Wednesday, 20 June, 2018

Most Black Americans Don't Want Confederate Statues Removed

Most Black Americans Don't Want Confederate Statues Removed Most Black Americans Don't Want Confederate Statues Removed
Melinda Barton | 20 August, 2017, 23:27

As insane and jarring as that realization was, it was also not something that was abnormal at UVa. The complicated story of UVa, Charlottesville, Virginia, and the South is the story of America.

It was an already fierce debate that has now been amplified after white supremacists converged in Charlottesville, just an hour away, under the guise of protecting the Lee monument there. Neo-Nazis and white supremacists were literally up in arms because they felt-and feel-that all Confederate statues should stay. It's imperative that we remember our history, that we don't erase our complicated past, that we preserve and learn from it. This argument is pure bunk.

Historians told VOA the memorials are the result of an organized effort by some groups in the South, such as the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) and the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV), which set about revising the history of the Civil War, starting nearly immediately after hostilities ended.

Others have drawn comparisons between the USA having Confederate statues and the idea of Germany keeping statues of Hitler. It's illegal to fly the Nazi flag in Germany.

There are no monuments of Adolf Hitler in Germany, so why should equal tax-paying Americans be subjected to the celebration of Confederate statues in the communities in which they live?

Can they really tell black people who interpret it differently - who look at that statue, erected in the same period as "The Birth of a Nation" and the second Ku Klux Klan, and see a public display of contempt for their dignity and rights - that their reaction is absurd?

"I think it is very important that people begin to realize this type of moral evolution is part of what the Constitution guarantees, and so we will be exercising our rights to say we want to be treated equally under the law", he said.

Schubert suggested a forum, possibly organized by the Community Relations Commission, Museum of the Albemarle and Elizabeth City State University, could help people have a more informed discussion about the monument.

Which brings me to our current president.

"Thomas Jefferson, while he may have owned slaves, had nothing to do with the Civil War", Pittsburgh resident Ivan Shaw told CNN. Well, nice try, Trump, but that's nearly a bigger false equivalency than comparing Nazis to the anti-hate counter-protestors. Many of the Confederate officers also fought for our country in the Mexican War.

"What we're up against are sentiments of nostalgia versus actual history", said Christy Coleman, CEO of the American Civil War Museum in Richmond. He then goes on to repeat a lot of the talking points (read: incoherent babbling) he gave in his now-infamous "Both Sides" speech at Trump Tower, where he took questions from reporters against the advice of his aides and team.

'As regards the erection of such a monument as is contemplated, my conviction is, that however grateful it would be to the feelings of the South, the attempt in the present condition of the Country, would have the effect of retarding, instead of accelerating its accomplishment; [and] of continuing, if not adding to, the difficulties under which the Southern people labour, ' Lee wrote in 1866.

Schubert said the county needs a dialogue on the Confederate monument, and acknowledgment that it's offensive to African Americans. But I do know that we have to start with acknowledging and recognizing our truths. Were all soldiers who fought for the Confederacy racist? "But we will overcome this hatred". A good place to start?

TC: What was your initial reaction to the removal of the statue?