"I wonder, is it George Washington next week?"
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18-08-2017, 11:12 AM
RE: "I wonder, is it George Washington next week?"
(18-08-2017 10:52 AM)Grasshopper Wrote:  
(17-08-2017 09:33 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:  False equivalence. They didn't take up arms to defend the right to own another person; that was not the crux of the Revolutionary War. It was certainly the result, shamefully enshrined in our Constitution, but that was not at the base of their rebellion ...unlike the Confederates.

How many statues of George III did we have to pull down? That's right, none.

I think that erecting statues of traitors is stupid. I understand why those statues were put up. It was not to ennoble the indefensible ... it was to justify the inexcusable. If Jefferson et al had as the primary accomplishment in their lives the defense of slavery, you might have a point; but we honor them for deeper and more humane, righteous reasons, imperfect though those men were. If you'd like, I'll list those accomplishments for you and you can judge for yourself.

What was Jeff Davis's biggest accomplishment? What deeds would a statue of him memorialize? Are those actions worth honoring?

I understand that all men are flawed. I understand that we are all beholden to our times. But I also understand that our times change, and that honoring backwards views can be counterproductive. It puzzles me why atheists who labor under the social opprobrium imposed by a Bronze-Age religion, who scoff at the crucifixes of a representative of a maleficent god, should defend further symbols of oppression simply because they are more historically tangible. That historicity is all the more reason to withhold respect.

It's a false equivalence, yes, but I never said they were equivalent. Let me reconstruct the sequence. Someone (Dr. H) pointed out that all these people were slave owners. You responded that only one group took up arms against their country. My response was to that one statement only, pointing out that if Robert E. Lee was a "traitor", so was George Washington (and to a lesser degree, every man who signed the Declaration of Independence). George Washington was an officer in the British army, and he took up arms against the British. If that's not treason, I don't know what is. That's really the only point I was making.

Now, if you want to vilify Lee, Jackson, Davis, et al because they were fighting to preserve the institution of slavery, that's a different issue, and I will not try to contest that one (although even there, it's not as simple as it appears -- they were defending other things as well).

My main beef is that the accusations of treason make me quite uncomfortable, as that is a loaded term, and a relative term. George Washington was every bit as much a traitor as Robert E. Lee, and I don't think it's fair to call Washington a hero and Lee a villain on that basis alone. Whether or not you go down in history as a traitor depends entirely on whether or not your side won.
I don't see why it's not fair to say it. They were traitors to the English crown. They're not, not traitors and revolutionaries because they won, the context of from what nation involved makes it so. Just like that seaman that can be a pirate to the Spanish or captain hero to the English.

The Boston tea party members committed a terrorist like sabotage, the Boston massacre protestors were rousing on on a riot fashion tossing things, and The guys that sat around the green dragon tavern were conspirators. None of that is bad to a general basis.

These are the realities of these events, but I don't like the ideas that lend to thinking revolt and military resistance is a mainly negatively thing.

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"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
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18-08-2017, 11:29 AM
RE: "I wonder, is it George Washington next week?"
(18-08-2017 09:15 AM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:  
(18-08-2017 01:12 AM)morondog Wrote:  IIRC it was originally worded even more strongly but was toned down to avoid offending the slave-owning states. Interestingly enough the creators of the Rhodesian declaration of independence (a state founded on the principle of minority white rule) greatly admired the US constitution and plagiarised some chunks of it. Conveniently left out the "all men are created equal" line though.

That phrase is nowhere found in the US Constitution, which document infamously and explicitly assigns lesser value to black people for the purpose of Congressional representation of a slave state.

And it also makes clear that Southerners thought their slaves were at least 60% human.
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18-08-2017, 12:03 PM
RE: "I wonder, is it George Washington next week?"
(16-08-2017 03:22 PM)Dr H Wrote:  There are people -- I've met some -- who believe that the Confederacy was primarily a big test of the alleged Constitutional guarantee of states' rights, and that slavery was a subsidiary issue to that. To them those statues commemorate not a stubborn defense of slavery, but people bravely fighting for their right to self-determination in the face of an overwhelmingly obtrusive federal government's attempts to quash it. Even though, yes, some of them did own slaves.

Do you see the difference there?

Not so much. The fact is, the Civil War would never have happened if slavery was not the main issue. The documents that were drawn up in S. Carolina, and other states, specifically say it was about the slavery. It was an essential part of their economic life. Maintaining slavery (which at the time had been outlawed in some other countries) was out of step with the times.

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18-08-2017, 02:58 PM
RE: "I wonder, is it George Washington next week?"
(16-08-2017 01:45 PM)Dr H Wrote:  I'm with the prez on this one. Washington was a slave holder; we should take down his statues, too. Also those of Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and the other 20-30 Founding Fathers who signed a document declaring "all men are created equal" while keeping their fellow men in bondage.

Better still, let's stop putting up statues of dead people and use the money to support food banks and community clinics, eh?

Trump didn't mention Washington and Jefferson because he wants their statues taken down or because he wants the Lee and other Confederate statues taken down. He mentioned them because he was looking for arguments NOT to take them down. He was defending the White Supremacists! So no, I can't possibly agree with him on this. Furthermore, his comparison between people honored for fighting to uphold slavery with people honored for helping to win the Revolutionary War and helping to found and run our early government are ludicrous. I'm not excusing Washington and Jefferson for owning slaves, just finding that it's beside the point in the context in which they were brought up.

@DonaldTrump, Patriotism is not honoring your flag no matter what your country/leader does. It's doing whatever it takes to make your country the best it can be as long as its not violent.
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18-08-2017, 04:16 PM
RE: "I wonder, is it George Washington next week?"
(18-08-2017 10:52 AM)Grasshopper Wrote:  George Washington was every bit as much a traitor as Robert E. Lee, and I don't think it's fair to call Washington a hero and Lee a villain on that basis alone.

Well, it's a good thing I didn't say that, then. If Washington committed treason against America, you might have a point; but treason is nation-specific, as are honorary statues. Washington's treason, against the UK, was not by American law treason. Lee's however, was. He explicitly violated his oath of service, too.

Statues of people are erected to celebrate their life accomplishments. Fighting for American independance is a far sight from fighting for the states' right to permit slavery inside their borders.

(18-08-2017 10:52 AM)Grasshopper Wrote:  Whether or not you go down in history as a traitor depends entirely on whether or not your side won.

Whether or not you commit treason is a matter of objective law. The crime is well defined, and it was well-defined when Lee decided on his allegiance. Erecting statues in his honor is silly for that reason alone. When you add in that he chose such an odious cause over which to break faith and oath with his country, the case for honors such as statues becomes even weaker.
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18-08-2017, 04:20 PM
RE: "I wonder, is it George Washington next week?"
(18-08-2017 04:16 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:  
(18-08-2017 10:52 AM)Grasshopper Wrote:  George Washington was every bit as much a traitor as Robert E. Lee, and I don't think it's fair to call Washington a hero and Lee a villain on that basis alone.

Well, it's a good thing I didn't say that, then. If Washington committed treason against America, you might have a point; but treason is nation-specific, as are honorary statues. Washington's treason, against the UK, was not by American law treason. Lee's however, was. He explicitly violated his oath of service, too.

Statues of people are erected to celebrate their life accomplishments. Fighting for American independance is a far sight from fighting for the states' right to permit slavery inside their borders.

(18-08-2017 10:52 AM)Grasshopper Wrote:  Whether or not you go down in history as a traitor depends entirely on whether or not your side won.

Whether or not you commit treason is a matter of objective law. The crime is well defined, and it was well-defined when Lee decided on his allegiance. Erecting statues in his honor is silly for that reason alone. When you add in that he chose such an odious cause over which to break faith and oath with his country, the case for honors such as statues becomes even weaker.

OK. I think we'll just have to agree to disagree. I find Lee's decision to fight for the South rather than the North entirely understandable, and if put in his position, I might have done the same thing. It's a bit more complicated than "Slavery, yeah!" But I really don't want to fight about it.
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18-08-2017, 05:54 PM
RE: "I wonder, is it George Washington next week?"
(18-08-2017 04:20 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:  
(18-08-2017 04:16 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:  Well, it's a good thing I didn't say that, then. If Washington committed treason against America, you might have a point; but treason is nation-specific, as are honorary statues. Washington's treason, against the UK, was not by American law treason. Lee's however, was. He explicitly violated his oath of service, too.

Statues of people are erected to celebrate their life accomplishments. Fighting for American independance is a far sight from fighting for the states' right to permit slavery inside their borders.


Whether or not you commit treason is a matter of objective law. The crime is well defined, and it was well-defined when Lee decided on his allegiance. Erecting statues in his honor is silly for that reason alone. When you add in that he chose such an odious cause over which to break faith and oath with his country, the case for honors such as statues becomes even weaker.

OK. I think we'll just have to agree to disagree. I find Lee's decision to fight for the South rather than the North entirely understandable, and if put in his position, I might have done the same thing. It's a bit more complicated than "Slavery, yeah!" But I really don't want to fight about it.

Of course it was a bit more complicated than that. The thing is, one's oath is simple.

I understand loving one's homeland, but breaking faith is another thing altogether.
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18-08-2017, 07:33 PM
RE: "I wonder, is it George Washington next week?"
(17-08-2017 08:32 PM)ClydeLee Wrote:  So you don't think so? Not getting the point. A case of statues for Paul and Babe are right in there.
What is thought of when people build and see these statues?
And what about Jesus and religious iconography on public spaces or so large it's visible wide-ranging?
I don't get if you think I'm saying they make something true or real by putting mythological statues... they embody ideas and ideals the builders want people to see and think of.

Of course they do. As do the names of streets, towns, and buildings, as do murals, as do commercial products put on the market, and as do laws and regulations.

Some of these things make a big difference in how people are treated (laws), others not so much (statues).

Quote:Bunyan is that American folk hero showing the great American mam mythos.

Atlas can be seen many ways depending on a political/literary bent but could just be a simple toss to mythology in a on base view.

And the Christian shit is all about pushing the view to it being what it is. And their caring is clear in how made they get when someone says you need other religion messages equally there or satanic ones.
I notice you didn't comment on "Portlandia".

Quote:And the Confederate ones have the lasting showcase to people too. And it was a big deal for those people to relive their wanted past in the Era of Birth of a Nation and the kkks height when these statues were made, with some having notable histories of parades to erect the statues some being carried in by low class workers that happened to be black... and when I hear some like Trump proclaim removing a statue is easing history, I think the history of its creation as a statue is the only history lost. The generals and war aren't being harmed on that memory regard at all.

OK, so take down all the Confederate statues. No problem.

But also take down all the other statues of people who set up this nation from the beginning in such a way that the Confederacy was inevitable.

--
Dr H

"So, I became an anarchist, and all I got was this lousy T-shirt."
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18-08-2017, 07:45 PM
RE: "I wonder, is it George Washington next week?"
Next week ? Oh hell no .... he came back this week.



Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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18-08-2017, 07:55 PM
RE: "I wonder, is it George Washington next week?"
(17-08-2017 09:22 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  This is why we need better history books and more museums, because this is where people especially children will learn about this. Rather than passing a statue in a park or by a courthouse that's just always been there without giving thought to meaning behind it all.
Agreed.

Of course we still have Texas driving what's available in the way of textbooks...

Quote:All men are created equal, but in the time of Thomas Jefferson, I don't think he believed it. I think he believed some were endowed by a creator but not all. We have to accept that.
Oh, I've accepted it for a long time. Really, there is a cult around the "Founding Fathers" that amounts almost to religious fervor in some circles. And I don't just mean the loons who believe God dictated the Declaration of Independence and sat in on the Constitutional Convention. I see it among those who are willing to just ignore the fact that people like Washington and Jefferson not only did nothing to end slavery, but owned slaves themselves. Or worse, that gloss over their transgressions with the excuse that 'they really couldn't politically come out against slavery'.

It's funny how easy it is to see the "warts and all" of those we disagree with -- like Confederate soldiers -- while we are quite prepared to overlook them in those we set up as heroes because we do happen to agree with some of what they stood for.

But you're right: we need better history books. One reason for these cults is because pretty much all of us (in the US, at least) were taught a crappy, oddly skewed version of history. If you've done all the personal research on the Civil War you say you have-- and I've no reason to doubt you -- then you know this to be true. The same thing happened to me: I didn't learn any real history to speak of, until I stopped reading history textbooks and started looking at original sources.

Quote:Yet, today we have broadened his original intent to include the rights of all humanity -- men, women, children of all races can now celebrate those words. As our collective values change, we need to let go of old ideas and replace them with better ones.
Sure; no argument.

Quote:This is why we no longer hold people like Columbus to such an incredible high esteem.

And we've survived that. We can survive the south moving and taking down some monuments. The locations will always remain, the history about what happened at those people.

History is all around us, if we care enough to look at it and learn.

People working towards the "quick fix" aren't interested in history; they're only interested in the moment.

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Dr H

"So, I became an anarchist, and all I got was this lousy T-shirt."
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