August 18, 2017

"The anger and action aimed at the statues are reminiscent of recent controversies over two prominent artworks..."

"... Dana Schutz’s painting 'Open Casket' depicting Emmett Till, the murdered African-American teenager, in the Whitney Biennial, and Sam Durant’s sculpture gallows 'Scaffold,' at the Walker Art Center’s sculpture garden, which was denounced by Native American groups for recalling an act of genocide. Protesters objected to both pieces on racial, ethnic, and historical grounds and called for their removal or destruction. Neither work celebrated the Confederacy or slavery, however, and both were created as art rather than as public memorials like some of the statues now being removed."

Created as art? What does that even mean? They were political and intentionally so.

The passage is from "Trump Aside, Artists and Preservationists Debate the Rush to Topple Statues" (NYT).

Both "Open Casket" and "Scaffold" were discussed on the blog. Here:
But why would the Whitney choose ["Open Casket"] for its vaunted biennial? You could say that the Whitney should want art that challenges us, but this is simply bad. The historical photograph speaks for itself. What did Schutz contribute with her simplified and smeared paint job?
And here:
What were the mental processes of the elite arts people who decided this was a good idea? Now, they have to backtrack, because their mistake was so bad and they want to salvage their reputation. They're dismantling the thing they should never have put up. That's not censorship. That's belated shame.
Also from the NYT article:
[Some] argue that removing a statue from its place of origin diminishes the power of its historical significance. “The meanings and the history that we are able to draw from them in a different site, especially a sort of sanitized site like a museum, are not going to be the same,” said Michele H. Bogart, a professor at Stony Brook University. “That is a historical loss.”
This is an important point: Don't sanitize the history. Some people say the history remains the same when the statue is taken down. They're probably thinking of the history of the Civil War. But there's also the history of putting up monuments.

The statues were put up by white people who wanted to express something, and they are now being taken down because white people are ashamed of what they expressed back then. They want to delete the old evidence and use the deletion as the creation of new evidence — evidence of how kindly white people really are. Why should white people have such an easy time covering up their shame? Removing the statues can be portrayed as a kindness toward black people, but critical race theory teaches us to presume that what white people do they do for themselves.

150 comments:

Achilles said...

The polls must have been really bad for the leftists and their little airbrushing project.

Earnest Prole said...

That 180 was so dramatic that it should by all rights be called a 360.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Vandalism on a statue of Father Serra at Mission San Fernando

tcrosse said...

...critical race theory teaches us to presume that what white people do they do for themselves.

Which suggests that the removal of the memorial plaque at Forest Hill Cemetery was strictly to benefit Paul Soglin's political ambitions. Or is that too cynical ?

Craig said...

"This is an important point: Don't sanitize the history. Some people say the history remains the same when the statue is taken down. They're probably thinking of the history of the Civil War. But there's also the history of putting up monuments."

---

This is an interesting point, but there is something just barely off about it. On the one hand, which monuments which already put up and when cannot change any more than the civil war can change: in both cases, the history remains the same. The argument of "some people" works just as well for your new focus as it does for the old. On the other hand, what we do in the future can change: it is up to us whether the monuments stay up or come down, that history is not yet written. And that history is not yet sanitized.

Of course, you might instead have said that the telling of history or the describing of history should not be sanitized. That, too, is an interesting argument. But that argument works for both the history of the civil war and the history of us putting up the monuments. The stakes may differ somewhat between the two, but in both cases, easing white guilt may be some sort of goal we should be aware of.

Craig said...

Also, this sort of argument could easily lead to us meta-monumenting: putting up monuments around the existing monuments with state-sanctioned descriptions of Lee, Jackson, et al. as vicious traitors and the rightful subject of American loathing. It does not need to lead to us leaving things as is. (Especially if we, say, wanted to take the input of people other than right-wingers and the old South into account.)

MikeD said...

History, now the illegitimate child of Post Modernism.

Tarrou said...

You overthink things, Althouse.

Politics is only ever about two things. Which troop of monkeys gets the bananas and which gets shit thrown on them. Tearing down monuments is the shit-throwing.

You don't need analysis, you don't need reason or logic. All you need to know is which troop you belong to.

tim in vermont said...

One thing is for sure, whatever replaces it will suck in terms of technical mastery, comparatively, which is another lefty thing, talent offends them.

Mark said...

A lot of these Confederate memorials were put up in the wake of the Spanish-American War and around the time of the 50th anniversary of the war -- with the support of the northern states -- as a sign of reconciliation and healing, recognizing the tragedy suffered on both sides, including the blood shed by all those Johnny Rebs.

buwaya said...

Tarrou is correct.

Bay Area Guy said...

The Left has one objective -- the will to power. All of these shenanigans are just exotic means to that end.

They hate Trump, mostly, because he has the power they want. They quash right-wing speakers on campuses, they tear down statues, they will soon be burning books -- in the name of fighting racism.

johns said...

I just feel that the NYT and the historians and lots of other people are way over-thinking this issue. I grew up in the upper Midwest, and every time I was in the South and saw statues of Confederate "heroes" I assumed that it reflected an attitude by the South of "we're not sorry, and if we could, we would revive the Old South." I still believe that. Many of the statues were put up in the 20th century, which makes it even worse in my mind. I can see having monuments at battlefields, but not in public squares in front of courthouses and such. AS many here have said, it is glorifying the losers.
Also, as impressive an individual as Robert E. Lee was, I do not respect him or venerate him. If he loved his glorious Virginia as much as he claimed, then he should have worked tirelessly to settle the conflict without being an agent in the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of his countrymen.

Achilles said...

Tarrou said...

Politics is only ever about two things. Which troop of monkeys gets the bananas and which gets shit thrown on them. Tearing down monuments is the shit-throwing.

Undeniable.

This is why libertarians are so bad at politics. We want to grow our own bananas and we don't like throwing shit at people.

buwaya said...

Yes, there was a surge of reconciliation propaganda around 1898.

Among other things there were gestures like giving ex-Confederate officers field commands-

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Wheeler

Gahrie said...

but critical race theory teaches us to presume that what white people do they do for themselves.

You say that like it is a good thing.

Gahrie said...

but critical race theory teaches us to presume that what white people do they do for themselves.

like creating a civilization, culture and nation that has produced the highest standard of living for the most number of people in history. A civilization, culture and nation so evil and racist that every colored person in the world wants to move here, and many of them are actually dying in the process.

buwaya said...

"we're not sorry, and if we could, we would revive the Old South." I still believe that. Many of the statues were put up in the 20th century, which makes it even worse in my mind."

This is mere human nature. Any virile people would feel the same way, deep down, else they would no longer be a people. And this would be true whether they were "right" or "wrong", if these are meaningful.

"AS many here have said, it is glorifying the losers"

These things are glorifying their people. These are their heroes, losers or not.

wild chicken said...

Weren't some monuments just political sops to southerners as integration became inevitable? It was a tough pull to swallow.

wild chicken said...

Pill. PILL.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

"The statues were put up by white people who wanted to express something, and they are now being taken down because white people are ashamed of what they expressed back then. They want to delete the old evidence and use the deletion as the creation of new evidence — evidence of how kindly white people really are. Why should white people have such an easy time covering up their shame? Removing the statues can be portrayed as a kindness toward black people, but critical race theory teaches us to presume that what white people do they do for themselves."

This is just like when Althouse white-splained to the Brit that working class folks were responsible for DJT's boost and win. It was actually racial resentment that made DJT the POTUS:

"Using this and other data, political scientists have argued that racial resentment is the strongest predictor of whether voters flipped from Mr. Obama to Mr. Trump, and the biggest driver of Trump support among these voters."

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/15/upshot/the-obama-trump-voters-are-real-heres-what-they-think.html


In Althouse's world everything revolves around whites. Zero consideration re how minorities think and vote. By default, zero consideration. The invisible man indeed.

How does an otherwise highly functional mind end up w/ such a massive blind spot like that?

Triangle Man said...

The statues are not (as far as I have heard) being replaced with something anti-shameful, they are just being removed.

Bob Boyd said...

This isn't about the past. It's about the future.

Despite hating the cause the Confederacy fought for, Americans, in their DNA, sympathize with the idea of having to take up arms against the government in defense of their rights. It's fundamental to our identity. It's a part of our social contract.

The Progs are attacking that idea.

Mark said...

Some people simply do not get that the whole point of the Civil War was to restore the Union. To unite as one people. No longer us vs. them. No longer Yankees and Rebs. These people would now again divide our nation. The union which was hard fought to obtain, they would throw in the trash. That is their idea of tribute to those men of the Union who fought and bled and died -- they would piss all over their valor and the peace that they obtained.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

This is an important point: Don't sanitize the history.

Leftists insist. Because Trump hate.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

According to Althouse if some white person spray paints the N word on a black person's house, it's doing a favor to white folks to remove the painted N word.

Zero consideration.

Michael K said...

"They hate Trump, mostly, because he has the power they want."

Yes. This pretty much says it,

What Trump loses to elite Republican and conservative disdain expressed in op-eds and news show round tables or to Lindsey Graham and John McCain-like denunciations, he has more than made up with new populist Republican support in small towns and communities nationwide. For now, it is hard to imagine any other potential Republican nominee rallying a crowd like Trump or appealing to the losers of globalization in such dramatic fashion.

That we are, once again, being advised that Republican grandees are looking for a new version of Evan McMullin, or that a cranky John Kasich will reenter the primary race in 2020, or that Jeff Flake insists that he is the moral superior to those who stooped to vote for Trump, to be honest, means nada.

More than 90 percent of Republicans voted for Trump before he had a political record, and about the same will do it again based on his conservative agenda as expressed and enacted so far. If the economy hits 3 percent economic growth, with near 4 percent unemployment, the Dow does not crash, and if the Russian collusion charges end up only with symbolic scalps (and all that is possible if not likely), Trump will win over half the independents, solidify his base and likely take the Electoral College.


The losers are in a rage because they are outside looking in.

Ann Althouse said...

"'but critical race theory teaches us to presume that what white people do they do for themselves.' You say that like it is a good thing."

It's a good thing to notice and not to be conned.

You should at least run things through that test. Are white people making any sacrifices for the sake of people of color or are they using them for their own purposes? You should stop and ask.

More generally, any time anyone does or wants to do anything, you should ask how its for their own benefit. You should always question whether purported altruism is just a cover.

mccullough said...

Expiating white guilt by razing statues is easy. White people giving their wealth to blacks is hard.

Browndog said...

Some monuments were put up as part of Reconciliation, most were put up by Democrats....that opposed Reconciliation.

As a Michigan boy, I'll leave it to the southerners to honor their war dead as they see fit.

As a white man, I bear responsibility to no one in the Battle of Monuments. Everyone knows this is wrong, on some level.

EVERYONE.

Ann Althouse said...

"According to Althouse if some white person spray paints the N word on a black person's house, it's doing a favor to white folks to remove the painted N word."

You lost the agency in your hypo. Who's doing the removing?

The black person whose home it is might want to keep it up, at least for a while, just like Emmett Till's mother wanted the open casket.

If white people show up immediately to whitewash the evidence, it's worth thinking about whether they are doing it for white people. Yes. That's exactly what I am saying.

Not saying I know, just that you should think it through in these terms.

David said...

The statues were put up by white people who wanted to express something, and they are now being taken down because white people are ashamed of what they expressed back then. They want to delete the old evidence and use the deletion as the creation of new evidence — evidence of how kindly white people really are. Why should white people have such an easy time covering up their shame? Removing the statues can be portrayed as a kindness toward black people, but critical race theory teaches us to presume that what white people do they do for themselves.

Bingo. They have no shame. At least the politicians in best position to allow these things to bd expunged do not. Many of these have been in a position to remove these things, or at least call for their removal, for a long time. Suddenly they are woke? Maybe a few. There is human moral variation as well as biological. But the politicians are of a moral type, which means that the ones who actually do things for reasons other than self interest are rare.

Gahrie said...

You should at least run things through that test. Are white people making any sacrifices for the sake of people of color or are they using them for their own purposes? You should stop and ask.

Why use the modifier "White" on people? Because of course the assumption is that only evil greedy White people would and do act that way....which is...wait for it...racist.

White people are so consumed with oppressing people of color that they not only created institutional racism that discriminates against Whites in favor of people of color, but they also send billions of dollars of both private and public money all over the world each year in an attempt to improve the lives of people of color.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

I did see that. That's why I quoted the whole thing.

But, it's not enough wiggle room for the point you're making before that later jabber. The first point is in your voice. The POV is your voice. Just cause you decided to have an addendum making fun of libs doesn't mean that you left wiggle room before that.

Maybe you should proofread.

Gahrie said...

If white people show up immediately to whitewash the evidence, it's worth thinking about whether they are doing it for white people. Yes. That's exactly what I am saying.

Not saying I know, just that you should think it through in these terms.


Because that would make it much easier to eliminate all the hate and distrust on both sides right?

What happened to assuming the best of people instead of the worst. Isn't that exactly how we got here?

Gahrie said...

White people giving their wealth to blacks is hard.

Not really...we've been doing it for quite a while now.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

Re the hypo,

I'm fine w/ your response. I will agree that if someone runs over someone else w/ a car, they very well may try to hide it, or in some other way get away w/ it.

But, I'd like to provide hospital care to the victim, and I'd like to see the driver forced to pay back society appropriately as determined by law. You'd like to let the victim turn into a rotting corpse on the street while the driver goes about their business as if nothing happened.

buwaya said...

I am in an interesting position -

To begin with, "Gone With The Wind" was my abuelita's favorite movie (second to "Three Came Home", look it up). For excellent reasons.

We have, on our side, collectively gone through not one but three "Gone With The Wind" situations, to some degree, in 1898, 1936-39, and 1941-45. In every case someone lost Tara, there were Rhett Butlers, there were Scarletts, and everything was upside down - to settle again right side up, more or less.

So I understand those Confederates.

Feste said...

It’s not as if critical race theorists are isolate scientists submitting propositions to a conditional community through whom the truth of a matter is to be found. The members of communities of interpretation are not mere passive voyeurs of art, reliquaries, statues, nor statutes, but are ingredient in determinations of objective meaning. I say there can be meaning in a present moment, and meaning in a present monument put up in the past, in an immediate experimental result (keep, not keep a statue), but beyond this instant there is a mediate continuum of inferential community (and communities), that cannot be cut off from generality by Occam’s razor, cutting down statues or constructing them, because we traffic in signs and we find objectivity in a future too, if still conditional, community (or communities) of interpretation, and not in merely individual Occamistic things, including isolate race suspicions. One con among many cons in the present moment is to believe - instantly - that statues are removed by blacks or whites for any greater reason beyond a political NIMBY - I love my statues, but don’t want riots, NIMBY.

Browndog said...

This started with 1 Flag.

Nikki Haley caved, giving the liberals an inch.

After the first Civil War is finally won by the 2nd Civil War, I look forward to the Spanish Conquistadors and French Missionaries to finally get their just deserts!

buwaya said...

" I look forward to the Spanish Conquistadors "

We are already here, biding our time.

Ralph L said...

Yankees Go Home!

The SC capitol flag was put up in the 1950's in defiance of civil rights progress. It should have come down decades ago, but people (in SC especially) don't like being told what to do.

Browndog said...

Vandalism on a statue of Father Serra at Mission San Fernando

Thanks for the heads up-

They even painted a swastika on the statue. The local news interviewed a young white kid, and said he thought the statue should come down because it represented "hate".

This rotting of the mind, of morals, brought to you by "higher education". Probably white professors, and their quilt.

Ralph L said...

Many monuments were put up by the United Daughters of the Confederacy and veterans groups to honor their dead friends and fathers before they kicked off themselves.

At the turn of the century, my mother's grandfather was head of her county's veterans' group, despite being 16 in 1865, and living 30 miles away until 1890.

Henry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Henry said...

But there's also the history of putting up monuments.

Sure enough, but there's a literal physical problem with preserving all of that history of stuff people built. Short term, it was fine -- graves were dug and tombstones placed. Many years later, when the shade trees had grown, people came with plaques. There was always plenty of room in the cemetery.

But graveyards do fill up.

Sometimes history is ugly buildings. Some of the ugly buildings were built because there were ugly buildings to replace. We miss the earlier ugly buildings, not the later.

There is a strong human drive to topple things over and replace them with something new.

Henry said...

Nobody celebrates Bastille construction day.

George Vie said...

"Vandalism on a statue of Father Serra at Mission San Fernando"

and vandalism (“Take it Down”) on the statute of Joan of Arc, or Joanie on the Pony as some call it here, in the French Quarter. But perhaps it is a counterprotest to the four statutes the City already took down as public nuisances.

Unknown said...

If you replace "white people" in the last paragraph with "Democrats," you would be closer to the truth.

George Vie said...

I meant the statue of Joan of Arc, of course.

There’s that statute/statue problem, again.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Flashback: When Obama Declared That There Were "Many Sides" to Blame for Islamist Terrorism -- Especially Christianity -- Media Not Only Defended Him, But Castigated Critics Who'd Dispute Obama's "Many-Sides-ism"

Michael K said...

"The local news interviewed a young white kid, and said he thought the statue should come down because it represented "hate". "

The closest university is UCI which has a large Palestinian contingent with a very active PLO outfit.

I;m a little surprised they didn't think he was a Jew.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

More: At the eulogy for five dead Dallas cops assassinated by a Black Lives Matter terrorist, Barack "Many Sides" Obama offered this observation:

"We have all seen this bigotry in our lives at some point," obama told an audience of about 2,500 at a concert hall in Dallas. "None of us is entirely innocent. No institution is entirely immune. And that includes our police departments. We know this."

Telling cops they're racist at a funeral for their own was, by the media's estimation, the height of cosmopolitan nuance and sophistication.

Rabel said...

"Are white people making any sacrifices for the sake of people of color or are they using them for their own purposes?"

Two days ago I loaned my lawn mower to my Black neighbor for the third freaking time this summer. As he rolled it down the driveway I felt the weight of 150 years of guilt lifted from my shoulders. My purposes were served. However he was supposed to put some gas in it and didn't so I may have to break out the whip.

And this is serious race stuff so let's not have any Meade jokes. No Mexican jokes either.

Ralph L said...

They also didn't have money to spare for decades after the War.

Considering the South lost nearly 300,000 men in a white population of 5.5 million, can anyone blame them for wanting to memorialize their Glorious Dead?

Would any American today be willing to fight for just about reason with those odds of survival?

Ralph L said...

DB@H, I'm glad I missed that last one at the time. Disgusting.

Jupiter said...

".. and they are now being taken down because white people are ashamed of what they expressed back then."

No, they're being taken down because they were chosen as the latest in a long, long line of pretexts for Mau-Mauing, and the flack-catchers are still in eat-me-last mode.

Feste said...

It’s beyond Repubs and Demos, for if we gave advanced technologies to Rousseauvian nature children, with a wee Bacon added (not Trump’s blood letting pigs - the science), then maybe the mud, stone, and straw hovels of the Seven Cities of Cibola would have been erected as gilded girdered-skyscrapers, sweeping metalized and glassine towers, and militarized for the moment, as instant monuments, with pseudospecies tribes emerging aplenty in competitions for its use.

Otto said...

This taking down a statue has some real virtue. A recent study showed that for every statue taken down black high school PSAT scores goes up by a point. Just 300 statues and voila we have equality.The great problem of our time, racism, will be eliminated by a rope and winch system.

Browndog said...

No Mexican jokes either.

"Mexican Word or the Day" is always worth a good chuckle.

We are nearing a stage in this country where humor is "offensive".

Rabel said...

"... they are now being taken down because white people are ashamed of what they expressed back then."

Yeah. That's why they're doing it.

Lydia said...

The statues were put up by white people who wanted to express something, and they are now being taken down because white people are ashamed of what they expressed back then.

Are we not to consider the black people who want them taken down?

Ken B said...

Did you see the attacks on Elvis Presley? The south voted for Trump so it's open season on the south. It's been open season on lower class whites for a long time. This is just a continuation of the politics of resentment.

Browndog said...

I recall this quip from yesterday-

"Blacks that were never slaves are fighting whites that were never nazis, over statues put up by democrats."

Ken B said...

Those scoffing at Althouse's point seem to have missed it. Her observation is about the possible motives of the statue removers. Are they doing it as moral masturbation for example? Most of those criticizing her actually agree that they are.

Browndog said...

Are they doing it as moral masturbation for example?

I guess when "they" are boiled down to "white people", it can be a little off-putting.

Lydia said...

A little perspective from the African American side -- from a speech made by the mayor of New Orleans this past May when some Confederate monuments were removed:

Another friend asked me to consider these four monuments from the perspective of an African American mother or father trying to explain to their fifth grade daughter who Robert E. Lee is and why he stands atop of our beautiful city. Can you do it? . . .

And in the second decade of the 21st century, asking African Americans - or anyone else - to drive by property that they own; occupied by reverential statues of men who fought to destroy the country and deny that person's humanity seems perverse and absurd. Centuries old wounds are still raw because they never healed right in the first place. Here is the essential truth. We are better together than we are apart.

tim in vermont said...

who fought to destroy the country and deny that person's humanity It wasn't their humanity that was denied, it was their legal personhood, you know, like unborn babies.

Rabel said...

"Are they doing it as moral masturbation for example?"

The Laslo light is lit.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

It's the "I hate Trump" butthurt carnival...over and over... morphing.
Trump hasn't riled these people - the leftwing church of Stephen Colbert & CNN-NBC, have.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

"Are they doing it as moral masturbation for example?"

The people who require morality of themselves are better than the people who only demand morality from others.

IMHO.

Michael K said...

""Mexican Word or the Day" is always worth a good chuckle."

"First three words a Mexican child learns: "Attention K Mart Shoppers" a Mexican American doctor friend told me that one.

David said...

I assumed that it reflected an attitude by the South of "we're not sorry, and if we could, we would revive the Old South." I still believe that. Many of the statues were put up in the 20th century, which makes it even worse in my mind. I can see having monuments at battlefields, but not in public squares in front of courthouses and such.

That's the problem with assumptions. The fact that so many of the monuments were erected in the early part of the 20th Century is assumed by liberals to mean that it was a significant part of the effort to subjugate and intimidate blacks. Right wingers tend to argue that it's evidence of Democratic Party racism and it's seminal 20th Century representative, Woodrow Wilson.

Neither is correct.

The principal cause was the Reconciliation Movement, which was a massive effort by white Union veterans, soon joined by their counterparts in the south, to memorialize and advance the healing of the nation. If you overlaid the building of northern monuments over the chart that is circulating showing the surge in southern ones, you would see a similar pattern. The monument building was surging north and south. It wasn't southerners trying to intimidate blacks. It was white people of both regions trying to further cement the end of the war, which was still a real not theoretical force in many minds.

The northern monuments began earlier because the north was the victor and for the practical reason that the north had money and the south did not. The growth of southern monuments mirrors the beginnings of the economic recovery of the south. For example the Boston Common monument was completed in 1877 and the Robert Gould Shaw Memorial (one of the few to feature black soldiers) in 1883.

To be sure blacks were not included in the effort. Black Union vets complained about the loss of focus on Civil Rights. But this focus was lost far before the monument surge. The seminal moment was the election of 1876, which went to the House of Representatives, where the Democrats traded the presidency for the end of Reconstruction. The rights of blacks had already been sacrificed by the activist Jim Crow Democrat southern whites and the increasingly indifferent northern whites. The south did not need a bunch of soldier statues to do what it wanted to do.

None of this has any relevance to whether the monuments should stand or go now. But the made up assertion that these monuments were designed to intimidate blacks is Fake History. The racist Democrats had better means to achieve that. These means included taking advantage of an indifferent white north. But they did not need these monuments to achieve what had already been done.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Mexican word of the day (from a few years back): USBank

What do you do when your kids are bad? USbank-em.

Browndog said...

If you believe removing all Confederate monuments in this country will lead to today's racial healing, raise your hand.

Maybe, this is just the Left asserting it's power over the masses, using faux moral outrage, yet again.

Yet, people wonder how a 10% muslim population can assert sharia law over an entire country.

They say the victors write the history. Explain why liberals, that can't win an election, are writing/re-writing ours.

Feste said...

David said...8/18/17, 7:53

Powerful. And, thank you.

Richard Dillman said...

I really enjoyed Charles Barkley's take on the statue wars. Check out this link to a video of his comments or look it up under something like "Charles Barkley on Confederate Statues"

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/early-lead/wp/2017/08/18/charles-barkley-im-not-going-to-waste-my-time-worrying-about-these-confederate-statues/?utm_term=.d144b20aba36

Ken B said...

So 3rdGrade, how is demanding that people a thousand miles away do something requiring morality only of yourself? I know Canadians who "demand" that the statues come down. What are they asking of themselves? Who are they judging to have failed?

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

Ken B,

In Charlottesville it was the local government that voted to take down the statues and rename the park. It was racists from far away who came to make a fuss.

So you've got it completely backwards.

This is the same situation for the vast majority of these statue removals. And, re the exceptions such as the statue that was illegally toppled, those are illegal acts and are prosecutable, as is happening re that toppling that got so much attention recently.

Does this matter to you? Can local governments decide for themselves (as in Charlottesville), or do you and out of town racists want to override them?

Craig said...

Blogger Browndog said...
If you believe removing all Confederate monuments in this country will lead to today's racial healing, raise your hand.

---

"necessary" is not the same as "sufficient"

Browndog said...

The key to Barkley's remarks is "wasted energy".

Not mad about the small, little things I failed to do today to make life better for myself or my family-

like; didn't put the clothes in the dryer, and had to rewash them- didn't get new tires last week like I meant to, and got a flat-didn't pay the the rent on time, and got a late fee-fucked up at work today, costing my boss some money.

You only have so much you can focus your attention on. Focusing on things outside of the immediate things that matter will take it's toll.

Then, you can blame the outside things for your failure.

This is why I find liberals, and their "collective" ideology so appalling, sinister.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

OMG, you folks aren't gonna cheat Pence. Right?

Poor dude. So loyal, but still skipped over. Y'all can't resist royalty. Sir Charles as heir apparent.

bgates said...

Neither work celebrated the Confederacy or slavery

I think the NYT meant to say "celebrated the Confederacy and therefore slavery", because you can't suggest any aspect of soldiers who fought and died on behalf of the Confederacy is worth memorializing without celebrating slavery, because they're inseparable.

It's kind of like how the Clinton Library glorifies adultery, and how anybody who has a dime is essentially saying "I want to lock up Japanese-American citizens in internment camps".

Browndog said...

Confederate soldiers, are by law, American war veterans.

Keep that in mind when you suddenly insist we must desecrate their memory.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

"It takes two, one to incite and the other to be incited to violence. President Trump has it right."

In your opinion does that logic only work re libs being killed in America, or does it also apply to Cataluña?

Ken B said...

Well PB you changed the topic again. We were discussing if it's right to suspect the motives of the new-born iconoclasts. You are of course now throwing around "racists" in response. It's perfectly possible to question the statues and to wonder if wankers are wanking. Well, it is for most of us; your capacities might be stretched.

bgates said...

consider these four monuments from the perspective of an African American mother or father trying to explain to their fifth grade daughter who Robert E. Lee is

I'd think that would have already come up during the discussion every African American mother or father has with their children about the vast army of white men who had fought a war after which the Republican victors abolished slavery.

Craig said...

Blogger Browndog said...
Confederate soldiers, are by law, American war veterans.

Keep that in mind when you suddenly insist we must desecrate their memory.

8/18/17, 8:32 PM

---

AFAIK, they are not American war veterans generally, only for the very limited purpose of giving benefits to their wives and children. They are due no other veteran honors or respect.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

"The original commenter asked how a parent could explain to a grade-school child who Robt. E. Lee was, and why there was a statute glorifying/honoring him in an American public park."

Yes, but that has nothing to do w/ London.

If ya want a direct answer:

He was someone who fought to destroy America so that Southerners could continue owning, castrating, raping, tar/feathering and murdering black folks. And, he's being honored because people in the South thought his cause was worth celebrating in a very public way, especially as minorities started to achieve more equal rights in America.

Sheesh.

Now you know why Peggy decided to jabber about London instead of jabbering about reality here in America.



Craig said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Craig said...

He was someone who fought to destroy America so that Southerners could continue owning, castrating, raping, tar/feathering and murdering black folks. And, he's being honored because people in the South thought his cause was worth celebrating in a very public way, especially as minorities started to achieve more equal rights in America.

---

Yes. (And before anyone comes back with any baloney about the 'real' history, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_dicto_and_de_re.)

n.n said...

It was not long ago that the left -- including the mainstream press -- condemned conservatives who were pro-human rights (e.g. recognize human evolution from conception) as misogynistic. Now they condemn people who judge others by the "content of their character" as racist, sexist, etc. There is now a period of "=" or political congruence that advocates for selective exclusion as a premier left-wing cause. Progress.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Gee, PB, it's not like Islamic terrorists have ever driven a vehicle into a crowd of people before.

it's like Nice never happened.

like I said, your media masters feed you a line and you obediently repeat it, like a trained parrot.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

exile,

It sorta seems like I'm bad luck.

I was in Barcelona last month. And, Nice not too long before that horror occurred.

OTOH, I move around a lot. If I was actually bad luck there'd be a hundred fold re atrocities.



Lydia said...

bgates @8:39 pm -- It's not simply explaining who Robert E. Lee was, but "why he stands atop of our beautiful city" and why he gets one of those "reverential statues".

Craig said...

"Your own description of Robt. Lee's role in American history is lacking, likely due to your emotionalism on the topic. You don't have to support Lee, slavery or the confederacy to understand you cannot write Confederate leaders or their actions out of American history. "

---

Especially given the original post, I'd ask, who has asked to write Confederate leaders or their actions out of American history? Aside from right-wing strawmanning, why does that even come up? (Honest question: I have not seen anyone on the left suggesting that they be omitted from American history, but then I have not read literally everyone on the left.)

Craig said...

In America, we presume that the accused driver is innocent until he is given due process to defend himself (or admit his guilt) and a jury of his peers finds him guilty of a crime.

Media convictions, made hastily and with a lack of respect for evidence, do not count, ultimately. How far is UVA in Charlottesville from Duke in Durham, for example? We can research those facts and report on them neutrally, omitting any emotion from our pre-judgements.

---

This isn't true. We do not presume that the accused driver is innocent until he is given due process, etc., etc. Criminal courts do that. That's it. Only criminal courts. For good reason, they, and they alone, are so constrained. Not even all courts aim for this high standard: civil courts apply a much lower standard. And, again for very good reason, interpersonal relationships do not aim for this high standard.

It is a mistake to think that the criminal court standard is for all of us always or to think that it was ever so intended.

Browndog said...

Every time a Republican gets elected as President the democrats insist we re-fight a war.

With Bush it was the Viet Nam war, now the Civil War.

Next will be the Revolutionary War.

n.n said...

They should enlist Planned Parenthood to process unworthy, inconvenient, but not profitable babies and sanctify their projects in virginal blood.

Lloyd W. Robertson said...

I still like your idea of adding statues in order to deepen awareness/debate. Girl vs. bull on Wall Street. Frederick Douglass or anti-slavocrats vs. slavocrats.

Sebastian said...

"The statues were put up by white people who wanted to express something, and they are now being taken down because white people are ashamed of what they expressed back then." No, they are being taken down by braying mobs and power-hungry progs eager to exploit something that didn't mean anything the day before yesterday. "White people" are not ashamed of what "they"expressed back then--many statues were symbols of reconciliation, even those that honored the South were permitted as means to unity, and many Republican white people would like to see the worst lost cause statues preserved because they would like Democrats to continue being ashamed of their party and their history.

But "shame" has nothing to do with the removal. The left doesn't do shame. Like their ethics and linguistics, it is strictly instrumental. The will to power is all.

"Why should white people have such an easy time covering up their shame? Removing the statues can be portrayed as a kindness toward black people, but critical race theory teaches us to presume that what white people do they do for themselves." Well, that's very cute. But the critical race theorists will be fine with the grand convergence of self-interested whites doing what radical minorities also happen to want. They will happily scorch the earth together, theoretical conundrum be damned.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

"That would be like reading Huck Finn and deleting all the "nigger" references. Who are you trying to shield/protect? (and the comments thread comes full circle... My work here is done.)"

BTW I went to all Christian schools until partly through HS (I know, I lied about being a 3rd grader), and when we read that book aloud in our class our (black) teacher said that we could choose to say or not say that word. Everyone decided not to, except one dude. He was one of my friends (i.e. one of the cool kids). Not only did he say it, he said it w/ a nastiness that was unmistakable, imho. The subtle wincing of the teacher was excruciating for me (and I'd already made her cry by mailing razors (cause she had neck hairs), so it took a bit for my empathy meter to register anything).

Anywho, I don't know what my point is, except some sorta catharsis via mea culpa, but I can't do that cause that may mean that Althouse's original point is correct.

Sly trickster.

Ha.

Browndog said...

I still like your idea of adding statues in order to deepen awareness/debate. Girl vs. bull on Wall Street. Frederick Douglass or anti-slavocrats vs. slavocrats

Yes, they could put up a Margaret Sanger statue next to the burnt out Abraham Lincoln bust in S. Chicago and see if anything happens.

Browndog said...

Much much easier to tear down statues, and judge other people and call them names, than to grapple with what role you play, daily, in helping to shape the society you live in, with others who don't share your sympathies or opinions.

Well said.

Craig said...

Look in the mirror if you aren't playing a role, but have time to bitch and moan on a website...

Much much easier to tear down statues, and judge other people and call them names, than to grapple with what role you play, daily, in helping to shape the society you live in, with others who don't share your sympathies or opinions.

&

How many times have you been divorced, craig?
Better to be patient and wait for the entire story to be told before you emotionally fly off the handle and pre-judge.

People who wait and think when more facts are in tend to live longer too.

Just sayin'.

---

This is all non sequitur. I didn't say "no holds barred" in interpersonal relationships. I didn't say "there are standards in the criminal law, but nowhere else." Instead, I said that it was false that the criminal law standard, with its requirements of confrontation and specific sorts of due process, was the standard for all of us all of the time. That's false--I'd have thought that a first year torts class would have made this clear.

You wanted clearer argument, better civic understanding. I'm trying to help you be more precise, more accurate, in your expression of civic norms.

n.n said...

Why do certain left factions, including Antifa, want to erase this period of American history?

William said...

Martin Luther was a rabid anti-Semite. I presume that Martin Luther King was named after him to honor some other part of Martin Luther's legacy other than the anti-semitism. Does the legacy of Robert E. Lee represent anything other than slavery and who gets to decide what that legacy is?......Grant, Harrison, Hayes, McKinley had friends and relatives killed by Lee's army. Do they get precedence over this current generation when it comes to forgiveness?

William said...

Two or three weeks ago who even had a thought about the horrors of Confederate monuments? I was so extremely vexed about the issue of transgendered bathrooms that I could scarcely think of anything else.

Browndog said...

Why do certain left factions, including Antifa, want to erase this period of American history?

Because they can.

Why are republicans allowing it?

Craig said...

You misunderstand what I "wanted".
Not to be lectured at by you.

I expressed a hope that our country would learn to educate our citizens of the basic Constitutional protections and responsibilities. You appear to want to shirk these, and state that in reality, America is lacking, or not keeping its civic promises according to our national documents.

I know that the American people can overcome such ignorance as yours. I think that learning -- gathering facts, and continually evaluating evidence -- beats reacting (and that's you, in spades here) and imputing YOUR small thoughts and understandings into others.

---

Haaaaaa!

"The trouble with poor thinkers like you is that you" say something false, are confronted with having said something false, and retreat into nonsequitors, insults, and emotional reaction (there's a bit about petards that might fit here).

You said something false about what we do (false as a descriptive matter, and false as a normative matter). I called you on it, since you claim to be concerned with "the basic Constitutional protections and responsibilities." But it appears now that, rather than coming to grips with what those actually are, "You appear to want to [distort] these."

NB - You say that I "state that in reality, America is lacking, or not keeping its civic promises according to our national documents." I have literally no idea what you are talking about here.

Craig said...

Blogger n.n said...
Why do certain left factions, including Antifa, want to erase this period of American history?

---

FIND ONE PERSON WHO WANTS THIS. This whole thread began with a post by Professor Althouse seeking to push us to get clearer on what is being asked vis-a-vis history, so why is this tired "erasure" trope still being trotted out?

William said...

I think one of the reasons you don't see any monuments to Hitler in Germany is because the people there thoroughly despise him. That's not the case with Robert E. Lee. I have a suggestion: Let Robert E. Lee be the good Confederate--the designated token to represent the ideals of southern chivalry and honor--and take down all the other monuments.

Ralph L said...

Somehow, black parents have managed to explain the statues for quite a while without their children bursting into tears and feeling traumatized for life.

Now their professors do that.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

"You appear to want to shirk these, and state that in reality, America is lacking, or not keeping its civic promises according to our national documents."


"(Is this Christian school teaching? A new take on American independence and painful growth, as exemplified by Huck Fin?)"

Contrary to these two assertions, the national independence documents are 100% undeniably full of shit. Being born filthy rich does make you more equal than some man who's origin sperm and egg resulted in a broke baby. Likewise a 165 IQ kid is not created equal to someone w/ anencephaly. The minute conservatives doubt this is the minute Bernie turns into a heartless right wing extremist.



Ralph L said...

take down all the other monuments
Except that most are dedicated to local sons. The big problem is that many of their descendants have left town and many more new people have moved in.

n.n said...

Craig:

so why is this tired "erasure" trope still being trotted out

Because that is what is happening, not limited to color and class diversity generally. There is a sincere effort to distort reality through semantic games, historical revisions, and even emanations from the twilight fringe.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Ashamed? Oh please.

Craig said...

"The idea is: people are too cowardly to explain the horrors of history to their young children (I don't believe this, for the record) so by removing the offensive statues from public sight, we remove any need for discussion of this aspect of American history."

Literally no one is advocating for this. Got any evidence either that anyone is advocating for this or that it is a significant worry here? There's plenty of Zinn to go around, Mary.

You keep claiming to occupy some rarefied thoughtful high ground. Fine, claim that. But back it up. Go engage, with discipline and understanding, with the smartest people who disagree with you. I suspect you'll find that your strange concerns about erasing history will find no traction there.

n.n said...

Browndog:

Why are republicans allowing it?

Perhaps a couple of reasons. One, they have a common interest to redirect the focus of our attention. Two, it's easier to go along to get along and to adopt a Pro-Choice quasi-religious/moral, legal, scientific, and political philosophy. Well, three: order of priorities.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

Ha ha, the old "I have a law degree" argument.

Is there a Godwin's corollary for that?

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

"It's fact, not an argument."

Right,

so don't use it as a crutch when an argument is required.

If I'm thinkin' about hiring you, then you can send your resume.


buwaya said...

From long experience of our kids in the public (and private) schools, and long association with educational reform (decades). The US does a horrible job of teaching history. Almost as bad as teaching literature.

In both cases there are a few bright lights, but these are just beacons in an inky sea. And even these are going out one by one.

My favorite bit is not the US Civil War, but WWII. I like checking out the points of coverage in state standards and curricula. In no case that I have found is the actual course of the war covered, but in every case it seems that it is of the utmost importance to have some hullabaloo about just two things - the Japanese internment and the Atomic bomb.

That is the sum of the greatest conflict in human history as far as US schools are concerned.

This is so universal that it cant be anything but deliberate.

Craig said...

"You smell funny"? Good lord.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

"The Eastern seaboard, all the way down to Florida, is keen on teaching the Holocaust, even bringing in guest speakers who roll up their sleeves to show their tattoos for that hands-on, emotional reaction that we love to see in American students today."

Unfortunately this utopian dream is long gone.

Now, they'll bring in some dude in a dress to recruit ten year olds to join a trans group.

You must be old....er....I mean temporally experienced.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

It's no fun to pull the sock card that explicitly.

It's been obvious for a bit.

More fun to be discrete.

rhhardin said...

The statues were put up by white people who wanted to express something, and they are now being taken down because white people are ashamed of what they expressed back then

There's no shame, just power. See what we can make happen against the popular will.

Blacks as always are collateral damage. There's nobody to say you lose and keep losing if you attach yourself to anger.

There's no racism, just black anger.

Michael K said...

That is the sum of the greatest conflict in human history as far as US schools are concerned.

This is so universal that it cant be anything but deliberate.


One reason my younger kids went to private schools.

The older two went to public schools when they taught real stuff,

A friend of mine here in Tucson, his three boys were home schooled partly by his wife. She took one of the three boys each year. Two graduated in Engineering. The youngest is at U of Arizona well inoculated against the leftist crap my youngest daughter was taught. Fortunately, she had been inoculated, too.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

These threads are awesome.

Of course Doc Mike wanders in.

Hilarious.



Big Mike said...

The lefties are used to throwing temper tantrums that would disgrace a two year old and thus getting their way. The grownups are telling them "time out" but they aren't listening.

Time for a spanking and being sent to bed without supper.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

BTW, did folks here know that the Alt-right fishes for so-called "auts"?

Those are folks somewhere on the autistic spectrum that can get obsessed w/ the internet and can be directed toward racists ends.

Not that that's relevant here.

Ha ha.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

Oh, but they probably start softer than "racists ends." Stuff like 'Rand says it's best for folks to mercilessly wipe out adversaries because that competition helps humanity and everybody gets a pony'.

Rand = Poppins.

But sugar will kill ketosis.


Ambrose said...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Byzantine_Iconoclasm

rcocean said...

I suggest that next to every General Lee statue we errect a "Piss on Christ" "artwork" - that should make Althouse & the Left happy.

SukieTawdry said...

Created as art? What does that even mean?

Artistic and creative license allows the artist to follow his muse regardless of how offensive, vulgar, hurtful or un-PC the finished product. People who erect monuments have no such license.

Wanna see steam come out of my ears? Start talking about critical race theory (or any other area of critical theory). Barack Obama lost me for good and all when I read in 2008 that while at Harvard he compared Derrick Bell to Rosa Parks. It was Bell who advanced the thesis that whites only make concessions to blacks when they stand to gain (or, at minimum, not lose) from those concessions. I started learning about critical theory 3o years ago and thought this crap can't possibly gain any traction in serious legal circles and here we are 30 years later and it's practically mainstream.

Achilles said...

Blogger 3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...
Ken B,

"In Charlottesville it was the local government that voted to take down the statues and rename the park. It was racists from far away who came to make a fuss."

Jason Kessler, the Clinton staffer and occupy protester made the fuss.

The democrats also sent in the antifa thugs and told the police to let them fight.

Gahrie said...

I presume that Martin Luther King was named after him to honor some other part of Martin Luther's legacy other than the anti-semitism.

Just for clarification:

MLK Jr. was actually born Michael King Jr. His father, Michael King, was also a reverend, and changed his name to Martin Luther King, and changed his son's name to Martin Luther King Jr., after a trip to Germany.

LakeLevel said...

Democrats and the Left believe they have the upper hand, allowing them to start their great thought purge. In the tradition of those great 20th century leftists, the Nazis and Communists, the media, the arts and individuals need to be censored so the new version of pravda can replace the old. No-one and nothing is immune from this great suppression.
"Sam Durant’s sculpture gallows 'Scaffold,' at the Walker Art Center’s sculpture garden, which was denounced by Native American groups for recalling an act of genocide" is a depiction of Abraham Lincoln's ordered execution of the Sioux leaders who slaughtered 800 innocent civilians, the largest such act in American history up until 9-11. The art work was intended to invoke white shame and cover up the real history of what happened, but even that politically correctness was not enough for the new Robespierres. All must bow and grovel to the new truth handed down from above. These real fascists need to be opposed by all freedom loving Americans or we are in for a rough few decades.

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tim in vermont said...

There's no shame, just power. See what we can make happen against the popular will.

White-Left Supremacy.

I say we abandon the term alt-left and start calling them what they really are, the white left.

clint said...

Achilles -- you missed the most obvious rejoinder. Jason Kessler isn't a "racist from far away". He lives in Charlottesville.

It was haters "from far away" who came to physically assault him for his beliefs.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Craig,
"I have not seen anyone on the left suggesting that they be omitted from American history, but then I have not read literally everyone on the left."

So you think that in our society today, history is being portrayed accurately in the majority of our media and our schools?

Bruce Hayden said...

My theory is that this would have happened a long time ago, except that the people wanting to keep the statutes were part of the Dem coalition. They voted for Trump, so are off the reservation now, and F**k them. It is also to kick sand in their eyes, and hopefully incite them to violence, to justify the violence that has become so pervasive on the left since Trump's election. And it might just work - working class tend to be much more physical, and, thus, violent, than the rest of the middle class, which were the base of the Republican Party for better than a century.

Fernandinande said...

exhelodrvr1 said...
Vandalism on a statue of Father Serra at Mission San Fernando


Serra was a sadistic POS who'd rightfully be considered criminally insane nowadays.

critical race theory teaches us to presume that what white people do they do for themselves.

"Critical race theory" doesn't teach anyone anything.

Corrected version: What people do they mostly do for themselves.

Leslie Graves said...

I could get behind a protest of the statutes that would involve the placement near them of replicas of the dog that is urinating near the girl who is defying the raging bull.

Fernandinande said...

Gahrie said...
Just for clarification:
MLK Jr. was actually born Michael King Jr. His father, Michael King, was also a reverend, and changed his name to Martin Luther King, and changed his son's name to Martin Luther King Jr., after a trip to Germany.


Just for more clarification, King Sr. went to Germany just after Hitler took power, which apparently inspired him to rename his kid after the Jew-hating proto-Nazi, Martin Luther.

Kevin said...

Shorter version: American society in the 21st Century has become a contest to actively demonstrate how un-racist you are.

Unless you're not white. Then you show you're not racist through your skin color.

exiledonmainstreet said...

"Being born filthy rich does make you more equal than some man who's origin sperm and egg resulted in a broke baby. Likewise a 165 IQ kid is not created equal to someone w/ anencephaly. The minute conservatives doubt this is the minute Bernie turns into a heartless right wing extremist."

PB, nobody has ever argued that. Of course some people are born with more advantages and talents than others. You, for instance are an idiot who has applied himself diligently to becoming even dumber.

What the Constitution guarantees in theory if not practice is equal rights under the law. In the real world that's proven difficult to implement. You leftists are making it worse by your solution of replacing one sort of discrimination with another.

mockturtle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lewis Wetzel said...

This is about power, not art.
Art is hard to define. Power is not. Power is the ability to make others conform to your will. The more arbitrary your will, and the less resistance on the part of the victim, the more power you have.
Arbitrary? Suppose the people opposed to the art had insisted on keeping it on display longer than planned. Would the museums comply?
Of course they would.

Caligula said...

Or maybe the message is just as Orwell put it?

“He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.”

Of course, you can't even say that anymore (because it's not gender-neutral). So, in the language available to us today: "This speech is violence!" And therefore those old pigeon-stained equestrian statues are violence, and therefore they must go!

Because, we surely couldn't be satisfied with just putting a contemporary plaque in front of the statue, perhaps something like "Although some of those who fought for the Confederacy may have been valiant, their cause was thoroughly dishonorable and we, their descendants, wholly reject it."

We couldn't, because that would be a mere contemporary comment on the past, and that past must be erased, obliterated as though it had never been. Because (cue Orwell) ...