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Stop The War Against Historical Statues

Posted on Sunday, October 29, 2023
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by AMAC Newsline
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AMAC Exclusive – By David P. Deavel

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President Biden with Sergio Massa.

This week Americans were presented the spectacle of dramatic video released by the Washington Post of the melting of the famous Charlottesville, Virginia, statue of Robert E. Lee and his horse Traveler. While presented as yet another coming to grips of our country with its past of racism and an action of peace, it was not received as such by a great many Americans. Instead, it was seen as an attempt to divide Americans yet again. Carol Swaim, the black conservative scholar, posted on X: “I am a native Virginian who finds this act repulsive. The momentary euphoria associated with the destruction of a historical monument will only serve to ignite racial hatred and animosity among people who have been neutral.” She is correct in this. I would go further. Americans need to press pause on the great wave of statue removals, topplings, and destructions that have been standard fare in America since 2020, for they have been motivated and designed not only for the stoking of racial animosity but hatred of our country and its history as a whole. And they are a distraction from the real threats we face.

This might seem wrongheaded. I suspect more Americans ten or fifteen years ago than today would have applauded or at least approved of the removal of most statues to Confederate generals and politicians that dotted the landscape of the American South. That many were erected much later than the Confederacy as a means of reasserting white supremacy—the real kind, not “colorblind” approaches or “cultural appropriation” nonsense—seemed a more plausible reason for removing them from all public squares. But times have changed.

The year 2020 yielded a tidal wave not merely of cities deciding to move statues of Confederate generals and other figures out of the public squares of towns in the South, but of mob destruction or defacement of lots of other figures, too. An August 2020 article in The Daily Signal catalogued 113 official removals, destructions, or acts of vandalism on various monuments. While many of them did have to do with Confederate figures, the list also included actions with regard to statues of George Washington, Francis Scott Key, Abraham Lincoln, Union Soldiers (including a black regiment), Teddy Roosevelt, Christopher Columbus, Junipero Serra, abolitionist John Greenleaf Whittier, even Frederick Douglass. It was clear during that annus horribilis that the problem the left has is not just with slavery or Jim Crow, but with America itself.

The melting of the Lee statue and turning it into something more “inclusive” (yet to be announced) is called the Swords into Plowshares Project. But the video’s vision of the face of the statue on the ground in flames and being prodded about with pokers is anything but peaceful. Indeed, while it is being depicted as the death of a “myth,” there is something distinctly creepy about seeing what looks like a human being’s death mask in flames. NPR’s article on the topic rhapsodized: “They use a torch to score the head of the statue, in the pattern of a death mask. Lee’s face falls to floor with a loud clank.” Any such article on a figure beloved of the left would have pointed out the very real threat of violence that seemed to be present in showing us the image of a burning face.

Again, some might object. So what? Lee represents the Confederacy. The Confederacy was about slavery, thus it must be evil. The problem is that you don’t have to defend slavery or racism to think that there is something wrong with the need to stamp out all memory of this figure. Christopher Caldwell, in a 2021 article on the fortunes of Lee’s reputation, notes that until very recently, there was a nearly universal respect for this man who “had a hatred for slavery, both in the abstract and in practice,” even if he himself had participated in it. He who had been offered both the lead of the Union Army and the Confederate ultimately took the side of his own state, Virginia. Such a conception of state patriotism might seem remote to many these days, but surely one can see that it was his full surrender to Grant that brought the Civil War to a close even though in the days after, “Confederate President Jefferson Davis would call for a ‘new phase of the struggle’ that would involve reconstituting the Army of Northern Virginia—and thus inciting soldiers to renege on the pledge of honor that Lee had made in their name.” Caldwell says that it was Lee’s “moral authority” that kept the peace.

“Might there be something about Lee that preserves an aspect of Southern heritage worth celebrating?” asks historian Michael Schwarz? He concludes that such questions are not allowed to be asked because they offend those on the left who see themselves as pure and all those in the past as impure. “After all, nuance threatens the moral certitude that radicals crave. It makes them feel better, morally superior, if they simply destroy.”

And the lost nuance is not merely about Lee’s character but about Grant’s and all of ours. As Caldwell writes, in the new view of history, “Appomattox, far from being the moment when Americans began to reunite with malice toward none, with charity for all, becomes the moment when whites—North and South—unite against blacks, an episode in the history of a tyranny, a tyranny we inhabit to this day, which stands in need of a root-and-branch reconstruction.”

For the left, America, as Barack Obama put it, stood and stands in need of “fundamental transformation,” a transformation to be carried out by the left who will set all things right, for they (so they believe) have no sin. Yet the very fact that this is obviously not true is all the more reason for them to focus on the destruction of the memories of the people of the past. They need scapegoats who will serve as a distraction from what their fundamental transformation has yielded so far.

Indeed, it is supremely ironic that the reason given for the need to melt down General Lee is the 2017 rally in which protesters chanted about Jews, “You will not replace us!” There is no doubt racism and antisemitism lurking in the dark corners of the right, but those are not the only or most important precincts. Americans have been reeling the last few weeks from the discovery that, under the left’s tutelage, a great many young Americans now find it acceptable for Hamas to have murdered Israeli women and children. Indeed, all too many seem very happy to destroy Israel itself, for what else does it mean to chant, “From the river to the sea, Palestine must be free”?

The frantic nature of the attempts to cry “white supremacy” today is because too many Americans suspect these are not the only acts of violence that are on the horizon. Siding with Hamas and the need to erase the memory of General Lee are all part of one vision. The contemporary left divides the world into colonized and colonizers, oppressed and oppressors. Those in the former groups can do no wrong, while those in the latter can do no right. General Lee, the Jews, and indeed all of American society are grouped as oppressors by today’s left.

What some on the left would like to do to our country and to our fellow Americans finds justification in this Manichaean worldview that puts not merely the South and General Lee, but also the North and Lincoln and Grant and even George Washington and Frederick Douglass on the side of darkness. That is why we must press pause on the removal of statues. Until we get clarity on whether the goal is to remove all statues and purge all of our history as irredeemable, we ought not to topple any of them. There is no clear endpoint to this call for removal and ultimately destruction, and the stakes are high. Once a statue is destroyed, it is lost to every future generation and a piece of our shared and complicated history is gone.

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Dodie
Dodie
5 months ago

What joe biden and Obama (is running the show) in which he forgot he’s half white is shameful taking down General Robert E. Lee is our history and what America came to be – I believe personally the people like Obama hate white I’m Polish and English and live San Antonio, TX. Obama started this racial hate – look at the border letting anybody in Biden has dementia has to take medicine to function – Obama using joe as a puppet to do the job Obama didn’t do and now ruining America like a third world country – Let’s MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN! And get these idiots and hater out of here!!

Rob citizenship
Rob citizenship
5 months ago

Very important article, on an important topic — I could refer to the topic being the symbolism of a statue ,what it represents , but I do believe it goes beyond that — the topic I believe is respect for truth, respect for historical fact ( truth ) . I am 73, and was fortunate to have parents who wanted me to have an understanding of history,and an appreciation of history . We visited Independence Hall , in 1961, In 1962 we went to Washington District of Columbia — to the Capitol Building, and the White House , The following year we went to the state capital of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg, to the Capital Building there and to Valley Forge. Respect for history was instilled in me and Civil War commemorations in the 1960’s were understood in a way that helped to have a better understanding of what was going on then – the civil rights movement , and the Presidency of John Fitzgerald Kennedy. The Civil War would be better understood if there were intelligent discussions held concerning the various statues and I believe if the majority of people in any particular location find a statue something they believe represents something morally wrong then it could be removed from public display. Let some individual or group of people who have different opinion of what it represents take it into their possession , display it on private property. I have been a Reagan Conservative since about 1980 — the issue of slavery , I believe it was a very wrong thing to have happened and a plaque should be on display next to statues of a controversial topic explaining the facts about it. There are some people who find the Declaration of Independence controversial and find fault with it because it basically overlooks slavery. I think that the Declaration of Independence is one of the greatest things that ever happened — however I believe it is not perfect , it was written by people who were not perfect and that matter of slavery being overlooked is an example of the imperfect nature of endeavors by people who have good intentions — and sometimes an understanding of the complexity of the times, the complexity of the issues at that time need to be considered .
Well Done with this article David Deavel . It is appreciated .

.

Paul Ruebenacker
Paul Ruebenacker
5 months ago

The toppling of statues is one of the most ignorant acts that I have ever witnessed. We need to stop pampering and brain waddling our youth.

Keith James
Keith James
5 months ago

Thank you for this article. Except for one brief report that the statue was smelted I had seen nothing about it. I found the action to be deeply disturbing and very saddening.

Jerry_M_Tx
Jerry_M_Tx
5 months ago

Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.It is an old saying that has been proven true over and over.

David Millikan
David Millikan
5 months ago

Just read where they secretly melted down the Statue of Robert E. Lee after they cut it up. It’s not the only one. Such as West Point and in NY doing the same thing. Instead of putting them in Museums since they are American historical Statues the Fascist liberals play politics by making sure people turn on each other like they always do acting like they’re on American history side. When in reality they are Fascist Cowards. Remember that Hitler and Stalin did the same thing. Since Clinton, Obama , and Dictator Beijing biden have been using Hitler’s and Stalin’s playbook this is another tactic to Destroy American history and heritage.
Can’t wait till all of the images and statues of them are melted down cleaning up the Socialist/Communist/Fascist, Loser WOKE democrat regime.
It’s only fair.

Rick M
Rick M
5 months ago

I’m rereading 1984 by George Orwell and todays actions sound the same as in the book. He was only a few years off.

RJ
RJ
5 months ago

No different then book burning in nazi Germany. And Maga supporters are accused of being nazis..

NeilRK
NeilRK
5 months ago

The people doing this are Communists or are expressing communism.

Sally Duncan
Sally Duncan
5 months ago

Ther should be no doubt that ghere us evil in our land that we need to pray for the removal of. It has seeped into every part if our government, our schools, our businesses and our lives. The battle against which has to be fought on a daily basis. I believe that America will survive this episode, but we will all suffer much before it is over. Our current administration (which is not run by Biden, but Obama) will ensure our suffering. Pray for Our Country.

Philip Seth Hammersley
Philip Seth Hammersley
5 months ago

DIMMs, AKA Marxists, are just following the example of Hitler, Stalin, Lenin, and the Taliban! Delete any history that disagrees with the party line. And yet they cry about “book banning” and “censorship.”

Paul
Paul
5 months ago

This is Small part of socialist commie AGENDA. 10-29-2023

barb
barb
5 months ago

disgrace. cannot erase history

anna hubert
anna hubert
5 months ago

Spaniards and French escaped the wrath of the mob Why is that I wonder There were plantations in the south worked by slaves before arrival of English Facts can be twisted and denied but not changed Present slavers are not white and that is acceptable This monstrous hypocrisy is beyond words

Joyce
Joyce
5 months ago

When mankind deletes their history, they are doomed to repeat their errors. I do not know how many people in America have the duel heritage that I enjoy. By that I am referring to ancestors on both sides, fought in the Revolutionary War, the war of 1812, the Civil War, WWI, WWII, Korean War, Vietnam. Where would we be if our ancestors did not step up to defend their beliefs? Why are a few woke, woe is me, pity driven individuals allowed to destroy the history of America, regardless of whether it is good, bad or indifferent!

mark
mark
5 months ago

OUR history and our rights as a Republic are being taken everyday. The Socialist government is doing all of this in order to buy votes and its working all to well. What a lot of people dont see is the real fact that it is happening to everyone of us not just some. The socialist left will win again in 2024 by any means possible and our FREEDOM will be gone forever im 70 and in bad health so i wont have to live through the worst part , but i do feel sorry for all the young people coming up now who will have to endure what the American people brought on by letting this happen for them to live through.

Jackie
Jackie
5 months ago

If other countries had encouraged or even allowed the destruction of old, out dated, associated with horrors of the ages statues, buildings, etc., well, the planet would have no history!!! How can you teach history and avoid the mistakes already made if you have no stories, no statues, no paintings, no buildings named after important people of the time??? The history we will have is of these generationally angry, racist and bigoted, these with deviate behaviors who seem to hate everyone to tell history the way they want it to have been!! There should be a great appreciation of history placed in students in schools but we seem to be so much more interested in teaching and pushing transgenderism and other deviate behaviors, pushing hatred and anger, extremism, etc.!!!

patriot
patriot
5 months ago

Removing and destroying statues is not about who or what the statue is or represents, it is a part of the Marxist Leftists in America plan to remove our history and the pride so many feel about America. No-one is saying we or they were perfect, far from it, we are human and have all the bad that goes with that, but America is still the best nation in the world. Remember too that this is a different time and people think differently than they did 100 or 200 years ago! Some is better but not all! Many many Americans fought and died for this nation and many more were maimed permanently to gain or keep our freedoms. If nothing more, we owe our respect and honor to those courageous heroes who did that. One way to do that was/is to honor the most famous of those with a statue. And it is not up to any individual or a mob to remove, deface and or destroy that. I think the South was wrong on slavery, but I do understand some of the economic reasons for it. Money drives everything! Robert E. Lee was a great Confederate General and should be honored regardless of our view on slavery. That is a different and separate issue! We don’t all agree and that’s ok if we can accept that and get along with each other.

Levon Baxley
Levon Baxley
5 months ago

The left act stupid, they think their way is the only way and conservates are dumb!
I am disgusted with them and want to destroy statues which is history> They cannot change history no matter what they do.
I wonder how they would react if a bunch of people demanded to destroy Martin Luther King’s statues?

Robert Zuccaro
Robert Zuccaro
5 months ago

All I can say is: surprised Stone Mountain still exists. Maybe they’re too busy looking for statues of Jews to deface to notice it?

Randall L. Beatty
Randall L. Beatty
5 months ago

What will be next this is getting bad in this country just like a third world country People in this country if they do not get what they want they are a mob mentality the places that are suppose to be higher learning in this country are getting bad instead of studying they stage mob action to get what they want nothing is the way it used to be very sad. They try to erase history.

Eamonn Thomas Smyth
Eamonn Thomas Smyth
5 months ago

General Lee is part of our history, just like the Civil war, to try and erase it and everything that the left objects to. Leaves us with a sanitized history and land where we and future generations learn nothing.

Mark Anderson
Mark Anderson
5 months ago

You know this goes way back. Michelangelo was forced to spend two years casting a large bronze of the current Pope who had it placed in a city he had just taken over. The citizens there tore it down and cast a cannon which they named after the pope. Maybe Charlotte will do the same. I’m actually much more mature than DVD.

Unreconstructed
Unreconstructed
5 months ago

Confederate monuments were not erected “much later than the Confederacy as a means of reasserting white supremacy”. It took years of collecting nickles, dimes, and pennies from the impoverished South to be able to pay for these monuments. No, the Confederacy was NOT “about slavery”. It was about holding on to the principles upon which America was founded. It was about self-government and the right not to live under an oppressive, tyrannical government.
The myth that “the war was about slavery” has been indoctrinated into millions of Americans for 150+ years. IF it was “about slavery”, then why did the North not first free the more than 429,000 slaves it held in bondage? Why were there slave states in the Union during the war? Why was West Virginia admitted into the Union as a slave state during the War? Why did Lincoln support the Corwin Amendment which would have forever made it illegal to abolish slavery? No, the “accepted narrative” is wrong, and has been wrong since Occupation (Reconstruction).
These monuments were erected to honor those soldiers (black, white, Indian, Mexican, Irish, Jew, and more) who fought an illegal invasion of murderers, looters, arsonists and rapists in defense of their homes and families. Lincoln could not bear to lose the excesive revenues being collected from the South, from which the government received 85% of its revenue. Historically ignorant people have jumped onto the cultural genocide bandwagon and froth at the mouth to tear down and destroy monuments to brave, honorable, Christain men who wanted only to be left alone. Had Lincoln not invaded, there would have been no war. People need to learn the truth about our history and stop swallowing the lies from academia, Hollywood, the media, and PBS. “Study to show thyself approved” is not only good advice for Scripture, but for history as well.


Stephen C.
Stephen C.
5 months ago

Excellent insight and very thought provoking!
All sane thinking voting citizens need to discern the truly extreme type of Leftists and think long and hard before considering casting a vote for any and all “America is Evil” extremist politicians!

Helen
Helen
5 months ago

I believe the statue of General William Tecumsa Sherman should not only be removed from where it stands, but it should be burned, and he should be labeled as the first known homegrown terrorist in The United States of America. This general burned, raped, piliged and, terrorized the South in the worst ways ever in those days. He was not discriminatory, and he allowed his soldiers who fought with him free reign to do as they pleased. He is responsible for not just one burning of the South, but THREE!!! Why is his statue still standing??? Maybe it is because of the fact that we now have people in our country who hate the very country they are blessed to be living in, either by birth or by coming here as a LEGAL immigrant. Those who are aligning with the terrorist groups are welcome to leave our country, never to return and live among these people of whom they are happier to see maim, and kill for no good reason.

Rik
Rik
5 months ago

NO, just people like you!

history
history
5 months ago

Worst of all is the left’s assault of Christopher Columbus statues. Christopher Columbus was the discoverer of America in 1492 and he brought freedom to America. He explored each state and planted an American flag in New York City which symbolized freedom. Columbus was truly a hero.

Simple Horn
Simple Horn
5 months ago

The study of history, accuracy of history, or awareness of historical figures will not be impacted by the removal of confederate statues. Zero impact. We have books, museums, documentaries, and battlefields in large numbers. Gettysburg, Andersonville, Vicksburg, Arlington, etc, will all still be there. You can still visit General Lee’s plantation house at Arlington after all the statues are gone. That house is surrounded by honored Union soldiers who died fighting Lee’s treason. That contrast is going nowhere.
What we lose when Confederate statues and memorials are torn down is the ongoing glorification and elevation to hero status of slavers, racists, and traitors. After two decades in U.S. uniform, I’m not a big fan of glorifying treason.
US battlefield cemeteries in Europe have “traitor’s plots”. These are for those soldiers who committed capital crimes like murder, rape, cowardice in the face of the enemy, desertion in the face of the enemy, or full-on treason. The plots are shielded by buildings and tall hedges on all sides so visitors cannot visit their graves. The only access are unmarked doors in the director’s office. These people are buried in graves marked only by a number to allow them no honored memorial to their name. They are buried with their backs to the battlefield memorial so that their dishonor is permanent.
The US military treats traitors properly. US citizens should as well.

It happens you know
It happens you know
5 months ago

well if it’s makes you all feel better lee couldn’t stop the south from being burned once so he’s used to this

Beam Me Up
Beam Me Up
5 months ago

The defender of the Confederate monuments argue that history is being erased. Erasing history? The South did a good job of that for 100 years after the Civil War. Children were taught that the war was about states’ rights, even though most of the declarations of secession specify that preserving slavery was the goal. Abraham Lincoln was portrayed as a tyrant, while the fact that Jefferson Davis presided over a Confederacy that defended slavery was overlooked. Alexander Stevens, the vice president of the Confederacy, call slavery the foundation of civilization, but that was white-washed as well. Some textbooks in white schools even taught that Africans welcomed slavery as a path to the “true” religion of Christianity.
I grew up in the South. But by the 1970s, when I was learning about the Civil War in middle school and high school, the “lost cause” revisionism had disappeared, at least at the urban schools. We were taught the facts: the Confederate states wanted to preserve slavery. And this was in South Carolina public schools, no less. My Southern roots are deep. My grandparents’ ancestors moved to North Carolina in the 1700s, long before the Civil War. One of my great-great-grandfathers died at Chancellorsville, and a brother of another great-great-grandfather died in Pickett’s charge at Gettysburg.
Most of the Confederate monuments were erected in the last 1800s and early 1900s, when the “last cause” mythology was at full tilt and Jim Crow was becoming the law of the South. I don’t know of any country that has had so many statutes dedicated for generals and politicians who turned against their own country.
Opponents of removing the monuments are doing a bit of fear-mongering by yelling: “What next? Monuments for Thomas Jefferson and George Washington because they were slave owners? This is like ISIS.” That’s like comparing apples to oranges. The Founding Fathers led this country to independence and laid its foundation. The Confederate leaders, like Jefferson Davis, wanted to tear the country apart to preserve the institution of slavery. They were also livid that the Northern states weren’t enforcing the federal Fugitive Slave Act. The secessionists wouldn’t have been secure until slavery was legal everywhere.
Now I agree we shouldn’t get rid of the statues of Columbus. I would point out to the folks who want to remove those statues that if not Columbus, some other enterprising European looking for a western route to Asia would have run into the Americas. Also, the Spanish are the ones who bear the fault of what happened to the Indians in Central and South America. When they came, they brought with them feudalism and the Inquisition. Columbus sought financial support from the Portugese, the English and the French. How different would Central and South America be if they had been the settlers?
Seriously, folks. Calling the folks who want to remove the statues commies? LOL. The 50s are over.

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