11 July 2014

Another Defeat For Civil War Memory


Posted by Kevin Levin at Civil War Memory. Of course, we know Mr. Levin's suggestion was rejected. Oh well, you can't win them all.

In regards to this whole matter, I'd like to say something about the "proper interpretation" of the flags that have been the subject of this manufactured controversey. I visit Lee Chapel several times a year. I often take friends or family with me and have been doing so, as an adult, for over 30 years. 

In all my times visiting the Shrine of the South and stopping at the Recumbent Lee and listening to the docent explain the history of the Chapel, along with the Valentine statue and the flags,  never once did a docent fail to explain the context and historical significance of the flags. Never once was there any glorification of the Confederacy or the flags or, for that matter Lee. Never once did a docent exhibit any speech or attitude other that than of factual representation of the history of that place. Respect for the Chapel was always evident, but that is proper given the caretaker status of those in charge of such a historically significant location and building.

Those suggesting that the flags need to be in the museum so that they can be "properly interpreted" have absolutely no idea what they're talking about and, most likely, have never even visited Lee Chapel. The flags were already being interpreted and were displayed in a historical context. If you want to present the argument that the flags were added "later" and don't belong, - so was the Recumbent Lee, as well as General Lee himself - first in an area now occupied by the museum, later in the family crypt. Those making the argument for the relocation of the flags for the purpose of "proper interpretation" are simply displaying their ignorance and serving up a distraction (intentionally or not) from what this whole issue is really about - illogical emotion, modern politics and political correctness.

As I stated previously, the protests over Confederate imagery will not stop with the flag removal. Those who have expressed sympathies with the removal of these items properly set and interpreted in context have backed themselves into a corner. It will be interesting to see if they will be able to extract themselves when the next set of demands are made - and there have already been hints that those demands are eventually coming.

10 comments:

Marcus Benson said...

So says the white guy from Virginia who has confederate ancestors...biased?

olesonms said...

Richard
As always, thank you for your insight and words of wisdom and yes you are right this is not the end of their demands, When the progressives come after the Stars and Stripes watch them howl.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Marcus - Actually, the first screen shot quote comes from a white guy from New Jersey. But that's ok. I realize you're not all that into facts.

But I didn't realize one's skin color qualified one for an opinion on this matter.

Help me out - just how much melanin must one possess before he or she is qualified to have an opinion on this topic?

My wife is of American Indian ancestry and she would agree with me. She has Confederate ancestors. But her skin is sort of a dark olive color. Does she qualify?

One of my daughter-in-laws is of Lebanese ancestry. She is VERY brown - she too would agree with my position. Would she qualify?

I also have 2 grandsons whose mother is from the Dominican Republic. They too are VERY brown. They also have Confederate ancestors. When they are old enough to form an opinion (which I will help them form), will they qualify?

I could go on, but I'm in hopes this is enough for you to answer my question.

Thanks for reading.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Thanks Oleson.

Marcus Benson said...

Well you did get defensive over skin color. I was just pointing out that you don't know what it is like to be those students on the committee.

And you still don't despite all the "brown" in your extended family.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

I'm not offended, just disgusted. I don't need to know what its like to be those students to make a judgment on the flags. There are a lot of things in American culture which offend me. However, I don't make demands they be removed.

And I must ask, why did you mockingly put "brown" in quote marks?

And, as I pointed out, its inconsistent to stop at the flags. The Recumbent Lee depicts him in a Confederate uniform with his hand on his sword.

Again, this is all a distraction. The flags were in a historical context and setting and being interpreted. If something like that is so offensive to these students, then why in the world would they enroll in a university with such strong connections to a Confederate icon (as even Levin points out)?

I believe there are a lot more insidious things which are negatively impacting African-Americans than flag displays in a chapel. And I'm not the one saying that, other African-Americans are.

Dick Stanley said...

It's pathetic how a few loudmouths can determine the future experience of all. Except I know this is going on all over the country and on many different issues and most of the people in charge are cowards.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Yes, and by threats.

Anonymous said...

Sad. Very, very sad. I am truly disgusted with all of this PC stuff. It will not stop until they dictate that all Confederate symbols are banished. It seems like there are so very few that have the backbone to resist it.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Anon - yes, it is sad. And it is nothing less or more than a surrender to political correctness - despite the distractions and obfuscating we're reading. BTW, the first thing you see when you enter the Chapel is a roll call from the Liberty Hall Volunteers who fought for the Confederacy. How long before there are demands to remove that as well?