Surprise: Majority Supports Leaving Confederate Statues Up

Surprise: Majority Supports Leaving Confederate Statues Up

What to do about the Confederate statues, what to do. Many of them were put in right after the Confederacy lost, to honor the dead. A second time of big emplacements came on the 50th anniversary, followed by the 100th, which coincided with the time of the Civil Rights era. The question is, does anyone really care that much? Are they just statues that sit around for which most do not know who they are and what they stand for?

It’s a poll the Washington Post doesn’t like, so they go all Vox in explaining it

President Trump came out strongly in opposition to removing Confederate statues from public places, saying it was “sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments.”

That appeal to “history and culture” echoes arguments made by neo-Confederate groups, who, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, couch claims about the meaning of statues and other Confederate symbols in terms of “heritage and other supposedly fundamental values that modern Americans are seen to have abandoned.”

They’re also made by Native Americans regarding their land, when minorities complain about gentrification, about clothing trends, and so much more. There’s even a Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. Are they neo-Confederate groups? Of course, the point here is to paint all as raaaaacists.

Most mainstream historians note, on the other hand, that the whole point of Confederate monuments is to celebrate white supremacy. Most of them were erected between 1895 and World War I, “part of a campaign to paint the Southern cause in the Civil War as just and slavery as a benevolent institution,” according to University of North Carolina historian Karen Cox.

OK, then.

But the president is not a historian, and neither are most members of the American public. A survey by the Economist and YouGov earlier this week found that, by more than 2 to 1, Americans believe that Confederate monuments are symbols of Southern pride rather than of white supremacy.

Wow, that’s a big middle finger to the American public, is it not? Regardless, that’s hop most Southerners think of the statues (when they think of them at all) and the various forms of the Confederate flag. Not as white supremacy, not as White separatism (different from supremacy), not as Jim Crow laws (implemented by Democrats), but, simply as pride in being a Southerner. As people who are into freedom, self governance, limited government, the rule of law, and being helpful and polite to people.

Whites (66 percent), Republicans (84 percent) and Americans over age 65 (71 percent) are especially likely to say that Confederate monuments represent pride rather than supremacy. Liberals (54 percent), Hillary Clinton voters (52 percent) and black Americans (47 percent) are the groups most likely to say that the monuments stand for white supremacy.

So, wait: only 47 percent of Black Americans say they stand for white supremacy? Not even half?

The rest is about bashing Trump, because the media is totally non-partisan, you guys.

Personally, I couldn’t care less about the statues. They mean nothing to me. Nor the names of different things. But, where does it stop? If you give a lefty an inch, they’ll want to take the whole interstate highway. Where does it end?

Why will none of these same people call for removing/renaming all things Robert Byrd? A painting of this former KKK recruiter and white supremacist hangs in the Capitol Building. How about all the statues and busts of Senator Sam Ervin (NC), who was a segragationist? No one at UNC-Chapel Hill is calling for a bust removal. Why not raise Richmond to the ground? It was the capital of the Confederacy, after all.

Let’s give Manhattan back to the Indians. Liberals like to say we stole it. And rename all the the towns in California that have Spanish names, because that’s cultural appropriation. Shall we replace all headstones everywhere that mention the Confederacy? Shall we demolish the Confederate memorial at Arlington National Cemetery? Destroy all mentions of the Confederacy at Civil War battlegrounds? Getting absurd, eh?

How about this: even General Robert E. Lee thought that monuments were a bad thing. Let’s take down all the ones erected from the late 1890’s on, and place them in storage. Any that honor the dead can remain. If we do that, can we move on?

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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