Confederate culture—and what, if anything, to do about it—has dominated headlines this past week. I wanted to wrap up our Sunday with a hodge-podge of stuff, some serious and some not-so-much, that might provide readers with additional food for thought.
I’ll start with a meme that I’m sure many folks have seen on Facebook this week:
I admit, this image made me laugh. It was a much-needed tension-breaker for me!
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ECW addressed Confederate monuments in four posts this week:
- June 13: “What To Do With Lt. General A.P. Hill’s Remains?” by Frank Jastrzembski
- June 10: “Monuments, Mass Demonstrations, Race, and Reconstruction” by guest poster Pat Young of The Reconstruction Era Blog
- June 9: “A Night of Protesting on the Streets of Richmond” by Edward Alexander
- June 8: “History and Healing: Removing Controversial Artifacts from the Civic Landscape” by Chris Mackowski (that’s me!)
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In 2017, when Confederate monuments were last at the center of national controversy, ECW put together a series we called “Monumental Discussion.” More than a dozen historians contributed a variety of posts with a lot of different perspectives. We offered no “company line” but, instead, tried to give readers lots of things to think about. We also tried to offer readers opportunities to respectfully express their own thoughts. I’m still very proud of that series, and I encourage you to take a look at it for yourself.
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From ECW’s Chief Historian, Chris Kolakowski: “I’ve seen some mention of Memento Park in Budapest and Coronation Park in Delhi during [the monument] discussion. If you like, feel free to re-share this (on the blog or on social media) at an opportune time: “Delhi and British Monuments.”
Chris’s post referenced a post from Bert Dunkerly: “Eastern Europe’s Monument Dilemma.”
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I want to share a blog post from outside ECW written by my friend Emmanuel Dabney, a historian who works for Petersburg National Battlefield. Emmanuel put together a wonderful suggested reading list for “people of all backgrounds who are interested in the struggles, successes, failures of Black people to be treated with dignity and humanity.” Check out Emmanuel’s “A ‘New Freedom Summer and Beyond’ Reading List.”
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NASCAR announced it was going to ban the Confederate flag from all races. Meg Groeling, ECW’s resident NASCAR fan, touched on the relationship between the sport and Confederate culture back in 2015: “Confederate Culture Wars at NASCAR: Meg Thompson.” (We may be hearing from her on this topic again soon, BTW.)
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Finally, I’ll end on a light note from ECW reader and longtime supporter Larry DeMaar, who emailed me yesterday with an idea inspired by the artist formerly known as “the artist formerly known as Prince”:
“There are some people that want to rename the forts that are named after Confederates. I have come up with a compromise. Fort Bragg would be renamed ‘The Fort formerly called Bragg,’ Fort Hood would be ‘The Fort formerly called Hood,’ etc.”
Larry adds that he means no disrespect. “It might bring a smile,” he hopes.