Posted by Andy Hall at Kevin Levin's "Civil War Memory"
There’s a strong argument to be made for keeping monuments, which is that they themselves become part of the community over time, entirely apart from the people or events they commemorate. So it’s better to proceed with caution in all the cases where there are demands for their removal.
But having the monument embedded in the community’s identity comes at a price, which is that members of the community embrace it in different ways, such as with the boa. At my kid’s school, there’s a bronze, equestrian statue near the center of campus that, by long tradition, is completely mummified, head to hoof, in crepe ribbon in school colors on football game days. Is that disrespectful to the subject of the statue? I certainly don’t think so, and it serves a great purpose for the students themselves as part of a ritual that binds them together as a community.
The Virginia Flaggers shit their drawers a few years ago when some clever and industrious person attached faux historical markers honoring Denmark Vesey, the Lovings, and other historical African American figures to the fence around one of the Confederate monuments in Richmond, an act that did no damage to the fence — let alone the monument itself — and required all of five minutes’ work with a crescent wrench to remove.
The heritage folks aren’t content that Confederate monuments remain where they are, so that they can touch themselves every time they drive by them; they insist everyone else view them with the same reverence that they do.
You’d think that people who make such a big deal of their own religiosity and wield it against others like a cudgel would have taken a lesson from the story of the Golden Calf, but apparently not.
Andy, the people who placed the boa weren't embracing the Lee monument. Sheesh. The boa and the crepe paper decor aren't the same at all. The first was intended to show extreme disrespect to the subject of the statue, the latter is not.
Your boorish, foul-mouthed description of the heritage community's reaction to the wood plaques is faulty; it was mostly Facebook posters in groups like the Southern Heritage Preservation Group who were insulted by the homemade plaques. And, as I recall, it wasn't because they honored historical blacks, but because historical blacks were used as an attempted insult of Confederate heroes and those who honor them. Isn't that pathetic -- to consider blacks as a vehicle for showing disrespect?
"...so that they can touch themselves..." More crass mind-in-the-gutter imagery from a heritage hater. Aside from that, what Odious Andy says here is not even true. In fact, it's a flat-out lie. Heritage people just demand that Confederate monuments remain where they are and not be vandalized. We don't demand that you show them respect, Andy -- just that you don't vandalize them. It would also be nice if you wouldn't lie about them, but there isn't much we can do about keeping you honest.
Religiosity wielded against others like a cudgel. Ah, no. It's probably just that any show of respect for Christianity is automatically perceived by anti-Christian Andy to be a cudgel. He has already exhibited contempt of white Christians and implied they should not be protected from a larger, uncongenial environment.
More from Andy at Civil War Memory
Note that two commenters on the original news story are asserting that this act is one of disrespect or hatred against white people. If there was a memo circulated that Robert E. Lee and the Confederacy are now synonymous with “white people” living in 2016, I must have missed it.
Andy, duh ... you and your allies in the anti-racist jackass community are the AUTHORS of the "memo."