Charlottesville

Judge to Charlottesville: You Can Put a Statue Up, but You Can't Take It Down

A judge has ruled that the town's Confederate monuments must stay.

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A Charlottesville Circuit Court judge has ruled that the town's Confederate monuments must remain in place, citing an early 20th century law that allows local governments to erect war memorials but forbids them from taking those same statues down without state permission.

In February 2017, the Charlottesville City Council voted to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, which stands downtown in a park that used to bear his name. In August of that same year, the Unite the Right rally—which saw white supremacists march on the town with tiki torches as they chanted "Jews will not replace us"—was organized in opposition to the statue's removal, leading to the death of counterprotester Heather Heyer when a white nationalist drove into a crowd of people. The city council then voted to topple a statue of Confederate General Stonewall Jackson, as well.

A group of local residents pushed back at the local legislators' first vote, filing a lawsuit in March 2017 to keep the town's shrine to Lee intact. And after the Unite the Right rally—and the council's second vote—they amended their complaint to include Jackson.

In May, Circuit Judge Richard E. Moore ruled that the much-contested statues are war memorials under state code. He then issued a permanent injunction last week that will prohibit the city from removing either monument. His ruling hinges on that 1904 statute: Although Moore admits that the war memorial law was enacted with racist undertones, he says it has been amended several times and, in its current form, solely centers around historical preservation.

"I don't think I can infer that a historical preservation statute was intended to be racist," he said. "Certainly, [racism] was on their minds, but we should not judge the current law by that intent."

Moore is certainly correct that the law and the proceeding memorials are rife with racism, something that Reason's Ron Bailey calls "plain historical fact." The majority of those monuments were built between 1890 and 1925 during the era of Jim Crow segregation when politicians sought to enshrine reminders that, although the North had prevailed in the literal war, they had not won the ideological one. Charlottesville's monuments of Lee and Jackson went up in 1924 and 1921, respectively, many decades after the Civil War ended.

But the larger problem here isn't necessarily the intent of the law but the law itself, which gives local bodies the autonomy to build such war memorials if they so choose. Yet they lose those decision-making powers when it comes to removing the very same statues they have permission to erect—a bizarre example of state overreach.

Plaintiff Jock Yellot, who is head of the Monument Fund, gave tearful testimony. "I'm tearing up because it would just infuriate me that City Council would slander Lee and hide the beauty of those statues under tarps," he said, referring to protesters who, in the wake of the Unite the Right demonstration, put black shrouds over the Confederate statues. But Yellot might be surprised to find that he has an unexpected opponent in his fight to preserve the controversial monuments.

It would be "wiser…not to keep open the sores of war but to follow the examples of those nations who endeavored to obliterate the marks of civil strife," wrote Robert E. Lee in 1869, rejecting the idea of putting up memorials for fallen soldiers. It would be better "to commit to oblivion the feelings engendered."

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  1. Tell it to the state legislature.

  2. Stupid statue protesters.

    1. It pleases me that throngs of soyboys will be agonized by this decision. I will delight in their pain.

      1. Much as I and the others in the liberal-libertarian mainstream have enjoyed stomping your bigoted, backward, right-wing preferences into political irrelevance throughout your lifetime?

        Defeated clingers awaiting replacement by their betters might be my favorite faux libertarians.

        1. That’s some good eliminationist rhetoric right there. Would you kill a conservative in cold blood if you knew no one would ever suspect you?

          1. Please. The most he would do is piss his pants.

          2. Kirkland and Shitlord really are two sides of the same coin. To them, there’s nothing wrong with America that eradicating half of all Americans wouldn’t solve. What a sad outlook on life.

            1. Kirkland and Shitlord really are two sides of the same coin. To them, there’s nothing wrong with America that eradicating half of all Americans wouldn’t solve. What a sad outlook on life.

              Couldn’t have said it better myself.

          3. The proper, predictable, practical approach is to wait for cranky, obsolete clingers to take their stale thinking to the grave in the natural course, at which point they are replaced in our electorate and citizenry by younger, better Americans.

            This natural process is an important reason our electorate is becoming increasingly less rural, less white, less bigoted, less religious, and less insular. It is why our liberal-libertarian mainstream has been shaping American progress against right-wing efforts and wishes for many decades, with no end in sight.

            1. The proper, predictable, practical approach is to allow a gall bladder to decay once it has been removed from the body. To place the gall bladders of so many failed dictators in one jar that it eventually gains sentience borders on madness. Your consciousness is the result of a very unnatural process.

              Fun fact: Che Guevara’s gall bladder is very hairy. It is super-gross.

            2. Haha. And then the youngsters grow up, become happy and reject your whiny grievances. And the rev is back to square one, ever waiting on utopia. Sad.

            3. The one aspect lost in all this mess is if the left had never developed this obsession with eliminating every remnant of Confederate history, good and bad, these idiot white supremacists would have never shown up to protest and there would have never been a counter protest and Heather would be alive. Do not pretend only the idiots on the right are to blame, because the idiots on be left set the entire event in motion.

            4. Rev You been huffing smelling salts again?

            5. That describes the founders thinking on slavery. The powers they fought were democrats. Blacks are free. Freed by a Republican. Today you are told you are not free by Democrats. And you choose to believe them. Why is that?

              You are free. Deal with it.

  3. Well, the war-memorial legislation (which includes the “War Between the States”) does have this proviso:

    “If (monuments) are erected, it shall be unlawful for the authorities of the locality, or any other person or persons, to disturb or interfere with any monuments or memorials so erected, or to prevent its citizens from taking proper measures and exercising proper means for the protection, preservation and care of same. For purposes of this section, “disturb or interfere with” includes removal of, damaging or defacing monuments or memorials, or, in the case of the War Between the States, the placement of Union markings or monuments on previously designated Confederate memorials or the placement of Confederate markings or monuments on previously designated Union memorials.”

    https://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title15.2/chapter18/section15.2-1812/

    So once it’s erected, it can’t be put down, huh-huh-huh, huh-huh.

    1. Could Congress overturn that state law? I was thinking that it should. Then I thought there really is no basis, in terms of the enumerated powers, for them to do so, and so they shouldn’t. But they could probably come up with one if they tried.

      1. No because states rule themselves unless there is a conflict. You want the type of Federal government the Constitution was created to prevent.

    2. Nice, the law doesn’t say they are required to maintain the monuments only that they can’t “prevent its citizens from” caring for it. Further if “other persons” knock it down they would be violating the law and subject to arrest, trial, etc. but there’s no specification that once destroyed that the monument needs to be replaced.

      The question then becomes one of who is “the governing body” that may “appropriate, out of any funds of such locality, a sufficient sum of money” to maintain the monument. Is it the state or Charlottesville?

  4. Cuomo got the statue of Columbus at Columbus Circle listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

    1. Not exactly the same, but people were protesting it too.

    2. So Italian trumped woke, in that case.

  5. Well, duh, everybody knows that once a statute is enacted it can’t be taken down – assuming we’re talking about Obama’s statutes and Trump’s attempts to take them down.

  6. Unless it can be shown that the law requiring state approval for removal violates the Virginia constitution then the courts must follow the law. If the law is to be changed, then it is the Virginia legislature’s purview to do so.

    The court’s cannot be expected to act to implement the policy you prefer, that is not their bailiwick.

    1. Yeah, it’s kind of an odd law, but states generally have the power to constrain what municipalities can do.

      1. It really isn’t an odd law Zeb. They enacted it precisely because they didn’t want the fight over confederate monuments to go on forever. If the city can take it down, then nothing ever ends the fight.

        1. Well, whether you or I think it’s odd is neither here nor there.

          If the purpose of the law is as you say it is, it doesn’t seem to have worked very well. Nothing has ended the fight.

          1. I mean, this could end it, but I doubt it will.

          2. It ended the fight for nearly a hundred years. I can’t blame the legislature for not foreseeing the rise of a bunch of woke retards who didn’t even know who Robert E. Lee was until the protest organizer told them.

            1. I suspect the fight would have stopped for that hundred year period with or without this law. Who knows. Not my pig, not my farm.

        2. Well, they also could have ended the fight by allowing local governments to take statues down, but preventing them from putting new ones up. Of course, it’s not surprising they chose to do the opposite.

      2. states generally have the power to constrain what municipalities can do.

        That may be the biggest flaw with our constitution (apart from a single-person Prez v a ‘committee’ type executive). It recognizes states and individuals but no intermediate level of governance. Yet states are essentially an arbitrarily created and top-down imposed government (much like the federal level). Municipalities OTOH are far more an expression of our individual self-governance. They come into existence to serve our individual-in-community needs – and can disappear as well when no longer needed. They are the one form/level of govt that most closely meets the ‘social contract’ idea and are thus the one type of govt that should be given the most leeway if the individual is to be enabled to have the most liberty to decide how we govern ourselves.

        It’s kinda wonkish – but a political party that actually took a position on Dillon Rule (states control all subordinate govt) v Cooley Doctrine (aka ‘home rule’ where lowest-level govt is the inalienable right of individuals to self-govern) could transform politics for the better and restore ‘classical liberalism’. Hell even FDR spoke eloquently on the value of ‘home rule’ – which by definition leads to very limited federal govt – while he was Gov – before he ran for Prez and either changed his mind or was corrupted by power.

        1. This isn’t a flaw in the federal constitution; It IS a federal constitution, which is to say, it’s the federal government’s Constitution, not the entire government’s.

          States are free to organize themselves with independent subsidiaries, if they so choose. But that choice is transparent to the federal Constitution, it is a matter for state constitutions to determine.

        2. That is because the federal government is the creation of the states, not the other way around.

  7. “But the larger problem here isn’t necessarily the intent of the law but the law itself, which gives local bodies autonomous control over building any such monument. Yet they lose those decision-making powers when it comes to removing the very same statues they had permission to erect—a bizarre example of state overreach.”

    You mean like when states get together to form a federal government, but then lose decision-making powers when it comes to leaving it? That kind of overreach?

    1. They tried to leave without a deal. That’s a no-go.

    2. Start a war, lose it and then bitch about it, actually sounds like the Confederates have a lot in common with the woke crowd.

    3. Once you’re in you’re in capiche?

  8. So to what judicial body will this be appealed? I am assuming the VA Supreme Court, eventually, and from there it will make it’s way to the USSC.

    Problem is, if you can take down a statue of Lee or Jackson, that will be a precedent for doing the same to Jefferson and Washington. Thus far I applaud the decision of the Circuit Court, but this fight isn’t over by a long shot.

    1. Not to the USSC, except under a very strained theory. This is a state statute which grants powers to subdivisions of itself (the city) to build monuments (presumably under the idea that localities know better which monuments are more appropriate for their local citizenry), but prohibits all persons (including subdivisions of the state) from defacing them (presumably so that pro-Union monuments in areas with Confederate minorities don’t get vandalized, and vice versa, since that very case is specifically in the statute).

      The USSC would have nothing to say about it, except under a strained reading of something like the republican form of government clause, since this pretty easily passes equal protection.

    2. Perhaps we just shouldn’t do statues at all.

      1. Laser shows and holograms. As one person grows unpopular, do a hologram of someone else.

        I mean, it’s the 21st century!

        Or if we insist on more traditional art forms, what about ice sculptures. A self-solving problem so long as you don’t refrigerate them.

      2. The Taliban approves of this message.

      3. We pretty much don’t do statues any more. Recently there has been more of a tendency to do some sort of modernist art thing sitck a plaque on it and call it a memorial.

        The history of bronze and marble statures including equestrian statues goes back at least to the Romans. The Greeks made plenty of statues but they weren’t generally of actual people.

        Perhaps someone should start mass producing bronze statues of Martin Luther King and setting them up around the country, sort of like they did with Lee.

    3. that will be a precedent for doing the same to Jefferson and Washington

      Vice let the mask slip in the aftermath of the Charlottesville riot.
      In their rush to promote their breathless coverage, they neglected to cut footage of a protester ranting about the ‘statue of the Master’. She was not referring to the statue of Lee.

      This is the face of supremacy. This is what we deal with every day being African American, and this has always been the reality in Charlottesville. You cannot stand in one corner in this city and not look at the master on top of Monticello. He looks down on us. He’s been looking down on this city for God knows how long,

      The endgame for these Progressives is to eradicate the legacy of the author of the Declaration of Independence.

      1. It was actually a committee effort.

        1. It was drafted by committee, but Franklin and Adams both acknowledged that the words are Jefferson’s.

  9. Just put a pink dress Lee and for the other one a large plaque reminding these sad losers that Jackson was killed by his own men.

    1. Friendly fire is common in war.

    2. Jackson was a brilliant commander who risked jail time before the war by teaching Sunday School to slaves and teaching them to read. He never owned slaves and was personally opposed to slavery. Lee was ambivalent at best and likely would have been a brilliant Union general if the Virginia hadn’t seceded (he was actually offered the job of command of the Army of the Potomic before Virginia seceded). He opposed secession, but before the civil war many, if not most, Americans had more loyalty to their states then the country. Lee felt that he couldn’t in good conscience fight against his home state.

      1. Lee not taking charge of the Union Army was one of the most evil acts in human history. The war would have probably ended after the first battle.

        1. A few decades later, Einstein learned that you don’t always get to pick which side you are on. He tried to be German but they wouldn’t let him (or the other Jews). At least according to his biography.

      2. He never owned slaves and was personally opposed to slavery.
        Jackson did own slaves.
        VMI Jackson FAQ

        Jackson did not leave behind any writings indicating how he felt about the institution of slavery, so we don’t know for certain how he felt about it. We do know that he participated in the slave economy. Jackson owned six individuals while he lived in the Washington Street House. Albert had requested that Jackson purchase him and was hired out a local hotel, Rockbridge Alum Springs, and Virginia Military Institute as a waiter. Amy, who served as a cook, had requested that Jackson purchase her at a public auction. After his marriage to Mary Anna, the couple received Hetty, Mary Anna’s former nursemaid, and Hetty’s two teenage sons Cyrus and George, from Mary Anna’s father as a wedding gift. Jackson purchased the sixth slave, a small child named Emma, as a gift for his wife. Mary Anna may have also brought two or three more slaves to the marriage who were sold and never lived in the Washington Street house.

        1. So I was wrong he purchased slaves at their request. Why did they request him to purchase them do you think? And he also allowed them to hire themselves out and earn money. Oh, the monster.

      3. “He never owned slaves”

        Jackson owned at least six slaves. The names were Amy, Hetty, George, Cyrus, Albert, and Emma. They were people who deserved better than Jackson or his apologists have been willing or able to provide.

        1. Three came from marriage, two requested he purchase them and he then allowed them to hire themselves out and earn money. I was mistaken that he didn’t own slaves but he seemed like his ownership of slaves was either by marriage or because they asked him to purchase them and then he allowed them to work for wages.

  10. It may have been racists at the time, but even today, I would support monuments for certain Confederates. They were our countrymen and while they certainly betrayed our nation, as a country, we chose not to treat them as traitors.

    1. “It may have been racists at the time, but even today, I would support monuments for certain Confederates. ”

      Even if they were Texans? Don’t they take the cake when it comes to southern slack-tittedness?

    2. How did they betray the nation? They didn’t try to overthrow the government in Union states.

  11. I go with Malcolm Reynolds on this one. Pretty much anyone who has had a statue put up in his honor is some kind of sonofabitch or other. Best just to see statues like that as history and art.

    1. Having the statue up means we literally want slavery back. It’s what it means, Q.E.D.

      1. That’s what Make America Great Again means too.

  12. “It is well that war is so terrible, or we should grow too fond of it.”— Robert E. Lee, at Fredericksburg

    He did not see right and wrong in tones of gray, and yet his moralizing could generate a fog, as in a letter from the front to his invalid wife: “You must endeavour to enjoy the pleasure of doing good. That is all that makes life valuable.” All right. But then he adds: “When I measure my own by that standard I am filled with confusion and despair.”

    Literally worse than Hitler.

    1. He’s the last person you’d expect *not* to see things in tones of gray.

      1. E L James begs to differ.

        1. Good one.

          I see a market for a new kind of Confederate-themed erotica.

          Of course it would have to be handled tastefully.

    2. It’s not fair to judge the Confederates in the context of the times. You have to judge their morals by today’s standards. Just like you have to judge their intelligence by today’s standards. Idiots didn’t even know how light bulbs work. What a bunch of morons.

      1. The context of the Times was that literally every other Western nation had banned slavery already, and we had some doofuses down South who fought and died to defend the wealth of their bosses who wanted the free labor.

        1. Lee fought not for slavery but for Virginia, as did Jackson. Jackson personally abhorred slavery. For the first two years of the War Lincoln forbid the emancipation of slaves. He relieved Fremont from command the western theater for emancipating slaves. The union would have likely allowed the south to keep slaves if it meant they could have avoided war.

          1. “Jackson personally abhorred slavery. ”

            Jackson owned slaves. I provided some names earlier.

            Apologists for and celebrators of the racist Confederacy are among my favorite culture war casualties.

            1. Jackson owned slaves.

              Well, two asked to be purchased by him and one was an orphan with a learning disability. He likely violated the law teaching them to read and write, but lets pretend that he only taught them to read and write so that he could keep them enslaved so that you can lump him in with the all the Calvin J. Candie Mandingo-fight managers you’ve got pent up just itching to get out of your skull.

              Stonewall Jackson personally taught more black slaves how to read than you ever will you self-loathing racist fuck.

        2. The context of the Times was that literally every other Western nation had banned slavery already
          Many other Western nations only banned slavery in the home country. Slavery was still legal in the colonies.

          The Netherlands didn’t abolish slavery until 1863 with a ten year transition allowing slaves until 1873. Spain banned slavery in Puerto Rico in 1873 and Cuba in 1886. Portugal banned slavery in all territories in 1869. Other late bans include French West Africa (1905) and British Malaya (1915).

    3. There is a terrible war coming, and these young men who have never seen war cannot wait for it to happen, but I tell you, I wish that I owned every slave in the South, for I would free them all to avoid this war. – Robert E. Lee

      1. The man was a “Citizen of Virginia”. This was at a time when one’s home state was seen almost as a sovereign country. He even wrote in detail about how he felt that secession was wrong, but he conceded that “if called” to serve the State of Virginia, he would do his sworn duty. Robert E. Lee wasn’t even so much serving the confederacy as he was The State of Virginia.

    4. He’s not worse than Hitler.

      But he DID take up arms to fight for the right to enslave other human beings.

      So he’s not exactly a righteous dude, either.

      1. He fought for Virginia. He made that clear. He was ambivalent to slavery at the worst. Many Union generals were also slave owners and opposed emancipation. Some Southerners fought to continue slavery. Other fought because they felt loyalty to their states. While others fought against tariffs that were aimed at protecting northern merchants from British and French competition for southern agricultural goods, especially cotton.

        1. They fought because the South was Scots/Irish and the North was English and we Scots HATE the English.

        2. “He was ambivalent to slavery at the worst.”

          Is that clinger for “he owned at least six slaves?”

          1. I was speaking about Lee who personally stated he despised slaves while he also owned slaves. But reading comprehension is difficult for you. As for Jackson’s slaves, I admit I was wrong that he didn’t own slaves but two of the slaves he purchased at their own request and he subsequently allowed them to work for wages that they got to keep. One was an orphan with a learning disability that he treated extremely well and the other three he inherited from his wife when they were married. So hardly a tyrannical slave master. I made the mistake because I knew Jackson was widely criticized for doing his own agricultural work rather than having slaves do it for him. He also risked jail to teach slaves to read and risked jail teaching them Sunday School. But I understand that nuance is to difficult for many of the small minded progressives. You rather generalize and lump everything into good and bad. You’re worse than any Evangelical Christian that way. And more narrow minded to boot.

      2. He’s not worse than Hitler.

        But he DID take up arms to fight for the right to enslave other human beings.

        Between Lincoln and Lee, Lincoln is unquestionably closer to Hitler. There are several lines between freeing all the slaves via bloody war and ending slavery without firing a shot. Many other countries managed the latter. Lincoln opted for the former and, by his own pen, made it clear that he didn’t exactly care if the act wound up freeing the slaves or not.

        If for any reason there are two statues of Lincoln, and I know of many, there should be at least one statue of Lee.

  13. What I can’t forgive about Robert E. Lee is that he cowrote that overrated piece of schlock, Inherit the Wind.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_E._Lee_(playwright)

  14. The idea of statues being a permanent record of what we thought was good, valiant, or praiseworthy in the past is not a frivolous one. Maybe we should not easily be able to erase the record of what we know think of as public mistakes. Maybe awareness of the relative permanence of such memorials will give pause to those considering the erection of such memorials based on transient or superficial grounds.

  15. Easy solution? Rename the statue “Unknown Dude On Horse.” /s

    1. Then museums will bid millions for it.

    2. “I see you’re admiring our sculpture of Traveller the horse. We’re still trying to identify the jerk on his back.”

  16. Reason continues to embrace the destroying of public art in the name of politics.

    1. For Reason, history begins anew every day.

    2. Meanwhile, in Maryland, they haven’t been able to change the name of Negro Mountain, but they’re at least removing the name from road signs.

      https://www.cnn.com/2019/09/10/us/negro-mountain-signs-trnd/index.html

      1. Since when is “negro” a prohibited term? Is the United Negro College Fund not allowed to have a sign in Maryland?

        1. You can’t say (bleep) or (bleep) anymore either. And they’ve edited out (bleep) from movies and songs.

          1. It’s the bleep Van bleep show. Starring bleep Van bleep.

    3. Calling those statues art is like calling MAGA hats or Liz Warren t-shirts art. They weren’t built as artistic expressions. They were commissioned crafts-for-hire to sell a political idea.

      1. Really? Try to copy it. Let us know how it goes.

  17. Is discussion of a monumental erection NSFW?

  18. The majority of such monuments were built between 1890 and 1925 during the era of Jim Crow segregation when politicians sought to enshrine reminders that, although the North had prevailed in the literal war, they had not won the ideological one. Charlottesville’s monuments of Lee and Jackson went up in 1924 and 1921, respectively, many decades after the Civil War ended.

    Could this timeframe also coincide with you know veterans dieinng off after fighting a war that had ended 30-60 years earlier? Don’t you usually build memorials to people after they die?

    1. It also coincides with the South finally having any disposable income at all. The North was the first to erect monuments because they had the money to do so and the South did not.

      1. Also didn’t reconstruction go till like 1880? so finally saving up and building monuments 10 years after the carpet baggers left doesn’t sound so fucking controversial. This whole argument is so dumb. Just put up new statues of whoever heroes you want, but don’t take down the old ones fucking book burners the lot of them.

        1. Reconstruction ended in 1876. And yeah, building any monuments to the Confederate side before that would have been impossible.

    2. What? The WW2 monument wasn’t built in 1945?

      1. Something like 2004.

    3. “Could this timeframe also coincide with you know veterans dieinng off after fighting a war that had ended 30-60 years earlier?”

      It coincides with the flourishing of the KKK, which received a boost from the 1915 film, ‘The Birth of a Nation,’ and a positive reception in the White House.

      1. It coincidence with multiple different historical events.

    4. The timeframe coincides with the semi-centennial of the end of the War between the States.

  19. I officially dread visiting home.

    As hard as the out-migration of Californians has been on the culture of the rest of the country, I doubt anything has been worse than the migration of people to Virginia to become government employees.

    As if I needed another great reason to slash government payrolls.

    HTTR

    1. They need to grant statehood to DC but include Fairfax and Arlinton counties in Virginia along with Montgomery, PG, Howard, Ann Arundale, and Baltimore counties in Maryland. It would make the new state of Columbia a viable state. It would then free the people of Maryland and Virginia from the yoke of the retarded counties around DC and Baltimore.

      1. And for balance, free the political prisoners in central California and grant them a state of their own?

        1. Yes. And then do the same for Western New York and downstate Illinois.

          1. And Eastern Oregon and Washington. And Neveda outside Las Vegas.

            1. Pining for even more structural amplification of yahoo voices in our system of government?

              Maybe that is the clingers’ best chance to maintain some political relevancy as the American population improves and the electorate becomes less hospitable to a platform of backwardness and intolerance.

              1. Why do you support subjugation of your political opponents? You really don’t want freedom you want a tyranny with your side at its head.

      2. As long as the net result is less democrat senators, then I’m for it.

      3. I agree, southern VA and northern MD can keep your precious drug warriors and paramilitary police officers.

  20. I don’t see how this is in any relevant legal sense “overreach”; Local governments are purely creatures of the state, convenient subdivisions and nothing more, unless invested with more significance by a state constitution. They have no federal constitutional rights against state governments.

    This urge to destroy the Confederate monuments is no different in principle from what the Taliban was doing to archeological sites, and not really different in motivation, either.

  21. >>tearful testimony

    tears, Jock? about a bronze guy you didn’t know on a horse you didn’t know.

  22. So we will deny student loans to all attendees of Washington and Lee? And cut off all federal aid/grants, and state aid/grants?
    Cool. College is getting cheaper every day.

    1. And they are renaming Washington DC, Kunta Kinte in honor of the real founding father of the country.

  23. Please continue to double down on bigotry, Republicans and conservatives. And why not? It has worked so well for a half-century and more!

    (Sure, you have been getting beaten into near-submission because of your intolerance and ignorance, but there is still more progress for the liberal-libertarian alliance to shove down your whimpering throats. So keep up the good work . . . until you are replaced.)

    1. Ok. While we’re at it, let’s deposit you and your friends in landfills if you won’t leave America.

    2. Republicans and conservatives control the presidency, the senate and the supreme court, and are thus clearly being beaten into submission.

      There is such a thing as an individualist-collectivist alliance.

      Inner cities are bastions of tolerance and enlightenment.

      These are things the Rev actually believes.

      1. America’s conservatives have been losing the culture war for decades. Clingers still control the desolate backwaters, and benefit from our system’s structural amplification of yahoo voices in the Senate and Electoral College, but they are becoming uncompetitive in national elections and in the economic engines of our economy. Soon, not even structural amplification, gerrymandering, census manipulation, and voter suppression will enable Republicans to maintain an electoral coalition for the stale, ugly platform.

        The nightmare for clingers is that gay marriage, environmentalism, Obamacare, drug legalization, diminution of superstition (school prayer, creationism, church membership), consumer protections, a general trend against bigotry, and other liberal-libertarian victories are just the start of American progress.

        1. So a godless state, where change from worshipping a benevolent (at least in the New Testament) deity to worshipping faceless bureaucracy is progress. Marx would be so proud. Everything you list as progress, with the exception of gay marriage (wouldn’t it be best if the state weren’t involved in marriage at Al?) is steps towards less freedom and more Government control. And you consider this progress?

          1. Why not choose reason over superstition? Is it that difficult to kick childhood indoctrination, even as an ostensible adult?

            How is a general trend against bigotry, or diminution of the drug war, or rejection of government-prescribed prayer in schools, a step toward less freedom and more government control?

            1. Notice you focused disingenuously only on religion while skipping everything else in your diatribe. Besides reason and religion need not be enemies unless one is incapable of holding different viewpoints and must resort to simplistic thinking. Some of the greatest scientist in history were also very religious.

            2. And is bigotry lessening? I don’t think so. It is just transferred to classes you don’t agree with. Notice how you can never discuss conservatives with anything but caricatures and derisive names. Notice how you celebrate the concept that they will be subjugated to your view point. This is bigotry. No bigotry has not decreased you just accept that bigotry against those who you disagree with is okay.

  24. The problem in Virginia is a lot bigger. The State Legislature preserves enormous power for itself relative to municipalities. The limitations of this law if anything are fairly generous. But I really don’t understand why it’s so hard for people everywhere to learn that the best way to preserve the peace is to leave everybody alone to make their own, local decisions. Ho hum.

    1. Because where government is concerned, it’s not a matter of “the” local people making a decision for “themselves”. It’s a matter of “some of” the local people making a decision for “all of them”.

      And that means leaving them to it doesn’t have to preserve the peace, because there will always be somebody who got somebody else’s preferences imposed on them. Quite often a lot of somebodies, sometimes even a majority of somebodies where the local government is more responsive to a noisy minority than the majority.

      1. Look, just shut up and get another paper straw to replace your soggy one.

        Sheesh. Some people…

  25. Have these statues ever fallen over and crushed someone? If not, they’ve never harmed a single soul. Hurt feelings is not a legit reason to take down the statues.

  26. This judgement makes sense.
    After all, there is a statue of Lenin in Washington State, and just try and tear that monument of that murderous asshole down!

    1. Let’s carve “The last Musketeer” on it.

  27. But the larger problem here isn’t necessarily the intent of the law but the law itself, which gives local bodies autonomous control over building such war memorials. Yet they lose those decision-making powers when it comes to removing the very same statues they had permission to erect—a bizarre example of state overreach.

    Does Binion really think the city built the war memorial?

  28. The owners of the statues should control what happens to them.

  29. We should photoshop out all the depictions of confederate armies from Civil War movies.

    1. Representation in drama does not equal endorsement or celebration.

      Putting up a statue does.

      See? Different things.

      1. Who sets these rules? Or better yet why do you decide what is and isn’t an endorsement?

  30. Charlottesville’s monuments of Lee and Jackson went up in 1924 and 1921, respectively, many decades after the Civil War ended.

    Others have touched on this, but to make it succinct, this is a specious argument.

    The WWII monument in Washington DC was dedicated on May 29, 2004.

    War memorials generally would be erected by the children of the warriors, paying tribute to their parents and their generation.

    The exception is probably the Vietnam memorial, which was relatively contemporaneous, being dedicated on November 13, 1982.

    Others take even longer: The Washinton Monument was finished in 1888, and the Jefferson Memorial was in 1943.

    We just got around to talking about a memorial for the veterans of Gulf War I in 2017, some 25+ years after the fact. There still isn’t universal support for such a thing, so perhaps part of building a war memorial is waiting for any partisan advantage to fade away.

    1. I guess it was a thing in the 20s but you don’t see those statues of generals anymore. The WW2 and Vietnam memorials are just that. The Korean War memorial has some statues but they just represent ordinary soldiers on patrol.

      I think that is a good trend. Honoring the soldiers is one thing but I do not see any reason to glorify the generals.

      1. Yes, the collective is what should be celebrated

      2. If you don’t see statues of generals any more, it’s because you aren’t looking. The two that immediately spring to my mind are the MacArthur Memorial in Norfolk and Pershing Park in DC, both of which have prominently featured statues of the men they are named after. I’m sure with a little time and effort I could find dozens of others from WWI and WWII.

    2. The Lincoln Memorial was dedicated May 30, 1922

      1. The MArine Corps War Memorial was dedicated November 10, 1954 only 9 years after the end of the war, probably some kind of a record.

    3. I looked up monuments for the four best-known Union leaders in Wikipedia:

      Lincoln Memorial in DC: Dedicated 1922

      General & President US Grant’s Tomb: Completed 1897, 12 years after he died.
      Grant’s memorial in DC was completed in 1924.

      General WT Sherman: Four monuments were completed in 1902 and 1903, 11 to 12 years after he died.

      General Phil Sheridan: The main memorial to him may be the statue in NYC, completed in 1936.

      So if the south put up their statues in 1890-1930, they were nearly a decade faster than the north.

  31. Just a clarification–

    leading to the death of counterprotester Heather Heyer when a white nationalist drove into a crowd of protesters who were attacking two cars and blocking the street.

    Because facts are important.

    1. Oh my god, they were blocking the street!? Death for them!

      1. They were attacking two cars.

        1. A different hunk of people was attacking cars… associated with the counter-protesters, but not the young lady who was struck and killed.

  32. Remember when the Taliban was universally condemned for destroying those statues?

  33. “Charlottesville’s monuments of Lee and Jackson went up in 1924 and 1921, respectively, many decades after the Civil War ended.”

    And the WWII memorial on the mall went up several decades after that war ended, and we won. Wonder what evil it really signifies, since monuments not immediately erected apparently must have an ulterior motive.

  34. The important point is that right-wingers continue to ostentatiously embrace bigots and bigotry. This endears them to some low-character old whites but damns them among the educated, diverse, skilled young Americans who will be voting for generations. Keep clinging to that racism, Republicans. And watch the gun nuts, religious fundamentalists, statist womb management supporters, gay-bashes, and other slack-jawed conservatives continue to be stomped into political irrelevance.

  35. The main downfall to this law is that cities can erect statues of people like Marx and Stalin and know that no-one can remove them without State permission. I wonder how long is will take for these communist city representatives to realise this.

    1. The statute is narrower than this. It applies to

      “the erection of monuments or memorials for any war or conflict, or for any engagement of such war or conflict, to include the following monuments or memorials:  Algonquin (1622), French and Indian (1754-1763), Revolutionary (1775-1783), War of 1812 (1812-1815), Mexican (1846-1848), Confederate or Union monuments or memorials of the War Between the States (1861-1865), Spanish-American (1898), World War I (1917-1918), World War II (1941-1945), Korean (1950-1953), Vietnam (1965-1973), Operation Desert Shield-Desert Storm (1990-1991), Global War on Terrorism (2000-   ), Operation Enduring Freedom (2001-   ), and Operation Iraqi Freedom (2003-   ). ”

      Wait a minute, come to think of it, that list is illustrative, not complete. They can technically erect a monument to *any* “war or conflict,” including the Spanish Civil War, the Paris Commune, the Long March, the late Robert Mugabe’s war to take over Zimbabwe, and other commie favorites. Once erected, the monument is fixed forever.

      I hope the commies never get hold of this idea.

  36. The one aspect lost in all this mess is if the left had never developed this obsession with eliminating every remnant of Confederate history, good and bad, these idiot white supremacists would have never shown up to protest and there would have never been a counter protest and Heather would be alive. Do not pretend only the idiots on the right are to blame, because the idiots on be left set the entire event in motion.

  37. These statues exist all across the south and have stood for more than 100 yrs. As Charles Barkley said, 99.9% of people do not even pay attention to them. They only became an issue when progressives decided they were going to rewrite history and refight the Civil War by forcing everyone to accept their version of history. You hear it all the time when they claim the KKK was created by Republicans or that Republicans opposed the Civil Rights act. Both claims are nonsense and nothing more than an attempt to change the actual history of the Democrat party by erasing its racist roots and actions.

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