Confederate flag

Can You Tell The Difference Between Confederate Leaders and George Washington? Baltimore Officials Can.

Why can't the president?

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Edwin Remsberg / VWPics/Newscom

In downtown Baltimore—appropriately enough, in the Mount Vernon Place neighborhood—there is a huge monument to George Washington. It's been there since the 1820s, predating by nearly 30 years the taller, better known Washington Monument that is the centerpiece of the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

On Wednesday morning, Baltimore's Washington Monument still stands, a proud testament to the man who metaphorically fathered his country and fought for the cause of freedom. Elsewhere in Baltimore, though, statues and monuments to men who fought against that country and that cause are nowhere to be found.

That's because the Baltimore City Council unanimously passed a resolution earlier this week calling for the immediate removal of the city's Confederate monuments. Mayor Catherine Pugh signed the resolution and, The Baltimore Sun reports, looked on as city work crews by 5 am today removed four monuments—one for generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, one for "Confederate soldiers and sailors," and one for "Confederate women." The fourth was for Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, a Maryland native and author of the majority opinion in the infamous Dred Scott case that determined former slaves could not become U.S. citizens.

"It's done," Pugh told the Sun on Wednesday morning. "They needed to come down. My concern is for the safety and security of our people. We moved as quickly as we could."

And by taking swift, decisive action to remove Confederate monuments while leaving historical markers like the Washington Monument in place, Baltimore offers a primer on the nonsensical slippery slope argument offered by defenders of the Confederate monuments—an argument that President Donald Trump employed during a freewheeling press conference on Tuesday afternoon.

Asked about violence that broke-out in Charlottesville, Virginia, last weekend after a group of white nationalists, neo-Nazis, and Confederate sympathizes gathered to protest the planned removal of a statue honoring Lee, Trump offered that taking down one monument would equate to taking down all monuments.

"So this week, it is Robert E. Lee. I noticed that Stonewall Jackson is coming down," Trump said. "I wonder, is it George Washington next week? And is it Thomas Jefferson the week after? You know, you really do have to ask yourself, where does it stop?"

It stops….where it stops. No one action determines that any other action must take place. Reasonable people can clearly differentiate between the legacies of men who fought against the United States in order to maintain an economic system built on the institution of human slavery and men honored as founders of the nation, be they flawed men who owned slaves themselves.

Erasing that difference in order to defend the men who led the fight for cecession does a disservice to historical fact and to the ideals championed by Washington and the rest of the founders.

Even within the realm of Confederate monuments, there are degrees of difference. I tend to agree with my colleague Ron Bailey that memorials to Confederate dead or Confederate soldiers should be viewed through a different lens than those to specific Confederate leaders like Lee or Jackson or Jefferson Davis. Even if they died for a wrongful cause, all communties should have a right to mourn their dead and remember the awful cost of war.

Memorials to misguided leaders—many erected for political purposes during the Jim Crow era—are a different matter. In that sense, perhaps Baltimore went too far removing the memorials to the Confederate soldiers and sailors, and to women who helped the Confederate cause.

Still, even as those distinctions were (perhaps erroneously) wiped away, it's crucial to note that the distinction between Confederate monuments and monuments to slaveholding Founding Fathers remains. Conflating the removal of Confederate monuments with a broader attempt to erase history is inaccurate both philosophically and empirically.

Look no further than Mount Vernon Place in Baltimore. On Tuesday, the monument to Justice Taney shared the square with the monument to Washington (and another to the Marquis de Lafayette, the revolution-era French general). Today, only Washington and Lafayette remain.

Reasonable people can disagree about whether the Confederate monuments should stay in place as way to acknowledge the complicated history and complex individuals they represent.

But it is wrong to argue, as Trump and others have, that monuments to Lee and Jackson exist on the same moral plane as monuments to Washington and Jefferson. They are fundamentally different, and whether you agree with what Baltimore did on Tuesday night or not, the city's actions demonstrate the difference.

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  1. George Washington owned slaves, so are you telling me that isn’t enough to demand the statues be removed?

    Follow up question, if the government refuses to take the statues of the slaveholding Washington down what exactly will be done to stop people from just pulling them down?

    Or are we saying that the Confederate slave holders were somehow worse than the slave owners who predated them? Honest question.

    Asking for a friend.


    1. Reasonable people can clearly differentiate between the legacies of men who fought against the United States in order to maintain an economic system built on the institution of human slavery and men honored as founders of the nation, be they flawed men who owned slaves themselves.

      Wait, you think people are reasonable. I see now, that’s your major fail on this one. Do you think any of the assholes in Charlotte were ‘reasonable’ and do you think that far leftist groups are going to stop with the Confederacy when what they really hate is America, period?

      I think you’ll find yourself surprised at how far this kind of thing will go.

      1. Hell the magazine called “Reason” isn’t even Reasonable. It’s as if these articles are just because they think it’ll make them look good in the SJW mind. They wont.

        Those ripping down statues won’t stop at the confederacy since these people hate western civilization. Everything that is a symbol of the white, capitalist, patriarchy, blah blah blah, must be removed. And removed and destroyed by violence, not through elections and the democratic process.

        Tell me how these LARPers are different that the Taliban?

        1. The arguments to take down monuments of men like Washington write themselves if you’re a SJW type. Just attach slavery and watch as people try to defend a slave owner.

          There is no ‘winning’ argument that can be presented when all you need to do to shred those arguments is ‘because they owned slaves’. That’s it. That’s the argument. The author has drastically misinterpreted this push.

          1. Let’s destroy the pyramids in Egypt because they were built by slaves. Hell, while we’re at it, let’s destroy everything that wasn’t built in the past 50 years because more than likely they were build by slaves.

            See how easy it is for a SJW to sterilize history.

            Words of wisdom:

            “If you know your history
            Then you would know where you coming from
            Then you wouldn’t have to ask me
            Who the heck do I think I am”

            A people without a history is easier to control. Fuck you, alt-left.

            1. “Let’s destroy the pyramids in Egypt because they were built by slaves. ”

              Of course they weren’t built by slaves, despite what you’ve seen in the movies. Contemporary Egyptologists realize now that the pyramids, a truly vast engineering project, couldn’t have been built without a consenting work force. Coercing the work force with a few speer toting guards is simply not practical.

              1. Actually, working on the pyramids was a good job…decent pay, free beer and loose women (who made a good living servicing the workers).

            2. Everyone knows the pyramids were built by aliens from Sirius. Or was that Syria? Whatever. They were aliens.

        2. Its about those click numbers, so the website can stay as glitchy as it is and the money can be funneled into non-Libertarian writers.

      2. Heck, Lee has more morals & was way more ethical than the brutal lawless Tyrant Lincoln & his Union generals that satanically destroyed the South after they won!!!…I can guarantee that Lee would’ve never acted in such an evil manner had he conquered any Northerners!!

        1. “I can guarantee that Lee would’ve never acted in such an evil manner had he conquered any Northerners!!”

          According to one of the commenters here last week, the scumbag packed off African Americans captured in Pennsylvania to the south where they would take up a career in slavery.

          1. While Lee called slavery “a moral and political evil”, he treated his own slaves like dirt, and broke up the families of his slaves by selling them off. He also said that Africans were better off as slaves in America than as free people in Africa.

            1. Please cite your source.
              Thank you.

    2. I think we’re saying that people who waged war against our country should not be honored with memorials. They belong in a museum!

      1. I think you’re nuts if you think the reason these statues were removed is because they ‘waged war against our country’.

        1. Well that’s why I think they should be removed, to the very small extent that I actually give a shit. What other people think is out of my control

          1. Fair enough, although there are plenty of varied monuments to people who fought against the United States all over the country.

            1. There are WWII veterans who travel to various battlefields where there are statues and monuments of Japanese and German military people and do not demand that they be torn down.

              1. Because they are in a different country.

                1. Every time you see a so-called ‘Native American’ monument you’re looking at a monument to people who fought against us and lost badly. This is one of hundreds, if not thousands, of examples of statuary that commemorates the valor of enemies we have conquered as a nation. From Nazi Germans to Japanese pilots, America has statues of them all in various contexts. Yes, I did indeed take Art History classes (including Women in Art, which was perhaps the worst $1000 I’ve ever spent.)

                  It is absolutely clear that Confederate memorials are being called out not because they fought against the United States but because they were ‘pro-slavery’ and, as such, no political figure prior to that conflict is ‘safe’ excepting perhaps a few.

                  I can’t be the only retard that went and got a Liberal Arts education before choosing something smarter, right?

        2. Of course they were mostly erected as a giant fuck you to black people, so…

          1. What do you care about black people? The Democrats were/are the party of slavery and then Jim Crowe laws and then welfare and then other schemes to undermine black community and ability to enjoy the fruits of their labor.

            The lefties has been fucking over black people for centuries.

            1. History comes from books, not blogs.

              1. Wrong on both counts, you’re on a roll.

              2. History comes from books, not blogs.

                Without books we would have no history?

                Is everyone in your family that stupid?

                1. Why don’t you read a book and find out for yourself.

                  1. Aw Tony, you are babbling. Do you need someone to get that spittle in the corner of your mouth?

          2. FDR was a racist who interred Japanese-Americans in concentration camps. So I assume you want his statues to come down too?

            1. Not only that, but he and his administration knew what was being done to Jews in Europe and still drug their heels in doing anything about it. His government even turned away a ship full of Jewish refugees.

          3. And of course tearing them down is a big fuck you to white people.

            1. Atonement for Protestant guilt is what it’s all about.

        3. Texas is triple threat!

          Seceded from Mexico, then Independent Nation, then secession from the Union.

          1. And home state of George W Bush

      2. I think we’re saying that people who waged war against our country should not be honored with memorials.

        What’s “our country”? Just because it’s nominally the same republic doesn’t mean Washington didn’t wage war against “his country” which just happened to be under different management at the time. History is written by the victors (usually).

        1. ^This. In a internecine conflict, people on BOTH SIDES are, by definition, ‘fighting against their country.’ The argument on whether a particular memorial should be taken down or not shouldn’t rest on such a weak cover for the real reasons.

          From a political science stand-point, the revolutionary war was technically a ‘civil war’ where the rebellious side one not an inter-national conflict. The war of 1812, however…

          1. …Was a giant failure for the US.

        2. We declared independence, not war. The Brits decided to wage war against an independent country and we fought back.

      3. Next year: Tear down the racist museums! They have slave owner statues in there.

      4. Washington waged war against his country.

        1. The Founding Fathers were well aware that if the secession from England failed they would all be hanged as traitors to the Crown.

        2. No, he waged war against George III and his Parliament. He fought for his country (or countries), Virginia and the USA.

          In 1776 the nation-state was not as hard-and-fast a thing as it is today. The “Holy Roman Empire” was still around, for ghu’s sake. There were veterans of the Scottish rising of 1745 or their sons, in both the Continental army and the crown forces. I’m sue the Irish contingent fighting for the USA didn’t consider England “their country.” The Act of Union extinguishing the Dublin Parliament wouldn’t occur until the new century.

          Kevin R

          1. No, he waged war against George III and his Parliament. He fought for his country (or countries), Virginia and the USA.

            Ok, then Robert E. Lee fought for his country against Lincoln and Congress.

            1. But he lost.

              1. So did Geronimo, yet somehow we still have statues of him and his murderous band of mercenaries.

      5. It was their country, too, and still is. The only difference is that they lost.

      6. Their war & cause was just & it was not over slavery, but over a tyrannical governement!!!

      7. Their war & cause was just & it was not over slavery, but over a tyrannical governement!!!

      8. Like Sitting Bull?

    3. Re: BYODB,

      Or are we saying that the Confederate slave holders were somehow worse than the slave owners who predated them?

      In a sense, yes, because just right before the ante bellum period public opinion was shifting heavily towards abolition, turning slave owners into bitter clingers, while the founding fathers existed in a time when slavery was not as controversial.

      I say this with the clarification that I find no evidence the War of Northern Aggression was started because of slavery. The secession of the southern states was in part motivated by the desire to keep slavery alive but not the war itself, and I believe most southern generals and soldiers were not fighting against the north to keep slavery alive. Even so, public opinion has turned against (for better or worse) the Confederacy and so more intelligent solutions should be offered rather than letting Cheeto-man’s white supremacist admirers drive the narrative.


      1. In a sense, yes, because just right before the ante bellum period public opinion was shifting heavily towards abolition, turning slave owners into bitter clingers, while the founding fathers existed in a time when slavery was not as controversial.

        So public sentiment almost 150 years ago is a reason to tear down a statue today. I can appreciate your arguments regarding the Civil War but if we’re going to look backwards and judge the past through the prism of today men like Washington were monsters. Full stop.

        Make no mistake, that is what is happening here.

        1. Re: BYODB,

          So public sentiment almost 150 years ago is a reason to tear down a statue today.

          Gives some credence to these petitions. Of course there will always be those at the periphery who want to take down any statue of old white people but you either take their tantrums seriously or you don’t.

          I certainly don’t.

          1. Well if you don’t take those tantrums seriously it would appear that you’ll be blindsided by a mob that pulls it down regardless of the law, but whatever.

            I’m not trying to defend the confederacy or slavery it’s just become clear that this movement isn’t going to stop here. This victory will only further embolden these people (on both sides) to ignore the rule of law.

        2. Yes but Washington won. General LeMay admitted after WW2 that if we had lost he would have been tried as a war criminal. The victors write the history you see.

          1. Yes, Washington won the first battle to make slavery an American institution.

            You see how this is going to go now, don’t you?

      2. I find no evidence the War of Northern Aggression was started because of slavery.

        Really? None?

        1. Indeed, if one read’s the documents of secession or read some of Lincoln’s speeches you’ll find a lot of references to slavery.

        2. Given that Lincoln proposed a constitutional amendment to enshrine slavery to keep the South in the Union, that is correct.

          1. First off, Lincoln didn’t propose it, but he did endorse it in his inaugural address. But so what? The goal of the North was to preserve the union, so it was trying everything it could to do so. It failed.

            The civil war was fought by the North to preserve/restore the union, but the South seceded because slavery was not going to be expanded and the writing was on the wall pointing toward abolition. So the war happened because of slavery.

            To say there is “no evidence” that the civil war was started because of slavery is just being willfully blind.

            1. I would point you to this link as other reasons for secession.
              reasons for secession

              On that note, the CSA could have survived decades as a separate nation from the USA if they didn’t attack Fort Sumter. Sooner or later slavery would completely ruin the Southern economy as machines were far more efficient and cheaper than slaves returning bigger yields. Even if the Southerners did not voluntarily end slavery, economics would have forced their hand. The South would just not be able to compete.

              1. Guess what paid for the industrial revolutions infrastructure and construction in the North, along with the manual labor to put it together? If you guessed ‘slavery’ you’d be correct.

                Bonus question: Do you think slaves are somehow unable to work in a factory? Why, or why not?

                1. I don’t know why they wouldn’t be able to – many were highly skilled craftsmen. Hell, Jefferson had put a bunch of them to work making nails in his “nail factory.”

                  1. In fact, we see China making good use of essentially this exact strategy so I’m not sure why people would say the South wouldn’t have done the same. Moot point, either way, but a stupid moot point.

              2. And please note that Lincoln provoked the attack on Fort Sumter by sending the Star of the West to provision Fort Sumter after having been warned that this would be considered an act of war. His only purpose in doing so was to provoke the South into firing the first shot of the war. Lincoln succeeded and got his war, as a consequence the North crushed the South militarily, economically and politically. The devastation Lincoln wrought beleaguers the South, black people and white alike, to this day.

      3. “Even so, public opinion has turned against (for better or worse) the Confederacy and so more intelligent solutions should be offered rather than letting Cheeto-man’s white supremacist admirers drive the narrative.”

        That is because of the false narrative shoved down our throats in public schools & campuses for decades & that agenda has made a phony, brutal lawless tyrant like Lincoln into a national god!!….Lincoln did not give a crap about the slaves or in fact , for Southern people!!!

    4. @BYODB : Unlike Confederate leaders and soldiers, George Washington wasn’t a traitor to his country, although had the Brits won the Revolutionary War, he would surely have been treated as such.

      For the record, I believe that the statues should be allowed to remain (although not necessarily in their current locations) as reminders of the one of the ugliest parts of American history. Apparently, Charlottesville’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Race, Memorials and Public Spaces felt the same way in their December 2016 report, recommending against taking down the statues.
      http://blairhawkins.net/RH/2016BRCReport.pdf

      We are going through similar discussions in Georgia, where I live, with some advocating removal of the figures on the Stone Mountain memorial, and others (the KKK) applying for a cross burning permit at Stone Mountain.
      https://goo.gl/JU2f89


      1. @BYODB : Unlike Confederate leaders and soldiers, George Washington wasn’t a traitor to his country, although had the Brits won the Revolutionary War, he would surely have been treated as such.

        I think that a fine-grain examination of the Civil War vs. Washington isn’t in the cards with the types of people who are going to simply tear down statues over ‘feelings’ 150 years after the fact.

        Honestly I don’t really care except now municipalities all across the United States are going to take these statues down because the left threatened them with violence. THAT will be the reason why it’s considered, and as a matter of fact it’s the stated reason why cities are now doing it. Even my current home city of Dallas is ‘having a conversation’ about taking them down over threats of violence.

        If cities show they can be bullied by the right or the left through threats of violence, this is going to get so much worse because the threats and acts of violence will become more frequent and, eventually, almost certainly on a grander scale.

        That’s bad for everyone.

      2. The Dred Scott judge: Yes his memorial definitely deserved to be taken down or at least moved. They can move it to someone’s back yard.

    5. Of course people are reasonable! Who else would be?
      Tucker had a very bad day, lying that the US wasn’t democratic during the Revolution. I’m very disappointed about his historical ignorance and his thoughtless Marxist glossary.

    6. Tell your friend that Lee freed all the slaves that were inherited from his wife’s side of the family.

      Full disclosure, it was part of the will. But it remains that Lee did not own slaves.
      George on the other hand – – – –

      Fun fact: Slavery of all races, as an economic institution, existed for millennia. It existed in North America as a British colony for less than 200 years, and in the USA for less than 100 years. As a percentage of time as slavers, the US is barely a rounding amount.

  2. Judge Taney has no association with the confederacy and his statue was taken down. I’m not defending these men, but it’s unbelievably disingenuous to say that this will end with confederate monuments.

    1. Doesn’t the removal of his statue completely refute your flimsy point? If Taney, who remained loyal to the Union, can be removed- why not Jefferson?

    2. Re: WakaWaka,

      Judge Taney has no association with the confederacy and his statue was taken down.

      You mean the man who said Dred Scott didn’t have rights because he was of African descent? That is what his majority opinion basically SAID.

      1. Indeed he did and it was one of the worst rulings in Supreme Court history, but he has zero association with the confederacy and his opinion was held by some of our own founding fathers. So, I fail to see how this negates my point that it will not end with confederate monuments

      2. The SCOTUS is supposed to interpret the Constitution, not make up their own laws just because they don’t like the conclusions. Is there evidence Taney supported Dred Scott because he personally like the idea of keeping slaves or was he just interpreting the Constitution as it stood at that time? If the latter, do we really want justices to rule based on what they think people 150 years in the future will think of them?

      3. And if politicians in Northern states, or Northerners in Congress, were so distressed by Dred Scott they could have passed legislation guaranteeing the rights of freed slaves in their states or in the North generally. That they did not pretty much tells you what you need to know about the real mentality of America as a whole in that time

    3. What the fuck do you care?

      Libertarians for government-funded idolatry! The most pressing issue of our time!

      1. The government is spending money to tear down already erected statues.

        Plus, any Libertarian worth their salt must know that this is not about statues.

        1. No, it’s about white supremacists wanting to keep their thumb up all our asses.

          1. “No, it’s about white supremacists wanting to keep their thumb up all our asses.”

            No, it’s not about your role-playing.

          2. You having a thumb up your ass explains A LOT.

            1. Probably not a thumb.

              1. A scale sized buttplug of Lincoln’s top hat?

        2. I’d be perfectly happy if the Confedidolators bought the statues from the units of the states in question and parked them on private property they control.

          The state of Georgia should never have bought Stone Mountain, which was originally a private enterprise.

          Kevin R

          1. Stone Mountain is not going anywhere anytime soon.

      2. most statues are paid for by volunteers most of the monuments in DC were donations by the public the government only oversees them.

  3. Chicago Pastor wants George Washington Statue Removed

    http://chicago.cbslocal.com/20…..ve-owners/

    Seriously Reason, stop cozying up to these people. Nothing is ever enough for them. You can go without the cocktail parties

    1. I would like a certain Chicago Pastor removed.

      1. I would not, he’s within his rights to be wrong

      2. I’d like them all removed. Never heard of a pastor yet who I didn’t think ought to get an honest job.

    2. Thank you. I came here to link to that. The author of the above story needs to update it, and remove the mockery of President Trump, who once again proved correct in the face of criticism.

  4. This is a very confused blogpost, but my main reaction is:

    Right, slaveholding Virgianians’ (i.e. Washington, Jefferson, and their peers) rebellion against Britain totally had nothing to do with the Somerset case.

  5. Seems pretty easy:

    Confederate Leaders – Traitors – No Statue
    Founding Fathers – Patriots – Statue

    1. Gotcha, so the reason these statues are being removed has nothing whatsoever to do with slavery and everything to do with a very narrow and incredibly granular look at history.

      I’m sure that makes sense to you, but to the types of people who want to rip down statues I think the fine grain will be lost.

      1. I don’t doubt that to many on the left pushing to tear down these statues, they would also happily tear down statues of our founding fathers that owned slaves. There is plenty of evidence that the left views anyone that once owned slaves as even men that should only be remembered as a slave holder, and that extends to the founding fathers as well. That said, they are very much a minority view point. However let them try and justify tearing down monuments to Washington, and see how Americans respond to that. While I am not comfortable with tearing down these monuments I think there is at least a rational argument behind them, and I suspect most Americans may debate if it is right or wrong over the water cooler, they understand the reasoning behind it and won’t get to upset about it. Try and tear down a Monument to George Washington on the basis that he owned slaves, and I dare say your average American will be letting those that try know what they think, in the same way Americans are upset about a White Supremacists driving into a crowd of protestors. As long as the Average American can see that distinction, I doubt you will see anyone even try and suggest to take down a statue to the Founding Fathers. And if they do, I am sure the backlash will be swift and sharp, and they will know immediately they have treaded to far.

        1. First they came for your civil war memorials… Then they came for your founding father memorials….

          1. Union Brigadier General Joshua Chamberlain’s statue should be removed because he honored the surrendering Confederates at Appomattox.

            1. You shut that pretty mouth and leave the Hero of Gettysburg alone; Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain represents the best of American idealism.

              1. But he honored those that fought for slavery!

    2. Founding Fathers – Straight White Men, part of the Racist Capitalist Patriarchy — No Statue

      / Prog

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sfyXa3GBq2Q

      Watch that then tell me they will stop at the low hanging fruit that is the confederacy. And it looks pretty obvious that the police were told to stand down, like in every other leftist city when the far left engages in violence.

    3. Both have historical value.

    4. Depends on which side you’re on, doesn’t it?

    5. Uh, in Virginia, the history books all tell that the US was founded by traitors to the British Crown. And, since they won by default, they are heroes. The Virginians who did the same thing later, and lost, were misguided, but sincere men who put state over nation.

      History books are written by the winners.
      (Ever wonder how the Holocaust would read if Germany had won the last numbered war?)

  6. How will that distinction help when a mob shows up to drag down the statue?

    1. It won’t. The writers at Reason know that. When they start tearing down Teddy Roosevelt’s statue and founding fathers, they’ll just excuse that too. They’re just not ready to admit that they’re fine with all this yet. But, they’ll get there. When the Left demands it and cocktail parties are on the line- they’ll get there real quick

      1. Those cosmos are not going to drink themselves.

        1. TR doesn’t belong on Mt Rushmore, the proggy statist warmonger!

          Kevin R

          (A Long Island boy, so I’m slagging one of my own.)

  7. Abraham Lincoln – The Original Republican White Supremacist

    Trump really whiffed on this one, IMO.

  8. I realize that it would take more words to explain, but the Dred Scott case determined that a slave taken into a free state did not automatically become free. Saying that it was about citizenship misses the point a bit.

    The thing is here we are not having open debates about what monuments are acceptable or not. There seem to be a lot of unilateral action based emotional rationales. It does not necessarily follow that they go after Washington, but nothing precludes it either.

    1. It does prove the point that this has absolutely nothing to do with ‘waging war against the United States’ and everything to do with slavery, though, which defeats the authors argument entirely.

      I think this was posted without a lot of rational thought.

    2. So an illegal alien that makes it to a sanctuary city becomes a US citizen?

    3. It is not emotional rationale.
      It is the culmination of decades of hard, unending work by the socialists to destroy the language and rewrite history.

  9. Slippery slope stops where it stops.

  10. Can you tell the difference between Confederate generals and Teddy Roosevelt?

    Apparently some people can’t.

  11. Reasonable people stop slippery slope.

    1. “I know the majority of you guys are white and it’s hard to know how that word could have an effect but it does,” added a young student who testified. “If a simple name change could make students feel safe, then why are we holding back?”

      The problem in a nutshell.

      1. I’m sure it will stop there. Reasonable ppl have told me so.

        1. Drink!

      2. Loretta Lynch has another reason to be ashamed of herself.

      3. Loretta, the former A.G., should really change her name then.

    2. OTOH, if they had banned Lynch’s Dune in favor of the made-for-TV movie versions, I couldn’t find fault in their logic.

      1. All reasonable ppl would agree with that statement.

        1. Commonsense Dune control.

      2. …I actually liked the Lynch version of Dune although not the full-length ‘Directors Cut’. Notably, I loathe Lynch but his version of Dune wasn’t that bad. Then again, I might just be a sucker for Patrick Stewart.

        1. Battle pugs.

        2. Notably, I loathe Lynch but his version of Dune wasn’t that bad.

          Says you. I like to think that uttering the word Lynch causes the weirding module to kill its user. At the very least, someone on the set should’ve pulled Lynch’s heart plug.


          1. At the very least, someone on the set should’ve pulled Lynch’s heart plug.

            We can at least agree on this much.

        3. I’m with you on that. I’m one of the few people who sees Dune as one of Lynch’s better movies. Not because it’s a great movie, mind you . . . .

        4. Alan Smithee denier!

  12. So, ISIS destroying Buddhist statues was NOT a problem in hindsight?

  13. I tend to agree with my colleague Ron Bailey that memorials to Confederate dead or Confederate soldiers should be viewed through a different lens than those to specific Confederate leaders like Lee or Jackson or Jefferson Davis. Even if they died for a wrongful cause, all communties (sic) should have a right to mourn their dead and remember the awful cost of war.

    Watch the video of the mob pulling down the statue in Durham. Do you think they will make a distinction between memorials to Confederate leaders vs memorials to Confederate dead? Do you think the guy who spat on the statue has a nuanced view of all this?

    1. Nope-they pride themselves in not having a nuanced view at all. Once all the statues are gone they will be kicking over gravestones in the Confederate Cemeteries. They are punks who like to destroy property and should be dealt with as such.

      1. Funny you should mention that Hardly an innocent party, but this is still pretty fucked up.

        1. Did they feel compelled to drive a stake through his heart, too?

    2. It almost feels like we’re going through a sort of cultural revolution.

    3. The statues should be replaced with the ones of the Duke men’s lacrosse team.

    4. I think a couple of broken toes caused some of them to reevaluate their feelings.

  14. Washington was a slave owner who led a war of secession. So, so different.

    1. Traitor in England, Patriot in America.

      Johnathon Pollard, another example. Traitor in America, Patriot in Israel.

      Funny how countries have different views of different individuals based on their historical relationship with the person in question.

      1. Winners write history.

      2. Funny how ppl have different acceptance of taboo words based on the complexion of the speaker. Also funny how their acceptance of bigotry is malleable.

    2. Eric is blind to that fact.

      If we are to survive as a nation people need to understand our history in the context of we are here because of slave owning seditious old white men wanted to govern themselves by voting. They wrote into the founding document that slavery would need to be addressed in 1808 when the government then had authority to regulate slavery.

      The USA is not perfect but it is the best way to make people free and wealthy.

      1. It’s important to know and understand history, but ignorance allows you to make up your own history, which is more useful, so I can see the attraction. Plus, from the leaders’ perspective, the ignorant are more easily manipulated.

  15. Conflating the removal of Confederate monuments with a broader attempt to erase history is inaccurate both philosophically and empirically.
    You live in a fantasy land Eric.

    Each statue should be evaluated for its purpose and kept or discarded. These statues are being removed for reasons other than what you say. Any “racist” will be removed from history by the left, including the Founding Fathers. I guarantee it! The ironic thing is the Democrats were/are the Party of slavery.

    These people want to cause trouble and hope that non-lefties escalate the violence by SJWs. Why not remove these statues 10 years ago? Why now? Answer that question and you will see this is not about removing statues of soldiers who fought against the Union.

    It is clear that you would have been against the Confederacy peacefully exiting the Union and remaining its own nation. An argument can be made that Union interests had already violated various parts of the Constitution. The USA has declared war on or attacked countries for less.

    1. The ironic thing is the Democrats were/are the Party of slavery.

      The party of slavery and other forms of black oppression has always been the party with the biggest Southern faction. It used to be Democrats. When Northern Democrats had the temerity to pass civil rights legislation, all the racist fucktards moved to the Republican party. It’s not irony, it’s just the ever-moving stream of history. (History is a class you were supposed to take in high school.)

      1. Yup-yo, MeThinks you have this one correct! +1 !!!

        (Well, then there’s the thing about how public welfare programs enslave people into dependency, but that’s a whole different topic).

      2. Northern Democrats had the temerity to pass civil rights legislation Snort. Just like a good little Comrade, rewriting history. The CRA passed with a higher percentage of Republican votes than Democrat votes. But you know that, don’t you?

        1. And now the Republican party is exclusively the party of racist white people. As I said, the moving stream.

          1. Cite please Comrade.

              1. Way to avoid the question. As usual.

                Let me try again. If the Republican party is “exclusively the party of racist white people”, surely you’ll be able to easily find, let’s say, five racist statements made by leading Republicans? Should be a piece of cake.

                Or not. I say you’re just making shit up to fit your narrative. Again, as usual.

                1. Whatever were the last 5 things Jeff Sessions said.

                  To their credit most Republicans are disavowing Trump’s defense of murdering Nazis. Which incredibly is more than can be said for most of the people here.

                  1. So I guess the answer is no, you can’t find 5 racist things?

                    1. You want to walk back your “exclusively the party of racist white people” statement or back it up?

                      Which is it going to be, punk?

                  2. Lefties have not disavowed the murdering Nazis who were socialists just like progressives.

                  3. Tony,

                    You likely voted for Hillary, who referred to former Klan exalted cyplops and elected Democrat Robert Byrd as her mentor.

                2. The Republicans aren’t exclusively the party of racist white people, but to the extent racist white people have a major party, it is the GOP. The elephants have other factions, but that’s a sizeable one.

                  Just as we non-racist free marketers have the LP, some libertarians stay in the Republican camp, or are independent. The Dems may even have a few, but if you see one or two, catch them, fit them with tags, and release. They are rare!

                  There was a Populist Party , with roots in the old George Wallace “American Independent Party” that harbored some of the Old Segregationist right, but it seems to have dissipated.

                  Kevin R

                  1. Republicans are only the ‘racist party of white people’ if you completely ignore actions. If you include actions and policy, Democrats are without a doubt the most functionally racist party in the United States of America today. Unless of course you think all of those policies and organizations that were founded explicitly as a method of controlling and killing off Black people suddenly became good when the Democrats said they did, even though functionally the programs have absolutely not changed since their original formation.

                    So yeah, there’s a whole lot of willful retards revising history.

                  2. The party of racism remains the Democrats. As it ever will.

                    It doesn’t make it not racism if you’re smiling while you do it.

                    Only one party endless singles people out for punishment or reward based on the color of their skin.

                  3. Additional:

                    Almost forgot the Constitution Party who ran Darrel Castle in 2016. These minor parties are a mirror image of left-splinter groups.

                    Judean People’s Front! Wankers!

                    Kevin R

          2. Tomas Sowell would like to have some words with you, at the very least. I’m guessing he’s an ‘Uncle Tom’ though, right?

            1. Clarence Thomas. Herman Cain. Alveda King.

              1. They have four black friends, they can’t be racist!

                1. So you just have no idea whatsoever what the word ‘exclusively’ means, then. That checks out.

                2. To Tony it does not matter how many non-white people are conservative, they are traitors to the race war that the Democratic Party started by being slave owners.

                  Black people can only be your friends not your peers because lefties are racists who think black folks are inferior.

                  Which brings us back to what racism actually is about feeling superior to another person based on racial attributes.

                  1. My working definition of racism is expecting someone to believe or behave a certain way because of their race.

                3. How is this an invalid defense? If you were a racist you wouldn’t hang out with those of another race, right?

                  Of course the sentiment here goes hand in hand with the ridiculous ‘everybody’s racist’ narrative that is en vogue right now.

                  1. And amusingly, if you point out Tony’s racism, the first thing he’ll tell you is that his sister’s partner is black, so he can’t be.

          3. The Democrsts changed from being oppressively racist to patronisingly racist “you cannot make it without our help, but it is not your fault”.

            1. The Democrat goal was still to use non-white people and keep those blacks in their hoods.

          4. Well at least your attempt to re-write history is honest. Not right, but honest.

        2. What part of the North was Lyndon from?

      3. So, in your view it was Northern Democrats who passed the Civil Rights Act? Please, explain. This should be good.

        Bonus points if you can explain how it is that the Republican party is the party of black oppression in the modern era.

        1. I’m tired of explaining basic history to supposed libertarians who seem most preoccupied with defending the Republican party from criticism.

          Trump, Bannon, Sessions. Truly a rainbow of tolerance.

          1. So in other words, no, you have no idea who passed the Civil Rights Act or how it is that Republicans are the party of black oppression.

            I figured as much. Anything you say in the matter will be torn to shreds by anyone who has taken and aced upper division history classes.

            You truly are a self-hating yokel. I imagine you only do meth ‘ironically’.

            1. So tell me again why you’re so concerned about defending the Republican party’s honor?

              1. Nice Strawman you’ve got there, but logical fallacies are not arguments.

              2. Why are you so concerned about besmirching it?

          2. I’m tired of explaining basic history…

            You’ve never explained basic history. You’ve constantly misstated basic history.

            I’m still unsure if you’re a congenital liar or just “public-school” stupid.

          3. Incidentally, I am not “defending the Republican party from criticism”. Little Comrades who make shit up in these comments get called on it, regardless of their target. It’s *reason*.com.

            But for the record, I view the GOP favorably only in the sense that they seem slightly less awful than the party of Byrd, Wallace, the KKK founders and Jefferson Davis. I am not a registered Republican, do not donate and do not as a rule vote the party line.

            1. Good news! The Democratic party is no longer the party of the Southern racists. All the Southern racists went to the Republican party after the 1960s civil rights push, you ignorant fuck.

              1. Lemme get this straight. After the CRA, which a *higher* percentage of Republicans voted for, all the racists stopped being Democrats and became Republicans? Fascinating. I’d love to read more about this magical transformation. Can you please provide me with your readings on the subject?

              2. Now they’re the party of coastal racists. The view is better.

              3. Except Robert Byrd who was a Democrat and admitted racist until the day he died. You ignorant fuck.

                1. Byrd?

                  He at least pretended to have changed his mind on race issues. His real jones was pork for WV, and if black voters got a taste, that was fine.

                  His state is nearly 94% white, per Census figures .

                  Black or African American alone, percent, July 1, 2016, (V2016)(a) 3.6%
                  Black or African American alone, percent, April 1, 2010(a) 3.4% ,

                  US Census Bureau QuickFacts for WV

                  Pretty damned white.

                  Kevin R

      4. There were no slaves in the North then? Of course there were.

        Robert Byrd was a admitted racist and a Democrat to the day he died.

        1. He disavowed his racist past. You guys can’t seriously buy your own bullshit about how Robert Byrd cancels out all of the current, ongoing racism if the GOP, including, you know, the president of the United States defending murdering Nazis.


          1. He disavowed his racist past.

            There isn’t enough laughter in the world to cover this statement.

          2. “defending murdering Nazis”

            What did he say?

          3. No he publicly said being in the KKK was a huge mistake. Big difference. He still never tried not being a racist.

            1. Well he’s dead now. What’s your excuse?

              1. And there go those goal posts.

              2. Robert E Lee is dead too. Leave his statues alone.

          4. Byrd used the N word more than Dr Dre.

      5. all the racist fucktards moved to the Republican party.

        Almost every single segregationist remained a Democrat until the bitter end.

        Sorry if reality hurts, but that’s life.

        Hell, “hero” of the Watergate Commission, Sam Irvin, was both a Democrat and a segregationist. He didn’t change sides. The only reason Thurmond was so note-worthy is that he was one of the few that did change sides — as he stopped supporting segregation.

        Hell, Jimmy Carter had segregationists endorse him for governor of Georgia.

        1. Yeah, notably segregation was reinstated by a Democrat that modern Democrats continue to laud to this day. Much like how leftists heap praise upon FDR, a man who locked up American citizens in camps and deprived them of property without due process. He literally ‘stole’ everyone’s gold and gave them paper. He’s a leftist / Progressive hero for it.

          Go figure. Notably, public schools apparently fail to teach these very basic lessons on account that those particular historical individuals must be upheld as Progressive hero’s lest people begin to question the programs they instituted (or the reasons why those programs were instituted in the first place).

          As just one of numerous examples, the minimum wage was conceived as a way to suppress black employment, empirically it has done exactly that, yet Democrats continue to champion the minimum wage. Yet no, they are ‘not racist’ because…racism has become systemic.

          This is what passes for modern mainstream so-called Progressive thought.

          1. “Who is Woodrow Wilson,” Art?*

            Kevin R

            * Old enough to remember the late Art Fleming.

      6. Yeah, this is the “Democrats switched over to the Republican Party” trope. Show me the data that back this up. I think you’ll find that these racist bastards were thrown out of office by voters, for the most part.

        George Wallace was a Democrat and never “became” a Republican. There, I’ve started your list.

  16. “Reasonable people can clearly differentiate between the legacies of men who fought against the United States in order to maintain an economic system built on the institution of human slavery and men honored as founders of the nation, be they flawed men who owned slaves themselves.”

    “Reasonable people.” That’s one hell of a qualifier, Eric. We are not observing the actions of reasonable people, but a frenzy of emotion. This is what makes me uncomfortable about the removal of statues. It is not the product of reasoned debate and calm reflection. It is a feeding frenzy that does not lend itself to clear differentiation.

    Please recall that college campus “trigger warnings” and “safe spaces” were originally intended only for rape victims, but rapidly spread far beyond that limited scope to include any identity group with an ax to grind. I can easily see the same thing happening here.

    1. Exactly. When you start differentiating between historical monuments and other objects, you are injecting emotion into it. Emotion is not reason. This article trying to worm around an emotional argument is not reasonable.

  17. Yes, statues are toppled by the winners of history, who, of course, hold the truth, past and present. I wonder what Rome did. Well, Nero probably burned them all down anyway. Strangely enough, the colloseum is still standing. But hey, it’s not like slaves very made to fight and die there for the human onlookers’ pleasure.
    Monuments, are made and they come to be. Destroying those that stood for more than a hundred years is suspect. It is destroying history, destroying the dark and the ambivalent. It is telling people what to remember, and how to remember. Strangely enough, in matters of speech, the libertarian credo appears to be to counter speech with more speech, not to suppress speech. It goes on to hold that one should be wary of giving the state and the powerful control over what may be spoken, because that power may be abused. However, slippery slopes don’t apply to statues, and what they stand for. Statues stand on slippery slopes. Triumphantly, “the reasonable people” can agree on what are “hate statues”, and can agree to prohibit them. They know good statues when they see them. Alas, they don’t see how by tearing down statues they erect a monument of hypocrisy.

    1. correction: “slaves [were] made to fight”

    2. Destroying those that stood for more than a hundred years is suspect. It is destroying history, destroying the dark and the ambivalent. It is telling people what to remember, and how to remember. Strangely enough, in matters of speech, the libertarian credo appears to be to counter speech with more speech, not to suppress speech.

      Interesting that none of these mobs have (e.g.) put up a statue of Grant with an outstretched quill and parchment in front of and facing a statue of Lee.

      1. That thought crossed my mind yesterday. But I’m against it for the same reason(s) I’m against the placement of “Fearless Girl”. (I would also disagree with putting a pink hat on the bull. [No euphemism.])

        1. But I’m against it for the same reason(s) I’m against the placement of “Fearless Girl”. (I would also disagree with putting a pink hat on the bull. [No euphemism.])

          I’d be much more amenable to a cool calculating municipality deciding together to spend their tax dollars to produce something (even if only a work of art) or, you know, cut spending as opposed to a hotheaded mob SJWs destroying property for the symbolism of symbolically destroying it for the perceived slights of a minority.

          That is to say, I disagree with ‘Fearless Girl’ for reasons of taste and economic expenditure whereas destroying property to (not) appease the mob touches on some moral issues, IMO.

  18. broader attempt to erase history

    Ug. This particular perception needs to end. The removal of a monument is not “erasing history”. Removal simply reflects which particular parts of history we no longer want to celebrate.

    Note also that a monument to a Founding Father is not celebrating the Founding Father per se, but it is celebrating the Father because of their contribution to the Founding. A statue of Stonewall Jackson is not celebrating the man, because you can’t separate the man from the man’s contribution to the cause that brought him to prominence. And thus ultimately it’s the cause that’s being celebrated, not the man.

    1. This particular perception needs to end. The removal of a monument is not “erasing history”. Removal simply reflects which particular parts of history we no longer want to celebrate.

      Except the facts seem to indicate the exact opposite. We aren’t taking down crumbling statues because the municipality’s coffers aren’t deep enough and nobody remembers who they were, they’re being pulled down because of angry mobs that, frequently, weren’t even aware of the statues until some portion of a protected class pointed them out.

      Moreover, the selective celebrating of the cause is whitewashing the specific cause. It’s well known and documented that North vs. South wasn’t slavery vs. equality but de jure slavery or racism vs. de facto or de rigueur. Half a nation fought against a man who was more abusive of executive power than Trump.

    2. “The removal of a monument is not “erasing history”. Removal simply reflects which particular parts of history we no longer want to celebrate.”

      Monuments are integrated museum pieces, and more. The meaning of these statues has changed. It appears “unreasonable” to assume that the ones in question are clear and simple calls for celebration. It’s erasing rembrance, presence of history. (Seriously, who ever thought that acts in the present can change the past? Disregard physicists.) Destroying paintings doesn’t destroy what they depict. That’s not the point.

      1. ,

        . His (Washington’s) will provided for freeing the enslaved people he held upon
        the death of his widow Martha Washington. In January 1801 Martha freed her husband’s slaves,
        just over a year after his death

        Wiki on GW & Slavery

        So, The Father of Our Country pulled off something Jefferson, who also knew slave-holding was wrong, couldn’t.

        TJ’s wine cellars took precedence over doing without slaves, I expect.

        Kevin R

        1. So, The Father of Our Country pulled off something Jefferson, who also knew slave-holding was wrong, couldn’t.

          I think this is a moral judgement out of context. It’s not exactly debated that millions of slaves freed after the Civil War died because they were neither owned property nor full rights bearing citizens. I can’t read Jefferson’s mind nor did I live during the time period, but the notion that setting your slaves free automatically made a better life for them in that era is rather empirically known to be wrong and is pretty empirically/demonstrably so in the Americas right up until the decade of the civil war. Pretty much at no point in history has The North had more free slaves than The South. The proportion of free slaves was larger in the North (100%) but the actual number was higher in the South because… reasons.

          1. Jefferson got himself into so much debt that the slaves were actually mortgaged . You can’t give away security on a loan unless you have the ready cash to retire the debt.

            TJ had set up various enterprises at Monticello. Seeing to it that the African-descended had trades before they were manumitted would have been the way to go, but Massa Jeff, he couldn’t get out of debt long enough to put a plan like that in motion.

            How much more would we esteem Jefferson if he had freed his slaves, sold off Monticello for what he could get, and moved to some small cabin where he could have played his violin, grow beans like Thoreau, and write letters? Woudst-a, couldst-a, shouldst-a!

            Kevin R

            (Is this Hit & Run or soc.history.what-if ?)

            1. Jefferson liked his slaves so much he had children with one of them.

              1. William Jefferson Clinton liked women so much that he (allegedly) forcibly tried to have children with them.

            2. Massa Jeff? No, more likely Massa Tom.

  19. Might as well take down all monuments in an orderly fashion before the mobs tear them down. It is a near certainty to happen.

    1. Leave them up. It gives us more time to stock up on guns, ammo, and food for the coming civil war part deux.

      1. Feel like losing again? Maybe this time we’ll finish the job and level all your cities, so you don’t spend the next century and a half whining that someone took away from you the most vile institution conceived by man.

        1. Wow, so you know pretty much zero about any history at all. That’s an impressive amount of not paying attention in school Tony.

        2. See Tony, you won’t even know what to do when the Civil War comes.

          We don’t live in the cities. We surround the cities and lefties in the cities that stayed die of starvation because the food comes from… guess where Tony?

          1. Mexican immigrants.

            1. No one cares about your sex life.

            2. We make food out of Mexican immigrants? Jesus Tony you lefties are racists and cannibals?

              Some food is harvested by people and some by tractors.

              1. And you want to make my food more expensive for the single, solitary reason that you don’t want DNA for brown skin in anymore American babies.

              2. We make food out of Mexican immigrants?

                ?Dios mio! ?Soylent Verde es la gente!

                Kevin R

                {or should that be las personas….?}

        3. Tony, your side lost last time. You lost.

          And they’ll lose again.

          We won.

          Americans want no part of the racist, socialist hellhole you people want to turn this country into.

          1. The marxists have lost almost everywhere in the world, and they’re going to lose here as well. And that just fucks up their whole goal of international, one world marxist socialism. As long as the US remains free, economically strong, and the most militarily strong country in the world it remains a stumbling block for them. It’s one of the reasons this country is so viscerally hated by the left – it stands in their way.

  20. There is a memorial on Boston Common honoring those who were hanged for witchcraft. This needs to go! After all, witches were anti-science in their day.

    1. Probably climate deniers. And at least the tolernat leftist executioners did them in using environmentally friendly means (think about the carbon footprint of burning them at the stake).

  21. The only difference is he won. Washington led a slave-holding country in open armed rebellion against its established government, citing a long list of grievances and the basic human right of self-determination. So did Lee. Thomas Jefferson even tried to blame the King for the horrors of the slave trade, but never bothered to free his own slaves.

    The slippery slope argument is being mocked for now, but give the SJWs a few more years and a few more victories, and don’t be surprised when ask for more.

  22. Not sure I understand why libertarians are worried about a slippery slope to removing government-erected and government-maintained monuments to government.

    Of course we all agree that the statues erected in the 1960s specifically to serve as stone middle fingers to black Americans should probably go, however “historical” they may seem at first glance.

    1. Not sure I understand why libertarians are worried about a slippery slope to removing government-erected and government-maintained monuments to government.

      I’m not that worried about it. I saw some link or headline that said “well let’s just blow up Mt. Rushmore!” Um, *shrug*, ok, if you really want to.

      1. Before Trump gets a chance to prove himself worthy of having his fat head put on it?

        1. What’s it take to be worthy? Apparently Teddy Roosevelt makes it up there with the likes of Washington and Lincoln for some reason.

    2. “Not sure I understand why libertarians”

      To the surprise of no one.

  23. The ongoing culture war within the US remains the biggest blind spot in libertarian dogma.

    Yes folks, continue to ignore it. Reminds me of the old poem about how they came after the Jews and I said nothing, it ends with them coming after you and there’s no one left to do anything.

    1. First they came after the Nazis…

      Yeah, that about sums up this ridiculousness.

      1. well when you define everyone to the right of Stalin as a Nazi…

        Totally Nazis

        1. I’m referring specifically to the people wearing swastikas and shouting things about Jews.

          1. The point is no one here believes the far left actually differentiates between actual Nazi’s and Republicans.

            The will turn on you too Tony. You remind me of the communists that were shocked, SHOCKED that they were in the Gulag too

          2. Good boy Tony, the Nazis wore swastikas and shouted things at jews. Gold star for you.

            You must also know that Nazis were/are socialists.

            1. I think you might be too dumb even for this place. Sorry. Don’t mean to be rude.

              1. You mean to be much more than rude. You’re a socialist, so if you could you would have me sent off to a gulag somewhere for speaking against the lefty narrative.

                Nobody here ever thought you are anything but too dumb for this website.

            2. And the Left has never liked Jews as Jews themselves.

              1. FDR had the USA turn away Jews trying to emigrate to the USA from Nazi Germany.

                But now the left is all about the immigration.

            3. In all fairness, Hitler killed the socialist leaders of the party after taking power during the Night of Long Knives.

              Also, in all fairness, the good little socialists will be killed off after their self-appointed savior takes power every other time too. So yeah, Hitler or Stalin types are the natural result of Socialists, purist or otherwise.

              1. Hitler killed off his rival socialists first.

                Then he killed off anyone who would not follow the state mandates.

                1. Ernst had it coming to him.

                2. I’m not necessarily saying that Hitler was or was not a socialist, I’m merely pointing out that it doesn’t matter because in either scenario a whole shit ton of people get murdered regardless of how ‘pure’ of a socialist you might be.

                  It’s the only sure result.

                  1. Hitler swapped “race” in for “class,” just as former socialist activist Mussolini did in Italy, when he changed it to “nation” from “class.”

                    Favored group, disfavored groups, cults of personality, and a doctrine that everything in society, if not owned and operated by the state, had to be subservient to it.

                    It’s a choice between a duck with red feathers and one with black feathers. Hitler’s “duck” used both colors, on purpose, because he thought it would make the most stirring flag.

                    Nazis and Commies wind up in the same corner on a Nolan Chart.

                    Kevin R

                  2. I suppose whenever you have concentrated power, there will be people who seek control of that power. Part of attaining that power is to eliminate rivals, even those rivals that you had allied with previously if necessary. The more the structure of government is eroded and the separations of power disrupted, the more likely this situation will play out.

          3. Take away the swastikas and you have the quite-progressive BDS movement…

          4. Those are the same ppl who wanted single payer healthcare and government ownership of the means of production. Do you even mirror?

  24. My great grandfather was at Gettysburg, and wrote about the meeting of the blue and gray on the 50th anniversary:

    “it was deeply felt and warmly expressed upon all sides that it was now full time for the active participants in the great conflict to set the example to the succeeding generations of forgetting the acrimonies and bitterness of the past and only enshrining the valor of both sides…”

    He and his comrades forgot. I guess we can’t.

    1. People forget about the horrors of war very quickly.

      If only there was a place where kids could be taught about such things and educate them into avoiding the mistakes of the past.

      1. …and after that 50 year reunion, the Confederate battle flag was generally cased, and wasn’t trotted out, Decoration Day aside, until the segregation battles of the 1950s.

        Kevin R

      2. People forget about the horrors of war very quickly.

        Especially if they don’t experience them.

      3. Well, it would help start the conversation if there were public statues around – – – –

  25. There’s a difference between commemorating the dead and celebrating their cause. Are memorials to confederate soldiers and sailors more deplorable than commemorating those who fought in Vietnam?

    1. arguing points like that is lost on these wanna fascists. Inside every SJW is a tyrant waiting to spring out.

      They hate western civilization, so anything as part of the “racist capitalist patriarchy” blah blah blah must go away. Destroying monuments violently (if you don’t like them, vote to remove them or for people who will), makes then no better than the Taliban.

    2. You can understand why there wasn’t much of an appetite for erecting statues to confederate generals in the era following the Civil War. Most of the statues in question were erected to commemorate the Civil War 50 or 100 years later, and not to celebrate the dead, but the cause the war was fought for. The purpose of the statues is to explain to black people that the cause is not dead–we’re still out to get you. And that’s sort of why people object.

    3. And if you don’t believe me, ask yourself why people are so bent out of shape about removing these specific civic works. It’s not because they’re a bunch of history buffs. They’re not showing up at the refurbishing of Thomas Edison park in New Jersey. Come on with this crap.

      1. “They” are only calling for the removal of George Washington references too.

        http://chicago.cbslocal.com/20…..ve-owners/

        Yeah I don’t buy for a second this is limited to the confederacy. Not when one of the groups starting the violence are a communist terrorist organization.

      2. Why are lefties so bend out of shape about these statues now of all period in time. Why not during the 1960s?

        1. Just as Herr Trump suggested, local governments are choosing of their own accord to remove these statues in order to stop embarrassing themselves. I don’t know what exactly you’re arguing for. The feds storming in and forcing them to keep the statues?

          1. It’s not because they want to ‘stop embarrassing themselves’ it’s because they’re afraid of the facists and nutjobs who went crazy in Charlotte on both the left and the right. It’s a preemptive move to prevent violence perpetrated by the neo-nazi’s and antifa.

            It’s a law and order move, plain and simple, and let us not pretend that one of those groups has some moral high ground here. They’re basically domestic terrorists at this point.

          2. Ah local governments are pushing this agenda to remove statues? I wonder why its national news then?

            Oh, so that’s what the Lefties wanted Trump to do- Try and stop the removal of statues so he could be labeled a racist?

            Lefties must be really upset that he is playing chess and barely speaking about this historical marker removal nonsense at all.

            1. It won’t stop. It’s about power. Getting these statues removed is a demonstration of power. Remove every statue and there will be something else.

  26. Maybe we should just ban idolatry.

    1. Hands off my golden calf!

      1. And then they came for my chipper shredder

  27. All the history and literature out there and this author still believes the cause of the Civil War was slavery?

    I get that “winners write the history books”, but that doesn’t excuse one for being ignorant when the loser’s history books weren’t destroyed.

    1. Its fits the lefty narrative and years of bad schooling have brainwashed some people, even Reason writers.

      I have provided the link to the actual listed reasons of each state for secession on numerous occasions. As you say, its only hidden as much as people want to be lazy about history.

    2. Having read the Confederate Constitution, it is hard to miss that slavery was a major, major aspect of it.

      The soldiers gave no shits about slavery. And the North, sure as hell, did not want to fight to abolish slavery.

      1. I think if it was not for slavery, most northern soldiers would not have fought. What did they care if some other state far away wanted to leave the Union? The leadership may not have cared much about it, but they were perfectly willing to use the issue for recruiting purposes.

        1. Most northern soldiers would not have fought at all but for the military draft Lincoln instituted. That the war was about fighting slavery was the ineffectual sop they used for getting the common people to support the war – this is true. But if the North had been all that concerned about freeing the slaves it could have begun with the slave-holding states that remained in the Union.

    3. Defending slavery was the major common reason given by the secessionist state governments for justifying their actions. The narrative thst the crisis was not about slavery does not hold water.

      1. Slavery was one of the reasons but not THE reason for secession.
        Reasons for secession
        The Confederate reasons for secession are not the same as the legal reasoning in the Confederate Constitution.

        1. It is the first reason–

          ” For the last ten years we have had numerous and serious causes of complaint against our non-slave-holding confederate States with reference to the subject of African slavery”

          And the North’s hostitilty to it and their refusal to abide by it is the second reason–

          “They have endeavored to weaken our security, to disturb our domestic peace and tranquility, and persistently refused to comply with their express constitutional obligations to us in reference to that property, and by the use of their power in the Federal Government have striven to deprive us of an equal enjoyment of the common Territories of the Republic.”

          It goes on and on about slavery, every other ‘reason’ leads back to slavery.

          Because the only non-negotiable point between the north and the south was slavery. Take that issue away and there would have been no Civil War–no ‘South’ as we know it today.

          When we waste time denying this fact–to try to claim that the ruling Democrats had some other reason besides their determination to keep humans as farm animals we hurt ourselves. Yes, some of us have ancestors who accepted this. They were stupid. We’ve since learned better. Stop trying to wipe off tarnish they thought was gold.

          1. An excellent summation, and excellent points.

            Those who try to rewrite the Civil War to put more emphasis on States Rights vs. Federal power are just as guilty of historical revisionism. It’s a classic case of they’re not wrong, they’re just not right either.

            One of my college level Texas Politics professors actually trotted out this whole line of reasoning, and at the time I thought it made sense but later on after reading more about it I wanted my money back. UT didn’t feel that was a refund situation though.

          2. Because the only non-negotiable point between the north and the south was slavery. Take that issue away and there would have been no Civil War–no ‘South’ as we know it today.

            No, there was one other non-negotiable point – namely whether or not any state had a right to leave the Union – for any reason. The Confederate states claimed they did; the Northern ones said “no you don’t, ‘cuz we own y’all’s asses just as surely as you think you own your slaves.

            Simply put the southern secession happened primarily over slavery, but the war happened over secession itself. And Lincoln and his administration were quite willing to enslave free white men to fight and die in that war via the country’s first national military conscription.

  28. “Reasonable people can clearly differentiate between the legacies of men who fought against the United States in order to maintain an economic system built on the institution of human slavery and men honored as founders of the nation, be they flawed men who owned slaves themselves.”

    Why are you assuming that anyone involved in this is even halfway reasonable?

  29. nonsensical slippery slope argument

    The trouble is that slippery slope are slippery.

    fought against the United States

    There was fighting because Lincoln wanted it. Lincoln violated the American founding principle of secession and destroyed the republic.

    in order to maintain an economic system built on the institution of human slavery

    Tertiary issue until Lincoln made it a political wedge issue bc the war was going poorly for him. This also ignores incentive. If 90 some-odd percent of the population of seceding states were not slaveowners and were in economic competition with salve labor, why would they fight to preserve it? Could there have been another issue? Perhaps the tariff that doubled immediately before Lincoln took office? (among other things) Never mind that, even if you assume the worst of the worst, the federal government was never granted the authority to prevent any state from seceding for any reason. Further, states varied in their reasoning for secession. Mine didn’t vote for secession until Lincoln calle don it to raise forces to suppress the other seceding states, having initially voted to remain in union.In closing, there is a whole field of research on the war and it was far more complicated than “omg look at those racist slavers!”.

    1. Also never mind that, in his first inaugural, Lincoln gave and endorsement to a proposed amendment to the constitution that would have enshrined slavery in the constitution. He then proceeded to threaten violence and bloodshed against those states that neglected to collect the recently doubled tariff. You should read the address. It’s telling and worth it.

      1. You be writin’ about the Corwin Amendment.

      2. Lincoln was a racist and non-abolitionist until he could not win the Civil War without making slavery and race prime issues, so black men would fight for the North.

        Lincoln wanted all freed blacks to be sent to Africa.

        1. Lincoln wanted all freed blacks to be sent to Africa.

          People always say this as if it’s a terrible sentiment.

          Lincoln wanted the people who were kidnapped and put to forced labor, sometimes for more than a generation. to be restored to their homes, the countries from which they’d been stolen.

          That’s what Lincoln wanted

          But saying it this way makes him almost as evil as all the other white men–

          Lincoln wanted all freed blacks to be sent to Africa.

        2. People should read Article 4 of the US Constitution:

          The United States shall guarantee to every state in this union, a republican form of government, and shall protect each of them against invasion; and on application of the legislature, or of the executive (when the legislature cannot be convened), against domestic violence.

          Section 4

          The states that attempted to secede, having participated in the 1860 election, and receiving a result not to the liking of certain citizens, those disgruntled ones lobbied their legislatures for Ordinances of Secession usually through either a special convention or a referendum, bypassing, if need be, the state legislature. Arguably, such conventions were needed to have a similar authority as the Federal Constitutional convention or the ratifying conventions of the several states.

          Kevin R

          1. {…part 2…}

            Political question: was resorting to direct democracy, via referendum, within the ambit
            of “republican government?” Should secession attempts have been held off until the next
            congressional Presidential election, with the states of a mind to secede not participating in
            said elections? Was Lincoln’s determination to hold Federal institutions sited within the
            various soon-to-be-rebellious states actually a provocation, or were the attempts of the state
            militias to get them to surrender to the relevant state authorities provocative? “Who started it”
            depends on the answer to that question.

            Lincoln made statements we now considered racist, but his opponents accused him of dissembling, and of always wanting to free all slaves and raise the black man to the level of the white (sic.) If they were right, his “racist” speech and writing was a ploy to get elected and move the country where it needed to go. Not “Honest Abe,” but more to be admired, if true.

            Kevin R

            1. And politicians never misrepresent the words of other politicians, nor do they dissemble or outright lie.

  30. This place is a cesspool of ignorant racist fucktards in recent days. Any of the regulars want to agree with me on that? Or is the real threat not racist fucking Nazi supporters who murder people, but phantom leftists in college dorms ready to pounce on your white privilege with a blog post?

    1. Tony: “Everyone who doesn’t agree with my oversimplification of a complex issue is racist.”

      1. Whether the Civil War was fought over slavery is not a complex issue. The motive behind defending statues of confederate figures–but no other statues, anywhere, ever–is not that hard to figure out either.

        1. You ascribe the same motivation to everyone who holds the same general position. This is incredibly simplistic. Unfortunately, this seems to be a common practice.

    2. Tony: “Everyone that does not agree with my racist lefty narrative is a racist Nazi lover- in recent days”

      1. It does not take courage in 2017 to denounce nazis or white nationalists or the KKK. It didn’t take courage in the 90’s or the 80’s or the 70’s either. You have to go all the way back to the 60’s to find an era when racist groups had any real heft. And you have to go back another decade or so to find an era when it was actually dangerous to denounce the KKK – at least in some areas.

        Everyone is having a great time taking their victory lap over their heroic denunciation of the Nazi’s. Maybe we should start handing out trophies for people with the courage to stand up against child rape. Because those people are the real heroes too.

        I suppose I have a weird view of this because I don’t see the KKK as any sort of threat in this day and age. They are a punchline, not a power.

        The thought police on the left, however…. they actually have people in the legislature willing to introduce bills that would enshrine their “hate speech is not free speech” into law.

        But most people have difficulty parsing the difference between taking action on the moral side of an issue and taking the moral action. The ACLU has traditionally been at the forefront of this parsing, but they are being roundly ignored by the left lately.

        1. They are a punchline, not a power.

          Stolen with intent to use on my regressive acquaintances on fb to attempt to help them stop hyperventilating and gain some perspective.

          1. Good luck with that. I’ve found that this issue is undiscussable at the moment.

            1. Gonna be a long moment.

    3. Well, the real threat is people that murder, or want to murder, based on political ideals.

      Like the Bernie supporter that tried to mass-murder Republican congressmen.

      But, we can’t take about that because he was a violent leftist.

      Only violent “rightists” can be called out.

  31. You talk about a slippery slope not happening with the removal of Confederate monuments leading to removal of monuments to the Founding Fathers but all you have to do is look to Chicago where that is exactly what is being called for since Washington and Jackson were slave owners and African-Americans were “three-fifths of humans.” The three-fifths compromise is again misrepresented in the comments of person calling for the removal of these two individuals from public spaces in the below article but that seems to be the general belief of many in the African American community in recent times.

    http://chicago.cbslocal.com/20…..ve-owners/

    1. Make an SJW head explode by pointing out it was the anti-slavery faction that wanted slaves to be counted as property not people.

      1. …as long as they didn’t have the franchise, yes.

        We don’t have a Federal property tax, now, but had we instituted one in the 1790s…

        The federal government is generally prohibited from imposing direct taxes unless such
        taxes are then given to the states in proportion to population.* Thus, ad valorem property taxes have
        not been imposed at the federal level.

        Wiki on property tax

        What the Southern slavers wanted was to count the enslaved population as people for purposes
        of representation and the apportionment of taxes. Even if the Feds considered them taxable property,
        If they got House seats due to higher population totals from counting each non-citizen as a “whole person,” they could make sure there wouldn’t be a tax on their slaves, and if there were, the money had to be spent in the states it came from – no redistribution of wealth from Charleston to Boston.

        Kevin R

        1. Hanging footnote:

          16th Amendment changed the apportionment of taxes, so money could be Hoovered from one section and spent in another.

          Kevin R

    2. The 3/5 was a compromise. The southern states wanted all the slaves to count (they couldn’t vote of course) so that they’d have more representatives.

  32. The civil war was much more about states rights, than slavery.

  33. The civil war was much more about states rights, than slavery.

    1. It was a lot about slavery. Cribbed this from an article because no one clicks on links:

      Every state in the Confederacy issued an “Article of Secession” declaring their break from the Union. Four states went further. Texas, Mississippi, Georgia and South Carolina all issued additional documents, usually referred to as the “Declarations of Causes,” which explain their decision to leave the Union. The documents can be found in their entirety here.

      Two major themes emerge in these documents: slavery and states’ rights. All four states strongly defend slavery while making varying claims related to states’ rights. Other grievances, such as economic exploitation and the role of the military, receive limited attention in some of the documents.

      1. Plus, Jefferson Davis, in his own writings, was a strong defender of slavery. Alexander Stevens, the vice president of the Confederacy, called slavery the foundation of civilization (one of the statues from Mississippi in the U.S. Capitol is of Stevens, the other is of Davis).

    1. Jesus however did not own slaves.

      1. Another main religious figure did… but we arn’t supposed to talk about that

        1. L. Ron Hubbard?

  34. General Grant was a slave owner. Got to take down his mausoleum.

    1. And overseer (the guy with the whip) and owned ’em til he was legally required to give them up.

  35. The comments section needs to be renamed – The Slaughter of the Strawmen.

  36. Can You Tell The Difference Between Confederate Leaders and George Washington? Baltimore Officials Can.
    Why can’t the president?

    Because Trump, like Hillary, Bush, Obama etc. went to Ivy League schools.
    Soirees, networking, and finding out the latest about the Kardashians are always more important than history, mathematics, business administration, etc.
    Please don’t tell me you’re so naive to think these people went to these elitist schools to engage in something as mundane, labor intensive and bourgeois as studying, did you?
    Get real.

  37. Didn’t we have the whole ‘just because the Confederate Flag is coming down doesn’t mean it will extend to X’ argument about this time last year?

    C’mon, Reason – stop giving coverage to what are essentially culture war squabbles by pretending there’s some bigger principle involved. At the very least, come up with a general libertarian argument on whether government should be in the business of putting up/taking down monuments at all.

  38. They’re already going for the founding fathers. They’re going for anyone who the prevailing orthodoxy says must be gone after. Because that’s how this works

    Each victory handed to them encourages the next round of whining, and rioting, and murder.

    We want equal rights!
    We want extra rights!
    We want better rights!
    We want to take your rights!
    We want all the rights!

    It is never enough. It never stops

  39. When it’s not being screamed, I understand both side’s arguments. I agree that certain symbols can become antiquated in meaning and may need to be reevaluated. But the left wants to remove these because they want to win, not because they’re just so offensive. Ever since Trump was elected, it’s been like the early scenes in ‘A Miracle Worker’ where Helen Keller is going bat shit because no one ever tried to discipline her. They still haven’t realized their noise is ineffective, that their arguments are one sided, and that their yelling falls on deaf ears.

    A side which cowers to microaggressions sure has no problem declaring all people with opposing opinions as racist pieces of shit. Their need to be woke is exactly the same as the need to do something clever before anyone else did. It’s a trend, it’s ego based. It’s why everyone sees through their hypocrisy. Honestly, I feel bad for people who join the KKK or white supremacists or whatever. They are very threatened, insecure, scared, hurt people. Now, there are totally some genuinely evil people in those groups, but I think most people probably join them because they’re society’s outcasts. Poor, uneducated white men who were raised in a culture where being progressive wasn’t an option. Then add people telling them they’re nothing but uneducated racists all the time. The left’s lack of genuine compassion is one of the main reasons I could never be a liberal. It’s all for fucking show.

    1. One of the most satisfying things some Libertarian friends I and ever did was befriend a young Constitution Party activist, a senior in high school, and by inviting him to Libertarian events, and suggesting reading material and lending him copies of mags like reason,* persuaded him to stop hanging around with the racist f*cks who ran the local CP. The kid went to college and got his teaching certification, so that at least some classrooms had someone teaching kids who knew what was what about human freedom.

      The local CP were like clones of the “illinois Nazis” in The Blues Brothers. Very sad.

      And when the LPers are pitying you, you are sad, my friends.

      Kevin R

      * back in the lower case logo days.

  40. The neo-confederates are worried that taking down the confederate statues will destroy their history and their heritage. There are no statues of Hitler in Germany and no one forgot about him. There were no “good” people among the Nazi, KKK, white nationalists, etc. There might have been one who wandered into the crowd not knowing what was going on but if they didn’t leave immediately they could in no way be described as a good person. To find the truth about something like this you need to go to the ultimate expert in the field of racism and bigotry?.David Duke?. who thanked Trump for telling the truth about what happened with the good people on his “side”. I am 65 yrs old and I have seen more faces of KKK, etc, on TV in the last year than ever. Its like the cockroaches are not afraid of the sunlight. Like William Johnson who wrote an Amendment to remove all non-whites from the US. He was on TV regurgitating racism and bigotry like a “good” person.


    1. There were no “good” people among the Nazi, KKK, white nationalists, etc.

      I beg to differ. Any time you’re forced into a group at gunpoint you end up with good people in a shitty situation. This is especially true of the Nazi’s but also could be considered to be true of groups like the KKK in the early 1900’s. Probably not as true today, though, since no one is likely being ‘forced’ to go to a KKK rally.

    2. And yet JFK brought Werner von Braun here to head up the US’s rocket program. Of WvB is not a “good” Nazi do we villify Kennedy?

      1. I have no problem with vilifying Kennedy and his brothers, and his vice president.

  41. They should start by getting rid of every vestige of Robert Byrd and Al Gore Sr both KKK members in good standing and reinstate the statue of Gen. P.J. Beauregard to New Orleans since he was an abolitionist.

    1. Put up one of “Beast Butler”, while you are at it! 🙂

      Butler pioneered the commandeering of enslaved people as “contraband property” – effectively manumitting them, and providing labor to the Union forces that freed up soldeirs for actual fighting.

      He was hated in NOLA.

      Kevin R

    2. I have no purpose to introduce political and social equality between the white and black races. There is physical difference between the two which, in my judgment, will probably forever forbid their living together upon the footing of perfect equality, and inasmuch as it becomes a necessity that there must be a difference, I, as well as Judge Douglas, am in favor of the race to which I belong having the superior position. Abraham Lincoln

      Our republican system was meant for a homogeneous people. As long as blacks continue to live with the whites they constitute a threat to the national life. Family life may also collapse and the increase of mixed breed bastards may some day challenge the supremacy of the white man. Abraham Lincoln

      Tear down the Lincoln Memorial, his stance as a white supremacist couldn’t be more clearly stated.

  42. I have to admit, I’m of mixed mind on this issue. On the one hand, the Confederate statues certainly have the right enemies. In the last four decades I have agreed with the SJW crowd once or twice, but always for reasons that would set their hair on fire. They are vermin. On the other hand, the fetish that some otherwise sensible people make of the old Confederacy annoys me; the States’ Rights argument in particular. If individual States had the right to conduct themselves according to their own lights, then the Dred Scott decision was an abomination, and one the Confederacy should have condemned (if they cared about States’ Rights, which they didn’t). Yes, powerful protections for slavery were written into the Constitution. That was an exercise in raw political power. With the tipping point of that power looking like it would go the other way, the powerful Planter (would-be) Aristocracy decided to take their ball and go home. They had been kicking the free states around for years, but didn’t have the guts to take it.

    *spit*

    1. Canted.

      They then bamboozled their less affluent White neighbors (who they ALSO wanted to lord it over) to fight and die for their political and economic advantage. And, incidentally, caused a bloodbath that makes the ongoing wars we are fighting in the Middle East look like playground tiffs. A pox on the flaming lot of them.

      Why we have tolerated statues of the swine and fools who caused and fought for that travesty baffles me. OTOH, why we should allow the Democrat Party to cover up its own despicable history also baffles me.

      Move the damn things into private space. Let the Daughters of the Confederacy house the damn things. And while we’re at it, tell the Progressive Left that they can find private space for whatever Modern Art in-jokes like Piss Christ that they want to flaunt.

  43. It seems some people can’t.

    http://chicago.cbslocal.com/20…..ve-owners/

  44. “…a proud testament to the man who metaphorically fathered his country and fought for the cause of freedom…”

    Given how Washington dealt the American Revolution its final death blow by using federal troops to intimidate the tax resisters of the Whiskey Rebellion into submission, this description of him seems inappropriately hagiographic for a libertarian publication.

    1. I couldn’t agree more.

      The reality is the Hamiltonian / Washington faction of the founding generation were far more interested in having their own mercantilist nightmare than liberty.

      One irrefutable, pesky little fact that cucks and national greatness conservatives and flag wavers and American exceptionalism expositors don’t know and don’t want to know is that the Crown’s total tax take was far less than that of the “revolutionaries”.

      1. And then there was the matter of making good on some notes of debt held by Hamilton’s friends, who had bought them up for pennies on the dollar.

  45. Lord Baltimore owned slaves. Change your progressive enclave’s name.

    1. They can pretend it’s named after the town in Ireland, Baltimore, County Cork.

      It isn’t. Bal’mur is named after the manor house of the Calverts of Longford. Scrubbing them from the Old Line State’s legacy would mean changing that strikingly different state flag, and several other placenames based on the baronial name or that of the Calvert family.

      Baltimore, in County Cork, was raided by Algerian Corsairs in 1631, and practically everyone there was made…
      a slave! See: The Sack of Baltimore!

      Kevin R

      (Not so sure I’m going to cry about sasanach planters getting what was coming to them,
      not the adult men, anyways.)

  46. there are already people calling for the removal of Washington so the article is meaningless

  47. I have absolutely no connection to the former Confederacy, but I must say that the removing of statues will do nothing but cause more problems. People MUST put history into context, even if some fringe groups like to hijack these monuments, etc. for their own despicable agenda.

    Like the President says, where does it end…Washington, Jefferson..perhaps the Constitution itself. As despicable as many of these fringe groups are, they do have Constitutional rights, so instead of letting them spew their nonsense and leave, they are confronted by the violent Leftists and then bad things happened, especially after the police ordered it shut down and possibly failed to intervene in some confrontations. In fact it appears that they were ordered to shut it down, which raises even more questions.

    Attempting to remove history instead of leaving it as a constant reminder and a teaching lesson as to the countless lives lost during that unfortunate time will only result in more conflict. Unfortunately the radical Left doesn’t believe in reason, context or the actual teaching of history. Instead they have indoctrinated a vast group of people to become “triggered”…

    In this day and age when the radical Left considers virtually anything as racist, does anyone really believe it would stop at Confederate monuments?

  48. This is a remarkably naive column. You might be want to draw a line at “men who fought against the United States in order to maintain an economic system built on the institution of human slavery,” but the people arguing to take down the statues aren’t drawing that line. In fact, the very decision that you are defending violates the line you’re drawing. Baltimore took down a statue of Justice Taney, but as despicable as he was, Justice Taney did not fight against the US. He remained the Chief Justice during most of the Civil War until he died. The stated reason for taking these statues down is that they depict people who were slaveholders and racists, not that they were traitors, and there are already plenty of leftists calling for statues of other non-confederate racists and slaveholders to be taken down. That’s the line that leftists are drawing (for now), and they will be calling to take down statues of founding fathers when they feel they can get away with it.

  49. So I have a picture of one of my great-great-great grandfathers on a wall. During his life, he was a teacher, a lawyer, rep. in the Georgia legislature, a Confederate officer, and a slaveholder.

    What do I do with the picture? Cleansing fire?

    1. Did you put the picture on the wall to celebrate your heritage, or did you do it as a deliberately provocative act, essentially a “fuck you, we still own you” to black people, as was the purpose for these statues?

  50. The war of northern microaggression

  51. “Reasonable people can clearly differentiate between the legacies of men who fought against the United States in order to maintain an economic system built on the institution of human slavery and men honored as founders of the nation, be they flawed men who owned slaves themselves”

    This assumes that those fighting for the Confederacy in the Civil War were fighting in order to do that. In reality, only 6% of white southerners owned slaves. Slavery was a motivating factor for secession certainly. But the war was fought to retrieve the states which had left the Union. Lincoln made this clear several times.

    “Erasing that difference in order to defend the men who led the fight for secession does a disservice to historical fact and to the ideals championed by Washington and the rest of the founders.”

    Only the founders actually upheld the idea that a state could secede and rejected the idea that secession could be put down through force.

    “But it is wrong to argue, as Trump and others have, that monuments to Lee and Jackson exist on the same moral plane as monuments to Washington and Jefferson.”

    Considering that Washington and Jefferson would have agreed with Lee and Jackson on secession, it would seem that the founders would have more in common with them than Lincoln and others in the North who desired to put down the secession.

  52. My opinion to retain historically-relevant statues, not just those relevant to the current discussion, is in large part due to the same reason we retained the 21st amendment. Despite its repeal, the lessons of history remain for generations to come. I make no connections with the groups or intentions, but effects of ISIS destroying ancient ruins throughout the Middle East include a future society devoid of historical context different from the Islamic State message, leaving it uncontested. In our case, good ideas such as freedom, civil rights, and liberty can perpetuate because we have fought for our rights, but in the absence of historical context, the value may be diminshed, even leading to repeated mistakes in society (socialism in Venezuela comes to mind). I suppose allowing each community to decide is the best way forward because permitting the government that power is reprehensible. As others have mentioned, what other statues do we remove? Should we remove the Lincoln Memorial? His Emancipation Proclamation only freed slaves in the Southern states that were seceding to the Confederacy (federal nullification). Furthermore, he wrote to Horace Greely that his only concern was preservation of the Union. He would do so through any combination of keeping or eliminating slavery.

  53. Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past. George Orwell

  54. Of course, now it seems that we have the added problem that the protesters are now just defacing and trying to tear down statues just because if it’s a statue in the South it must be celebrating the Confederacy:

    http://buzz.blog.ajc.com/2017/…..nfederacy/

  55. Let’s see if I have this analyzed correctly: First Baltimore leaders know what’s what. But then they may have gone too far. Still, monuments to Washington are probably safe, at least so long as we ignore the slaves he kept throughout the entirety of his life. In sum another moronic column that doesn’t know whether to shit or go blind wishing away an avalanche of idiocy. Here’s a tip, bud: you don’t stop this kind of self-righteous purge once it’s underway; you stand aside while it eats everything in its path.

  56. Robert E Lee had the same opinion on slavery as Abraham Lincoln and killed a whole hell of a lot less people. You can selectively pick and choose which monuments you keep, it just makes you a historically illiterate hypocrite hagiographer.

  57. I’m forced to pay most of my income in tax. How is that different from slavery? Leftism is all about slavery. As is islam which all leftists love and promote and protect to totally destroy society.Maybe it is good that the haters have found some love? The hater communists fell in love with the hater muslims. Together they will torture and starve each other to death, the little love children in the toilet of human accomplishments.

    1. You can marry who you want to marry. You can live where you want to live. You can work for whoever you want to work for. You can vote. You can go to school. You can change your profession. You can speak your mind. You are not a slave.

      Taxes are bad. Just say that. You don’t have to compare taxes to slavery to make your point. When you do you make it very easy to dismiss everything you have to say on the subject.

  58. Those monuments are part of the history of the country. They should stay. What we should do is add engravings to each that explicitly condemns what those people fought for and notes that the statues are being preserved as a reminder and warning of the darkness that humans are capable of.

    1. that is a better solution than acting like regressive Muslims and destroying history.

      If you don’t know your history you might very well repeat it.

  59. A Chicago Pastor is demanding George Washington’s name be removed from a city park because Washington was a slave owner. He’s also targeting a park named after Andrew Jackson….Bishop James Dukes, pastor of Liberation Christian Center, said he wants the statue gone, and he wants George Washington’s name removed from the park.

    http://legalinsurrection.com/2…..very-ties/

  60. So when can we expect the feminists to pick up on statue / recognition destruction?
    Will there be a major movement to remove statues and rename streets that honor a certain promiscuous pastor?

    Oh, look, pigs flying by!

  61. I thought the reason we were honoring the confederacy and their heros was not because they owned slaves but because they tried to secede from the central government and declare their independence. They failed, but tried, which is exactly what CalExit and all the other secessionist movements are doing today for their own reasons. That’s very similar to what Washington fought for. When one of our States tries to and/or finally secedes I’m sure there will be some statues erected on the public square of many cities in the seceding state. All secessionists are heros. Of course, if their heroes were communist, I guess the people would eventually tear down those statues for the damage they inflicted.

    1. The revisionist reason on why the Southern states seceded from the Union was to defend states’ rights. Of course, for that to hold, you have to overlook the declarations of secession, which stated that preserving slavery was the goal. You also have to turn a blind eye to the writings of Jefferson Davis, who spoke strongly in support of slavery, as well as the fact that Alexander Stevens, the vice president of the Confederacy, called slavery the foundation of civilization. Once, all the white-washing of history is done, then there’s no problem in dedicating monuments to the leaders of the Confederacy while the band plays Dixie.

      Oh wait, that’s exactly what happened. The South did a good job in erasing its history for about 100 years. While they were singing “old times there are not forgotten” and erecting those statues in the late 1800s and early 1900s, they were eradicating the rights of African-Americans in the name of white supremacy.

      But by the 1970s, when I started to learn about the Civil War in middle school and high school — in South Carolina no less, the “Lost Cause” revisionism had disappeared, at least in the urban schools.

  62. Great article, Eric. You’re on point about distinguishing the Founding Fathers from the leaders of the Confederacy, separating the memorials to those leaders from the more generic ones that honor the dead, and the time when most of the Confederate monuments were erected.

    The defenders of the Confederate monuments argue that history is being erased. Erasing history? The South did a good job of that for 100 years after the Civil War. Children were taught that the war was about states’ rights, even though most of the declarations of secession specify that preserving slavery was the goal. Abraham Lincoln was portrayed as a tyrant, while the fact that Jefferson Davis presided over a Confederacy that defended slavery was overlooked. Alexander Stevens, the vice president of the Confederacy, called slavery the foundation of civilization, but that was white-washed as well. By the 1970s, though, when we were taught about the Civil War in middle school and high school — in South Carolina no less — the “Lost Cause” revisionism has disappeared, at least at the urban schools.

    Yes, let the cities decide on whether these Confederate leader statues, specifically the ones on public land and under the care of taxpayers, are part of their heritage. Apparently, New Orleans, Baltimore and Charlottesville have decided their local statues reflect a bad part of their history. Far-off state legislators shouldn’t block the process (they’ve done so in Alabama).

  63. I am seriously disappointed that the one outlet that I felt sure would have a reasonable and balanced take on this event and Trump’s response has proven to be a complete letdown.

    If anyone should be pointing out that the two sides ARE morally equivalent here, it is Reason. The side flying the anarcho-communist flag, wearing masks and hoods, that came with ersatz weapons, spoiling for a fight is NO less abhorrent to anyone who values the founding ideals of this country than are the white-supremacists, neo-nazis, and KKK. Nor can their behavior be excused as an aberration. Anti-fa has a clear record of engaging violently with those with whom they disagree. Trump was right (hey, even a broken clock is right twice a day!) BOTH sides should be ashamed. BOTH sides need a serious time-out.

    With a birch rod. On the part up which they usually shove their authoritarian heads.

    That Reason additionally seems to think that the so-called progressives will not next come after Washington, or Jefferson, or Jackson shows how clueless the staff there have become. Calls for just such revisionism have been made for years. Most recently, the calls yesterday by a black pastor in Chicago for the removal of Washington’s statue AND name from Washington park, as well as Jackson’s name from Jackson Park. Jackson’s name and statue also fell foul of the “Take ’em down NOLA” bunch, though they both remain. For now.

    Highly recommend anyone fed-up with Reason check out Matt Christiansen on YouTube.

  64. Tearing down some 100 year old statues isn’t going to stop haters from hating. If they wanted to, they could build Confederate statues on their own private yards and would be protected by First Amendment rights. I happen to feel removing them does erase a part of history, ugly as that history may be–it’s a reminder to not make the same mistakes and go down that path. Government meddling of statues isn’t going to make a bit of difference, that money could be better spent on doing something constructive.

    This is the government equivalent of schools expelling kids for shaping their food into the shape of guns and thinking that will actually prevent future violence. While it’s well-intentioned, it avoids the real issue and does nothing practical to better the present environment of racial tensions. Also it’s kind of hypocritical to fight intolerance with intolerance. A statue is just a statue, removing it doesn’t mean it never happened. And keeping it doesn’t guarantee history will repeat itself. The statues never bothered anyone for hundreds of years until now—that shows just how soft and judgmental people have become. Staying at home and glued to iPads have made the current society very thin-skinned.

  65. This comment is coming from an Asian American guy who spent the first 18 years of his life in rural North Florida and enduring just about every racial slur or remark (being the only Asian person in the entire county), and truly subscribe to the notion that adversity does make a person stronger. Without adversity, there would be no heroes. Without Robert E. Lee, there would be no Ulysses S. Grant. Without a war against Britain, George Washington would just be a common soldier. If we go down this slippery slope, the next thing to remove would be Union Jack flags around the country also. And how about Japanese memorials for the atomic bomb we dropped on them? That was ugly, so probably get rid of it too?

  66. Not sure why anyone would think to create a statue of Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger B. Taney. His majority Opinion in the Dred Scott case helped create the foundation for the other statues to exist in the first place. If it weren’t for him and his misguided peers, we would not be having this discussion in the first place. Tear his statue down and melt it!!

  67. Not sure why anyone would think to create a statue of Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger B. Taney. His majority Opinion in the Dred Scott case helped create the foundation for the other statues to exist in the first place. If it weren’t for him and his misguided peers, we would not be having this discussion in the first place. Tear his statue down and melt it!!

  68. Hmmm. . . Baltimore population is 63% black and 29% white. The Baltimore Mayor is black and she is concerned about the safety of “her” people? Just who is at risk? Will Baltimore somehow become less violent when the statues are removed? This is all theater, just pandering and nothing more. Five years from now Baltimore will still be a crap hole.

  69. The problem is that Donald Trump was right. The day after he made the slippery slope statement it was revealed that there were pushes in other areas to remove statues to Washington and Jefferson under way.

  70. “But it is wrong to argue, as Trump and others have, that monuments to Lee and Jackson exist on the same moral plane as monuments to Washington and Jefferson.”
    Someone above has probably already made this point but I don’t have time to read every comment. I don’t think the argument is that any historical figures are on the same “moral plane” only that if we can erase confederates from history because we now see them as evil, we can erase Washington and Jefferson as well because a pretty large constituency on the left has already begone that process. I’ve watched in my lifetime as Columbus was transformed from a brave explorer into an evil invader and Mark Twain from a great author into an evil racist.
    Speaking of historical figures, I’ll just leave this here.
    http://www.snopes.com/did-linc…..ty-oppose/

  71. Well, color me confused but shouldn’t Reason be defending the retention of Confederate statues?

    Any student of history knows the war was fought over secession, not slavery. Slavery became the cause celebre but wasn’t the casus belli. And surely Reason supports secession as an act encompassing the free movement of people or a people such as those living in a state.

    The likes of Lee made a conscious decision to fight for the Confederacy, to fight for the rights of his state and of the other Confederate states to leave the union. They are surely, in the eyes of Reason, defenders of a very fundamental right?

    No? Is this not Reason’s policy?

    1. The war was about secession. Secession was about slavery.

  72. What confuses me is that Maryland was a Union state (albeit one where slavery was still legal), so why should be any monuments to Confederate soldiers? It would be like having a monument to Germans or Japanese for WW2.

    1. Maybe because the point of the statues wasn’t so much to honor the heroes of the rebellion as to reinforce the notion of white supremacy.

  73. Can’t wait to prosecute the treason felons of CA before their statues ever get erected. I will now go and wallow in my own very personal victimhood.

  74. nice article , thanks ..

  75. I’ve noticed that people who oppose change seem either unwilling of unable to see the huge gray areas between one extreme and the other. Maybe a lack of imagination and fear of change go hand in hand. Thus marriage equality becomes polygamy and people marrying their pets. Support for drug legalization becomes drugged drivers wreaking havoc on the highways and school children strung out on heroin. Start taking down statues of Confederate generals, and next thing ya know we’re nuking Mount Rushmore. Trump, of course, is famous (or infamous) for his lack of imagination. That he would pander to the “zero-shades-of-gray” crowd comes as no surprise.

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