Gastonia, NC Correspondent- The removal of the Civil War monuments in New Orleans has been the cause of much brouhaha over the last few weeks, and the city administration hasn’t done itself any favors with the cloak-and-dagger way it’s taken on the job. Anything that a government chooses to undertake under cover of darkness rather than in the light of day automatically garners a patina of suspicion and intrigue that it would not normally qualify for.
In this case, of course, the actions taken would cause uproar even if they happened at high noon on a clear day. New Orleans is one of the beating hearts of the Deep South, where a significant portion of residents still refer to the conflict as the “War of Northern Aggression.” Oddly enough, these sentiments aren’t always enmeshed with racial hatred and intolerance. Just as the French can be proud of their revolutionary heritage but shudder at the thought of Madame Guillotine, so do some “Southern patriots” cleave to the Stars and Bars and still love their fellow man regardless of color.
That said, the only puzzle to me about the removal of the Confederate monuments is why it took so long to happen. Usually, when one side wins a war it glories in removing all traces of the opposition’s idols. But therein lies a truth about the nature of our Republic: Even after a civil war that claimed thousands upon thousands of lives, we are all still Americans, and accord each other due respect. That said, I believe the respect has gone on long enough, and the public paeans to a lost cause should be mothballed. None of them were terribly great works of art, and their presence was a divisive force in a community that’s quite frankly already got enough problems. Perhaps statues of Bacchus and Dionysus might be more appropriate?
Prescott Valley, AZ Correspondent-This kind of critical circumventing of history concerning New Orleans and other cities should have never been allowed to happen, and the citizens of New Orleans and other places were certainly not all for it. The mayor and city council members of New Orleans and other liberals throughout the country have wrought their liberal leanings and have literally turned a city upside down historically on their own without consideration of the city as a whole.
The rewriting and whitewashing of the Civil War and the circumstances surrounding it have been altered because of a refusal to accept the truth of the Civil War. Instead of looking at all the facts and complications surrounding the Civil War, such as the fight for states’ rights and the states’ attempts to prevent the federal government from holding on to specific territories, the city leaders have chosen to use slavery as their main issue in destroying historical monuments within the city.
In their attempts to erase the remnants of those who sacrificed their lives, brother against brother, New Orleans civil leaders have ignored historical events to satisfy their own political agendas and have taken on slavery as their main cause for removing monuments. Liberal New Orleans city fathers want to use slavery as an excuse to politicize and polarize the city and its history and want it to appear to have done it in the name of inclusion, diversity and peace. This kind of removal has no place in a free nation, and the total abolishment of the war, its leaders, historical actions and battles, and their effects on New Orleans have established a dangerous precedent.
The citizens of New Orleans should have had a voice in this decision and apparently they did through poll after poll, which revealed that they did not sanction the removal of statues and monuments. Protests came as well from historical preservation and Confederate groups but went unheard, and the city plunged ahead with its plans to purge and sanitize the history of New Orleans and its connections to the Civil War.
None of this kind of liberally motivated trouble is going to change the way people feel about the Civil War and those who fought on the side of the Confederacy, which included black men (free and slave) as well as Indian tribes and foreign soldiers. Ignoring and defaming their lives and what they fought for is unconscionable.
The rekindling of old issues should never have been allowed to be part of an effort to further the agenda of the liberal democrats that have overtaken New Orleans with their way of doing things, and the citizens should have had a voice and vote in the decisions made. Now, monuments are being removed in the stealth of night to prevent backlash or any disruptions towards their liberal agenda.
The majority citizen view has been ignored in the name of a political movement that desires to further a progressive agenda under the guise of slavery as well as suppress the anger of its current citizenry. By ramping up and linking the South to slavery, politicians believe they can polarize regional voting on that issue and pave their way to political success.
People are catching on to the whole movement and will have to demand that history not be removed, whether good or bad, yet critical to understanding the mistakes and history of the past. Will the South rise again to stop the mishandling and dismantling of Civil War history and monuments? Will enough come forward and fight progressive lunacy in their cities and towns? So far the slavery hawkers are winning in their own minds. Hopefully true southerners will form a blockade and return history to its rightful position in New Orleans and other southern cities.
Owatonna, MN Correspondent-Monuments are usually planned and erected by like-minded groups of people to honor or remember certain individuals or events of significance. Many monuments are historical. And in the United States, historical often means relating to one of the numerous wars that have tarnished our historical self-image as a country that champions peace.
It was natural for Southern states to erect monuments to their Civil War heroes, just as the Northern states did for their heroes. With the current movement to compel governments to “atone for their sins” by mandating removal of monuments celebrating “offensive” topics like slavery, racism, mistreatment of American Indians and Japanese-Americans (WW II internments), there naturally exists a conflict between those who want to keep those monuments and those who don’t.
This is a classic case of a local issue that needs deciding by those directly affected. Since mayors and city councils are elected by the voting public, the citizens of New Orleans have already had a voice in that decision. They elected the officials who made the decisions to remove the Civil War monuments. The city leaders asked for and received input from the citizens if only to make sure a clear majority of people desired the removal of the monuments. But holding elected office doesn’t mean all decisions are final or shouldn’t be challenged or discussed. Those against removal protested loudly, which is their right, but in the end, the democratic process worked.