The confederate monument debate
Table of Contents
On August 12th neo-Nazis and white supremacy rallied in Virginia, Charlottesville to fight over the removal of conference monuments. This comprises Robert Lee statute among others (Leib, 2002). When anti-racism groups met some of these nationalists, the circumstance changed deadly. A car was driven into the counter protesters crowd, leaving one dead and nineteen injured. When president learnt about this, he blamed both sides for the massacre. This incidence ignited the debate over the confederate monuments, comprising name of schools, statues and symbols- as their position in the history of USA.
Many of the Americans, comprising the president perceive these monuments as the main symbol of history. They are believed to be part of southern heritage and pride, one which must not be forgotten (Leib, 2002). However, the antagonist argues that some of these monuments were made to exult Confederate, racist principles and, thus, their portraits must be destroyed. Some of the people that wish to tear down these shrines find them to be just an imaginary celebration of the confederacy racism. And whereas criticizers of this side believe they are considered to be symbols of the USA Civil war, some consider them to be totally attributed to white patriotism. The shrines first appeared during civil warfare in 1850s, however the intensification in these names and statues exalting Confederate leaders continued till the year 1970s (Webster & Leib, 2002). They believe they were made in disobedience of the southern loss and objective to uphold racist principles and Confederate.
Positive side of maintaining Confederate monuments
After ferocity at white supremacist demonstration led to the demise of 3 people in Virginia, Charlottesville on 12th August, an up surging number of the civilians and cities have started tearing down Confederate shrines across USA. A lot of the government officers, comprising House of Democratic leader and California Representative have advocated for the removal of markers that rejoice controversial civil warfare period figures from public places (Webster & Leib, 2002).
The Confederate States of America argued that nations ought to have right to maintain slavery, whilst the Union struggled to eradicate it. Disagreements between 2 groups led to the communal warfare that lasted for 5 years. The question that lingers is if the removal of confederate monuments from public areas would be a mistake. Some of the scholars such as Alfred Brophy believes it would. Alfred argues that the elimination of Confederate shrines would remove distasteful but vital part of the country’s history. Unlike current arguments by Confederate Veterans Sons (CVS) – who insist that eliminating Confederate shrines would comprise communal cleansing, Alfred uses a less sensitive language to claim that elimination of Confederate monuments cut their linking to the past. Both SCV and Brophy are wrong. Meaning, the elimination of Confederate statues from public places won’t cut out their connection to the past as compared to how it would be. As the CVS assert, this comprise a form of demagogic thinking, totalitarian and anti-Southern.
Rather than eliminating Confederate statues from towns and Southern cities forces, the Americans oppose the historic importance of racial servitude as well as enduring bequest of Jim Crow segregation-real totalitarianism sources as well as demagoguery in USA (Sanchez & Moore, 2015). Black Americans are of the contrary opinion of letting white Southerners forget this legacy. Whether its Lewis John’s current re-enactment of the popular civil rights march 100 years ago or Obama speaking frankly how discrimination is part of the DNA, White Southerners shouldn’t worry that their past will be cleansed from country’s collective perception. As a fact, the history that Obama and Lewis give voice is not described by the dehumanizing servitude effects as well as the dictatorship of Jim Crow separation.
Sanchez & Moore (2015) argues that it is a past that casts longer shadow to the whole nation. It is this ruthless and dark past that created the South Confederate monuments possible. Those statues, such as the Confederate fighting emblem, assisted to electrify white disagreement to the communal rights society in 1960s. While monuments to Jackson Stonewall or Lee Robert represent statues to male who battled to entrench the cultural divide between white and black Americans, communal rights leaders such as Luther King Jr struggled to violate that division (Davis,1982).
Still, less white Southerners aggressively struggled to stop incorporation and the vision of forthcoming generations intermingling and espousing through the color line. During 1960s, many white Southerners viewed the globe through Sherrill lens of what Sherrill termed “scrotum sociology.” Sherrill’s provoking term pursued to outline the compulsive distrust that whites (both women plus men) had with concept of youthful black boys kidnapping white girls in the public (Burns, 2015). These instances are still fresh in the minds of many Americans, both white and black. This means that such monuments reminds them of the darkest past and are part and parcel of the Southern Legacy. Confederate monuments, thus have a purpose in twenty first century USA: in exhibition halls, where the statues of unjust leaders botched and defeated nations which they belong (Davis, 2017).
In explaining Confederate monuments, mean dissimilar things that diverse individuals are deceived because they are intentionally ill-informed of the chronological communities that led to their formation. Therefore, it is in historical societies as well as U. S museums that people can overwhelm this ill-advised opinion and study issues regarding the legacy of these Southern men bestowed to the contemporary USA. The secessionists strive to preserve servitude to monumentalize their reason of racist as a history that can educate generations of U.S, some significant past teachings regarding ethical wrong of servitude, the foolishness of prejudice as well the demagoguery of Jim discrimination (Leib & Webster, 2015).
Negative side of removing confederate monuments
The Confederate fight emblem has come to as a result of State House grounds of National park service and South Carolina eliminating the emblem from all fighting field where it hovered, flickering an argument between those that the emblem carries upsetting implications as well as others that it signifies the land and the family they adore. For instance, in Memphis stakeholders have had a discussion of eliminating the monument of Bedford Nathan and exhume the tombs of forest and his spouse. On the other hand, in Richmond, Confederate monuments have been spoilt and in the nation there is push to eradicate all references of Confederates universally. It is challenging to understand what this would achieve other than to create resentment and division. Definitely it would not substantially modify the quandary of African-Americans. Thus numerous Southerners- several of them Africans- will feel as if they are intentionally disgraced and compelled to pay for something historically related to tyrannical governments and contemptible of a free state (Winsboro, 2016).
The information these symbols give is quite nuanced as compared to what people usually hear. It is stated that South withdrew from perpetuating servitude — and yet 6 slave countries sent menfolk to perish for the Northern, and the Southern countries prohibited a proposal from Lincoln which would have made servitude perpetual in interchange for their reappearance to the Association (Winsboro, 2016). Additionally, though many Northern nations had finished slaves by 1860, many had as well passed black rules, which put tight regulations on African-American and regularly prohibited them from staying in the nation. Moreover, West Virginia was admitted into the Union as a servitude nation in the year 1863, and slaves from Northern countries had to wait till 1865, 2 years after the Freedom Declaration, for their liberty (Webster & Leib, 2001).
Rather than removing all Confederacy remnants, the government and the public should use the sculptures and the designations written on them in order to commence a new discussion- one that recognizes the duties of each one involved and provides hope for the country and its individuals, both white and black (Webster & Leib, 2001). The monuments should have full story of the individuals in order to surprise those who oppose them. For example, Lee Robert statue and the institution that has his name remind the public all aspects of life he contributed to the world.
The history of America and monuments has both bad and good to teach the public, however those lessons are normally lost if their physical symbols ate deleted. This kind of social cleansing as a kind of intolerance humiliates both the Americans and its persons and create a critical president for the civil freedoms. Based on this, the public must restore the fight emblem to its historic background, the battlegrounds, which are debatably the galleries for that warfare, and allow the monuments to remain as they are. They should in its place use some of these monuments to start a new discussion.
In 1861, the country came apart due to the fact neither side was ready to cooperate, with both sides concentrated on variances instead of commonalities. The outcome was huge ribbons of the South left. Approximately one million killed, and a lot of Southerners, both white and black, left destitute and homeless (Johnson, 2002). Today there are comparable reluctance to cooperate, with skin color gradually stressed and the lessons of 150 years ago apparently unlearned — possibly the public is telling only part of story.
In summary, are reasons why confederate monument should be eliminated. They include: the elimination of Confederate shrines would remove distasteful- but vital-part of the country’s history. Furthermore, the elimination won’t cut out their connection to the past as compared to how it would appear as the CVS assert. On other hand, instead of eliminating Confederate statues from towns and Southern cities forces, the Americans need to confront the historical importance of racial slavery. At the same time the government and the public should use the sculptures and the designations written on them in order to commence a new discussion- one that recognizes the duties of every participant.
- Burns, M. (2015). A Confederate Memorial the” Equal of Gettysburg”: Sectionalism and Memory in the Establishment of Manassas National Battlefield Park, 1890-1940. The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, 123(2), 140.
- Davis, J. C. (2017). Funding South Carolina’s Monuments: The Growth of the Corporate Person in Monument Financing (Doctoral dissertation, University of South Carolina).
- Davis, S. (1982). Empty eyes, marble hand: the Confederate monument and the South. The Journal of Popular Culture, 16(3), 2-21.
- Johnson, N. C. (2002). Mapping monuments: the shaping of public space and cultural identities. Visual Communication, 1(3), 293-298.
- Leib, J. I. (2002). Separate times, shared spaces: Arthur Ashe, Monument Avenue and the politics of Richmond, Virginia’s symbolic landscape. Cultural geographies, 9(3), 286-312.
- Leib, J., & Webster, G. R. (2015). On remembering John Winberry and the study of Confederate monuments on the Southern landscape. southeastern geographer, 55(1), 9-18.
- Sanchez, J., & Moore, K. R. (2015). Reappropriating Public Memory: Racism, Resistance and Erasure of the Confederate Defenders of Charleston Monument. Present Tense, 5(2).
- Webster, G. R., & Leib, J. I. (2001). Whose South is it anyway? Race and the Confederate battle flag in South Carolina. Political Geography, 20(3), 271-299.
- Webster, G. R., & Leib, J. I. (2002). Political culture, religion, and the confederate battle flag debate in Alabama. Journal of Cultural Geography, 20(1), 1-26.
- Winsboro, I. D. (2016, May). The Confederate Monument Movement as a Policy Dilemma for Resource Managers of Parks, Cultural Sites, and Protected Places: Florida as a Case Study. In The George Wright Forum (Vol. 33, No. 2, p. 217). George Wright Society.
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