Confederate Statues

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Texarkana’s Confederate Monument Debate

Texarkana Confederate Monument from Wikipedia

Texarkana, USA: A unique Confederate Monument located in Texarkana, USA has now become the subject of a planned protest. On June 10, the Texarkana Gazette ran an article indicating that the Texarkana Area Women Veterans are planning a march on June 19 – Juneteenth Celebration Day in Texas. The march, according to the article, is to prompt conversation about taking the monument down and relocating it to some type of museum setting. Within a few hours, social media was running wild with comments to support keeping the monument and arguments for moving it.

The Texarkana monument is known as the “Confederate Mothers Monument” according to records in Texas and online. Although sites like Wikipedia and Waymarking claim the monument faces the U.S. Courthouse and the North, it does not. The monument and the soldier on top face the south. The original intention was for it to look toward the south and pay respect to the mothers who gave sons during the war. Some online have indicated that it was meant for both Union and Confederate mothers, but by all indications of the inscriptions, it was dedicated directly to the mothers and Confederate soldiers. The dedication was held on April 21, 1918, and the monument contains figures brought from Italy. According to most online sites, this is believed to be the only Confederate monument to include a woman in Texas.

The protest is planned for 8 Friday June 19th, however, counter-protesters were quick to note that they would be there in online posts on social media outlet Facebook. There have been informal polls on Facebook and at least one poll conducted by the Texarkana Gazette at this time. Most post and the informal poll seem to indicate the community is in support of leaving the monument at its current location. The monument is considered by most historians to be part of a movement known collectively as “The Cult of the Confederacy.” The movement was in full bloom from about the late 1880s through the 1950s. It could be argued that the fascination with the Confederacy that resulted in the “cult” or the strong following lasted more into the early 1990s with television shows like The Dukes of Hazzard and the sale of Rebel or Confederate Memorabilia. During this period, especially from the 1890s through the early part of the 1900s, it was not uncommon for statues and monuments to be built with donated funds. Donations were often collected and former Confederate soldiers and friends would come out for the monument’s dedication. Some of the former Confederates wrote letters of appreciation, and towns across the south and many towns in the north worked to have monuments constructed and dedicated. At one time there were believed to be over 800 monuments to the Confederacy. In many towns and for many groups such as the Sons of Confederate Veterans and the United Daughters of the Confederacy the monuments became ways to mourn those lost in the war, celebrate the sacrifices of those still living and honor the history.

While the supporters of leaving the monuments alone as part of history and heritage argue their point, there are equally passionate arguments on the side wishing to remove the monuments from the public eye. Many feel the monuments represent slavery, oppression, and white supremacy. Regardless of how the Civil War started, few can argue that by the end of the war, slavery had become a central focus. President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation has become one of the most cited and independent documents to support that by the end of the war, the focus had shifted almost exclusively to slavery. The Proclamation freed slaves in the states in rebellion. While the document did nothing to free slaves in the five slave states that remained in the Union, it has still become the cornerstone for the end of slavery. Slavery would officially end in the United States eight months after the Confederacy surrendered. The end of slavery in the south and eventually in the north in close proximity to the end of the Civil War promoted the frustration felt by many of the decedents of former slaves toward Confederate monuments and statues. No matter where you stand regarding the Confederate Monument in Texarkana, the one clear is, there are two sides going to converge in peaceful demonstrations on June 19th. One side is asking that the monument be moved to a museum type of setting. The other side is asking for it to stay on the land that was put in the trust for the monument. The United States is currently facing requests to remove statues and monuments by people wanting to take down Confederate Monuments, Revolution monuments, and others. The final fact is that while one side may fight for the removal of a monument or statue today, tomorrow that same group may find itself fighting to try to preserve one that is important to them. Continue Reading →

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Destroying History

From Facebook Post

George Orwell once predicted that “The most effective way to
destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their
history.”   It might be thought that Orwell
could see into the future with his book 1984 and other predictions he seemed to
make.  These predictions did not unfold
though in 1984, they are unfolding now. 
It appears that there are those in society, especially in positions of
authority with the government, set on denying and obliterating our
understanding of history.  These groups
first targeted schools, and then national monuments, but they met more resistance
with national monuments than they did with school.  Once they ran into that blocked doorway of resistance,
they opted for the next best thing…obliterate recent history that few people
will be overly concerned about. 
Obliterate first Confederate history and that will open the doorway for
a firm assault on U.S. History. Dallas has again jumped onboard with a desire to deny
history, and their target this time is a statue in a cemetery – yes, you read
that right, a cemetery where we bury our dead to remember them.   You
may remember that a year or two ago as Confederate Statue Hysteria rose, many
city governments said that the statues belonged in museums or in cemeteries.  Well, Dallas targeted first Lee Park and successfully
removed the statues there despite overwhelming opposition from the public.  With that step done, they are now moving to cemeteries
– “But Wait,” you say!  They said these
statues should be in the cemeteries, right? 
Well, you were told they would not put the statues in museums – remember
those in New Orleans?  They are still sitting
in a city yard.  The statues from Lee
Park?  Still in storage.  Now, they are targeting Pioneer Cemetery and
the Confederate Statue that will cost the people of Dallas over $400,000 to
remove.  You know there must be a need
for immediate and fast removal!  After
all this statue has stood on the same location since 1896 or 122 years.  Further, consider what was originally said
about these statues – they are in public view and should be in museums or cemeteries
to remain out of the general public view. 
At that time, many people warned that these governments would not stop
with the public view, but that they would also focus on cemeteries and deny the
statues a place in museums.  The same
people who warned of the cemetery assault also told us that attacks on the
founding fathers would be next. Now, you may not believe that these groups will target the
founding fathers, but consider this – the last Confederate veteran died in the
1950s.  Prior to that, the only honor
that he had for fighting in a war came from his friends, family, the Union
army, and the communities.  Since there
was no country, and they did not have veteran status at the time, the statues
were erected around the country to honor them. 
They were erected, as almost all documentation indicates, to promote
healing, unity, and to honor the people who lived through the Civil War on the
Confederacy side.  In the late 1950s,
Congress made all Confederate Veterans, American Veterans.  This now means that the government will place
cemetery markers for those veterans, and that they are just as honored as
veterans of the United States.   With the
consideration that the Confederate Veterans are American Veterans, then it is conceivable
to view statues in their honor no different than those honoring Vietnam, Korean,
World War I or World War II veterans and so on. 
However, over 100 years later none of the original daughters or sons of
those Confederate Veterans are alive. 
There are small groups of decedents around the United States who honor,
assemble, and remember as well as study the history.  But the core group who supported and erected these
statues are long gone.  Since they were
not “National” statues, they are generally not afforded the protections of a National
Park or a National Monument after the late 1950s.  The fact that they have a small direct defense
base with no federal backing makes them the easy target.   The
goal is simple -remove the Confederate statues from public places, including cemeteries,
lie about it if you have to – remember they wanted some of the statues moved to
cemeteries, but they have not, and they have not put them in museums either-  get them out of sight and then set the goal on
others such as founding fathers.  The
target will shift to national statues once these groups have forced the nation
to accept the removal of the Confederate statues.  Once people are complacent and have accepted
that the city government can and will simply remove statues at their own
desire, then when it comes time to target Washington, Jefferson, and others, it
will be easy.  We will have grown to
expect monuments and statues of and about our history to be taken down. 

Ultimately it does not matter whether you like the
Confederate Statues or not.  It really
doesn’t matter what your understanding of Confederate history is as far as that
goes as well.  The fact is, the
Confederate Statues are a part of our national history.  They were put up in the south, north, east
and west to honor and help healing.  No
matter what anyone tells you or dreams up about them being put up to harass or
cause fear in people, the actual history from the period does not support this –
Even if you believe the history does support that these statues were put up to
scare people, then you have to explain exactly who was being scared by a
Confederate Statue in Pioneer Cemetery? 
Did the Daughters of the Confederacy have some great master plan that
would scare away people by posting these statues in graveyards?  Was their target the ghost of other people?   It
simply not likely.  The fact is, the
period of time when these statues were put up is collectively known as the “Cult
of the Confederacy”.   It is a period of
healing, honor and remembrance.  In many
cases, it gave the only grave markers known for some soldiers who died in the
war.   It was a way to promote unity in the United
States and Presidents, Congressional members, and others all supported and even
attended the dedications for many of these monuments and statues. Continue Reading →

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The Outcome of Confederate Statue Hysteria

 

Dallas is now following other city councils as it prepares to remove a Confederate statue at taxpayer’s expense no matter what the taxpayers want. In bold moves, city and area councils, are deciding that it is in their best interest to ignore the public input, ignore local and national polls, and ignore the high cost of statue removals while pushing ahead with the removal of these statues and monuments. They are doing this regardless of what the taxpayers want or request, and they are promoting a form of hysteria, filled lies to meet their agenda. National and local polling has found that most people do not want the Confederate statues removed. African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Caucasian Americans, and many others have spoken up asking such questions as “Why move this statue after a hundred years?” or “The statue is harming nobody, why move it?” or “I’ve never thought about it before, it’s just always been there. Why move it now?” At last count, an NBC 5 poll in Dallas online showed 79% thought that the city should not be removing the statue of Robert E. Lee from Lee Park. 21% supported removing it. Obviously, if this poll was representative of a public vote, the statue would stay; however, the council voted to move the statue, put it in storage, and move it someplace else…..someday. Former Congressman and Conservative speaker Allen West noted on his site (allenbwest.com) that he attended the council meeting. He points out that the city has a failing pension plan for employees such as police and firefighters, but they still want to spend money removing a statue from 1936. He also rightfully points out that nobody has ever complained about these statues until the shooting at a church in Charleston, South Carolina. In a prior post, West stood in front of the statue and stated that as a black man he did not feel the least intimidated by the statue. Arlene Barnum, a descendent of an African American Confederate soldier, passionately plead on social media for the defense of the statue as she has for others. Several times she challenged those voting to “not use the color of her skin” as an excuse for removal. She was one of over 70 people who spoke in favor of keeping the Caddo Parrish Confederate Monument in Shreveport, Louisiana recently. At that time only about 10 people indicated it should be moved. Ultimately the committee assigned to review it recognized overwhelming support to keep the monument, recommended that it stay, and offered that additional monuments to Reconstruction and Civil Rights should be built as part of a compromise. The city council, much like the Dallas city council, seemed to refuse to listen and is pushing forward with a vote that will likely force the removal of the statue. The statue in Shreveport alone could cost taxpayers over a million dollars just to move it and store it, and that does not even count for all the legal battles in Louisiana that will surely be filed once they make the decision. A quick run through social media reveals hundreds of comments stating the statue should stay. It has been on-site for well over a hundred years and most people do not seem bothered by it. Dallas, like most other city councils, continues to state that the statues represent white supremacy, slavery, and oppression. Continue Reading →

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Letter Regarding the Monument Removals in New Orleans

The letter below was submitted by Leslie Quillen regarding the removal of the monuments in New Orleans:

“At 6:06 pm, CST, The death of the city of New Orleans was completed. All for a forked tongued politician with no social etiquette and no morals to be king of the hill. He blames the greatest military men in history of being racist, slave owning, and destroyers of the unity of the original America. He lies, cheats, and steals, and says the crime rate is due to four monuments that have been standing for over 100 years. He paid city workers to destroy monuments that are protected under Federal law. Continue Reading →

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