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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Those statues

I'll be honest. 

I rarely ever look at war memorial statues when I'm playing tourist in the south (where I also live), so they have never, up until recently, meant anything to me one way or another. 

I'm betting I'm not the only one.

That does not, however, mean the history behind them and why they're there holds no meaning to me. 

But the're just there, for me - kinda like the big canons scattered all around southern parks. They sometimes make a cool prop for a photo. 

Again - I "get" it, I just don't dwell on it all. 

We're surrounded by it. 

Sorta like Christmas music in October - I try to tune it out. 

I guess it's shameful to some that unless they appeal to me aesthetically, I pretty much don't notice. 

I don't think it's because I'm totally disinterested, I suppose I just feel as though if you've seen one small town statue of a confederate "hero" or "anti-hero" you've pretty much seen 'em all. 

I live in the south. 

I live in a part of the country where there are people who make their lives completely about "The South." 

Some who embrace the whole Southern Belle thing. 

Some who embrace stereotypes and keep them growing and flourishing. Some which should have been allowed to die, IMO, a painless death many years ago. 

There are a lot of things about the south I deeply, deeply love. 

The fact that many in the rest of the country think we're the capital of ignorance and racism is not one of them. 

Put the ugly damn statues in a museum if you feel they harbor that much history. 

But for God's sake - there are plenty of 'em, can't we choose one or two instead of forming a cult of love for ugly confederate statues? 

For those who feel differently - I would really appreciate not catching any grief over this today. I've put up with more than my share already, okay? 

In the meantime, I love this quote regarding these now (in)famous statues. (thank you, Joyce Yarrow): "Equal parts myth and deception, they were the ‘alternative facts’ of their time — a false narrative etched in stone and bronze more than 100 years ago — not only to lionize the architects and defenders of slavery, but to perpetuate the tyranny and terror of Jim Crow and reassert a new era of white supremacy,” the Mayor of Richmond, a 35-year-old African-American who previously worked for Governor Terry McAuliffe, said in June.

I do believe that says it all.  Thank you, Mayor Stoney.


Truth be told, the statues may not be what some of you think they are. 

IF you'd care to educate yourselves, I would recommend this article:

"A statue of Lee in uniform, mounted on a horse in a southern town square has only ever had one meaning: white supremacy. These statues didn’t come to be associated with racism and Jim Crow only after the Civil War had receded into memory. They were created, from the start, to mark and celebrate the foundations of Jim Crow, uncontested white rule. More mythically, but to the same end, they were built to glorify a vision of the South in which her black citizens had no place."

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/some-thoughts-on-public-memory



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