Originally posted by: Russhington D.C.
Originally posted by: cbrickhouse
We are living in a man in the high tower/onion hybrid
Trump’s personal lawyer sends white nationalism talking points email to conservative journalists & government officials
How Confederate Monuments Were Built to Change History, Not Preserve It
"Two understandings of how the Civil War should be remembered collided in post-bellum America. One was the “emancipationist” vision hinted at by Lincoln in the Gettysburg Address when he spoke of the war as bringing a rebirth of the Republic in the name of freedom and equality. The other was a “reconciliationist” memory that emphasized what the two sides shared in common, particularly the valor of individual soldiers, and suppressed thoughts of the war’s causes and the unfinished legacy of Emancipation. By the end of the 19th century, in a segregated society where blacks’ subordination was taken for granted in the North and South, “the forces of reconciliation” had “overwhelmed the emancipationist vision.” Another way of putting it is that the Confederacy lost the war on the battlefield but won the war over memory.
… Rather than the crisis of a nation divided by antagonistic exploitative labor systems and ideologies, the war became a 'tragic conflict that nonetheless accomplished the task of solidifying the nation'. With Reconstruction having ended in 1877, another invented memory – how the South had suffered under what was called 'Negro rule' – was widely accepted among Northern and Southern whites. The abandonment of the nation’s commitment to equal rights for former slaves was the basis on which former white antagonists could unite in the romance of reunion.
Blacks were not the only ones forgotten in this story. Gen. James Longstreet, the Confederate commander who had the temerity to support the rights of former slaves after the war, was excised from the pantheon of Southern heroes. No monuments to Longstreet graced the Southern landscape; indeed, not until 1998 was a statue erected at Gettysburg, where he served under Robert E. Lee.
The South may have lost the Civil War, but it won the battle over how it would be remembered. The statue of Lee that brought white supremacists to Charlottesville last weekend wasn’t built to commemorate the Confederacy’s loss, but Jim Crow’s triumph. Few modern conservatives would defend the statue on the grounds that the resilience of white supremacy in the post-bellum South is worthy of glorification. But they will appeal to the fraudulent history that was written to abet that resilience.
Lee was not an opponent of slavery; as a slave owner he routinely tortured his chattel and broke up their families. He was not a heroically high-minded military commander, but a general who allowed his soldiers to torture and kill black prisoners of war. Lee did implore his fellow southerners to accept defeat upon the war’s end. But the idea that he unified — or, in the president’s ostensible view, “saved” — America by doing so is obscene. For one thing, Lee’s advocacy for surrender left much to be desired. In the opinion of his former rival Ulysses S. Grant, Lee set “an example of forced acquiescence so grudging and pernicious in its effects as to be hardly realized.” For another, Lee assiduously opposed the only form of reconciliation that would have unified all Americans under the same republican government (the one that would recognize the South’s dark-skinned residents as Americans).
Unlike Longstreet, Lee vociferously opposed the extension of civil rights to African-Americans, imploring Congress not to enfranchise the former slaves, who had “neither the intelligence nor the other qualifications which are necessary to make them safe depositories of political power.”
Lee is not so widely memorialized because he was a uniquely racially progressive Confederate general, but because he was not.
It’s possible that Donald Trump genuinely does not understand this. The “reconciliationist” vision of the war is still taught in our public schools, and fortified by more than 700 monuments to Confederate valor. For the incuriously patriotic white American, it is far easier to accept this narrative, than to confront the implications of its fraudulence."