Tearing Down Confederate Monuments

Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O’Hara, Gone With the Wind, 1939

I have no love for the Confederacy. Slavery was evil. The cause of Southern secession was unjust and deserved to be defeated.

However, this abrupt cultural paroxysm in which monuments honoring rebel leaders and soldiers are torn down or removed in the dead of night is not a healthy development. Decisions like this should be made by townships and cities after a healthy debate and then a vote.

This rush on the part of craven politicians and crazed activists is just virtue signaling. They are more righteous than you. They are better people than those Southern rednecks.

But just as same sex marriage wasn’t really about same sex marriage. And Obamacare wasn’t really about health care. We will all discover that the tearing down of these monuments is not about Southern monuments.

Same sex marriage has brought men in female bathrooms. It has brought men to women’s sports teams. And same sex marriage is now tearing down the basic facts of science wherein the x and the y chromosome are no longer determining biological facts. And Obamacare is actually about bringing socialism to America.

Tearing down Southern monuments is just the first step which will lead to the banning of movies and books.

And the first victim will be that 1939 classic Gone With the Wind. After all, it can be argued, that no movie has ever exerted such a profound influence on the American psyche. Those who screen GWTW can’t help but sympathize with the South. Is there any American woman who is as beloved as the beautiful, selfish, paragon of Southern womanhood Scarlett O’Hara? And let’s not forget the vile portrait of black people in which the film marinates: the scene of happy slaves singing for their masters; Hattie McDaniels scurrying around after her beloved Scarlett; the hysterical Butterfly McQueen being slapped by Scarlett—and deserving it. Northern soldiers are viewed as beasts. Southern soldiers are noble and well-bred. No, these images must be purged.

Soon, calls for the banning of GWTW will be heard. And why stop with that film? Burn the book too.

Hollywood has produced hundreds, if not thousands of films that deal sympathetically with the Confederacy. D. W. Griffith’s epic Birth of a Nation (1915) is, undeniably, racist. The fact that Griffith’s masterpiece defined the language of narrative film is minor when set against its horrific images of black men (white actors in black face, no less, talk about cultural appropriation) intent on raping white women.

And who are the heroes of Birth of a Nation? Yup, the KKK.

Buster Keaton’s classic silent film The General (1926) is a work of comic genius. But so what? The hero is a plucky and lovable Southerner who adores his girl and his locomotive. Such images are incorrect. They make audiences uncomfortable.

America is diving into mass madness. We lurch from one left wing hysteria to the next. The left would have us believe that a handful of loser American Nazis are a mortal threat to the nation. But point out that millions of Islamofacists are actually bringing sharia and codified Jew-hatred to Europe and America and the left accuses you of being a racist.

This is craziness.

This is how civilizations commit suicide.

A mural commemorating The General in Cottage Grove, Oregon, where much of Keaton’s masterpiece was filmed in the summer of 1926. How long before that mural disappears?

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29 Comments

  1. sennacherib
    Posted August 23, 2017 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

    I can’t help it. This little clip never gets old and says so much. The Left (MSM, etc) in that rare moment of when they consider what they are doing is wrong (Foghorn is of course the Left).

    https://youtu.be/ZPiR8eX2EpU

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  2. sennacherib
    Posted August 23, 2017 at 3:25 am | Permalink

    Robert,
    You guys have a word for what the Left (MSM) is doing, they are creating Golems (I hope I’m using this right) for their cause. They think it’s to their benefit and they have the temerity to think they can control these things they create, they are fools.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  3. sennacherib
    Posted August 23, 2017 at 3:20 am | Permalink

    The argument of why the “Civil War” happened will last forever and that is a separate issue if you think about it.
    The war was as about as hard fought as you could get, but once done and lost the great service primarily Lee, Grant, Sherman, Lincoln and others of rank did was to make it clear that we are a union…….with as little malice as could be possible in the given situation, actually almost a miracle.
    By reopening this historical box for short term present political gain these people have no understanding of what they are doing or unleashing.
    The “South” was wrong, contested the issue on the battlefield and lost. Do we have a Lincoln, Lee, Grant, or Sherman today?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    • pkoning
      Posted August 23, 2017 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      The optimistic view is that the left has no clue what they are unleashing. For many of them, that’s probably accurate. The kind of brainless idiot that defaces a statue of Joan of Arc with the slogan “Tear it down” certainly has no clue about any subject whatsoever.
      On the other hand, as a cynic I believe that there are plenty of leaders of the left who are doing this deliberately, knowing full well what they are doing. They relish the bloodshed and disorder because they believe it will help them come out on top. I hope they are mistaken in this; I believe they are. But there is reason to worry.

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      • sennacherib
        Posted August 23, 2017 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

        “I believe that there are plenty of leaders of the left who are doing this deliberately, knowing full well what they are doing. They relish the bloodshed and disorder because they believe it will help them come out on top.”
        I agree, it’s the old I’d rather rule in Hell than serve in Heaven.

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    • DrCarol
      Posted August 23, 2017 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

      I just finished Jay Winik’s April 1865 , which turned out to be a timely read. But for Lincoln, Lee, Grant, and even Sherman and Johnston, we would have had nothing but bloodshed and ruin long after the Confederate armies had been defeated on the battlefield. Who is of that stature today?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  4. DrCarol
    Posted August 22, 2017 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    You are absolutely right, Robert, and expressed my uneasiness with what is going on. I don’t hold any love for Confederates, Nazis, or the KKK, old or new–but two students have been punished by their universities so far as a result of the Charlottesville violence, and one of them wasn’t even at the rally on Saturday. He showed up alone on the following Tuesday, a one-man protest. Thanks to social media, he was recognized and summarily expelled.

    My academic colleagues are pretty scary, calling for people to turn in, and universities to expel or fire, those who attend right wing rallies. They don’t see the slope (or whose shoulders) they are standing on.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    • Barry
      Posted August 22, 2017 at 11:00 am | Permalink

      We are in a new age of revolution — Russian crossed with the taste of Robespierre.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  5. David Foster
    Posted August 21, 2017 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    “The South wanted independence from the economic war imposed on it by the North. Taxes was the cause of the secession and the war.”

    This is the Tariffs argument, which is often made. But no one was prohibiting the South from developing its own manufacturing, which would have made tariffs matter a lot less.

    There were in fact a few individuals who attempted to interest the South in industrialization, and there were even a few facilities built, but in general the leading individuals saw industry as incompatible with their preferred lifestyles…also, the Northern and European experts who were needed were in many cases reluctant to move to a slave society.

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    • Posted August 22, 2017 at 9:09 am | Permalink

      Your argument is that the South should have industrialized like the North? Then, where would the North have got its protective & prohibitive tariff money from? North & South diverged in their economic models after the creation of the united country. If the North’s industrialization was so successful that the South should have emulated it, why would the North need the numerous tariffs imposed on the South? You haven’t dismissed or disproved the tariffs cause. The North was worried that a seceded South establishing free trade would move trade away from Northern ports. Congressman Vallandigham pointed it out, among many others.

      Slavery was not the issue. As of 1861, a Constitutional amendment was proposed to explicitly prohibit the federal govt — no authority ever — from interfering with slavery. Lincoln favored that amendment and even wrote, “I have no objection to its [the amendment] being made express and irrevocable.”

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

      • David Foster
        Posted August 22, 2017 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

        “Your argument is that the South should have industrialized like the North? Then, where would the North have got its protective & prohibitive tariff money from?”

        I’m pretty sure the tariffs weren’t collected by the “North”, since intrastate tariffs and duties are prohibited by the Constitution; they were collected by the Federal Government and paid for (among other things), internal improvement, such as the dredging of the Mississippi River, which was of great value to the South as well as the North. If the South had shifted to a more industrialized economy, then Federal revenues would have gone down and other sources of revenue would have been necessary. Surely it’s not credible that the Federal Government would have invaded the South to prohibit industrialization in order to keep tariff revenues high…

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        • Posted August 23, 2017 at 8:35 am | Permalink

          The Federal Govt is not the North? Ok, you stick with your mid-wit, high-school history mythology. Meanwhile, try to figure out what secession means.

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  6. Barry
    Posted August 21, 2017 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    And as for Gone With The Wind. Diminish it and you diminish Lennie Bluett’s great Gable story, and damage Gable and Hattie, and the good stuff that goes with that. Such as the only decent and strong characters are mammy and Rhett. Prissy is an imbecile, but no more than Aunt Pittypat. As for the KKK, which is never mentioned or seen in the film, it most certainly is in the novel and treated by Mrs. Mitchell with off hand contempt. The modern bigots tearing stuff down for unfathomable reasons. continually refused to do anything more about American society than revile its history without understanding, it not only happened a long, long time ago, but those they despise created a world in which anyone can succeed, with good looks, intelligence, perseverance and talent. No matter their race or religion. Pretty good if you ask me.

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    • serene
      Posted August 28, 2017 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

      Not knowing history well enough to add substance to the argument, I can only remark on your statement about Mammy and Rhett, by stating that Melanie also was a strong character, which Rhett Butler acknowledged (don’t remember the exact words, but something to the effect that she was the strongest, best person he had ever known, or maybe he said she was the only truly good person he had ever known?)

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      • Barry
        Posted August 28, 2017 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

        Melanie was a good character, sweet and pure, but never strong, either physically or as a personality. Rhett saying that has no bearing on the viewer or reader in any term other than he was a decent, and respected decency when it was offered him.

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  7. Posted August 21, 2017 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    While I agree with your post, Robert, I disagree with your statement, “The cause of Southern secession was unjust and deserved to be defeated.” Juxtaposed after your statement about slavery, which I agree with, your “deserved to be defeated” sentence propagates the myth that the secession was about slavery. It wasn’t. That war wasn’t a civil war, a kind of war fought between two factions trying to control an existing government. It was a war to prevent independence — a 2nd Revolutionary War.

    The South wanted independence from the economic war imposed on it by the North. Taxes was the cause of the secession and the war. Lincoln engineered the firing on Fort Sumter. Slavery was brought into the propaganda much later in the war to gin up sympathy with the losing North’s cause.

    I recommend reading When in the Course of Human Events by Charles Adams and The Real Lincoln by Thomas J DiLorenzo. Also, consider what Jerry Pournelle wrote just yesterday in his post at https://www.jerrypournelle.com/chaosmanor/edited-hiv-cures-cancer-beware-of-cytokine-release-madness-whither-tolerance-and-rational-debate/ about this very topic, where he writes:

    “As to the attractions of the Confederacy, remember that a good part of the volunteer US Armed Forces come from the South; indeed, during my military time in the Korean business I met many Southernors but few Southern conscripts; and many Northerners, but most of them were conscripts. You could tell by their serial numbers: conscript serial numbers started with US, while volunteers started with RA.

    “Those not growing up in the old South will probably not understand that the same feelings that built loyalty to the United States and caused them to volunteer for the US Army and Navy were the same as those that inspired some veneration to the lost cause of the Confederacy; and no, that was not nostalgia for slavery. I never met anyone who had owned a slave, nor was I aware of knowing anyone whose father had owned a slave, and few of their grandfathers could have; people didn’t often live to be that old. The War was ended by 1865; to have owned a slave you would have had to be teenaged during the Civil War, and alive 65 to 70 years later, and I didn’t know anyone that old.

    “There were Bonapartists in France a long time after Waterloo; enough to make Napoleon III Emperor of the French.

    “Abraham Lincoln offered the post of Commanding General of the United States to Robert E. Lee. Virginia asked him to command Virginia’s forces. We know which he chose, and when he surrendered he chose to work to restore national unity in the Union. That inspired a lot of Southern children as they grew up in the 30’s and 40’s. You will not have had that experience.”

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  8. STW
    Posted August 21, 2017 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    My vote for the number one virtue signaler is the mayor of Madison, WI. There’s a small confederate cemetery there dating back to a Civil War prison camp. Those buried there died in the camp. There was a memorial associated with those graves in the cemetery. No more. You really have to go out of your way to be offended by a cemetery. Imagine the overtime put in as they struggled to find something that’d get them thought well of by the cool kids.

    Of course, with out the memorial they’d have tried to plow the ground with the graves before sowing it with salt. Maybe next week.

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    • pkoning
      Posted August 21, 2017 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

      The same is happening in Boston, where a similar plain gravestone-like marker tells of a prison camp and names 19 soldiers who died there.

      Meanwhile, calls for the removal of Washington and Jefferson are already being heard on national TV (CNN), as well as an article seriously discussing the notion that there shouldn’t be any faces on Mount Rushmore. (That article doesn’t comment on the Crazy Horse monument not far from Rushmore.)

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

      • Barry
        Posted August 22, 2017 at 8:17 am | Permalink

        CNN presents the news in the least informed and most inflammatory, anti-American way possible. And they are consistent. For example, Washington and Jefferson were both slave owners, but had remarkably different points of view about the institution. Jefferson used, or abused, his slaves, or at least some of the females amongst them, while Washington had a plan for freeing all of those on his plantation that included preparation through formal education — but even the father of our country was blocked by Jefferson, Madison and Monroe operating through the Virginia House of Burgess and the prohibition of schooling for slaves. Washington thought his people were better off with him than then massively going out into a world for which they were unprepared. And judging by history, who can honorably disagree.

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        • Barry
          Posted August 22, 2017 at 9:53 am | Permalink

          House of Burgesses not ‘Burgess’… and than, not then…sorry about my mistakes.

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        • pkoning
          Posted August 23, 2017 at 11:39 am | Permalink

          “Jefferson abused…” — oh? As I understand it, there’s reasonable doubt about the paternity of the children of his slaves.
          I prefer to look at the words he used to attack the slave trade in his original draft of the Declaration of Independence (in the section that is the bill of particulars against King George III):

          he has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating it’s most sacred rights of life & liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating & carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere, or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither. this piratical warfare, the opprobrium of infidel powers, is the warfare of the CHRISTIAN king of Great Britain. determined to keep open a market where MEN should be bought & sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce:11 and that this assemblage of horrors might want no fact of distinguished die, he is now exciting those very people to rise in arms among us, and to purchase that liberty of which he has deprived them, by murdering the people upon whom he also obtruded them; thus paying off former crimes committed against the liberties of one people, with crimes which he urges them to commit against the lives of another.

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          • Barry
            Posted August 23, 2017 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

            Tommy boy was not writing about black slavery, so please do not go there. He was also the guy who empathized, and sympathized with The French Revolution and its immediate aftermath, The Reign of Terror, which by the way disgusted George Washington. So baby TJ, despite his gifts, was pretty much of a jerk.

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          • pkoning
            Posted August 24, 2017 at 6:39 am | Permalink

            You’ve got to be both ignorant and illiterate to claim that Jefferson’s plain words I quoted were not about black slavery. I guess I’ll just have to ignore everything you say in the future because there’s nothing there.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

            • Barry
              Posted August 24, 2017 at 9:26 am | Permalink

              As Rhett Butler said, in Gone With The Wind, to someone unhappy with him: “I apologize for all my shortcomings.” And he was just as sincere then, as I am now.

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          • pkoning
            Posted August 25, 2017 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

            I suppose I could make another attempt.
            Consider the words “… violating it’s most sacred rights of life & liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating & carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere”. And “… a market where MEN should be bought & sold”. You claim these do not refer to black slavery. If that be so, what do they refer to, and why do you say this? Please be specific.

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            • Barry
              Posted August 25, 2017 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

              The meaning is broader and includes, but is certainly not limited to indentured servants, and a feeling relative to the crown that all colonists were in some ways victims.

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              • sennacherib
                Posted August 28, 2017 at 5:49 am | Permalink

                Barry,
                You’re right on that.

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