Avoid Memphis - Confederate statues coming down

crimsonaudio

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Right now I think they're going to own them long term. Part of the agreement is that they remain parks with security provided by the city with an eventual transition to private security.
Yah, from what I've read the plan is that Memphis Greenspace will own the property from here on.
 

Tidewater

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The Forrest monument was dedicated in May 1905. At the ceremony, Gen. George W. Gordon delivered the dedicatory address. He said in part:
"We have not assembled here to-day to glorify war. We are not here to exalt the direful and sanguinary science of human carnage, but to salute and accentuate the name, and to commemorate in language, in bronze and in marble, the masterful prowess and martial genius of Tennessee's, if not America's, greatest, most original and dazzling soldier, Lieut. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest. We dedicate this durable testimonial, so imposing, so impressive, and so expressive of the character of the man to the imperishable proclamation of our veneration for his memory, our gratitude for his services and sacrifices, and our admiration for his valor and genius. His natural endowments, both physical and mental, were extraordinary. He began his military career at the age of 40, the same age at which Caesar began his conquest of the Nation, and, like the great Roman, he never lost a battle. He was one of the world's few commanders who could personally engage in the combat and at the same time direct the action of his men. He accomplished more with the resources at his command than any commander developed by the war at the same time displaying greater personal prowess than any; and these, by establishing a greater claim than any to be called 'the American Mars.'"
Nashville Tennessean, May 17, 1905, p. 8, col. 3.

It seems Gen. Gordon did not get the memo.
 

crimsonaudio

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The Forrest monument was dedicated in May 1905. At the ceremony, Gen. George W. Gordon delivered the dedicatory address. He said in part:

Nashville Tennessean, May 17, 1905, p. 8, col. 3.

It seems Gen. Gordon did not get the memo.
Yah, there are quite a few in Memphis who understand and defend Forrest's history, but I'm like many out there who believe that when a large percentage of the population find his likeness offensive, it's worth removing. I don't care if they misunderstand history, there's no real benefit to having these statues of Confederate soldiers in Memphis, yet there are a few negatives.
 

Crimson1967

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Tidewater

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Yah, there are quite a few in Memphis who understand and defend Forrest's history, but I'm like many out there who believe that when a large percentage of the population find his likeness offensive, it's worth removing. I don't care if they misunderstand history, there's no real benefit to having these statues of Confederate soldiers in Memphis, yet there are a few negatives.
I truly understand the pragmatic "I do not want to offend my neighbors" idea. An idea that has merit.

My objections to the removal are three:

1. "People will not look forward to posterity, who never look backward to their ancestors." Edmund Burke, Reflections on the French Revolution, 1790. Forrest, for all his flaws, was a home town man who rose from private to three-star general during the War, one worth remembering in his adopted home town, despite his flaws.

2. That brings me to the most important local reason for remembering Forrest: he grew in his ideas on race. Forrest's Memphis speech in 1876* shows clearly that he grew and changed his views over time. Removing his statue removes an opportunity to remember a man who grew from being an antebellum slave trader to a post-war open advocate of political equality, if not integration. Forrest's racial views in 1875 were substantially more progressive than Lincoln's in 1865.

3. The most important reason not to remove Confederate statues is the false premise upon which the removal is based: regardless of why they were erected, some today chose to misinterpret their meaning, be offended by that misinterpretation, and demand everyone accept their misinterpretation and base public policy upon that misinterpretation. There is no end to the mischief that can result from that premise. Based on that premise, we could take down monuments to World War II veterans because, after all, they defended a society that practiced segregation. Nobody at the dedication of any World War II monument ever said that they were erecting said monument to celebrate the memory of soldiers who fought to protect Jim Crow, but that does not matter; opponents' misinterpretation is all that matters. Name a monument and I can give you a misinterpretation that would support its removal. That would be silly and destructive.


So, while I share the desire not to offend my neighbors, but not at the cost of surrendering our capacity for rational thought.



* Excerpts from Forrest's speech to an African-American fraternal association in Memphis in 1875:
I have an opportunity of saying what I have always felt that I am your friend, for my interests are your interests, and your interests are my interests. We were born on the same soil, breathe the same air, and live in the same land. Why, then, can we not live as brothers? … I came to meet you as friends, and welcome you to the white people. I want you to come nearer to us. When I can serve you I will do so. We have but one flag, one country; let us stand together. We may differ in color, but not in sentiment. … I have been in the heat of battle when colored men, asked me to protect them. I have placed myself between them and the bullets of my men, and told them they should be kept unharmed. Go to work, be industrious, live honestly and act truly, and when you are oppressed I'll come to your relief.
Memphis Daily Appeal, July 6, 1875, p. 1, col. 4.
 
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selmaborntidefan

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If they’re “open to interpretation” then that actually begs the question of why anyone is so insistent on tearing them down.

The real answer, of course, is not really all that different from the mentality of some Trump voters - “by god, we’ll show whitey what we can do.”

I could care less and I’m not boycotting Memphis over it - but the reality is that most folks there whatever the color spend zero time thinking about those statues or what they supposedly stand for, which is as strong an argument for removing them as it is for keeping them.
 

Valley View

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If we continue to erase history then we are doomed to repeat it. I am offended by many, many things in todays society, but I look away and try to live and let live. Everybody has an opinion and yours is no more important than mine. If you don't like something, don't watch, don't go, and don't support with your dollars. You have a choice.

I am doing this very thing with the NFL. I am not going, watching, or spending any dollars supporting. And yes I live less than 20 miles from a NFL stadium.
 

Bamaro

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If we continue to erase history then we are doomed to repeat it. I am offended by many, many things in todays society, but I look away and try to live and let live. Everybody has an opinion and yours is no more important than mine. If you don't like something, don't watch, don't go, and don't support with your dollars. You have a choice.

I am doing this very thing with the NFL. I am not going, watching, or spending any dollars supporting. And yes I live less than 20 miles from a NFL stadium.
There is a big difference between erasing history and not celebrating parts of history that shouldn't be celebrated.
 

selmaborntidefan

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There is a big difference between erasing history and not celebrating parts of history that shouldn't be celebrated.
A fair point.


But then you have to deal with the next question - "WHO decides that?"

WHO decides WHAT is to be celebrated?

And no, most folks aren't offended by the damn statues any more than most folks pay homage to them.
 

92tide

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yep.

Exactly how it works. If X gets to decide "folks are offended," any opinion is just as valid as any other opinion.

(You're a smart guy, 92, and even you know most folks IN MEMPHIS don't know jack about those statues one way or the other).
other than an old college friend living north of there, i know nothing of memphis. what i do know is that there are many black folks who find these statues and the continued adulation of southern civil war "heroes" on public property to be very offensive.
 

dvldog

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other than an old college friend living north of there, i know nothing of memphis. what i do know is that there are many black folks who find these statues and the continued adulation of southern civil war "heroes" on public property to be very offensive.
You’re right. You know nothing. See we agree on something.


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