Not being a white-supremacist, racist, slavery-apologist myself I'm finding it hard to understand why there's such a fuss over taking down a statue of a white-supremacist, racist, slavery apologist. The 'it's part of our history' argument doesn't wash with me, nor the Germans as I don't think there are any statues of Hitler in public places. Please do educate me...

Daniweb needs some fresh blood for these threads to go anywhere. As far as I can tell I was the only American commenting on the Trump thread. You need some Southerners and Conservatives to chime in. I'm neither. Thus I have zero cognitive dissonance in bashing Jefferson Davis and the Confederacy. None of my relatives fought for them. Any dog I have in this fight would be on the Northern Side, which was the winning side and the just side IMO. We certainly shouldn't be ADDING any more monuments and I think tearing down the existing ones could be a "Better late than never" gesture. At the same time, there are so many things named after Confederate Generals and Leaders that if we started taking them ALL down and renaming everything, well part of me wants to do it with huge fanfare at high noon, part of me wants to do it quietly in the middle of the night, and part of me wants to hope it will all die out if we ignore it. It's picking at an ugly scab.

Using the Germans in WW2 as an analogy doesn't work so well because the Germans were conquered and occupied and didn't have the ABILITY to erect statues or name streets "Hitler Blvd" even if they wanted to and they needed that Marshall Plan money. The South, on the other hand, was beaten, but not occupied nearly as successfully and certainly not rebuilt by the North, and they were allowed to surrender with honor and go home and tend their farms and keep their weapons as long as they promised to stop fighting the Union. There were no re-education camps and few humiliating loyalty oaths required. There was a lot of self-reflection among Southerners afterwards, but little of it was along the lines of "Jeez, what a stupid and revolting cause we fought for" like the Germans. Take away the Cold War realignment, the Occupation, and the Marshall Plan, and would the Germans have confronted their own history the way they did?

Thus the Southerners lost the war, but felt themselves the victims of Northerners who simply couldn't leave them alone to live life the way they wanted to live. If the Northerners had simply let them go, the war would not have occurred. In the Southern mind, they did absolutely everything they could to try to work it out peacefully with the bullheaded Northerners, who eventually left them absolutely no choice but to fight, just as the Colonists felt they did everything they could to work it out with the British prior to revolting.

That's the mindset, and it makes sense psychologically. Fighting for the freedom to live life as you see fit as long and letting others do the same seems noble, so why WOULDN'T you put up statues of those people if you thought that was what the war was about. And they did fight extremely well even though they lost. Few dispute that. Of course slavery sticks a monkey wrench into the "letting others do the same" part.

Non-racist Southerners see no conflict in defending the statues of racist Southern leaders because they feel it's no one's business but theirs. They don't tell the people in the Northern states who to honor, so why the hell are a bunch of New Yorkers and Californians with their liberal ways yet again lecturing God-fearing Southerners on morals? Mind your own business. A non-racist Southerner could rally around the Confederate Flag and want it to stay just because the Northerners are telling them to take it down.

Where slavery fits into all this in their minds is anyone's guess. My guess is that it's extremely inconvenient and painful to their narrative that they were the victims in that war, so they try not to think about it. Bring up slavery and they'll say it was wrong, very very wrong and a stain on the South and they're glad it's gone, but it's ancient history and we should all drop it. Why they don't also "drop" the statues as ancient history is something I don't understand, but again, not a Southerner so they were never my heroes in the first place.

What an excellent, well thought out, response. Thanks for that.

Given recent events in Charlottesville, I remembered this thread. Re-reading my comments from just three months ago, I feel the situation has changed dramatically since then. Loud, proud, and self-avowed White Supremacists have enthusiastically embraced the Lost Cause (capitalization intentional - it's a named movement). This leaves the folks wanting the statues to remain, but not wanting to be associated with Nazi/KKK types with a problem.

The most obvious and easiest solution would have been for the Keep-The-Statues folks would have been to draw a firm line between them and the self-avowed White Supremacists and condemn the latter.

President Trump's waffling on what should have been a slow lob across the middle of the plate that he should have knocked out of the park with ease (I mean how difficult is it to say that Nazis suck?) makes this solution much harder, with his talk of the "fine people" protesting for the statues WITHOUT making clear he wasn't talking about the Nazis/KKK. It's truly fascinating. I'll be interested to see if people are much more reticent about going to those rallies in the future.

No men or woman ever deserves to have a statue.
The statues that are, well let them be what they are: history.

I mean how difficult is it to say that Nazis suck?

Apparently it's a lot easier to say Rosie O'Donnell sucks than Nazis. Rosie is clearly the devil. As for the statues, Jefferson Davis stood in the way of progress. I can't quite say the same for Washington, Jefferson, etc.

IME a good portion of people are actually in self-denial about their own opinions/values.

If prompted they might say "slavery was wrong and a stain on Southern history".
But, I think in truth a good number of people actually believe is actually closer to: "the way some people treated their slaves was wrong but many treated them well and even educated them. So really was slavery that bad compared to living in ghettos & stuck with minimum wage jobs?"

I suspect it is the often silent final clause to the "stop whining about slavery, it is in the past, and it wasn't that bad anyway. ".

The most obvious and easiest solution would have been for the Keep-The-Statues folks would have been to draw a firm line between them and the self-avowed White Supremacists and condemn the latter.

This I think highlights the real fundamental problem with conservatism today (I mean conservatism as represented by conservative political parties & associated institutions not the philosophical concept). They have fully embraced "Realpolitik" and the idea of "the enemy of my enemy is my friend". This was done to bring them political/electoral success by bringing together a big voter base which really should be fundamentally opposed to each other. This can clearly be seen in the "Repeal and Replace Obamacare" fiasco.

This "Unite the Right" movement was very successful in bringing the "Right" into power through a string of electoral success. But the natural conclusion of this philosophy is what we are seeing now - the "Right" is incapable of fully and truly denoucing/distancing themselves from anyone who supports them for any reason. Whether is the MRA wackos who want the right to rape women, Neo-Nazis who blame everything on the Jews, or White Supremacists who want ethnic clensing of the USA. As long as they hate the Democrats they can be excused, and forgiven for political convience just like all the others before them.

PS Some of the more intelligent conservatives actually realize this and consciously accept their deal with the devil - i.e. embrace whomever so long as they help beat liberals - and flat out tell liberals to do the same if they really want to stop the "Right".

it is in the past, and it wasn't that bad anyway.

Always said by people on the lighter end of the spectrum.

I think it is in our DNA. People who were "tribal" oriented had a better chance of survival than those who were individuals. Republicans, moreso than Democrats are inclined to use the "us vs them" arguments to force people to take sides (and then defend that choice in the face of evidence to the contrary). It doesn't help that the media bends over backwards to be fair to both sides. Take Trump's statement that there were good people marching with the neo-nazis. Is that true? Do both sides deserve an equal voice just because they are taking opposite viewpoints. What if a group of pedophiles were marching? Is their viewpoint just as valid as those who are anti-pedophile?

Some of the more intelligent conservatives actually realize this and consciously accept their deal with the devil

IMO the person who holds down the rape victim for the rapist is as guilty as the rapist. Silence implies consent.

I have an acquaintance (I can no longer call her a friend) who supported Trump during the election because "Hillary would be so much worse". she considers herself a good Christian woman and somehow still manages to excuse all the shit that Trump has pulled since January.

Was the statue located in the same region in which a favorite town pasttime is to hold incredibly elaborate Civil War reenactments?

Or even more to the point, is the statue erected on a spot where it was a favourite pastime to lynch black people? Speaking of which, where are the statues commemorating the more than 4000 people who were lynched? Why put of statues of the people who fought to preserve that type of system?

HappyGeek didn't name the city, but I'm pretty sure he's talking about New Orleans. The timeline fits. Assuming so, I don't think there would be a battle to re-enact there. There's this...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Forts_Jackson_and_St._Philip

but I doubt there's much re-enacting that one.

Demographically, a ton of the statues are in cities which, while they may have once been full of Confederate sympathisers (New Orleans, Richmond, Atlanta), they aren't anymore. A political map shows them as small blue spots (Democratic / liberal) surrounded by a sea of red, so the MAYORS of those cities are going to get a lot of pressure to take the statues down by the consituency that put them in office. For statues on STATE property, that dynamic will be different.

Assuming so, I don't think there would be a battle to re-enact there. There's this...

Maybe they just get together over beer and po' boys and sing The Battle of New Orleans

Maybe they just get together over beer and po' boys and sing The Battle of New Orleans

Given how little some of the most rabid Confederate statue advocates know about history, yes, it's plausible that they might use that song to rile themselves up.