Agree that it's maddening.

I like what she did as well. She also noted that the NC monument was directed more at White audiences than Black ones.

And I think that is an important point. The folks who erected these things talked a lot about why they did it and they rarely, if ever, said it had anything to do with oppressing Black people (at least the ones here in Richmond are like that.) But they absolutely talked about how these monuments spoke to present and future generations of the ruling class (White folks, but they'd have been perfectly happy if Black people had played along), and reinforced the cultural values of White people. When speakers here even bothered to mention Black people, it was usually in the gamut of elite racial paternalism and in laments about the folly of emancipation and Reconstruction. You have to look past the monuments to cultural production, art, political movements, and racial theories of the day to understand the subtle, not overt, and deep racist assumptions of these things. I rarely see anyone making those connections. I always think that makes them worse, but you have to journey through a wide and incredibly nuanced history to get there and that journey opens you up to discovery, empathy, appreciation for the varieties of lived experiences of these things, and an even deeper understanding of where they stand in the racial politics of their own, and subsequent, days.

Anyhow, the Birmingham UCV leader's quote about hard times reminds me of something that Douglas Southall Freeman said in the depths of the Great Depression: “In times such as these, we timid, baffled little men need to rally behind those of our national heroes who, in times of vaster difficulty, were sure of themselves.”

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Mea culpa.

“Heav'n has no rage, like love to hatred turn'd,

Nor hell a fury, like a woman scorn'd.”

William Congreve, The Mourning Bride, 1697, act III scene 8

My love for the lost cause has certainly turned to hated for it, and I’m guilty of the very narrow focus you describe. You make excellent points that I will endeavor to apply.

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