Sunday, August 13, 2017

Confederate Monuments: Removal and Resistance


I've written a couple of posts about honoring the Confederacy and the removal of Confederate monuments here on LoS, so I found this Op-Ed interesting.  In the wake of today's violent clashes in Charlottesville, which resulted from a rally to protest such a removal, it seems especially relevant.


The Charlottesville clashes came after the KKK and various white nationalist groups planned a “Unite the Right” rally to protest the removal of a statue of General Robert E. Lee that the city has voted to remove.  For the time being, the statue is still in Emancipation Park, formerly known as Lee Park.  That alone is the sign of the times -- the change itself, and the resentment it has provoked.  It is the third, and largest, rally held in Charlottesville this year. 

And like the previous two, the rally was met by large number of counter-protesters, and things quickly degenerated:

On Saturday morning, men in combat gear — some wearing bicycle and motorcycle helmets and carrying clubs and sticks and makeshift shields — had fought each other in the downtown streets, with little apparent police interference. Both sides sprayed each other with chemical irritants and plastic bottles were hurled through the air.

After the protesters had begun to disperse, someone taking a cue from terrorists in London and Paris drove their car into a crowd of counter-protestors, killing one and injuring 19.  Three cars had already smashed into one another earlier in the day, sending people running.  A State of Emergency is in place.

None of this surprises me.  I've seen too many "The South will Rise Again" bumper stickers on trucks with gun racks.  As I wrote in 2010:

Wild and woolly times ahead.
Be Prepared for the Years of Lead!

I have the feeling this just the beginning. 

Update:  from today's NYT, a little more background.  Art matters.

The Statue at the Center of Charlottesville’s Storm

Update 8/16:  Who'd a thunk it?   

Robert E. Lee opposed Confederate monuments (except grave markers apparently)
Update 8/17:
NYT list of Confederate monuments coming down across the country

8/19:


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 More on Laws of Silence

The Battle of the Battle of Liberty Place
Ain't just whistlin' Dixie  
The Politics of Removal  
Tea for Two: American Years of Lead