here.

Sounds like horrible news that will obliterate a significant part of VMI's (and Virginia's) history.

Also, what perverse logic leads to this statement:
"The Board ordered the statue of Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson moved from the front of the historic barracks to an appropriate location, perhaps the Battlefield at New Market"?
Why the battlefield at New Market? General Jackson had been dead for over a year when the Battle for New market was waged?
If the statue is moved to another battlefield, I think Antietam, Manassas or even Chancellorsville would be more appropriate.
 

Georgia

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Not so - the design dates at least to the 1920's when noted sculptor Gutzon Borglum of later Mount Rushmore fame was engaged to do the work. (There have been several previous threads here on Stone Mountain you might want to search.) In fact, around that time the U.S. Mint issued a commemorative quarter depicting the original Lee-Jackson centeral group. Borglum has been accused of racism but that really has nothing to do with his work on the sculpture, which was massive by comparison with what's there now. Regardless, his work slowed and eventually stopped altogether and he then moved on to Mount Rushmore leaving an unfinished work that was later removed to be finished by others; not until the 1970's was it more or less "completed."
Thank you for explaining more about Stone Mountain.
Borglum had begun working on Lee before he lost interest/money dried up/was enticed by Mount Rushmore and left the project. The initial part that Borglum had carved of Lee was removed after he left the project when Lukeman took over. Work was done on the bas relief until funding ran out- think it was late 20’s.
The project hung out for forty years until a past Governor, (Griffin), bought Stone Mountain for 2 million dollars in ‘64. (Griffin was a known proponent of segregation.)
During this time in the mid 60’s, Georgia was trying to work through all the changes that segregation brought and Griffin began immediately having the carvings start back up on the mountain to counter attack these changes.
The park was “dedicated” in 1970 and the KKK used the property to burn crosses and hold meetings and rallys.
So to those of us from this area, it has a very specific initial use. Now, in the later years, late 80’s-early 90’s I think it was, a big laser show was added and that was the big draw to the park. You’d go, enjoy the day or afternoon, picnic and then sit on your quilt and watch the laser show on the mountainside. I seem to recall there was a portion of the laser show when Traveller, Little Sorrel and Blackjack were galloping.

So, in today’s world- in general, it’s more picnic park, less KKK meeting site although the Klan does push buttons and keeps trying to get approvals to use the location for cross burnings.

It’s just going to be difficult for this monument to be modified because the Georgia law that was passed to get the state flag changed to remove the battle flag /what locals call the stars and bars ( which I learned on another thread here this isn’t the real name of that style flag) in 2001 had an attachment that says the carvings can’t be “obscured, changed, covered or removed for all time.” ( paraphrased the last bit but basically, hands off the carvings for all times)

So, I apologize if my earlier post made it sound as though the Stone Mountain carving wasn’t only a product of the 50’s.
The work you see today on the side of the mountain just is modern in my eyes as the majority of it was completed mostly during my lifetime and I don’t like to think of myself as vintage. At least not yet. :wink:
 
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James N.

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If the statue is moved to another battlefield, I think Antietam, Manassas or even Chancellorsville would be more appropriate.
Agreed they would be appropriate locations; unfortunately, the NPS wants desperately to stay out of any controversy and actively attempted to avoid having a statue of Lee erected at Antietam. They failed, but try to play down the one there, so certainly wouldn't want to add Jackson to the mix. Of course, Manassas already has it's own stone monolith depicting Jackson standing on Henry House Hill, so doubtless doesn't want another - though the RR Cut would be a likely place for one. Chancellorsville really doesn't have a very good location, but would at least be possible - except of course for NPS resistance!
 

James N.

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... So, I apologize if my earlier post made it sound as though the Stone Mountain carving wasn’t only a product of the 50’s.
The work you see today on the side of the mountain just is modern in my eyes as the majority of it was completed mostly during my lifetime and I don’t like to think of myself as vintage. At least not yet. :wink:
Neither do I, but unfortunately I too fall within that period. I've posted this photo previously, but Stone Mountain was one of the Civil War-related sites we visited on our honeymoon in 1968:

Image (18).jpg
 

Quaama

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If the statue is moved to another battlefield, I think Antietam, Manassas or even Chancellorsville would be more appropriate.

Regrettably, I do not think that would work because when Section 442 of H.R.7608 is passed it will be on the move again.

Section 442 states:
"Notwithstanding any other provision of law or policy to the contrary, within 180 days of enactment of this Act, the National Park Service shall remove from display all physical Confederate commemorative works, such as statues, monuments, sculptures, memorials, and plaques, as defined by NPS, Management Policies 2006, §9.6.1."
 

vmicraig

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Regrettably, I do not think that would work because when Section 442 of H.R.7608 is passed it will be on the move again.

Section 442 states:
"Notwithstanding any other provision of law or policy to the contrary, within 180 days of enactment of this Act, the National Park Service shall remove from display all physical Confederate commemorative works, such as statues, monuments, sculptures, memorials, and plaques, as defined by NPS, Management Policies 2006, §9.6.1."
So how will this play out in the dozens of National Battlefield
Parks that have confederate statuary on the grounds? Leave the Union statues and destroy the confederate statues?
 

Quaama

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So how will this play out in the dozens of National Battlefield
Parks that have confederate statuary on the grounds? Leave the Union statues and destroy the confederate statues?

I'm sorry to say that is exactly how it reads to me.

When they'e done the battlefields will look like a very one-sided affair, all one and none of the other.
 

Georgia

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I'm sorry to say that is exactly how it reads to me.

When they'e done the battlefields will look like a very one-sided affair, all one and none of the other.
Will the parks and battlefields be affected as well? What about historic homes of those who fought for the confederacy? In that vein, they’d have to consider what to do to with Arlington.
 

Quaama

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Will the parks and battlefields be affected as well? What about historic homes of those who fought for the confederacy? In that vein, they’d have to consider what to do to with Arlington.

I don't think Arlington would be covered by that proposed law.

I do think it would cover everything you can find on this webpage as they are all managed by the National Park Service. [Many of those are unlikely to have any physical Confederate commemorative works, such as statues, monuments, sculptures, memorials, and plaques but all the Battlefields they manage would be affected.]
 

oldsouth46

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It has been decided. Jackson statue is being removed. Jackson Memorial Hall will eventually be renamed as will all buildings named for confederates (over half of VMIs buildings)


View attachment 380229
VMI played a pivotal role in the Battle of New Market and it has been instilled in every class since so what is being accomplished by removing everything that pertains to the Confederacy? Nothing except what Governor Northam thinks what is right for everyone and then the BOV not taking a stand for the history of VMI is sickening. Get a backbone, when you do something to “heal” one segment you stab a knife into another. That’s not the way it works.
 

unionblue

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I guess we will all see if VMI is strong enough to survive without the Jackson statue, that it can continue it's academic standing, it's military professionalism, and the courage to meet the future instead of fear it.
 

Georgia

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As I do not subscribe to The Washington Post I was unable to open the link you provided but I did find a similar one here and from the VMI here.

Sounds like horrible news that will obliterate a significant part of VMI's (and Virginia's) history.

Also, what perverse logic leads to this statement:
"The Board ordered the statue of Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson moved from the front of the historic barracks to an appropriate location, perhaps the Battlefield at New Market"?
Why the battlefield at New Market? General Jackson had been dead for over a year when the Battle for New market was waged?
(Believe that battle had an entire class from VMI on the battlefield that day...sorry, obviously not a VMI alum. But, I think that there was a specific connection of the Battle of New Market and VMI. )
 

James N.

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UB, it can survive without the Jackson statue, it can't survive political correctness.
Then it doesn't deserve to survive.

I cannot believe, with all it's examples of past courage and strength, it will not find a path to survive and remain a great and strong institution.
I can easily believe - in fact, I'd bet on it. Once we've given up and given in to the current climate of cancel culture there will no longer be any traditions or examples of past courage and strength allowed that promote love of country for anyone to follow; all traditions before 1968 will be denigrated and/or removed from public memory. I felt much like this during what should've been MY war, the bloodbath and folly that was Vietnam - only the great traditions of past accomplishments kept me among the faithful and patriotic citizenry and out of the mass of the anti-war crowd of Commies, hippies, and other losers.
 
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