Saturday, July 08, 2017

BloKKK Party, C'ville!

Well this sounds like fun.
   It's a "BlocKKK party!"--"a festive protest"! With klansmen and guns and "leftist counter-protesters"...throw in a bouncy castle and I'm totally there! Last time they had torches! It's fun for the whole family...as long as the family is...well...[glances over shoulder] you know...
   Well, it's a free country--for now, anyway. And that includes: free to be an asshole. 
   It all happens at Lee-or-Jackson park--recently renamed Justice-or-Emancipation park--but I can't remember which is which now, and can't keep them straight. As I see it, the practical question is: counter-protest or ignore? When the Klan marched down Franklin Street in Chapel Hill, I was on the ignore side--but there just seems to be no optimal course of action. My fantasy was: get everybody to just keep on keepin' on as if nothing were happening: don't merely stay away, but go on about your business without so much as a glance at the rolling racist shitshow goose-stepping down the road. But you'd never get everybody to do it, and that would blow the effect. Anyway, these ones aren't marching down University Avenue or anything. And yelling at 'em isn't going to do anything. I say: stay away. Let 'em rage at nothing and nobody.
   As for the big question, the Confederate statue question...I don't know what to do. You don't want to glorify the Confederacy, but you also don't want to (as the PCs would put it) "erase" it. And you don't want to forget our beloved-yet-tragically-confused countrymen who fought and died for some good reasons...as well as...you know...that other one... What's wanted is remembrance without glorification. Solemnity. A respect for complication and tragedy. Hard to pull off with statues, which seem inherently heroifying. Maybe impossible for them to be anything else. Anyway, I got nuthin' on this one. This question sucks.
   

4 Comments:

Blogger The Mystic said...

After reading the KKK's assertions that proponents of the statue's removal are trying to "erase white history", I got to thinking: the perfect solution here seems to me to replace the statue with one of, say, Moncure Conway, a prominent Virginian abolitionist who stood up to the Confederacy from within.

That way, no one can complain we're erasing white history, and the proponents of the renaming of the park to something abolition-oriented get an appropriate statue commemorating the movement.

I, for one, think it's weird to commemorate Confederate soldiers; it is, to me, like having commemorations of Nazis in Germany. Sure, some of the soldiers did noble things, but the cause as a whole can be viewed as nothing less than horribly shameful. So I'm kinda for the replacement of these statues in public areas like parks, and maybe their transfer to museums or some such. I don't think it's the huge-ass deal it's being made into, but I certainly don't see a good reason to have them.

I say; replace with actual Virginian heroes, of which there are plenty. Stick it to the KKK by making some (maybe most) of them white guys who actually didn't suck heinous ass.

10:50 AM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Yeah no, not going to go with the Nazi analogy.

But it was a godawful tragedy, that's for sure.

I read--and I think posted--something recently in which someone argued, as I understood it, basically: keep things like parks, as they're more noncommittal / not-explicitly-glorifying... But statues...well ... Damn statues...

1:43 PM  
Blogger The Mystic said...

I'd be interested in the rationale against the Nazi analogy. I mean, this was a war in which the southern states would rather destroy the United States than relent to the forces of Democracy in abandoning the enslavement of other human beings.

That's about as bad as it gets, in my book.

I am not the greatest Civil War scholar, and I could be underestimating the actual weight of other reasons on the minds of Southern leaders, but what research I have done seems to convince me that it was genuinely and primarily a conflict over slavery. To the extent that this is true, I can hardly imagine a worse character than one who, when faced with the rational demonstration of its flaws and peaceful democratic pressure to abandon the horrible practice, not only rejects what is right, but takes up arms and destroys the unity of the country which stood at that time as the world's hope for freedom in the process.

To whatever degree the Nazis were worse (and I think perhaps they were), it is a difference so slight as to not matter much to me at all.

3:17 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

I've got a whole song and dance about that--It's a complicated question, obviously.

But this is one of those issues I'm too angry about right now to discuss terribly rationally--because so much of what's going on *is*, in fact, a joyful, trumphalist push to crush southern culture--which American liberals hate almost more than anything else in the world. The issue can, of course, be discussed independently of the bad motives currently in play...but it's more difficult.

I've been able to be fairly objective about it in the past...and expect to be again some day...but currently I'm largely disgusted. And I'm someone who has rarely been able to scrape up even a modest amount of sympathy for the Confederacy.

6:27 PM  

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