N.Y. Times Op-Ed on U.S. v. Cruikshank

"The Massacre That Emboldened White Supremacists"

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

William Briggs and 

The Colfax massacre was ghastly, and so was its aftermath. A young, white New York lawyer named J.R. Beckwith had recently been appointed U.S. attorney for Louisiana; he got the job of prosecuting the Colfax murders. Beckwith's 150 pages of indictments listed 32 counts and named 98 defendants. After six months, with no help from the federal government he represented, Beckwith had managed to arrest only seven of the defendants. The first trial, in March of 1874 in New Orleans, featured an eloquent and capable Beckwith doing battle against an all-star team of white-supremacist trial attorneys. It resulted in a hung jury.

In the retrial a few months later, a federal jury found just three defendants guilty of conspiring to violate the civil rights of the victims. A U.S. Supreme Court justice, Joseph P. Bradley, who opposed the abolition of slavery and despised Reconstruction, had participated in the first days of the retrial as a second judge while riding circuit, as justices did in those days, then departed. But three weeks after the trial was over, he came back to New Orleans and overturned even the minimal conspiracy verdicts. The split decision sent the case, U.S. v. Cruikshank, to the Supreme Court.

In March 1876, Bradley and his fellow Supreme Court justices decreed that he was correct in rescinding the convictions of William Cruikshank and the other white defendants, ruling that although the 14th Amendment gave the federal government authority to act against violations of civil rights by state governments, it did not apply to acts of racist violence by private citizens against other citizens. Furthermore, the court ludicrously declared, the prosecution failed to show that crimes against the murdered Black men were committed "on account of their race or color." All 98 defendants escaped accountability, emboldening white supremacists across the land.

I didn't realize that Colfax erected a monument in support of the lynchers:

As Americans debate the merit of tearing down monuments to founding fathers, a monument to the men who massacred Black Americans in Colfax 147 years ago stands unopposed and largely unnoticed. Two blocks off Main Street, a 12-foot marble obelisk is the focal point of the Colfax cemetery. An inscription carved into its base declares it was "erected to the memory of the heroes" who "fell in the Colfax Riot fighting for white supremacy." On the north side of the present-day courthouse, a historical marker reads, "On this site occurred the Colfax Riot in which three white men and 150 negroes were slain" and added that the episode "marked the end of carpetbag misrule in the South."

This monument should no longer stand.

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  1. “This monument should no longer stand”

    Pasty-white, doughy fascist. Eat shit.

    If this failed prosecution enabled white supremacy a 150 years ago, just think what all these Soros DAs and liberal judges are enabling today. The near reverse.

    1. I wouldn’t have put it that way, but I’m reminded of three things,
      First, in Boston today there is a marker for the purported “Boston Massacre.” Crispus Attics, a thug who essentially swung a baseball bat at the head of a policeman (a piece of cordwood at a soldier’s head), got what he deserved.

      History is messy, and you do NOT go into cemeteries and rip stuff down. It’s not just Orwellian but evil, you don’t mess with other people’s cemeteries. You just don’t do that.

      No, the solution for bad speech is more speech — you list the names of all the Black people who were murdered, and tell the other side of the story. I didn’t know that three White people had been murdered, and while I don’t want to get into conflicting body counts, they deserve mention too.

      Second, sanitizing history helps no one. I’d always assumed that Roger Taney hadn’t acted alone, so there would be other SCOTUS justices from the Dred Scott court still around, but the end of Reconstruction and how it ended isn’t much mentioned. We shouldn’t be allowed to forget it.

      Third, while the Bitchy Little Marxists are just getting going, if they aren’t stomped on, future historians will say that they were as bad as the Klan, if not worse. They already have a double-digit body count, well into double digits if you include all the police officers who were assassinated a few years back.

      And I’ll listen to the NYT speaking about morality and ethics when it apologizes for supporting Hitler and the Holocaust — and that was only 80 years ago…

      1. Even when Josh Blackman ends up being right, Dr. Ed still finds a way to be wrong….

      2. Your comment provokes any number of objections, but I will push them aside and ask but a single question.

        So, just when did the NYT support the Holocaust?

          1. Pete Novick of The Washington Post criticized her approach. “The tone of Leff’s account is one of unremitting outrage. When The Times fails to report any Holocaust-related event, she is outraged. If the paper reports on it, she’s outraged that the report isn’t on the front page. When a Holocaust story is on the front page, she complains that it isn’t high enough on the front page. When there is no editorial on some Holocaust-related subject, she is outraged, and if there is an editorial, she’s outraged that it isn’t the lead editorial. She is regularly outraged when either reportage or commentary, wherever placed, mentions not Jews alone but other victims as well. When one item made clear that a majority of those killed at a certain locale were Jews, she complains that this was noted ‘only once’ in the story. All of this is so over-the-top as to verge on self-parody.”

            1. Marc Levine makes a better case on how the NYT ignored the Holocaust.

              1. Yeah, there’s a guy free from empty outrage.

              2. Unless you have a citation, your slander with respect to Rep. Levine is reprehensible and would be withdrawn by a decent man. I found nothing to indicate what you assert about him.

                If you have a citation, I will apologize.

                This is one of the situations in which the Volokh Conspiracy’s longstanding practice of censoring only non-conservatives is especially regrettable.

                1. I thought he meant Mark Levin. The radio shoutey guy.

                  1. That was how I read it, and good description of him, too.

                    1. It appears I am not fluent in illiterate clinger. I plead education.

                    2. Right wing radio is one of my many vices.

          2. Yeah, no.

            You want to argue that the NYT gave the Holocaust poor coverage as it occurred? Sure, I will join your argument. You think the NYT should have been less skeptical of reports escaping Eastern Europe? Fair enough, I agree.

            But that is not at all the same as supporting the Holocaust. A few things to keep in mind. While European Jews were certainly brutalized and frequently slaughtered by the Nazis, the systematic mass murder of European Jewry did not begin until after the invasion of the Soviet Union. The first Death Camp began operation at the very end of 1941. In 1942, the NYT and other US papers first reported on the stories of mass murder. Unfortunately, many reporters, editors, and readers did not believe these stories — the idea that Germany would undertake such an horrific undertaking seemed absurd. Surprisingly, the Nazis neglected to inform the NYT with their genocidal intentions. By the end of the war, knowledge of the Holocaust began to spread began to receive more press attention. What was previously thought to be just rumor was proven fact.
            ______________________
            A question.

            We know far more about the Rohingya genocide today than we did the Jewish genocide in 1942. These events are uncommonly covered in the NYT and Washington Post. Sometimes, but far less frequently, Fox News will mention these unfortunate people. Do you think Fox News is guilty of supporting the Rohingya genocide by its inadequate coverage of this terrible crime?

            Even more disturbing, many Americans felt about the endangered Jews much the same as many Americans today regard the Myanmar government’s genocidal treatment of the Rohingya people. They were more concerned with their own issues than with the problems of some distant minority.

            1. The difference would be that Western Europe was far better covered than Myanmar.

              1. While the Nazis murdered Jews in most places they occupied, the major death camps were not located in Western Europe. They were in Poland. Likewise, the overwhelming majority of Jewish victims were Eastern European. Poland was home to about half of all Jewish Holocaust victims. Poland, Russia, the Baltic states, Greece — the Nazi death machine was horrifyingly efficient locating and murdering the innocent.

                To the best of my knowledge, the only Western European Jewish population to suffer as severely as those in the East were Dutch Jews. (I may be mistaken here.) Yes, an unspeakably high percentage of Western European Jews were rounded up, but they were typically “resettled” to Poland and murdered there.

                As for the idea that Myanmar is less well covered than was Western Europe? Likely true, but unlike 1942, I can easily google accounts of Rohingya genocide. Hell, it has its own Wiki page — No excuse for those guys over at Fox to miss it.

                You cited a book condemning poor coverage of the Holocaust by the NYT as evidence the paper supported Hitler and the Holocaust. By the same measure, does poor coverage of the Rohingya genocide by Fox News offer proof that Fox News supports Rohingya genocide?

              2. Is there a way to unflag a comment if you’ve accidentally flagged it?

                1. No, but I don’t think the flagging actually does anything either.

            2. “the idea that Germany would undertake such an horrific undertaking seemed absurd.”

              It shouldn’t have been.

              1: They’d passed the Nuremberg Racial Purity Laws in 1935.

              2: Shortly after that, they started the Aktion T-4 euthanasia program for the physically & mentally disabled. When that really got going on a mass scale, circa 1939-40 with gas chambers and the rest at places like Hadamar, they murdered somewhere between 200,000 and 900,000 — in addition to the individual killings earlier.

              3: They were openly honoring American Eugenics — people like Margaret Sanger (of Planned Parenthood) and ” [o]ne of Sanger’s colleagues, the California progressive Paul Popenoe, called for “lethal chambers” so that large numbers of “unfit” people could be systematically lined up and killed.”*

              So people shouldn’t have been surprised…

              *https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2017/09/01/exclusive-dsouza-the-hitler-sanger-connection/

              1. Now Hadamar was in Germany, and there were protests about it.

                IMHO, that’s why they put the later death camps in Poland.

                And what’s not mentioned is that boxcars (and rail capacity) used to transport people to these camps weren’t available to haul badly needed supplies further east to the troops fighting in Russia. (Including winter clothing.) That probably cost them the war….

                1. Hadamar was part of the Nazi euthanasia network. It was indeed a murderous place, but it was not part of the Death Camp system established to murder Europe’s Jews. It’s purpose was to quietly depose of the ill and disabled, not to commit genocide. The number of murders occurring there paled in comparison with those at the Death Camps.

                  (In a very real sense of the word, all these Camps were “death camps.” Concentration Camps, Labor Camps, whatever, all were ghastly death camps. But the Death Camps in Poland went far beyond these lesser Hells.)

                  Murder for purposes of euthanasia or for genocidal motives are equally criminal, but two different crimes with different motives.

                  You yourself suggest that one reason for constructing the Death Camps in Poland was to limit exposure. Perhaps keeping the knowledge away from the NYT even?

                  As you suggest, the German government diverted all that much need-needed resources to murdering Jews as to hamper their war aims. Just one of so many, many German errors. I personally think that Germany would have eventually been crushed by the combination of Soviet manpower and American industrial power, but who knows? A question for the historians I guess.

              2. 1. The Nuremberg laws deprived German Jews of citizenship, civil rights, and freedom to marry outside their religion. It did not call for genocide.

                You were earlier defending a monument erected to men who murdered black Americans for the crime of asserting their citizenship. In fact, you described three men who died in the attempt slaughter black Americans as murder victims.

                See the similarities between the Southern Redeemers and the SS now?

                As for the Nuremberg Laws making illegal marriage between Jews and non-Jews? Keep in mind that black and white Americans could not marry across most of the Old Confederacy until 1967. Richard and Mildred Loving were forced to choose between prison or leaving Virginia after wedding nearly a decade earlier, and could return without risk of imprisonment only after the SCOTUS ruled miscegenation laws unconstitutional.

                Yet the US never secretly tried to gas and shoot and starve the entirety of African-Americans to death.

                2. Again, the Nazis did not provide the NYT with details of its euthanasia programs. Even 50 years after the war, we were discovering deals about these murders. We still do not even have a definitive total number of victims. Not, in many cases, do we even know if specific individuals number among the victims. Even you give an absurdly huge range of potential victims, estimating between 200,000 and 900,000 thousand. (The most estimates suggest a total of about 300,000.) So you might give the NYT a small break for know less about Nazi euthanasia programs in 1940 than we do some 80 years later.

                3. Popenoe a progressive? Humm. Perhaps, but I would have to see some citations to accept this,

                Just curious, but can you list some major conservative political figures of that era who did NOT embrace eugenics? I very often see conservatives believing that that pernicious beliefs were unique to progressives. After all, the majority of politicians and policy makers across the political spectrum accepted eugenics as fact.

                1. That was not a left versus right era — it was a Progressive versus Populist era. Populists didn’t accept Eugenics.

                  And we didn’t bulldoze Auschwitz, did we?

                  1. 1. OK, you do realize many populists were progressives? The progressive movement giving its name to the Progressive Era was in large part a populist movement.

                    Again, can you give me a list of leading non-progressive American political leaders of that time who did not believe in Eugenics?

                    2. “Bulldoze Auschwitz?” Not sure what point you are trying to make here. Explain, please.

                  2. The Death Camps were not monuments to the Nazis. They were evidence of unspeakable crimes and intolerance, and warnings to future generations. It was the retreating Germans who tried to destroy evidence of the Death Camps, not the Allies.

                    By the way, you might have been horrified by US army actions in occupied Germany following the war. Remember the Nuremberg Zeppelinfeld? Perhaps the most holy place in all Nazi mythology? The place where those Nazi Race Laws were communicated to the German people? Here you can see the US Army’s thoughts. You can skip to about 45 seconds to bypass the wait if you want.

                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTodK24KG6E

                    Germany was littered with monuments to Nazi dreams and criminals. Just as statues of Lenin and Stalin dotted the landscape of Eastern Europe at one time. And what of statues to Saddam Hussein in Iraq?

      3. ” I didn’t know that three White people had been murdered.”

        Those three white people were hardly murdered. They were part of a lawless mob. They died while attempting to lynch black citizens. Comparing them to the victims of that atrocity is akin to comparing SS men to Holocaust victims.

        1. The SS were many things — an undisciplined mob was not one of them.

          1. Which is not relevant to the victim-blaming comparison AuBricker was making.

            1. Some people say the same thing about Heather Heyer.

              1. Some people succumb to the Fox News Effect.

                1. Others realize that if she hadn’t been ILLEGALLY blocking traffic, she wouldn’t be dead. Don’t play in traffic and you won’t get hurt.

                  1. Save the Zygotes, summarily execute the jaywalkers.

                    1. She wasn’t jaywalking. For her to land where she did, she had to be almost touching the vehicle before impact.

                    2. Here is where we are. There’s a nontrivial segment on the right that’s gone truther on on every death with political valence.

                      Floyd. Heyer. The two shooting in Wisconsin. Sandy Hook. Nothing is truly evidence, if you look closely with a sufficiently outcome-oriented eye.

                      Interestingly, the truthers tend to be the type who also advocate/warn of a right-wing uprising coming any day now.

                      The revolution will be disavowed as a false flag.

                    3. “There’s a nontrivial segment on the right that’s gone truther on on every death with political valence.”

                      Interesting to bring this up right when there’s other threads about the NYT publishing the “truther” version of the Giffords shooting.

                    4. The Kenosha Kid acted in self-defense.

                      I’ve watched the videos several times. It’s obvious to anyone who isn’t a Democrat, Democrat DA, or Democrat judge.

                    5. TiP – nice whattaboutism. Also, reifying a tendentious inspirational connection is not the same as fully rewriting reality.

                      Sam, great example of how ideology looks like faith, right down to the revelatory truth that cannot be denied.

                    6. The Volokh Conspiracy has become Official “Legal” Blog of murder-loving right-wing bigots.

                      Does the UCLA law dean keep a stack of preprinted apology letters?

                  2. I didn’t think that you could prove yourself to be a bigger piece of shit than previously demonstrated.

                    I admit that I was wrong. Be very thankful for the anonymity the internet provides you.

                    1. Facts are pesky things, Jason.
                      They don’t always fit the desired narrative.

                      The flip side of this is also true — remember the 1989 gun explosion on the USS Iowa that the USN tried to pin on a gay sailor?
                      Facts were pesky things then, too.

                    2. Facts are pesky things

                      Yes, that certainly seems to be your mantra.

      4. Statues, Ed, are not history. They are myth-making.

        1. ^This. Villains and traitors should not have monuments in places of honor.

          The historical marker should go.

          That said, if the cemetery where the obelisk is private property and government funds weren’t used to erect it, the government has no grounds to demand it’s removal.

          1. The solution to bad speech is more speech.

            1. Your simplistic view would clutter the world with dialogue.

              Statues are not merely as speech is. There is a component of presence inherent in what they are saying.

              Speech is generally by nature ephemeral. Even writing may be revisited, but is not everpresent as is sculpture.

              Therefore, while statues are indeed expression, to blithely treat them as one would other methods of expression is not to really consider what they are and how they express what they do.

              1. Maybe there are two sides to the story, even today.
                The problem with Reconstruction is that it disenfranchised the majority of the population. That was wrong too.

                1. Again. Statues are very much not a story.

                  Stories are speech or writing.

                  That is not to say that statues are not speech, only that your jumping to call them a story is a telling failure of understanding.

                  The problem with Reconstruction is that it disenfranchised the majority of the population
                  Jesus, Ed. That wasn’t caused by Reconstruction.

            2. “More speech” as a solution to monuments to villains and traitors would require erecting a monument to every individual person who ever lived. Do you actually imagine that such a thing is possible?

              There is finite public space available for the erection of monuments. This means we must some how pick who should and who should not get monuments. Villains and traitors are an easy should not.

      5. The summary doesn’t allege that the book concluded that the New York Times “support[ed] Hitler and the Holocaust”.

  2. ” ruling that although the 14th Amendment gave the federal government authority to act against violations of civil rights by state governments, it did not apply to acts of racist violence by private citizens against other citizens. ”

    “No State shall… nor shall any State

    Even Taney was capable of being right about something. Racial violence by private citizens was covered by the equal protection clause, which obligates state action, not federal. The only federal role here was compelling the state action, or punishing its absence. Not taking the state’s place.

    1. Are you against incoporation?

      1. No, but I’m in favor of honestly reading amendments. The 14th amendment, by it’s explicit language, binds states, not individual citizens. Citizens who are not state actors are utterly incapable of violating it. The only amendment that private citizens can violate is the 13th, because it doesn’t restrict it’s application to government.

        And what does the 14th amendment require of the states? That states provide equal protection of the law to all citizens. That STATES provide it.

        The 14th amendment was not a grant of general police power to the federal government. It was a requirement, enforceable by the federal government, that the STATES behave in certain ways. If they fail to do so, the federal government can compel or punish the states; The 14th amendment doesn’t provide for federal action against private citizens.

        1. Brett, start with Marsh v. Alabama and Terry v. Adams. Then read Shelley v. Kramer and N.Y. Times v. Sullivan. And Burton v. Wilmington Parking Authority, Evans v. Newton, and Evans v. Abney.

          Come back and tell us how the state action rule is a bright line.

        2. The fourteenth amendment does say that “Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of” the amendment. Criminalizing a conspiracy to deprive citizens of their constitutional rights seems like a perfectly “appropriate” way to enforce the equal protection and privileges or immunities clauses to me. And the Cruikshank court didn’t question that: rather, the holding was based on the court’s conclusion (which I find highly dubious) that the rights in question—such as the right to peaceably assemble or to bear arms—aren’t constitutional rights at all.

          1. Right, and the provisions of that amendment, expressly, apply to states. Criminalizing a conspiracy to deprive citizens of their constitutional rights does seem like a perfectly appropriate way to enforce equal protection, and the states should certainly to that, or be sanctioned by the federal government if they don’t.

    2. Sanctuary!

    3. You don’t think state inaction counts? If the state doesn’t protect persons within its jurisdiction from racially motivated violence, how is the state not violating those people’s civil rights???

    4. What does Taney have to do with any of this? He died four years before the fourteenth amendment was ratified.

      1. Dred Scott was a 7-2 decision, 1+6=7
        QED there had to be six more.

        1. Okay? What does that have to do with anything that’s being discussed here?

          1. “A U.S. Supreme Court justice, Joseph P. Bradley, who opposed the abolition of slavery and despised Reconstruction, had participated in the first days of the retrial as a second judge while riding circuit, as justices did in those days, then departed.”

            I knew Taney had died — I’d just never thought about the other six…

            Instead of impeaching Johnson, they ought to have impeached THEM…

  3. Strangely, the NYT article’s description of the trial makes no mention of which of the victims’ civil rights the mob was accused of violating.

    1. The right to equal protection of the laws? That seems so obvious as to be unnecessary to mention.

      1. That does not appear to be a theory advanced by the prosecution.

    2. The indictment charged eight counts of “banding” to deprive the victims of their rights, and eight counts of conspiring to do so. As described in the opinion, the eight counts alleged an effort to:

      1. Interfere with the victims’ ‘lawful right and privilege to peaceably assemble together with each other and with other citizens of the United States for a peaceful and lawful purpose.

      2. Interfere with their right of ‘bearing arms for a lawful purpose.’

      3. Deprive them ‘of their respective several lives and liberty of person without due process of law.’

      4. Deprive them of ‘the free exercise and enjoyment of their several right and privilege to the full and equal benefit of all laws and proceedings, then and there, before that time, enacted or ordained by the said State of Louisiana and by the United States; and then and there, at that time, being in force in the said State and District of Louisiana aforesaid, for the security of their respective persons and property, then and there, at that time enjoyed at and within said State and District of Louisiana by white persons, being citizens of said State of Louisiana and the United States, for the protection of the persons and property of said white citizens.’

      5. ‘to hinder and prevent the parties in their respective free exercise and enjoyment of the rights, privileges, immunities, and protection granted and secured to them respectively as citizens of the United States, and as citizens of said State of Louisiana,’ ‘for the reason that they, . . . being then and there citizens of said State and of the United States, were persons of African descent and race, and persons of color, and not white citizens thereof;’ and in the eighth and sixteenth, to hinder and prevent them ‘in their several and respective free exercise and enjoyment of every, each, all, and singular the several rights and privileges granted and secured to them by the constitution and laws of the United States.’

      6. Deprive them ‘in the free exercise and enjoyment of their several and respective right and privilege to vote at any election to be thereafter by law had and held by the people in and of the said State of Louisiana, or by the people of and in the parish of Grant aforesaid.’

      7. Put them in fear for having voted ‘at an election before that time had and held according to law by the people of the said State of Louisiana, in said State, to wit, on the fourth day of November, A.D. 1872, and at divers other elections by the people of the State, also before that time had and held according to law.’

      8. To interfere ‘in their several and respective free exercise and enjoyment of every, each, all, and singular the several rights and privileges granted and secured to them by the constitution and laws of the United States.’

  4. NYT and WAPO love to roll out articles about racist stuff that happened a century or more ago, to conflate it with Trump and rile up their base.

    1. And the ultimate irony is that it was White Democrats contesting an 1872 election that the Republicans had won.

    2. I wonder why that works so well…

  5. Led by Gompers and Dr Ed, the VC commentariat sinks to a new low.

    1. I think that cemeteries — ALL cemeteries — should be left alone.

      You disagree?

      1. We’re not talking about cemeteries. To my knowledge no one is advocating disinterring the bones of confederates. Rather, these are monuments and statues we’re talking about, most of which were specifically erected to honor them for their racism.

        1. “… a 12-foot marble obelisk is the focal point of the Colfax cemetery…”[emphasis added]

    2. I bet you were in that crowd screaming at those women and children demanding they raise their fist.

      When I go low, you go high, right? Right? Michael Obama says thats what you do.

      1. You as usual are simplistic and reactionary, but this is actually an interesting issue. I’ll try to remember to bring this up at the next open thread.

    3. This is not a new low. It is the predictable, intended, standard circumstance. This group of followers has been carefully cultivated and lathered by the Conspirators.

      1. I hope the Conspirators also rinsed them off.

        1. The Volokh Conspiracy only scrubs comments from non-conservatives.

          1. Grow up, Kirkland…

  6. They left out one pretty important detail. Democrats as recently as ten years ago have invoked the manifestly racist decision in Cruikshank to rationalize gun control.

    1. There is a dumb purity movement on the fringe left, and the right started ironically using it to highlight it’s silliness, but have more or less become the mask.

      You see this with Sanger and abortion. Sanger was a eugenicist, therefore all abortion is impure and racist.
      FDR interred the Japanese. Therefore the New Deal is corrupt.
      Hell, they try it with MLK’s philandering once in a while.

      Racist motives do not change the way our legal system works. Something is good law and part of the legal cannon until it isn’t. Good lawyers also used Korematsu until it was explicetly overruled.

      It is important to understand our history, and it’s not irrelevant to considering ways forwards. But it does not short-circuit our legal system.

  7. Tear it down by mob rule? No, leave it to memorialize the tragedy that occurred then; blacks were murdered, white mobs did the murdering, and the legal weight of the government then shielded the perpetrators from justice.

    Tear it down by mob rule and you continue to legitimize mob rule. In the face of illegal and violent force the local populous looses support for black rights.
    Rather, leave it as a stain on the local community, until shame and disgust eventually reaches the point that the local whites wish it removed. Then only will it’s removal have real meaning.

    1. Who said anything about mob rule?

  8. This monument should no longer stand.
    —————————
    There are multiple monuments to “white supremacy” in New Orleans.
    You don’t remove them, or tear them down, or hide them in a museum, because if you do that, you besmirch the history of amazing people like Leah Chase.

    Leah Chase was born in New Orleans in 1923, she literally grew up under the shadow of those monuments. They cast a pall over her ability to rise to the highest levels of respect and acceptance in society, yet rise she did. There is unlikely to be a person more beloved and respected in New Orleans than Leah Chase, and her impact on the culinary World is as vast as anyone.

    She was born at the bottom of a vast mountain, and her climb to the top of that mountain was long, arduous and fraught with danger, by advocating removal of obstacles that she had to surmount you diminish what she had accomplished. The fact that those monuments stood in her way is an important part of her life, that she managed, despite all odds, to become a shinning light that dispel the shadows of those monuments is a testimony to her strength and spirit.

    We don’t tear down those monuments and thus part of the history of accomplishment of Black people in New Orleans, we build new monuments to people like Leah Chase so that people in the future understand, not just what she accomplished, but how difficult was her path.

    Last year New Orleans, Louisiana, the United States and the World lost a truly outstanding and remarkable person. Don’t tear down the obstacles that she rode over, otherwise her legacy is tarnished.

    1. So you’re a racist. Got it.

      1. “racism”(TM)

      2. The retort of the small minded and silly is always to cast someone as racist, so noted.

        While you take a stand that actually tries to whitewash racism away.

        What exactly does destroying monuments accomplish, that is any different than the destruction of the Buddhas of Bamyan?

        That you don’t want to see them, just as the Taliban didn’t want to see the Buddhas?

        You sound like Mohammed Omar, “Muslims should be proud of smashing idols. It has given praise to Allah that we have destroyed them”
        Just slight rewording, “Progressives should be proud of smashing idols. We deserve praise for we have destroyed them”

        1. Removing a statue that celebrates racism is not whitewashing anything. Astoundingly, we can take the monument down and write about why it was erected, and subsequently removed, in history books.

          You are a racist if you want to keep things which idolize racism.

          Nobody but your fellow racists believes your pathetic excuse as to why you think it should stay, and nobody eulogizes anyone’s life by focusing on overcoming the oppression of a statue as their defining life accomplishment.

          It’s a racist excuse offered up by a racist to continue honoring their racism while pretending they are not in fact a racist.

        2. Furthermore, if overcoming that statue was such an important thing to note, then maybe the fucking thing should come down so others don’t have to live with such oppression.

          Racists don’t think about that – they just write posts such as yours.

    2. Frederick Douglass achieved success despite being born a slave. Did we besmirch his history or tarnish his legacy by abolishing slavery?

      1. Yes, we do besmirch his success if we pretend that slavery didn’t exist.

        By destroying monuments, we destroy the history of racism, and hide it from public view, and in doing so, we destroy the history of accomplishment for those who were so instrumental in the overcoming and making that racism something disgusting.

        As I wrote, build monuments to those who were triumphant in the face of pure unadulterated racism. Don’t try and pretend that such racism did not exist by destroying the monuments built, or hide them away as if those subject to its oppression could avoid the racism.

        1. I don’t think we keep our history in our statues.

    3. “she literally grew up under the shadow of those monuments. They cast a pall over her ability to rise to the highest levels of respect and acceptance in society, ”

      I’m pretty sure each statue cast a fairly small shadow, maybe she should have walked a few feet to get out from under it?

      Yeah, I know, you mean a metaphorical shadow. I’m mocking that, those statues just sat there doing precisely nothing to interfere with her ability rise. Literally nothing. If they had a harmful impact in her mind, that’s something she was doing to herself.

  9. Can’t wait until we get to use moral relativism to decide what comes down when that political pendulum swings that other way. Gonna be fun.

    1. Looks like y’all are already there when it comes to shooting the other side.

      1. Shooting, no.

        Crying tears over — after 50 years of oppression, I’m not sure I have any left.

    2. I don’t think “moral relativism” is required to think that murdering black people is bad, or at least not something to be celebrated.

      1. The murderers were Democrats and the victims were Republicans, if that makes it any easier for you.

        1. Yeah, maybe the statues need some context, a plaque listing the actual victims, and pointing exactly that out.

          1. I took part of Noscitur’s point to be that such facts would not be relevant to any but the terminally. reflexively partisan.

            1. They’re relevant enough to partisan Democrats that they purely hate having it pointed out.

              1. Maybe.

                They certainly seem relevant to you.

  10. The Colfax High School yearbook was called The Riot. The high school is gone. The students now go to high school in Dry Prong.

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