The statue of Robert E. Lee at Oak Lawn's Lee Park is among the city's Confederate monuments. Photo by Alex Macon.

News

Rawlings Proposes a Task Force on Dallas’ Confederate Statues

Resisting calls to immediately remove the statues, the mayor said he is seeking a resolution that will see Dallas "united."

Addressing mounting calls to tear down the city’s Confederate statues, Mayor Mike Rawlings on Tuesday proposed the creation of a task force that will study the issue in order to come up with a resolution that will see Dallas “united.”

While saying that he personally viewed the statues — at Lee Park in Oak Lawn and at a memorial near the convention center — as “dangerous totems” and “monuments of propaganda,” Rawlings declined to support their immediate removal at a press conference.

“It’s easy to jump on the bandwagon and say, ‘Tear them down,’ because it’s, frankly, politically correct, and in many ways it makes us all feel good. I feel that way,” he said. “But I hesitate, and the reason is because I realize that the city of Dallas is better, is stronger, when we are united, and not divided.”

Rawlings said he relied on the city charter and policies on public art to support his decision for a slower, deliberative process. The task force, whose members would be appointed by city council members, would work for 90 days before presenting its findings to the board of the Office of Cultural Affairs, which would then make a presentation to the City Council. Dallas residents and the city’s Quality of Life Committee would be allowed to weigh in before any final decision was made about the fate of the statues, Rawlings said. The mayor has asked two organizations to advise the task force: Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation, a national grant-funded effort to support just that, and the Dallas Holocaust Museum and Center for Education & Tolerance.

Rawlings said there was, as of yet, no City Council agenda item for his proposal, but that he was “moving on it rapidly.”

The mayor’s call for a task force, in some ways, resembles that of a memo originally supported by council members Philip Kingston, Scott Griggs, Casey Thomas, Mark Clayton, and Adam Medrano. Thomas withdrew his name from the resolution shortly after the mayor’s press conference, according to Griggs, which would prevent a vote on the memo at a Sept. 13 City Council meeting. (Update: West Dallas council member Omar Narvaez has since added his signature to the memo, apparently providing the five votes needed to place an item on the agenda.)

That resolution calls for the city to make opposition to Confederate monuments and public places named for prominent Confederates an official policy. It would also create a task force of diverse community leaders and scholars to determine “what to do with monuments and symbols after removal from public spaces,” and to propose new commemorative markers. The resolution, which Kingston would have liked to have seen on the agenda for an upcoming council meeting, similarly allows for educational public meetings on the issue.

Kingston, speaking on the phone after Tuesday’s press conference, said he was confused by elements of the mayor’s proposal, but he applauded Rawlings’ description of the monuments as racist propaganda. “I really hope we’re on the same page,” Kingston said.

Heated conversations over Dallas’ Confederate monuments have been a mainstay of the city’s public discourse for years, and Kingston has long been a supporter of removing the statues. But last weekend’s events in Charlottesville, Va., where violence ensued at a white supremacist rally in support of that city’s Confederate statues, seems to have accelerated the discussion.

“I feel more of a sense of urgency,” Kingston said. “It’s time to have this debate and get it behind us, so that we can move on to the racial healing that I think the mayor quite rightly calls for.”

Rawlings himself addressed the racist violence in Charlottesville, saying that the involvement of a Dallas native, the white supremacist and St. Mark’s alumni Richard Spencer, in the hate rally, “made it extremely difficult for me as mayor of Dallas.” He said the Dallas Police Department would ensure public safety and the peaceful exercise of free speech at a Saturday protest urging the removal of the monuments.

“We will not have street brawls in our city,” he said.

Rawlings’ comments were especially pointed in light of Dallas’ ugly history with racism, which he talked about in his opening statement.

“We know about this bigotry and hate all too well in Dallas, a place that for so long was a bastion of the Ku Klux Klan and was dubbed the City of Hate. A place that 13 months ago a madman came here to kill certain cops just because they were white,” Rawlings said. “As we try to grow as a city, we can never ignore the fact that race and our racial injustices of the past continue to haunt us, and the institutional racism we see economically every day keeps us from the goal that we have as a city. One symbol of those injustices are public art and statues in some parts of our city.”

The mayor’s press conference was streamed live on his Facebook page. You can watch it in full below:

Comments

  • Happy Bennett

    Someone just defaced the Lincoln Memorial. Sorry that Mayor Rawlings doesn’t understand that this is not really about Confederate Statues.

    • JamieT

      Correct. This is about the forcible Jacobin purification of the land from error, which cannot be tolerated and has no rights.

      • billmarvel

        Not just “error,” JamieT, but slavery, the forced labor of another people solely on the basis of their race, in which the enslavers enjoyed unlimited power over the lives of the enslaved. We fought a civil war over this morally repugnant practice and, at enormous cost in lives and treasure, succeeded in abolishing it. Why then celebrate it and those who fought to preserve it?

        • JamieT

          My usage of error has obviously escaped you, Bill.

          • billmarvel

            No. We have a disagreement over what constitutes “error” — a mistake, a miscalculation — and a grievous and monstrous evil. Slavery was no mere error. This is a mistake its apologists make over and over.

          • JamieT

            Very well, Bill. Far be it from me to correct a newspaper writer further. Others already understand my usage, regardless. Be well.

          • Happy Bennett

            Bill does not wish to admit that slavery was abolished in this country more than 150 years ago.

          • JamieT

            Funny, this didn’t make today’s Leading Off:

            http://dfw.cbslocal.com/2017/08/14/dallas-group-forms-to-protect-confederate-monuments/

            As I’ve mentioned before, this is primarily just another whites leveraging blacks to dominate other whites issue, as are most others like this which seek to capture the historic utility of black people without providing them with anything of real value.

          • DubiousBrother

            Or that is was legal until it was abolished.

        • Helo Nutt

          No, we fought a civil war over the South wanting to secede. Lincoln did not care whether the slaves were freed in the process and was quoted as saying such. In Lincoln’s letter to Horace Greeley: “My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union.”

    • Mavdog

      The Confederate statues are situated on public property, and they are subject to the decisions by the public on their remaining. The Mayor is seeking the public’s input on that decision.
      It is about the Confederate statues and their symbolism, and their future exhibition on public property.

      • JohnyAlamo

        Then put it to a public vote before the citizens of Dallas.

        • Mavdog

          The Councilmembers are the representatives of the citizens of Dallas, the citizens elected them to their positions and with those votes entrusted them to make these decisions.
          Personally, I do not wish to spend the $100s of thousands to hold an election on this matter, which can easily be decided by Council.

          • Happy Bennett

            I was just curious about Kingston’s absenteeism. Was that ever resolved?

          • PeterTx52

            why shouldn’t the citizens of Dallas get to vote on this contentious issue? are you afraid they would vote it down? as for the council members i’ve not been contacted by my representative to see what I think. they are pushing a personal agenda

          • JamieT

            It’s difficult to imagine any councilperson voting to become a white
            supremacist by definition for opposing removal, which may be why yours finds your opinion superfluous.

          • OxbowIncedent

            No but it is easy to imagine voting to leave these relics as part of history and move onto more important things like providing for South Dallas rather than spending more time and money taking down BS white guilt statues in Oaklawn.

          • PeterTx52

            so then i’m supposed to accept what he wants? he should be reaching out to his constituents and seeking their opinions and thoughts.

          • JamieT

            I see that both you and Oxbowincedent may have misunderstood my point. In the face of being reflexively demonized as white supremacists for not obeying upon command, for not prostrating themselves fully before the SJW outrage du jour, for not crying the bitterest of tears for their years of past sin (though, oddly, our first black President seemed unconcerned with historical statues), how much collective cartilage do you really think our craven village council is likely to erect in support of constituent wishes over their own political image?

            Particularly when the Dallas unimedia has already declared how it will regard their decisions.

          • Mavdog

            Should you feel your representative at the Council shouldn’t be entrusted to decide the issue, let them know.
            I have faith in the citizenry of Dallas making the right decision, so no, I am not “afraid” of the result.
            do you believe that spending $100s of thousands is called for? I don’t.
            If you feel that your representative needs to hear your views, it is incumbent on you to let them know what your opinion is.

          • OxbowIncedent

            And how much money is it going to cost to take them down? The Confederate Memorial is federally protected and will have to go through a lengthy legal process. It could cost way more than hundreds of thousands of dollars.

          • Mavdog

            “the Confederate Memorial is federally protected”
            really? Please provide this “protection” that you say exists.

            I’m comfortable in saying that private money will more than cover the costs to remove the Lee statue, in fact I would suggest that the statue not be removed until 100% of the cost is there. That being said, it will be removed if that is the condition.

          • JamieT

            Don’t be surprised if someone pulls a Durham fait accompli at Lee Park even before the local media is done milking this issue for online hits.

            Just think of Dallas’ public property as trees and protestors as developers. Ooops. So sorry. How about a nice statue of something else. After all, to the soulless whore of the eternal present that is Dallas, it’s all just fungible landscaping, isn’t it.

          • Mavdog

            “the soulless whore of the eternal present that is Dallas”
            so much personal torment you must endure to remain in this despicable community. Oh, what a martyr….

          • PeterTx52

            so you’re okay with cramming something down the throats of the citizenry which probably doesn’t support it?

          • Mavdog

            you’re obviously okay with making assumptions about what the citizenry wants…..
            I believe a representative democracy functions well. Why do you dispute this and claim it does not function well, and it results in “citizenry” having things “crammed down [their] throats?

          • OxbowIncedent

            ^^^^This! Exactly.

          • billmarvel

            For that matter, Peter, why not let them vote on the return of slavery? Since morality seems to be up for public vote these days.

          • JamieT

            Bill, in which days was morality not up for a public vote?

          • billmarvel

            If morality is up for public vote, JamieT, what restrains us from voting in death camps, genocide, torture? Isn’t there a prior moral order from which the law derives its legitimacy? If slavery were just a matter of voting yea or nay and why did so many give their lives to end it? (And by the way, who gets to vote?)

          • JamieT

            Are you the source of the prior moral order, Bill? If not, please direct us to that prior order if it is actually, practically, something other than the public consensus of the time and place.

            Is homosexuality part of the prior moral order, Bill? Transgenderism? Please do advise us all.

          • billmarvel

            The first task of anyone who wants to demolish a public sense of morality is to deny such a thing exists, JamieT. If you cannot think about moral issues without waiting for a public vote to decide for you, then you are part of the problem, a moral tumbleweed likely to be blown practically anywhere.

          • JamieT

            Your bush league ad hominem attack and straw man argument aside, Bill, please simply answer my very simple and easy to understand questions.

            Are you the source of the prior moral order you claim? Yes? Or no?

            If no, and if that moral order is prior and not instead the current consensus of the people who hold to it at a particular time and place – for example, neither Barack Obama, nor you for that matter having any real interest in Confederate statues ten years ago, but young Millennials unfamiliar with Soviet/Maoist revisionism somehow magically believing they have always felt the way they do this week – simply direct us all to that separate, other, prior source of the moral order so that we may all become as informed by it as you claim you are.

            And, again, that prior moral order which informs and inflates you but not your lessers: how does it instruct us to regard homosexuality? Manipulating the sexual endocrinology of prepubescent children. Slavery. Anything else.

            Simply direct us to it so that we may become as moral as you.

            If, however, you derive your superior morality by some type of osmosis unique to you but unavailable to others, we may all simply have to live with our loss.

          • billmarvel

            Neither Barak Obama nor anyone else is the source of the moral order, JamieT. Nor is it the “consensus of the people at any particular time and place.” Unfortunately,your comment dithers off into a bunch of unrelated stuff about statues and Maoist revisionism that make it impossible to rationally discuss the existence and origin of a moral order, which you either apparently deny or root in some kind of common consensus. (Is a mob moral? What kind of mob? Nazis?” Marxists? How large a mob?) You can see that such an attitude makes moral decisions impossible. How would we know that white suoremacism is immoral, for example? Because we are white? How about slavery.Would we have to be slaves, or slave owners to decide? Or is there an answer that includes both slaves and slave owners (and those that celebrate or defend slavery)? I don’t claim to be moral, but I do claim to have given the question a near-lifetime of thought. My own sense of morality is rooted in the Christian religion, but one needn’t be a Christian to form a sense of morality. In fact, all civilized countries have long since agreed on the immoraity of slavery (We were among the very last.) You ask about my sense of morality, Jamie. What about your own? Where do you get it? What is it based upon? Does it include white suoremacy? On what basis –If you want to seriously discuss these matters, that is..

          • JamieT

            Um, Bill, the statues are the related stuff. No one on any side in any of the comments in any of the posts here has been debating the morality of slavery.

            Now you just tell us what it says in the Book of Bill or in any other source other than in the months-old political fad driving such a removal what the prior moral order is concerning removing historical statues.

          • Happy Bennett

            As you will recall Jamie T., Robespierre was also a member the media elite of his era but he could not escape the guillotine under the Jacobin “law of suspects” (he outlived his bourgeois usefulness to the others in his helter skelter terrorist cult).

          • billmarvel

            The statues are commemorative, JamieT. They are meant to honor those they depict and commemorate their deeds. How can we in good conscience honor those who fought to keep our fellow Americans in slavery? The morality of slavery is the whole point, here. You cannot pretend that elephant is not in the room.

          • JamieT

            Why, Bill, for the same reason we can erect commemorative statues, even outsized memorials to this man:

            “While I was at the hotel to-day, an elderly gentleman called upon me to know whether I was really in favor of producing a perfect equality between the negroes and white people. [Great Laughter.] While I had not proposed to myself on this occasion to say much on that subject, yet as the question was asked me I thought I would occupy perhaps five minutes in saying something in regard to it. I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races, [applause]-that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race. I say upon this occasion I do not perceive that because the white man is to have the superior position the negro should be denied every thing. I do not understand that because I do not want a negro woman for a slave I must necessarily want her for a wife. [Cheers and laughter.]”

            Because men of larger than life historical stature are complexly composed of many qualities, and we commemorate them for the sum total of their qualities so that we may all learn from them.

            Small men like you, Bill, given to the intellectual dishonesty you displayed last night as your first reflex, need not worry.

          • Jerusha

            The statues also record history and people’s values and culture at the time they were erected WHICH IS PART OF HISTORY. They are not merely commemorative. Leave them alone, and learn to live with our history, good and bad. This Maoism has got to stop, some of us will not allow our brains to be cleansed.

          • billmarvel

            So is slavery — the cause they fought for — recorded history. Without the inclusion of slavery that history i incomplete.

          • Brittany Hibbs

            Bill, I agree with you wholeheartedly. History is the main citation for leaving the confederate statues where they are. If that was the real reason, however; people would be equally concerned that there are no monuments of slaves, highlighting the horror and remorse over that piece of our history. They also wouldn’t be so angry at the idea of relocating the confederate statues to museums with the appropriate context. They prefer their history whitewashed.

          • BikerPup PupDog

            I like your comparison to the Chinese culture wars.
            Perhaps we should go so far as to rewriting the history books of the South to eradicate both the history of slavery and the Civil War, if this makes people uncomfortable.

          • Happy Bennett

            It’s disappointing (and frankly, more than a little crazy), Bill, that you see all of your fellow citizens only as potential (if not actual) Nazis. I guess your paranoid search for “bigots” (where none exist) will never end.

          • billmarvel

            .Tell me where I’ve said that I see “all” of my ” fellow citizens only as potential (if not actual) Nazis,” Without question a large number of the demonstrators were Nazis, or neo-Nazis. Nobody denies this. They wore Nazi emblems,chanted Nazi slogans, raised their arms in Nazi salutes. Most damning of all, their claim to white supremacy is central to Nazism. Without that the only thing that distinguishes Nazis is a taste or gaudy uniforms and for leaders with silly mustaches.

          • Happy Bennett

            Your distrust of the democratic system of holding a vote about this issue suggests that you don’t trust your fellow citizens. Hitler is dead. the Civil War was over 150 years ago. Yes there are (gasp) Neo Nazis They’ve been around a long time. Reasonable people ignore them.

          • billmarvel

            Re-read my comment more carefully, “Happy.” I said nothing about a vote. In fact, I think a vote would be very interesting.

          • billmarvel

            “Happy” — I am 78 years old and for more than 50 of those years was a journalist for a number of newspapers. I can solemnly assure you that Nazis, neo or otherwise, have never been so open and active as they are right now. Nor is the Civil War “over.” Reasonable people pay attention.

          • Brittany Hibbs

            I’ll trust my fellow citizens to participate in the democratic system when the local voting turnout increases beyond its current 7%. Until then…

          • Jerusha

            These people are such a small number among us, they are scarcely worth worrying about. Ignore them and they will go away. But of course that upsets the victim industry and moral superiority of the left.

          • Brittany Hibbs

            Yes, white supremacists are indeed a small minority, but their ideology is so toxic that it’s dangerous to leave them be. I would compare it to an infection that starts small or one cancerous cell left untreated. Aside from extreme racism, “casual racism” is rampant and needs to be addressed as well. Casual racists are typically oblivious to the fact they are bigoted, commit micro aggressions against minorities and end up being the jurors who acquit flagrant racists. This all contributes to a cycle of white supremacy.

          • Brittany Hibbs

            After Charlottesville, it’s safe to say no one is having delusions about the existence of white supremacy. We don’t need a “paranoid search for bigots”. They’ve reared their ugly heads.

          • Happy Bennett

            You missed registering for that vote which occurred in this country around 1860 with the election of Lincoln.

          • Joann Perry Gasper

            not in favor of spending $$$ to hold an election but ok w/spending over 40,000. dollars to have one statue removed? that $$$ could well be spent on fixing the damn potholes & sidewalks. This is insane if you or anyone thinks removing REL will improve race relations in dallas or anywhere else.. this is liberal-lefties wanting to suppress the first amendment …

          • DontTreadonMe

            As we now know, $40,000 would have been a deal!

  • PeterTx52

    Does Rawlings plan on removing the Southern Memorial Association’s fountain (designed and built by Joe Lambert Jr. ) from Turtle Creek? it is a tribute to all Confederate soldiers?
    and for those who don’t know who Lambert is you can read about him here
    https://tclf.org/pioneer/joe-lambert-jr

  • DubiousBrother

    The KKK formed as the terrorist faction of the Democrat Party which I am reminded of every time I read about the KKK. Are the Democrats ashamed enough of their Party history to disband the party so we are no longer reminded of their shameful past.

    • Mavdog

      You should spend time understanding history before making claims. There were Republican KKK members. There are currently Republicans who are KKK members. The KKK endorsed a Republican for President.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ku_Klux_Klan_members_in_United_States_politics
      Doesn’t matter what party they belonged to, they were bigots and should be condemned. Apparently you only condemn them if they were Democrats.

      • DubiousBrother

        They were formed by the Democrat party.

        • Mavdog

          Do you ever read about history? or are you content in just making crap up as you go?
          The KKK was first formed by a group of men as a similar group to the Freemasons. They happened to be ex-Confederate soldiers. It was not “formed by the Democrat party”. Their group grew and realized it could exert power, and they used that power to combat the Reconstructionist Republicans. But that died off..
          Until the 2nd KKK was formed after WW1. It was not rooted in battling Reconstruction, as that was over. It was revived to work against Catholics, Jews, Blacks and immigrants, and included both Republicans and Democrats. There’s estimates it included close to 5 million men as members at its height in the mid-1920s.
          They are the ones who were behind most of these Confederate statues and monuments BTW.

          • PeterTx52

            sorry mavdog but they were part and parcel of the the Democratic party. who controlled the southern states once reconstruction was ended? the Democrats and they controlled the southern states up until the late 20th century.
            what about Robert Byrd late Senator from West Virginia, he was a proud member of the KKK and a Democrat.
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ku_Klux_Klan
            http://www.history.com/topics/ku-klux-klan

          • Mavdog

            The assertion was “They were formed by the Democrat party”.
            That is not accurate. It is wrong.
            There were and are Republican members of the KKK. There is no disagreement that there were KKK member who were Democrats. However, today there are no Democrats in the KKK.
            The Democrats lost the southern states when the Democratic Party became the party of civil rights and populism, a result of the infamous “southern strategy” of Richard Nixon.

          • Mavdog

            It is also important to understand the evolution of the 2 major political parties in America.
            In the late 19th century the 2 parties were opposite of what we know them to be today: the Democrats were the party of big business, opposing tariffs, strongly for isolationism and low taxes. The Republicans were the party of the anti-trust act and the imposition of civil service to control rampant corruption. Republicans were the party of small farmers and supported high tariffs to protect them.
            McKinley’s election started the shift to what we know the Republican Party for today, and the T. Roosevelt break took the progressive wing out of the party. Democrats became the party of Bryan and the populism he embraced. The switch of the 2 parties was completed with FDR and his “New Deal”.

          • DubiousBrother

            The Republican Party was formed to abolish slavery and they did. The platform has never changed. LBJ was an opportunistic racist who fought against the Civil Rights Act when he was a Democrat Senator and realized the Republicans were going to get it passed when he was President so he decided to claim it for the party of racism.

          • Mavdog

            Correcting your musings is a full time job…your review of history is “dubious” to say the least.

            The Republican Party was not “formed to abolish slavery”, it was formed to stop the spread of slavery. Lincoln believed that the Federal government could not make slavery illegal in the states in which it was legal. The Civil War changed this situation, and led to the Emancipation Proclamation (issued by Lincoln with his war powers) and the 13th Amendment. The 13th Amendment was ratified by all the Northern states and, as a condition of Southern states being readmitted, they ratified as well.

            “The platform has never changed”. Well, that is pure BS as shown in my other post.

            The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was proposed by President Kennedy, and passed after his death. 21 Democrats and 6 Republicans voted against the Act. Southern Democrats were strongly opposed to the Act, Northern Democrats strongly in favor. In that there were a total of 33 Republican Senators in 1964 it would have been impossible for “the Republicans…to get it passed” without support from a lot of the Democrats.

          • DubiousBrother

            If you are going to bring up Kennedy, who used LBJ for his Southern strategy, you need to go back to President Eisenhower and the Civil
            Rights Act of 1957 which was passed with overwhelming support by Republicans which really got the ball rolling. Ike sent the troops into Little Rock in support of desegregating the schools. Republicans have never had a racist anti-civil rights platform and were never pro-slavery.

          • thefncrow

            Byrd was once a proud member of the KKK. By the end of his life he called it the biggest mistake of his life and spent multiple decades both apologizing for this mistake and advancing the civil rights agenda in the Senate to try to make amends for it.

            Byrd entered the political arena as a member of the KKK and by the time he was leaving it he had a 100% rating with the NAACP and had been a prominent voice pushing civil rights legislation. He’s a prime example of how people can actually change and abandon their bigoted ways.

          • DubiousBrother

            I’m certainly not a historian but Eric Foner is and here is what he says about the KKK: “In effect, the Klan was a military force serving the interests of the Democratic party, the planter class, and all those who desired restoration of white supremacy. Its purposes were political, but political in the broadest sense, for it sought to affect power relations, both public and private, throughout Southern society. It aimed to reverse the interlocking changes sweeping over the South during Reconstruction: to destroy the Republican party’s infrastructure, undermine the Reconstruction state, reestablish control of the black labor force, and restore racial subordination in every aspect of Southern life. To that end they worked to curb the education, economic advancement, voting rights, and right to keep and bear arms of blacks. The Klan soon spread into nearly every southern state, launching a “reign of terror against Republican leaders both black and white. Those political leaders assassinated during the campaign included Arkansas Congressman James M. Hinds, three members of the South Carolina legislature, and several men who served in constitutional conventions.”
            To some people, being a Democrat carries the same connotation as being a member of the KKK.

          • Mavdog

            Professor Foner does not say “They were formed by the Democrat Party” which you claimed. What is said by Foner in your post correlates to what I said.
            Thank you for proving yourself wrong.

    • DontTreadonMe

      God, could we be SO lucky!!!

  • The Truth

    Rawlings is not concerned about being inclusive and the well-being of all Dallasites. If he was, he would just pull them down b/c the facts prove the statues are symbol of hate and exclusion.

    • Happy Bennett

      I agree with the last sentence only. The Landrieu political dynasty dating back to the “Moon” years in the 70s is uninspiring. How we long for the wit and wisdom of Laura Miller who would have advised “You can take your little statue and move to Arlington”. (lol).

  • billmarvel

    I think a compromise is possible in the Confederate statue controversy. Those on the right argue that the statues are merely commemorative, a way of honoring ancestors who fought for a losing cause. Those on the left remind us that cause was slavery and to honor those who fought to perpetuate this institution is to betray our deepest ideals as Americans. I think we can answer both arguments and serve both ends: For every public place where there is a commemorative statue of some Civil War hero, the appropriate civic authorities would commission an additional statue or statuary group of the same size and made of the same material as the commemorative statue, depicting slaves engaged in their everyday activities. For example,they might be shown chained together, for a slave auction, or bent over in field work, or where there is no room for a group, a single slave being whipped by an overseer. These statues would stand in close proximity to the “commemorative” statues so that it would be impossible for the onlooker to see the one without at the same time seeing the other. Besides broadening and deepening our view of history, such works would provide commissions for sculptors and designers of public spaces who are scandalously under-employed these days.

    • Happy Bennett

      You know, I like that idea. Public art is a social and cultural enhancement in most cases.

  • cpb

    I feel like this is really just a way of saying “how about we wait until there may not be white riots over this?”

    Which, I have to admit, is fine. I’d rather have a cooling period and plan of action, even though I personally think traces of the Confederacy are better left in museums and history books.