George Floyd

Confederate Monuments Are Participation Trophies. Thankfully, Some Are Coming Down.

Those who say the statues preserve heritage should reconsider the heritage they want to preserve.


It would be "wiser…not to keep open the sores of war," said the former Confederate general Robert E. Lee in 1869, "but to follow the examples of those nations who endeavored to obliterate the marks of civil strife, to commit to oblivion the feelings engendered." Lee wrote those remarks as he rejected an invitation to enshrine Confederate memorials for fallen soldiers.

In the decades following Lee's death in 1870, many such monuments would come to be, and many would bear his likeness. But the erstwhile general may finally be getting his wish. In the wake of protests across the country, set in motion after a Minneapolis cop killed George Floyd, an unarmed black man, numerous communities have seen a reinvigorated push to remove local homages to Confederate soldiers—the likes of which amount to little more than grand participation trophies that celebrate the most racially fraught time in U.S. history.

There's a rich irony to the fact that Lee, who recognized the ill-conceived nature of the idea, would become the unwitting mascot for those who support those memorials. After all, statues of the general himself are not few and far between. They have become the quintessential lightning rod in the debate, famously drawing the attention of the white supremacists who marched on Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017, as they protested the removal of his statue.

So it should come as little surprise that monuments of Lee are often a target of demonstrators and city councils alike. Fort Myers, Florida, announced today it will remove a bust of the general. Protesters in Montgomery, Alabama, toppled a statue of Lee, while other protesters in Richmond, Virginia, defaced a similar memorial that sits on the town's "Monument Avenue."

Protests weren't limited to Lee, however. Over in Nashville, Tennessee, demonstrators upended a statue of Edward Carmack, a newspaper publisher and early-1900s state lawmaker who called for the firebombing of the civil rights activist and journalist Ida B. Wells. His monument stood in front of the Tennessee State Capitol, an odd place for someone whose racist ideology did not withstand the test of time.

Supporters of Confederate monuments often argue that the stone exaltations preserve heritage. Memorials inherently celebrate a particular time and place—it's right there in the name. But what good does it do if the heritage preserved and celebrated is an inherently racist one?

The bulk of these Confederate memorials were erected between 1900-1930 during the era of Jim Crow, long after the Civil War's conclusion. Behind their enshrinement was the very same racial animus that the country is currently attempting to grapple with. The 1924 reception for Lee's statue provides an adequate anecdote. As I've written previously:

Over in Charlottesville, the Ku Klux Klan commemorated the May 21 unveiling of Lee's statue with a public cross burning on May 16 and a two-hour parade on May 18 attended by "thousands," according to archives from The Daily Progress, the Charlottesville newspaper that's been publishing since 1892. The throngs of people "equaled those usually seen here to witness the parade of the large circuses," the paper wrote. "The march of the white-robed figures was impressive, and directed attention to the presence of the organization in the community."

That wasn't the exception but rather the rule. In Chapel Hill, North Carolina, the industrialist Julian Carr introduced the now-toppled Silent Sam statue in 1913 with a speech on the merits of preserving white supremacy. "One hundred yards from where we stand," he noted, "less than 90 days perhaps after my return from Appomattox, I horse-whipped a negro wench, until her skirts hung in shreds." New Orleans' 1911 celebration of the monument of Confederate President Jefferson Davis—a fierce defender of slavery—had a Stars and Bars formation singing "Dixie" at a 'Whites Only' ceremony. The list goes on.

I don't doubt that those invocations of heritage are genuine. But that heritage incontrovertibly hinges on a legacy of slavery and racial terrorism, whether some like to admit it or not. Those who fought for the Confederacy should never be forgotten—but put them in a museum, keep them in the history books, and so on. Don't give them a reception fit only for history's best heroes.

The collective unwillingness to confront that history may be coming to an end. Birmingham, Alabama, directed the removal of the Confederate Soldiers and Sailors monument Monday night, coinciding with Jefferson Davis's birthday, which remains a state holiday. Alexandria, Virginia, similarly removed its Confederate monument Tuesday morning. It had not been defaced.

Vandalizing property and setting fire to buildings must certainly be condemned, no matter the protesters nor the topic at hand. But at such a pivotal moment, Confederate-monument defenders now have the perfect chance to, at the very least, empathize with the protesters' arguments. After all, conservatives rightly decry participation trophies. Why keep up the biggest ones in history?

NEXT: Another Fatal Police Shooting in Louisville Gets Chief Canned

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  1. Okay billy, you win. You’re worse than the OpEd from Sunday.

    1. By the way… the whole narrative of Trump using Tear Gas so he could walk across the street to St. Johns…


      “…the reason the crowd was disbursed with smoke cannisters [sic] is that at that moment, officers were being pelted with water bottles. Another factor was that protesters had climbed on top of the structure at the north end of Lafayette Square that had been burned the day before,” he continued in the Twitter thread.

      1. You missed the part where the priests and bishop of that church were outraged by Trump and the cops. Funny that you and the federalist missed that. Almost like you guys aren’t interested in truth. Really funny how you run to cite an article that only interviews another reporter.

        Let’s hear it from the priests and bishop who actually have some stake in the church, eh? What do they have to say? Think it will be in support of Trump and attacking protestors?

        From the liberal rag, National Catholic Reporter:

        On June 1, President Donald Trump stood before the historic St. John’s Episcopal Church in downtown Washington, D.C., and held aloft a Bible for cameras.

        The photo opportunity had an eerie quality: Trump said relatively little, positioned stoically in front of the boarded-up church, which had been damaged the day before in a fire during protests sparked by the death of George Floyd.

        The church appeared to be completely abandoned.

        It was, in fact, abandoned, but not by choice: less than an hour before Trump’s arrival, armored police used tear gas to clear hundreds of peaceful demonstrators from Lafayette Square park, which is across the street from the church.

        Authorities also expelled at least one Episcopal priest and a seminarian from the church’s patio.

        “They turned holy ground into a battleground,” said the Rev. Gini Gerbasi.

        Gerbasi, who serves as rector at a different Saint John’s Episcopal Church in Georgetown, arrived at St. John’s Lafayette earlier that day with what she said were at least 20 other priests and a group of laypeople. They were organized by the Episcopal Diocese of Washington to serve as a “peaceful presence in support of protestors.”


        The volunteers and clergy offered water, snacks, and hand sanitizer to demonstrators who were gathered in Lafayette Park across the street — which sits directly in front of the White House — to denounce racism and police brutality following the death of George Floyd.

        But sometime after six in the evening, when volunteers were packing up supplies, Gerbasi said police suddenly began to expel demonstrators from the park — before the 7 p.m. curfew announced for Washington residents earlier in the day.

        “I was suddenly coughing from the tear gas,” she said. “We heard those explosions and people would drop to the ground because you weren’t sure what it was.”

        The Rev. Glenna Huber, the rector of the Church of the Epiphany who was at St. John’s but left as the National Guard arrived, said she watched as police rushed into the area she had just fled. Concerned, the priest sent a frantic email to clergy at the church urging them to be careful.

        Back at St. John’s, Gerbasi said she was dressed in clerical garb and standing on church grounds as police approached.

        “I’m there in my little pink sweater in my collar, my gray hair up in a ponytail, my reading glasses on, and my seminarian who was with me — she got tear gas in her eyes,” she said.

        Gerbasi said as she and the seminarian watched, police began to expel people from the church patio.

        “The police in their riot gear with their black shields and the whole bit start pushing on to the patio of St. John’s Lafayette Square,” she said, adding that people around her began crying out in pain, claiming to be shot with non-lethal projectiles.

        Gerbasi and others eventually fled the scene, leaving emergency medical supplies behind. By the time she reached K street several blocks away and checked her phone, Trump was already in front of the church holding a Bible.

        “That’s what it was for: to clear that patio so that man could stand in front of that building with a Bible,” said Gerbasi.

        The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

        Trump aides reportedly told a Bloomberg News reporter that officials had planned to expand the perimeter around White House Monday afternoon, irrespective of Trump’s visit to the church — although those plans do not appear to have been shared with clergy working in front of the church.

        The official White House Twitter account did tweet a video Monday evening celebrating Trump’s visit to the church, complete with footage of Trump walking to the church set to dramatic music.

        Episcopal Church leaders were quick to condemn the incident.

        The Rev. Mariann Budde, the bishop of Washington who helped organize the clergy presence at the church, said Trump’s arrival at St. John’s happened without warning and left her “outraged.”

        “The symbolism of him holding a Bible … as a prop and standing in front of our church as a backdrop when everything that he has said is antithetical to the teachings of our traditions and what we stand for as a church — I was horrified,” she told RNS.

        “He didn’t come to pray. He didn’t come to lament the death of George Floyd. He didn’t come to address the deep wounds that are being expressed through peaceful protest by the thousands upon thousands. He didn’t try to bring calm to situations that are exploding with pain.”

        The Rev. Michael Curry, presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, also criticized the move, accusing the president of using “a church building and the Holy Bible for partisan political purposes.”

        “This was done in a time of deep hurt and pain in our country, and his action did nothing to help us or to heal us,” Curry said in a statement.

        “We need our president, and all who hold office, to be moral leaders who help us to be a people and nation living these values. For the sake of George Floyd, for all who have wrongly suffered, and for the sake of us all, we need leaders to help us to be “one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all.”

        1. Learn what a link is. I don’t care to read your post. I know you are now cutting/pasting from the article as proof you read it, but it still doesn’t prove you read it.

          Also, your entire reply to me had nothing to do with my post. Why do I care what a liberal priest’s preferences are? People don’t go to church at the wishes of a pastor, they go to a church for their own self salvation. Saying that Trump should stay out of churches because a pastor doesn’t like them is proof positive you don’t understand religion.

          1. You still didn’t read it. All you had to do was move your eyes and silently mouth the syllables, and you still couldn’t do it.

            The part where they say they got tear gassed and hit with non lethal projectiles directly contradicts your cite, which was one reporter interviewing another reporter.

            1. I dont’ know what to tell you except that liberals, even religious ones, lie.

              You believe you, since you believe all sorts of conspiracies anyways. Like say a conspiracy of a Trump Tower pinging a bank in Russia… or say… Trump owing millions to the Bank of china.

              You believe all sorts of ignorant things.

              So I’ll stick to the park service who does have accounting of what is and isn’t used in all their incident reports instead of accounts from activists like the one on Sunday who claimed his mask and glasses stopped the tear gas from being too bad (not how reality works).

              Basically… You’re prone to believing and repeating really dumb things.

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              2. Hahaha what naked tribalism.

                One reporter interviewing another reporter, sprinkled with statements from a police spokesperson = truth. The actual priests and bishop in charge of the church where this all happened = liberals and therefor liars.

                1. Do you know how auditing works? Every item utilized in riot control is accounted for. There is paperwork to back up their claims. There is no paperwork to back up the priests. In fact, we have multiple examples of idiots thinking smoke is tear gas already; even presented at this site.

                  Again, you are prone to conspiracy theories. Even when proven wrong you continue to push them.

                  The reason I say liberal priesthood is based on the percentage of democrats and activists in D.C. But you would know that if you were even slightly educated.

                  1. Jesse, there are dozens of eyewitness accounts online and footage from cnn showing the moment police attacked the protestors. They started it. There is no doubt.

                    Every member of the church calls it an attack on peaceful protestors. Several members of the church say they were hit by non lethal projectiles. It is confirmed that clergy were forcibly evicted from their own church. This is all true. And yet you defend the police state and the use of force. What the fuck are you doing here on a libertarian site?

                    No, they don’t inventory every pepper ball or flashbang. And you expect people to take the police and Trump’s word at face value, laughable.

                    1. “Jesse, there are dozens of eyewitness accounts online and footage from cnn showing the moment police attacked the protestors. They started it. There is no doubt.”

                      This says nothing if tear gas vs smoke was used Dummy. Plus the same accounts do agree with the accounts from the Park Police stating projectiles were thrown and people were climbing on buildings/monuments. What is your actual argument here?

                      “Every member of the church calls it an attack on peaceful protestors. ”

                      And MSNBC has been calling it a peaceful protest in front of live footage of buildings burn. Narratives and all.

                      “Several members of the church say they were hit by non lethal projectiles.”

                      Good, they should have some of these projectiles they can show to the news. Wait… they don’t?!?!?

                      ” It is confirmed that clergy were forcibly evicted from their own church.”

                      Learn what the word evicted means dummy.

                      “No, they don’t inventory every pepper ball or flashbang.”

                      Yes they do. Every post operation they account all expended and utilized equipment. It is standard practice.

                      You are so prone to conspiracy theories it is amazing. Priests aren’t the first people to make a hyperbolic recount of them being a victim. But it agrees with your narrative, so it is proof positive.

                    2. They 100% do not inventory or account for every pepper ball or other munition used.

                      And you keep avoiding the point: is it ok to forcibly evict (yes it was an eviction) clergy from their church? Do you support government force against priests simply being at their own church?

                      Yes or no, Jesse.

                      verb: evict; 3rd person present: evicts; past tense: evicted; past participle: evicted; gerund or present participle: evicting

                      expel (someone) from a property, especially with the support of the law.

                    3. ahahaha i love how you insist that only you get to determine the terms of the discussion bahahahahahah

                      its how we know you know youre wrong aahhaajah

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                      Here’s what I do………………Home Profit System

              3. Dude, give it up already! You’re right and everyone else is wrong, we get it!

                1. It is wrong to support government force against priests simply being at their own church. Didn’t think that would be so controversial around here.

                  1. i supose if it actually happend it would get more concern Karen

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            2. I’ll note that your cite on the tear gas and non-lethal projectiles is Gerbasi, the woman who also tweeted that the police used “concussion grenades”.

              Right, so. Concussion grenades (the US model is the MK3A2) are weapons of war with a two-meter casualty radius. If there wasn’t a body count, you can be absolutely certain no concussion grenades were used. How many deaths were reported? Right, so, no actual concussion grenades were used.

              Now, of course, an ignorant and excitable civilian in the middle of a confused mob can perfectly honestly mis-call a smoke canister (which makes an exploding sound when it activates) a “concussion grenade”, because, of course, she doesn’t actually know what she’s talking about. So I’m not saying she lied. But if she demonstrably doesn’t know what she’s talking about in one part of her testimony, then we have to consider the rest in light of that.

              And, well, on what basis did Gerbasi identify what made her cough and her seminarian cry as “tear gas”? Actual, personal experience with tear gas under controlled training conditions? Or merely the fact that there was coughing and eye irritation, which are also effects of smoke from smoke canisters?

              So, again, her testimony is consistent with an ignorant, excitable civilian in a confused mob reacting to the use of smoke canisters, and not actual evidence of the use of concussion grenades or tear gas. What does that leave?

              Ah, the bit about less-than-lethal projectiles. Well, notice she didn’t say she was hit by non-lethal projectiles, or that she saw injuries from them, or that she saw the projectiles on the ground, or that she saw or heard weapons firing the projectiles into the crowd, or the like. She simply says that she heard people around her claim to have been hit by them.

              In short, her testimony, on examination by someone who knows what he’s talking about, is entirely consistent with an ignorant, excitable civilian in a confused mob reacting to the use of smoke canisters.

              1. Is this whole thing going to pedantry? Jesus fucking christ. Concussion grenade or flashbang, whatever. You know what she meant, I know what she meant, readers will know what she meant. But you want to make this some issue where you find a military fm and decide that concussion grenade can only mean one object defined with a single dodic. This is pedantry.

                The rest of it, well isn’t amazing the police were able to clear those protestors out without using any force? Do you think they made them leave with strong language?

                The larger question, the one you should force yourself to examine is, “Should police be allowed to use any sort of grenade or other force against the clergy of a church to remove them from their own church?”

                1. “Should police be allowed to use any sort of grenade or other force against the clergy of a church to remove them from their own church?”

                  Only if they’re violating the governor’s Covid-19 lockdown order, right?

                  1. Knockdown, and we’re starting the 10 count!

                    1. He’ s not getting up

                2. If it doesn’t matter what was used, why did you argue with JesseAZ’s post that smoke canisters were what was used? You could have said “It doesn’t matter, that’s still force!” in immediate response, after all. Instead, you were, demonstrably, deeply invested in the idea that it had to be tear gas.

                  It’s similar to your repeated emphasis on “clergy” and a “church”. As a matter of libertarian principle, of course, it wouldn’t matter in the slightest if they were exotic dancers and a strip club, or, indeed, drug dealers at a crack house. You are very obviously trying to maximize emotional valence, only retreating into arguments about principle when it gets you caught out on an unsupported limb.

                  1. The argument is about the principle, absolutely. There are 2 principles here, first is first amendment rights and use of government force related to that, the other is Jesse and other trumpists uncritically swallowing anything they can that’s favorable toward Trump. And you are correct that I’m highlighting the religious nature of this case, since Jesse and other non libertarians around here seem to value religious institutions over others. I’m trying to show them their hypocrisy.

                    If we agree on principal, then we can debate the nitpicks, but not until we debate the principles. And Jesse is determined to avoid a debate on principle because he doesn’t have a leg to stand on.

                    I don’t retreat to principle when called out, I reiterate the principle when the conversation is devolving into nitpicking about which dodic munition exactly was used. It isn’t germane. What is germane is that police force was used. What is germane is that the people on the receiving end say they were hit with tear gas, flashbangs, and other munitions.

                    You can play he said she said if you want. On that front, a county which lent it’s deputies to DC has recalled them over this instance. Calling it appalling. They also admit to using pepper balls and smoke grenades, which would explain why people thought they were being tear gassed (which they still may very well have been). You might be able to make some grand principle based argument about why pepper balling priests at their own church is more acceptable than tear gassing them, but I find that question to be not relevant.


                    1. Holy fucking shit your a retard.

                      Force is absolutely required at times in presence of violence. For an extreme example, force against someone committing mass murder.

                      You’re fucking whole argument relies on the lie the protests have not been a source of violence which is demonstrably a lie. That is why you resorted to the religous argument you utter dumbfuck.

                      You argue from a place of dishonesty. If there was no violence at the protests the cops would not be justified at all. Full stop. There is violence. So the argument is not valid.

                      What a dishonest piece of shit you are.

                3. When your narrative requires tear gas to be the supplement as your argument requires, pedantry matters dumbfuck.

                  1. he plays fast amd loose then cries when that backfires and he has to play it straight

                4. “Is this whole thing going to pedantry?”

                  oh shit you were wrong again, thats the sign you know it

        2. TLDR

          1. TLDR: Cops used tear gas and non lethal projectiles against church goers and clergy, in contradiction to police and police state supporters’ claims. Church bishop is not happy with Trump, said about his photo op with the bible, “The symbolism of him holding a Bible … as a prop and standing in front of our church as a backdrop when everything that he has said is antithetical to the teachings of our traditions and what we stand for as a church — I was horrified,”

            1. TLDR: DoL pushes unfounded conspiracy theories all the time as fact. Does not actual rational inspection on said claims. When confronted he runs away and continues to post same articles over and over.

              1. Here I learn that multiple witness testimonies which are all consistent is just an unfounded conspiracy theory.

                Where have I run away? When you come back to a thread hours later and I don’t? Some of us have other things to attend to.

                Lies, Jesse. Several big fat, inarguable lies right in a row. Trump has really pushed you guys into some other category. You have sacrificed everything to defend him. Fiscal responsibility, individual liberty, guns, small government, family values, honor all of it is gone. And all you got instead was a fat old con man. It’s really sad.

                You guys are mentally ill.

                1. You learned witnesses think they were tear gassed. We have already seen people lying about the use of tear gas and its effects on them.

                  The fact that you don’t understand the argument is simply further proof of your ignorance.

                  Sorry you keep falling for narratives. One day you may actually start to think for yourself and stop repeating Vox and other narrative generating sites.

                  1. You keep leaving out the pepper balls or whatever projectiles they were also hit with. And you have this weird fixation on smoke vs tear gas, like it is meaningful. (I mean it’s not weird, it’s the exact tactic all of you cultists use to avoid having to actually debate central points.)

                    People who had every right, every goddam constitutional right to be there were evicted with force by the police so that trump could get his picture taken.

                    fuck off, slaver.

                    1. If it isn’t meaningful whether they used smoke or tear gas, why did you respond to his post that they used smoke with a counter-claim they used tear gas? Apparently you thought it was meaningful enough to argue about . . . .

                    2. And when you can post pictures of the projectiles used against them, unless you think they magically evaporate, then I’ll agree with you.

                      People make hyperbolic statements of their victim-hood all the time.

                    3. Hey Jesse, I’m not really interested in debating exactly what sort of munitions are acceptable to use on priests at their own church.

                      Maybe debate that with people who would like that kind of conversation, like stasi or gestapo members.

                    4. DRM, I pointed out that the people who were there and had every right to be there say they were tear gassed. They also say they were hit with projectiles.

                      If you choose to believe police over priests at their own church, then by all means go ahead. If you choose to think that smoke and flash bang grenade instead of tear gas makes police evicting clergy from their own church ok, then go ahead. Just don’t claim to be a libertarian while you do.

                    5. Dol is the most dishonest motherfucker on this site.

                      Make the actual argument. stop walking it back when you’re proven a fool.

                      What a dumbass.

                      Force is sometimes needed in response to force. It is not needed absent an initial use of force. That has been my argument the entire time you piece of shit.

                      You’re trying to argue there was no initial form of violence because you’re a biased, gaslighting, retarded piece of shit.

                    6. “Hey Jesse, I’m not really interested in debating exactly what sort of munitions are acceptable to use on priests”

                      ahahahha because you know hes fucking lying ahahahaha

                      we all have seen you post 400 times if you even a chance of being right aahahahahahaj

                    7. ” over priests at their own church, ”

                      1 priests cause the Inquisition so save that shit

                      2 Hiw the fuck would he know it was tearcgas you moron

                      lol you lnow youre wrong Tony ahahaajajahaahahha

            2. I don’t give two shits about claims by either sides because it’s chaos on the ground.

              Do better than “some people said” if you want credibility.

              1. The bishop and the clergy of the actual church and dozens of people who there said, you mean.

                1. You mean all those people protest-rioting Trump, as they have been violently doing so for 5 years, after a union municipal employee of a blue city in a blue state killed someone?
                  Totes trustworthy sources

                2. yes im sure theyre totally trustworthy experts on tear gas lololol

                  *rolls eteyes*

          2. He didn’t write it, he cut/paste it to pretend he read it.

        3. The priests and Bishop of the Episcopal church are anti christian blasphemers. I grew up in that church and none of those people are to be taken seriously on what is christian.

      2. the catholic church establishment is way left and the rank and file made up of Irish and Italian in this county are right. I’ve walked out of Mass before when the priest blathered about some far left talking point bad mouthing liberty and capitalism. I honestly don’t care with the Church authorities say..they are corrupt and immoral starting at the top these days.

    2. I don’t see how. These are clear and obvious opinions, with some factual elements thrown in (which are easy to check).

      The Sunday Op-Ed opened with brazen lies and made up a historical narrative to try to prove the lie. And then rest of the article was the author presenting a narrative that was also filled with half-truths at best, and sounds completely made up.

      Not saying Billy is right, here, but this is a reasonably constructed op-ed. That Sunday Op-ed was pure bullshit all the way down.

      1. One could state the whole belief that race started in Virginia as an opinion. It is of no more value than erasing the past because it doesn’t hold the same values as the present. Do we destroy the Holocaust Museum now? Just because something exists doesn’t mean it is celebrated. Sometimes it is just a reminder of history, like the Colosseum or the Pyramids.

        Destroying the past because of feelz is a great way to forget the past. It is why dictatorships across history have taken the time to rewrite their country’s histories.

        1. Agree to disagree then. That Sunday Op-ed is going down as one of the lowest pieces of trash I’ve ever seen on the website. It would fit in as a story on Huffpost or Vox, though.

      2. I’m fairly certain de espresso wrote the Sunday article

  2. That’s the argument from most, it’s because it’s a Democrat leadership or it’s because it’s a Republican leadership. It’s both and they are all to blame for no change!

  3. All statues of mass murders, racists and bigots must come down!!!!! Hey do you guys remember statues? Where’d they all go?

    Honestly I could care less if we stop enshrining our bloody rulers in bronze in the middle of the parks where my children play. As long as we’re being consistent about it.

    Ohh, we’re not going to be consistent and it’s just going to be another stupid culture war issue to beat each other over the head with? Shoot.

    1. Hey Binion, now do FDR for the whole Japanese interment thing. Don’t worry, I’ll wait…..

      1. Sincere question: are there many statues of FDR?

          1. Cute, there don’t seem to be any here in the States.

            1. It was more of a point about ridiculous sacred cows.


              There is one literally in the main parts of the D.C. Mall…

              1. “well shit” – Overt right now

                1. Isn’t he one of the heads at Rushmore?

          2. I’ll take “What’s a Dime” for $1000, Alex.

          3. There is a whole memorial to FDR on the national mall. My god man where have you been

    2. Do we have any other statues of traitors and war enemies up anywhere?

      1. There’s a statue to Pancho Villa in a park in downtown Tucson, AZ.

        1. Lenin in Seattle

          1. yeah but that’s ironic and they paint his hands red.

            1. lol you have excuses for everything Jeff lolol

      2. Jefferson and Washington owned slaves, right?

        Hell, you know what Arlington Cemetery is, right? The estate home of Robert E Lee. Perhaps we should burn it down too?

        Shit, half the signers of the declaration and the constitution were slave holders. Let’s just burn those documents too.

        1. slave ownership does not = traitors and enemies, which was what I asked.

          1. ahahah fucking weak you got dunked on lololo

            they didn’t JUST OWN SLAVES dumbass ahahaha

          2. The Founding Fathers were, also “traitors and enemies”.
            Or does only winning turn one into a patriot?
            P.S. The WNA wasn’t fought over slavery. Lincoln brought the subject into the war well after it started as a tactical matter, to try to weaken the South. His “Emancipation Proclamation” didn’t free the slaves in non-Confederate states.

            1. I was born and raised in the state that proudly emblazons “Land of Lincoln” onto their license plates, so you can bet the view of what is commonly termed the Civil War was the northern one. Still, the way I see it, each southern state chose to peaceably leave the union, which was within their rights. These independent states then chose to form a union called the CSA, which was also their right. It was a new country, distinct from the old one, and independent.

              Lincoln then led the northern forces to conquer a sovereign foreign country and incorporate it into their own country.

              All of this stuff about Lincoln preserving the union is nonsense. The union, such that it was, was already gone. There was nothing to preserve.

              It’s a shame that the whole reason for the secession of the various states was tied in with the right to own people of a certain pigment level, something universally agreed upon as an abomination, because at its root, secession (and the war that followed) was about the right of a state that entered the union voluntarily to leave in the same manner, a principle with which I agree. (Imagine if the EU had declared war on the UK to force then to rejoin!)

              1. As someone also born in the “Land of Lincoln,” I’d like to ask, what was the “state” that “chose to peaceably leave the union?” Was it somehow “the people?” Or was it the state government? I ask because, if it was the state government, was that government composed of representatives chosen in an election open to all of the state’s adult residents or just some of them? Either way, when the “state” chose to peaceably leave the union, did it first let people choose to peaceably leave the state? Or did it force the unwilling into its new union?

            2. Lincoln mentioned slavery throughout his First Inaugural Address. The theme of the address was the growing danger of civil war, a danger based on the existence in some of the states.

              “One section of our country believes slavery is right and ought to be extended, while the other believes it is wrong and ought not to be extended. This is the only substantial dispute.”

              WNA, War of Northern Aggression, a war waged to end slavery within the United States.

              1. should be “…a danger based on the existence of slavery in some of the states.”

        2. “Shit, half the signers of the declaration and the constitution were slave holders. Let’s just burn those documents too.”

          To be fair, they’ve been doing that metaphorically at least for a while now. I mean, the Constitution is like a hundred years old. How can it be relevant now?

        3. 1) they purposely put a cemetery in Lee’s front yard so he couldn’t return

          2) is your position that no monuments should be taken down until they are if they have troubled history?

      3. George Washington was a British subject who betrayed his country and took up arms against the crown! Should his statues come down too?

        And yes, he would have been hanged for treason if the revolution had failed.

        1. Are there many statues of George Washington in Britain?

            1. So there’s 1. And the article even states that people find it surprising. But good point. We should totally erect a statue of Saddam Hussein next.

              1. Why can’t you just admit when you’re wrong and ignorant about basic things?

                1. I said, “So there’s 1”.

                  That there’s a statue of washington in london is basic knowledge?

                  And do you think that little sinking of my analogy (well played) somehow refutes my point?

                  Do we normally put up statues of our traitors or war enemies?

                  1. Are there any monuments to Native American leaders?

                    1. There’s the giant one of Crazy Horse that’s still being carved:

                      I’m still LOL’ing at the supposed 18-Series who is taking the word of a civilian witness about smoke v tear gas at face value. I mean, I haven’t been in the military, have never gone through the tear gas chamber, and so I didn’t know the differences in their effects. I would expect clergy to know even less.

                      But you’d think someone who claims to not only have gone through basic training, but through Selection as well, would know the difference. And know even faster than the former military members here, that the clergy’s accounts as well as that LARP-ing idiot of a PhD’s, were wrong if not complete bullshit.

                    2. At least one department that was there admits to using pepper balls along with smoke, and has recalled their officers from DC over this incident, calling it “appalling”.

                      But go ahead, make the case that pepper balling priests is not a violation of the nap because they didn’t get teargassed (which they very well may have, I don’t know why you would take the word of the police.)


                    3. And how would I know if a priest in DC got teargassed just because I’ve been in a tear gas chamber? No one sent me a sample of the gas/smoke to test. Basic logic my dudes.

                    4. “And how would I know if a priest in DC got teargassed”

                      Especially since youre lying about having had it done to you

                      but thanks for finally admitting it

                  2. “That there’s a statue of washington in london is basic knowledge?”

                    And yet you asked.

                    “And do you think that little sinking of my analogy (well played) somehow refutes my point?”

                    Yes actually. Completely.

              2. Sure, why not? Why should we not erect statues to enemies that were either worthy opponents or otherwise memorable?

          1. AHAHAH god damn you look retarded now ahahahaha

      4. “traitors”

        You really dont want to start with that shit, because you’re too fucking stupid to understand the legalities of secession.

        Try that shit on Texas especially and watch how fast you get rolled.

        1. I think southerners were too stupid to understand the legalities of secession.

          Let me check the history books. Yup. They lost.

          1. Cool you forced people to associate with you at gunpont definitely something to be proud of

          2. Regardless of one loss for Texas, that still leaves their record at 5-1 in the secession game does it not?

    3. Hey now, we still must celebrate Margaret Sanger.

    4. After reading how this thread played out, I completely revoke my comment about this just being a stupid culture war issue. What was I thinking?

  4. Someone put a lot of work into making those monuments.

    1. They should be torn down and replaced with statues to a hero of the African-American community, Laverne Cox!

    2. They can join a support group with all the Stalin sculptors.

      1. because wanting to leave is the same as forcing people to stay

        lolol god you are BAD AT THIS TONY AHAHHAHA

    3. And they’ve been standing for 100 years or so. That’s my main problem with tearing them down. They’re works of art that have been around longer than most of us. It’s really not our place to destroy them. It’s like the Taliban destroying 1500 year old Buddhist statues. Ok, maybe not that extreme, but it’s along the same lines.

      1. Yeah, actually it is basically the same thing. It’s tearing down monuments to erase the past.

        I’d love to hear what other art people want to tear down because it represents bad things that happened in the past.

        Shall we go around blowing up Diego Rivera art because of his communist messaging, for example? I mean, they did kill a whole fuck ton of people.

        I could literally go on for days about artists in the past who’s paintings supporting the worst of the worst regimes who’s art is still famous and highly prized today.

        Go figure that these statues in particular need to go when, in effect, they commemorate a war that killed more Americans than any other in history. And it was self inflicted at that.

        1. Also, I should change ‘paintings’ to ‘any meduim’ since it was hardly contained to just painters. They’re just the rock stars of art by-and-large. Sculptors and the like did the same shit, perhaps even more so with less notoriety.

  5. Billy is absolutely correct. All Confederate monuments need to be torn down and replaced with statues of famous slaves. White America needs to realize that the United States does NOT belong to them and they will be replaced by a multi-racial society, unless the vote for Donald Trump again.

    1. “and replaced with statues of famous slaves.”

      On what grounds?
      Lincoln’s emancipation only applied to those states that lost the war

      1. famous slaves

        halfway decent bbq tho

  6. We’ll replace them all with statues of Trump. Happy?

    1. All joking aside, you know who would love that? Trump. But only if they were made of all the best metals.

      1. Hmm what metal oxidizes to orange? Hair will definitley be gold though.

  7. Protesters in Montgomery, Alabama, toppled a statue of Lee, while other protesters in Richmond, Virginia, defaced a similar memorial

    Elsewhere, “protesters” threw bricks, set buildings on fire, and unwittingly supported Trump’s China policies by stealing cheap clothes from Target.

  8. I’m sure Billy Binion knows all about participation awards.

    1. I’m sure Binion gets one every year from Reason

      1. They call it his “salary”

    2. I have Billy’s Participation Award right here: FUCK YOU.

  9. “little more than grand participation trophies that celebrate the most racially fraught time in U.S. history”

    I disagree.

    If Lincoln’s forces entered the South with the purpose of freeing enslaved Americans and giving them constitutionally promised liberties, we might all be proud of the endeavor. Unfortunately, he is known to have said, “If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it.” Cited in the Library of Congress, not just some obscure white supremacy blog.

    Although secession was largely for slavery and decided upon by many wealthy, slave-owning men, the Civil War itself was bravely fought for independence mostly by poor men, who did not own slaves. It was a very “American” resistance to a very un-American, imperialist invasion. Newer death toll estimates suggest it costed 750,000 lives, even as most other western countries were finding ways to abolish slavery without bloodshed.

    The answer to the confederate statues dilemma is for us to step back from our culture of hyper-moralizing, virtue-signaling and judging of old traditions we scarcely understand.

    1. Defending slavery was very “American”. Got it.

      Your vision of America is very cynical.

      1. Lincoln was a typical politician

        Slavery was the political issue to help validate his war against states that legally seceded.

        If Lincoln really wanted to free the slaves, his Emancipation Proclamation would have applied to all states and not just those that lost the war

        1. ^^This^^
          And he would have prosecuted Sherman for Atlanta.

          1. As opposed to approving the plan for “total war”? Just another wonderful invention of the USA.

            VII. Negroes who are able-bodied and can be of service to the several columns may be taken along, but each army commander will bear in mind that the question of supplies is a very important one and that his first duty is to see to them who bear arms….

            — William T. Sherman, Military Division of the Mississippi Special Field Order 120, November 9, 1864.

            Slaves’ opinions varied concerning the actions of Sherman and his army. They often felt betrayed, as they “suffered along with their owners, complicating their decision of whether to flee with or from Union troops”. A Confederate officer estimated that 10,000 liberated slaves followed Sherman’s army, and hundreds died of “hunger, disease, or exposure” along the way.
            The March to the Sea was devastating to Georgia and
            the Confederacy. Sherman himself estimated that the campaign had inflicted $100 million (about $1.4 billion in 2010 dollars) in destruction, about one fifth of which “inured to our advantage” while the “remainder is simple waste and destruction”

            According to a 2018 National Bureau of Economic Research paper which sought to measure the medium- and long-term economic impact of Sherman’s March, “the capital destruction induced by the March led to a large contraction in agricultural investment, farming asset prices, and manufacturing activity. Elements of the decline in agriculture persisted through 1920.

            1. Thank you for that LTBF.

              I will remember this next time I meet another Lincoln apologist. 🙂

              1. you have one in tbis thread

        2. “Slavery was the political issue to help validate his war against states that legally seceded.”

          What a bunch of bullshit. Lincoln was against slavery, and in fact slavery was the key issue that ultimately meant that the Republican party ascended.

          That Slave Owning states felt the need to secede rather than face the writing on the wall is a cross that they will have to bare, not Lincoln. They were horrid tyrants who kept humans as chattel and further punished their own freeman citizens who attempted to assist that practice. While they may (and stress MAY) have a legal right to secede, they certainly didn’t have the moral right to secede.

          The average Union soldier was fighting to preserve the Union. There is plenty of contemporary evidence of this. Lincoln did not need to use Slavery as a fig leaf.

          1. “assist that practice. ” –> Assist slaves trying to free that practice.

          2. “Lincoln was against slavery”

            Well we have his words, but you seem to think that he can’t be against slavery nbut not care much about it unless he can make political hay from it.

            The two ard not mutually exclusive.

            1. He became opposed to slavery when his re-election was in doubt.
              Before that he was ‘preserving the union’.

              1. I’m willing to admit he probably felt that on the whole it was bad, but he was a politician, and one wonders why his base political calculations are treated as moral imperatives.

            2. Lincoln’s plan, and the GOP’s plan was a long strategy: Get control of the federal government so that over the long term, new states would be Free states. Eventually there would be enough Free States to effectively cock block the south on everything.

              You don’t need to take my word for it. Go read the fucking Reasons for Secession that each state posted. Several of them literally spell this out- Lincoln’s election meant that the federal government would be anti slavery, and new territories would no longer allow slavery. They couldn’t tolerate this and so they seceded. Everybody at the fucking time knew that if things continued as they did, Slavery would eventually be dead in the US. It was the south that couldn’t handle it.

              And not spoken by everyone at the time, but clearly obvious, was what a successful secession would have meant. It would not have been peaceful, because- as the South had already said- they couldn’t deal with all these territories becoming free states. At some point, the North and South would have been at war over the fate of those territories.

              1. “Lincoln’s plan”

                Listen I’ll stop you there.

                When you pretend like the opinions you are spoutng are fact, to people who are well read on the subject, it is insulting.

                Try again, knowing that we know yours is a collection of opinions.

              2. Go read the fucking Reasons for Secession that each state posted. Several of them literally spell this out- Lincoln’s election meant that the federal government would be anti slavery, and new territories would no longer allow slavery. They couldn’t tolerate this and so they seceded

                And this makes Lincolns position on slavery hearfelt and not poltical HOW? If anything it PROVES it a politcal calculation.

                And AGAIN, WE HAVE LINCOLNS WORDS.

                Right. You are lost in the q
                weeds, compose yourself and try again.

                1. I think he lost sight of the actual point of contention and strayed off into defending the illegal occupation of the South.

                  1. it certainly seems that way

                  2. “I think he lost sight of the actual point of contention and strayed off into defending the illegal occupation of the South.”

                    No. My point of contention was the statement that Slavery was a political issue to “help validate” the war on the south. That is absolute bullshit.

                    First, most Union soldiers weren’t fighting to end slavery. They were fighting to preserve the Union. They didn’t need Lincoln to- what, lie?- about it. They wanted the Union to stay and they went to war.

                    The ones who were obsessed with slavery were the leaders of the south. They seceded specifically to preserve slavery. They were the ones fighting to preserve slavery.

                    However I completely agree that the vast majority of Southerners were merely fighting to protect their country.

                    1. “No. My point of contention was the statement that Slavery was a political issue to “help validate” the war on the south. That is absolute bullshit.”

                      only an ignoraumus could think that

                    2. Wait this idiot Over thinks the guy who suspended Habeas and indefinitely imprisoned thousands of Americans cared about slavery because it was the moral thing to do and not a politcal calculation?

                      Is he five years old? I mean, that kind of naivete is reserved for newborns.

                    3. Pearls before swine, Overt. They won’t crack a book, no matter how dumb their ignorance makes them look. They are proud in their ignorance.

                    4. ahahahahah you got shut the fuck fuck up and now you’re nipping at heels jeff hahahahaha

                      tell us more about how proud you are that you forced people to associate with you at gunpoint aahahaha

                2. “AGAIN, WE HAVE LINCOLNS WORDS.”

                  Which words? These ones:

                  “If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it.”

                  Those words are completely consistent with the statement that I made. Lincoln wanted to preserve the Union. His long term plan- the precise plan cited by the Secessionists- was to slowly marginalize the slave states. If he could do that and preserve the Union he would.

                  Lincoln campaigned that he believed slavery needed to end. He spoke about it back in the 1850s before campaigning. Maybe he wasn’t serious about it, but the southern states believed him enough to secede, so that is good enough in my book.

                  1. “Which words? These ones:”

                    No the ones quoted in this thread, among others.

                    Which in light of your own quotes, just proves my point even more,

                    Lincoln had no strong position on slavery. It was base politics.

                    Thank you for finally admitting it.

                  2. “Lincoln campaigned that he believed slavery needed to end. He spoke about it ”



                    AREN’T YOU ADORABLE!!!

                  3. If Lincoln campaigned that he believed slavery needed to end, he campaigned against what the Republican party’s platform of 1860 was.
                    The platform stated it had no intention of ending slavery.

              3. And there was the “diffusion” theory at the time…if new states were allowed to have slaves and with no more slave trade white settlers would not be outnumbered by black slaves and the “fear” of uprising would go down and I guess the southern settlers in Nebraska or where ever would be more amenable to ending slavery. Seriously this was a popular idea in the 1850s.

          3. “While they may (and stress MAY) have a legal right to secede”

            ahahah i love that you know this is the truth but hate it and can barely admit it becauae it fucking ruins your narrative. Forcing people into an association at gunpoint isn’t moral either asahole lolol

            “They were horrid tyrants”

            The states were horrid tyrants? Compose yourself and try again

            1. I have never seen someone so invested in defending the honor of dirty slave owners, but ok.

              I would certainly have preferred the long game worked itself out- that over years, we would see the South transition away from slavery as it became economically impossible. But rather than face that reality, the Confederate states chose to secede in order to preserve their ability to trade slaves. That was their decision, and it was very clearly spelled out in their Reasons for Secession. Is exercising a legal right (to secede) in order to preserve something that was clearly immoral and should have been illegal legal? Perhaps. Either way, the moral culpability was on the South for doing this.

              So now we have an authoritarian regime trying to subordinate its subjects within a constitutional democracy, and a second authoritarian regime that is run by an aristocracy that also practices slavery. Bummer that those are my choices, but I’ll choose the Union every time. Both were authoritarian asses, but one wasn’t trading slaves.

              And if you think a freeman forced to follow the laws of the Union is at all the same thing as someone who was bred, raised and sold as chattel, then you are too far gone to be reasoned with. I have used “slave” as a metaphor a lot when talking about the government, but here, in the actual context, there is no comparison.

              1. “I have never seen someone so invested in defending the honor of dirty slave owners, but ok.”

                Awwww you were wrong and now you widdle feeling are hurt!!!

                1. Seriously what the fuck qwas that? Is he actually crying because you pointed out Lincoln had political motives?

                  1. Yes he’ s literally carrying water for a politician who suspended habeus corpus and died 150 years ago.

                    He drank ALL of the kool aid.

                    1. Lincoln was a piece of shit. This isnt even controversial. The question is, was it necessary for him to be a piece of shit.

                    2. well this idiot seems to be one of those underinformed read-a-single-book danger hairs that think making declarations is the same as makng an argument.

                    3. I am now making $35/h by doing a very simple and easy online work from home. I have received exactly $8471 last month from this online work. JVd To start making extra income please…

                      visit this site………………………….Work at Home

                2. Let’s listen to what the states said their reason for secession was.

                  Georgia starts right away with slavery: “The people of Georgia having dissolved their political connection with the Government of the United States of America, present to their confederates and the world the causes which have led to the separation. 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.”

                  Mississippi: “Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery– the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth. These products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun. These products have become necessities of the world, and a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization”

                  South Carolina: “The people of the State of South Carolina, in Convention assembled, on the 26th day of April, A.D., 1852, declared that the frequent violations of the Constitution of the United States, by the Federal Government, and its encroachments upon the reserved rights of the States, fully justified this State in then withdrawing from the Federal Union; but in deference to the opinions and wishes of the other slaveholding States, she forbore at that time to exercise this right.”

                  Texas: “Texas abandoned her separate national existence and consented to become one of the Confederated Union to promote her welfare, insure domestic tranquility and secure more substantially the blessings of peace and liberty to her people. She was received into the confederacy with her own constitution, under the guarantee of the federal constitution and the compact of annexation, that she should enjoy these blessings. She was received as a commonwealth holding, maintaining and protecting the institution known as negro slavery– the servitude of the African to the white race within her limits– a relation that had existed from the first settlement of her wilderness by the white race, and which her people intended should exist in all future time. Her institutions and geographical position established the strongest ties between her and other slave-holding States of the confederacy. Those ties have been strengthened by association. But what has been the course of the government of the United States, and of the people and authorities of the non-slave-holding States, since our connection with them?”

                  Virgina: “The people of Virginia, in their ratification of the Constitution of the United States of America, adopted by them in Convention on the twenty-fifth day of June, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-eight, having declared that the powers granted under the said Constitution were derived from the people of the United States, and might be resumed whensoever the same should be perverted to their injury and oppression; and the Federal Government, having perverted said powers, not only to the injury of the people of Virginia, but to the oppression of the Southern Slaveholding States.”


                  Gee, they all cite slavery as the reason they left. Why did they think institutional slavery was under attack if Lincoln wasn’t set on freeing the slaves? Kinda fucks with your whole narrative that Lincoln was not going to free the slaves.

                  1. “Let’s listen to what the states said their reason for secession was.”

                    let’s not since we’re not talking about that at all

                    “Gee, they all cite slavery as the A reason they left

                    lol even here you can’t stop lying

                    and no one said they didn’t cite is as a reason you stupid fuck try to pay attention lololol

                  2. And what’s missing is any proclamation/EO/law signed by Lincoln indicating that he would free the slaves. Overt tries to move the goal posts but Lincoln’s own words defeat his argument so all he’s left with is this “long game.”

                    To add further to that just look at the Emancipation Proclamation. I admit I was a bit stunned when I read the whole thing for the first time in HS. Lincoln could have declared that all slaves in the Confederacy were free. He didn’t. The only became free once Union soldiers set foot in the state. Why the restriction? Why the inhibition?

                    But again, that requires some understanding of history and we’ve got statues to destroy…

                    1. How about asking, since he was supposedly so against slavery, why he didn’t free the slaves in the states, that didn’t secede?

            2. The secession committees were elected on massive instances of voter fraud, violence and intimidation. The idea that they represented the true will of the people of the states was dubious at best. The process was of questionable legality , as the Constitution lays out no procedure for legal secession.

              That said, if the hotheads in South Carolina had kept their wits about them and not bombarded Fort Sumter, they might not have gotten the North united behind Lincoln and war, and perhaps achieved their ends at the negotiation table.

              1. This is true for all but Texas, who required the right to secede as part of their entrance into the union.

                1. That may turn out to be very valuable sooner than later.

              2. “The process was of questionable legality , as the Constitution lays out no procedure for legal secession.”

                I tend to agree here, but come down on the side that accepts freedom of association.

                1. The slavers are the champions of free association in your book? Jesus, that’s twisted.

                  1. hey you’re the one celebrating forced association at gunpoint chief

                    mote/beam bitch

      2. Lincoln did not free any slaves.

        Lincoln enslaved everyone under a tyrannical, national government.

        Slavery is wrong. Two wrongs don’t make a right. Both sides were wrong in that war and today we are still paying the price for Lincoln’s tyranny.

      3. Defending slavery was very “American”. Got it.

        Pretty much, yeah actually.

      4. It’s fascinating that in your support of abolition through war that you fail to realize you’re treating people like property.

        When you drag people back at gunpoint into an association the excused themselves from, you are every bit as bad as the slavers.

        1. ^^This^^

          Lincoln enslaved everyone with that war.

          1. Except the actual slaves, whom he freed.

            1. so you admit he enslaved the south


      5. In the case of Lee it wasn’t defending slavery but defending his home state of Virginia. After Lincoln offered him the position of General in Chief he agonized over the decision, but finally decided he couldn’t take up arms against Virginia.

        Hence it was because he believed that the States, rather than the Federal Government, was the foundation of the Republic. Sound familiar? Anybody hear – not to even mention the Founding Fathers – possibly think the Federal Government was and is a threat to liberty?

        1. /\ thx

    2. “If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it.”

      This has been long forgotten. The Emancipation Proclamation was issued 18 months after the war had started, when the war was going poorly for the union, and Lincoln was facing political pressure.

      1. The emancipation proclamation was King George’s idea used against the colonies during the Revolution. Lincoln was just using the tyrants handbook for that one.

        Lincoln was the first American state terrorist responsible for the murder of thousands of unarmed civilians in Atlanta.

        The Lincoln memorial is the one that needs to go.

        Robert E. Lee was a better man by far.

  10. Those who say the statues preserve heritage should reconsider the heritage they want to preserve.

    Remember those words when the Progressives come to cancel you and put you up against the wall.

    The revolution always eats itself. The people you need to gain power are not the people you need to hold on to power and so the purges start.

    1. Orwell wrote a lot of great instruction manuals.

  11. I don’t really have a horse in this race. The confederacy lost and no longer exists, so these monuments are for no one. No confederate is alive today. But the monuments are history, and it’s a little akin to me to banning uncomfortable books from public libraries.

    1. Would Billy have written this article if it was about the statue of Lenin in Seattle being destroyed by a conservative activist? Would Billy have jumped to defend a Confederate statue if it was erected on private property? You know the answers.

    2. Are not the descendants of Confederates due reparations?
      I know people who should hold title to large chunks of what is now Charlotte, but an invading Army stole the land by force of arms.

    3. I feel similar about some of the religious monuments around the country.

      Yes, they probably shouldn’t have been put up. But when they’ve been up for longer than I’ve been alive without comment and without eroding the separation of church and state – let ’em stay.

  12. “Confederate Monuments Are Participation Trophies. Thankfully, Some Are Coming Down.”

    They also represent popular soldiers who fought the invasion of their country after its states legally seceded and formed their own union.

    Leave it to Binion to think it was an actual civil war over slavery

  13. Billy Binion

    You suck

    A Libertarian

  14. Let the public decide what is honored on public property. The public of 1920 decided one way and the public of 2020 can decide another way if they so choose.

    1. Don’t let the public decide at all. Let private individuals decide by paying for the erection of monuments with their own money on land they own.

      Government-sponsored monuments is basically letting the government write history – does anyone honestly think government choosing who and what gets remembered is a good idea? Show me such a person and I’ll show you a fascist.

  15. are you aware that they have also defaced the Lincoln memorial the man who freed the salves. I don’t think their hatred and violence has much to do with history but just plain old hatred and violence towards anything and that is why S. Africa is once again a shit hole.

    1. Just for the record: The emancipation proclamation freed zero slaves in the United States of America.

      It purported to free slaves in a different country, where the USA had no political power at the time. Sort of like if Obama had given all the women in the middle east the right to drive cars and go outdoors alone.

      1. Dude you are on a roll!!! 🙂

        1. A lot of history books about that period were written before 1960.

      2. #letourgirlsdrive

      3. Just for the record, the Thirteenth Amendment was passed in Congress under the lobbying of the Lincoln administration. Yes, the Emancipation Proclamation only freed slaves in areas coming under military jurisdiction, as that was all Lincoln thought he had the authority to do by executive order. The point you are making is one that does not see the forest for the trees.

        1. We can judge him by his deeds, no one cares what you think about what he thought he could do.

        2. Lincoln suspended the Constitution to create the Union by force. He relinquished power to the legislature after he had suppressed his political opponents through warfare.

          This allowed for several amendments to pass as it eliminated the possibility of state’s leaving the union peacefully instead of having the laws imposed upon them by force.

          That was the end of governance by consent, which led to the property tax.

          Space is time and time is money. The property tax means that some 30% to 50% of your adult life is owed to the government upon the event of your birth whether you like it or not.

          Lincoln and the 13th amendment freed no one. His war enslaved us all to a national socialist democracy.

  16. If Lee were alive today, he would take one look at Virginia, and tearfully tear down the statue himself.

  17. I really don’t understand the logic here. Slavery is a terrible stain on our history. So we are we busily removing the visible reminders of how terrible slavery is?

    We did fight a Civil War where 600,000+ men died.

    This is modern-day Kooky Kancel Kulturekampf.

    1. Protective tariffs are pancake makeup on “our” image?

  18. Just wait til Red Billy finds out how many Confederate statues the National Park Service has at Gettysburg and Manassas and Antietam National Battlefields.

    Of course I’m sure he would be quick to argue that they should stay because they represent history, not heritage, and that no one is suggesting they should be removed.

    However we saw over the weekend the World War II memorial defaced because, well I don’t rightly know, but since the US Army wasn’t integrated at the time it must be because it also represents a legacy of oppression.

    Articles like this remind me that Reason is staffed mostly by closet leftists who hate the DMV. Destroying monuments is what the Taliban did when they took over Afghanistan. Their ideological cousins here in America seek to do the same.

    1. Seriously, who doesn’t hate the DMV?? It’s the most often threatened public office in the US by some accounts. 🙂

      I don’t think we are importing Nazi ideology today. I think we exported it under Wilson to Germany. The National Socialists were our construct. Lincoln gave them power to suspend the Constitution and POTUS has been exploiting that to create Nazism here, ever since.

      Clinton was compromised by a honey trap. Bush was such a weenie, the FBI just ran rough shod over all of us while he hid under the bed. Our civilian authority over LEOs simply folded and let the deep state drive. Obama did the same.

      This has emboldened our enemies worldwide, but none so much as the lefties here in the USA who see all of us in gulags as a good thing.

  19. We should hold an auction and sell off the rights to all statues/monuments on public lands (besides battlefields, they should stand). Highest bidder can leave the statue intact for a period of 50 years (or whatever) or the blow it up for all I care. Let peoples money doing the talking.

  20. As a Texan I really don’t have a strong opinion one way or the other, as long as they don’t spend tax dollars taking them down and if they were paid for with tax dollars then the state should be reimbursed for the money spent. Same with army base names, no one would know who they are named after if some overly sensitive person did not look it up and then get offended by what they found, however sure be more like the Navy and just name them after the county or nearest town from where they are. Just don’t waste money on doing it.

  21. Lefties claim they want the statues torn down so people don’t get offended.

    Patriots want the statues to remain so people don’t have the luxury of forgetting.

    For better or worse, the reasons for that war (any war) should never be forgotten, nor should we allow for the monument to ever mean more than the reminder to be vigilant against tyranny.

  22. Yeah! Tear down all those statues, who needs to learn from the mistakes of the past. It will be fun to repeat all those mistakes again. Besides the statues being torn down by Democrats are just statues of Democrats, erected by Democrats to celebrate Democrats.

  23. So I guess we should tear up all our cemeteries in Europe from World War II. There should be no Holocaust Museum. Really?

  24. Seems a strange time to be pushing for this. But why not leave the Confederate statues alone and build more statues of civil rights leaders, or whomever these folks feel should be honored?

    This IS American history, and to my mind, damned close to desecrating war graves. There were good, honorable men in the South, and there were dishonorable, savage cretins, too. Same in the North, which was not exactly known for a great shared sentiment toward racial harmony then, and even now.

    FWIW, I was born an Illinois Yankee, though have lived in the Deep South for the last 30 years. Rightly or wrongly – and for a variety of reasons – many Southerners view this as a very personal attack on their heritage. What, exactly, does addressing the modern national police state have to do with Civil War memorials? The police state has no loyalty to antiquated notions of ‘North and South’ and I would argue the only color that ultimately matters is “blue” (no, not Union blue!) Focus on the current, pressing issues before dredging up ancient history and fretting over non-threatening marble statues. Why not work to win EVERYONE over in the far more pressing fight to hold the very real threat of the growing police state accountable? I guarantee you plenty of white men and women are intimately familiar with the excesses of the present police state, and it’s the height of stupidity to create adversaries out of potential allies.

    1. Obama once said ‘You didn’t build that’.

      Because for all his wealth and for all the wealth surrounding him, neither he nor anyone he ever, really, knew, ever built anything.

      Bernie bro’s don’t build. They wreck everything they touch. They blame everyone else for their problems so they never learn to accomplish anything. They quit. They destroy. But they never build.

  25. So winners get to write history, period? Doesn’t seem like a Libertarian position.

  26. There are two types of people in this world. The type who wants to be left alone and the type who won’t leave people alone. Guess which type has the most statues in their honor.

  27. My, my, my. Master Binion. What a shallow, smug, clueless article. And a mindreader, too, of people long dead.

  28. I see the editorial standards are as rigorous as ever here at Vox. This is Vox, right?

  29. I will certainly shed no tears over the removal of Confederate monuments. But the use of the term “participation trophies” in the headline is inapt. There is nothing wrong with honoring those who fought valiantly for a good cause, but lost. The point is, that’s not what these guys did.

    1. Pray tell what they were doing. Hey guys, let’s all go die for a bad reason.

      LIncoln could have left the confederacy leave and avoided a war. He chose not to. Slavery was on its way out across the world at the tie and would have collapsed under its own weight in 15 or 20 years. Some say it would have made for a more orderly end in that all of the other nations did do without a civil war. Bad blood poisoned the nation for a long time after and black people suffered the consequences

  30. The Confederacy was a facet of American history. Pulling down these monuments only serves to rob future generations of their heritage. And, by-the-by, the Civil War was fought over States rights to govern their own populations. Of course, slavery was an abomination but the wrong side won the war in 1865.

  31. We need to cleanse of the all national military parks of these cancers. We’ll start at Gettysburg and work south from there. Vicksburg, Chickamauga….. History is a poor reason to trigger people.

  32. Leftist vandals are too stupid to recognize that destruction of monuments and symbols magnifies the fame and prestige of the historical events they represent. They probably don’t know this because they never read much history. Regarding flags, many Confederate units served under battle flags that looked nothing like the red flag with the star-studded blue cross. Erasing it is much like burning books that contain material they don’t like. They must not object to those other flags. Destroying monuments that celebrate people they don’t like eventually will lead to changing city names, street names and even individuals’ names. It’s just stupid.

    Ever wonder why the Confederate battle flag has 13 stars on it, instead of 11 stars, one for each of the seceding states? History buffs know the Confederate battle flag is distinguished from the flag of the Confederacy because the latter resembled the original flag of the 13 colonies. Only later when Missouri was added to the Confederacy were the number of stars increased to 13 on the Flag of the Confederacy, also known as the Stars and Bars. On the other hand, the battle flag actually is a modified Saint Andrew’s Cross. The white area was changed to red because on calm days, the cross couldn’t be seen and it looked like the white flag of surrender. It was created so it would not be mistaken for the Union Flag in battle.

    That said, it’s clear the democrat party has found another place in America’s fabric to effectively stoke divisiveness. For example, a Dallas mayor pro tem led a campaign to spend $500,000 to remove a monument to Robert E. Lee from the very park named for him. But half a million was just for the horse and the general. These germs also want the colossal concrete base removed for another (ahem) monumental fee.

    Again, the band of morons not yet convicted voted in January 2019 to remove another monument, this one the oldest Civil War monument in the city and located in Pioneer Cemetery. Nobody knows yet how much that will cost. For both removals, Dallas Police Department will be required to provide 24-hour security, without regard to the city’s financial problems. Fact is, the police department is understaffed by a third and struggles with a bankrupt pension fund. Few citizens support this insanity.

    And who are these urban ignorami who believe they can undo the Civil War? One leader was ex-mayor of Dallas, Dwaine Caraway. He’s now serving seven years in prison for accepting $450,000 in bribes and kickbacks from two other criminals. They ruined an agency tasked with busing kids to school and helping them cross streets. Caraway pled guilty to two counts of federal corruption charges — tax evasion and wire fraud. Last I heard, he’s been an inmate of the Federal Bureau of Prisons for the past year but now is in the Dallas County jail for reasons that remain unclear.

  33. Can we take down any statues of Sherman who admitted he fought the war in terms that per his West Point Education would be called “war crimes?” I get taking down those that were in leadership or committed racial crimes during or after the war and are held up as heroes..but honoring the rank and file who died seems very appropriate. In France there are German cemeteries from WWI and WWII with statues commemorating the dead Germans. Given we lost over 800K men on both sides..I see nothing wrong with recognizing how their lives were cut short by stupid politicians.

  34. How objective! Not a word about the protective tariff that triggered the nullification crisis, or the second high tariff that triggered the Civil War AFTER Lincoln was already sworn in. That is what the facts show, and Jeff Davis declared. It’s like Reason has a stake in suppressing alternatives to the Communist Manifesto income tax.

  35. Here’s a novel idea: why don’t we take all the government monuments down and forbid the government from erecting monuments. Government should not be in the business of choosing who or what we remember.

    Motivated private individuals and organizations can erect whatever monuments they like, and let the marketplace of ideas sort it out.

  36. Lincoln was shot and killed by an abolitionist. If you don’t bother to understand why, then don’t ever comment about anything regarding the Civil War ever again.

  37. So what would you allow? Can wikipedia have history?

  38. 650,000 people die in a war in which the Federal Government and the Confederacy forcibly conscript the working classes to slaughter each other and you would tear down memorials to the dead on the grounds that they’re participation trophies?

  39. “The bulk of these Confederate memorials were erected between 1900-1930, long after the Civil War’s conclusion.”

    Hold on. I distinctly remember being assured that the “bulk” of these statues were erected in resistance to the civil rights movement of the 1960s. But let’s consider the argument that 35 to 65 years is “long after” a war’s conclusion and somehow renders a war Memorial illegitimate.

    World War II ended in 1945. The World War II Memorial was opened in 2004. By my count, that’s 59 years after the war ended. That means the World War II Memorial is also a participation trophy, correct?

    I am no defender of the confederacy. I just detest stupid arguments.

    1. Crazy to think that they would start putting up memorials as the veterans get older and start dying…….

  40. There is nothing wrong with removing the statues of traitors.

  41. Oh, I get it now, Mr. Binion! You are calling Confederate memorials “participation trophies” because Confederate soldiers failed to preserve the independence of the South!

    By that logic, the Vietnam Memorial is also a participation trophy, because those soldiers also failed to preserve the independence of the South.

  42. “Memorials inherently CELEBRATE a particular time and place.”

    No — they don’t. That is not what memorials do; it is not what they are intended to do. And the mistake made by such a flawed belief is fundamental.

    Memorials only memorialize. They allow and encourage us to remember. They do not ‘celebrate’ the past, rather they commemorate it. And many times they commemorate the hallowed dead who were a part of that Past, even if they died believing what a greater wisdom now tells us was wrong.

    Memorials stand as living reminders that we are, indeed, the sum of our history. Memorials allow us to learn; memorials teach us humility. Memorials allows us the possibility of learning that ‘There, but for the grace of God, go I’.

    Damnatio Memoriae, on the other hand, does none of that. Damnatio Memoriae condemns and eradicates history; it whites-it-out; it excises it; it removes it from the public space because — after all — we know better now.

    Damnatio Memoriae — the toppling of ‘cancelled’ statues of ‘cancelled’ people…the shattering of ‘wrong-thought’ stained glass….the sand-blasting of ‘wrong-named’ buildings that memorialize those we now currently condemn — all that is nothing fear personified. It is hatred. It is obsession matched by a totalitarian conviction that we all would be better off to inherit only a pristinely sterile — state approved — blank slate.

    But Damnatio Memoriae is wrong. It is absolutely and terribly wrong. And if we don’t stop it here it will never be stopped. The Bureau of Historical ReThinking will never cease. And every year the Newly Woke will issue a list of the newly cancelled. They will publish, regularly, this month’s collection of demolition targets. And just like ISIS….just like Stalin….just like Mao, our emergent Bureau of What is and Is Not Approved will eradicate our Past and reshape our selves.

    ““Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.” Orwell

    The Cancellers have learned that lesson well.

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  43. I was so critical of the Taliban when they were destroying ancient Buddhist statues in Afghanistan, and of ISIS when the were destroying pre-Islamic monuments, but maybe I was wrong-headed. After all, those artifacts represented belief systems that were different from and offensive to Islamic culture, so maybe it was good that they were destroyed so that the Muslims who lived there would no longer have to view them. Who cares what the people who created them thought, or what they represented to those previous generations – those people are dead, and they believed the wrong things anyway, so maybe they deserved to be erased, right?

    The author says that Confederate monuments are offensive to our current “woke” (my word, not his) culture and now they need to go. If that was good enough reasoning for the Taliban and ISIS, it ought to be a good enough for us, right? If we don’t like something about the past let’s just erase it, and remove its offensive symbols from our easily-offended gaze.

    George Orwell wrote that “Past events, it is argued, have no objective existence, but survive only in written records and in human memories. The past is whatever the records and the memories agree upon. And since the Party is in full control of all records and in equally full control of the minds of its members, it follows that the past is whatever the Party chooses to make it.”

    But that was fiction. The saying “the first battlefield is to rewrite history” is attributed to Karl Marx. Let’s take the Marxist route, and rewrite that history.

  44. All these confederate statues and flags and bumper stickers provide a public service in that they let people know who and where the racists are. I say leave them up.

  45. “Confederate Monuments Are Participation Trophies.”

    So is the Vietnam Memorial. When does it come down?

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