The Water Cooler – Removing Confederate Statues and Monuments in the U.S.

August 18, 2017 12:00 pm · 112 comments

The “Water Cooler” is a feature on where we will ask you a question or provide a topic, and you will talk about it.

The “Water Cooler” will be up Monday-Friday at noon.

Today’s question:

What’s your opinion on the removal of Confederate statues and monuments around the United States? Good move or not a good move?

Talk about it….

Jerk August 18, 2017 at 12:02 PM

If they’re going to remove monuments and try to erase history, does this mean that we can erase the history of slavery?
Tired of these people (who were NEVER slaves BTW) using this as an excuse for bad behavior and lawlessness.

ClayDen August 18, 2017 at 12:07 PM

In a word: Stupid

It’s part of our history. So, are we going to tear down or re-name the Washington Monument? Re-name Washington DC? Washington State?

Von Drenchingham August 18, 2017 at 12:08 PM

This is going to be good

Alan August 18, 2017 at 12:14 PM

The removal of these monuments of hate and evil cannot happen soon enough! They are a disgrace, as is the sheer number of boldfaced racists we STILL SEE in 2017. SHAME!!!!

MoJo August 18, 2017 at 12:15 PM

Since Nancy Pelosi is in favor of removing Confederate monuments and statues I’m adamantly opposed to the idea. They are part of our history, like it or not. Anyone who is offended by a statue or monument needs to grow a set and quit being such a Wuss!

Concerned August 18, 2017 at 12:17 PM

Lets just start the new history today..NOT

Savage August 18, 2017 at 12:17 PM

No, keep them ALL up as they are, they are important part of our history. Are we going to change all textbooks and references also?

94521 August 18, 2017 at 12:20 PM

We shouldn’t have foreign leaders memorialized on our public lands. The confederacy is a failed state, conquered by the US. I’m okay with these statues on private property or in museums.

Simonpure August 18, 2017 at 12:22 PM

OK boys, girls and snowflakes…forget everything we taught you in history class.

Big A August 18, 2017 at 12:24 PM

@Von Drenchingham. Came here to say the same thing. LOL.

SF oh August 18, 2017 at 12:30 PM

It does seem ridiculous for people to suddenly be in an uproar over statues that have been in place for over 100 years. Keep ’em – take ’em down…. who cares. It’s certainly not worth 3 people losing their lives over something so stupid.

Concord Grape August 18, 2017 at 12:31 PM

Face it folks right or wrong these statues are a part of American History. Why not destroy American History books while we are at it. Besides, they probably don’t know the people who’s statues are being destroyed. But they sure as hell know how to protest!!

Jo Ann Jo Ann August 18, 2017 at 12:32 PM

I could see protecting them from being destroyed, but this is history. I am a American and know some of our decisions might offend people. but I had family that fought in Civil War and it is a dishonor to a soldier to make their death during war time not important. Yes hatred has no place in our country. I am sadden that next it will be all those veterans who died to keep us free, will be dishonored. You can not erase & remove history, it is how we learn to do better and change the things that bring us down as a nation.

HOT Mess August 18, 2017 at 12:32 PM

Removing all evidence of wrongdoings, go ahead, perfect little princesses. One more thing to cross off the curriculum for schools. Next, migration never happened. Slavery never happened. Civil rights movements never happened. Trump never happened. Love ya, ‘murica

Trucker Bug August 18, 2017 at 12:36 PM

This type is history removal has been happening for centuries. Think of all the civilizations that we know nothing about because all their history was destroyed by conquering tribes. They have effectively been removed from history as we will soon be.

It’s crazy to actually watch your history be erased and even crazier to see how willingly people are letting it happen. Truly a sad time in America.

Silva August 18, 2017 at 12:37 PM

How about just redoing the horses as rainbow unicorns, and the men as fairy princes? Just a thought.

Bad Nombre August 18, 2017 at 12:40 PM

Communities that have these monuments should decide for themselves what they want to honor or memorialize. Not really anyone else’s business, in my opinion.

THE ANIMAL August 18, 2017 at 12:40 PM

We can’t change history we can only learn from it . Why hide from it ?
Leave the monuments up as a reminder of past lessons………………..

Ricardoh August 18, 2017 at 12:43 PM

The left has no ideas. They hate Trump but they needed another cause so they came up with the idea to erase our history. Next they will be burning books while complaining about Nazis.
Nancy P is crying because a rightist group got permission to hold a rally at the presidio. She screamed it was a white supremacy group. .The organizer is Latin, they will have nine speakers one of which will be White. The others Latin or Black.
We are so lucky to have Trump for president.

Rob August 18, 2017 at 12:43 PM

The United States should not have any monument on public land of anyone who has fought against the United States.

You don’t need monuments on public land to understand history – you can read a history book – or even use the – internet….

And besides…

Confederate Monuments are just Oversized 2nd Place Participation Trophies.

Justifiable anger August 18, 2017 at 12:46 PM

The Lincoln Monuments? The statues are a huge part of American history. So are the Antebellum mansions, letters/diaries, books, paintings. gardens, graveyards, artifacts, etc. They should be preserved and respected. Learned from.

History is to be learned from. The Civil War happened more than 150 years ago. To destroy evidence of our past is to deny us a tool for the future. This constant stirring of hatred is evil. The majority of the country is not mired in hate.

Polarbearmarket August 18, 2017 at 12:48 PM

I just find it interesting that this is important to do right now. What about in 1892, 1917, 1946, 1968, 1983, 2002 or at any other time since the Civil War?

Drake August 18, 2017 at 12:52 PM

Washington and Jefferson are famous for founding the US. Lee and Jefferson Davis are famous for fighting against it.

Most of these statues were erected during the Jim Crow era, when Southern whites wanted to remind themselves and blacks that they were still in charge.

No one is erasing history here — I’m sure you didn’t learn about the Civil War or slavery from a statue of a Confederate. There’s still Gettysburg and monuments honoring the fallen soldiers on both sides.

Maybe it’s time to remove these statues, which portray those who fought to keep slaves as heroes.

Suzanne August 18, 2017 at 12:52 PM

As weary as I am of hearing about – putting in my two cents. These monuments are a part of our history. They are not promoting slavery or hatred of others. They are symbolic of a HUGE time in our history where the country was nearly torn apart, then reunited again as one. Just because a group of hateful morons dance around statues of RE Lee doesn’t make them (the statues) evil. It is not American to tear down, cover up and pretend it didn’t exist… or maybe it is American… now. Once all the statues are gone, what are y’all gonna cry about next?

Suzanne August 18, 2017 at 12:55 PM

@Rob – I don’t agree. The South did not fight against the United States. That is what is so important about preserving this part of our history. It was brother against brother and the Confederacy was very much United States.

DD August 18, 2017 at 1:00 PM

I think that right now this country has more important things to worry about.

Captain Bebops August 18, 2017 at 1:06 PM

No, the monuments and statues are part of US history good or bad. If bad they make good reminders. I’m liberal but I’m getting sick of how some so-called liberals who probably have jelly for brains are all out for this PC crap. How far are you going to go when worrying about “offending” somebody?

Silva August 18, 2017 at 1:08 PM

Polarbearmarket #20, Better late than never.

WhatThe? August 18, 2017 at 1:08 PM

No one’s trying to erase history. Putting up a statue is to recognize someone or some group for something GOOD they did. Its to celebrate them, not to record history. Do we need to erect a statue of the 9//11 bombers because if we don’t we’re trying to erase history…ah that’s dumb.
Those statues celebrate these men, who fought against the US and for slavery, plain and simple and should be taken down but not wiped from the history books. And no one, outside of Trump, is suggesting taking down monuments to Washington so stop complaining about something that isn’t actually happening.
@11 Well my grandfather fought in WWII and its a disservice to him and anyone who died in that war to see Nazi’s marching in our streets.

Bob Foo August 18, 2017 at 1:09 PM

The thing that bothers me is that people think the Civil War was about slavery. In reality, that was only a very small part of it. There were non-slave states threatening to secede from the union as well.

The absurdity of it all August 18, 2017 at 1:13 PM

What’s next, Mt. Rushmore? How about Old glory? After all, slavery did occur under the Stars and Stripes. While we’re are at it, let’s rename Washington D.C. and the state of Washington, then we can tear down the Washington Monument and Grant’s Tomb, they were slave owners too.
Next we can tear down the Alamo, then we can move on to religious names like San Jose, and San Francisco. Oh, and there’s the city of Santa Ana, named after an enemy of the United States. Next we can change the pictures on US currency.
We’ll have to rename the United States of America because it is named after Amerigo Vespucci, who was a slave owner.

Anon94597 August 18, 2017 at 1:14 PM

Needs to go. Put them in a museum, don’t sensationalize and memorialize the direct enemies of this country.

Concord Mike August 18, 2017 at 1:16 PM

Many civil war monuments were installed in the nineteenth century in a spirit of reconciliation after a bloody war. Some were installed in the twentieth century specifically to re-enforce jim crow.

So the decision to remove a monument or keep it should be based on the reason the monument was installed in the first place.

NoMoreFreeRide August 18, 2017 at 1:17 PM

And just like that everyone forgot about Russia! Next FDR statues will be removed because he put the Japanese in internment camps. Next we’ll force Egypt to remove the pyramids because salves built them. Where does it end?

foonman August 18, 2017 at 1:18 PM

First you remove all the country’s history. Then rewrite it with “your” hero’s such as Castro, Lenin, Stalin ,Obama etc. The next generation will never be exposed to how this country came to be (warts and all). Does anyone really think that these statues are worshipped as hero’s today? I think not, however they represent our history of country and its important as its not to forget how far we have come. The Civil War was about many things but some think it was only about slavery. Emancipation was a great part of it and we should remember that but to remove any reference to the past. Too bad they don’t teach “American” history in school any more except the filtered version from the progressive point of view.

Honey B. August 18, 2017 at 1:21 PM

The statues are a piece of history, and I understand the symbolic desire to want them removed. However, I don’t think public funds should be used for this when there are a lot of areas where the funds can be put to better use.

What I can never condone is the UN-AMERICAN, UN-PATRIOTIC, IMMORAL thugs who are crawling out from the woodwork and displaying the most vile symbol ever known to mankind on their flags, and spouting the words of a vile dictator who sought to eradicate an entire race of people.

I’ve always leaned toward the right. Always. But if you find yourself making excuses for those “fine” racist thugs who spout hatred, you are not an American Patriot. Those who boarded the ships and stormed the beaches and freed the world from the sickness of Nazism were American Patriots. They would be turning in their graves to see some of my fellow republicans in leadership staying silent as their valiant efforts during the war are trampled and spit upon. A disgrace to our servicemen and women. A true disgrace.

Silva August 18, 2017 at 1:26 PM

Put them in museums, in Civil War graveyards, in private gardens, etc., etc.. They don’t belong in front of courthouses and other public places. No more second place trophies. Slave auction blocks are no longer visible, but somehow we all know slavery happened. You can’t erase history by moving some rebel statuary.

Rob August 18, 2017 at 1:28 PM

Why would want any Monument public soil that is of someone who fought against the United States?

Should we put up monuments to the Japanese Zero Pilots who bombed Pearl Harbor – after all – that’s part of our history and without monuments apparently some folks think that we cannot learn about history.

Anony August 18, 2017 at 1:36 PM

@WhatThe? – Thank you. I also had many family members who fought in WWII. I also served in the military. I find neo-nazis marching in the streets offensive.

Maybe these statues and monuments are better suited to museums. they can still be viewed and people can still understand the history of the country. That way individuals can decide if they want to see them.. On a personal level the monuments don’t really bother me but I can see where some people find them offensive.

We should look for the solution that is acceptable to the majority of the population. It is not a question of being a “snowflake”, it is a question of decency and courtesy.

PurpleReign August 18, 2017 at 1:41 PM

@BooFoo i agree
from what i remember (sorry too lazy to google it) the Civil War was mostly about State Rights vs Federal Govt Rights . . . i could be wrong

I am ashamed for my children to see the way the world works these days if something offends you then protest, riot, legislate against it or just go out and destroy it

the irony seems to be lost on the “left” all of the destruction of historic statues doesn’t seem very tolerant . . . and trying to ban the “evil groups” from public assembly doesn’t seem like free speech . . . . sad that many individuals are only tolerant of what THEY believe and are only open to free speech with which they agree . . . or “free speech” that makes them feel good.

sad . . . really really sad i will continue to pray for all of us (that is still ok, right? as long as i don’t offend anyone with it)


Roz August 18, 2017 at 1:53 PM

Just leave things alone. So many things have been TAKEN AWAY from us or we are told you have to have THIS. Before you know it there will only be one political party, and we won’t be free anymore.

AlwaysBePositive August 18, 2017 at 1:57 PM

As a student of history I find the removal of artwork or culturally significant monuments troubling, reminiscent of the destruction of the giant Buddhas recently. IMO, the best way to deal with any historical or cultural monument would be to make each one a 3 part description. 1st-description of the person or event and its historical significance. 2nd-description of the cultural environment at the time that the monument was raised. 3rd- description of the monuments historical and cultural interpretation in the current time.

Let’s be honest. These monuments were not raised to celebrate the Confederacy, they were raised to remind the blacks in the area that they were still second-class citizens.

Nature Lover August 18, 2017 at 2:07 PM

I agree with Silva. Why should people who fought to preserve the enslavement of a race of people be honored in a public setting? Historic figures will remain in the history books. That said, it is really up to the voters in each city county or state as to what should happen to those statues.

Mountainside Jay August 18, 2017 at 2:14 PM

People who killed US soldiers do not deserve statues in this country, how about that being a good standard to follow?

WC resident August 18, 2017 at 2:30 PM

To those that claim that removing statues will “erase history.” That’s false. For example, we do not have statues of Hitler and Osama bin Laden in our public squares and and parks but both are very much part of history.

Stater of the Obvious August 18, 2017 at 3:10 PM

The leaders of the Confederacy declared and waged war against the United States of America. They were traitors with the blood of thousands on their hands and those who continue to support them are traitors too.

Most countries have ugly forgettable moments and people in their history. Unfortunately for us, at least some of us, we have chosen to commemorate those villains in public places. Go to Germany and see how many statues there are of Adolph Hitler. He is more important to their history than Robert E Lee is to ours. They teach their kids about the evils of nazis an demagogues, we teach our kids a very different lesson when we honor these men with statues in public places.

Tear them down. The confederacy belongs in our history books, not our civic buildings and parks.

Stater of the Obvious August 18, 2017 at 3:12 PM

Timothy McVeigh is an important part of our history. He fought against the federal government too. When does he get a statue?

Villains belong in history books, nowhere else.

HolyMolyDoughnutShop August 18, 2017 at 3:30 PM

@47 but Auschwitz still stands….

Silva August 18, 2017 at 3:33 PM

One of the bloodiest wars ever fought was not about some nebulous “states’ rights”. that no one can remember what that actually meant. “States’ rights” was a euphemism for “the rights of the rich elite to own people”. Supporters of slavery argued that one of the rights of the states was the protection of slave property wherever it went. “States’ rights” = rights to own people. It was really that simple.

RANDOM TASK August 18, 2017 at 3:36 PM

So here we go again Dems throw out what ever they want in this country that they don’t like and force the rest o abide …….I find it funny that Dems are preaching diversity and tolerance and everyone for everyone and yet on the back side if you want to envoke your freedoms they riot and threaten and then call you racist …..hey you took the last milk you must be a racist …..hey that chair is white it must be racist …..the punchlines go on and on …..worst part is the media only shows one side to the world and then uses that to shout out racist again ….. now it’s ok to deface property and rob people and throw poo and urin as a matter of fact they get paid to do it and get bussed in as well …..this whole tearing down and burning that which a few deem unNecessary is right up there with how the natzis seized power …destroying the past to create a new regime …. now if it is ok to destroy what ever someone deems is now wanted and or offensive ……then I see people tearing down churches mosks abortion centers welfare centers ….and any other dem approved money laundering center ….anArchy is what Dems are preaching and that is bad news for everyone ……stop Dems now they are tearing apart this country into a neo socialist natzi dictatorship …….

ClayDen August 18, 2017 at 3:37 PM

@Rob #40

Should we demand that they remove the Japanese Zero from the Pacific Aviation Museum on Ford Island in Pearl Harbor?

Original G August 18, 2017 at 3:41 PM

What the heck, banning that Confederate Flag made such a dramatic reduction in hate and violence …… Oh, ….., you don’t remember that?

What is it about Democrats and objects? Flags, monuments, statues, guns …
Seems to be all they’re capable of because they haven’t made a difference in large cities they controlled for decades, high crime rates, high poverty rates, high unemployment and record numbers of murders.

Wonder if they will destroy Mt. Rushmore or Mount Vernon or Monticello? Are they possibly making a list of some books they want to burn next?

Come to think of it why not take down statues and remove names and all mention of those who were proven KKK members. Wouldn’t that be a positive effort for them if they really cared?
Democrats were so concerned about KKK past of one of their members, …
“He was the longest-serving Senator in United States history.”

NPR/PBS survey released this week, on page 11 they asked if statues honoring leaders of the Confederacy should remain as historical symbols.
overall of those surveyed 62% said yes, of 18 to 44 year olds 60% agreed and percentage continued to increase in older age groups. Voters will remember damage to America Democrats are attempting in 2018 and 2020.

This monument and statue fiasco is another pathetic example of how out of touch with the American people career politicians of both parties are. But most of all the FOSSIL Democrat politicians in leadership positions are excelling in proving their party is the party of petty and vindictive nonsense.

Original G August 18, 2017 at 4:05 PM

Guess what they have up in Seattle, Washington?

“The Statue of Lenin is a 16-foot (4.9 m) bronze sculpture of Communist revolutionary Vladimir Lenin located in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle, Washington…”,_Seattle

Estimates of those who died under rule of Lenin vary from 4 to 8 million people.
Hmm ? How interesting that liberal Democrat bastion Seattle should have a bigger than life statue of a Communist leader.

T.Payne August 18, 2017 at 4:06 PM

Censorship in all it’s forms is a form of repression, weather you agree with them or not. Fascism on the extreme right and Communism on the extreme left have more similarities than differences, but they both result in Tyranny. Know your history, defend your rights relentlessly (even the ones you don’t like), Vote your conscience, think for your self, don’t let someone tell you how to think.

Cy Nical August 18, 2017 at 4:09 PM

Democrats can not be taken seriously in this issue until they remove Robert Byrd’s name( Long time Democratic senator, Hillary’s mentor and KKK leader) from buildings, etc. Until then they are reinforcing themselves as hypocrites.

Anon Awake August 18, 2017 at 4:20 PM

When 16% of the population is responsible for 50% of the crime I think they deserve a monument.

Trump supporter August 18, 2017 at 4:37 PM

Sorry, but they need to go! It will not erase history having them taken down.(it’s still in books) I just wish they would hurry up I’m so done hearing about it that I barely watch news anymore! I wish the media would stop giving so much attention to all these hate groups inciting even more hate! We are going backwards and that saddens me!

Silva August 18, 2017 at 4:38 PM

I’m a black Southerner. I had to go abroad to see a statue celebrating black liberation. Why aren’t there more statues memorializing slaves?

Kentucky Derby August 18, 2017 at 4:41 PM

Not on my radar screen. I try to focus on my own life.

I'm The Urban Spaceman August 18, 2017 at 5:00 PM

Losers & Traitors don’t deserve monuments. Why do we honor men who took up arms against the US?
It’s as ludicrous as a Timothy McVeigh’s Statue, or a memorial honoring the 911 bombers. After all, it’s part of history, right?

Kirkwood August 18, 2017 at 5:09 PM

The Confederate objects might as well be removed to museums where it can be protected as art and not symbols. If that makes the self defined oppressed feel better, good.
Studies have shown that the subsurface level of racism has changed little in the last 30 years. You can legislate what people say or do in public but cannot legislate what people think.

Keep all three Barrels Up August 18, 2017 at 5:24 PM

Well let’s not use Currency anymore. Those people on our Bills and Coins had slaves. Let’s put Unicorns and Fairies and on Currency from now on.

Elwood August 18, 2017 at 5:33 PM

@ What The? #29

“Well my grandfather fought in WWII and its a disservice to him and anyone who died in that war to see Nazi’s marching in our streets.”

You couldn’t be more wrong. Your grandfather fought and other soldiers died so that Nazis and others with unpopular views COULD march in the streets.

Kirkwood August 18, 2017 at 5:47 PM

Just for fun I looked up Charlottsville, it’s a small town with a population about halfway between Walnut Creek and Pleasant Hill. Its claim to Civil War history is a woolen mill that made uniforms for Confederate solders.

Atticus Thraxx August 18, 2017 at 5:54 PM

Treasonous rebel scum. Should have hunted down every last on of ’em. Losers don’t get to hang their flag or put up monuments when they lose, sets bad precedent. That whole slave thing was uncool too.

Simpleisine August 18, 2017 at 6:15 PM

We lost the Vietnam war, how dare we fly American flags.

FCA August 18, 2017 at 6:30 PM

Leave them be!!!

ClayDen August 18, 2017 at 6:57 PM

@ Kirkwood

Charlottesville is a beautiful place; what happened there was ugly (on both sides). It is the home of one of the finest universities in the country, the University of Virginia, founded by Thomas Jefferson, one of our greatest Presidents. I spent two weeks there at an executive retreat in the 1980s and was able to visit Monticello. My wife and I spent two days and nights in Charlottesville in June 2016 and visited Monticello, an amazing place and one of the highlights of a two week vacation that took us from Charleston SC to Chicago via the Outer Banks and the Blue Ridge Parkway. Near Monticello, we stumbled across one of the most beautiful wineries we’ve ever visited and had a nice lunch and did a wine tasting; it was the Trump Winery.

Jerk August 18, 2017 at 6:57 PM

For 8 years I was a racist if I disagreed with my President, now I’m a racist if I agree with my President.

Git it Together August 18, 2017 at 7:05 PM

The real issue is mob rule….the mob(s) who shut down bridges and roadways with “side-shows” thought they had the right….the mobs who blew up 2000 year old Budda statues thought they had the right…the mobs who pass around baby dolphins for selfies thought they had the right…and mobs who beat people in the street to install the dictator du jour believe they have the right

Enfield303 August 18, 2017 at 7:22 PM

It’s good to see the American Taliban is alive and well. It’s odd that the Democrats are trying to erase their own history.

Atticus Thraxx August 18, 2017 at 7:40 PM

We’re not on enemy soil Simplesine. Try that in Hanoi.

Tim August 18, 2017 at 8:21 PM

First thing ISIS does after taking a city is destroy historical monuments.
We should learn from history.

Larry August 18, 2017 at 8:46 PM

If Confederate monuments offend some and they want them removed,fine.Now remove the monument for career criminal thug Michael Brown,that offends me.

Be gentle August 18, 2017 at 9:34 PM

No! Historical importance! It is wrong to do take down any monument!

Trucker Bug August 18, 2017 at 9:47 PM

All this ww2 talk. How many grandsons of confederate soldiers also stormed the beaches of Normandy or gave their life in ww1/ww2. How many great grandsons are fighting in Iraq/Afghanistan right now for your freedoms? Give me a break with all this “their traitors” PBS nonsense. It was a different time back then. You can’t hold 1800’s accountable by today’s views. It’s part of people’s culture you’re attacking.

Get rid of the monuments. Get rid of the names. Destroy the mountains. Change the faces on the money. Does any of this fix healthcare, taxes? Will leas black men die in Chicago from it? Will it lower taxes or make the economy boom? Will it stop illegal immigration? Will it ease tensions with north Korea or end the radical Muslim terrorists?

It’s all smoke and mirrors. Distract the public from the actual problems. Wake up people.

Ps. Lincoln was a republican and he freed he slaves. Just food for thought

Jack bellamy August 18, 2017 at 9:50 PM

Are people so ignorant to think hiding what happened in the past that it will change the future, slaves fought and died in the coliseum in Rome and now people look at it like a thing of beauty, the death camps from world war 2 still stand to remind everyone about the the pain and suffering that happened to 6 million Jews, and some people don’t think that it ever happened, and quit complaining about slavery, because you were never a slave, at some point in time all races and religions were slaves, you are not special because your ancestors were, mine were slaves from England in France and you don’t see me wanting to tear down the Statue of Liberty.

Silva August 18, 2017 at 9:54 PM

They will be easier to protect by moving them to more appropriate locations anyway. No one has suggested destroying them.

UpthePeople August 18, 2017 at 10:33 PM

hey, Silva: they do. There’s one of Willie Mays at the ball park.

Happy One August 18, 2017 at 10:52 PM

Yes, the Confederate statues and monuments should be removed. Put the ones of most historical or artistic significance into museums where visitors can learn about the awful history of slavery in our country and the bloody Civil War that led to its end.

The statues should come down for several reasons. First, we should not be glorifying men who are traitors to our country, fought against the US for the purpose of preserving the institution of slavery, and are responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of soldiers. Second, the statues serve as rallying points for neo-Nazis, the KKK, and white nationalists who understand exactly what the statues represent: white supremacy. That’s what they represented when they were erected in the early 20th century and that is still what they represent today. Third, it’s insulting to Americans whose ancestors were slaves. Yes, it’s our “history”, but it’s not a part of our history we should be glorifying and honoring with magnificent statues in parks named after Confederate leaders.

Replace the statues of Confederate leaders with statues of those more worthy of honor: Southern soldiers who chose to join the Union army, Southerners who helped slaves escape to the North and freedom, former slaves who fought with the union armies, Union soldiers who fought to preserve the Union, Abraham Lincoln, slaves who rose up against their owners, slaves who perished at the hands of their owners. There are many, many people from that era more worthy of honor.

Removing these statues is not erasing our history. It’s being honest about our history. Let’s not pretend the Civil War was just a squabble among brothers over states rights or a noble fight to protect Southern culture and honor. When the southern states seceded, they were very clear about why. It was to preserve the institution of slavery. It was only later, after the war, that excuses such as “states rights” or “tariffs” were put forth to hide from the ugly truth.

States Rights August 18, 2017 at 11:17 PM

Most of the Confederate soldiers were fighting to protect their homeland. The concept of States Rights predated the Civil War by many years. President Jackson was a slaveholder that firmly believed in the Union. When South Carolina first proposed nullification, the issue was unfair taxation. Jackson was a proponent of States Rights, but felt that nullification would disolve the Union. He strongly felt that the Union must be preserved, and convinced the Congress to pass the Compromise Tariff of 1833, which kept the Union intact for another 28 years. But the issue of States Rights never did go away.

jjshawk August 19, 2017 at 12:42 AM

Don’t erase or sanitize America’s history,….take the good with the bad, and the bad with the good! We need to, with “honesty and integrity”, educate all future generations about Americas achievements as well as her past mistakes, as painful as they are. I am open to the idea of removing only Confederate artifacts, provided they are moved to a museum, so people have a choice, weather or not, they want to learn about that part of our history and make up his/her own mind. However, removal should be decided by vote, not through violence or taking to the streets in protest. The vote is the best protest; it’s the more effective way to make your voice heard!

Happy One August 19, 2017 at 1:04 AM

States Rights @84, yes, other issues had been in dispute in the past, but what actually led the states to secede was the issue of slavery, not states’ rights or tax issues. When South Carolina decided to leave the Union in 1860, the committee of men that officially voted to secede wrote a document explaining why. They didn’t beat around the bush. They clearly stated that the issue was slavery: Non-slaveholding states were increasingly hostile towards the institution of slavery; non-slaveholding states were refusing to return runaway slaves, which South Carolina felt they were obligated to do under the Constitution; Abraham Lincoln was anti-slavery. They believed slavery was morally and legally correct, so they didn’t see the need to hide their reasoning. They were protecting the institution of slavery. Slavery had been a bone of contention since the founding of our nation. Compromises were made for years to ensure that non-slaveholding states were balanced with slaveholding states to ensure that the Union hung together. But the Southern states could see the handwriting on the wall. The non-slaveholding states and the abolitionists were gaining the upper hand. The institution of slavery was at risk. So they left the Union.

bronzed August 19, 2017 at 5:16 AM

History is history, it happened.
What I am seeing is a lot of these antifa people hired by someone else to start something serious. They seemed to gain notoriety when the BLM started parading around, although they were around for other demonstrations for some years.
And when the neo-skinheads show up to do their thing things get heated fast.
Trying to put the blame on our current president is really childish and stupid. Just because some group voted for a president, does not mean the president supports said group.
I am all for remembering about slavery, but let us also not forget which political party was for it. There are members of congress and ex members of our government that belonged to some deranged groups themselves.
When are the antis going to go after them? Ask them about A Gores father for one. He was some big wig in the infamous kkk.
Peace be unto us already.

Antler August 19, 2017 at 6:04 AM

Mayor, this is the very best discussion I can remember our having on Claycord …. ever!

I am a white woman who was born and raised in North Carolina (1939-1959) and then moved here to the San Francisco Bay Area. The statues and memorial parks were always presented to us school children as a reminder that our region of the country had fought in the most physically and mentally devastating type of war there is on earth, a Civil War. Most importantly, we were taught correctly that most of those Southerners who fought were not even land owners, much less slave owners. We were taught that these men fought bravely and well under the command of many excellent
generals….and that they still lost. We did not need to be taught that they fought trying to protect their families.

Only later, doing my own research, did I learn that the war never had to happen at all. We children were not taught about the political reasons for the war… never, for instance, did we read Lincoln’s own words during his first term indicating that he was not against slavery, but changed his stance to get the votes from borderline states during the campaign for his second term. We were not taught about the Charlestown, SC, shipping barons (whose cotton trade was already faltering because Britain had changed to importing its cotton from its colony, India …. hence meaning that slaves/slavery would soon not be “profitable” in the United States anyway). So we students did not know … nor did the Confederate Army at the time … that those same shipping barons ordered the firing on Fort Sumter because of a business
projection that they would sell cotton to BOTH sides of the conflict for use as uniforms, blankets, bandages, etc., thereby becoming even more wealthy than they already were. (I did not learn about that aspect until on a tour in Charlestown; there was verbal info from a guide and also mercantile and command documents displayed at a museum there.)

I would prefer that the statues be protected in museums of history. They do constantly remind black people that the degradation of slavery was their ancestors’ way of life. In a way, those statues also rub in the fact that the Northern states’ victory has done precious little to change the attitude of White Christian Supremacists and their organizations who are spreading vitriol to this day.

The current tearing down of statues is largely a result of frustration with a Federal government which still wrongfully umbrellas activist hate groups as being protected under the 1st Amendment. Eradicating Nazi-style bigoted, dangerous groups will be an enormous challenge, because they hide so self-righteously behind their Masonic lodge affiliations, the NRA, religious
reasoning based on skewed interpretations of Scripture, etc.. And they indoctrinate their children from birth on what and whom to hate!

Justyfiable anger August 19, 2017 at 7:10 AM

#58 Trump Supporter: Yes. The hate is media driven. We are letting a bunch of immoral, greedy, traitors ruin our safety, our country, our homes.

The politicians are guilty too. It is they that are benefitting, not the working classes. I can’t believe we are in the middle of a coup and no one notices.

Justyfiable anger August 19, 2017 at 7:30 AM

As far as the statues commorating the civil war goes, just be careful of where you draw the line, if you even can. I can see the south burning again, lit by the likes of Soros.

I am more offended by classifying nationalists as Nazies/white supremists. Al Sharpton is one of the biggest racists in our country. Obamas advisor and mentor. You really stuck it to the working class with that one.

The international announcement that the white race of America are deplorable racists is The Most racist move by any politician in a century. Obama and his intended successor were very close to sealing the deal.

JLG August 19, 2017 at 7:55 AM

Hey how did these Monuments get put up in the first place. What other country would elect Monuments to traitors. A defeated army a lost cause. Makes no sense to glorify these traitors unless the meaning of these Monuments is or was to show resistance to the United States.

Anon August 19, 2017 at 8:13 AM

If I can’t see it, it never existed.

Silva August 19, 2017 at 8:28 AM

I have no problem with history or the South, most of my relatives including my mom are buried in an historic cemetery in Decatur, GA., in very close proximity to numerous Civil War veterans. Here’s a concise article that puts the creation of the majority of the statues we are talking about into the context of when they were created, and why. There’s a graph, I like graphs;

The Real Story Behind All Those Confederate Statues;

GGG August 19, 2017 at 9:15 AM

Historical documents regarding Wessley Norris, a slave flogged in Arlington: “I remained with Gen. Lee about seventeen months, when my sister Mary, a cousin of ours, and I determined to run away, which we did in the year 1859; we had already reached Westminster, in Maryland, on our way to the North, when we were apprehended and thrown into prison, and Gen. Lee notified of our arrest; we remained in prison fifteen days, when we were sent back to Arlington; we were immediately taken before Gen. Lee, who demanded the reason why we ran away; we frankly told him that we considered ourselves free; he then told us he would teach us a lesson we never would forget; he then ordered us to the barn, where in his presence, we were tied firmly to posts by a Mr. Gwin, our overseer, who was ordered by Gen. Lee to strip us to the waist and give us fifty lashes each, excepting my sister, who received but twenty; we were accordingly stripped to the skin by the overseer, who, however, had sufficient humanity to decline whipping us; accordingly Dick Williams, a county constable was called in, who gave us the number ofl ashes ordered; Gen. Lee, in the meantime, stood by, and frequently enjoined Williams to “lay it on well,” an injunction which he did not fail to heed; not satisfied with simply lacerating our naked flesh, Gen. Lee then ordered the overseer to thoroughly wash our backs with brine, which was done.”

Silva August 19, 2017 at 9:31 AM

I didn’t see your great post before I posted, Antler. It’s great to hear personal stories.

The Civil War was a horrible disaster for our Nation. We should NEVER forget it. It was not clear for a very long time how and if we would recover. At the end of the war ranks of Southern “men” were ever younger boys. The South was decimated. In many places and ways it still is. We should not allow large gatherings of angry people whose sole purpose is to ferment and spread hatred. Do we need tanks at the ready in our city streets? I’d rather not. Nevermind the financial cost to all of us, the visual is not pleasing. It’s not my idea of America. I’d rather not see the statuary and monuments destroyed. One of my early memories is going for a hike as a three year old with my mother from the bottom to the top of Stone Mountain. I watched over time as the giant carving on the face was repeatedly modified, each time dramatically different than the last. If this conflict escalates, the whole thing could end up damaged or lost. If we allow this thing to get out of hand, the statues, monuments, our cities and perhaps our great Nation will end up being lost and destroyed. To those of you who are blaming the “Dems”, we are not all “Dems”. Not everyone you don’t agree with is a “Dem” or a “Rep”. This is really bigger than that.

Silva August 19, 2017 at 9:48 AM

Just going to leave this here; Lost Cause of the Confederacy

Kirkwood August 19, 2017 at 10:11 AM

ClayDen – My post about Charlottsville was not meant to disparage the city. The information came from Wikipedia and I found it interesting that a town smaller than Walnut Creek was chosen for the march – even if they found a place to park.
I respect your posts.

GenXer August 19, 2017 at 10:13 AM

Only a matter of time until all these statues are removed, along with Washington, Jefferson and any other slave owning founding fathers. So many seem quick to want to erase history if it’s at all offensive, and that is sad because we lose the educational element. (Such as educating on the history of our country and the legacy of the civil war, which clearly continues to be fought in some ways 150 years later).

Will we be tearing down and rebuilding all the buildings in the South rebuilt after the Civil War that face south? Lots of south facing courthouses, city halls, etc.

Kirkwood August 19, 2017 at 11:08 AM

ClayDen – My post Re: Charlotsville was not meant to be negative, the information came from Wikipedia. I was surprised that a town smaller than Walnut Creek was chosen for the march – even if they found a place to park.
I respect your posts.

Silva August 19, 2017 at 11:10 AM

Oh and Antler at #90, that’s some great history. Interesting stuff about the shipping barons ordering the firing on Fort Sumter. And the cotton trade redistribution angle. Another typical example of very rich elites sending young people to fight and die to further their own economic interests.

Happy One August 19, 2017 at 11:14 AM

I have a book recommendation for anyone interested in the Civil War: “The Fall of the House of Dixie: the Civil War and the social revolution that transformed the South” by Bruce Levine. The book was published in 2013, so it is based on recent scholarship. The library has several copies. It deals more with the social, political, and economic side of things and less on military history. But of course there is some military history included.

The 2016 election led me to read several books about American history in an attempt to understand how we got to where we are today. The aforementioned book was part of that reading. I, too, spent part of my childhood and adult life in the South. This was back in the day when there were separate school systems for white and “colored” children. Even after schools were desegregated and the civil rights movement had successfully led to changes in the South, vestiges of our segregated history were still apparent. Sometimes I think it’s hard for people who didn’t live through these times in the South to understand what it was really like in our not so distant past.

Anon August 19, 2017 at 4:28 PM

How is the 9/11 memorial any different than the statues being removed? Are those who are in favor of removing statues representing U.S. history ready to forget and remove the 9/11 Memorial? If you are someone who will never forget, are you then anti-Muslim for supporting the memorial, and a racist?

ClayDen August 19, 2017 at 7:26 PM


Thanks for your comments. I was just trying to add some background to the conversation. I suspect such a big event was held in a relatively small city is because it is the home of UVA, one of the top (some say the top) public universities in the country, with almost 25,000 students.

slagheap August 19, 2017 at 9:01 PM

remove. no-brainer, remove them already. a first grader would understand this.

Dr. Jellyfinger August 19, 2017 at 9:37 PM

After that they can tear down the Civil War Museum in Memphis.

Silva August 19, 2017 at 10:13 PM

Is this what you really want? Left in situ, this is their fate. Maybe they should be better protected than this since you feel so strongly about them.

Duke University removes statue of Robert E. Lee after vandals damage monument’s face

TIFOKCIS August 20, 2017 at 7:48 AM

Tear it all down, forget and then repeat the same mistakes.

Liberals, Progressives and democrats CHEER!

Justyfiable anger August 20, 2017 at 8:29 AM

Okay, Silva. I’m game. Remove the statues to a safe place. Should we include the Lincoln statues? What about our libraries? The mansions?

Consider what you are inviting into your community. Could this be a power move, by preditors? Do you know your history? Do you understand that money and power are a magical mix? Do you think those that seek it can resist its alure?

Silva August 20, 2017 at 11:23 AM

Justyfiable anger, I’ve lived many years in a community under siege, and I’m not sure what exactly you think I’m inviting into my community. I highly value peace and safety for my community as much as I’m sure you do. I don’t know who would have a problem with Lincoln statues besides a few traitors. Lincoln lived and died trying to unite all of America, but they do have to clean up graffiti on the Lincoln Memorial now and then. Libraries and history; I personally think one of the greatest losses to all of humanity was the burning of the Library at Alexandria. Knowledge of ages was lost forever. It’s generally only tyrants and fools who burn books. I have previously posted my feelings about safeguarding Confederate statues and monuments all over this thread, and I doubt many would want me to have a do over!😉. If you knew me personally, you would know I seriously revere all art and history. The mansions! The seemingly never ending numbers of amazing mansions I grew up seeing all over the South in my youth are gone! Razed, to make way for shopping centers and developments. By all means, the mansions that are left need to be preserved. Most Americans would agree. They won’t be though. Power and money are a dangerous mix, I’m with you there! Clearly, many do seem unwilling to resist that allure I have seen many black Americans who work as docents in historical antebellum residences, parks, and places such as Colonial Williamsburg. Speaking of history, this short article explains when and why the vast majority were created, and why some other people have very strong feelings about Confederate statues and monuments. “The Real Story Behind All Those Confederate Statue”s;

Dk August 21, 2017 at 5:29 AM

Funny thing is…
The slave holders were democrats…
The racists were democrats…
The confederates were democrats…

Now they think that the republicans are the racists …
Maybe that’s why they want the statues taken down…
Because they are the REAL deplorables !!!

mtzman August 21, 2017 at 9:56 AM

@DK #110, actually it’s not funny at all. As has been explained many times, in those days the Dems were the conservatives and the Repubs the liberals. That changed in the mid 20th century beginning with the FDR years and culminating around the time of Nixon. Nice try but you really to start understanding history instead of just parroting the likes of Levin and Limbaugh.

Justifiable anger August 21, 2017 at 10:56 AM

I love a timeline! What happened in and to the South is truly worthy of documentation, and study. As Californian, we did not have the social, political, financial and familial impact. This is not dry historical rhetoric, as presented in textbooks. The timeline says everything. Thanks Silva, for the history lesson.

WC resident August 21, 2017 at 11:03 AM

@Dk #110 – The word confederate breaks down to con-federation. The “con” prefix means against or in opposition to. The “federation” was in reference to the United States “federal” government. A federation is a union of partially self-governing states or regions under a central (federal) government.

The confederates wanted the size and power of the “federation” part or the central government greatly reduced and that the states have more latitude to define their own rules and laws. At the time, they were also known as the liberals as they wanted less regulation.

The north did a couple of interesting things. 1) They took on the label the “Union.” 2) They were successful in framing the debate as though it was about slavery. It was easy to create the equivalence “slavery is bad” and thus the south or confederation is bad. It would have been a far harder sell to say the south was bad because they wanted more rights of self-governance. Astonishingly, many in the south also agreed with this reframing as it was also easier to sell the idea to their general population.

Thus at that time the conservatives were in the north as they wanted more control and regulation while the liberals were in the south. As part of this politicians such as Abraham Lincoln formed the Republican Party which promoted the concept of “the republic” as being a good thing. In the south they wanted a pure democracy and so became the Democrats.

The 100% flip-flop of the Republicans and Democrats was largely due to Franklin Roosevelt who in 1936 promoted his “New Deal” concept as a “democratic” concept that would help all of us. The old Democrats subsequently adopted the name “Republicans” to gain traction with those opposed to the “federal overreach” that started with the New Deal. Initially the new Republican concept was popular to the west of the Mississippi which historically had less government. In this day that’s still true in the midwest down to Oklahoma. California’s population grew and response we ended up with an oversized government.

Up until the 1970s the Republications (the people now on the right) were in favor of less government and greater individual rights. Starting in the 1970s the Christian/religious right started gaining influence within the Republican party which has shifted the platform to being greater individual rights for Christians and less for everyone else. Both parties now seize and attempt to frame issues as they come up. Those include abortion, gun control, and most recently, statues. I’m sure a historian 300 years from now will be scratching their heads over “statues? What the …?”

Justifiable anger August 21, 2017 at 11:25 AM

…and yes DK, You and I know you meant funny-as in ironic. The South represented the agrarian society. One that required serfs. Though I think it might have been healthier than working in a factory.

To bring the mantel of racism down on Republicans is a terrorist tactic. They use the insult purposely. Even Obama-the president, used it. A president using such divisive tactics is indefensible Al Sharpton had a hand in that angle. Saul Alinski was their mentor. Hillary’s as well. Community organizers.

But back to the statues. It is dangerous to encourage rioting, which is what our deep state rulers are doing.

Dk August 21, 2017 at 9:12 PM

@Mtz man

Maybe you should read more about us history.

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