December 14, 2018, 06:28:20 PM


Author Topic: Spoiled Millennials take down Confederate Statue and kick it.  (Read 26009 times)

Online Mr.DeMartino

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Re: Spoiled Millennials take down Confederate Statue and kick it.
« Reply #140 on: August 22, 2017, 10:12:43 AM »
DeMartino please...just no.

Best thing to do is just keep quiet and pretend you didn't blurt out that nonsense about Lee and then try to-armchair-psychology/psychic-mind-reading justify it.

Well, having read a good deal of primary sources by Lee and his writings, as well as having extensively studied him, I feel pretty confident in saying that his military service likely did weigh into his thinking. How much have you read?

Lee viewed slavery as morally damaging to whites in the long run, however he felt that it had been ordained by God to uplift the condition of the African and that this was part of "disciplining" as the Israelites had been disciplined in the desert.

You have to remember that Lee is to a great extent influenced by his father, Light Horse Harry Lee. Light Horse Harry squandered two family fortunes before abandoning them and running off to the West Indies. This experience, combined with his religious upbringing, caused him to value discipline and order. At West Point he did not earn a single demerit (something rowdy young men were prone to do).

Given that military upbringing, his personal family history (if the runaway slave had any family he left behind that would certainly influence Lee's view), and his view that slavery had been ordained to lift up the people's of Africa and that slavery was not to be a permanent state, it is not surprising that he selected this forum of punishment. Order had to be maintained. If Lee had ever deserted his post, he would have expected to be hanged. Like many others who had mixed feelings on slavery, he felt that it was morally troublesome, but worried that sudden, unmanaged mass emancipation would have dire social consequences for both black and white (something that turned out to be true).


Online Mr.DeMartino

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Re: Spoiled Millennials take down Confederate Statue and kick it.
« Reply #141 on: August 22, 2017, 10:13:36 AM »
I understand toppling a symbol of oppression, but did they really have to kick it? :sad:

Doesn't that strongly suggest that their thinking surrounding this issue might not be wholly rational?

I mean, you're blaming an inanimate object for problems in your own life (really, aside from occasional rally vids on twitter and racist youtube comments, does anyone here truly feel the presence of the Klan or Nazis in their life?) and they're also violently assaulting an inanimate object.

Taking a baseball bat to your office copy machine makes more rational sense than this. At least that genuinely effs your life thrice a day.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2017, 10:16:22 AM by Mr.DeMartino »

donovan

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Re: Spoiled Millennials take down Confederate Statue and kick it.
« Reply #142 on: August 22, 2017, 10:16:01 AM »
Why not care about both?

*insert Old El Paso commercial*

This one?



Ah, that's Pace Picante. nm

I understand toppling a symbol of oppression, but did they really have to kick it? :sad:

Doesn't that strongly suggest that their thinking surrounding this issue might not be wholly rational?

Nope. And I don't see kicking the statue as irrational. I can see a rational reason for doing that.

There are probably some pretty rational reasons not to kick a statue as well. As was as some irrational ones. I don't kick a statue almost every day, but rationality hardly ever comes into play.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2017, 10:24:54 AM by donovan »

Offline jddavis7

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Re: Spoiled Millennials take down Confederate Statue and kick it.
« Reply #143 on: August 22, 2017, 10:17:22 AM »
I understand toppling a symbol of oppression, but did they really have to kick it? :sad:

Doesn't that strongly suggest that their thinking surrounding this issue might not be wholly rational?

I mean, you're blaming an inanimate object for problems in your own life (really, aside from occasional rally vids on twitter and racist youtube comments, does anyone here truly feel the presence of the Klan or Nazis in their life?) and they're also violently assaulting an inanimate object.

Taking a baseball bat to your office copy machine makes more rational sense than this. At least that genuinely effs your life thrice a day.

 :rolleyes:

Online Mr.DeMartino

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Re: Spoiled Millennials take down Confederate Statue and kick it.
« Reply #144 on: August 22, 2017, 10:18:19 AM »
Why not care about both?

*insert Old El Paso commercial*

This one?



Ah, that's Pace Picante. nm

NEW YORK CITY!?!?!?!

Offline Arabin

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Re: Spoiled Millennials take down Confederate Statue and kick it.
« Reply #145 on: August 22, 2017, 10:37:01 AM »
DeMartino please...just no.

Best thing to do is just keep quiet and pretend you didn't blurt out that nonsense about Lee and then try to-armchair-psychology/psychic-mind-reading justify it.

Well, having read a good deal of primary sources by Lee and his writings, as well as having extensively studied him, I feel pretty confident in saying that his military service likely did weigh into his thinking. How much have you read?

Lee viewed slavery as morally damaging to whites in the long run, however he felt that it had been ordained by God to uplift the condition of the African and that this was part of "disciplining" as the Israelites had been disciplined in the desert.

You have to remember that Lee is to a great extent influenced by his father, Light Horse Harry Lee. Light Horse Harry squandered two family fortunes before abandoning them and running off to the West Indies. This experience, combined with his religious upbringing, caused him to value discipline and order. At West Point he did not earn a single demerit (something rowdy young men were prone to do).

Given that military upbringing, his personal family history (if the runaway slave had any family he left behind that would certainly influence Lee's view), and his view that slavery had been ordained to lift up the people's of Africa and that slavery was not to be a permanent state, it is not surprising that he selected this forum of punishment. Order had to be maintained. If Lee had ever deserted his post, he would have expected to be hanged. Like many others who had mixed feelings on slavery, he felt that it was morally troublesome, but worried that sudden, unmanaged mass emancipation would have dire social consequences for both black and white (something that turned out to be true).

You're still arguing that whipping people then having brine rubbed in the wounds for wanting to be free is a good thing. And you added that freeing the slaves was a bad thing. Class act bro.

Maybe you should spend less time reading Lee's wikipedia entry (and pretending you're a Lee expert the next day) and more time wondering when your desire for attention overrode your sense of morality.

Offline gogators!

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Re: Spoiled Millennials take down Confederate Statue and kick it.
« Reply #146 on: August 22, 2017, 11:08:45 AM »
DeMartino please...just no.

Best thing to do is just keep quiet and pretend you didn't blurt out that nonsense about Lee and then try to-armchair-psychology/psychic-mind-reading justify it.

Well, having read a good deal of primary sources by Lee and his writings, as well as having extensively studied him, I feel pretty confident in saying that his military service likely did weigh into his thinking. How much have you read?

Lee viewed slavery as morally damaging to whites in the long run, however he felt that it had been ordained by God to uplift the condition of the African and that this was part of "disciplining" as the Israelites had been disciplined in the desert.

You have to remember that Lee is to a great extent influenced by his father, Light Horse Harry Lee. Light Horse Harry squandered two family fortunes before abandoning them and running off to the West Indies. This experience, combined with his religious upbringing, caused him to value discipline and order. At West Point he did not earn a single demerit (something rowdy young men were prone to do).

Given that military upbringing, his personal family history (if the runaway slave had any family he left behind that would certainly influence Lee's view), and his view that slavery had been ordained to lift up the people's of Africa and that slavery was not to be a permanent state, it is not surprising that he selected this forum of punishment. Order had to be maintained. If Lee had ever deserted his post, he would have expected to be hanged. Like many others who had mixed feelings on slavery, he felt that it was morally troublesome, but worried that sudden, unmanaged mass emancipation would have dire social consequences for both black and white (something that turned out to be true).
Now you're arguing for slavery?

We get that you are a great admirer of Lee. But let me ask you this, putting aside his ignorance regarding blacks--

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The blacks are immeasurably better off here than in Africa, morally, socially & physically. The painful discipline they are undergoing, is necessary for their instruction as a race, & I hope will prepare & lead them to better things. How long their subjugation may be necessary is known & ordered by a wise Merciful Providence.
 Robert E. Lee, to Mary Anna Lee, December 27, 1856
--

how do you account for him ignoring the beliefs you give him credit for in choosing to fight for the confederacy?

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Mr. Blair, I look upon secession as anarchy. If I owned the four millions of slaves in the South I would sacrifice them all to the Union; but how can I draw my sword upon Virginia, my native state?

If he would have followed his conscience, what he knew to be right, how many lives might have been saved?

You may feel a real affinity, with him, professor, in defending what you know to be wrong, namely racism and fascism. Lee's reasons are well known, but yours remain a mystery other than a twisted delighted in perverse reasoning.

Online Mr.DeMartino

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Re: Spoiled Millennials take down Confederate Statue and kick it.
« Reply #147 on: August 22, 2017, 11:15:06 AM »
You're still arguing that whipping people then having brine rubbed in the wounds for wanting to be free is a good thing.

Where did I say it was a good thing? I said that's why Lee did it and he had his reasons.

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And you added that freeing the slaves was a bad thing.
I said that sudden mass emancipation (especially when the 40 acres and a mule that was promised was not delivered) had some negative consequences. Every action has unintended consequences.

What you're saying is basically this-
Me: "Taking out the North Korean leadership could result in panics, mass starvation, and a refugee crisis. It might be necessary to have some sort of transition phase.
You: "You just said freeing North Koreans is a bad thing."

Me: "Removing all Baathists from government and disbanding the Iraqi Army could have some serious problems. You've just made 500,000 people unemployed at a time of complete chaos."
You: "You just said freeing Iraqis from Saddam is a bad thing."

That's your level of craplogic.

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Maybe you should spend less time reading Lee's wikipedia entry (and pretending you're a Lee expert the next day) and more time wondering when your desire for attention overrode your sense of morality.

Actually me knowledge of Lee comes from McPherson, Sears, Gallagher, Foote, Fuller, Trudeau, and Coddington.

Where does yours come from?

Online Mr.DeMartino

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Re: Spoiled Millennials take down Confederate Statue and kick it.
« Reply #148 on: August 22, 2017, 11:41:11 AM »

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Mr. Blair, I look upon secession as anarchy. If I owned the four millions of slaves in the South I would sacrifice them all to the Union; but how can I draw my sword upon Virginia, my native state?
If he would have followed his conscience

Lee DID follow his conscience. His conscience would not allow him to take up arms against his own people- his fellow Virginians.

It's hard for us to grasp the nature of the American Republic at that time. Slow communication and travel meant that people had grown up often not leaving their hometown or county. Washington D.C. was a vague, distant place. Even their state capital might be a major journey to travel to.

We were a collection of states originally. A coalition with a common currency if you will. People viewed more as something akin to how someone might view the European Union than as a unified country. Much of Louisiana for example, was French speaking and had a different system of law. Texas had recently declared first as an independent Republic before joining the Union. As has been noted, at that time people said "The United States are... " rather than "The United States is..."

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how many lives might have been saved?

We can only speculate on the war's length and the casualties involved had Lee not fought, but I don't think his removal would have saved lives.

1) This war was a war of annihilation. The rifled musket had made a single decisive battle to win the war all but impossible. The casualties the defender could inflict on the attacker meant that the attacker would be too bloodied to press home any advantage. Lee himself ran into this problem time and time again after his offensive victories. There could be no Austerlitz. It would take years of maneuver and grinding down the Confederacy to win.

2) It is highly probable that the commander would have been Joe Johnston, who would have fought a series of defensive maneuvers likely culminating in WWI-style trench warfare (which is what basically happened with Grant at Peteresburg). Johnston seldom gave McClellan on the Peninsula or Sherman in the West a chance at major battle. This frustrating strategy might have put Lincoln in serious jeopardy of reelection in 1864, especially if things at one point descended into horrific casualties along miles of trench. or they might have faced Stonewall Jackson, who was every bit the fighting, audacious general that Lee was.

3) Similarly, the Union would have still dealt with the same series of incompetent commanders. You still would have seen things go from Scott to McDowell to McClellan to Halleck to Pope to McClellan again to Burnside to Hooker to Meade and finally ending up with U.S. Grant. 

The only Union generals who truly knew how to fight this new kind of industrialized war, and had the will to do it to win for the North, were Grant and Sherman. Because they were so low on the West Point totem pole, they would not have risen for years.

4) There is always a chance that whoever replaced Lee might have fought a more brutal war- more plundering of Northern cities, harsher treatment of captured blacks, harsher treatment of Union POWs. That general might have also resorted to bushwhacking and having this be a 20 year guerrilla war. Lee's prestige amongst his men and the citizens of the Confederacy enabled a surrender and subsequent peace that, while flawed, did not involve wholescale mass murder and guerrilla warfare.

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You may feel a real affinity, with him, professor, in defending what you know to be wrong, namely racism and fascism.

I'm not defending racism, explaining the issues and nuances of this matter is not defending racism. See the above post with Arabin using similar crappy logic.

And the South was anything but fascist. If anything, it proved the flaws of decentralized government and states rights. Jefferson Davis would often rage impotently at the inability of him to pull the levers of government due to the restraints on central power and the fact that each governor could essentially defy him whenever they pleased.

Online eggieguffer

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Re: Spoiled Millennials take down Confederate Statue and kick it.
« Reply #149 on: August 22, 2017, 01:39:31 PM »
Nelson is next.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/aug/22/toppling-statues-nelsons-column-should-be-next-slavery

Apparantly Wilberforce is OK for now because he campaigned against slavery but what happens if 20 years down the line someone discovers he voted against LGBT people or something? Back to square one.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2017, 01:44:59 PM by eggieguffer »

Online Mr.DeMartino

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Re: Spoiled Millennials take down Confederate Statue and kick it.
« Reply #150 on: August 22, 2017, 01:45:31 PM »
Remember a week ago when everyone was ripping Trump for asking "Where does it stop?" Now we're seeing these articles left and right.

I'm starting to wonder if this wasn't part of Trump's plan- Get people so riled up that they don't stop with just the Confederate statues but actually do start going after Washington and Jefferson and FDR.

Short-term Trump loses, but it seems that long-term his position on this might be okay.


Online eggieguffer

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Re: Spoiled Millennials take down Confederate Statue and kick it.
« Reply #152 on: August 22, 2017, 02:25:15 PM »
Nelson is next.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/aug/22/toppling-statues-nelsons-column-should-be-next-slavery



Nelson won.


I don't think that'll save him. Bomber Harris, for example, has become a very controversial figure in the last 30 years or so (his statue was vandalised)  and he was technically a winner.

Offline 67uicv29

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Re: Spoiled Millennials take down Confederate Statue and kick it.
« Reply #153 on: August 22, 2017, 02:43:35 PM »
@Mr. DeMartino
Let's pick this apart...

Lee DID follow his conscience. His conscience would not allow him to take up arms against his own people- his fellow Virginians.

Refusing to lead the Union army is different from leading the rebel army.

It's hard for us to grasp the nature of the American Republic at that time. Slow communication and travel meant that people had grown up often not leaving their hometown or county. Washington D.C. was a vague, distant place. Even their state capital might be a major journey to travel to.

This is on its face ridiculous. Plenty of people had access to trains, the postal service, and electronic telegraphs. That stuff was decades old. And it is not like reps didn't spend a lot of time in their home districts. So it is nothing like what you say. It is much closer to our experience than the Founders'.

We were a collection of states originally. A coalition with a common currency if you will. People viewed more as something akin to how someone might view the European Union than as a unified country. Much of Louisiana for example, was French speaking and had a different system of law. Texas had recently declared first as an independent Republic before joining the Union. As has been noted, at that time people said "The United States are... " rather than "The United States is..."

What a cliche. I hate to break it to you, but the U.S. started out with a lot more centralized power than the E.U. has ever had. Your bit about French speakers in Louisiana is pointless, as there were never many to begin with, and it spent a long time as a Spanish territory. More importantly, lots of French and German speaking immigrants settled in the U.S., in the predominantly English states, and before the Revolutionary War. So your point there is pretty much useless. Same with Texas: the fact it was independent for some 9 years is only because Van Buren and friends didn't want to annex it immediately. So when all those Southerners settled there under Mexican rule, they were not interested in founding their own little republic. They wanted in the big kahuna. (And to balance the Senate!)

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how many lives might have been saved?

We can only speculate on the war's length and the casualties involved had Lee not fought, but I don't think his removal would have saved lives.

What the heck are you even doing here? Debating a line some random person dropped in? Nobody cares about who might have replaced Lee, you seem to be doing this just to demonstrate academic superiority. Flippant one-liners have a very specific tactical weakness: ignore them!

4) There is always a chance that whoever replaced Lee might have fought a more brutal war- more plundering of Northern cities, harsher treatment of captured blacks, harsher treatment of Union POWs. That general might have also resorted to bushwhacking and having this be a 20 year guerrilla war. Lee's prestige amongst his men and the citizens of the Confederacy enabled a surrender and subsequent peace that, while flawed, did not involve wholescale mass murder and guerrilla warfare.

There is a reason they did not choose to do all that, and it is not specific to Lee. The North still outnumbered them, so if they resorted to those measures, the North could have responded in kind, at a much greater tempo.

I'm not defending racism, explaining the issues and nuances of this matter is not defending racism...

I seem to recall someplace much earlier in this thread where you came out against the people who pulled down the statue, which started this whole thing. So I guess you need some explaining (which I assume will have no effect on you but whatever):

Those statues are not historical monuments to great people. They are propaganda weapons, erected during the Jim Crow era to whitewash the Confederacy and ensure white supremacy. There is no effing reason to keep them up, not even in a museum, and sure as hell not in public. They all need to go. The only monument that can possibly be justified is one of Lee in Arlington, and that is just because Arlington is a hearty f--- you to Lee from Montgomery Meigs.

And the South was anything but fascist. If anything, it proved the flaws of decentralized government and states rights. Jefferson Davis would often rage impotently at the inability of him to pull the levers of government due to the restraints on central power and the fact that each governor could essentially defy him whenever they pleased.


Maybe don't get so hung up on terminology here. Fascist to a lot of people is just a general term for oppressive government. Doesn't need to be centralized, the state governments could do it themselves. Oops, I accidentally interpreted that in a way that supports one of your earlier points.

Although I am sure that if the term had existed in the South at the time then the MILLIONS OF BLACK PEOPLE IN THE SOUTH WOULD AGREE THAT IT WAS PRETTY FASCIST.

One last thought: I didn't bother reading this whole thread but you seem like exactly the sort of person who would argue that the Civil War was not caused by slavery.

1. Those states that rebelled wrote down emphatically why they rebelled in various documents including their declarations of secession. Guess what, slavery was the big reason.
2. Most of them split because Lincoln won the election, not because the North tried to end their slavery. All Lincoln had run on was ending it in the territories, he explicitly did not want to touch it in the slave states specifically to avoid a war. Looks like some southerners jumped the gun on that one!
3. The entire sequence of events building up to the war was about slavery: Compromises of 1820 & 1850, the annexation of Texas & Mexican War, etc. Even the only major crisis not directly related to slavery, the Nullification Crisis, was at least tangentially related because it happened due to the different development paths the halves of the country took. And why was there a difference? Slavery.

Offline Arabin

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Re: Spoiled Millennials take down Confederate Statue and kick it.
« Reply #154 on: August 22, 2017, 03:04:48 PM »
Can we stop with the essays? It really shouldn't be stretching our collective humanity to admit that those who want to see black people reduced to cattle are scumbags. Living or dead.


Offline shanicem

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Re: Spoiled Millennials take down Confederate Statue and kick it.
« Reply #155 on: August 22, 2017, 03:16:45 PM »
Thank you for being level headed Arabin!

Online Mr.DeMartino

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Re: Spoiled Millennials take down Confederate Statue and kick it.
« Reply #156 on: August 22, 2017, 03:38:20 PM »
Thanks for the reply, I think you're confusing my explanation with endorsement, but I'll address what you wrote.

Refusing to lead the Union army is different from leading the rebel army.
And he could have done that, but in his mind, Virginia was being invaded.

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This is on its face ridiculous. Plenty of people had access to trains, the postal service, and electronic telegraphs. That stuff was decades old. And it is not like reps didn't spend a lot of time in their home districts. So it is nothing like what you say. It is much closer to our experience than the Founders'.

Access does not mean regular use. Plenty of people did not live on a rail line, nor were well off (or lettered) to write regular telegrams. While movement may have been more common in the North, it was much less common in the South. I don't think anyone would assert that such travel was commonplace in the agrarian south for say farmers and the like.

The fact is that their state and county was much more central to their way of life than the federal government and they identified it as such. After all, units, both North and South, were almost exclusively organized around the state they came from.

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What a cliche. I hate to break it to you, but the U.S. started out with a lot more centralized power than the E.U. has ever had. Your bit about French speakers in Louisiana is pointless, as there were never many to begin with, and it spent a long time as a Spanish territory. More importantly, lots of French and German speaking immigrants settled in the U.S., in the predominantly English states, and before the Revolutionary War. So your point there is pretty much useless. Same with Texas: the fact it was independent for some 9 years is only because Van Buren and friends didn't want to annex it immediately. So when all those Southerners settled there under Mexican rule, they were not interested in founding their own little republic. They wanted in the big kahuna. (And to balance the Senate!)

The fact that Americans prior to 1861 identified much more strongly with their state than with their country is a cliche? Everything you said is true, but it doesn't change the fact that people more strongly identified with their states.

Suppose it had been reversed with the Northern states seceding? Do you think people from MA, OH, IL, and VT would have stuck with the Federal army as it sought to put down secession in those states? Of course not.

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What the heck are you even doing here? Debating a line some random person dropped in? Nobody cares about who might have replaced Lee, you seem to be doing this just to demonstrate academic superiority. Flippant one-liners have a very specific tactical weakness: ignore them!

I don't think it's just something that should be dismissed. I think a lot of people believe that the war would have been over quickly if Lee hadn't joined.

But yes, there is an element of the fact that it seems that the average person here seems to have strong opinions on Lee relative to their amount of knowledge of the Civil War and Lee himself.

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There is a reason they did not choose to do all that, and it is not specific to Lee. The North still outnumbered them, so if they resorted to those measures, the North could have responded in kind, at a much greater tempo.

Certainly on the POWs that might have been the case, however in terms of bushwhacking, that had already gone on since Kansas and another general (I could imagine Forrest) might have believed in the value of such a campaign.

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Those statues are not historical monuments to great people. They are propaganda weapons, erected during the Jim Crow era to whitewash the Confederacy and ensure white supremacy.

In many cases that is true and I don't disagree, but a lot of times people aren't giving that as a reason, they are instead attacking the figure represented.

What I don't care for is the mob mentality behind it and the fact that this issue and the degree to which people are getting riled up by an inanimate object. I also think it's a scapegoat and an excuse for people to get angry about something so they can feel good about themselves. I think it's perfectly fine for city councils or states to vote to tear them down. That's their right and people should be fine if they go. Auction them off to private collectors and use the proceeds to fund scholarships for students or something.

I don't think it will stop with just Confederates. I think this will go on for a long time and get increasingly unhinged. The conduct of SJWs gives me little reason to think this is a one-off and will not spiral out of control.

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There is no effing reason to keep them up, not even in a museum, and sure as hell not in public. They all need to go. The only monument that can possibly be justified is one of Lee in Arlington, and that is just because Arlington is a hearty f--- you to Lee from Montgomery Meigs.

What about battlefield monuments? I certainly think those should stay.

As far as reasons, if the people in that city or county or state or whoever built it decide they want to put it up, they have every right to do so, and it should stay up until a vote otherwise brings it down. Not a twitter-fueled mob.

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Maybe don't get so hung up on terminology here. Fascist to a lot of people is just a general term for oppressive government. Doesn't need to be centralized, the state governments could do it themselves. Oops, I accidentally interpreted that in a way that supports one of your earlier points.

I think it is appropriate to get hung up on terminology here. Fascist has very strong connotations and you can't just casually lob it at everything under the sun. Same with Nazi and white supremacist.

These days people tend to use the terms to describe anyone that disagrees with them, whether those people actually are those things or not.

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Although I am sure that if the term had existed in the South at the time then the MILLIONS OF BLACK PEOPLE IN THE SOUTH WOULD AGREE THAT IT WAS PRETTY FASCIST.

Despotic certainly. Fascist? No.

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One last thought: I didn't bother reading this whole thread but you seem like exactly the sort of person who would argue that the Civil War was not caused by slavery.

If you had, you'd see that I agree. You'd also see that I agree with the taking down of certain monuments that glorify particularly noxious figures.

But I refuse to buy into some easy narrative about how one side is totally bad and another is totally good and oversimplify things.

Can we stop with the essays? It really shouldn't be stretching our collective humanity to admit that those who want to see black people reduced to cattle are scumbags. Living or dead.

It's called two college-educated adults debating and discussing an important topic. If more than 140 characters hurts your eyes and brain, tough luck.

Offline gogators!

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Re: Spoiled Millennials take down Confederate Statue and kick it.
« Reply #157 on: August 22, 2017, 04:15:42 PM »

Quote
Mr. Blair, I look upon secession as anarchy. If I owned the four millions of slaves in the South I would sacrifice them all to the Union; but how can I draw my sword upon Virginia, my native state?
If he would have followed his conscience

Lee DID follow his conscience. His conscience would not allow him to take up arms against his own people- his fellow Virginians.

It's hard for us to grasp the nature of the American Republic at that time. Slow communication and travel meant that people had grown up often not leaving their hometown or county. Washington D.C. was a vague, distant place. Even their state capital might be a major journey to travel to.

We were a collection of states originally. A coalition with a common currency if you will. People viewed more as something akin to how someone might view the European Union than as a unified country. Much of Louisiana for example, was French speaking and had a different system of law. Texas had recently declared first as an independent Republic before joining the Union. As has been noted, at that time people said "The United States are... " rather than "The United States is..."

Quote
how many lives might have been saved?

We can only speculate on the war's length and the casualties involved had Lee not fought, but I don't think his removal would have saved lives.

1) This war was a war of annihilation. The rifled musket had made a single decisive battle to win the war all but impossible. The casualties the defender could inflict on the attacker meant that the attacker would be too bloodied to press home any advantage. Lee himself ran into this problem time and time again after his offensive victories. There could be no Austerlitz. It would take years of maneuver and grinding down the Confederacy to win.

2) It is highly probable that the commander would have been Joe Johnston, who would have fought a series of defensive maneuvers likely culminating in WWI-style trench warfare (which is what basically happened with Grant at Peteresburg). Johnston seldom gave McClellan on the Peninsula or Sherman in the West a chance at major battle. This frustrating strategy might have put Lincoln in serious jeopardy of reelection in 1864, especially if things at one point descended into horrific casualties along miles of trench. or they might have faced Stonewall Jackson, who was every bit the fighting, audacious general that Lee was.

3) Similarly, the Union would have still dealt with the same series of incompetent commanders. You still would have seen things go from Scott to McDowell to McClellan to Halleck to Pope to McClellan again to Burnside to Hooker to Meade and finally ending up with U.S. Grant. 

The only Union generals who truly knew how to fight this new kind of industrialized war, and had the will to do it to win for the North, were Grant and Sherman. Because they were so low on the West Point totem pole, they would not have risen for years.

4) There is always a chance that whoever replaced Lee might have fought a more brutal war- more plundering of Northern cities, harsher treatment of captured blacks, harsher treatment of Union POWs. That general might have also resorted to bushwhacking and having this be a 20 year guerrilla war. Lee's prestige amongst his men and the citizens of the Confederacy enabled a surrender and subsequent peace that, while flawed, did not involve wholescale mass murder and guerrilla warfare.

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You may feel a real affinity, with him, professor, in defending what you know to be wrong, namely racism and fascism.

I'm not defending racism, explaining the issues and nuances of this matter is not defending racism. See the above post with Arabin using similar crappy logic.

And the South was anything but fascist. If anything, it proved the flaws of decentralized government and states rights. Jefferson Davis would often rage impotently at the inability of him to pull the levers of government due to the restraints on central power and the fact that each governor could essentially defy him whenever they pleased.
3) and 4) are conjecture. And what if Lee had remained with the Union army?

Lee did not follow his conscience; he followed loyalty to a place which many others in his position didn't:
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While Lee's immediate family followed him to the Confederacy, others, such as cousins and fellow officers Samuel Phillips and John Fitzgerald Lee, remained loyal to the Union, as did 40 percent of Virginian officers.


Lee was learned and had traveled so that part of your argument won't stand.

You certainly are defending racism.

The "unintended consequences" you bring up is the same argument southerners used for years regarding blacks' civil rights--they're not ready, we need to go slow and so on. Besides, if not for the assassination of Lincoln, Reconstruction could well have put former slaves on an equal footing, providing better economic opportunities that could easily have allowed the black family structure to thrive rather than to become one where the father is often absent.

Part of your interest in this subject may just be you seeking an outlet for your erudition, but in the end you're mounting a defense of slavery, racism and fascism.

It's time to turn this page in US history--take down all of the Confederate statues.


Offline CDW

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Re: Spoiled Millennials take down Confederate Statue and kick it.
« Reply #158 on: August 23, 2017, 09:21:26 AM »
The statues in Charlottesville are safe for now.

"Local authorities in the US city of Charlottesville have voted to drape two Confederate statues in black fabric during a chaotic meeting packed with irate residents who screamed and cursed at councillors over the city's response to a white supremacist rally....

"That removal is in the midst of a legal challenge. A state law passed in 1998 forbids local governments from removing, damaging or defacing war monuments, but there is legal ambiguity about whether that applies to statues such as the Lee monument that was erected before the law was passed. A judge has issued an injunction preventing the city from removing the Lee statue while the lawsuit plays out."
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/08/charlottesville-votes-shroud-confederate-statues-170822190240459.html

Offline Lurch

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Re: Spoiled Millennials take down Confederate Statue and kick it.
« Reply #159 on: August 23, 2017, 09:24:39 AM »
Seems to me like a case of the losers writing the history books.