Politically Incorrect History

Oliver_Cromwell_-_Statue_-_Palace_of_Westminster_-_London_-_240404Pat here, diving into the politically sensitive. If you're squeamish, back out now.

As a writer who reveres history and firmly believes that we are doomed to repeat our mistakes until we learn from our past, and as a peace-loving liberal who believes every person on the planet deserves respect, I am left in a quandary by current events.

My opening image is of Oliver Cromwell, a Protestant who hated Catholicism, started a civil war that destroyed immense amounts of artwork and architecture, not to mention thousands of people. He pretty much destroyed an entire culture. He is a politically divisive figure and bigot. 

Should we destroy his statue? The moral quandary is best stated in this article, but I'm working from the historical viewpoint.

 

 

During the French Revolution, the patriots ripped the heads of the kings of Judah off Notre By Larry from Charlottetown  PEI  Canada_5 of the 28 Heads of the Kings of Judah Dame, simply because the figures wore the cloaks of nobility. They destroyed priceless artwork and history as a political statement. We can say the revolutionaries acted out of respect for their cause, but essentially, it was an emotional act of defiance which disrespected the people who designed and created the monument. We have the same conflict today, on a more difficult scale.

The Judah images were art, but imaginary characters and of no great historical value except to the building. Statues we want destroyed today are also art, but they're often of real historical figures, people who have caused great harm. So now what do we do?

I detest the bigotry and slavery that was the base root of the Confederacy, but should all trace of that history of bigotry be eradicated? I'd love to see the bigotry eradicated, but won't removing historical reminders of those times let us pretend they never happened and can never happen again?

I grew up in Kentucky, truly a 256px-Morgan_Lexington_statue_behindhouse divided during the Civil War. After the war, Kentuckians from both sides erected statues to Confederate soldiers as well as statues and museums of great Union statesmen, including Lincoln. As a student, I saw them as in-your-face reminders of the destruction caused by political divisiveness. I was happy to see my hometown's solution of removing the painful statues from the public eye so they aren't seen as glorifying what should never have happened. But those statues are not only representational works of art, but an ugly piece of history we need to remember. As painful as their existence is, wouldn't destroying them allow us to forget why they were erected or pretend they never happened? (as an amusing anecdote, note the women who erected the Confederate statue pictured here disagreed over whether it was art or not) 

It’s far too late to educate our ancestors about the dangers of hate. But it’s not too late to educate our children. If we only show them the statues of men who meet today's standards, like Lincoln, how will they learn to understand that times and people change? That we're capable of choosing the wrong leaders? How do we balance the intellectual need for history against the emotional reaction to an era that should never have happened? Keep in mind, this isn't just about statues. We're in danger of wiping out music, art, books, and dance because they no longer reflect our current beliefs. But current beliefs can be wrong, and we need history to show this.

 


Do we destroy historical art and our history in the same way Islamic terrorists—and most conquering armies—tore down ancient statues that represented a different period of belief or government? Isn’t destroying art and history, like banning books, a repressive symptom of intolerance? Watching the destruction of the Mosul Museum made me weep, not because I believe in the religion or government represented by the contents, but because those artifacts were made by people who will never live again, people we'll never understand without seeing what they created, how they created it, and try to grasp why the artifacts were of importance. It was like watching the Library of Alexandria burn all over again. Historical objects provide insight into a past we'll never see without a time machine.

The same confusion reigns when we consider all the other forms of art that represent previous  eras. Do we throw away all our music, our paintings, our dance, our books, if they don’t reflect our contemporary beliefs? (Reading Harriet Beecher Stowe today, despite all her good intentions, can be downright painful.) Do we write our historical fiction to reflect current culture or the culture of the time period? Or should the creations of the past be a reminder of how


much we’ve changed as a society—and how much more we need to grow? Perhaps all art of a certain age should be accompanied by history lessons?

TeadancenutcrackerWhat do we do about the totally inaccurate but revered Nutcracker ballet? I see it as a fantasy, certainly not historical, but it's a brilliant piece of art from centuries go. Of course the characters aren't accurate. The Tea Dance is almost like performing blackface. Do we use the dance as it is as a teaching moment for our children? Or do we mutilate it to make it fit modern standards?

Do we really need to write a western with our characters shouting The Native Americans are coming? The vernacular atChief_Sitting_Bull the time would have been injuns or redskins. Contemporary correctness requires identifying the tribe, but historically, in most cases, the general population wouldn’t have known or cared. Sure, I’d like to see disrespectful name-calling eliminated, but I’d find every way possible to avoid writing The Kiowa and Comanche are coming if I'm trying to put readers into a story. So do writers stop writing about indigenous populations? Wouldn’t that be eliminating their history as well as ours? Let's face it, much of history is ugly. What do we serve by pretending otherwise?

As much as I respect the difficulty of achieving the equality every person alive deserves, and the pain many races, religions, and genders suffered in the past and still suffer, must we disrespect the flawed people who brought us to this day to show we're more progressive? Perhaps their beliefs were wrong, but they tilled the soil to feed their families, built the schools, raised our forefathers with what By carmichaellibrary Banned Books Display Uploaded by AlbertHerring  CC BY 2.0knowledge they possessed, and created this free society we live in. Because of them, each generation that follows is more educated and better able to support themselves than the last, but even now, we are still sadly flawed. Wouldn’t it be better to look back and see the flaws and learn not to repeat them? Their lack of education or empathy is a history we should study, read about, and be appalled by, and never forget lest the same happen to us.

So how do we go about teaching our children to learn from the past? I’m afraid I don’t see whitewashing as a solution. Our history is as 408px-Jacques-Louis_David_007sublime as it is ugly. We may rightfully despise Napoleon's reign of terror, but he created the Italy we know today out of dozens of warring city-states where wealthy nobles treated the population as slaves. Do we forget his existence—or learn from his horrific arrogance? If a piece of art or a book offends you, then it probably offends many. But can’t we find a better reaction than off with its head? Have we learned nothing from the suppression of other eras?

Or am I being intellectually naive and should we respect emotion over thought? I certainly felt great joy when the Berlin Wall was destroyed, but maybe parts of it should have been left as a monument to the dangers of isolationism? Are we already forgetting that period of history?

I do not claim to have answers.  I don't think any of us do. But where should we start in balancing history with contemporary thinking? I cannot even begin to include everything that needs saying, so I'm hoping readers will help.

270 thoughts on “Politically Incorrect History”

  1. I’m going to get myself in trouble here, but I need to say this. You are happy your hometown removed statues, presumably to be locked away where they won’t be seen, but don’t want them destroyed. Isn’t it almost the same thing? Either way, you’re removing them from the public eye and taking away teachable moments for our kids and those who come after. They shouldn’t be touched. They should be pointed out.
    “That’s so and so. He did this or that. It was not the right thing/belief/idea to do by today’s standards, but he was a product of his time and because of this and that belief, it shaped our country into what it is today.”
    Hiding or destroying our past won’t change it. If anything, it will allow people to continue to make the same mistakes rather than giving an opportunity to learn from them. I know my girls are sorely lacking in the history department, both our history and world history. Schools no longer focus on a complete tale of history but selectively choose what your children learn and that is so wrong. They need to learn the bad with the good. Destroy that which came before us and you make a lie out of what we are now and are doomed to repeat the past.

    Reply
  2. I’m going to get myself in trouble here, but I need to say this. You are happy your hometown removed statues, presumably to be locked away where they won’t be seen, but don’t want them destroyed. Isn’t it almost the same thing? Either way, you’re removing them from the public eye and taking away teachable moments for our kids and those who come after. They shouldn’t be touched. They should be pointed out.
    “That’s so and so. He did this or that. It was not the right thing/belief/idea to do by today’s standards, but he was a product of his time and because of this and that belief, it shaped our country into what it is today.”
    Hiding or destroying our past won’t change it. If anything, it will allow people to continue to make the same mistakes rather than giving an opportunity to learn from them. I know my girls are sorely lacking in the history department, both our history and world history. Schools no longer focus on a complete tale of history but selectively choose what your children learn and that is so wrong. They need to learn the bad with the good. Destroy that which came before us and you make a lie out of what we are now and are doomed to repeat the past.

    Reply
  3. I’m going to get myself in trouble here, but I need to say this. You are happy your hometown removed statues, presumably to be locked away where they won’t be seen, but don’t want them destroyed. Isn’t it almost the same thing? Either way, you’re removing them from the public eye and taking away teachable moments for our kids and those who come after. They shouldn’t be touched. They should be pointed out.
    “That’s so and so. He did this or that. It was not the right thing/belief/idea to do by today’s standards, but he was a product of his time and because of this and that belief, it shaped our country into what it is today.”
    Hiding or destroying our past won’t change it. If anything, it will allow people to continue to make the same mistakes rather than giving an opportunity to learn from them. I know my girls are sorely lacking in the history department, both our history and world history. Schools no longer focus on a complete tale of history but selectively choose what your children learn and that is so wrong. They need to learn the bad with the good. Destroy that which came before us and you make a lie out of what we are now and are doomed to repeat the past.

    Reply
  4. I’m going to get myself in trouble here, but I need to say this. You are happy your hometown removed statues, presumably to be locked away where they won’t be seen, but don’t want them destroyed. Isn’t it almost the same thing? Either way, you’re removing them from the public eye and taking away teachable moments for our kids and those who come after. They shouldn’t be touched. They should be pointed out.
    “That’s so and so. He did this or that. It was not the right thing/belief/idea to do by today’s standards, but he was a product of his time and because of this and that belief, it shaped our country into what it is today.”
    Hiding or destroying our past won’t change it. If anything, it will allow people to continue to make the same mistakes rather than giving an opportunity to learn from them. I know my girls are sorely lacking in the history department, both our history and world history. Schools no longer focus on a complete tale of history but selectively choose what your children learn and that is so wrong. They need to learn the bad with the good. Destroy that which came before us and you make a lie out of what we are now and are doomed to repeat the past.

    Reply
  5. I’m going to get myself in trouble here, but I need to say this. You are happy your hometown removed statues, presumably to be locked away where they won’t be seen, but don’t want them destroyed. Isn’t it almost the same thing? Either way, you’re removing them from the public eye and taking away teachable moments for our kids and those who come after. They shouldn’t be touched. They should be pointed out.
    “That’s so and so. He did this or that. It was not the right thing/belief/idea to do by today’s standards, but he was a product of his time and because of this and that belief, it shaped our country into what it is today.”
    Hiding or destroying our past won’t change it. If anything, it will allow people to continue to make the same mistakes rather than giving an opportunity to learn from them. I know my girls are sorely lacking in the history department, both our history and world history. Schools no longer focus on a complete tale of history but selectively choose what your children learn and that is so wrong. They need to learn the bad with the good. Destroy that which came before us and you make a lie out of what we are now and are doomed to repeat the past.

    Reply
  6. A very thought provoking article!
    To add a scientific thread and set the story in a wider context, I think it is worth remembering that human history is but a tiny blip in the history of life on earth. There have been 5 major mass extinction events where more than 75% of species disappeared. Most involved rapid climate change and many think we could now be entering the sixth major extinction. If that isn’t enough to focus minds it is also worth remembering that the universe is an incredibly dangerous place. Large chunks of rock from space could strike planet earth at any time and with a large black hole at the center of the galaxy there could be massive pulses of energy heading our way at the speed of light (so no advanced warning). Instead of indulging in petty squabbles and wars I think it could be more productive for humanity to seek ways for the world to unite in efforts to protect the planet and our long term existence. Considering the political wrangling in the UK over brexit I despair of relying on politicians to solve anything. Somehow scientists around the globe need to take time away from their research to focus on finding and implementing solutions while there is still time.Sadly politicians control the funding so nothing along these lines is likely any time soon.
    I have no doubts that the earth will survive but as to a squabbling and warring human race, I am not so sure.
    Still it doesn’t stop us enjoying Christmas!
    Merry Christmas Wenches and readers 😉

    Reply
  7. A very thought provoking article!
    To add a scientific thread and set the story in a wider context, I think it is worth remembering that human history is but a tiny blip in the history of life on earth. There have been 5 major mass extinction events where more than 75% of species disappeared. Most involved rapid climate change and many think we could now be entering the sixth major extinction. If that isn’t enough to focus minds it is also worth remembering that the universe is an incredibly dangerous place. Large chunks of rock from space could strike planet earth at any time and with a large black hole at the center of the galaxy there could be massive pulses of energy heading our way at the speed of light (so no advanced warning). Instead of indulging in petty squabbles and wars I think it could be more productive for humanity to seek ways for the world to unite in efforts to protect the planet and our long term existence. Considering the political wrangling in the UK over brexit I despair of relying on politicians to solve anything. Somehow scientists around the globe need to take time away from their research to focus on finding and implementing solutions while there is still time.Sadly politicians control the funding so nothing along these lines is likely any time soon.
    I have no doubts that the earth will survive but as to a squabbling and warring human race, I am not so sure.
    Still it doesn’t stop us enjoying Christmas!
    Merry Christmas Wenches and readers 😉

    Reply
  8. A very thought provoking article!
    To add a scientific thread and set the story in a wider context, I think it is worth remembering that human history is but a tiny blip in the history of life on earth. There have been 5 major mass extinction events where more than 75% of species disappeared. Most involved rapid climate change and many think we could now be entering the sixth major extinction. If that isn’t enough to focus minds it is also worth remembering that the universe is an incredibly dangerous place. Large chunks of rock from space could strike planet earth at any time and with a large black hole at the center of the galaxy there could be massive pulses of energy heading our way at the speed of light (so no advanced warning). Instead of indulging in petty squabbles and wars I think it could be more productive for humanity to seek ways for the world to unite in efforts to protect the planet and our long term existence. Considering the political wrangling in the UK over brexit I despair of relying on politicians to solve anything. Somehow scientists around the globe need to take time away from their research to focus on finding and implementing solutions while there is still time.Sadly politicians control the funding so nothing along these lines is likely any time soon.
    I have no doubts that the earth will survive but as to a squabbling and warring human race, I am not so sure.
    Still it doesn’t stop us enjoying Christmas!
    Merry Christmas Wenches and readers 😉

    Reply
  9. A very thought provoking article!
    To add a scientific thread and set the story in a wider context, I think it is worth remembering that human history is but a tiny blip in the history of life on earth. There have been 5 major mass extinction events where more than 75% of species disappeared. Most involved rapid climate change and many think we could now be entering the sixth major extinction. If that isn’t enough to focus minds it is also worth remembering that the universe is an incredibly dangerous place. Large chunks of rock from space could strike planet earth at any time and with a large black hole at the center of the galaxy there could be massive pulses of energy heading our way at the speed of light (so no advanced warning). Instead of indulging in petty squabbles and wars I think it could be more productive for humanity to seek ways for the world to unite in efforts to protect the planet and our long term existence. Considering the political wrangling in the UK over brexit I despair of relying on politicians to solve anything. Somehow scientists around the globe need to take time away from their research to focus on finding and implementing solutions while there is still time.Sadly politicians control the funding so nothing along these lines is likely any time soon.
    I have no doubts that the earth will survive but as to a squabbling and warring human race, I am not so sure.
    Still it doesn’t stop us enjoying Christmas!
    Merry Christmas Wenches and readers 😉

    Reply
  10. A very thought provoking article!
    To add a scientific thread and set the story in a wider context, I think it is worth remembering that human history is but a tiny blip in the history of life on earth. There have been 5 major mass extinction events where more than 75% of species disappeared. Most involved rapid climate change and many think we could now be entering the sixth major extinction. If that isn’t enough to focus minds it is also worth remembering that the universe is an incredibly dangerous place. Large chunks of rock from space could strike planet earth at any time and with a large black hole at the center of the galaxy there could be massive pulses of energy heading our way at the speed of light (so no advanced warning). Instead of indulging in petty squabbles and wars I think it could be more productive for humanity to seek ways for the world to unite in efforts to protect the planet and our long term existence. Considering the political wrangling in the UK over brexit I despair of relying on politicians to solve anything. Somehow scientists around the globe need to take time away from their research to focus on finding and implementing solutions while there is still time.Sadly politicians control the funding so nothing along these lines is likely any time soon.
    I have no doubts that the earth will survive but as to a squabbling and warring human race, I am not so sure.
    Still it doesn’t stop us enjoying Christmas!
    Merry Christmas Wenches and readers 😉

    Reply
  11. I applaud you for taking on such a sensitive subject. I don’t have the answers either. But I do believe history should be presented exactly as it was – warts and all. We can learn a lot from those warts.
    It bothers me that we are so darn judgmental nowadays. Thank you social media. It seems like the negative voices get the greatest platform. A good example of that is banning the song “Baby it’s cold outside.” Silly (IMO) things like that water down a perfectly good movement (Me Too).
    OK – I’m going to get off my soapbox now and also wish everyone a happy Christmas and a wonderful holiday.

    Reply
  12. I applaud you for taking on such a sensitive subject. I don’t have the answers either. But I do believe history should be presented exactly as it was – warts and all. We can learn a lot from those warts.
    It bothers me that we are so darn judgmental nowadays. Thank you social media. It seems like the negative voices get the greatest platform. A good example of that is banning the song “Baby it’s cold outside.” Silly (IMO) things like that water down a perfectly good movement (Me Too).
    OK – I’m going to get off my soapbox now and also wish everyone a happy Christmas and a wonderful holiday.

    Reply
  13. I applaud you for taking on such a sensitive subject. I don’t have the answers either. But I do believe history should be presented exactly as it was – warts and all. We can learn a lot from those warts.
    It bothers me that we are so darn judgmental nowadays. Thank you social media. It seems like the negative voices get the greatest platform. A good example of that is banning the song “Baby it’s cold outside.” Silly (IMO) things like that water down a perfectly good movement (Me Too).
    OK – I’m going to get off my soapbox now and also wish everyone a happy Christmas and a wonderful holiday.

    Reply
  14. I applaud you for taking on such a sensitive subject. I don’t have the answers either. But I do believe history should be presented exactly as it was – warts and all. We can learn a lot from those warts.
    It bothers me that we are so darn judgmental nowadays. Thank you social media. It seems like the negative voices get the greatest platform. A good example of that is banning the song “Baby it’s cold outside.” Silly (IMO) things like that water down a perfectly good movement (Me Too).
    OK – I’m going to get off my soapbox now and also wish everyone a happy Christmas and a wonderful holiday.

    Reply
  15. I applaud you for taking on such a sensitive subject. I don’t have the answers either. But I do believe history should be presented exactly as it was – warts and all. We can learn a lot from those warts.
    It bothers me that we are so darn judgmental nowadays. Thank you social media. It seems like the negative voices get the greatest platform. A good example of that is banning the song “Baby it’s cold outside.” Silly (IMO) things like that water down a perfectly good movement (Me Too).
    OK – I’m going to get off my soapbox now and also wish everyone a happy Christmas and a wonderful holiday.

    Reply
  16. Theo–I do not disagree at all. I had way too much material to cover and walked a fine line between not stating my belief and asking how others felt. But if you click the link on the story about the statues, you’ll read the article goes on to say “The statues of John Hunt Morgan and John Breckinridge were moved out of storage this afternoon to The Lexington Cemetery. ” Moving statues is not easy and requires time and thought. I consider these important to our history and I’m glad they’re in a more appropriate place.

    Reply
  17. Theo–I do not disagree at all. I had way too much material to cover and walked a fine line between not stating my belief and asking how others felt. But if you click the link on the story about the statues, you’ll read the article goes on to say “The statues of John Hunt Morgan and John Breckinridge were moved out of storage this afternoon to The Lexington Cemetery. ” Moving statues is not easy and requires time and thought. I consider these important to our history and I’m glad they’re in a more appropriate place.

    Reply
  18. Theo–I do not disagree at all. I had way too much material to cover and walked a fine line between not stating my belief and asking how others felt. But if you click the link on the story about the statues, you’ll read the article goes on to say “The statues of John Hunt Morgan and John Breckinridge were moved out of storage this afternoon to The Lexington Cemetery. ” Moving statues is not easy and requires time and thought. I consider these important to our history and I’m glad they’re in a more appropriate place.

    Reply
  19. Theo–I do not disagree at all. I had way too much material to cover and walked a fine line between not stating my belief and asking how others felt. But if you click the link on the story about the statues, you’ll read the article goes on to say “The statues of John Hunt Morgan and John Breckinridge were moved out of storage this afternoon to The Lexington Cemetery. ” Moving statues is not easy and requires time and thought. I consider these important to our history and I’m glad they’re in a more appropriate place.

    Reply
  20. Theo–I do not disagree at all. I had way too much material to cover and walked a fine line between not stating my belief and asking how others felt. But if you click the link on the story about the statues, you’ll read the article goes on to say “The statues of John Hunt Morgan and John Breckinridge were moved out of storage this afternoon to The Lexington Cemetery. ” Moving statues is not easy and requires time and thought. I consider these important to our history and I’m glad they’re in a more appropriate place.

    Reply
  21. Thank you for the larger perspective I could not add without writing an entire book. 😉 I have my doubts about the human race, too. I know there are wonderful, intelligent, kind people all over this planet. I don’t know how to let them be leaders since anyone of intelligence and kindness would run like rabbits from political office. 😉

    Reply
  22. Thank you for the larger perspective I could not add without writing an entire book. 😉 I have my doubts about the human race, too. I know there are wonderful, intelligent, kind people all over this planet. I don’t know how to let them be leaders since anyone of intelligence and kindness would run like rabbits from political office. 😉

    Reply
  23. Thank you for the larger perspective I could not add without writing an entire book. 😉 I have my doubts about the human race, too. I know there are wonderful, intelligent, kind people all over this planet. I don’t know how to let them be leaders since anyone of intelligence and kindness would run like rabbits from political office. 😉

    Reply
  24. Thank you for the larger perspective I could not add without writing an entire book. 😉 I have my doubts about the human race, too. I know there are wonderful, intelligent, kind people all over this planet. I don’t know how to let them be leaders since anyone of intelligence and kindness would run like rabbits from political office. 😉

    Reply
  25. Thank you for the larger perspective I could not add without writing an entire book. 😉 I have my doubts about the human race, too. I know there are wonderful, intelligent, kind people all over this planet. I don’t know how to let them be leaders since anyone of intelligence and kindness would run like rabbits from political office. 😉

    Reply
  26. Read this weekend that Gandhi’s statue has been removed in an African country for his racial slurs stemming from his time in Africa.

    Reply
  27. Read this weekend that Gandhi’s statue has been removed in an African country for his racial slurs stemming from his time in Africa.

    Reply
  28. Read this weekend that Gandhi’s statue has been removed in an African country for his racial slurs stemming from his time in Africa.

    Reply
  29. Read this weekend that Gandhi’s statue has been removed in an African country for his racial slurs stemming from his time in Africa.

    Reply
  30. Read this weekend that Gandhi’s statue has been removed in an African country for his racial slurs stemming from his time in Africa.

    Reply
  31. I’m having problems lately with posts here. When I go to preview my post to make any corrections, the post completely disappears. Often I forget to copy before preview so as not to have to do a redo and then don’t bother to retype. This great article on a timely topic is one where I’m willing to type my response again. I read the article to my husband as it’s been a topic with us for some months. His response is that we are spending far too much time on a past that can’t be a do over, regardless of how much it should. He and I believe we’d be far better off concentrating on what we can do to improve our present and our future on a planet endangered by our very species. My reaction to the removal of some statues that I consider an “in your face” reminder of slavery to many of our citizens, is “go for it”. When “To Kill a Mockingbird” was recently removed from a southern school’s 8th grade curriculum mid-lesson, I was appalled. While that may read as if I’m biased in my art appreciation, history tells us that many of the Southern statues were hastily mass produced pieces from factories in the North, commissioned and erected by Daughters of the Confederacy in the 20th century, many years after the Civil War, to help justify the “Jim Crow” laws of the South. If they want to re-erect them in a cemetery, I honestly can’t think of a better place for dead soldiers.

    Reply
  32. I’m having problems lately with posts here. When I go to preview my post to make any corrections, the post completely disappears. Often I forget to copy before preview so as not to have to do a redo and then don’t bother to retype. This great article on a timely topic is one where I’m willing to type my response again. I read the article to my husband as it’s been a topic with us for some months. His response is that we are spending far too much time on a past that can’t be a do over, regardless of how much it should. He and I believe we’d be far better off concentrating on what we can do to improve our present and our future on a planet endangered by our very species. My reaction to the removal of some statues that I consider an “in your face” reminder of slavery to many of our citizens, is “go for it”. When “To Kill a Mockingbird” was recently removed from a southern school’s 8th grade curriculum mid-lesson, I was appalled. While that may read as if I’m biased in my art appreciation, history tells us that many of the Southern statues were hastily mass produced pieces from factories in the North, commissioned and erected by Daughters of the Confederacy in the 20th century, many years after the Civil War, to help justify the “Jim Crow” laws of the South. If they want to re-erect them in a cemetery, I honestly can’t think of a better place for dead soldiers.

    Reply
  33. I’m having problems lately with posts here. When I go to preview my post to make any corrections, the post completely disappears. Often I forget to copy before preview so as not to have to do a redo and then don’t bother to retype. This great article on a timely topic is one where I’m willing to type my response again. I read the article to my husband as it’s been a topic with us for some months. His response is that we are spending far too much time on a past that can’t be a do over, regardless of how much it should. He and I believe we’d be far better off concentrating on what we can do to improve our present and our future on a planet endangered by our very species. My reaction to the removal of some statues that I consider an “in your face” reminder of slavery to many of our citizens, is “go for it”. When “To Kill a Mockingbird” was recently removed from a southern school’s 8th grade curriculum mid-lesson, I was appalled. While that may read as if I’m biased in my art appreciation, history tells us that many of the Southern statues were hastily mass produced pieces from factories in the North, commissioned and erected by Daughters of the Confederacy in the 20th century, many years after the Civil War, to help justify the “Jim Crow” laws of the South. If they want to re-erect them in a cemetery, I honestly can’t think of a better place for dead soldiers.

    Reply
  34. I’m having problems lately with posts here. When I go to preview my post to make any corrections, the post completely disappears. Often I forget to copy before preview so as not to have to do a redo and then don’t bother to retype. This great article on a timely topic is one where I’m willing to type my response again. I read the article to my husband as it’s been a topic with us for some months. His response is that we are spending far too much time on a past that can’t be a do over, regardless of how much it should. He and I believe we’d be far better off concentrating on what we can do to improve our present and our future on a planet endangered by our very species. My reaction to the removal of some statues that I consider an “in your face” reminder of slavery to many of our citizens, is “go for it”. When “To Kill a Mockingbird” was recently removed from a southern school’s 8th grade curriculum mid-lesson, I was appalled. While that may read as if I’m biased in my art appreciation, history tells us that many of the Southern statues were hastily mass produced pieces from factories in the North, commissioned and erected by Daughters of the Confederacy in the 20th century, many years after the Civil War, to help justify the “Jim Crow” laws of the South. If they want to re-erect them in a cemetery, I honestly can’t think of a better place for dead soldiers.

    Reply
  35. I’m having problems lately with posts here. When I go to preview my post to make any corrections, the post completely disappears. Often I forget to copy before preview so as not to have to do a redo and then don’t bother to retype. This great article on a timely topic is one where I’m willing to type my response again. I read the article to my husband as it’s been a topic with us for some months. His response is that we are spending far too much time on a past that can’t be a do over, regardless of how much it should. He and I believe we’d be far better off concentrating on what we can do to improve our present and our future on a planet endangered by our very species. My reaction to the removal of some statues that I consider an “in your face” reminder of slavery to many of our citizens, is “go for it”. When “To Kill a Mockingbird” was recently removed from a southern school’s 8th grade curriculum mid-lesson, I was appalled. While that may read as if I’m biased in my art appreciation, history tells us that many of the Southern statues were hastily mass produced pieces from factories in the North, commissioned and erected by Daughters of the Confederacy in the 20th century, many years after the Civil War, to help justify the “Jim Crow” laws of the South. If they want to re-erect them in a cemetery, I honestly can’t think of a better place for dead soldiers.

    Reply
  36. I find al these contemporary iconoclasts truly depressing. Oliver Cromwell is certainly not one of my favorite historical figures, but I have always liked something he wrote to some of his more fanatical followers:
    “I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible that you may be mistaken.”

    Reply
  37. I find al these contemporary iconoclasts truly depressing. Oliver Cromwell is certainly not one of my favorite historical figures, but I have always liked something he wrote to some of his more fanatical followers:
    “I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible that you may be mistaken.”

    Reply
  38. I find al these contemporary iconoclasts truly depressing. Oliver Cromwell is certainly not one of my favorite historical figures, but I have always liked something he wrote to some of his more fanatical followers:
    “I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible that you may be mistaken.”

    Reply
  39. I find al these contemporary iconoclasts truly depressing. Oliver Cromwell is certainly not one of my favorite historical figures, but I have always liked something he wrote to some of his more fanatical followers:
    “I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible that you may be mistaken.”

    Reply
  40. I find al these contemporary iconoclasts truly depressing. Oliver Cromwell is certainly not one of my favorite historical figures, but I have always liked something he wrote to some of his more fanatical followers:
    “I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible that you may be mistaken.”

    Reply
  41. I have no answer to the Typepad problem, Jeanette. I have equal problems with any social media connected to the internet. Maybe I’m the jinx. 😉
    I do wish we’d put all this excess energy into fixing the problems we have instead of complaining about the ones that are done, but cleaning up after our ancestors does speak encouragement, I suppose. Thank you for taking the time to retype!

    Reply
  42. I have no answer to the Typepad problem, Jeanette. I have equal problems with any social media connected to the internet. Maybe I’m the jinx. 😉
    I do wish we’d put all this excess energy into fixing the problems we have instead of complaining about the ones that are done, but cleaning up after our ancestors does speak encouragement, I suppose. Thank you for taking the time to retype!

    Reply
  43. I have no answer to the Typepad problem, Jeanette. I have equal problems with any social media connected to the internet. Maybe I’m the jinx. 😉
    I do wish we’d put all this excess energy into fixing the problems we have instead of complaining about the ones that are done, but cleaning up after our ancestors does speak encouragement, I suppose. Thank you for taking the time to retype!

    Reply
  44. I have no answer to the Typepad problem, Jeanette. I have equal problems with any social media connected to the internet. Maybe I’m the jinx. 😉
    I do wish we’d put all this excess energy into fixing the problems we have instead of complaining about the ones that are done, but cleaning up after our ancestors does speak encouragement, I suppose. Thank you for taking the time to retype!

    Reply
  45. I have no answer to the Typepad problem, Jeanette. I have equal problems with any social media connected to the internet. Maybe I’m the jinx. 😉
    I do wish we’d put all this excess energy into fixing the problems we have instead of complaining about the ones that are done, but cleaning up after our ancestors does speak encouragement, I suppose. Thank you for taking the time to retype!

    Reply
  46. LOL! I’m sure “bowels” had a much better interpretation at the time.
    Cromwell had many things right. He just went about them all wrong.
    And the really sad thing is that we’re still arguing these same problems today.

    Reply
  47. LOL! I’m sure “bowels” had a much better interpretation at the time.
    Cromwell had many things right. He just went about them all wrong.
    And the really sad thing is that we’re still arguing these same problems today.

    Reply
  48. LOL! I’m sure “bowels” had a much better interpretation at the time.
    Cromwell had many things right. He just went about them all wrong.
    And the really sad thing is that we’re still arguing these same problems today.

    Reply
  49. LOL! I’m sure “bowels” had a much better interpretation at the time.
    Cromwell had many things right. He just went about them all wrong.
    And the really sad thing is that we’re still arguing these same problems today.

    Reply
  50. LOL! I’m sure “bowels” had a much better interpretation at the time.
    Cromwell had many things right. He just went about them all wrong.
    And the really sad thing is that we’re still arguing these same problems today.

    Reply
  51. When I was living in Poland in 1979 I was struck by all the statues of Lenin. There plenty of other statues such as the Teutonic Knights, etc.; all historical, all political, all blatant memorials to war, suppression, victory and some humanity. I have often mused that not only should each have a placard that labeled the date and artist but should include the the victory, conqueror, accolades, why and what was accomplished; then labeled with the vanquished with it’s number of displaced, murdered, and the names those who authored the most malevolent deeds. If that was done world wide then history would be much more fun to learn and tourism would have a greater impact upon humanity. I, likewise, have always felt that the dirt of history should be taught in schools because everyone would LOVE history classes instead of loathing them. I do not think that local school boards should be in the business of sanitizing history or any field being taught in school.

    Reply
  52. When I was living in Poland in 1979 I was struck by all the statues of Lenin. There plenty of other statues such as the Teutonic Knights, etc.; all historical, all political, all blatant memorials to war, suppression, victory and some humanity. I have often mused that not only should each have a placard that labeled the date and artist but should include the the victory, conqueror, accolades, why and what was accomplished; then labeled with the vanquished with it’s number of displaced, murdered, and the names those who authored the most malevolent deeds. If that was done world wide then history would be much more fun to learn and tourism would have a greater impact upon humanity. I, likewise, have always felt that the dirt of history should be taught in schools because everyone would LOVE history classes instead of loathing them. I do not think that local school boards should be in the business of sanitizing history or any field being taught in school.

    Reply
  53. When I was living in Poland in 1979 I was struck by all the statues of Lenin. There plenty of other statues such as the Teutonic Knights, etc.; all historical, all political, all blatant memorials to war, suppression, victory and some humanity. I have often mused that not only should each have a placard that labeled the date and artist but should include the the victory, conqueror, accolades, why and what was accomplished; then labeled with the vanquished with it’s number of displaced, murdered, and the names those who authored the most malevolent deeds. If that was done world wide then history would be much more fun to learn and tourism would have a greater impact upon humanity. I, likewise, have always felt that the dirt of history should be taught in schools because everyone would LOVE history classes instead of loathing them. I do not think that local school boards should be in the business of sanitizing history or any field being taught in school.

    Reply
  54. When I was living in Poland in 1979 I was struck by all the statues of Lenin. There plenty of other statues such as the Teutonic Knights, etc.; all historical, all political, all blatant memorials to war, suppression, victory and some humanity. I have often mused that not only should each have a placard that labeled the date and artist but should include the the victory, conqueror, accolades, why and what was accomplished; then labeled with the vanquished with it’s number of displaced, murdered, and the names those who authored the most malevolent deeds. If that was done world wide then history would be much more fun to learn and tourism would have a greater impact upon humanity. I, likewise, have always felt that the dirt of history should be taught in schools because everyone would LOVE history classes instead of loathing them. I do not think that local school boards should be in the business of sanitizing history or any field being taught in school.

    Reply
  55. When I was living in Poland in 1979 I was struck by all the statues of Lenin. There plenty of other statues such as the Teutonic Knights, etc.; all historical, all political, all blatant memorials to war, suppression, victory and some humanity. I have often mused that not only should each have a placard that labeled the date and artist but should include the the victory, conqueror, accolades, why and what was accomplished; then labeled with the vanquished with it’s number of displaced, murdered, and the names those who authored the most malevolent deeds. If that was done world wide then history would be much more fun to learn and tourism would have a greater impact upon humanity. I, likewise, have always felt that the dirt of history should be taught in schools because everyone would LOVE history classes instead of loathing them. I do not think that local school boards should be in the business of sanitizing history or any field being taught in school.

    Reply
  56. I read somewhere that only about 1% of the world’s masterpieces have survived. When you think of the fragility of art, let alone the political forces against it, it’s amazing that any art survives. I loved your thoughts on this topic because you explore both sides, something everyone ought to do. I also read that one of the big problems with lots of countries is their refusal to forget. When people are dying today over battles fought hundreds or even thousands of years ago, maybe the history needs to be forgotten. At what point is it warranted to snap, “Get over it, already!” Should the mid-East STILL be angry over the Crusades? How about half of Europe over the occupation by the Turks? We like to quote that those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it, but the damned thing about history is that in NEVER repeats. We see Neville Chamberlain as wrong-headed, smug, and unwilling to stand up to fascism, but are we doing the same thing if we don’t fight North Korea or Iran or maybe Russia or Saudi Arabia? Is it Neville Chamberlain again or are we right to encourage peace at any price, especially when war can destroy not only whole countries, but the world?

    Reply
  57. I read somewhere that only about 1% of the world’s masterpieces have survived. When you think of the fragility of art, let alone the political forces against it, it’s amazing that any art survives. I loved your thoughts on this topic because you explore both sides, something everyone ought to do. I also read that one of the big problems with lots of countries is their refusal to forget. When people are dying today over battles fought hundreds or even thousands of years ago, maybe the history needs to be forgotten. At what point is it warranted to snap, “Get over it, already!” Should the mid-East STILL be angry over the Crusades? How about half of Europe over the occupation by the Turks? We like to quote that those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it, but the damned thing about history is that in NEVER repeats. We see Neville Chamberlain as wrong-headed, smug, and unwilling to stand up to fascism, but are we doing the same thing if we don’t fight North Korea or Iran or maybe Russia or Saudi Arabia? Is it Neville Chamberlain again or are we right to encourage peace at any price, especially when war can destroy not only whole countries, but the world?

    Reply
  58. I read somewhere that only about 1% of the world’s masterpieces have survived. When you think of the fragility of art, let alone the political forces against it, it’s amazing that any art survives. I loved your thoughts on this topic because you explore both sides, something everyone ought to do. I also read that one of the big problems with lots of countries is their refusal to forget. When people are dying today over battles fought hundreds or even thousands of years ago, maybe the history needs to be forgotten. At what point is it warranted to snap, “Get over it, already!” Should the mid-East STILL be angry over the Crusades? How about half of Europe over the occupation by the Turks? We like to quote that those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it, but the damned thing about history is that in NEVER repeats. We see Neville Chamberlain as wrong-headed, smug, and unwilling to stand up to fascism, but are we doing the same thing if we don’t fight North Korea or Iran or maybe Russia or Saudi Arabia? Is it Neville Chamberlain again or are we right to encourage peace at any price, especially when war can destroy not only whole countries, but the world?

    Reply
  59. I read somewhere that only about 1% of the world’s masterpieces have survived. When you think of the fragility of art, let alone the political forces against it, it’s amazing that any art survives. I loved your thoughts on this topic because you explore both sides, something everyone ought to do. I also read that one of the big problems with lots of countries is their refusal to forget. When people are dying today over battles fought hundreds or even thousands of years ago, maybe the history needs to be forgotten. At what point is it warranted to snap, “Get over it, already!” Should the mid-East STILL be angry over the Crusades? How about half of Europe over the occupation by the Turks? We like to quote that those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it, but the damned thing about history is that in NEVER repeats. We see Neville Chamberlain as wrong-headed, smug, and unwilling to stand up to fascism, but are we doing the same thing if we don’t fight North Korea or Iran or maybe Russia or Saudi Arabia? Is it Neville Chamberlain again or are we right to encourage peace at any price, especially when war can destroy not only whole countries, but the world?

    Reply
  60. I read somewhere that only about 1% of the world’s masterpieces have survived. When you think of the fragility of art, let alone the political forces against it, it’s amazing that any art survives. I loved your thoughts on this topic because you explore both sides, something everyone ought to do. I also read that one of the big problems with lots of countries is their refusal to forget. When people are dying today over battles fought hundreds or even thousands of years ago, maybe the history needs to be forgotten. At what point is it warranted to snap, “Get over it, already!” Should the mid-East STILL be angry over the Crusades? How about half of Europe over the occupation by the Turks? We like to quote that those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it, but the damned thing about history is that in NEVER repeats. We see Neville Chamberlain as wrong-headed, smug, and unwilling to stand up to fascism, but are we doing the same thing if we don’t fight North Korea or Iran or maybe Russia or Saudi Arabia? Is it Neville Chamberlain again or are we right to encourage peace at any price, especially when war can destroy not only whole countries, but the world?

    Reply
  61. Now that is a fascinating viewpoint. I think the quote is those who didn’t LEARN from history are doomed, and these continuing wars certainly an example of that. But if we could wipe history out of their minds so they don’t know what they’re fighting about? Wow, I see a fun fantasy coming on!

    Reply
  62. Now that is a fascinating viewpoint. I think the quote is those who didn’t LEARN from history are doomed, and these continuing wars certainly an example of that. But if we could wipe history out of their minds so they don’t know what they’re fighting about? Wow, I see a fun fantasy coming on!

    Reply
  63. Now that is a fascinating viewpoint. I think the quote is those who didn’t LEARN from history are doomed, and these continuing wars certainly an example of that. But if we could wipe history out of their minds so they don’t know what they’re fighting about? Wow, I see a fun fantasy coming on!

    Reply
  64. Now that is a fascinating viewpoint. I think the quote is those who didn’t LEARN from history are doomed, and these continuing wars certainly an example of that. But if we could wipe history out of their minds so they don’t know what they’re fighting about? Wow, I see a fun fantasy coming on!

    Reply
  65. Now that is a fascinating viewpoint. I think the quote is those who didn’t LEARN from history are doomed, and these continuing wars certainly an example of that. But if we could wipe history out of their minds so they don’t know what they’re fighting about? Wow, I see a fun fantasy coming on!

    Reply
  66. I keep thinking about this, and I’d like to make two comments.
    First, banning a flirtatious song like “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” trivializes the whole issue of assault. It makes it sound as if there is no difference between a pat on the arm and rape.
    Second, demonizing historical figures for a belief or behavior that is not in line with current mores denies the complexity of human experience and turns people—past and present—into nothing more than comic book figures. This way lies stupidity.

    Reply
  67. I keep thinking about this, and I’d like to make two comments.
    First, banning a flirtatious song like “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” trivializes the whole issue of assault. It makes it sound as if there is no difference between a pat on the arm and rape.
    Second, demonizing historical figures for a belief or behavior that is not in line with current mores denies the complexity of human experience and turns people—past and present—into nothing more than comic book figures. This way lies stupidity.

    Reply
  68. I keep thinking about this, and I’d like to make two comments.
    First, banning a flirtatious song like “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” trivializes the whole issue of assault. It makes it sound as if there is no difference between a pat on the arm and rape.
    Second, demonizing historical figures for a belief or behavior that is not in line with current mores denies the complexity of human experience and turns people—past and present—into nothing more than comic book figures. This way lies stupidity.

    Reply
  69. I keep thinking about this, and I’d like to make two comments.
    First, banning a flirtatious song like “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” trivializes the whole issue of assault. It makes it sound as if there is no difference between a pat on the arm and rape.
    Second, demonizing historical figures for a belief or behavior that is not in line with current mores denies the complexity of human experience and turns people—past and present—into nothing more than comic book figures. This way lies stupidity.

    Reply
  70. I keep thinking about this, and I’d like to make two comments.
    First, banning a flirtatious song like “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” trivializes the whole issue of assault. It makes it sound as if there is no difference between a pat on the arm and rape.
    Second, demonizing historical figures for a belief or behavior that is not in line with current mores denies the complexity of human experience and turns people—past and present—into nothing more than comic book figures. This way lies stupidity.

    Reply
  71. As most other responders here, I ABHOR rewriting history. “Two wrongs don’t make a right” BUT if you refuse to tell the entire story, you’re perpetuating an additional wrong!
    Many of these revisionist histories are so one-sided. A common one is “the War of the Northern Aggression.” It completely ignores which side shot the first shot. (A fanatic anti-slavery midwesterner?) or the second shot (the students and teachers of the Citadel). John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry isn’t truly the first shot, but it is one of many factors. I mostly hear about it as a romantic gesture (rosy-colored history). But the “War of Northern Aggression” completely ignores which side fired the first shot.
    And since when is taking up arms against the government anything BUT a civil war?
    I don’t think either side of that battle is romantic. I do think that many of the people on both sides were brave.

    Reply
  72. As most other responders here, I ABHOR rewriting history. “Two wrongs don’t make a right” BUT if you refuse to tell the entire story, you’re perpetuating an additional wrong!
    Many of these revisionist histories are so one-sided. A common one is “the War of the Northern Aggression.” It completely ignores which side shot the first shot. (A fanatic anti-slavery midwesterner?) or the second shot (the students and teachers of the Citadel). John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry isn’t truly the first shot, but it is one of many factors. I mostly hear about it as a romantic gesture (rosy-colored history). But the “War of Northern Aggression” completely ignores which side fired the first shot.
    And since when is taking up arms against the government anything BUT a civil war?
    I don’t think either side of that battle is romantic. I do think that many of the people on both sides were brave.

    Reply
  73. As most other responders here, I ABHOR rewriting history. “Two wrongs don’t make a right” BUT if you refuse to tell the entire story, you’re perpetuating an additional wrong!
    Many of these revisionist histories are so one-sided. A common one is “the War of the Northern Aggression.” It completely ignores which side shot the first shot. (A fanatic anti-slavery midwesterner?) or the second shot (the students and teachers of the Citadel). John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry isn’t truly the first shot, but it is one of many factors. I mostly hear about it as a romantic gesture (rosy-colored history). But the “War of Northern Aggression” completely ignores which side fired the first shot.
    And since when is taking up arms against the government anything BUT a civil war?
    I don’t think either side of that battle is romantic. I do think that many of the people on both sides were brave.

    Reply
  74. As most other responders here, I ABHOR rewriting history. “Two wrongs don’t make a right” BUT if you refuse to tell the entire story, you’re perpetuating an additional wrong!
    Many of these revisionist histories are so one-sided. A common one is “the War of the Northern Aggression.” It completely ignores which side shot the first shot. (A fanatic anti-slavery midwesterner?) or the second shot (the students and teachers of the Citadel). John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry isn’t truly the first shot, but it is one of many factors. I mostly hear about it as a romantic gesture (rosy-colored history). But the “War of Northern Aggression” completely ignores which side fired the first shot.
    And since when is taking up arms against the government anything BUT a civil war?
    I don’t think either side of that battle is romantic. I do think that many of the people on both sides were brave.

    Reply
  75. As most other responders here, I ABHOR rewriting history. “Two wrongs don’t make a right” BUT if you refuse to tell the entire story, you’re perpetuating an additional wrong!
    Many of these revisionist histories are so one-sided. A common one is “the War of the Northern Aggression.” It completely ignores which side shot the first shot. (A fanatic anti-slavery midwesterner?) or the second shot (the students and teachers of the Citadel). John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry isn’t truly the first shot, but it is one of many factors. I mostly hear about it as a romantic gesture (rosy-colored history). But the “War of Northern Aggression” completely ignores which side fired the first shot.
    And since when is taking up arms against the government anything BUT a civil war?
    I don’t think either side of that battle is romantic. I do think that many of the people on both sides were brave.

    Reply
  76. Thanks for an thoughtful take on a difficult topic, Pat. Like you, I’m glad my home town took all those white supremacist 20th century statues down literally overnight, thereby quite possibly heading of possible riots, injuries, maybe even death. A gold star for Baltimore’s female mayor. But I’m also glad that the statues were destroyed–they’re in a warehouse somewhere until the city decides what to do with them. I like the idea of a cemetery–that’s appropriate.
    Another approach is something we saw in Budapest several years ago: Memento Park, which has collected a whole lot of huge Communist statues and corralled them in one place to contemplate: http://www.mementopark.hu/

    Reply
  77. Thanks for an thoughtful take on a difficult topic, Pat. Like you, I’m glad my home town took all those white supremacist 20th century statues down literally overnight, thereby quite possibly heading of possible riots, injuries, maybe even death. A gold star for Baltimore’s female mayor. But I’m also glad that the statues were destroyed–they’re in a warehouse somewhere until the city decides what to do with them. I like the idea of a cemetery–that’s appropriate.
    Another approach is something we saw in Budapest several years ago: Memento Park, which has collected a whole lot of huge Communist statues and corralled them in one place to contemplate: http://www.mementopark.hu/

    Reply
  78. Thanks for an thoughtful take on a difficult topic, Pat. Like you, I’m glad my home town took all those white supremacist 20th century statues down literally overnight, thereby quite possibly heading of possible riots, injuries, maybe even death. A gold star for Baltimore’s female mayor. But I’m also glad that the statues were destroyed–they’re in a warehouse somewhere until the city decides what to do with them. I like the idea of a cemetery–that’s appropriate.
    Another approach is something we saw in Budapest several years ago: Memento Park, which has collected a whole lot of huge Communist statues and corralled them in one place to contemplate: http://www.mementopark.hu/

    Reply
  79. Thanks for an thoughtful take on a difficult topic, Pat. Like you, I’m glad my home town took all those white supremacist 20th century statues down literally overnight, thereby quite possibly heading of possible riots, injuries, maybe even death. A gold star for Baltimore’s female mayor. But I’m also glad that the statues were destroyed–they’re in a warehouse somewhere until the city decides what to do with them. I like the idea of a cemetery–that’s appropriate.
    Another approach is something we saw in Budapest several years ago: Memento Park, which has collected a whole lot of huge Communist statues and corralled them in one place to contemplate: http://www.mementopark.hu/

    Reply
  80. Thanks for an thoughtful take on a difficult topic, Pat. Like you, I’m glad my home town took all those white supremacist 20th century statues down literally overnight, thereby quite possibly heading of possible riots, injuries, maybe even death. A gold star for Baltimore’s female mayor. But I’m also glad that the statues were destroyed–they’re in a warehouse somewhere until the city decides what to do with them. I like the idea of a cemetery–that’s appropriate.
    Another approach is something we saw in Budapest several years ago: Memento Park, which has collected a whole lot of huge Communist statues and corralled them in one place to contemplate: http://www.mementopark.hu/

    Reply
  81. I think there’s a big difference between the statues that went up for people like Napoleon and Cromwell and any of the leaders we stopped agreeing with and the statues that were challenged in the South. Most of the other monuments were simply the support of the moment which we can all see later might be mistaken (personally as an Irish lass whose ancestors fought with guns against the British, I’d be happy just to put googly eyes and a big fake nose on Cromwell’s statue). The statues in the south were erected as a direct threat which no white person is really going to understand or appreciate. It’s easy for us to say, ‘well, we need to know that history,what harm can that be?” but none of our ancestors were lynched by the same people who erected those statues as warnings to an entire race of people. No. I do not believe we should destroy such monuments. They are educational. Yes. I would love an explanatory tag. But I would also like them to be taken out of town squares, where we put monuments to those we aspire to, and stick them in history museums where we acknowledge our triumphs, defeats, brilliance and stupidity.Let’s put them into perspective.

    Reply
  82. I think there’s a big difference between the statues that went up for people like Napoleon and Cromwell and any of the leaders we stopped agreeing with and the statues that were challenged in the South. Most of the other monuments were simply the support of the moment which we can all see later might be mistaken (personally as an Irish lass whose ancestors fought with guns against the British, I’d be happy just to put googly eyes and a big fake nose on Cromwell’s statue). The statues in the south were erected as a direct threat which no white person is really going to understand or appreciate. It’s easy for us to say, ‘well, we need to know that history,what harm can that be?” but none of our ancestors were lynched by the same people who erected those statues as warnings to an entire race of people. No. I do not believe we should destroy such monuments. They are educational. Yes. I would love an explanatory tag. But I would also like them to be taken out of town squares, where we put monuments to those we aspire to, and stick them in history museums where we acknowledge our triumphs, defeats, brilliance and stupidity.Let’s put them into perspective.

    Reply
  83. I think there’s a big difference between the statues that went up for people like Napoleon and Cromwell and any of the leaders we stopped agreeing with and the statues that were challenged in the South. Most of the other monuments were simply the support of the moment which we can all see later might be mistaken (personally as an Irish lass whose ancestors fought with guns against the British, I’d be happy just to put googly eyes and a big fake nose on Cromwell’s statue). The statues in the south were erected as a direct threat which no white person is really going to understand or appreciate. It’s easy for us to say, ‘well, we need to know that history,what harm can that be?” but none of our ancestors were lynched by the same people who erected those statues as warnings to an entire race of people. No. I do not believe we should destroy such monuments. They are educational. Yes. I would love an explanatory tag. But I would also like them to be taken out of town squares, where we put monuments to those we aspire to, and stick them in history museums where we acknowledge our triumphs, defeats, brilliance and stupidity.Let’s put them into perspective.

    Reply
  84. I think there’s a big difference between the statues that went up for people like Napoleon and Cromwell and any of the leaders we stopped agreeing with and the statues that were challenged in the South. Most of the other monuments were simply the support of the moment which we can all see later might be mistaken (personally as an Irish lass whose ancestors fought with guns against the British, I’d be happy just to put googly eyes and a big fake nose on Cromwell’s statue). The statues in the south were erected as a direct threat which no white person is really going to understand or appreciate. It’s easy for us to say, ‘well, we need to know that history,what harm can that be?” but none of our ancestors were lynched by the same people who erected those statues as warnings to an entire race of people. No. I do not believe we should destroy such monuments. They are educational. Yes. I would love an explanatory tag. But I would also like them to be taken out of town squares, where we put monuments to those we aspire to, and stick them in history museums where we acknowledge our triumphs, defeats, brilliance and stupidity.Let’s put them into perspective.

    Reply
  85. I think there’s a big difference between the statues that went up for people like Napoleon and Cromwell and any of the leaders we stopped agreeing with and the statues that were challenged in the South. Most of the other monuments were simply the support of the moment which we can all see later might be mistaken (personally as an Irish lass whose ancestors fought with guns against the British, I’d be happy just to put googly eyes and a big fake nose on Cromwell’s statue). The statues in the south were erected as a direct threat which no white person is really going to understand or appreciate. It’s easy for us to say, ‘well, we need to know that history,what harm can that be?” but none of our ancestors were lynched by the same people who erected those statues as warnings to an entire race of people. No. I do not believe we should destroy such monuments. They are educational. Yes. I would love an explanatory tag. But I would also like them to be taken out of town squares, where we put monuments to those we aspire to, and stick them in history museums where we acknowledge our triumphs, defeats, brilliance and stupidity.Let’s put them into perspective.

    Reply
  86. This is going to be unpopular but I for one am tired of the entirety of this revisionism movement. No I am not happy that they took down statues of historical figures for at least two reasons. One is the one that you bring up. Revisionism loses the lessons of history. It is also extremely one-sided and hypocritical. Do you really think that the bigots of the Civil War were only on the Southern side? Then, take a better look at history. Look at anti black riots by whites in New York by white Northerners against blacks. Look at the fact that Lincoln did not free all slaves in his Emancipation proclamation, but rather only those in Confederate states. Look at the fact that Federal troops seized slaves within the Confederacy as contraband property and put them to work performing forced labor in support of their military efforts. Look at the bigotry shown to black soldiers who were accepted into the Union troops. In my family in Georgia, some of my family slaves did not want to be taken away by Union troops and were shot by those troops. This isn’t just a story my family tells. It was told to my mother by the black children of those slaves who saw their parents shot. Taking down these statues also ignores the things that some of these people accomplished in their lives and careers that was good and honorable. Do we completely erase that? I don’t think so. Geo Washington owned slaves and actually posted an advertisement during his Presidency for the return of a runaway slave. I don’t see him being erased from our history. Not one ofhis finer moments from today’s perspective. Am I a proponent of slavery—of course not. But picking and choosing who was the bad guy and who was not is inaccurate and hypocritical. And has a single narrow focus. Let history stand. Change the focus of how you view those statues and what that person, the whole person was. Not just that moment in his life. Pulling viewings of Gone with the Wind, re-writing whether Santa is male or female or cleaning up fairy tales to make them politically correct removes every bit of the diversity and flavor from our history and life. It’s a waste of time and ignores what is wrong with today that needs change. And it is bigoted in its own narrow way. It ignores the many other peoples in our past who have been down-trodden for what was thought to be a greater good—Native Americans, Asian, Irish and Italian labor (who were brutally used because they were less valuable than black slaves in some circumstances), the Japanese Americans in WWII, just to name a very few.

    Reply
  87. This is going to be unpopular but I for one am tired of the entirety of this revisionism movement. No I am not happy that they took down statues of historical figures for at least two reasons. One is the one that you bring up. Revisionism loses the lessons of history. It is also extremely one-sided and hypocritical. Do you really think that the bigots of the Civil War were only on the Southern side? Then, take a better look at history. Look at anti black riots by whites in New York by white Northerners against blacks. Look at the fact that Lincoln did not free all slaves in his Emancipation proclamation, but rather only those in Confederate states. Look at the fact that Federal troops seized slaves within the Confederacy as contraband property and put them to work performing forced labor in support of their military efforts. Look at the bigotry shown to black soldiers who were accepted into the Union troops. In my family in Georgia, some of my family slaves did not want to be taken away by Union troops and were shot by those troops. This isn’t just a story my family tells. It was told to my mother by the black children of those slaves who saw their parents shot. Taking down these statues also ignores the things that some of these people accomplished in their lives and careers that was good and honorable. Do we completely erase that? I don’t think so. Geo Washington owned slaves and actually posted an advertisement during his Presidency for the return of a runaway slave. I don’t see him being erased from our history. Not one ofhis finer moments from today’s perspective. Am I a proponent of slavery—of course not. But picking and choosing who was the bad guy and who was not is inaccurate and hypocritical. And has a single narrow focus. Let history stand. Change the focus of how you view those statues and what that person, the whole person was. Not just that moment in his life. Pulling viewings of Gone with the Wind, re-writing whether Santa is male or female or cleaning up fairy tales to make them politically correct removes every bit of the diversity and flavor from our history and life. It’s a waste of time and ignores what is wrong with today that needs change. And it is bigoted in its own narrow way. It ignores the many other peoples in our past who have been down-trodden for what was thought to be a greater good—Native Americans, Asian, Irish and Italian labor (who were brutally used because they were less valuable than black slaves in some circumstances), the Japanese Americans in WWII, just to name a very few.

    Reply
  88. This is going to be unpopular but I for one am tired of the entirety of this revisionism movement. No I am not happy that they took down statues of historical figures for at least two reasons. One is the one that you bring up. Revisionism loses the lessons of history. It is also extremely one-sided and hypocritical. Do you really think that the bigots of the Civil War were only on the Southern side? Then, take a better look at history. Look at anti black riots by whites in New York by white Northerners against blacks. Look at the fact that Lincoln did not free all slaves in his Emancipation proclamation, but rather only those in Confederate states. Look at the fact that Federal troops seized slaves within the Confederacy as contraband property and put them to work performing forced labor in support of their military efforts. Look at the bigotry shown to black soldiers who were accepted into the Union troops. In my family in Georgia, some of my family slaves did not want to be taken away by Union troops and were shot by those troops. This isn’t just a story my family tells. It was told to my mother by the black children of those slaves who saw their parents shot. Taking down these statues also ignores the things that some of these people accomplished in their lives and careers that was good and honorable. Do we completely erase that? I don’t think so. Geo Washington owned slaves and actually posted an advertisement during his Presidency for the return of a runaway slave. I don’t see him being erased from our history. Not one ofhis finer moments from today’s perspective. Am I a proponent of slavery—of course not. But picking and choosing who was the bad guy and who was not is inaccurate and hypocritical. And has a single narrow focus. Let history stand. Change the focus of how you view those statues and what that person, the whole person was. Not just that moment in his life. Pulling viewings of Gone with the Wind, re-writing whether Santa is male or female or cleaning up fairy tales to make them politically correct removes every bit of the diversity and flavor from our history and life. It’s a waste of time and ignores what is wrong with today that needs change. And it is bigoted in its own narrow way. It ignores the many other peoples in our past who have been down-trodden for what was thought to be a greater good—Native Americans, Asian, Irish and Italian labor (who were brutally used because they were less valuable than black slaves in some circumstances), the Japanese Americans in WWII, just to name a very few.

    Reply
  89. This is going to be unpopular but I for one am tired of the entirety of this revisionism movement. No I am not happy that they took down statues of historical figures for at least two reasons. One is the one that you bring up. Revisionism loses the lessons of history. It is also extremely one-sided and hypocritical. Do you really think that the bigots of the Civil War were only on the Southern side? Then, take a better look at history. Look at anti black riots by whites in New York by white Northerners against blacks. Look at the fact that Lincoln did not free all slaves in his Emancipation proclamation, but rather only those in Confederate states. Look at the fact that Federal troops seized slaves within the Confederacy as contraband property and put them to work performing forced labor in support of their military efforts. Look at the bigotry shown to black soldiers who were accepted into the Union troops. In my family in Georgia, some of my family slaves did not want to be taken away by Union troops and were shot by those troops. This isn’t just a story my family tells. It was told to my mother by the black children of those slaves who saw their parents shot. Taking down these statues also ignores the things that some of these people accomplished in their lives and careers that was good and honorable. Do we completely erase that? I don’t think so. Geo Washington owned slaves and actually posted an advertisement during his Presidency for the return of a runaway slave. I don’t see him being erased from our history. Not one ofhis finer moments from today’s perspective. Am I a proponent of slavery—of course not. But picking and choosing who was the bad guy and who was not is inaccurate and hypocritical. And has a single narrow focus. Let history stand. Change the focus of how you view those statues and what that person, the whole person was. Not just that moment in his life. Pulling viewings of Gone with the Wind, re-writing whether Santa is male or female or cleaning up fairy tales to make them politically correct removes every bit of the diversity and flavor from our history and life. It’s a waste of time and ignores what is wrong with today that needs change. And it is bigoted in its own narrow way. It ignores the many other peoples in our past who have been down-trodden for what was thought to be a greater good—Native Americans, Asian, Irish and Italian labor (who were brutally used because they were less valuable than black slaves in some circumstances), the Japanese Americans in WWII, just to name a very few.

    Reply
  90. This is going to be unpopular but I for one am tired of the entirety of this revisionism movement. No I am not happy that they took down statues of historical figures for at least two reasons. One is the one that you bring up. Revisionism loses the lessons of history. It is also extremely one-sided and hypocritical. Do you really think that the bigots of the Civil War were only on the Southern side? Then, take a better look at history. Look at anti black riots by whites in New York by white Northerners against blacks. Look at the fact that Lincoln did not free all slaves in his Emancipation proclamation, but rather only those in Confederate states. Look at the fact that Federal troops seized slaves within the Confederacy as contraband property and put them to work performing forced labor in support of their military efforts. Look at the bigotry shown to black soldiers who were accepted into the Union troops. In my family in Georgia, some of my family slaves did not want to be taken away by Union troops and were shot by those troops. This isn’t just a story my family tells. It was told to my mother by the black children of those slaves who saw their parents shot. Taking down these statues also ignores the things that some of these people accomplished in their lives and careers that was good and honorable. Do we completely erase that? I don’t think so. Geo Washington owned slaves and actually posted an advertisement during his Presidency for the return of a runaway slave. I don’t see him being erased from our history. Not one ofhis finer moments from today’s perspective. Am I a proponent of slavery—of course not. But picking and choosing who was the bad guy and who was not is inaccurate and hypocritical. And has a single narrow focus. Let history stand. Change the focus of how you view those statues and what that person, the whole person was. Not just that moment in his life. Pulling viewings of Gone with the Wind, re-writing whether Santa is male or female or cleaning up fairy tales to make them politically correct removes every bit of the diversity and flavor from our history and life. It’s a waste of time and ignores what is wrong with today that needs change. And it is bigoted in its own narrow way. It ignores the many other peoples in our past who have been down-trodden for what was thought to be a greater good—Native Americans, Asian, Irish and Italian labor (who were brutally used because they were less valuable than black slaves in some circumstances), the Japanese Americans in WWII, just to name a very few.

    Reply
  91. I often say (sometimes even to other people, lol), “Anyone who’s really smart enough to be be president is too smart to run.” There are exceptions, of course (looking at you, Barack Obama), and even some marginal ones do rise to the occasion when things go south (looking at you, Dubya). But on the whole, being President is an open invitation to defy physics by aging at light speed for four or eight years. Not many topnotch people want that for themselves, understandably. (Think I better stop now …)

    Reply
  92. I often say (sometimes even to other people, lol), “Anyone who’s really smart enough to be be president is too smart to run.” There are exceptions, of course (looking at you, Barack Obama), and even some marginal ones do rise to the occasion when things go south (looking at you, Dubya). But on the whole, being President is an open invitation to defy physics by aging at light speed for four or eight years. Not many topnotch people want that for themselves, understandably. (Think I better stop now …)

    Reply
  93. I often say (sometimes even to other people, lol), “Anyone who’s really smart enough to be be president is too smart to run.” There are exceptions, of course (looking at you, Barack Obama), and even some marginal ones do rise to the occasion when things go south (looking at you, Dubya). But on the whole, being President is an open invitation to defy physics by aging at light speed for four or eight years. Not many topnotch people want that for themselves, understandably. (Think I better stop now …)

    Reply
  94. I often say (sometimes even to other people, lol), “Anyone who’s really smart enough to be be president is too smart to run.” There are exceptions, of course (looking at you, Barack Obama), and even some marginal ones do rise to the occasion when things go south (looking at you, Dubya). But on the whole, being President is an open invitation to defy physics by aging at light speed for four or eight years. Not many topnotch people want that for themselves, understandably. (Think I better stop now …)

    Reply
  95. I often say (sometimes even to other people, lol), “Anyone who’s really smart enough to be be president is too smart to run.” There are exceptions, of course (looking at you, Barack Obama), and even some marginal ones do rise to the occasion when things go south (looking at you, Dubya). But on the whole, being President is an open invitation to defy physics by aging at light speed for four or eight years. Not many topnotch people want that for themselves, understandably. (Think I better stop now …)

    Reply
  96. Here in Austin, the School Board is changing the names on schools. One of those schools is Sidney Lanier High School. I have written to the school board and the newspapers and spoken to everyone I could find who would listen. All to no avail.
    Sidney Lanier fought for the Confederacy. He was not an officer nor a leader. He was a poet. He was a poet who was admired and revered in Europe as well as this country. He developed tuberculosis when he was a prisoner of war. He and his brother were both prisoners of the Union. Sidney Lanier died of his illness at the age of 38.
    Before his death, he gave lectures about the connection between poetry and music both here and in Europe. He studied nature and music and poetry. Yeah, this sounds like an enemy of the state.
    The fact that a school district is willing to erase the name of a poet from a school because he fought for the Confederacy makes me sick. What kind of education is that?
    The University of Texas has removed the Confederate statues from the campus. Now they are trying to figure out where to put all of them. Again, a place of education is more willing to remove statues than make any effort to use them as a teaching moment.
    My family lost an entire generation of young men fighting for the Union. They left Indiana with the idea of preserving our country, and most of them died. Some died in battle, some died in Andersonville, a confederate prison. The last one died on the train returning home after the war. He was a poet too.
    So, I am not a southerner by birth nor do I think that trying to tear our country apart was a great thing.
    But, erasing our history is stupid……yeah I said the word Stupid.
    If it were a great idea, I am pretty sure Germany would have eliminated all the remnants of the death camps. No evidence, then it never happened, right?
    We have fallen through the rabbit hole and are now a mere shadow of who we once were. There was a time when we were strong and willing to face whatever was before us. There was a time when we were courageous and honest and honorable. We did not shrink from the truth, no matter what it was.
    I do not want anyone to be offended by a statue or a school name but I believe that we have a duty to explain what went wrong and make darn sure it cannot happen again. And to my way of thinking, that would mean education and explanations to everyone so we can preserve the rights of everyone, caring for everyone’s dignity and presenting the knowledge of where we made errors and how to prevent it from ever happening again.
    Why can we not simply add explanations to the statues? If we are so bent about our history, why have we stopped teaching it?
    Pat, I know that it took courage for you to present your post. I thank you. I have made this same presentation all over the place here where I am. Thanks for giving me a new and improved forum.
    When you started out about going to say something out of the ordinary, I was afraid you were going to talk about who is better the Yankees or the Red Sox.

    Reply
  97. Here in Austin, the School Board is changing the names on schools. One of those schools is Sidney Lanier High School. I have written to the school board and the newspapers and spoken to everyone I could find who would listen. All to no avail.
    Sidney Lanier fought for the Confederacy. He was not an officer nor a leader. He was a poet. He was a poet who was admired and revered in Europe as well as this country. He developed tuberculosis when he was a prisoner of war. He and his brother were both prisoners of the Union. Sidney Lanier died of his illness at the age of 38.
    Before his death, he gave lectures about the connection between poetry and music both here and in Europe. He studied nature and music and poetry. Yeah, this sounds like an enemy of the state.
    The fact that a school district is willing to erase the name of a poet from a school because he fought for the Confederacy makes me sick. What kind of education is that?
    The University of Texas has removed the Confederate statues from the campus. Now they are trying to figure out where to put all of them. Again, a place of education is more willing to remove statues than make any effort to use them as a teaching moment.
    My family lost an entire generation of young men fighting for the Union. They left Indiana with the idea of preserving our country, and most of them died. Some died in battle, some died in Andersonville, a confederate prison. The last one died on the train returning home after the war. He was a poet too.
    So, I am not a southerner by birth nor do I think that trying to tear our country apart was a great thing.
    But, erasing our history is stupid……yeah I said the word Stupid.
    If it were a great idea, I am pretty sure Germany would have eliminated all the remnants of the death camps. No evidence, then it never happened, right?
    We have fallen through the rabbit hole and are now a mere shadow of who we once were. There was a time when we were strong and willing to face whatever was before us. There was a time when we were courageous and honest and honorable. We did not shrink from the truth, no matter what it was.
    I do not want anyone to be offended by a statue or a school name but I believe that we have a duty to explain what went wrong and make darn sure it cannot happen again. And to my way of thinking, that would mean education and explanations to everyone so we can preserve the rights of everyone, caring for everyone’s dignity and presenting the knowledge of where we made errors and how to prevent it from ever happening again.
    Why can we not simply add explanations to the statues? If we are so bent about our history, why have we stopped teaching it?
    Pat, I know that it took courage for you to present your post. I thank you. I have made this same presentation all over the place here where I am. Thanks for giving me a new and improved forum.
    When you started out about going to say something out of the ordinary, I was afraid you were going to talk about who is better the Yankees or the Red Sox.

    Reply
  98. Here in Austin, the School Board is changing the names on schools. One of those schools is Sidney Lanier High School. I have written to the school board and the newspapers and spoken to everyone I could find who would listen. All to no avail.
    Sidney Lanier fought for the Confederacy. He was not an officer nor a leader. He was a poet. He was a poet who was admired and revered in Europe as well as this country. He developed tuberculosis when he was a prisoner of war. He and his brother were both prisoners of the Union. Sidney Lanier died of his illness at the age of 38.
    Before his death, he gave lectures about the connection between poetry and music both here and in Europe. He studied nature and music and poetry. Yeah, this sounds like an enemy of the state.
    The fact that a school district is willing to erase the name of a poet from a school because he fought for the Confederacy makes me sick. What kind of education is that?
    The University of Texas has removed the Confederate statues from the campus. Now they are trying to figure out where to put all of them. Again, a place of education is more willing to remove statues than make any effort to use them as a teaching moment.
    My family lost an entire generation of young men fighting for the Union. They left Indiana with the idea of preserving our country, and most of them died. Some died in battle, some died in Andersonville, a confederate prison. The last one died on the train returning home after the war. He was a poet too.
    So, I am not a southerner by birth nor do I think that trying to tear our country apart was a great thing.
    But, erasing our history is stupid……yeah I said the word Stupid.
    If it were a great idea, I am pretty sure Germany would have eliminated all the remnants of the death camps. No evidence, then it never happened, right?
    We have fallen through the rabbit hole and are now a mere shadow of who we once were. There was a time when we were strong and willing to face whatever was before us. There was a time when we were courageous and honest and honorable. We did not shrink from the truth, no matter what it was.
    I do not want anyone to be offended by a statue or a school name but I believe that we have a duty to explain what went wrong and make darn sure it cannot happen again. And to my way of thinking, that would mean education and explanations to everyone so we can preserve the rights of everyone, caring for everyone’s dignity and presenting the knowledge of where we made errors and how to prevent it from ever happening again.
    Why can we not simply add explanations to the statues? If we are so bent about our history, why have we stopped teaching it?
    Pat, I know that it took courage for you to present your post. I thank you. I have made this same presentation all over the place here where I am. Thanks for giving me a new and improved forum.
    When you started out about going to say something out of the ordinary, I was afraid you were going to talk about who is better the Yankees or the Red Sox.

    Reply
  99. Here in Austin, the School Board is changing the names on schools. One of those schools is Sidney Lanier High School. I have written to the school board and the newspapers and spoken to everyone I could find who would listen. All to no avail.
    Sidney Lanier fought for the Confederacy. He was not an officer nor a leader. He was a poet. He was a poet who was admired and revered in Europe as well as this country. He developed tuberculosis when he was a prisoner of war. He and his brother were both prisoners of the Union. Sidney Lanier died of his illness at the age of 38.
    Before his death, he gave lectures about the connection between poetry and music both here and in Europe. He studied nature and music and poetry. Yeah, this sounds like an enemy of the state.
    The fact that a school district is willing to erase the name of a poet from a school because he fought for the Confederacy makes me sick. What kind of education is that?
    The University of Texas has removed the Confederate statues from the campus. Now they are trying to figure out where to put all of them. Again, a place of education is more willing to remove statues than make any effort to use them as a teaching moment.
    My family lost an entire generation of young men fighting for the Union. They left Indiana with the idea of preserving our country, and most of them died. Some died in battle, some died in Andersonville, a confederate prison. The last one died on the train returning home after the war. He was a poet too.
    So, I am not a southerner by birth nor do I think that trying to tear our country apart was a great thing.
    But, erasing our history is stupid……yeah I said the word Stupid.
    If it were a great idea, I am pretty sure Germany would have eliminated all the remnants of the death camps. No evidence, then it never happened, right?
    We have fallen through the rabbit hole and are now a mere shadow of who we once were. There was a time when we were strong and willing to face whatever was before us. There was a time when we were courageous and honest and honorable. We did not shrink from the truth, no matter what it was.
    I do not want anyone to be offended by a statue or a school name but I believe that we have a duty to explain what went wrong and make darn sure it cannot happen again. And to my way of thinking, that would mean education and explanations to everyone so we can preserve the rights of everyone, caring for everyone’s dignity and presenting the knowledge of where we made errors and how to prevent it from ever happening again.
    Why can we not simply add explanations to the statues? If we are so bent about our history, why have we stopped teaching it?
    Pat, I know that it took courage for you to present your post. I thank you. I have made this same presentation all over the place here where I am. Thanks for giving me a new and improved forum.
    When you started out about going to say something out of the ordinary, I was afraid you were going to talk about who is better the Yankees or the Red Sox.

    Reply
  100. Here in Austin, the School Board is changing the names on schools. One of those schools is Sidney Lanier High School. I have written to the school board and the newspapers and spoken to everyone I could find who would listen. All to no avail.
    Sidney Lanier fought for the Confederacy. He was not an officer nor a leader. He was a poet. He was a poet who was admired and revered in Europe as well as this country. He developed tuberculosis when he was a prisoner of war. He and his brother were both prisoners of the Union. Sidney Lanier died of his illness at the age of 38.
    Before his death, he gave lectures about the connection between poetry and music both here and in Europe. He studied nature and music and poetry. Yeah, this sounds like an enemy of the state.
    The fact that a school district is willing to erase the name of a poet from a school because he fought for the Confederacy makes me sick. What kind of education is that?
    The University of Texas has removed the Confederate statues from the campus. Now they are trying to figure out where to put all of them. Again, a place of education is more willing to remove statues than make any effort to use them as a teaching moment.
    My family lost an entire generation of young men fighting for the Union. They left Indiana with the idea of preserving our country, and most of them died. Some died in battle, some died in Andersonville, a confederate prison. The last one died on the train returning home after the war. He was a poet too.
    So, I am not a southerner by birth nor do I think that trying to tear our country apart was a great thing.
    But, erasing our history is stupid……yeah I said the word Stupid.
    If it were a great idea, I am pretty sure Germany would have eliminated all the remnants of the death camps. No evidence, then it never happened, right?
    We have fallen through the rabbit hole and are now a mere shadow of who we once were. There was a time when we were strong and willing to face whatever was before us. There was a time when we were courageous and honest and honorable. We did not shrink from the truth, no matter what it was.
    I do not want anyone to be offended by a statue or a school name but I believe that we have a duty to explain what went wrong and make darn sure it cannot happen again. And to my way of thinking, that would mean education and explanations to everyone so we can preserve the rights of everyone, caring for everyone’s dignity and presenting the knowledge of where we made errors and how to prevent it from ever happening again.
    Why can we not simply add explanations to the statues? If we are so bent about our history, why have we stopped teaching it?
    Pat, I know that it took courage for you to present your post. I thank you. I have made this same presentation all over the place here where I am. Thanks for giving me a new and improved forum.
    When you started out about going to say something out of the ordinary, I was afraid you were going to talk about who is better the Yankees or the Red Sox.

    Reply
  101. If we did that, we’d have no monuments at all! Every historical figure had flaws. We remember the good things about Lincoln but forget that he went bankrupt in his personal business more than once.Today, we wouldn’t even give him the opportunity to try to run a country. His track record wasn’t great. We are having similar discussions in Canada these days. Our first Prime Minister wasn’t a good man by any standards. (He drank, he was a racist, he was misogynistic, he was a man of his times.). So many people want to remove his name from schools, tear down his statues, and only teach about his rotten character. This was the man whose vision created our country, found a peaceful way to separate our fate from the British Empire. Yes, we need to recognize his flaws, especially the great wrongs he committed against the First Nation peoples, but I think we need to acknowledge his vision in helping create our country. We can’t blame people for having the values and beliefs of their time, no matter how unpalatable we find them today. 150 years from now, our descendants will look at our lives and beliefs and wonder how we could think the way we do. Our ancestors and forefathers didn’t have a crystal ball to see all that we have learned in the past century and a half, anymore than we have one that can see 150 years into the future, and without the scientific tools we use today to make solid predictions, they were less capable than we are at guessing what the world would be like.

    Reply
  102. If we did that, we’d have no monuments at all! Every historical figure had flaws. We remember the good things about Lincoln but forget that he went bankrupt in his personal business more than once.Today, we wouldn’t even give him the opportunity to try to run a country. His track record wasn’t great. We are having similar discussions in Canada these days. Our first Prime Minister wasn’t a good man by any standards. (He drank, he was a racist, he was misogynistic, he was a man of his times.). So many people want to remove his name from schools, tear down his statues, and only teach about his rotten character. This was the man whose vision created our country, found a peaceful way to separate our fate from the British Empire. Yes, we need to recognize his flaws, especially the great wrongs he committed against the First Nation peoples, but I think we need to acknowledge his vision in helping create our country. We can’t blame people for having the values and beliefs of their time, no matter how unpalatable we find them today. 150 years from now, our descendants will look at our lives and beliefs and wonder how we could think the way we do. Our ancestors and forefathers didn’t have a crystal ball to see all that we have learned in the past century and a half, anymore than we have one that can see 150 years into the future, and without the scientific tools we use today to make solid predictions, they were less capable than we are at guessing what the world would be like.

    Reply
  103. If we did that, we’d have no monuments at all! Every historical figure had flaws. We remember the good things about Lincoln but forget that he went bankrupt in his personal business more than once.Today, we wouldn’t even give him the opportunity to try to run a country. His track record wasn’t great. We are having similar discussions in Canada these days. Our first Prime Minister wasn’t a good man by any standards. (He drank, he was a racist, he was misogynistic, he was a man of his times.). So many people want to remove his name from schools, tear down his statues, and only teach about his rotten character. This was the man whose vision created our country, found a peaceful way to separate our fate from the British Empire. Yes, we need to recognize his flaws, especially the great wrongs he committed against the First Nation peoples, but I think we need to acknowledge his vision in helping create our country. We can’t blame people for having the values and beliefs of their time, no matter how unpalatable we find them today. 150 years from now, our descendants will look at our lives and beliefs and wonder how we could think the way we do. Our ancestors and forefathers didn’t have a crystal ball to see all that we have learned in the past century and a half, anymore than we have one that can see 150 years into the future, and without the scientific tools we use today to make solid predictions, they were less capable than we are at guessing what the world would be like.

    Reply
  104. If we did that, we’d have no monuments at all! Every historical figure had flaws. We remember the good things about Lincoln but forget that he went bankrupt in his personal business more than once.Today, we wouldn’t even give him the opportunity to try to run a country. His track record wasn’t great. We are having similar discussions in Canada these days. Our first Prime Minister wasn’t a good man by any standards. (He drank, he was a racist, he was misogynistic, he was a man of his times.). So many people want to remove his name from schools, tear down his statues, and only teach about his rotten character. This was the man whose vision created our country, found a peaceful way to separate our fate from the British Empire. Yes, we need to recognize his flaws, especially the great wrongs he committed against the First Nation peoples, but I think we need to acknowledge his vision in helping create our country. We can’t blame people for having the values and beliefs of their time, no matter how unpalatable we find them today. 150 years from now, our descendants will look at our lives and beliefs and wonder how we could think the way we do. Our ancestors and forefathers didn’t have a crystal ball to see all that we have learned in the past century and a half, anymore than we have one that can see 150 years into the future, and without the scientific tools we use today to make solid predictions, they were less capable than we are at guessing what the world would be like.

    Reply
  105. If we did that, we’d have no monuments at all! Every historical figure had flaws. We remember the good things about Lincoln but forget that he went bankrupt in his personal business more than once.Today, we wouldn’t even give him the opportunity to try to run a country. His track record wasn’t great. We are having similar discussions in Canada these days. Our first Prime Minister wasn’t a good man by any standards. (He drank, he was a racist, he was misogynistic, he was a man of his times.). So many people want to remove his name from schools, tear down his statues, and only teach about his rotten character. This was the man whose vision created our country, found a peaceful way to separate our fate from the British Empire. Yes, we need to recognize his flaws, especially the great wrongs he committed against the First Nation peoples, but I think we need to acknowledge his vision in helping create our country. We can’t blame people for having the values and beliefs of their time, no matter how unpalatable we find them today. 150 years from now, our descendants will look at our lives and beliefs and wonder how we could think the way we do. Our ancestors and forefathers didn’t have a crystal ball to see all that we have learned in the past century and a half, anymore than we have one that can see 150 years into the future, and without the scientific tools we use today to make solid predictions, they were less capable than we are at guessing what the world would be like.

    Reply
  106. Concur in everything you said. Has anyone of these idiots even read the poetry if Sidney Lanier? Where do we stop. No public figure in history is unmarked by the Times I. Which heir she lived no matter how politically incorrect those actions may appear today in the context of today’s system of truth and belief.

    Reply
  107. Concur in everything you said. Has anyone of these idiots even read the poetry if Sidney Lanier? Where do we stop. No public figure in history is unmarked by the Times I. Which heir she lived no matter how politically incorrect those actions may appear today in the context of today’s system of truth and belief.

    Reply
  108. Concur in everything you said. Has anyone of these idiots even read the poetry if Sidney Lanier? Where do we stop. No public figure in history is unmarked by the Times I. Which heir she lived no matter how politically incorrect those actions may appear today in the context of today’s system of truth and belief.

    Reply
  109. Concur in everything you said. Has anyone of these idiots even read the poetry if Sidney Lanier? Where do we stop. No public figure in history is unmarked by the Times I. Which heir she lived no matter how politically incorrect those actions may appear today in the context of today’s system of truth and belief.

    Reply
  110. Concur in everything you said. Has anyone of these idiots even read the poetry if Sidney Lanier? Where do we stop. No public figure in history is unmarked by the Times I. Which heir she lived no matter how politically incorrect those actions may appear today in the context of today’s system of truth and belief.

    Reply
  111. We have opposing sides now as we had then. I understand the political arguments. But resorting to violence to force the issue is not the answer. But given the current voting situation in this country alone, I’m not entirely certain where the answer is. 🙁

    Reply
  112. We have opposing sides now as we had then. I understand the political arguments. But resorting to violence to force the issue is not the answer. But given the current voting situation in this country alone, I’m not entirely certain where the answer is. 🙁

    Reply
  113. We have opposing sides now as we had then. I understand the political arguments. But resorting to violence to force the issue is not the answer. But given the current voting situation in this country alone, I’m not entirely certain where the answer is. 🙁

    Reply
  114. We have opposing sides now as we had then. I understand the political arguments. But resorting to violence to force the issue is not the answer. But given the current voting situation in this country alone, I’m not entirely certain where the answer is. 🙁

    Reply
  115. We have opposing sides now as we had then. I understand the political arguments. But resorting to violence to force the issue is not the answer. But given the current voting situation in this country alone, I’m not entirely certain where the answer is. 🙁

    Reply
  116. LOL, yeah, I followed what you were saying through the typos. I’m glad Baltimore didn’t destroy the history either. Choosing where to place the statues and building new bases and placards takes time. I do hope they give a better explanation of what the statues represent.

    Reply
  117. LOL, yeah, I followed what you were saying through the typos. I’m glad Baltimore didn’t destroy the history either. Choosing where to place the statues and building new bases and placards takes time. I do hope they give a better explanation of what the statues represent.

    Reply
  118. LOL, yeah, I followed what you were saying through the typos. I’m glad Baltimore didn’t destroy the history either. Choosing where to place the statues and building new bases and placards takes time. I do hope they give a better explanation of what the statues represent.

    Reply
  119. LOL, yeah, I followed what you were saying through the typos. I’m glad Baltimore didn’t destroy the history either. Choosing where to place the statues and building new bases and placards takes time. I do hope they give a better explanation of what the statues represent.

    Reply
  120. LOL, yeah, I followed what you were saying through the typos. I’m glad Baltimore didn’t destroy the history either. Choosing where to place the statues and building new bases and placards takes time. I do hope they give a better explanation of what the statues represent.

    Reply
  121. Completely agree. I suspect there was a lot of political manipulation happening. The Daughters of the Confederacy were romantically honoring men they’d been taught to revere, perhaps, but the men choosing the places to plant those statues were far more likely to have meanness in mind. I’m sure there was a little of both in both genders, but if you read the article about the woman who quit because the statue wasn’t art– there’s the silly mindset involved.

    Reply
  122. Completely agree. I suspect there was a lot of political manipulation happening. The Daughters of the Confederacy were romantically honoring men they’d been taught to revere, perhaps, but the men choosing the places to plant those statues were far more likely to have meanness in mind. I’m sure there was a little of both in both genders, but if you read the article about the woman who quit because the statue wasn’t art– there’s the silly mindset involved.

    Reply
  123. Completely agree. I suspect there was a lot of political manipulation happening. The Daughters of the Confederacy were romantically honoring men they’d been taught to revere, perhaps, but the men choosing the places to plant those statues were far more likely to have meanness in mind. I’m sure there was a little of both in both genders, but if you read the article about the woman who quit because the statue wasn’t art– there’s the silly mindset involved.

    Reply
  124. Completely agree. I suspect there was a lot of political manipulation happening. The Daughters of the Confederacy were romantically honoring men they’d been taught to revere, perhaps, but the men choosing the places to plant those statues were far more likely to have meanness in mind. I’m sure there was a little of both in both genders, but if you read the article about the woman who quit because the statue wasn’t art– there’s the silly mindset involved.

    Reply
  125. Completely agree. I suspect there was a lot of political manipulation happening. The Daughters of the Confederacy were romantically honoring men they’d been taught to revere, perhaps, but the men choosing the places to plant those statues were far more likely to have meanness in mind. I’m sure there was a little of both in both genders, but if you read the article about the woman who quit because the statue wasn’t art– there’s the silly mindset involved.

    Reply
  126. Hi Pat,
    Thank you for articulating all that I have been thinking. Historically records, art, statues should not be destroyed. They serve as a lesson. There have been many mass destruction of humans throughout history. The most recent that come to mind are the Holocaust of the Jewish people by Hitler and Russian programs; the division of India and Pakistan; the Maoist in China; the Vietnamese, Cambodian, and Laotian uprisings. These were all very atrocious. But history nonetheless. And we must learn from these events. Not disdain history by destroying the records.

    Reply
  127. Hi Pat,
    Thank you for articulating all that I have been thinking. Historically records, art, statues should not be destroyed. They serve as a lesson. There have been many mass destruction of humans throughout history. The most recent that come to mind are the Holocaust of the Jewish people by Hitler and Russian programs; the division of India and Pakistan; the Maoist in China; the Vietnamese, Cambodian, and Laotian uprisings. These were all very atrocious. But history nonetheless. And we must learn from these events. Not disdain history by destroying the records.

    Reply
  128. Hi Pat,
    Thank you for articulating all that I have been thinking. Historically records, art, statues should not be destroyed. They serve as a lesson. There have been many mass destruction of humans throughout history. The most recent that come to mind are the Holocaust of the Jewish people by Hitler and Russian programs; the division of India and Pakistan; the Maoist in China; the Vietnamese, Cambodian, and Laotian uprisings. These were all very atrocious. But history nonetheless. And we must learn from these events. Not disdain history by destroying the records.

    Reply
  129. Hi Pat,
    Thank you for articulating all that I have been thinking. Historically records, art, statues should not be destroyed. They serve as a lesson. There have been many mass destruction of humans throughout history. The most recent that come to mind are the Holocaust of the Jewish people by Hitler and Russian programs; the division of India and Pakistan; the Maoist in China; the Vietnamese, Cambodian, and Laotian uprisings. These were all very atrocious. But history nonetheless. And we must learn from these events. Not disdain history by destroying the records.

    Reply
  130. Hi Pat,
    Thank you for articulating all that I have been thinking. Historically records, art, statues should not be destroyed. They serve as a lesson. There have been many mass destruction of humans throughout history. The most recent that come to mind are the Holocaust of the Jewish people by Hitler and Russian programs; the division of India and Pakistan; the Maoist in China; the Vietnamese, Cambodian, and Laotian uprisings. These were all very atrocious. But history nonetheless. And we must learn from these events. Not disdain history by destroying the records.

    Reply
  131. You are essentially saying what I was implying. I wanted open discussion so I chose to show both sides as best as I could in a limited way.
    I do believe we need to respect the people who suffered and still suffer from bigotry. And I’m not entirely certain that honoring flawed men of any ilk is a wise idea. But the statues are history. So compromise should be sought in their placement. As someone else mentioned above, our concerns really ought to be about our history books and what we teach our children!

    Reply
  132. You are essentially saying what I was implying. I wanted open discussion so I chose to show both sides as best as I could in a limited way.
    I do believe we need to respect the people who suffered and still suffer from bigotry. And I’m not entirely certain that honoring flawed men of any ilk is a wise idea. But the statues are history. So compromise should be sought in their placement. As someone else mentioned above, our concerns really ought to be about our history books and what we teach our children!

    Reply
  133. You are essentially saying what I was implying. I wanted open discussion so I chose to show both sides as best as I could in a limited way.
    I do believe we need to respect the people who suffered and still suffer from bigotry. And I’m not entirely certain that honoring flawed men of any ilk is a wise idea. But the statues are history. So compromise should be sought in their placement. As someone else mentioned above, our concerns really ought to be about our history books and what we teach our children!

    Reply
  134. You are essentially saying what I was implying. I wanted open discussion so I chose to show both sides as best as I could in a limited way.
    I do believe we need to respect the people who suffered and still suffer from bigotry. And I’m not entirely certain that honoring flawed men of any ilk is a wise idea. But the statues are history. So compromise should be sought in their placement. As someone else mentioned above, our concerns really ought to be about our history books and what we teach our children!

    Reply
  135. You are essentially saying what I was implying. I wanted open discussion so I chose to show both sides as best as I could in a limited way.
    I do believe we need to respect the people who suffered and still suffer from bigotry. And I’m not entirely certain that honoring flawed men of any ilk is a wise idea. But the statues are history. So compromise should be sought in their placement. As someone else mentioned above, our concerns really ought to be about our history books and what we teach our children!

    Reply
  136. LOL on the Yankees and Red Sox!
    This is an issue that simply needs to be discussed in a civilized manner in as many places as possible, but not everyone is qualified for writing the words as carefully as our readers have these last few days. I’m hoping everyone will take these thoughts into their communities and speak them where they can. Word of mouth can do wonders, as authors are in a unique position to know. And if people are shy about speaking, they can just point fingers at us. 😉

    Reply
  137. LOL on the Yankees and Red Sox!
    This is an issue that simply needs to be discussed in a civilized manner in as many places as possible, but not everyone is qualified for writing the words as carefully as our readers have these last few days. I’m hoping everyone will take these thoughts into their communities and speak them where they can. Word of mouth can do wonders, as authors are in a unique position to know. And if people are shy about speaking, they can just point fingers at us. 😉

    Reply
  138. LOL on the Yankees and Red Sox!
    This is an issue that simply needs to be discussed in a civilized manner in as many places as possible, but not everyone is qualified for writing the words as carefully as our readers have these last few days. I’m hoping everyone will take these thoughts into their communities and speak them where they can. Word of mouth can do wonders, as authors are in a unique position to know. And if people are shy about speaking, they can just point fingers at us. 😉

    Reply
  139. LOL on the Yankees and Red Sox!
    This is an issue that simply needs to be discussed in a civilized manner in as many places as possible, but not everyone is qualified for writing the words as carefully as our readers have these last few days. I’m hoping everyone will take these thoughts into their communities and speak them where they can. Word of mouth can do wonders, as authors are in a unique position to know. And if people are shy about speaking, they can just point fingers at us. 😉

    Reply
  140. LOL on the Yankees and Red Sox!
    This is an issue that simply needs to be discussed in a civilized manner in as many places as possible, but not everyone is qualified for writing the words as carefully as our readers have these last few days. I’m hoping everyone will take these thoughts into their communities and speak them where they can. Word of mouth can do wonders, as authors are in a unique position to know. And if people are shy about speaking, they can just point fingers at us. 😉

    Reply
  141. Maybe better not use Germany as an example, because they removed all traces of statues and symbols from the Nazi era, and everything else that might have glorified the Third Reich, and even displaying a swastika is a crime.
    Why not accept the fact that Lanier may not be an admirable figure to students and teachers at that high school in the 21st century? They are the people who have to walk in that building every day, so why not let them decide?

    Reply
  142. Maybe better not use Germany as an example, because they removed all traces of statues and symbols from the Nazi era, and everything else that might have glorified the Third Reich, and even displaying a swastika is a crime.
    Why not accept the fact that Lanier may not be an admirable figure to students and teachers at that high school in the 21st century? They are the people who have to walk in that building every day, so why not let them decide?

    Reply
  143. Maybe better not use Germany as an example, because they removed all traces of statues and symbols from the Nazi era, and everything else that might have glorified the Third Reich, and even displaying a swastika is a crime.
    Why not accept the fact that Lanier may not be an admirable figure to students and teachers at that high school in the 21st century? They are the people who have to walk in that building every day, so why not let them decide?

    Reply
  144. Maybe better not use Germany as an example, because they removed all traces of statues and symbols from the Nazi era, and everything else that might have glorified the Third Reich, and even displaying a swastika is a crime.
    Why not accept the fact that Lanier may not be an admirable figure to students and teachers at that high school in the 21st century? They are the people who have to walk in that building every day, so why not let them decide?

    Reply
  145. Maybe better not use Germany as an example, because they removed all traces of statues and symbols from the Nazi era, and everything else that might have glorified the Third Reich, and even displaying a swastika is a crime.
    Why not accept the fact that Lanier may not be an admirable figure to students and teachers at that high school in the 21st century? They are the people who have to walk in that building every day, so why not let them decide?

    Reply
  146. I am in favor of historic preservation, and artistic preservation, absolutely! But I would hardly put most Confederate monuments in the same category as Gothic cathedrals and the Bamiyan Buddha statues. Almost all of them are cheap, mass produced reproductions. There are dozens of identical ones in towns all over the South, and they were put up much later than the Civil War era. They literally were ordered out of a catalog. They were erected for political reasons, and not for their artistic value. And politics is usually the reason why people want to keep them, not that they are trying to save some great artwork. Here’s an article about that. https://qz.com/1054062/statues-of-confederate-soldiers-across-the-south-were-cheaply-mass-produced-in-the-north/
    If you can make the argument that any particular statue has redeeming artistic value, then let it be preserved, but otherwise, I’m happy to see them melted down.

    Reply
  147. I am in favor of historic preservation, and artistic preservation, absolutely! But I would hardly put most Confederate monuments in the same category as Gothic cathedrals and the Bamiyan Buddha statues. Almost all of them are cheap, mass produced reproductions. There are dozens of identical ones in towns all over the South, and they were put up much later than the Civil War era. They literally were ordered out of a catalog. They were erected for political reasons, and not for their artistic value. And politics is usually the reason why people want to keep them, not that they are trying to save some great artwork. Here’s an article about that. https://qz.com/1054062/statues-of-confederate-soldiers-across-the-south-were-cheaply-mass-produced-in-the-north/
    If you can make the argument that any particular statue has redeeming artistic value, then let it be preserved, but otherwise, I’m happy to see them melted down.

    Reply
  148. I am in favor of historic preservation, and artistic preservation, absolutely! But I would hardly put most Confederate monuments in the same category as Gothic cathedrals and the Bamiyan Buddha statues. Almost all of them are cheap, mass produced reproductions. There are dozens of identical ones in towns all over the South, and they were put up much later than the Civil War era. They literally were ordered out of a catalog. They were erected for political reasons, and not for their artistic value. And politics is usually the reason why people want to keep them, not that they are trying to save some great artwork. Here’s an article about that. https://qz.com/1054062/statues-of-confederate-soldiers-across-the-south-were-cheaply-mass-produced-in-the-north/
    If you can make the argument that any particular statue has redeeming artistic value, then let it be preserved, but otherwise, I’m happy to see them melted down.

    Reply
  149. I am in favor of historic preservation, and artistic preservation, absolutely! But I would hardly put most Confederate monuments in the same category as Gothic cathedrals and the Bamiyan Buddha statues. Almost all of them are cheap, mass produced reproductions. There are dozens of identical ones in towns all over the South, and they were put up much later than the Civil War era. They literally were ordered out of a catalog. They were erected for political reasons, and not for their artistic value. And politics is usually the reason why people want to keep them, not that they are trying to save some great artwork. Here’s an article about that. https://qz.com/1054062/statues-of-confederate-soldiers-across-the-south-were-cheaply-mass-produced-in-the-north/
    If you can make the argument that any particular statue has redeeming artistic value, then let it be preserved, but otherwise, I’m happy to see them melted down.

    Reply
  150. I am in favor of historic preservation, and artistic preservation, absolutely! But I would hardly put most Confederate monuments in the same category as Gothic cathedrals and the Bamiyan Buddha statues. Almost all of them are cheap, mass produced reproductions. There are dozens of identical ones in towns all over the South, and they were put up much later than the Civil War era. They literally were ordered out of a catalog. They were erected for political reasons, and not for their artistic value. And politics is usually the reason why people want to keep them, not that they are trying to save some great artwork. Here’s an article about that. https://qz.com/1054062/statues-of-confederate-soldiers-across-the-south-were-cheaply-mass-produced-in-the-north/
    If you can make the argument that any particular statue has redeeming artistic value, then let it be preserved, but otherwise, I’m happy to see them melted down.

    Reply
  151. What a marvelous discussion, and thank you, Pat, for charging into this thicket. I look at the question from the standpoint of “Who gets a place in our public art?” If we had only statues of Cromwell, and very few depictions of Charles I, then I’d say, “Get ridda da bum.” But that is not our only option. Charles I gets tons of space in our public art and our history books, as does Ollie.
    In the South, where for decades most public art was not representative of accurate history, the Cromwell example does not apply. Public art belonged largely and exclusively to whites (and to be specific, to wealthy, straight, Christian, rich white males). But here again, tearing down those statues isn’t our only option. We can even the scales with places like the National Monument for Peace and Justice (informally, The Lynching Memorial), and we can shift the context in which the Confederate statues are viewed. Both options–rounding out the allocation of public art to be more representative, and shifting the context to greater historical accuracy, spare us from destroying much of the public art record.
    This reminds me of all the beautiful formal Elizabethan and early Georgian gardens that were torn up to make room for staged nature, except we’re talking about a society’s identity and its truths, not simply whether to have a fountain, a wilderness stream, or a man-made pond.
    Hats off to everybody for thoughtful, civil comments!

    Reply
  152. What a marvelous discussion, and thank you, Pat, for charging into this thicket. I look at the question from the standpoint of “Who gets a place in our public art?” If we had only statues of Cromwell, and very few depictions of Charles I, then I’d say, “Get ridda da bum.” But that is not our only option. Charles I gets tons of space in our public art and our history books, as does Ollie.
    In the South, where for decades most public art was not representative of accurate history, the Cromwell example does not apply. Public art belonged largely and exclusively to whites (and to be specific, to wealthy, straight, Christian, rich white males). But here again, tearing down those statues isn’t our only option. We can even the scales with places like the National Monument for Peace and Justice (informally, The Lynching Memorial), and we can shift the context in which the Confederate statues are viewed. Both options–rounding out the allocation of public art to be more representative, and shifting the context to greater historical accuracy, spare us from destroying much of the public art record.
    This reminds me of all the beautiful formal Elizabethan and early Georgian gardens that were torn up to make room for staged nature, except we’re talking about a society’s identity and its truths, not simply whether to have a fountain, a wilderness stream, or a man-made pond.
    Hats off to everybody for thoughtful, civil comments!

    Reply
  153. What a marvelous discussion, and thank you, Pat, for charging into this thicket. I look at the question from the standpoint of “Who gets a place in our public art?” If we had only statues of Cromwell, and very few depictions of Charles I, then I’d say, “Get ridda da bum.” But that is not our only option. Charles I gets tons of space in our public art and our history books, as does Ollie.
    In the South, where for decades most public art was not representative of accurate history, the Cromwell example does not apply. Public art belonged largely and exclusively to whites (and to be specific, to wealthy, straight, Christian, rich white males). But here again, tearing down those statues isn’t our only option. We can even the scales with places like the National Monument for Peace and Justice (informally, The Lynching Memorial), and we can shift the context in which the Confederate statues are viewed. Both options–rounding out the allocation of public art to be more representative, and shifting the context to greater historical accuracy, spare us from destroying much of the public art record.
    This reminds me of all the beautiful formal Elizabethan and early Georgian gardens that were torn up to make room for staged nature, except we’re talking about a society’s identity and its truths, not simply whether to have a fountain, a wilderness stream, or a man-made pond.
    Hats off to everybody for thoughtful, civil comments!

    Reply
  154. What a marvelous discussion, and thank you, Pat, for charging into this thicket. I look at the question from the standpoint of “Who gets a place in our public art?” If we had only statues of Cromwell, and very few depictions of Charles I, then I’d say, “Get ridda da bum.” But that is not our only option. Charles I gets tons of space in our public art and our history books, as does Ollie.
    In the South, where for decades most public art was not representative of accurate history, the Cromwell example does not apply. Public art belonged largely and exclusively to whites (and to be specific, to wealthy, straight, Christian, rich white males). But here again, tearing down those statues isn’t our only option. We can even the scales with places like the National Monument for Peace and Justice (informally, The Lynching Memorial), and we can shift the context in which the Confederate statues are viewed. Both options–rounding out the allocation of public art to be more representative, and shifting the context to greater historical accuracy, spare us from destroying much of the public art record.
    This reminds me of all the beautiful formal Elizabethan and early Georgian gardens that were torn up to make room for staged nature, except we’re talking about a society’s identity and its truths, not simply whether to have a fountain, a wilderness stream, or a man-made pond.
    Hats off to everybody for thoughtful, civil comments!

    Reply
  155. What a marvelous discussion, and thank you, Pat, for charging into this thicket. I look at the question from the standpoint of “Who gets a place in our public art?” If we had only statues of Cromwell, and very few depictions of Charles I, then I’d say, “Get ridda da bum.” But that is not our only option. Charles I gets tons of space in our public art and our history books, as does Ollie.
    In the South, where for decades most public art was not representative of accurate history, the Cromwell example does not apply. Public art belonged largely and exclusively to whites (and to be specific, to wealthy, straight, Christian, rich white males). But here again, tearing down those statues isn’t our only option. We can even the scales with places like the National Monument for Peace and Justice (informally, The Lynching Memorial), and we can shift the context in which the Confederate statues are viewed. Both options–rounding out the allocation of public art to be more representative, and shifting the context to greater historical accuracy, spare us from destroying much of the public art record.
    This reminds me of all the beautiful formal Elizabethan and early Georgian gardens that were torn up to make room for staged nature, except we’re talking about a society’s identity and its truths, not simply whether to have a fountain, a wilderness stream, or a man-made pond.
    Hats off to everybody for thoughtful, civil comments!

    Reply
  156. Oh now, that is interesting! A catalog of monuments! But the ones I remember looked like the actual men (and their famed horses, this being horse country). So I guess there’s all kinds.
    Still another argument for forgetting monuments and giving the money to where it will help!

    Reply
  157. Oh now, that is interesting! A catalog of monuments! But the ones I remember looked like the actual men (and their famed horses, this being horse country). So I guess there’s all kinds.
    Still another argument for forgetting monuments and giving the money to where it will help!

    Reply
  158. Oh now, that is interesting! A catalog of monuments! But the ones I remember looked like the actual men (and their famed horses, this being horse country). So I guess there’s all kinds.
    Still another argument for forgetting monuments and giving the money to where it will help!

    Reply
  159. Oh now, that is interesting! A catalog of monuments! But the ones I remember looked like the actual men (and their famed horses, this being horse country). So I guess there’s all kinds.
    Still another argument for forgetting monuments and giving the money to where it will help!

    Reply
  160. Oh now, that is interesting! A catalog of monuments! But the ones I remember looked like the actual men (and their famed horses, this being horse country). So I guess there’s all kinds.
    Still another argument for forgetting monuments and giving the money to where it will help!

    Reply
  161. Thank you! This has been an exceedingly erudite discussion, to my relief. I think everyone has come away with food for thought. I, too, mourn those gardens, but nature is ephemeral, I suppose. But art… that one’s tough.

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  162. Thank you! This has been an exceedingly erudite discussion, to my relief. I think everyone has come away with food for thought. I, too, mourn those gardens, but nature is ephemeral, I suppose. But art… that one’s tough.

    Reply
  163. Thank you! This has been an exceedingly erudite discussion, to my relief. I think everyone has come away with food for thought. I, too, mourn those gardens, but nature is ephemeral, I suppose. But art… that one’s tough.

    Reply
  164. Thank you! This has been an exceedingly erudite discussion, to my relief. I think everyone has come away with food for thought. I, too, mourn those gardens, but nature is ephemeral, I suppose. But art… that one’s tough.

    Reply
  165. Thank you! This has been an exceedingly erudite discussion, to my relief. I think everyone has come away with food for thought. I, too, mourn those gardens, but nature is ephemeral, I suppose. But art… that one’s tough.

    Reply
  166. Very well said. I agree with using art, statues, books, whatever, to educate, rather than destroying them in the name of “political correctness.”

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  167. Very well said. I agree with using art, statues, books, whatever, to educate, rather than destroying them in the name of “political correctness.”

    Reply
  168. Very well said. I agree with using art, statues, books, whatever, to educate, rather than destroying them in the name of “political correctness.”

    Reply
  169. Very well said. I agree with using art, statues, books, whatever, to educate, rather than destroying them in the name of “political correctness.”

    Reply
  170. Very well said. I agree with using art, statues, books, whatever, to educate, rather than destroying them in the name of “political correctness.”

    Reply
  171. I think we need a statue museum. It could easily be filled with all the removed statues, and we could look at them and ponder on the changes of perception as mankind gets a little kinder and smarter through the generations.

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  172. I think we need a statue museum. It could easily be filled with all the removed statues, and we could look at them and ponder on the changes of perception as mankind gets a little kinder and smarter through the generations.

    Reply
  173. I think we need a statue museum. It could easily be filled with all the removed statues, and we could look at them and ponder on the changes of perception as mankind gets a little kinder and smarter through the generations.

    Reply
  174. I think we need a statue museum. It could easily be filled with all the removed statues, and we could look at them and ponder on the changes of perception as mankind gets a little kinder and smarter through the generations.

    Reply
  175. I think we need a statue museum. It could easily be filled with all the removed statues, and we could look at them and ponder on the changes of perception as mankind gets a little kinder and smarter through the generations.

    Reply
  176. Traitors along with their treachery (not glorifying them) belong in history books and not in the public space. All those confederate statues are of traitors. They deserve to be removed. Note that most of those statues weren’t erected right after the Civil War, but 100 years ago, at the start of the Jim Crow era, in order to keep African-Americans in their place. Get rid of all those statues.

    Reply
  177. Traitors along with their treachery (not glorifying them) belong in history books and not in the public space. All those confederate statues are of traitors. They deserve to be removed. Note that most of those statues weren’t erected right after the Civil War, but 100 years ago, at the start of the Jim Crow era, in order to keep African-Americans in their place. Get rid of all those statues.

    Reply
  178. Traitors along with their treachery (not glorifying them) belong in history books and not in the public space. All those confederate statues are of traitors. They deserve to be removed. Note that most of those statues weren’t erected right after the Civil War, but 100 years ago, at the start of the Jim Crow era, in order to keep African-Americans in their place. Get rid of all those statues.

    Reply
  179. Traitors along with their treachery (not glorifying them) belong in history books and not in the public space. All those confederate statues are of traitors. They deserve to be removed. Note that most of those statues weren’t erected right after the Civil War, but 100 years ago, at the start of the Jim Crow era, in order to keep African-Americans in their place. Get rid of all those statues.

    Reply
  180. Traitors along with their treachery (not glorifying them) belong in history books and not in the public space. All those confederate statues are of traitors. They deserve to be removed. Note that most of those statues weren’t erected right after the Civil War, but 100 years ago, at the start of the Jim Crow era, in order to keep African-Americans in their place. Get rid of all those statues.

    Reply
  181. Linda B, I agree with you. Keeping statues of people who fought not only to destroy the union but more importantly, to continue slavery is reprehensible and disgusting. And no, they are not art. They are catalogue pieces. Yes, Lee and others had great personal honor, but so did some of the Nazi generals who fought to enslave the world. The purpose of these Confederate statues was not to commemorate the losses from war. These statues were acts of terrorism, to prevent blacks from voting and exercising their freedom. Yes, yes, Washington and Jefferson were slave owners, and now that fact is widely taught. These statues glorify slavery, terrorism, and deceit. Melt them down.

    Reply
  182. Linda B, I agree with you. Keeping statues of people who fought not only to destroy the union but more importantly, to continue slavery is reprehensible and disgusting. And no, they are not art. They are catalogue pieces. Yes, Lee and others had great personal honor, but so did some of the Nazi generals who fought to enslave the world. The purpose of these Confederate statues was not to commemorate the losses from war. These statues were acts of terrorism, to prevent blacks from voting and exercising their freedom. Yes, yes, Washington and Jefferson were slave owners, and now that fact is widely taught. These statues glorify slavery, terrorism, and deceit. Melt them down.

    Reply
  183. Linda B, I agree with you. Keeping statues of people who fought not only to destroy the union but more importantly, to continue slavery is reprehensible and disgusting. And no, they are not art. They are catalogue pieces. Yes, Lee and others had great personal honor, but so did some of the Nazi generals who fought to enslave the world. The purpose of these Confederate statues was not to commemorate the losses from war. These statues were acts of terrorism, to prevent blacks from voting and exercising their freedom. Yes, yes, Washington and Jefferson were slave owners, and now that fact is widely taught. These statues glorify slavery, terrorism, and deceit. Melt them down.

    Reply
  184. Linda B, I agree with you. Keeping statues of people who fought not only to destroy the union but more importantly, to continue slavery is reprehensible and disgusting. And no, they are not art. They are catalogue pieces. Yes, Lee and others had great personal honor, but so did some of the Nazi generals who fought to enslave the world. The purpose of these Confederate statues was not to commemorate the losses from war. These statues were acts of terrorism, to prevent blacks from voting and exercising their freedom. Yes, yes, Washington and Jefferson were slave owners, and now that fact is widely taught. These statues glorify slavery, terrorism, and deceit. Melt them down.

    Reply
  185. Linda B, I agree with you. Keeping statues of people who fought not only to destroy the union but more importantly, to continue slavery is reprehensible and disgusting. And no, they are not art. They are catalogue pieces. Yes, Lee and others had great personal honor, but so did some of the Nazi generals who fought to enslave the world. The purpose of these Confederate statues was not to commemorate the losses from war. These statues were acts of terrorism, to prevent blacks from voting and exercising their freedom. Yes, yes, Washington and Jefferson were slave owners, and now that fact is widely taught. These statues glorify slavery, terrorism, and deceit. Melt them down.

    Reply
  186. You are concerned about disrespecting the people who fought for the Confederacy by removing the statues but what about the continued disrespect of the people they held in slavery?
    The states who seceded did so for one reason only – to continue their “God given” right to keep slaves. They made that clear in their state legislatures’ secession proclamations.
    The majority of the Civil War statues appeared during the Jim Crow era, which was the time of rebirth of the KKK and also the height of the terroristic lynchings. It was never just about honoring the dead.
    In Charlottesville, who were the people who gathered to protest the removal of Lee’s statue? Nazis & KKK. They weren’t fighting to preserve actual history. Only their perception of a time when Whites ruled & Blacks knew their place. Those were the values they want to honor. Values they want restored.
    I am a White woman born in the South. But I don’t have any trouble understanding why POC find statues honoring a cause that would have kept them in chains if it had succeeded deeply offensive. Is American History only about Whites even now?

    Reply
  187. You are concerned about disrespecting the people who fought for the Confederacy by removing the statues but what about the continued disrespect of the people they held in slavery?
    The states who seceded did so for one reason only – to continue their “God given” right to keep slaves. They made that clear in their state legislatures’ secession proclamations.
    The majority of the Civil War statues appeared during the Jim Crow era, which was the time of rebirth of the KKK and also the height of the terroristic lynchings. It was never just about honoring the dead.
    In Charlottesville, who were the people who gathered to protest the removal of Lee’s statue? Nazis & KKK. They weren’t fighting to preserve actual history. Only their perception of a time when Whites ruled & Blacks knew their place. Those were the values they want to honor. Values they want restored.
    I am a White woman born in the South. But I don’t have any trouble understanding why POC find statues honoring a cause that would have kept them in chains if it had succeeded deeply offensive. Is American History only about Whites even now?

    Reply
  188. You are concerned about disrespecting the people who fought for the Confederacy by removing the statues but what about the continued disrespect of the people they held in slavery?
    The states who seceded did so for one reason only – to continue their “God given” right to keep slaves. They made that clear in their state legislatures’ secession proclamations.
    The majority of the Civil War statues appeared during the Jim Crow era, which was the time of rebirth of the KKK and also the height of the terroristic lynchings. It was never just about honoring the dead.
    In Charlottesville, who were the people who gathered to protest the removal of Lee’s statue? Nazis & KKK. They weren’t fighting to preserve actual history. Only their perception of a time when Whites ruled & Blacks knew their place. Those were the values they want to honor. Values they want restored.
    I am a White woman born in the South. But I don’t have any trouble understanding why POC find statues honoring a cause that would have kept them in chains if it had succeeded deeply offensive. Is American History only about Whites even now?

    Reply
  189. You are concerned about disrespecting the people who fought for the Confederacy by removing the statues but what about the continued disrespect of the people they held in slavery?
    The states who seceded did so for one reason only – to continue their “God given” right to keep slaves. They made that clear in their state legislatures’ secession proclamations.
    The majority of the Civil War statues appeared during the Jim Crow era, which was the time of rebirth of the KKK and also the height of the terroristic lynchings. It was never just about honoring the dead.
    In Charlottesville, who were the people who gathered to protest the removal of Lee’s statue? Nazis & KKK. They weren’t fighting to preserve actual history. Only their perception of a time when Whites ruled & Blacks knew their place. Those were the values they want to honor. Values they want restored.
    I am a White woman born in the South. But I don’t have any trouble understanding why POC find statues honoring a cause that would have kept them in chains if it had succeeded deeply offensive. Is American History only about Whites even now?

    Reply
  190. You are concerned about disrespecting the people who fought for the Confederacy by removing the statues but what about the continued disrespect of the people they held in slavery?
    The states who seceded did so for one reason only – to continue their “God given” right to keep slaves. They made that clear in their state legislatures’ secession proclamations.
    The majority of the Civil War statues appeared during the Jim Crow era, which was the time of rebirth of the KKK and also the height of the terroristic lynchings. It was never just about honoring the dead.
    In Charlottesville, who were the people who gathered to protest the removal of Lee’s statue? Nazis & KKK. They weren’t fighting to preserve actual history. Only their perception of a time when Whites ruled & Blacks knew their place. Those were the values they want to honor. Values they want restored.
    I am a White woman born in the South. But I don’t have any trouble understanding why POC find statues honoring a cause that would have kept them in chains if it had succeeded deeply offensive. Is American History only about Whites even now?

    Reply
  191. In reading this discussion, I’m reminded of far more ancient history, after Cyrus the Persian conquered the city of Babylon. While Cyrus is remembered as one of history’s most tolerant conquerors, one line of an inscription that he left is particularly telling. Speaking of his Babylonian predecessor, he writes, “everything that Nabonidus did, I burned.” And so vast records and artifacts perished.
    When we create statues or monuments, we commemorate our values. We make a statement of what we revere or idealize. I’m not a fan, in general, of dragging statues off their pedestals and smashing them–although it did seem appropriate to see a few go down as the Soviet bloc collapsed. But I think a bit of counter-representationalism might go a long way. Why not erect a statue honoring former slaves and set it up facing the Confederate “hero” on the other side of the square? Why not raise a monument to a poor Irish family that perished in Cromwell’s time and make it just as visible?
    As has been pointed out, we don’t teach by erasing. But we could well teach by filling in the gaps, and showing the absent faces and telling the absent stories. Perhaps some find this less comfortable than erasure. But if we want to avoid repeating our past, it is precisely where we need to go.

    Reply
  192. In reading this discussion, I’m reminded of far more ancient history, after Cyrus the Persian conquered the city of Babylon. While Cyrus is remembered as one of history’s most tolerant conquerors, one line of an inscription that he left is particularly telling. Speaking of his Babylonian predecessor, he writes, “everything that Nabonidus did, I burned.” And so vast records and artifacts perished.
    When we create statues or monuments, we commemorate our values. We make a statement of what we revere or idealize. I’m not a fan, in general, of dragging statues off their pedestals and smashing them–although it did seem appropriate to see a few go down as the Soviet bloc collapsed. But I think a bit of counter-representationalism might go a long way. Why not erect a statue honoring former slaves and set it up facing the Confederate “hero” on the other side of the square? Why not raise a monument to a poor Irish family that perished in Cromwell’s time and make it just as visible?
    As has been pointed out, we don’t teach by erasing. But we could well teach by filling in the gaps, and showing the absent faces and telling the absent stories. Perhaps some find this less comfortable than erasure. But if we want to avoid repeating our past, it is precisely where we need to go.

    Reply
  193. In reading this discussion, I’m reminded of far more ancient history, after Cyrus the Persian conquered the city of Babylon. While Cyrus is remembered as one of history’s most tolerant conquerors, one line of an inscription that he left is particularly telling. Speaking of his Babylonian predecessor, he writes, “everything that Nabonidus did, I burned.” And so vast records and artifacts perished.
    When we create statues or monuments, we commemorate our values. We make a statement of what we revere or idealize. I’m not a fan, in general, of dragging statues off their pedestals and smashing them–although it did seem appropriate to see a few go down as the Soviet bloc collapsed. But I think a bit of counter-representationalism might go a long way. Why not erect a statue honoring former slaves and set it up facing the Confederate “hero” on the other side of the square? Why not raise a monument to a poor Irish family that perished in Cromwell’s time and make it just as visible?
    As has been pointed out, we don’t teach by erasing. But we could well teach by filling in the gaps, and showing the absent faces and telling the absent stories. Perhaps some find this less comfortable than erasure. But if we want to avoid repeating our past, it is precisely where we need to go.

    Reply
  194. In reading this discussion, I’m reminded of far more ancient history, after Cyrus the Persian conquered the city of Babylon. While Cyrus is remembered as one of history’s most tolerant conquerors, one line of an inscription that he left is particularly telling. Speaking of his Babylonian predecessor, he writes, “everything that Nabonidus did, I burned.” And so vast records and artifacts perished.
    When we create statues or monuments, we commemorate our values. We make a statement of what we revere or idealize. I’m not a fan, in general, of dragging statues off their pedestals and smashing them–although it did seem appropriate to see a few go down as the Soviet bloc collapsed. But I think a bit of counter-representationalism might go a long way. Why not erect a statue honoring former slaves and set it up facing the Confederate “hero” on the other side of the square? Why not raise a monument to a poor Irish family that perished in Cromwell’s time and make it just as visible?
    As has been pointed out, we don’t teach by erasing. But we could well teach by filling in the gaps, and showing the absent faces and telling the absent stories. Perhaps some find this less comfortable than erasure. But if we want to avoid repeating our past, it is precisely where we need to go.

    Reply
  195. In reading this discussion, I’m reminded of far more ancient history, after Cyrus the Persian conquered the city of Babylon. While Cyrus is remembered as one of history’s most tolerant conquerors, one line of an inscription that he left is particularly telling. Speaking of his Babylonian predecessor, he writes, “everything that Nabonidus did, I burned.” And so vast records and artifacts perished.
    When we create statues or monuments, we commemorate our values. We make a statement of what we revere or idealize. I’m not a fan, in general, of dragging statues off their pedestals and smashing them–although it did seem appropriate to see a few go down as the Soviet bloc collapsed. But I think a bit of counter-representationalism might go a long way. Why not erect a statue honoring former slaves and set it up facing the Confederate “hero” on the other side of the square? Why not raise a monument to a poor Irish family that perished in Cromwell’s time and make it just as visible?
    As has been pointed out, we don’t teach by erasing. But we could well teach by filling in the gaps, and showing the absent faces and telling the absent stories. Perhaps some find this less comfortable than erasure. But if we want to avoid repeating our past, it is precisely where we need to go.

    Reply
  196. Lucy, I love your line “…showing the absent faces and telling the absent stories.” That is exactly what is wrong with so many of our history textbooks. They were written in the main by white men and the writers ignored more than 50% of the population by leaving out most of the history about women of any color and men who were not white.

    Reply
  197. Lucy, I love your line “…showing the absent faces and telling the absent stories.” That is exactly what is wrong with so many of our history textbooks. They were written in the main by white men and the writers ignored more than 50% of the population by leaving out most of the history about women of any color and men who were not white.

    Reply
  198. Lucy, I love your line “…showing the absent faces and telling the absent stories.” That is exactly what is wrong with so many of our history textbooks. They were written in the main by white men and the writers ignored more than 50% of the population by leaving out most of the history about women of any color and men who were not white.

    Reply
  199. Lucy, I love your line “…showing the absent faces and telling the absent stories.” That is exactly what is wrong with so many of our history textbooks. They were written in the main by white men and the writers ignored more than 50% of the population by leaving out most of the history about women of any color and men who were not white.

    Reply
  200. Lucy, I love your line “…showing the absent faces and telling the absent stories.” That is exactly what is wrong with so many of our history textbooks. They were written in the main by white men and the writers ignored more than 50% of the population by leaving out most of the history about women of any color and men who were not white.

    Reply

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