Joe’s blog – #91 – The recent violence in Charlottesville

The recent violence in Charlottesville should grip the attention of us all: just as it should where it has risen its nasty head elsewhere in our society. We must not accept it and we must speak out to condemn it in no uncertain terms. That must occur in the halls of our government, in our halls of education, in our public squares, in our places of worship, and in our homes.
Those who believe in white supremacy, those who hold neo-nazi views, those who believe that the South will rise again, i.e., bigots, racists, and all who believe that one group of human beings is somehow less than or more than any other group of human beings on this planet have the right to hold those beliefs as ignorant as those beliefs are. They also have the right to debate their views in the public square as long as they do not call for or otherwise incite others to violence. They have the right to try to convince others via rational debate to believe as they do. Just as I or, others, have the right and, indeed the moral obligation, to challenge such ignorance. We all have an inalienable right to debate our views, our beliefs, and our ideas with words. Whether those views are right or wrong really doesn’t matter. What does matter is that only by speaking & debating our views, can the truth, one way or the other, come to the forefront. But that said, none have the right to incite to violence or to do violence to any other.
With that said I have to ask this question: why do we memorialize any specific individual from the past by way of erecting statues, etc., etc.? The recent protests & violence have at their center the possible removal of a statue of a confederate general from the campus of UVa. As I see it the views of the Confederacy were constitutionally wrong, but they chose to use violence to impose those views.There have been calls to remove similar statues in the various other states. These statues have, for the most part, been erected in the public square.
The U.S. Civil War was, by any measure, a dark time in U.S. history. Thousands of human beings had their lives cut short by violence. That is not something that we should be proud of. As I see it we do not have to debate or, otherwise revisit, that sad time to put an end to the current madness that has reared its ugly head in the public square around monuments to the Confederacy.
My personal view is that they should be removed from the public square and donated to the Son’s and Daughter’s of the Confederacy. Then those groups should feel free to display them on land that is privately owned by them as they see fit. Or if they are to remain in the public square then other groups should be able to erect monuments next to them, e.g., Harriet Tubman, Martin Luther King, Jr., Frederick Douglas, etc., at their own expense to include all future maintenance & upkeep costs. AND, each & every monument should have a kiosk which provides, in various media forms, factually accurate historical information as to why that person is being memorialized and what their contribution to the betterment of human society was. Any current monument in the public square should be retrofitted with such a informational/educational kiosk if it is to remain in the public square. Ditto for religious monuments paid for with taxpayer dollars or, not, that are placed in the public square.
The bottom line is this: the Confederate States were morally & constitutionally wrong: morally wrong to the extent that they wanted to prop up the evil of human slavery and in their belief that whites are somehow superior to blacks; and, constitutionally wrong in their belief that they could, legally, secede from the Union. To the extent that they may have relied on the Declaration of Independence to justify their dissolving their ties with the Union, they declared war, fought, and were beaten into an unconditional surrender. If Confederate General Lee should be honored for anything it should be for having had the good sense to lay down his sword that fateful day at Appomattox.
Further, any person running for public office i.e., any worthy of the honor, and any who currently hold public office should be the first to stand up and condemn the ideologies of hate groups such as the Ku Klux Klan, Neo-Nazis, etc., and they should publically announce that they do not want their votes or campaign contributions. Such hate groups should be denounced, in no uncertain terms, clearly and forcefully by our public and religious leaders (President Trump included).To the extent that such groups act with violence or in anyway incite others to act with violence, via words or deeds, though print or electronic mediums, then they should be held accountable in our courts of law (criminal & civil), as individuals and as organizations. Violence, threats of violence, and incitements to violence should not be tolerated.

Peace, Joe G.
Deerfield C.C.
13 August 2017

This is the posts comments

  1. Tom Ryals August 14, 2017 at 10:24 #

    I agree with ecerything you wrote!

    Keep up the good work!

    Thanks for sharing!

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