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June 16, 2020

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By the way, and contrary to what McKinney says upthread, FWIW I think (without extensive, or any, checking) that here on ObWi our rants have been reserved for RWNJs, the far-right, rightwingers (sometimes), alt-right, MAGAs, Trumpistas etc. I don't believe (but am prepared to be contradicted) that we have ever ranted in any extreme way against "conservatives", as McKinney has against the "woke left", or "the left". After all, "moderation" is our guiding principle!

https://almostchosenpeople.wordpress.com/2010/06/17/lee-offered-command-of-the-union-army/

Some background, off the top of someone else's head, regarding Robert E. Lee's choice to not assume leadership of the Union Army, mentioned by Marty above, although with enough lack of detail (I get it; discussing history on cellphone keyboards is a little like trying to play a Bach keyboard piece on a tiny toy piano, which only Schroeder was able to pull off) that one might be lulled into thinking Lee's decision not to entertain the offer was a mere sentimental paean to his hometown, Lake Wobegon, and now I've managed to slip in a reference to Garrison Keillor, who was unjustly, to my mind, canceled, when a little public shaming would have sufficed without disappearing his life's work altogether.

I suppose history is bunk (Henry Ford, admirer of Adolf Hitler, which is bunk that happens to be true, but I drive neither a Ford nor a VW), but as bunk goes, it's always a lot more complicated than most believe (and now I see hairshirthedonist made that point as I type).

How many statues of Abe Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant stand south of the Mason Dixon?

More to the point, if General Lee had accepted the Union Army sinecure, (leaving aside how that might have changed history, after all, he kicked Union butt for the first half of the Civil War and had his Army poised to overrun Washington D.C for an uncomfortably long time, and if he had defeated Lincoln, Hattie McDaniel might not have been offered the "Gone With The Wind" role, because California might have been a slave state even in 1940, given Confederate druthers, and no acting on her part would have been required or even requested; yes, she received an Oscar, but otherwise racist Hollywood, following America's lead, stymied her career aspirations to play lead and other character roles. It's a wonder Natalie Wood didn't play her in "The Hattie McDaniel Story"), WHAT IF someone had tried to erect a statue of General Robert E. Lee, Commanding General of the Union Army, victor of the Civil War between the States, in the resurgent Jim Crow South (when it was blue before it was red, after the blue uniforms defeated the grey uniforms, but before the greys much later became red and accused we blue state liberals of being Capitol "R" Reds) along about 1908, maybe in Mississippi, at which point the South became permanently red in the face and the rest of us have suffered from the blues.

Can you lynch a statue? Or would you need a statue of a tree to lynch it from, the weight of bronze being what it is?

I generally understand the distinction McK was trying to make - if you take a strong public position on controversial topic, people may respond to that in ways that are harmful to you, and you need to accept that.

Yup.

If I recall correctly, a central tenet of Gandhian civil disobedience was the willingness to peacefully abide by the legal consequences (arrest, jail, worse) of said actions. How civil disobedience (blocking traffic, pulling down statues) is somehow seen as akin to "cancel culture" is a bit of a mystery to me.

Just thought I'd throw that out there.

And wrs.

How many statues of Abe Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant stand south of the Mason Dixon?

The flying pundant arrives! Since the (east-west part of the) Mason-Dixon Line is the border between Maryland and Pennsylvania, you have to count the Lincoln Memorial and all the other statues in D.C.

But other than that, yes, statues and other monuments in the one-time Confederacy are pretty exclusively dedicated to glorifying said Confederacy.

GFNTC, I cop to ranting against conservatives, but mostly I'm trying to bully the conservatives here into relinquishing the label, seeing as how its meaning has been utterly canceled by whatever these ilk are that call themselves the conservative movement.

Putin is a very conservative figure.

They may remove Teddy Roosevelt's statue in front of the Museum of Natural History in New York City.

Conservative or Progressive?

Bleeding Heart Conservator and regulator of America's priceless natural beauty, like Yellowstone Park, or the hotshot machismo lunkhead who shot every four-legged creature on sight that he came across, including one of the last bison, at the time?

Donald: The “traitor” label doesn’t interest me. The Founding Fathers were traitors too and the Confederates saw themselves the same way. What makes the Confederate cause wholly wrong is that it was in defense of slavery.

Donald has it exactly right.

Marty, OTOH, seems to dispute the "wholly" bit. He writes: It is tiresome to be accused of bad faith because, in discussing the Civil War one doesnt feel the need to state the obvious.

Riiight. Everybody knows the Confederates rebelled in order to preserve slavery, so let's discuss anything BUT that.

Marty continues: It seems to me that it is bad faith to pretend that slavery wasnt the order of the day in all of the US and many of the traders were from the North literally as the war was beginning.

Suuure. Slavery had as much popular support in the North as Abolition did in the South.

Marty again: Lincoln freed the slaves because they needed to be allowed to fight in the war and they were, by law in the North banned from being armed. There arent any saints in this story, so you're just picking a point in time to focus on.

I don't know what "point in time" Marty is focusing on, but here's the operative part of the Emancipation Proclamation:

That on the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free; and the Executive Government of the United States, including the military and naval authority thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons, and will do no act or acts to repress such persons, or any of them, in any efforts they may make for their actual freedom.
Lincoln proclaimed freedom for those slaves who were in Confederate hands. So he could arm them. Got it.

As for statues: how many were erected to commemorate the apolitical yeomen fighting to "protect their homes", and how many to the generals who sent them off to places like Gettysburg PA?

Not for nothing, but what would Bill Barr have done had he been Lincoln's AG in 1863?

--TP

No one has erased Keillor's work. Keillor has all the archives. Anyone who wants to can go and listen to his shows. MPR just cut ties and decided to stop covering up for him.

And it's not like there was no cost to MPR for going against Keillor. There was plenty of cancel backlash and boycott action organized against MPR as well.

Keillor, Woody Allen, and Louis CK could all team up on a weekly creeper variety show. I'm sure it would be very popular in the more geriatric regions of Incelvania.

I'm more interested at the moment in McKinney's assessment of Barr firing the US Attorney for the SDNY.

I know nothing of the backstory, but I assume that when someone gets fired in this administration, it's tied into not making DT look good in some form or fashion.

every time i see one of those confederate statues here in NC, i try to imagine what they must symbolize for the descendants of slaves. what "heritage" are they celebrating?

and then i try to imagine what it must feel like for those descendants of slaves to be told that it's really all about the dignity of the common man who was just honorably defending his home against invaders in a war he didn't... yadayadayada.

I agree. What looks like just another statue to most white people must be--we assume, but I think it's are reasonable assumption--not at all so benign, or just part of the background, to the African Americans.

The Civil War wasn't: nascent ACLU members vs. white supremacists. But, if it wasn't a war against slavery, it was in large measure a war to preserve slavery, or at least to remove northern input into the issue of slavery (pretty much the same, I suspect).

So, while I think I understand the statue issue (not being black, there is likely considerable added dimension), the statues are in the south. Yet, most of the shitty police work of concern is a northern phenomena (most, not all).

So, the symbolic battle today is largely in a region that did not spawn the current crisis. How do we connect the dots and when the dust settles, how much does this kind of symbolism move the needle in a useful way?


Put differently: if we fixed the criminal justice system overnight and removed every confederate or other related statue at the same time, what would change for AA's and what else would be needed?

Maybe someone could write a post on this topic. I'm behind and apologize to everyone to whom I owe a response of some kind. Adieu.

But, if it wasn't a war against slavery, it was in large measure a war to preserve slavery, or at least to remove northern input into the issue of slavery (pretty much the same, I suspect).

The problem was this, with growing abolitionist sentiment in the North, esp. after the imposition of the Fugitive Slave Act in 1850, the South could only "preserve" slavery by expanding it to the western states. This was necessary because the South had to maintain its control of the federal government (all 3 branches) as it pretty had since the Founding. Absent western expansion of the 'peculiar institution', the handwriting was on the wall. Southern electoral votes would be diluted. The Senate would slip from the grip of the enslavers, and slavery, as an institution would be doomed.

So it definitely was all about slavery.

bobbyp is proving here that the past isn't even past. Look at the Southern Strategy and you see that the voter suppression and electoral college gamesmanship is just the modern day skin that the Missouri Compromise wears.

most of the people fighting the civil war did so out of a sense of duty to their home state.

Kinda' beside the point. Many good Germans fought to defend their homes during the Allied onslaught 1942-1945, right? There are not any statues in Germany of Keitel or Jodl that I am aware of.

The political elites in said states explicitly undertook violet treason to preserve slavery. These "good folks" don't get a pass because the went along and supplied cannon fodder to the Confederacy.

Yet, most of the shitty police work of concern is a northern phenomena (most, not all).

Is it that most of the shitty police work is in the north? Or just most of the cases (so far) which have been videoed and publicized? If I had to bet, I think I'd go with the latter.

Add in vigilantism, consider the problem on a per capita basis, and I'm thinking the Northern phenomenon mostly goes away. Yes, the current unrest is primarily in response to police actions, but there's a broader consideration of racism more generally.

I also think that, looking back a few more years, you'll find plenty of examples of bad, racially biased policing in the South. I doubt the distribution is imbalanced in a statistically significant way, especially if we're not just talking about killings. Just by way of example, think about the crap that went on in NOLA during Katrina.

Is it that most of the shitty police work is in the north? Or just most of the cases (so far) which have been videoed and publicized? If I had to bet, I think I'd go with the latter.

Maybe, but I'd bet the other way. In TX, most of our urban PD's reflect the community diversity-wise. This militates against the conspiracy of silence problem in the more majority-pale PD's. San Antonio, Dallas and Houston are in Blue counties. Historically, the Dallas and Houston DA offices were very Republican "law and order", so probably not very diversity-sensitive. That is either changing or has changed. The point is, that a lot of the raw material that frequently exacerbates racial tensions is no longer present in TX (at least).

The largest base of the German Army is the Field Marshal Rommel Barracks in Augustdorf. That seems to me to be a pretty close parallel to Fort Bragg in North Carolina.

Erwin Rommel was a brilliant general, whereas Braxton Bragg was poor, but so what.

So, for one, Rommel was never in rebellion against his government. Perhaps, considering also his service pre-Third Reich, that made the diffetence.

I thought that Rommel was executed by Hitler for not stopping the Normandy invasion, but a quick trip to Wikipedia tells me that though this wasn't the case, he may have been involved in the plot to assasinate Hitler. Maybe Hartmut can find out what was the discussion about naming the base.

With regards to Texas, this study from Houston
https://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/12/upshot/surprising-new-evidence-shows-bias-in-police-use-of-force-but-not-in-shootings.html

is interesting. In the most unbelievable development, the methodology was attacked (imagine that!)
https://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/13/upshot/roland-fryer-answers-reader-questions-about-his-police-force-study.html

One way to interpret this is that diverse recruitment is a way of reducing the more egregious events, but doesn't effect the smaller events. Remember that Sandra Bland was not killed by police, she committed suicide in her cell after being stopped for what was essentially an induced violation of the law.

I hope this isn't taken as evidence of my disdain of conservatives for making this observation.

Sandra Bland was arrested by a Hispanic Department of Public Safety (Tx Highway Patrol) Trooper and put in jail in Waller County, northwest of Harris County (Houston). Neither Houston nor Harris County played any role in Ms. Bland's death. The Trooper was charged with perjury (dropped in exchange for his agreement to permanently leave law enforcement) and Waller County paid 1.9M in a wrongful death suit. Historically African American Prairie View A&M is in Waller County.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_of_Sandra_Bland

My understanding is that Rommel was either involved with the plot to kill Hitler or was implicated in it. His standing in the popular German imagination was such that the Nazis didn't want to execute him in an obvious way, so they gave him the option of suicide.

Which, he chose.

They made up a story that he died from combat injuries.

A complicated case. Whether Germany wants to name a base after him or not is not my hash to settle.

At this point, some 75 years later, I hope we can all agree that, regardless of the personal qualities of Rommel, the Nazi regime was a cruel and criminal one.

At this point, some 155 years later, I hope can all agree that the CSA was a blight on this nation's history, and a regime that deserved to be brought to an end, through force if necessary.

I recognize that slavery was not unique to the American south, and I recognize that many Northern fortunes were made off the back of black people. But I also recognize that the CSA was about taking an immoral institution and not just embracing it, but building a nation and a society around it.

Slavery was the raison d'etre of the CSA. It deserved to be defeated and annihilated.

Thanks McT, I see that my juxtaposition unfairly linked Houston and Sandra Bland, which was not intended and I apologize for that.

I simply chose an example that occurred in Texas to illustrate my argument that police shootings are the larger events, but the more common, every day events may be the issue. From the second link I posted
Mr. Fryer wonders if the divide between lethal force — where he did not find racial disparities — and nonlethal force — where he did — might be related to costs. Officers face costs, legal and psychological, when they unnecessarily fire their guns. But excessive use of lesser force is rarely tracked or punished. “No officer has ever told me that putting their hands on inner-city youth is a life-changing event,” he said.

For Mr. Fryer, who has spent much of his career studying ways society can close the racial achievement gap, the failure to punish excessive everyday force is an important contributor to young black disillusionment.

“Who the hell wants to have a police officer put their hand on them or yell and scream at them? It’s an awful experience,” he said. “Every black man I know has had this experience. Every one of them. It is hard to believe that the world is your oyster if the police can rough you up without punishment. And when I talked to minority youth, almost every single one of them mentions lower-level uses of force as the reason why they believe the world is corrupt.”

So returning to Sandra Bland, you'd agree that rural PD's in Texas may still have a problem? And if they do, should they be required to have some sort of mandatory diversity? Or would it be unfair to force them to hire people based on that criteria?

I understand that you may be busy with your work and not be able to answer this, I certainly understand, so nothing is attached if you fail to respond to this and turn up later to answer some other question. We all have lives outside the blog. (I think)

the South could only "preserve" slavery by expanding it to the western states.

This is true, of course, but it is interesting that the South was actively working on annexing and granting statehood to Cuba, as that too would add a slave state.

I'm also not sure if Jacksonville (not in Texas, though there is probably a Jacksonville somewhere in Texas) qualifies as an urban PD that has a diverse police force, but this Propublica report about enforcing jaywalking laws may be of interest

https://features.propublica.org/walking-while-black/jacksonville-pedestrian-violations-racial-profiling/

But Bernard, that was long before the xenophobic right (at least in the South) was on about Hispanics.

McTX: I assume that when someone gets fired in this administration, it's tied into not making DT look good in some form or fashion.

Of course. Just like in some commie socialist dictatorship. Which is what woke libruls are on the verge of foisting on to the US. Except the GOP beat them to it.

--TP

So returning to Sandra Bland, you'd agree that rural PD's in Texas may still have a problem? And if they do, should they be required to have some sort of mandatory diversity? Or would it be unfair to force them to hire people based on that criteria?

These are fair and interesting questions. First, our DPS Troopers are, in theory, the best, most sophisticated law enforcement we have. Most Troopers I've run into are pretty solid citizens; however, in 2012, I tried a case in Austin County TX in which it was pretty clear that a DPS Trooper planted evidence of alcohol in my client's, an African American, after my client--who was intoxicated, but it was very complicated--crossed the middle line and killed a locally beloved kindergarten teacher (yes, the jury clobbered us, but I beat the demand by millions, so kind of a win).

If you go to South Texas, most of our rural PD's and Sherriff's offices are Hispanic up to 95% and almost never less than 80%. If you go into East Texas, it varies county by county. Rusk County, for example, seems to be--for East Texas--pretty forward looking diversity-wise, e.g. the District Judge refers most major mediations to a very capable AA attorney who formerly resided in Rusk County but moved to Dallas. I'm guessing other East Texas counties have a way to go. East Texas is pretty much an extension of western Louisiana, if that helps in assessing the locale.

West Texas up through the Panhandle has a large Hispanic population and is generally diverse in law enforcement.

As for mandating diverse hiring, there are a lot of angles to that. First, you'd need to show a specific need or problem and that is going to be fairly hard to find most places that I go (my docket runs from East to South Texas, Austin, Waco, Dallas and occasionally Ft. Worth. The bad old days of department-wide bad behavior started turning around in the late 70's in Houston and in the 80's and 90's elsewhere (not a high-speed turn, but a turn nonetheless). Second, you'd have to find minorities in such a place who are both qualified and willing to serve with people who--we are imagining a place at this point--don't want to work with them. That may be a hard find.

I'm not opposed to aggressively encouraging diversity hiring at the governmental level if there is strong evidence of institutional or departmental exclusionary hiring practices. You could find that back in the day. There has been a lot of change in Texas, so it would probably be a challenge to find a county with a population over 20,000 that wasn't reasonably diverse at the law enforcement level.

the South was actively working on annexing and granting statehood to Cuba

There were plans to annex the entire Caribbean, including all or part of Mexico, Central American, and the northern coast of South America.

TBH, this was really a logical extension of the slave-based plantation model that was, by that point, hundreds of years old.

But it was, nonetheless, a model that deserved to die.

What do black people want? I dare say they want the same things that white people do.

Maybe somebody should ask them.

We should adopt public policies shaped to achieve those goals. It's not rocket science.

Rommel is the exception that proves the rule...jeez, didn't any of you ever see James Mason's portrayal? Surely wj has seen it, but I guess he forgot. Happens to us older types. Just remember that, OK?

House leadership is coming around....Just another reminder that politicians do not lead, they jump to the head of the parade.

This is where widespread protests play a critical role in social and political change. Just sayin'.

Personnel diversity in police departments is not the only answer, but would be a big step. Like most areas, Texas has done well in places, and not so well in others.

Rommel gets no sympathy from me.

The whole notion that the Wehrmacht was clean is absurd. The generals knew what was going on, what they were fighting for, and it wasn't the wellbeing of ordinary Germans.

And what if they didn't? If I break into a house, intending only burglary, but invite my homicidal friend along, I'm still responsible for my friend's crimes.

Resistance in 1944 is not exculpatory. I don't think it was based on revulsion at the Nazi regime's crimes. Rather, highly capable professional military officers saw that the war was lost, and wanted to get the best deal they could, for Germany and, no doubt, themselves.

That doesn't absolve them.

Thanks to McT for posting the wikipedia link. I see that Encina, the person who pulled Sandra Bland over, was a DPS Trooper and Hispanic. He was dismissed from the force (with an agreement never to work in law enforcement) for perjury. I don't say this to dispute his statement that First, our DPS Troopers are, in theory, the best, most sophisticated law enforcement we have. Most Troopers I've run into are pretty solid citizens

Just want to underline what bobbyp says about diversity being a big step, but not the only answer.

The whole notion that the Wehrmacht was clean is absurd.

bobbyp searches horizon...sees nobody making this claim, sniffs for scent of burning straw, but agrees with Bernard anyway. Discretion is the better part of valor here.

My point is fairly simple, the nazis were a horrible terrible regime that deserved to be stamped out. Same for the Confederacy. But you do not see statues all over Germany of nazis (also google Rommel myth, just for fun...lot of Cold War politics involved it would seem). You do (or perhaps did) see statues all over the place of Confederate politicos and generals.

The question is: Why the difference? If both are terrible, why was one contemptible regime honored, but one was not? Why do we have an outfit called the "Daughters of the Confederacy" but not "Daughters of the Thousand Years Reich"?

But I hear those types are making a comeback, too.

Like the walking dead, they never rest.

bobbyp searches horizon...sees nobody making this claim, sniffs for scent of burning straw,

Did bobbyp search for "almost clean," "fighting for the heimat," "didn't know," "loyal Germans," etc.?

I think there is a myth, perhaps more widely subscribed to in the US than in Germany, of a sort of innocent Wehrmacht - not unlike the Confederate foot soldiers.

byomtov,

Yes, agree, but not on this thread that I am aware of. That's how I read it. Nobody here is pushing that position. Did I misunderstand? Happens. My apologies if that is the case.

Confederate "good soldiers just defending their homes"...pffffft. cf Marty assertion above.... Lost Cause sympathizing bullshit if you ask me....lifted right out of DW Griffith's "Birth of a Nation" contemptible racist memes.

See also Rommel myth I mentioned. Interesting reading.

I think there is a myth, perhaps more widely subscribed to in the US than in Germany, of a sort of innocent Wehrmacht - not unlike the Confederate foot soldiers.

There absolutely is that myth. I went to Normandy a few years ago to see the cemetery there, and worked with a guide. He was very good in many ways - I told him that my father flew as an escort on D-Day, and he helped me pinpoint some of the things he did after reviewing some of the notes that I had given him. But he was very much about saying that the Wehrmacht were just patriotic Germans. I don't know any Wehrmacht veterans, most of whom are long since dead (as are Confederate soldiers). I just know that we, those of us in the USA here and now, have to take a grave look at ourselves. We know too much to be innocent. With all of this history to teach us, we know better.

We must not be collaborators with regimes based on hatred and lies.

Rommel gets no sympathy from me.

Nor from me, FWIW.

Even in the 30's, there were Germans - a lot of Germans - who knew the Nazis were a freaking horror show. A lot of them gave their lives to make that point.

Rommel did not.

Most people identify with wherever it was that they were born and raised, and have some basic sense of loyalty to that place and that context.

But that really has to take a back seat to the simple and fundamental ethics of seeing other people *as people*. And acting accordingly.

If you fail to do that, it's kind of on you. I think, anyway. If you fail to do that, you can sort of try to blame it on historical circumstance, but at some point you're gonna be accountable to your own conscience. Or lack thereof.

Some of our greatest living patriots loved home and hearth so much they developed anal cysts from sitting pantsless in their La-Z-Boy commando chairs and somehow missed every war they themselves harangued the rest of us to spill blood and waste the country's treasure for.

World War III with China is being ginned up from the seats of pathetic power as we speak and the usual cowardly 4-F gippers will be full-throated with lusty war hate from the safety of their broadcast studios, editorial boards, and their mother's blogging-equipped basements.

Tens of millions of human beings will be slaughtered, including in the so-called American homeland.

It is deliberate, with malice aforethought. We could stop it now.

But Rush Limbaugh is faking terminal lung cancer and he certainly isn't going to miss demagoguing this next worldwide conflagration and calling anyone who objects a Chink-loving anti-American traitor, so we must soldier on.

We won't stop it. Our sentimental American natures keen for a big fucking war to protect sis, and Fido, and Mamaw, and take our minds off the American way of bullshit.

There are dozens of accounts of the pointless mass murder in World War I, which lovers of hearth and home in the great cultural capitols of Europe gleefully enlisted for.

You can still smell the rotting human meat on the battlefields.

They had an American Flu that time around, but we made the Spaniards take the rap, because America just loves taking responsibility.

Just fucking shoot me.

Why the difference? If both are terrible, why was one contemptible regime honored, but one was not?

Because in one case, the victors were not able to force reform (beyond the minimum of no longer legalizing slavery) on the defeated. In the other, perhaps having learned from their mistake, they were willing and able to do a complete makeover. It makes a difference if you get a couple of generations in a row which are fed something very different from glorification of their ancestors' so-noble Lost Cause. Just a thought.

Jesus Christ!

Nicely played, Charles!

Spreading out from those who were actually whites enslaving and/or oppressing blacks was entirely predictable. Just as it is entirely predictable that such calls will be counterproductive.

Some people, on the left just as on the right, are such blinkered true-believers that they are their own worst enemies. (Outraged as both would be at the suggestion.)

Jesus H. Christ, son of Joseph and Mary Christ, may have been an itinerant Jewish preacher with Semitic features, but Jesus Our Lord and Savior was the Son of God. And everybody knows God was (still is, I suppose) an old white guy. So the sculptors and the painters had no choice; they could not pull a Kaepernick by respectfully portraying Him "realistically" and expect to not be cancelled.

I have to assume that very, very few statues of Jesus, white or otherwise, are on public property in the US. If any do exist, I'd remove them on 1st Amendment grounds, not tear them down. That would still be labelled a "war on Christianity" by the usual suspects, of course.

--TP

I generally understand the distinction McK was trying to make - if you take a strong public position on controversial topic, people may respond to that in ways that are harmful to you, and you need to accept that.

Indeed. In Kaepernick's case the harm was exacerbated by the fact that his employer and enforcer of political uniformity is the the only game in town - birthed with an antitrust exemption and massively subsidized by taxpayers, who probably make a larger financial contribution to the organization than the ticket buyers.

And because there was a minimization of the harms to the Dixie Chicks upthread, I'll note they were subject to radio and awards blacklists, bulldozing of their records, death threats, vandalism and demands in a national television interview that they grovel and show genuine contrition for the crime of mildly expressed disapproval of Dear Leader.

Consequences which they probably should have anticipated, seem to have an accepted, but which are still regrettable in my opinion.

But it seems the thread has largely moved on, as shall I.

Because in one case, the victors were not able to force reform (beyond the minimum of no longer legalizing slavery) on the defeated.

So why were the victors (the Union) not able to "force reform" as apparently the Allies were able to do in West Germany in the late 40's?

The Allies did not really change the German mindset after WW2 except superficially. That took another generation of living in peace and growing prosperity in a stable more-or-less democratic state (Western Germany at least) and a generation of young people born after the war.
The recipe was to shift all the blame for the lost war and the atrocities (downplayed as far as possible) to a few bad (and by then dead) people who also did the really nasty things in secret, so no one else knew about them.
The average German just realized that playing along promised much more than sticking to a lost cause (with one exception: getting the territory lost to (mainly) Poland back one day).
The 'clean Wehrmacht' myth was an important part of the 'just a few bad people' consent. The military resistance against Hitler was almost the only one recognized in Western Germany, both to exclude any leftist movement and to support the second myth that only the military had the power to do anything (while the average German was helpless and thus innocent).
German rearmament also needed a 'tradition' to adhere to. Neither Prussia nor the Imperial Army were suitable, so it had to be the Wehrmacht (honestly defeated by overwhelming force). The new German war movies that appeared during the discussion about rearmament and creating a conscription army were nearly indistinguishable from those produced during the war (removing a few scenes with the token evil Nazi character and the difference disappears completely).
Naming barracks, ships* etc. after popular Wehrmacht guys was part of that propaganda.
Rommel was just the most prominent example.
It has been said that Rommel was just lucky to never be where atrocities were SOP, so he could afford to stay clean, and became a martyr just in time.
The plans the military resistance had for Germany were not liberal in any form and had more in common with the 2nd Reich and the transition was to be a benign military dictatorship under another name (potentially with Rommel as the new Hindenburg).
That the myth was not dead became visible in the context of the 'crimes of the Wehrmacht' exhibition in 1995.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wehrmachtsausstellung
I could proceed but I have some duties to attend to right now, so, if called for, I may do so later.

*the first three guided missile destroyers were named after Rommel, Lütjens (admiral on the battleship Bismarck) and Mölders (a Luftwaffe ace) to represent all three parts of the Wehrmacht.

What Hartmut said.

But also, the US wasn't very picky when it came to employing and supporting Nazis after the war, as long as they could be useful to undermine the new enemy, the USSR, cf e.g.:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Paperclip

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gehlen_Organization

Or the CIA involvement in the ratlines (I love "The Marathon Man", lol).

Thanks, Hartmut.

Eugene Robinson:

There is no earthly reason any of this nation’s public spaces should be defiled by statuary honoring generals, soldiers and politicians who were traitors, who took up arms against their country, who did so to perpetuate slavery, and who — this is an important point — were losers.

This was clear even to Robert E. Lee, who opposed such monuments. “I think it wiser,” he wrote in 1869, declining an invitation to help decide where to erect memorials at Gettysburg, “not to keep open the sores of war but to follow the examples of those nations who endeavored to obliterate the marks of civil strife, to commit to oblivion the feelings engendered.”

...

The Confederate monument in my hometown, Orangeburg, S.C., was dedicated in 1893. It is a statue of a rebel soldier atop a tall column, and the inscription, attributed to “the women of Orangeburg County” — though presumably only the white ones — calls it “a grateful tribute to the brave defenders of our rights, our honor and our homes.” The “rights” in question were to own human beings, including my ancestors, and compel their uncompensated labor. The point of erecting the monument was to reassert those “rights.” If the statue is a homage to anything, it’s hate. Take it down.

“Oh, but you’re erasing history,” defenders of such memorials always say. Nonsense. The monuments themselves are an attempt to rewrite history and assert white supremacy. Put them in some sort of Museum of Shame, if you must, but get them out of the public square.

“Oh, but if you start toppling statues, where does it all end?” defenders wail, rending their garments. This is not a hard problem to solve: It ends where we, as a nation, decide to draw the line between those historical figures who deserve to be so honored and those who do not.

Covering a couple of things.

re: ratlines
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ratlines_(World_War_II_aftermath)
I never really understood why the Israeli government didn't raise more of a fuss concerning the US involvement in this. If someone has some insight, I'd be all ears

I'm appreciateive of Hartmut's contribution and I'll try and get a post up about historical memory in Japan. Statuary is a particularly western form, and something that is only fitfully adopted in Japan, but that doesn't mean that there are not other problems.

I don't want to pick, but Marty, when you wrote this
Lincoln freed the slaves because they needed to be allowed to fight in the war and they were, by law in the North banned from being armed.
Do you have any reference for this? I'm not widely read in Civil War history, but I've never heard anything like this. In fact, Lincoln had the Emancipation Proclamation ready to go and he was waiting for a Union victory before he issued it precisely because he didn't want England to think that he wasn't issuing it from a position of strength. Now, wikipedia notes that
helped the Union militarily by making Union soldiers out of freed slaves, and took an implicit statement toward black citizenship by accepting blacks as soldiers and trusting them with arms. (Up until this point, there had been no blacks in combat positions in the Army.)

But Lincoln was careful, under Seward's advice, not to suggest that he needed more men at arms. That's why it was written before but only issued after the Battle of Antietam. Also, Shelby Foote, in Ken Burns documentary, points out that 'the Union was fighting with one hand behind its back' which suggests that arming blacks as Union soldiers was not an issue. If you have any reference for this, I would be interested to hear it.

“Oh, but if you start toppling statues, where does it all end?” defenders wail, rending their garments. This is not a hard problem to solve: It ends where we, as a nation, decide to draw the line between those historical figures who deserve to be so honored and those who do not.

These two statements cannot rest consistently side-by-side:


1.if you start toppling statues, where does it all end?

2. It ends where we, as a nation, decide to draw the line between those historical figures who deserve to be so honored and those who do not.

If an unrestrained mob--that is what it is, not matter how much we try to gussy it up--is tearing down monuments or statues or what have you based on that mob's assessment of what it likes and does not like, then you have the Polar Opposite of "we, as a nation" deciding the issue.

Logically and every other way, once the statue is torn down, the decision has been made. There is no debate, no discussion, no consensus. It's straight up mob action.

Not all of the protests have been peaceful. BLM and other similarly aligned spokes people have either outright called for statue-toppling or have tried to justify/excuse it after the fact. Not too many on the left have spoken out against statue-toppling or other acts of destruction.

Mr. Robinson does not appreciate the internal inconsistency of his argument. There is a huge inconsistency. That inconsistency extends far beyond the present crisis. If the day comes when some right-of-center, social conflagration unfolds, there will be no principled basis for opposing right-wing violence or destruction other than to say it's ok when we do it but not when you do it. Our cause is righteous, yours is not.

If someone vandalizes an IRS office or a post office or hacks the computers at the Intersectional Studies Department at Oberlin after some controversial event, what is the argument that those who agree with Mr. Robinson would advance to say that only the left may employ civil disobedience?

Being right about somethings doesn't make you right about everything and injustice in one location doesn't necessarily justify criminal activity in others.

There is a fairly broad consensus that many of these statues need to come down. Using that consensus to justify vandalism will not only undercut the consensus, it will make future efforts at reconciliation more difficult.

also, the US wasn't very picky when it came to employing and supporting Nazis after the war, as long as they could be useful to undermine the new enemy, the USSR

And as long as they didn't insist on making public proclamations about the glory and nobility of the Nazi cause.

Logically and every other way, once the statue is torn down, the decision has been made. There is no debate, no discussion, no consensus. It's straight up mob action.

thing about mobs: they don't really care about logic and semantics.

best way to avoid mobs is to figure out what's causing them in the first place and address that.

many of today's mobs are fed up with systemic racism, of which the tolerance and defense of confederate propaganda is one symptom.

So when right wing hate groups form a mob in Charlottesville we should focus on what's causing them and fix that?

Bullshit, a mobs a mob and they are dangerous, illegal and should face the same consequences as any other mob.

have it your way.

So, for one, Rommel was never in rebellion against his government.

Well, he was given a choice between suicide and execution for his (uncertain) involvement in a plot to kill Hitler. Which may have contributed to the Allied decision to commemorate him after the war.

But it's not rebellion which I object to. It's the celebration of people who fought for slavery and Nazi genocide.

Personally, while my default position is "don't wreck stuff", I distinguish between mobs that pull down a statue, and mobs who show up bearing arms and who express their point of view by beating the shit out of people and running them over with cars.

To give another example, while I'm not a supporter or fan of antifa, I distinguish between Nazis and people who punch Nazis.

Pulling down a statue on one hand, putting people in the hospital and driving cars into crowds on the other. Seem pretty different.

Don't you think?

Y'all can draw your crisp "a mob's a mob" moral lines wherever you like, I'll draw mine where it makes sense to me.

Also, too:

If the day comes when some right-of-center, social conflagration unfolds...

Dude, where ya been?

I took Robinson to be discussing the removal of statues as a matter of some kind of sanctioned, official policy, not random people knocking down statues in civil disobedience. I get that people are doing the latter, but it doesn't make sense, as McKinney points out, to make such an argument on that basis. It does make sense if Robinson is taking on people who don't want statues removed even if authorized because we'd be "erasing history."

Where have you been russell? Wheres the burned and looted store from a right wing riot, people running down the street throwing things at cops?

Guns intimidate, sure they should leave them at home. But ain't none of them burned a store. Or bricked a cop. Or destroyed a statue. Or defaced public property. Or thrown a molotov cocktail.

One person ran over someone with their car, got arrested, in jail. Good for the cops that arrested him, hell let's defund them.

It's just simple, your side is a revolution, their side is treason. Your side should be understood, their side should be arrested.

My side just watched and shakes our head. WTF.

your side keeps denying there's a problem. people keep telling you there is. then you act all suhprizzed when things boil over.

how about you listen?

Boogaloo Boys killing cops doesn't count?

I took Robinson to be discussing the removal of statues as a matter of some kind of sanctioned, official policy, not random people knocking down statues in civil disobedience.

Yep, there's no expression of support for mob statue action in his column. Seems like a willful misreading.

Proud Boys convicted of gang assault and rioting, too.

The Bundy standoff?

One person ran over someone with their car

And, you know, killed that person.

That was certainly not the only act of violence by the Charlottesville mob:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/the-parking-garage-beating-lasted-10-seconds-deandre-harris-still-lives-with-the-damage/2019/09/16/ca6daa48-cfbf-11e9-87fa-8501a456c003_story.html

I don't really have time to enumerate the various acts of right-wing violence that have plagued the nation for the last fucking generation at least.

Against Jews, Muslims, gays, blacks, cops, federal agents and officials, members of the military, politicians, broadcast and print journalists.

Not burning down a store. Blowing up buildings and mailing pipe bombs to people.

Not throwing bricks at cops. Shooting cops.

This shit has been going on for 20 or 30 years now. Go look it up. Or don't, either way fine with me.

But don't give me this "your side, my side" crap. Right-wingers kill people on a fairly regular basis. It's in the public record, which means you can go find it if you actually give a crap.

If pulling down a statue gets you all worked up, that oughta set your freaking hair on fire.

Does it?

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/racially-motivated-violent-extremism-isis-national-threat-priority-fbi-director-christopher-wray/

Sorry, white nationalists are right-wingers. Tell the FBI that they're nothing to worry about.

The Bundy standoff?

Parts 1 and 2.

This is not even a question worth arguing over. There is no comparison whatsoever between the violence inspired by the American right wing, and basically any other organization or demographic in this country with the possible exception of explicitly criminal gangs.

Right wing nutjobs plan to kill people, attempt to kill people, threaten to kill people, and actually kill people, on a regular basis.

Ask the FBI, ask DHS, ask state and local cops.

Not my circus, not my monkeys. Most likely not yours, either, but for some reason you seem to feel compelled to "stick up for your side".

Why bother? They're violent maniacs.

Statues, people. Not the same thing.

Guns intimidate, sure they should leave them at home. But ain't none of them burned a store. Or bricked a cop. Or destroyed a statue. Or defaced public property. Or thrown a molotov cocktail.

the list of people who have killed people at women's health clinics with guns is pretty long, so is the list of people who have set those clinics on fire.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-abortion_violence#Murders

or, we could talk about McVeigh.

But ain't none of them ... destroyed a statue.

there was this black kid, in Miss, 1955, killed. Emmett Till, was his name. there's a sign at the place they found his body.

for some reason, people keep wrecking it.

the latest one weighs 500 pounds and is bulletproof.

must be those violent lefties.

I am old enough to remember when "unrestrained mobs" of Iraquis were tearing down statues of Saddam Hussein. There were surely some Iraquis at the time who found that appalling. Had the statues not been torn down back then, Iraquis proposing to tear them down now would surely be accused by other Iraquis of wanting to "erase our history".

"We, as a nation" are no more unanimous, about ANYTHING, than the Iraquis. Even if 90% of Americans approved of the "unrestrained mobs" and cheered them on, the other 10% would be swinging the same song we hear from Marty and McKinney.

So, "where does it end"? I don't know. It depends on whether "we, as a nation" wait to tear down the racist slaver monuments until even the Ku Klux Klan agrees, or whether "we, as a nation" decide that it's OUR job, not BLM's, to tell the Klan to fuck off.

--TP

White lives matter, Arthur Ashe!

Or destroyed a statue. Or defaced public property.

Or knocked over headstones in a Jewish cemetery. Or spray-painted swastikas on synagogues.

Or set fire to a mosque.

How long do you want us to keep this up? We could be here for weeks laying this stuff out.

More than a dozen speakers stood in front of a crowd of about 100 mask-clad people outside of Fair Promise Church Saturday afternoon in downtown Sanford. They shared anger, they shared pain, and they shared hope. They shared Bible verses, personal poems and ideas for change in the community.

Shortly after, a separate group of about 50 people marched from the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park down Horner Boulevard all the way to Depot Park. They held signs reading “End Police Brutality” and “Unity and Love.” They played music and cheered as cars drove by and honked in support.

The next morning, the peaceful protesters awoke to learn the Martin Luther King Jr. monument they had previously gathered in front of had been defaced. The words “All Lives Matter” had been added to the bricks in white spray paint.

we could talk about McVeigh.

No need to go that far back.

Let's talk Dylann Roof, Robert Bowers, Cesar Sayoc, people driving cars into the BLM protestors (not one guy), etc.

And by the way, how much of the looting and vandalism is by actual protestors, and how much by opportunists of whatever political stripe?

Their side, your side .... my side? You mean "my" side that is "your" side when it is convenient issue-wise?

What's the other side of three sides? The sound of one side clapping?

If we leave Andrew Jackson's statues standing, I propose welding a noose around his neck and arranging numerous arrows sticking out of him.

That's MY side, and I have others that are worse.

The Bundy's are still in operation and I don't believe they've paid their grazing fees after hitting a plurality of the bullet points and getting off:

"Guns intimidate, sure they should leave them at home. But ain't none of them burned a store. Or bricked a cop. Or destroyed a statue. Or defaced public property. Or thrown a molotov cocktail."

Here's a worse side of me: If Antifa would like to useful, head up to Oregon and burn the Bundys out, since Obama wimped out, but like the Bundys, Antifa bullies and punishes the innocent.

Here's Brian Kilmeade criticizing the removal of the Jackson statue:

"I'm just wondering where Democrats are. He's a Democrat. Where are the Democrats, who should be equally outraged? We should be able to come together on this."

Sides switch, like magnetic fields, in the historical dos si dos.

How effing stupid can stupid get?

John Calhoun and the killers of Medger Evers were Democrats.

John Wilkes Booth was a Democrat.

Had they lived to these parlous times, they'd have followed Strom Thurmond, dragging their weaponry, into the modern Republican Party that hates modernity and continued pissing on Abraham Lincoln from their new political perch in that monstrosity.

Jackson is still in arrears to the American taxpayer for allowing his shitheel faithful to trash the White House and its furnishings during the stiff-necked lout's inauguration party 180 years ago.

Who did he think he was, Keith Moon?

Given how interest compounds, we could probably pay off the effing deficit with the proceeds, but stinking Democrats turned Republican never ... NEVER.. pay reparations for their damages.

Great, because of the death cult that is the Trump Republican Party, deliberately spreading Covid-19 among us and murdering Americans, we're right down in the fascist gutter with Brazil and Russia, our allies in genocide.

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/eu-may-bar-americans-from-visiting-because-covid-19-pandemic-is-not-contained-in-the-us-new-york-times-2020-06-23?siteid=bigcharts&dist=bigcharts

So much for the travel plans. So much for this fucking life destroyed by reactionary murderous home-grown confederate conservatism.

are we great yet?

the Trump Republican Party, deliberately spreading Covid-19 among us and murdering Americans

it's becoming very very difficult hard not to see it that way.

hard/difficult. pick one. leave the other for someone else.

the Trump Republican Party, deliberately spreading Covid-19 among us and murdering Americans

Consider that a) the demographic most likely to be seriously hit by the virus is also the one most likely to vote for them, and b) they are gathering without masks with each other.

I am put in mind of the old military axiom about "Don't interrupt your enemy while he is making a mistake."

I agree that HSH correctly understands Mr. Robinson and I missed that. The formulation is this: to prevent this kind of vandalism, the American people must do what the vandals want.

They may be the best-intentioned vandals ever, but it is still vandalism.

Someone wrote "All lives matter" on an MLK statue, and that is bad.

It isn't just confederate statues getting the treatment. There is all kinds of property defacing going on.

Can someone parse out for me the acceptable vs unacceptable vandalism?

Thanks.


Not hard at all:

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/muckraker/exclusive-feds-about-to-bail-on-supporting-covid-testing-sites-in-texas-and-other-states

Prosecute the entire Republican Party for bioterrorism on American soil.

Can someone parse out for me the acceptable vs unacceptable vandalism?

here's my one step flow chart:

+----------------+         +----------------+
|  Is It Racist? |---NO--->| Understandable |
+----------------+         | if not helpful |
       |                   +----------------+
      YES
       |
       V
+--------------+
| Unacceptable | 
+--------------+

Should there be a statute of limitations on the elimination of statues?...

Social Control Theory: https://johnjayrec.nyc/pyj_controltheory/

Law and Order types side with punishing deviance as a means of preventing crime.

Social Control types point to the need for connection in order to minimize crime and delinquency:

When an individual’s bonds to society are strong, they prevent or limit crime and other deviant behavior. When bonds are weak, they increase the probability of deviance. Weak or broken bonds do not “cause” delinquency, but rather allow it to happen (Whitehead and Lab 2009: 89).

Since the 90s the budgets for law enforcement have been going up and the budgets for social programs have been going down. Guess we have hit the point where all that spending on law enforcement just adds more cost without reducing unrest.

It's like the Laffer curve, but no one is laffing.

The formulation is this: to prevent this kind of vandalism, the American people must do what the vandals want.

Nope. Try again.

Nope. Try again.

Enlighten me.

Can someone parse out for me the acceptable vs unacceptable vandalism?

Sorry, above my pay grade.

People do things for all kinds of reasons. I imagine that some folks involved in pulling down statues that are, plainly and simply, fed up with taking crap from white people. And some other of them probably just enjoy the frisson of being in a big crowd doing something forbidden.

If you're asking me, personally, my default position is "don't wreck stuff". And then I try to consider each case on its own merits.

I do think there are cases where property damage is justifiable, ethically and morally if not legally. And, if you go that way, you need to be willing to take the heat for that. IMVHO.

Whether each instance of somebody pulling down a statue fits that or not, I don't really have an answer for.

Not a very helpful answer, but unfortunately it's the only one I got.

I do, however, recognize a difference between pulling down a statue because it represents a history that has done nothing but abused you, and trashing stuff as an expression of hate toward other people just because they are who they are.

And I don't think *that* difference is hard to parse.

Not saying it's justified, just saying it's different.

Should there be a statute of limitations on the elimination of statues?...

LOL

The formulation is this: to prevent this kind of vandalism, the American people must do what the vandals want.

The American people include the vandals. Some of the non-vandals among the American people support the cause, even if not the vandalism. Some of the American people don't support the cause or the vandalism. How many belong to each of those groups and how strongly they feel on average isn't always easy to know.

What I'd say is that, in this case, the majority of the vandalism is a sign that what the American people need to do is overdue. So, in some sense, the American people could have prevented the vandalism by doing what enough of the American people wanted the American people to do sooner, but that wouldn't have been the reason for doing it. The vandalism is just an indicator that the American people have failed the American people by not acting sooner, so the American people have to catch up.

Enlighten me.

Just read the article without ascribing to him things he doesn't say.

"Enlighten me."

The Boston Tea Party.

He could have written the same article in the absence of vandalism, so what Ufficio said.

(Though I still think McKinney's formulation needed addressing, even if it's not on point as regard the article.)

I don't support vandalism. But if you think the big problem is people tearing down statues whose very existence is a disgrace, we can't begin to have a conversation.

Hey McKinney,

Is slashing tires vandalism? Is it "acceptable" vandalism? If it's not "acceptable" to YOU, what can I expect YOU to do about it?

--TP

AOC has praised TikTok teens for punking the Trump rally.

Yeah, well, it's social media.

It will eat everyone, including AOC:

https://digbysblog.net/2020/06/tiktok-isnt-the-answer-folks/

You want to talk about real vandalism? Take a look at this.

i support adding a 500ft Gen Sherman stomping on these three asshats.

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