Avoid Memphis - Confederate statues coming down

Crimson1967

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I must say this is the most civil disagreement of such a volatile issue I have ever read.


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Bamaro

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I would be interested to hear your views on which provision of the US Constitution empowers the federal government to overthrow an elected state government and replace it with an appointed military governor. Or whether such an action would be genuinely democratic. That is the ugly flip side of the Union position, one the believers in the Treasury of Virtue dare not discuss.
Maybe some of the writers were too busy boinking their slaves to include any constitutional provisions for that? (not sure if that should be in blue or not)
 

Tidewater

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Supposedly even *gasp* kissed the cheek of the young lady - the daughter of one of the Pole-Bearers - that presented him a bouquet at the event.

Forrest was a very interesting figure. Very polarizing. Too many make the mistake of either accepting the hagiography associated with him or outright demonizing him, erecting a bastardized saint or demon rather than who the man actually was (or who he became later in life), as is the case with a lot of the names we’re familiar with from the time.

I still wouldn’t want a statue of him.
A while back on a related issue, you had referred to the SPLC's much-cited report that the erection of Confederate monuments was correlated with black disfranchisement.
I found something that might be of interest: a control group. Union veterans' monuments from the same period.

Today there are, for example, approximately 280 Civil War monuments in New York State, 269 in Ohio, and 124 in Connecticut – states that experienced no significant military actions. ... White northerners erected more soldier monuments in cemeteries and public spaces in the 1860s and 1870s than did white southerners [Tidewater comment: the South had been crushed economically and was still recovering]. But, as in the South, the high water mark of monument building was the period from the 1890s into the 1920s. Of the 120 monuments in Connecticut for which dedication dates are known, 47 were dedicated before 1890, and 73 after.
I'll leave that link without further comment.
 

Tidewater

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Maybe some of the writers were too busy boinking their slaves to include any constitutional provisions for that? (not sure if that should be in blue or not)
Perhaps. I would suggest you to read the proceedings of the state conventions that debated and ratified the Constitution.
The complete transcripts are available for Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina. Fragments exist for Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Maryland. Rhode Island is here.
Without exception, the Founders were very concerned about giving too much power to the federal (or as they said, general) government. Nobody suggested that, once ratified, the Constitution would give the federal government the power to overthrow an elected state government. If that had been stated, or even seriously implied, no state would have ratified. Advocates of ratification all agreed that the federal government would only be allowed to exercise power specifically enumerated in the Constitution, and nothing not so enumerated.
The power to overthrow an elected state government is not enumerated, therefor it is prohibited. And Congress has an absolute duty to protect republican state governments from any such action.
 

Tidewater

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it's got a nice ring to it. i guess the term could also be used for the millions of slaves that lived and died in the u.s. and all of the black folks who suffered under jim crow and the after effects.
True. And for the tens of thousands of African-Americans in the non-seceding states that did not get to vote until the XV Amendment (except New England states which allowed their tiny black populations to vote before the war).
Generally, since the founding of the republic, the trend had been ever-increasing voter enfranchisement. From property-owning white males in 1776, through ever-lower property-owning requirements to universal white male voting by 1860.
The Great Disfranchisements I described were the first huge steps in the other direction when one million voters were struck from the roles.
 

Bamaro

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Perhaps. I would suggest you to read the proceedings of the state conventions that debated and ratified the Constitution.
The complete transcripts are available for Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina. Fragments exist for Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Maryland. Rhode Island is here.
Without exception, the Founders were very concerned about giving too much power to the federal (or as they said, general) government. Nobody suggested that, once ratified, the Constitution would give the federal government the power to overthrow an elected state government. If that had been stated, or even seriously implied, no state would have ratified. Advocates of ratification all agreed that the federal government would only be allowed to exercise power specifically enumerated in the Constitution, and nothing not so enumerated.
The power to overthrow an elected state government is not enumerated, therefor it is prohibited. And Congress has an absolute duty to protect republican state governments from any such action.
Maybe so but once in awhile the end justifies the means This was one of those rare occasions.
 

crimsonaudio

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And for the record, despite the hand-wringing about this, there have been exactly zero riots. No need to avoid Memphis - it's a city that has a long history of abusing black people and is trying to make things right for the people who still today feel the reverberations of its ugly history.
 

Tidewater

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Doubtful it will. While it appears the man had a change of heart as he aged, that doesn't discount what he did.
It is odd that the folks erecting the "Forrest was a slave trader" marker (which I have no problem with because it is true) in the interest of "telling the truth" cannot find space to include the speech in "the truth" about Forrest's attitudes in 1876. Heck, the black men who served with Forrest in the Confederate army (who knew him better than any erector of any 21st century marker) stayed with him throughout the war. There were probably a million opportunities to slip away during the campaigns, but 44 of 45 stayed. That makes me really curious as to why.
Forrest said:
"I said to the 45 colored fellows on my plantation that I was going into the army; and if they would go with me, if we got whipped they would be free anyhow, and that if we succeeded and slavery was perpetuated, if they would act faithfully with me to the end of the war, I would set them free. 18 months before the war closed I was satisfied we were going to be defeated, and I gave those 45 or 44 of them their free papers for fear I would be killed.
I get that the "Forrest as repentant slave trader" and "Forrest as a man worthy of the loyalty of his former slaves" narratives don't jive with the "Forrest as slave trader" and "Forrest as KKK leader" narratives, but, man, the real man appears so much more interesting than the cartoon book version that some folks peddle.
 

crimsonaudio

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I get that the "Forrest as repentant slave trader" and "Forrest as a man worthy of the loyalty of his former slaves" narratives don't jive with the "Forrest as slave trader" and "Forrest as KKK leader" narratives, but, man, the real man appears so much more interesting than the cartoon book version that some folks peddle.
They may well include them, but again, I doubt it. For over 100 years black people in Memphis has to look at this statue so honestly, I have zero issue with the new monument focusing on the negative things he did.

Not comparing Forrest to Hitler, but I'm sure Hitler did some good things in his life in addition to the evil, yet no one cares about the good he might have done. Forrest literally traded other humans just as one would cattle, and if that stain is what he is remembered for, so be it.

Ultimately, if someone is learning everything they know about him from a historical marker, they're not really interested in a lot of detail anyway. And if the people who have had to walk past a statue of a man that would have gladly profited from selling them and their families no longer has to see it, I'm 100% fine with that.
 

92tide

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It is odd that the folks erecting the "Forrest was a slave trader" marker (which I have no problem with because it is true) in the interest of "telling the truth" cannot find space to include the speech in "the truth" about Forrest's attitudes in 1876. Heck, the black men who served with Forrest in the Confederate army (who knew him better than any erector of any 21st century marker) stayed with him throughout the war. There were probably a million opportunities to slip away during the campaigns, but 44 of 45 stayed. That makes me really curious as to why.

I get that the "Forrest as repentant slave trader" and "Forrest as a man worthy of the loyalty of his former slaves" narratives don't jive with the "Forrest as slave trader" and "Forrest as KKK leader" narratives, but, man, the real man appears so much more interesting than the cartoon book version that some folks peddle.
my initial guess would be it had something to do with the security/comfort of staying with the situation you know. but i'm sure that the decision making of someone who has been held in bondage their entire life would not make sense to many of us. so, i would hesitate to use the word "loyalty" to describe the intentions of those who stayed with him.
 

Tidewater

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my initial guess would be it had something to do with the security/comfort of staying with the situation you know. but i'm sure that the decision making of someone who has been held in bondage their entire life would not make sense to many of us. so, i would hesitate to use the word "loyalty" to describe the intentions of those who stayed with him.
Maybe. But those guys had to have had a million chances to slip away with no consequences (Forrest was mostly a cavalry commander, so his campaigns tended to be strenuous and just keeping up with the main force required effort), yet they chose to stay to the end. Maybe that is not "loyalty," but it might be "honor," or sticking by your commitments, even when difficult. And that ain't nothing.
 

Tidewater

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They may well include them, but again, I doubt it. For over 100 years black people in Memphis has to look at this statue so honestly, I have zero issue with the new monument focusing on the negative things he did.

Not comparing Forrest to Hitler, but I'm sure Hitler did some good things in his life in addition to the evil, yet no one cares about the good he might have done. Forrest literally traded other humans just as one would cattle, and if that stain is what he is remembered for, so be it.

Ultimately, if someone is learning everything they know about him from a historical marker, they're not really interested in a lot of detail anyway. And if the people who have had to walk past a statue of a man that would have gladly profited from selling them and their families no longer has to see it, I'm 100% fine with that.
I get that. And I commend Memphis for dealing with this better than Charlottesville.
That said, if you have a narrative ("Forrest was a slave trader," and "Forrest was a KKK leader") but the black men who knew him did not abandon him and he publicly declared in favor of a form of racial equality, maybe the dominant narrative being pushed today ought to be questioned a little bit.
 

92tide

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Maybe. But those guys had to have had a million chances to slip away with no consequences (Forrest was mostly a cavalry commander, so his campaigns tended to be strenuous and just keeping up with the main force required effort), yet they chose to stay to the end. Maybe that is not "loyalty," but it might be "honor," or sticking by your commitments, even when difficult. And that ain't nothing.
i would imagine the fear of what would happen if you got caught trying to escape would also be a fairly strong motivation to stay.
 

Tidewater

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i would imagine the fear of what would happen if you got caught trying to escape would also be a fairly strong motivation to stay.
True, but my point is when Forrest's cavalry command is moving 40 miles a day through western Tennessee (as it did in December 1862-January 1863), a disaffected slave could just fall back a bit and slip off into the forrest on the side of the road until Forrest's cavalry had all passed and wait for Union forces to come along and "surrender."
Forrest's men would have scant time to spare search the woods for attempted escapees. You just have to keep moving or get rolled up by pursuing Union cavalry.
That would be escape without serious consequences. Yet these men opted not to pursue that course. That interests me.
A Union officer serving in middle Tennessee in 1862 wrote:
Col. Parkhurst said:
"The force is attacking my camp were the 1st Regiment of Texas Rangers, a battalion of the 1st Georgia Rangers… and quite a number of negroes attached to the Texas and Georgia troops who are armed and equipped and took part in the several engagements with my forces during the day."
Official Records, Series I, Vol XVI, Pt. I, p. 805.
That is just fascinating to me.
 

danb

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True, but my point is when Forrest's cavalry command is moving 40 miles a day through western Tennessee (as it did in December 1862-January 1863), a disaffected slave could just fall back a bit and slip off into the forrest on the side of the road until Forrest's cavalry had all passed and wait for Union forces to come along and "surrender."
Forrest's men would have scant time to spare search the woods for attempted escapees. You just have to keep moving or get rolled up by pursuing Union cavalry.
That would be escape without serious consequences. Yet these men opted not to pursue that course. That interests me.
A Union officer serving in middle Tennessee in 1862 wrote:

Official Records, Series I, Vol XVI, Pt. I, p. 805.
That is just fascinating to me.
True historical facts are a hard sell to most everyone that grew up listening to civil war history that our schools taught most everyone to believe. The victors write the history, and that dictates the modern mindset. Folks have a hard time relating to the ways of the world in the mid to late 1800’s, and judge men by today’s standard. I’m sure, 150 years from now we will be judged differently from our true intent.....I do appreciate your input of true actual history....


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CharminTide

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They may well include them, but again, I doubt it. For over 100 years black people in Memphis has to look at this statue so honestly, I have zero issue with the new monument focusing on the negative things he did.

Not comparing Forrest to Hitler, but I'm sure Hitler did some good things in his life in addition to the evil, yet no one cares about the good he might have done. Forrest literally traded other humans just as one would cattle, and if that stain is what he is remembered for, so be it.
Agreed.

The Germans I know always find our Confederate monuments fascinating. They don't commemorate members of the Nazi party who repented after the war. They also never had a Lost Cause movement try and glorify the lone Nazi soldier who fought for family and home (or was it blood and soil?), never killing any of Jewish faith during the war. IMO, these statues should all be relocated to a museum that provides the proper historical context. Some crimes need to be remembered for 50 generations so the mistakes of our past are not repeated. We do ourselves a disservice by whitewashing uncomfortable parts of history, and we bring ourselves shame by glorifying a man who, as CA put it, traded other humans as cattle. If Forrest indeed found religion and repented later in life, it's for his god alone to forgive the sins of his past; we should not.
 

92tide

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True historical facts are a hard sell to most everyone that grew up listening to civil war history that our schools taught most everyone to believe. The victors write the history, and that dictates the modern mindset. Folks have a hard time relating to the ways of the world in the mid to late 1800’s, and judge men by today’s standard. I’m sure, 150 years from now we will be judged differently from our true intent.....I do appreciate your input of true actual history....


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saying that slaves not running away from their masters when they had a chance is a sign of the greatness/kindness of the master is not actual history, that is a subjective interpretation of what happened.

i appreciate the historical input in this thread and it has been very interesting, but the myth of the loyal slave loving their master and that the master is to be held in honor in part because is a core piece of lost cause mythology.
 

Intl.Aperture

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Agreed.

The Germans I know always find our Confederate monuments fascinating. They don't commemorate members of the Nazi party who repented after the war. They also never had a Lost Cause movement try and glorify the lone Nazi soldier who fought for family and home (or was it blood and soil?), never killing any of Jewish faith during the war. IMO, these statues should all be relocated to a museum that provides the proper historical context. Some crimes need to be remembered for 50 generations so the mistakes of our past are not repeated. We do ourselves a disservice by whitewashing uncomfortable parts of history, and we bring ourselves shame by glorifying a man who, as CA put it, traded other humans as cattle. If Forrest indeed found religion and repented later in life, it's for his god alone to forgive the sins of his past; we should not.
I agree with everything you said except for this line. I think it's possible to forgive someone like Forrest but also not put him in a place of honor and prestige and immortalize him in that way. I think there is a stark difference between forgiving someone and exalting their personhood by giving them a statue. That's always been my quibble with these statues. Other than that we are in complete agreement.
 

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