Dead Confederates, A Civil War Era Blog

Be Careful What You Ask For. . . .

Posted in Memory by Andy Hall on August 14, 2017

Earlier this evening, a crowd pulled down a Confederate monument in North Carolina. Two thoughts:

First, the people who did this should be prosecuted.

Second, the folks who pushed hard in North Carolina (and other states) for legislation that prevents local governments from moving or altering Confederate monuments on their own property need to acknowledge that in doing so, they’ve made incidents like this MORE likely now, not less. Had Durham County been able to deal with this issue directly, this monument might well have been moved rather than destroyed.

These laws to “protect” monuments by preventing local communities from making their own decisions about them are a bit like tying down the safety valve on a steam boiler — it works great for a while, but it only lasts so long until the whole damned thing blows up.



12 Responses

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  1. kbrown2225 said, on August 14, 2017 at 8:59 pm

    Excellent points, Andy. I agree that the protesters who destroyed the statute should be prosecuted because they did, in fact, break the law. However, as you point out, legislation that takes away the power of the people to have any say in monuments and memorials in their own towns and neighborhoods make such actions more, not less likely.

  2. Matt McKeon said, on August 15, 2017 at 12:05 am

    Your absolutely right. Well meaning people in their own communities could have found workable solutions. But now… There was a statue to Admiral Nelson in Dublin. One fine day in the 1960s, the IRA blew it up, resulting in one of the finest headlines in Irish history: “British admiral leaves Dublin by air.”

    • Meg Groeling said, on August 15, 2017 at 1:00 pm

      Thanks for your comment. Not only did I laugh at the headline–brilliant–but it helps to see that this issue exists elsewhere as well. Granted, Europe had no “Daughters” to erect statues every 50 feet . . .

      • kbrown2225 said, on August 15, 2017 at 6:35 pm

        The United Daughters of the Confederacy, busy as beavers for 123 years! James M. McPherson has stated that he views the UDC as being an organization of white supremacists and neo-Confederates. Looking at their history, I have to agree.

  3. David Bright said, on August 15, 2017 at 9:45 am

    This has nothing to do with the monuments — it is about the Left getting back into power at the national level. These acts are to tie the conservatives to the Nazis if the conservatives speak up. The goal is to keep the conservatives quiet so the Left can control events leading to 2020.

    • J. B. Richman said, on August 26, 2017 at 11:20 am

      I agree that the far Left always tries to link American Conservatism with Fascism in their propaganda. There are people in the Confederate Heritage movement that try to link Abraham Lincoln with radicalism and ignore slavery and territorial expansionism as issues in the Civil War. Come on folks, Lincoln was a REPUBLICAN. The part of the conservative Whig party that opposed the expansion of slavery. There were four choices in the Presidential election of 1860, one free soil, two squatter’s rights and one slavery expansion.

      I agree with Andy that local communities should be able to control monuments on their own public property (e.g. a city park, a county courthouse). The state should be able to control monuments on state owned property, and likewise the federal. The people who own private property should be able to control monuments on their property also. If the UDC donated the statues to the public and the public accepted the gift, technically the statues are now public. But I think it would be a good idea to return the gift to the donor and not to destroy it.

  4. Neil Hamilton said, on August 15, 2017 at 10:21 am


    I agree with your first comment. No one should take the law into their own hands.

    Per your second comment, push people into a corner and don’t be surprised when they suddenly push back. Both sides of the monument issue should talk to each other, not scream and they should find the grace to compromise.

    As to the left plotting conspiracies, please. Conservatives have not lost their voices anymore than the left has. The idea is a weak excuse for not feeling empowered or getting one’s own way.

    Thanks for you post, Andy, and your excellent suggestions and observations.

    Neil Hamilton

    • Andy Hall said, on August 15, 2017 at 10:41 am

      I have a particular antipathy toward the “heritage preservation” laws that prevent local communities from making their own decisions about the monuments they put up and maintain. It’s especially hypocritical that they’re usually backed by the same people who scream loudest about big gubmit oppression interferring wit their rats rights.

      • Neil Hamilton said, on August 15, 2017 at 12:23 pm

        Indeed. When others think their views top anyone else’s and they force those views upon them, how dare they complain about feeling threatened or oppressed?

      • David Bright said, on August 17, 2017 at 12:17 pm

        We live in a republic. The representatives of the people of the states have passed these laws as an expression of their understanding of what was best for the people of the state. If the people do not like that, they can elect new representatives to change the law and remove the statues.

        • J. B. Richman said, on August 26, 2017 at 11:58 am

          The wisdom of a law and the legality of a law are two different things.

  5. J. B. Richman said, on August 26, 2017 at 11:55 am

    Daniele da Volterra known as “Il Braghettone” was an Italian painter who covered nude artwork with breeches. For our 21st Century sensitivities, we could do something similar with offending Confederate statues by surrounding them with large black breeches that would completely block the view for the public in towns where the statues offend. I don’t think that the statute protecting the statues from removal has anything in it about large cloth coverings, does it?

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