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America's racist legacy


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Author Topic: America's racist legacy  (Read 853 times)
Kiwithrottlejockey
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« Reply #50 on: October 23, 2017, 08:08:43 pm »


from the Los Angeles Times....

As monuments to the Confederacy are removed from
public squares, new ones are quietly being erected


By JENNY JARVIE | 5:00AM PDT - Sunday, October 22, 2017

Allie Chastka, a re-enactor, kneels at the new Unknown Alabama Confederate Soldiers monument in the Confederate Veterans Memorial Park in Brantley, Alabama. — Photograph: Brynn Anderson/Associated Press.
Allie Chastka, a re-enactor, kneels at the new Unknown Alabama Confederate Soldiers monument in the Confederate Veterans Memorial Park
in Brantley, Alabama. — Photograph: Brynn Anderson/Associated Press.


ANNETTE PERNELL, a council member in this Texas town, was aghast when she heard about plans to construct a Confederate memorial that would be visible from the interstate and loom over Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.

But there was nothing she or anybody else could do about it. The land was private.

And so the Confederate Memorial of the Wind slowly went up on a grassy half-acre. A total of 13 concrete columns — one for each Confederate state — rise from a circular concrete pedestal. Eventually it will be surrounded by as many as 40 poles topped with Civil War battle flags.

“It's as if we've gone backwards,” said Pernell, who is 54 and black. “I didn't think, at this age, I would see what I'm seeing now. A Confederate memorial is a slap in the face of all Americans, not just African Americans.”

More than 150 years after Robert E. Lee's surrender at Appomattox, local officials across the Deep South are removing contentious Confederate monuments from prominent perches in busy town squares and government buildings. In August, violence at a rally of white nationalists seeking to preserve a statue of Lee in Charlottesville, Virginia — and comments by President Trump opposing its removal — brought renewed national attention to the issue.

Less publicized has been the quiet rise of a new generation of Confederate markers — on private land, in cemeteries, on historic battlefields.

In South Carolina last month, a granite monument dedicated to the “immortal spirit of the Confederate cause” was unveiled on a spot where Civil War enthusiasts gather each year to reenact the Battle of Aiken. In Alabama in August, a gray stone memorial was dedicated in a private Crenshaw County park to unknown Confederate soldiers. In Georgia last year, a black marble obelisk was erected on public land in the mountain town of Dahlonega in memory of the county's nearly 1,200 Confederate veterans.

In all, more than 30 monuments and symbols to the Confederacy have been dedicated or rededicated since 2000, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. A historian at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, W. Fitzhugh Brundage, conducted an inventory of his own state and found that 20 monuments had gone up there over that time — the most since the early 20th century.

The people funding the monuments — often the great-great grandchildren of Confederate soldiers — say they simply want to remember their loved ones and ensure their legacies live on. More controversially, many also promote a revisionist history in which slavery was not a major cause of the war.

“We just want to honor our ancestors,” said Hank Van Slyke, a 62-year-old engineering specialist and commander of a local Sons of Confederate Veterans brigade that put up the monument in Orange. The group is an association of male descendants of Confederate soldiers, and was formed in 1896 to hail the “hallowed memories of brave men” and “record of the services of every Southern Soldier”.

“Throughout history, whoever wins the war and conquers the nation, they get to write the history books,” he said. "We've always studied that we had a good cause and our ancestors fought for what they thought was right.”

While most historians agree that the root cause of the Civil War was slavery, a significant number of Americans, particularly in the South, have been taught the war was about states' rights in general. Six years ago, a Pew Research Center survey found that 48% of Americans said states' rights were the reason for the war, while 38% cited slavery.

The debate is particularly charged in Texas, where the State Board of Education in 2010 adopted new academic standards listing slavery as third among the causes of the war, after sectionalism and states' rights.

“There's a kind of historical symmetry, in that many of these men now fighting the battle to defend the Lost Cause are predisposed to see themselves as under threat,” Brundage said.

The new monuments tend to be more modest than older ones. At the turn of the 20th century, when Confederate organizations enjoyed enormous cultural prestige in the South, large bronze and marble monuments were erected in conspicuous public spaces and etched with politically charged plaques. Now, Brundage said, they often focus less on defending the Confederacy and more on memorializing unknown soldiers or listing those who died.

Even in its unfinished state, the new Confederate memorial in Orange has stirred more public controversy than most new ones.

“We know this makes our town look bad,” said John “Jack” Smith, the city attorney for Orange, a town of 19,000 near the Louisiana state line whose motto is “Small town charm, world class culture”.

Smith said the monument didn't reflect the values of Orange residents, and he slammed the Sons of Confederate Veterans as a “racist hate group”.

“We're very concerned that this could send the wrong signal about Orange as people drive down the highway,” he said. “But what can we do about it? It's a matter of free speech. We cannot stop them from building the thing on private land.”


Georgia's Stone Mountain relief of Confederate President Jefferson Davis and Generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, from left, wasn't complete until 1972. — Photograph: Erik S. Lesser/European Pressphoto Agency.
Georgia's Stone Mountain relief of Confederate President Jefferson Davis and Generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, from left,
wasn't complete until 1972. — Photograph: Erik S. Lesser/European Pressphoto Agency.


Just over a third of Orange residents are black — a greater share than in any other town in the predominantly white county, which has long grappled with racism. In the 1990s, members of the Ku Klux Klan protesting federal attempts to integrate public housing held marches in the nearby city of Vidor, which was notorious as a “sundown town” because African Americans were not safe after dark.

In 2013, word spread that Granvel Block, then Texas division commander for the Sons of Confederate Veterans, had quietly bought a small plot of land near Interstate 10 for less than $10,000 and acquired a city building permit to construct a Civil War monument. The local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and several residents attended a City Council meeting to oppose the project.

The monument also sparked an online petition and an editorial from a local newspaper, the Beaumont Enterprise: “The last thing Southeast Texas needs is a large memorial to the Confederacy,” it said. “Simply put, it would be divisive and offensive.”

Still, when the newspaper conducted an online poll asking “Do you want a Confederate monument here?” more than 70% of respondents clicked “Yes. The Confederate Army and Civil War are part of our history.”

Block responded by publishing a lengthy “Call to Arms” on his group's Facebook page.

“If we do not stand up when our ancestors are being attacked and break the stigma that our opponents attempt to attach to anything Confederate, we run the risk of everything Confederate as we know it, being condemned and exterminated,” he wrote. “These new Confederate memorials will be the turning point, and will open the doors and dialog for an accurate account of history to be taught.”

Rather than just follow the “easy path” of honoring ancestors “in the ways which are acceptable,” he argued, the group should focus on challenging the idea that the war was fought over slavery.

Yet in a sign of how controversial the monument has become, Block now declines to meet with reporters or speak on the record for fear of upsetting his wife.

In a telephone interview, Van Slyke, the local brigade commander, said that although slavery “may” have been a “small part” of the war, it was pretty far down the list.

Karen L. Cox, a history professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, said that those putting up new monuments to the Confederacy represented a minority point of view.

“They continue to believe in the sort of version of history that mythologizes the Confederacy and its heroes, but it's so obvious it's disingenuous,” she said. “They're not honoring history; they're commemorating the principles and objectives of the war.”

While Orange city officials decided they could not legally stop the monument there, they sought to limit its impact by regulating the size of the Confederate flags and placing restrictions on parking. In 2013, the council passed an ordinance to limit flagpoles to 35 feet tall and ban any flags larger than 4 feet by 6 feet.

While many people prefer not to talk about the monument, defenders aren't hard to come by.

John Broussard, 54, an industrial electrician, and John Shaver, 33, a millwright machinist — both white — said those who criticized the monument, and its position near a street named after a slain civil rights leader, didn't understand it.

“I don't think it’s intended to be malicious to any race,” Shaver said. “A Confederate memorial on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive could bring the community and two racial groups together. Being a Confederate monument, the first thing that pops up in your mind is segregation and slavery, but it isn't about that.”

Nathaniel Colbert, 68, an African American and retired plant operator who lives on the other side of the interstate less than a mile away, believes the monument was a deliberate insult.

At first, Colbert said, it really bothered him to drive by the memorial. Now he just whizzes on by in his pickup truck, barely noticing it.

“It's an affront, but I've dealt with ignorance most of my life,” he said. “Right now, it's just the beat of the drum.”


Jenny Jarvie reported from Orange, Texas.

• Jenny Jarvie is a freelance writer living in Atlanta, Georgia. She has worked as a staff reporter for the Los Angeles Times and the Sunday Telegraph in London. She was born in London in 1975, has a masters in English Literature and Philosophy from the University of Glasgow and is a past winner of the Catherine Pakenham Award for the most promising young female writer in Britain.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • White nationalist Richard Spencer to noisy Florida protesters: You didn't shut me down

 • Confederates, Columbus and everyone else: Let's just tear down all the public memorials to ‘great’ men

 • If slavery and racism disqualify Confederates and Father Serra, we'll be removing statues for a while


http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-new-confederate-memorials-20171020-story.html
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« Reply #51 on: January 30, 2018, 04:59:14 pm »



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« Reply #52 on: January 30, 2018, 05:00:46 pm »



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« Reply #53 on: November 25, 2018, 02:55:45 pm »



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« Reply #54 on: November 27, 2018, 11:40:11 am »

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Are you sick of the bullshit from the sewer stream media spewed out from the usual Ken and Barby dickless talking point look a likes.

If you want to know what's going on in the real world...
And the many things that will personally effect you.
Go to
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AND WAKE THE F_ _K UP
Kiwithrottlejockey
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« Reply #55 on: April 22, 2019, 10:56:43 pm »


from The Washington Post…

America, take note: Georgetown students are acting
on the courage of their convictions


Students have voted to pay a reconciliation fee to aid the descendants
of men and women enslaved by Jesuit priests.


By COURTLAND MILLOY | 9:00AM EDT — Sunday, April 21, 2019

The Liturgy of Remembrance, Contrition and Hope on April 18, 2017, drew over 100 descendants of people enslaved by Georgetown University. — Photograph: Allison Shelley/for The Washington Post.
The Liturgy of Remembrance, Contrition and Hope on April 18, 2017, drew over 100 descendants of people enslaved
by Georgetown University. — Photograph: Allison Shelley/for The Washington Post.


WHILE MANY are confounded by the subject of reparations for slavery, students at Georgetown University have acted on the courage of their convictions.

America, take note.

These students have seen how the legacy of slavery manifests itself in racial disparities — in health, wealth, housing and employment. And they know that the outcomes are no accident. They are the intended results of an economic system rooted in racism and designed to maintain itself in perpetuity.

Maurice Jackson, who teaches courses about slavery, racism, reparations and the Reconstruction era at Georgetown, says many of his students are no longer willing to ignore the problems. They are closing the gaps between the sugar-coated historical myths of their childhoods and the brutal reality of a nation birthed in genocide and bondage.

“They are seeing how ignorance about the past threatens their future. And they are in a hurry to do something about it,” Jackson said.

What they did was modest, yet unprecedented.

A referendum proposing that undergraduates pay a “reconciliation fee,” in effect reparations, was put to a vote on April 11 — and passed. The beneficiaries would be the descendants of a particular group of 272 enslaved people. They were working around Prince George's County when, in 1838, the Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus decided to sell them to raise money for a financially strapped Georgetown University.

Students learned of the school's ties to slavery after a human thigh bone was unearthed during construction of a residence hall in 2014. It was a cemetery site, where the remains of slaves and free blacks had been buried. Subsequent discoveries led the university to make a formal apology in 2017 “for our participation in the evil of slavery,” Georgetown University President John J. DeGioia wrote in an open letter to the campus  a day after the student vote.

He said the university would take other steps toward fostering dialogue. “We are pursuing work that is uncharted,” he wrote.

With this month's vote for paying restitution, the students had charted a path of their own.

The amount of the reconciliation fee, to be paid each semester, was a symbolic $27.20. The fees were expected to generate an estimated $400,000 a year. More than 8,000 descendants of the 272 have been identified so far.

Some students complained that the amount was too low, “just an Uber ride,” as one wrote in a post on social media.

Others said the fee increase was unfair, especially to poor students.

Some black students questioned why they should pay reparations when, if anything, they should be receiving them. For others, the answer was clear.

“No problem helping my less fortunate brothers and sisters,” a black student posted on social media. “I'm here because somebody helped me.”

In an op-ed for the Hoya in February, two students, Samuel Dubke and Hayley Grande, made their case for opposing the fee.

“Supporters of the referendum will claim that we, by attending classes, living in dorms and accepting our degrees, owe an intrinsic debt to the descendants of those enslaved people who paid for Georgetown's existence with their lives,” they wrote. “While we agree that the Georgetown of today would not exist if not for the sale of 272 slaves in 1838, current students are not to blame for the past sins of the institution, and a financial contribution cannot reconcile this past debt on behalf of the university…. Georgetown University alone, not the student body, has the obligation to pay for its past transgressions.”

And yet, the measure was approved, overwhelmingly, garnering 66 percent of the 3,845 votes cast. The spring elections, which included candidates for the school senate, drew the largest voter turnout in Georgetown's electoral history, according to the Hoya.

“The measures advanced in this referendum would put Georgetown on the right side of history and constitute the first reparations policy in the nation,” Georgetown University Student Association President Norman Francis Jr. and Vice President Aleida Olvera wrote in an op-ed for the newspaper.

In an open letter to the university following the vote, DeGioia praised students for “bringing attention to deeply held convictions that we take very seriously.” But he also noted that requiring students to pay such a fee “raises complex issues” that won't be resolved “immediately or easily.”

The referendum was nonbinding; school officials would still have the last word.

And on April 15, two students filed a lawsuit with the Georgetown University Student Association's Constitutional Council, seeking to nullify the vote. They contended that the GUSA can hold referendums only on constitutional issues and that the GUSA had violated its own bylaws by holding a vote on raising fees.

The election did not mark the end of the student campaign for reparations. More like a new start.

A remarkable one at that, with most students pushing aside arguments that have doomed reparations proposals in the past.

William Darity Jr., a professor of public policy at Duke University and a scholar on the economics of reparations, told Politico that he was “admiring” what the students at Georgetown were doing. But he also urged them to work on a nationwide effort instead of going only for “piecemeal” solutions.

“We do need to move away from viewing this as a matter of individual guilt or individual responsibility that can be offset by individual payments, towards the recognition that this is a national responsibility,” Darity said.

And yet, a large majority of students had voted to, in essence, begin atoning for the sins of their school.

At Georgetown, where symbols of hate and violence have appeared in recent years — swastikas carved into elevator walls, racist graffiti scrawled in hallways, menorahs defaced — students had created one that could be trumped by none.

It was a vote — the voice of a free people — symbolizing compassion, reconciliation, justice, mercy and collective responsibility.

Lee Baker, a descendant of the 272, was impressed.

“Regardless of what happens,” he told the Hoya, “we will know that Georgetown University students practiced solidarity and decided to ensure that such an historic injustice has a permanent lens for awareness, analysis and action.”

Take note, America. This is what the future looks like.


__________________________________________________________________________

Courtland Milloy is a local columnist for The Washington Post, where he has worked since 1975. He has covered crime and politics in the District and demographic changes in Prince George's County, Maryland. He has also written for The Post's Style and Foreign sections.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • Georgetown's missing slaves were closer to home than anyone knew

 • Georgetown gathers descendants for a day of repentance


https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/america-take-note-georgetown-students-are-acting-on-the-courage-of-their-convictions/2019/04/19/144b4efc-615e-11e9-bfad-36a7eb36cb60_story.html
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