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  1. #1
    The Gaze of the Abyss B. de Corbin's Avatar
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    Historical cleansing

    To begin:

    I absolutely understand and agree why removing Confederate monuments from government locations is totally 100% correct.

    It's like goobermint sanctioned building of Nazi glorifying monuments 'cause "Yeah, these guys were shitty, but some of them were cool."

    But now we're looking at T. Jefferson... A great man who imagine better than he could actually perform.

    Should statues of Jefferson come down?

    I can't say yes or no. I do not have the family history that allows me to have experiential knowledge of the emotions on one side of the issue.

    However, I do hope that at some time in the future of human history we, as a species, accept the obvious, yet strangely occult, fact; No human is perfect, and Sometimes Even Assholes Do Great Things. "

    I would hate to have my Good and Bad displayed in the public balance of history.

    Not really sure how I'd come out.

    I don't know what any of this means. You decide.
    Those who have suffered understand suffering and therefore extend their hand.

    I can't do everything, but I can do something.

  2. #2
    PF Ordo Hereticus MaskedOne's Avatar
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    Re: Historical cleansing

    Off the top of my head, I'm opposed to going after Jefferson related stuff without seeing an epic argument for it. Completely independent of all other considerations, when you start broadening your target list beyond the Confederates then the "Where does it stop?" and slippery slope arguments being used to try and defend Confederate participation prizes monuments stops being a pointless tangent and starts looking like an argument worth at least hearing. I'm not willing to put up with that lightly. I'm not absolutely opposed at this moment but I'd need to see a pretty strong case.
    "It is not simply enough to know the light…a Jedi must feel the tension between the two sides of the Force…in himself and in the universe."
    ―Thon

    "When to the Force you truly give yourself, all you do expresses the truth of who you are,"

    Yoda

    Yoda told stories, and ate, and cried, and laughed: and the Padawans saw that life itself was a lightsaber in his hands; even in the face of treachery and death and hopes gone cold, he burned like a candle in the darkness. Like a star shining in the black eternity of space.

    Yoda: Dark Rendezvous

    "But those men who know anything at all about the Light also know that there is a fierceness to its power, like the bare sword of the law, or the white burning of the sun." Suddenly his voice sounded to Will very strong, and very Welsh. "At the very heart, that is. Other things, like humanity, and mercy, and charity, that most good men hold more precious than all else, they do not come first for the Light. Oh, sometimes they are there; often, indeed. But in the very long run the concern of you people is with the absolute good, ahead of all else..."

    John Rowlands, The Grey King by Susan Cooper

    "You come from the Lord Adam and the Lady Eve", said Aslan. "And that is both honour enough to erect the head of the poorest beggar, and shame enough to bow the shoulders of the greatest emperor on earth; be content."

    Aslan, Prince Caspian by CS Lewis



  3. #3

    Re: Historical cleansing

    There can be no parity between jefferson, and jefferson davis. The former was a deeply flawed man, and flawed in a manner quite unlike most of us. The latter renounced his citizenship, rejected this country, and fought a losing war to preserve the institution of slavery.

  4. #4
    The Gaze of the Abyss B. de Corbin's Avatar
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    Re: Historical cleansing

    I agree with both of you.

    I often feel as if we are being forced to take an either-or stance. Reality is so much less neat.
    Those who have suffered understand suffering and therefore extend their hand.

    I can't do everything, but I can do something.

  5. #5

    Re: Historical cleansing

    It's extremely neat in this case, imo. The phenomena of confederate monuments was not a product of our history, or any ambiguities within it, but a product of what some of us wished for our future to be. Erected in two pushes, one between 1900 and 1920, with the literal daughters of the confederacy carrying water for lost cause mythology, and then in the civil rights era nearly a century later.

    They were erected in california, dc, indiana, iowa, kansas, mass, new york, ohio, and pa. All union non slave holding states. They were erected in arizona, idaho, montana, new mexico, nevada, oklahoma, and washingston. All states added after the civil war.

    Just three of those union states which hold a confederate monument; new york, ohio, and pa....account for a third of union deaths in the civil war. A similar relationship exists between these states and ww2 dead....but you won't find any monuments to the wehrmacht in them.

    Monument culture is a form of propaganda.
    Last edited by Rhythm; 22 Jun 2020 at 06:14.

  6. #6
    sea witch thalassa's Avatar
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    Re: Historical cleansing

    More importantly, I think our history needs to be taught a lot more with nuance and context, and with a realistic look at the flaws within. Less American mythology, more critical history.

    I think that statues of men like Jefferson, Washington, etc, should be left alone for right now...I'm not opposed to their removal, per se (depends on where they are and why they are there). I think, in this case, the context of such monuments would be better off if they were examined and added to more fully explore those time periods of history, good and bad. At Monticello, for example, a very real discussion of Sally Hemmings and Jefferson's children and an examination of slavery could be more indepth (they do at least discuss both now). ...at the Gateway Arch or other Louisiana Purchase oriented monuments, an examination of the problems and consequences of expansionism.

    People are flawed. They are products of their time and place and culture and upbringing. They should be acknowledged for both their failures and successes honestly. And the stories of those they wronged, purposely or not, should also be told. What they shouldn't be, is venerated as if they are perfect...
    “You have never answered but you did not need to. If I stand at the ocean I can hear you with your thousand voices. Sometimes you shout, hilarious laughter that taunts all questions. Other nights you are silent as death, a mirror in which the stars show themselves. Then I think you want to tell me something, but you never do. Of course I know I have written letters to no-one. But what if I find a trident tomorrow?" ~~Letters to Poseidon, Cees Nooteboom

    “We still carry this primal relationship to the Earth within our consciousness, even if we have long forgotten it. It is a primal recognition of the wonder, beauty, and divine nature of the Earth. It is a felt reverence for all that exists. Once we bring this foundational quality into our consciousness, we will be able to respond to our present man-made crisis from a place of balance, in which our actions will be grounded in an attitude of respect for all of life. This is the nature of real sustainability.”
    ~~Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

    "We are the offspring of history, and must establish our own paths in this most diverse and interesting of conceivable universes--one indifferent to our suffering, and therefore offering us maximal freedom to thrive, or to fail, in our own chosen way."
    ~~Stephen Jay Gould, Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

    "Humans are not rational creatures. Now, logic and rationality are very helpful tools, but there’s also a place for embracing our subjectivity and thinking symbolically. Sometimes what our so-called higher thinking can’t or won’t see, our older, more primitive intuition will." John Beckett

    Pagan Devotionals, because the wind and the rain is our Bible

  7. #7

    Re: Historical cleansing

    Have we considered that history -is- taught with such nuance...but that we the people reject that in favor of the lost cause?

  8. #8
    sea witch thalassa's Avatar
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    Re: Historical cleansing

    Quote Originally Posted by Rhythm View Post
    Have we considered that history -is- taught with such nuance...but that we the people reject that in favor of the lost cause?
    Not really...* Even with common core, what is taught where is still too variable in the US.

    I had great history classes in college. High school was decent because I had good teachers, the textbooks sucked, they used lots of augmenting material. (this was 20 years ago in a suburban school district in the midwest)

    My kids go to a DoD school overseas, their history teacher in middle schools is awesome. Their recommended summer reading includes A Young People's History of the United States (based on the Peoples History of the United States by Howard Zinn)...

    But before that, they lived in rural GA, in what was supposedly a good school district...their history class was a joke.



    *ETA, not saying this isn't part of it, but as it applies to older folks...no, if you take a look at the curriculum and text books that were used, they are a joke in many cases.
    Last edited by thalassa; 26 Jun 2020 at 10:58.
    “You have never answered but you did not need to. If I stand at the ocean I can hear you with your thousand voices. Sometimes you shout, hilarious laughter that taunts all questions. Other nights you are silent as death, a mirror in which the stars show themselves. Then I think you want to tell me something, but you never do. Of course I know I have written letters to no-one. But what if I find a trident tomorrow?" ~~Letters to Poseidon, Cees Nooteboom

    “We still carry this primal relationship to the Earth within our consciousness, even if we have long forgotten it. It is a primal recognition of the wonder, beauty, and divine nature of the Earth. It is a felt reverence for all that exists. Once we bring this foundational quality into our consciousness, we will be able to respond to our present man-made crisis from a place of balance, in which our actions will be grounded in an attitude of respect for all of life. This is the nature of real sustainability.”
    ~~Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

    "We are the offspring of history, and must establish our own paths in this most diverse and interesting of conceivable universes--one indifferent to our suffering, and therefore offering us maximal freedom to thrive, or to fail, in our own chosen way."
    ~~Stephen Jay Gould, Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

    "Humans are not rational creatures. Now, logic and rationality are very helpful tools, but there’s also a place for embracing our subjectivity and thinking symbolically. Sometimes what our so-called higher thinking can’t or won’t see, our older, more primitive intuition will." John Beckett

    Pagan Devotionals, because the wind and the rain is our Bible

  9. #9
    PF Ordo Hereticus MaskedOne's Avatar
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    Re: Historical cleansing

    Quote Originally Posted by Rhythm View Post
    Have we considered that history -is- taught with such nuance...but that we the people reject that in favor of the lost cause?
    I'm pretty sure there's an argument to be made that history is never taught with sufficient nuance before college. Skipping that (a similar argument can be made for a number of things, there's always room for more nuance), I think the larger issue question is how consistently history is taught well across the country. My high school didn't directly buy into Lost Cause mythology but it failed to directly refute it with any vigor. Personally, I tend to think some of the Confederate writings and speeches should be required study in US history. The Cornerstone Speech is epically damning of the Confederacy and I didn't know about it till my I was in my 30s.
    "It is not simply enough to know the light…a Jedi must feel the tension between the two sides of the Force…in himself and in the universe."
    ―Thon

    "When to the Force you truly give yourself, all you do expresses the truth of who you are,"

    Yoda

    Yoda told stories, and ate, and cried, and laughed: and the Padawans saw that life itself was a lightsaber in his hands; even in the face of treachery and death and hopes gone cold, he burned like a candle in the darkness. Like a star shining in the black eternity of space.

    Yoda: Dark Rendezvous

    "But those men who know anything at all about the Light also know that there is a fierceness to its power, like the bare sword of the law, or the white burning of the sun." Suddenly his voice sounded to Will very strong, and very Welsh. "At the very heart, that is. Other things, like humanity, and mercy, and charity, that most good men hold more precious than all else, they do not come first for the Light. Oh, sometimes they are there; often, indeed. But in the very long run the concern of you people is with the absolute good, ahead of all else..."

    John Rowlands, The Grey King by Susan Cooper

    "You come from the Lord Adam and the Lady Eve", said Aslan. "And that is both honour enough to erect the head of the poorest beggar, and shame enough to bow the shoulders of the greatest emperor on earth; be content."

    Aslan, Prince Caspian by CS Lewis



  10. #10
    The Gaze of the Abyss B. de Corbin's Avatar
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    Re: Historical cleansing

    Quote Originally Posted by Rhythm View Post
    Have we considered that history -is- taught with such nuance...but that we the people reject that in favor of the lost cause?
    No...

    It's a developmental issue.

    Average students in high school are juuuust managing to navigate "nuance."

    Many never will. Others are already there. But on average, nuance without life experience & mental readiness is planting corn on concrete.
    Those who have suffered understand suffering and therefore extend their hand.

    I can't do everything, but I can do something.

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