Comments & Discussion

Boston University moderates comments to facilitate an informed, substantive, civil conversation. Abusive, profane, self-promotional, misleading, incoherent or off-topic comments will be rejected. Moderators are staffed during regular business hours (EST) and can only accept comments written in English. Statistics or facts must include a citation or a link to the citation.

There are 12 comments on POV: The Controversy over Confederate Civil War Monuments

  1. Basically you are calling Mike Pence a racist because he doesn’t support destroying monuments. Wow great progressive leftism at work call Mike Pence a racist, next he’ll be a Nazi then antifa comes in to beat him down

  2. Removing the statues is wrong that’s equivilent of taking history and sweeping it under the rug. This is more about the issue of oversensitive people that need to learn the world isnt a nice place.

    1. There’s a difference between remembering something and glorifying it. For instance, the Holocaust is something Germany never wants to forget. The monuments and memorials to it are displaced in a somber tone, implying that this was a terrible thing the government did and they never want to repeat it.

      On the other hand, there are monuments to people/thing the general populace is proud of. For instance, you’ll find many memorials of George Washington and other Revolutionary War heroes. The tone of these monuments is “look at this person who did good!”

      So where do the monuments to these civil war generals lie? The monuments to civil war generals, built by people who were very racist and for racist reasons (see history described in above article) are glorifying the people represented. If the tone of the monuments was different, I could see your argument. It’s not that people want to erase the civil war. It’s just that people don’t want to glorify people who fought, hard, to oppress a group of people based solely on their skin tone.

  3. It’s sad that there is noise to revise history.
    However, let’s improve our understanding,attitude, and a commitment to improve for young and the future. We owe them a better life. Commit yourself to service by volunteering in various community projects instead of braking windows and looting.

  4. I’m saddened that the President and Vice President are such polarizing people that they engender an anti-reaction to nearly everything they do.

    I’m not certain removing the statues is appropriate. Nor am I certain it’s appropriate to embrace together what we as a country have come to feel as a combination of pride and shame. I think one or the other – or perhaps even both, through a nuanced approach – should be done. Balance is warranted, through some combination of reducing the negative and/or increasing the positive.

    But merely taking position counter to the Vice President’s, is unfortunate at best.

    If we feel we should tear down statues of individuals, places, actions, or anything else that reminds us of a slavery-laden past, at what point does it end? George and Martha Washington were both slavers, in fact they pursued runaway slaves to the day they died. Jefferson was a slaver. Both presidents have massive monuments that are iconic symbols of the country, and are proudly displayed on our coinage and money. Both have massive warships named in their honor. Should we rename our warships? Should we alter our currency?

    (In fact, 8 presidents owned slaves *while serving as President.*

    Noone (that I will listen to) will argue in support of slavery as an institution, or Jim Crowe, or segregation, or any other institution that tears at the fabric of “fair treatment to all.” But the removal of monuments that have any sort of historical relationship to this would result in the removal of a wide breadth of our heritage, essentially putting our heads in the sand and pretending the past didn’t exist.

    There MUST be an end to the destruction. Otherwise we’re on a course to destroy ourselves.

  5. Great piece! It’s really worth thinking about how Southern whites, even though they lost the Civil War, were in a position to put up so many monuments to their cause. Your article suggests that people like McIntire weren’t so much honoring a pure and unadulterated type of “history” but a version of “history” that served their interests. Given what was happening to black people in Charlottesville at this time, it’s hardly surprising that they were not in a position to do the same.

  6. I think it’s interesting that your point of view changed with Mike Pence’s comments. How do you know that Pence wouldn’t support monuments to Frederick Douglass or Sojourner Truth? I find it hard to believe that he wouldn’t.

    I think the old monuments should stay (and new ones should be added like Bluestone suggests). We should tell different stories about the old statues now. Maybe even change the plaque. “Robert E. Lee was the general of…Despite Lee’s importance as a Southern historical figure, his fight in support of an institution that systematically brutalized human beings is morally reprehensible.”

  7. I read with interest as you delivered a powerful and cogent argument for preservation of monuments and the historical record and then you toss it all way with one line:

    “Nothing like the vice president seemingly endorsing my view to get me to rethink.”

    So you’re either admitting your own reasoning is worthless or you’re willing to abandon sound reasoning just out of intense dislike of someone who happens to agree with you. Then you follow that with gross assumptions about the Vice President’s beliefs and hypothetical positions. You started big but you ended very small.

  8. Mr Bluestone,

    I agree with your view of not removing but adding more monuments and am confused why you think Mike Pence would not support funding for these new statutes? I don’t remember him saying anything that would cause you to formulate that opinion. Please elaborate

  9. The Confederacy lost the Civil War. The losing sides in civil wars rarely, if ever, get to build monuments after their defeat (do some research on the subject). Losers have to learn to live with their defeat. Moreover, in this case, the losers lost in a war to prolong slavery. As a nation, we’re still dealing with the consequences of slavery. Even more reason for these monuments, most built well after the end of the Civil War, at the height of the Jim Crow laws and lynchings, to come down.

  10. The arrogance of the modern generation believing they have the right to destroy monuments which the defeated Southern people who had the nerve to defend themselves when invaded; whether slaveholders or not, is in my opinion disrespectful of those people, as well as future generations who have the right to know what happened in those 4 years. Those people lost all they had but still scraped enough money together collectively, to do something to remember their loved ones taken from them through no choice of their own. And the monuments only began being erected some 30 years after the fighting was over. And today’s politicians aren’t fooling anyone with their claim it being a “moral” issue for them. It’s plainly a re-election or a furthering of their personal political career issue. Ironically they are doing it to try and win the black vote in such a sick and twisted manner and I hope black folks aren’t fooled by this nonsense.
    As an example, the most demonized figure of those 4 years has to be Robert E. Lee. He is called “traitor”, guilty of treason, should’ve been hung, etc. NO ONE ever seems to mention he was a West Point graduate who never earned a single demerit in his 4 years there, he served the United States Army for 30 years prior to the war, he was the builder and owner of Arlington House, now our country’s most sacred military cemetery.
    If he was such a traitor, why bury our nation’s most revered and honored men and women THERE of all places? Because History FORGOT.
    Just as every Northern soldier, Lee went with whatever direction the politicians in their home states decided they would go. Every state was sovereign into itself up until someone decided the union made up the STATES instead of the other way around. No one can justify owning another human being. But none of us were around in the 19th century. It was law, our first eight presidents were slaveholders, and the slaver ships that went to Africa and captured blacks and brought them to America for sale, were ALL out of Northern harbors, mainly Boston.
    It would be refreshing if the calculating politicians who have the mental capacity to put themselves in those times living under those laws, would do so; instead of just caring about themselves. They don’t care about how black people feel. They just want their vote. They don’t care that R.E. Lee served the U.S. for 30 years and they leave that part out as they rob future generations of learning the truth for their own personal gain. If they cared about truth and honor, politicians would never have even made Arlington, the home of a traitor; such a hallowed and sacred places for our REAL heroes and men of true bravery and honor. I guess since it was some nice, free land overlooking Washington; why not pocket the money they would’ve spent to PAY for a National Cemetery! Hey, now that all the monuments to the Southern soldier are leaving; that’ll free up a lot more free, prime real estate; to possibly build a monument to themselves, The hero politician who tore down the evil Southern soldier for the greater good!

Post a comment.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *