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  #76  
Old 08-31-2017, 10:42 PM
Kevin Kevin is offline
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That wasn't my encounter to be clear, that was something my father did with his stepdad and sister the year prior to starting college in 1963. It was just relayed to me. I have no reason to believe it is untrue or an exaggeration. It has always struck me as to how nearly 100 years post-war how little things had changed. Prior to the Civil Rights Movement, one might have thought the South had won the War and simply declined to tell anyone about it.
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  #77  
Old 09-01-2017, 02:06 PM
ComradesTrue ComradesTrue is offline
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Originally Posted by MysticCat View Post
Admittedly, relatively few people have posted about this topic, so it's certainly not a representative sampling, but I find it interesting that the Southerners¹ who've weighed in have, I think, been uniform in saying that the statues were primarily erected in order to reinforce White Supremacy and no longer have a place in the public squares of our communities, while those who have talked about things like erasing history, honoring the dead or where to draw lines have been from outside the states of the Confederacy. FWIW.
Life long Southerner, 3 states all of which were part of the Confederacy. Descendant of slave owners, and while not plantation sized, they were owners nonetheless. Both my grandfathers routinely used the N word and exhibited overt signs of racism. Attended a white, suburban high school with "Rebels" as our mascot and the Rebel Flag as our symbol. Currently live in an area where multiple Civil War battles were fought and monuments/statues are everywhere. Was always far better at math than organizing my swirling thoughts into succinct and coherent words on paper, thus have been slow to participate in this thread. But that doesn't change how strongly I feel about this subject.

I could not agree more that the monuments and statues (as well as my high school mascot and flag) need to be permanently removed. Children who simply want to play in a park or visit the library should never have to walk by a monument of an individual who fought to keep their ancestors in chains and as property. The subtle social class message of these statues is not lost on anyone.

I also concur with the others that these were erected by white individuals during Jim Crow and the Civil Rights era to be a symbol of power classes vs oppressed classes. If we all took more time to genuinely -->listen<--- to people of color, oppressed groups, and those who are not in positions of power or majority we could learn so much. Seeing issues through the lenses of others and not simply our own life prism should be what guides decisions such as these. When white people say "but history" we just look well, white and uninformed.
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  #78  
Old 09-01-2017, 07:04 PM
knight_shadow knight_shadow is offline
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Originally Posted by ComradesTrue View Post
When white people say "but history" we just look well, white and uninformed.
I'm putting this on a shirt.
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  #79  
Old 09-01-2017, 08:04 PM
1964Alum 1964Alum is offline
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Yes. What those who insist on having public monuments to preserve their "history and heritage" seem to completely overlook is the fact that Blacks and other oppressed groups have their own history and heritage that has been passed down to them in stories of the past just as we have had ours. But theirs is a very painful, oppressive and dehumanizing one and one that often resulted in death. It IS as if the Civil War is not over and is being fought over and over again. And this despite laws passed in the Civil Rights era of the 60s. I can remember some of my family members and associates protesting that while laws can be passed, that no one could legislate how they felt. And they continued to perpetuate the mythology of the Southern glory. So we have had two very different narratives being perpetuated for generations. As far as I am concerned, the Civil War is a stain on our country that needs to STOP! There is no future in it for any of us and certainly not the foundation of our national values today.

We settled the issue of Nazi racial superiority in WWII. Do we really want to go back to that?!! I am sickened by the displays of White Supremacists and was horrified by what happened in Charlottesville, just on the other side of the mountain from where I live.

My mother BTW would have washed my mouth out with soap had I ever used the N word.
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  #80  
Old 09-01-2017, 11:41 PM
Sen's Revenge Sen's Revenge is offline
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Originally Posted by 1964Alum View Post
I've hesitated to jump into this but will despite my reservations. I am a 13th generation Virginian and descendant of large land and slave owners. From the cradle on, the romance and glory of the Old South was drummed into my little blond-curled head. I'll offer up something to perhaps offer some more understanding of the controversy around the statues. As Kevin already posted, yes, these statues were erected in the same time frame as the ascendancy of Jim Crow in the South along with the resurgence of the KKK in far greater numbers than it had earlier existed and then with an entirely different population. Most were erected by the Daughters of the Confederacy and yes, it was an attempted revival of the Old Virginia with her notions of supremacy.

But these had less to do with slavery than it did with White Supremacy. Was RE Lee a White Supremacist? Yes! of course he was! Virginia was established with a new world aristocracy from the get-go. Early colonists coming to Virginia came bearing their family coats of arms, and a commission was even created in colonial Virginia to ensure the legitimacy of the bearers of these coats of arms. There was from the beginning a clear caste system from the "aristocratic "whites at the very top all the way down to the black slaves, particularly where marriage was concerned. There was even a class/caste system among the slaves. This class/caste system continued all the way up to and after the Civil War. RE Lee descended from the Washington and "King" Carter families along with the Lees, at the very top of the Virginia aristocracy. This still exists to some but much lesser extent today.

The young men in these families were taught from the cradle on that they were born to rule and that blacks were inherently inferior and only by the grace of God were they brought to Virginia to save them from life in Africa and their primitive religions. Whites not of their social status were considered inferior as well. Great wealth and even more enhanced social status came with these large land holdings which depended on owning slaves to work these lands. Also to have servants in the homes. There was a certain honor code, but it was based greatly upon noblesse oblige of the upper classes toward their inferiors, the slaves occupying the lowest spot on the totem pole.

There was economic devastation in Virginia as a result of the Civil War, and white
Virginians feared that their alleged racial superiority would disappear. There was a saying in the county that my ancestors helped settle that "All we have left is our good names and the family silver, which we buried." RE Lee and some of the other Virginia generals exemplified to them Southern honor and nobility of the highest order. I'm not sure how I escaped this mind set, but neither slavery nor white supremacy in any form is a part of my heritage that I want to embrace or perpetuate. They all belong in the dust bin of history. I have many friends with deep Southern roots who have also come to terms with deeply flawed aspects of their ancestry and have long since discarded them as part of their now value system. The reality is that these statues conjure up the fantasy of the ante bellum South to some and cause great pain to others.

I would hope other Southerners would take a clear-headed look and understanding of what these statues represent. I personally would like these statues put into museums of history along with reality-based teaching opportunities.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1964Alum View Post
Yes. What those who insist on having public monuments to preserve their "history and heritage" seem to completely overlook is the fact that Blacks and other oppressed groups have their own history and heritage that has been passed down to them in stories of the past just as we have had ours. But theirs is a very painful, oppressive and dehumanizing one and one that often resulted in death. It IS as if the Civil War is not over and is being fought over and over again. And this despite laws passed in the Civil Rights era of the 60s. I can remember some of my family members and associates protesting that while laws can be passed, that no one could legislate how they felt. And they continued to perpetuate the mythology of the Southern glory. So we have had two very different narratives being perpetuated for generations. As far as I am concerned, the Civil War is a stain on our country that needs to STOP! There is no future in it for any of us and certainly not the foundation of our national values today.

We settled the issue of Nazi racial superiority in WWII. Do we really want to go back to that?!! I am sickened by the displays of White Supremacists and was horrified by what happened in Charlottesville, just on the other side of the mountain from where I live.

My mother BTW would have washed my mouth out with soap had I ever used the N word.
Wow.

I loved every word of this.

Thank you.

My family is from Southampton County, VA, by the way.
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  #81  
Old 09-02-2017, 07:02 PM
1964Alum 1964Alum is offline
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Thank you for your kind words, Sen's Revenge. Southampton County certainly has had its share of history.
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