Lee Statue to Come Down Today in Richmond

The Robert E. Lee statue on Monument Avenue in Richmond, Virginia, is set to come down today. I happened to be passing through the city on Tuesday, so I swung by Lee Circle for one last look.

You can watch a livestream of the statue’s removal through Virginia Public Media. (I pass this along for those who wish to watch as eyewitness of history, not as an endorsement or repudiation of the events themselves.)

In June 2020, I went to Richmond in the wake of protests in support of racial justice that evolved into protests against the city’s Confederate monument. You can read my account here and you can watch the short video I did on the ECW YouTube page.

You can see some of ECW’s other coverage of Monument Avenue-related topics here.

If you search “monuments” in the ECW archives, you’ll see extensive coverage of the topic from a variety of perspectives. Poke around. I hope you’ll find articles that give you something to think about, regardless of where your opinion falls on the matter.

Lee has been the subject of particular controversy of late, not just because of the statue but because of historian Ty Seidule’s recent book Robert E. Lee and Me. The book, which I read last spring, gave me a lot to think about. Patrick Young also mentioned Seidule’s work in a roundup of Reconstruction-related books last May. Internally, Seidule’s book promoted a lot of discussion among ECW’s contributors, although no one else chose to write about it.

The Lee Statue, sculpted in bronze by Antonin Mercié, was dedicated on May 29, 1890, at a cost of about $52,000. It was the first of several statues of Confederate figures placed along what became Monument Avenue. Most of the statues were removed last year; the Lee statue is the last remaining monument.

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138 Responses to Lee Statue to Come Down Today in Richmond

  1. Mike Maxwell says:

    Personally, I view Robert E. Lee as having “done the right thing” by agreeing to surrender to the forces of U.S. Grant (versus continuing the fight via guerrilla warfare, as advocated by many at the time.) And for that reason there is value in maintaining monuments to an honourable man, in an appropriate setting. [My ancestors served in the 12th Iowa Volunteer Infantry, in the Western Theatre.]

  2. Candis says:

    I support the removal of Confederate statues. I also recently visited and photographed the Lee monument in Richmond. Part of me would like to see it remain, only because with the graffiti on its base it is a visceral expression of disdain for white supremacy. In person it is like a very powerful art installation. I suppose keeping it up would result in conflict between opposing groups obliterating each others graffiti, and for that reason it must come down. Bit I was very moved by it in its current state.

    • Donald Smith says:

      “I support the removal of Confederate statues.” Removal is one thing. Chopping them up with a hacksaw is another.

      Do you think that communities who want to keep Confederate statues should be forced to remove them?

  3. nygiant1952 says:

    It’s about time this monument to a traitor to the United States, was removed. It disrespects the thousands upon thousands of Union soldiers who defended our Republic against an illegal insurrection.

  4. Chuck christopj says:

    Too bad all the money wasted on removal of statues couldn’t have been used for the betterment of the disenfranchised also it is and was a beautiful piece of art finally: it is all so nice that we can put judgements on people that lived in a time far removed from our pampered society remember right or wrong slavery was legal at the time theses men lived

    • nygiant1952 says:

      You miss the point. The statue is coming down because Lee was a traitor to the United States. And recall, that the Union initially went to war to preserve that Union.

      • Disloyal to his country; extremely loyal to his state.
        Tom Crane

      • Chuck Christoph says:

        No I didn’t miss any point but maybe you might have
        You are judging him in the confines of 21st century thinking
        Knowing the principles that Lee believed in and his deep faith and conviction allowed him to think that he was following the right path

      • Nygiant1952 says:

        You are missing the point. Lee was a traitor. He turned his back on the US and waged war against the US. He was guilty of treason.

        Or are you trying to tell me that at that time in US history, treason was acceptable.

  5. darylmcdonald0208 says:

    Yay! Something to celebrate. Put it and all white supremacy in a museum.

  6. Joe says:

    A cultural obscenity.

  7. billhenck says:

    I was unable to comment on Chris’ earlier post about Ty Seidule’s book “Robert E. Lee and Me”, so this comment is in response to both that book and the removal of Lee’s statue in Richmond.

    Based on Mr. Seidule’s Wikipedia page, I am approximately his age. I grew up in Arlington County, right next to Mr. Seidule’s childhood home of Alexandria. I read the part of his book dealing with his childhood in Alexandria and, quite frankly, I don’t know what the hell he is talking about. Mr. Seidule references a number of facts that had little or no impact on life in Northern Virginia in the 1970’s. It was not a neo-Confederate racist hellhole. People managed to live their lives even though Janneys Lane in Alexandria was named after some obscure Confederate. Contrary to its portrayal in “Remember the Titans”, Alexandria (and Arlington) were typical suburbs of a large city in the 1960’s and 1970’s. In fact, I saw joking references to Alexandria as early as 1981 or 1982 as the “Peoples Republic of Alexandria” with respect to its liberal politics. So unless moving vans were bumper-to-bumper in and out of Alexandria during the 1970’s, the political establishment in Alexandria during that period was not influenced by the Lost Cause.

    What Mr. Seidule did in his book was cherry pick various facts to present an overall image that is not accurate. And at the center of it all is Robert E. Lee, but minus the fact that Lee was a human being dealing with the reality of life in the 1850’s and 1860’s, not the 1970’s. Was Lee on the wrong side in the Civil War? Absolutely. Lee, however, sided with his family, friends, neighbors, and native state (which meant a lot back then). In short, he acted like 99 percent of the people at that time and every other time in human history. (George Thomas was part of the one percent and good for him.) We call him a traitor from the certainty and comfort of 2021, but how many of us would have decided differently? It is true that he took an oath, but federal employees today take an oath and I can assure you as a former federal whistleblower that the vast majority of federal employees are willing to overlook significant misconduct in violation of that oath.

    Whatever his faults, Lee was an honorable man who did his duty as he saw it within the context of his times, not our time. When Dwight Eisenhower was president, he had Lee’s portrait in the Oval Office because he considered Lee one of the four greatest Americans. Maybe, just maybe, Eisenhower knew what he was talking about. Lee had a huge role in preventing guerrilla warfare and long term conflict in the aftermath of the Civil War. In other words, Lee had a huge role in allowing this country to enter the 20th century as a functioning republic. Eisenhower, who was a West Point cadet early in that century, could see that.

    As I write this, Lee’s statue is either coming down, or has come down. The people celebrating this should realize that there is no guarantee that they will always be on the winning side or the mob’s side. The removal of Lee’s statue is basically a zero sum game that tangibly improves no one’s life, but makes all of us a little poorer both historically and artistically.

    As a final note, a little humility is in order when deciding whether to remove statues or rename schools or buildings. We are not the be all and end all of human development. As a hypothetical, assume that abortion 150 years from now is considered a barbaric act of murder that disproportionately impacted minorities in this country. (I am simply posing a hypothetical of views 150 years from now, not arguing for or against abortion.) Does this mean that a Barack Obama High School or a Joe Biden Middle School should be renamed and that we should view those two with disgust? I would argue no, that we need to judge people by the context of their times and their overall life and career. However, those bashing Lee and removing his statue would, if they are intellectually honest, be forced to argue yes in that hypothetical.

    • nygiant1952 says:

      Talk about cherry-picking!!!

      Besides Ike, what other US President has had Lee’s portrait in the Oval Office? And preventing guerrilla warfare after the Civil War, hardly makes up for the fact that Lee contributed to the deaths of Union soldiers defending their nation against a hostile foreign army. Let’s not forget the 2 Invasions of our country, totally orchestrated by Lee.

      Lee had a role in allowing the US to enter the 20th Century as a functioning Republic???? Are you serious? Let’s just forget that he tried to destroy the United States by joining an illegal insurrection against that functioning Republic in the first place!

      The bottom line is…Lee choose to go against his country, making him a traitor just like Benedict Arnold

      Lee’s monument was a lasting insult to African Americans , and its removal no longer honors the Lost Cause that was allowed to fester in this Nation.

      • billhenck says:

        With respect, I view Eisenhower’s decision to place Lee’s portrait in the Oval Office as an indication that he respected Lee and his role in American history. I’m not sure why the actions of other presidents impact that. And yes, I’m serious that Lee had a role in allowing the United States to enter the 20th century as a functioning republic. The United States is unique in that the end of a major civil war did not devolve into decades of guerrilla warfare and sectional strife. Lee deserves some credit for that and I stand by my view that it is hard to have a functional republic if half of the country is engulfed in violence and warfare. Like many things, we take that for granted in today’s America.

        I agree with you that Lee was a traitor by the standards of today. However, Lee was alive 150 years ago. He made his decisions within the context of his times. I note that you described the Army of Northern Virginia as a “foreign” army that invaded “our country”. To quote Lincoln, it is all our country. We are all Americans. We are the product of the people who came before us for both good and ill. Tearing down or defacing statues accomplishes nothing of value and only contributes to discord and strife. There is enough of that already in our country.

      • nygiant1952 says:

        We are going to have to agree to disagree. A few points.

        1. Perhaps a US President who had served in combat, like Hayes, or McKinley, or Teddy Roosevelt, or Harry Truman or Jack Kennedy, or Dick Nixon, or George Herbert Walker Bush…if they had a portrait of Lee in the Oval Office would carry more weight with me, than a President who had never served in combat. Ike never served in combat.

        2. Giving Lee credit for not allowing guerrilla warfare hardly erases his role in attacking the United States.

        3. Context of the times does not enter the discussion. Both Arnold and Lee were born in America, they both fought for the United States, and they both changed sides to fight with the enemy.

        4. Though never recognized by a foreign country, the Confederate States of America did exist. Their army did invade Northern Territory. It was a foreign army that was on American soil. Lincoln’s comment only had to do with the politics of an insurrection and possible foreign involvement.

      • Lee was nothing like Benedict Arnold. Neither Lee nor the thousands of other Confederate soldiers ever wore the uniform of their antagonist, ever delivered plans of fortifications to the enemy and then accepted payment from their ostensible enemy. On the contrary, Lee and thousands of other Confederate soldiers forthrightly declared their allegiance from the get-go.
        Tom Crane

      • nygiant1952 says:

        Both Lee and Benedict Arnold were traitors to the United States. It doesn’t matter what action they took, only that they turned their backs on their country and gave aid and comfort to the enemy.

    • Donald Smith says:

      I suspect that Colonel Seidule recognized that there was a market for soldiers who bash Lee, and wrote a book that he knew would sell. Or, at least get rave reviews.

      • Bingo … big market these days for books by “awakened” Southerners … even better if they are military officers … if only i could cash in, but as a Yank from Philly, i have no street cred … but, good for Colonel S … i hope he sells a lot of books … we all have to make a living.

      • Donald Smith says:

        Agreed. Any retired military officer who is willing to give aid and comfort to the Lost Cause Police can make good money. In inflationary times, everyone needs more cash.

      • nygiant1952 says:

        Hold on now…..first you praise those who are protecting us and now you denigrate a retired officer, who at one time protected our country.

        Which is it?

        Erudite people would like to know.

  8. JoAnna McDonald says:

    How would Robert E. Lee react? I think he would be praying for us, our nation. The actions taken today only foment anger and division – something Lee ironically was not about nor were many of his Union counter-parts. He spent the last years of his life working to Win the Peace. It reminds me of of Revelations 22:2 “The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.”

    How would our Union forefathers react to this action today? I think about that April spring day and the Salute of Arms.

    https://stonesentinels.com/less-known/appomattox-court-house/village-of-appomattox-ch/salute-of-arms-wm/
    “Salute of Arms”
    On April 12, 1865, Union Brig. Gen. Joshua Chamberlain watched the distant ridge as the Confederates prepared for the surrender. They formed into column, marched into the valley, then up the Richmond-Lynchburg Stage Road toward the village. As the column approached this knoll, Chamberlain ordered his men to honor them. The Federals snapped to “carry arms” – the “marching salute.”

    A surprised Maj. Gen. John B. Gordon instantly ordered his men to return the salute. Until now, the drama at Appomattox had been played out by major figures. But here was a profound expression of respect by the armies’ common soldiers. They, more than anyone else, would blaze the path to reconciliation in the years that followed.

    • nygiant1952 says:

      Don’t you think that the abandonment the newly freed Blacks by the Republican Party in 1876, the Supreme Court ruling of 1883 which gutted the 14th Amendment, the enactment of Jim Crow legislation, the SC decision of Plessy v Ferguson making separate but equal the law of the land, and the Poll tax which disenfranchised Blacks from voting…do you think those decisions didn’t foment anger and division?

      Just asking.

    • Donald Smith says:

      It’s hard not to feel sorry for people who rejoiced in watching the hacksaw blade cut into the Lee statue. Good people can disagree as to whether the statue belonged in Lee Circle in modern times. But…taking a hacksaw to a piece of art?

      If the new standard is that it’s OK to destroy art if it it offends a majority of people in a community, then woe be unto us.

      • nygiant1952 says:

        Interesting that so many have discovered that sculpture is a form of art.

      • Donald Smith says:

        Statuary always was art. Which is why it’s so shocking to watch supposedly enlightened people damage statues, pull them down and (in the case of the Lee Statue, deliberately destroy it). That’s why we view those people as barbarians—and who can respect a barbarian? And we dismiss their claims that “the Lost Cause made them do it.”

      • nygiant1952 says:

        Since the monument no longer exists, and is never coming back, any discussion is just sour grapes.

        A much better way to memorialize those traitors is to preserve Civil War battlefields.

      • Donald Smith says:

        “Since the monument no longer exists, and is never coming back, any discussion is just sour grapes.”

        Au contraire! It’s important to point out barbarism, so the barbarians can be identified and subject to the scorn they deserve.

        In civilized society, there needs to be accountability for barbarian acts. For both the statue cutters and those who defend them online. Screen caps are wonderful things.

        But…thank you for placing yourself on record that Confederate statues should be left standing on battlefields. Congressional Democrats are already on record calling for ALL of them to be destroyed.

      • nygiant1952 says:

        Let us recall that on July 9th , 1776, those barbaric New Yorkers took down and destroyed the monument to King George, after the reading of the Declaration of Independence.

        Destroying monuments to traitors and despots is American as apple pie.

        Hats off to those barbaric New Yorkers!

  9. Thanks for the mention of my book review of “Robert E. Lee and Me.”

  10. Donald Smith says:

    So, if I blanch at the sight of a hacksaw cutting into a piece of art (Lee’s statue), does that make me a Lost Causer?

    If I’m skeptical when I hear Richmond city officials say that there was no other way to get Lee’s statue out of town, that there was no combination of back roads and short trips in the wee hours of the morning that could have removed this irreplaceable piece of art in one piece—does that make me a Jim Crow enabler?

    Were the Lost Cause Police of Emerging Civil War as sickened as I was?

  11. Donald Smith says:

    I wonder if the ECW community considers the Lee statue an item of art? If so, was its destruction justified, and if so, why? (I’m looking at you, nygiants1952).

    (If you don’t think sawing an acclaimed statue in half with a saw constitutes “destroying” it—does that mean that we can fillet any metal statue from here on out, as long as we can weld its chunks back together?)

    • nygiant1952 says:

      The statue of Lee was nothing more than a monument to the Lost Cause, to an era when Blacks were 2nd class citizens, denied rights under the US Constitution.

      What country honors traitors?

      • Donald Smith says:

        “The statue of Lee was nothing more than a monument to the Lost Cause, to an era when Blacks were 2nd class citizens, denied rights under the US Constitution.”

        What qualifies you to make such a blanket, absolute statement?

      • nygiant1952 says:

        What qualifies me to make such a blanket, absolute statement?

        Well…

        1. You asked for a comment from me. Here are your words….I wonder if the ECW community considers the Lee statue an item of art? If so, was its destruction justified, and if so, why? (I’m looking at you, nygiants1952).

        2. I’m an erudite and well-read individual regarding the Civil War.

        3. I’ve studied other American wars, specifically the French and Indian War, the American Revolution, World War 1 and World War 2.

        4. As there is no “thought police” in the United States , I am entitled to my opinion.

        5. This is a public forum, and American History belongs to all Americans.

        Does this help?

      • Donald Smith says:

        Fair enough. You are entitled to your opinion. But why should any of us put any weight in it?

      • nygiant1952 says:

        I just deal with the history, and the pesky facts.

    • Donald Smith says:

      And, if I may, although you may be “erudite,” you didn’t answer my question: was the destruction of a piece of art justified, and if so why?

      For me, no, it wasn’t. I saw no immediate emergency in the city of Richmond that justified destroying a piece of art. By all means, the city had the right to move it. It’s in their jurisdiction. But, why couldn’t they wait until they could figure out how to move it without destroying it? Were they too emotionally and culturally brittle? Too stupid to figure out how to move it without destroying it?

      • nygiant1952 says:

        As I mentioned, the statue honored the Lost Cause, it was erected during a time of Jim Crow legislation where Blacks were treated as 2nd class citizens, and not enjoying the same rights as whites. it also represented a time when Blacks were lynched without the benefit of a fair trial.

        It was an insult to the Afro American citizens of the United States.

        Removing the statue would only make Lee a martyr to the Lost Cause. Now that it is destroyed, those who still believe in the false narrative of a Lost Cause have no place to honor it.

      • Donald Smith says:

        It’s interesting to see an ECW commenter endorse the destruction of art. The Taliban would be proud of you.

        I’d love to debate you on this at an ECW symposium. “Resolved: Destroying the Robert E. Lee Statue Was The Right Thing To Do.” I’ll take the negative side. But, you’d have to come out from behind your pseudonym.

        Anytime you’re ready.

      • Dan says:

        Why do you keep saying that it was destroyed? Are you an expert on bronze sculptures?

      • Donald Smith says:

        Dan says:
        September 10, 2021 at 8:56 PM
        Why do you keep saying that it was destroyed? Are you an expert on bronze sculptures?

        I would LOVE to be proved wrong here. All the evidence points to the conclusion that the City of Richmond and Virginia state government have no intent to, or plan for, restoring the statue to its pre-sawing condition. It appears they wanted to destroy the statue, and expect us to stand by and say nothing.

        PLEASE prove me wrong! PLEASE cite evidence that the Richmond and Virginia governments have taken their responsibility to protect art—even art they dislike—and have a rational and already-funded plan to restore the statue. PLEASE cite an artist or sculptor who can explain that this particular statue can be easily fixed. I triple-dog-dare you to do it.

        I assert that the evidence indicates they have none of this. And, what’s worse, that they don’t care. That they are not entitled to the benefit of the doubt here. And, most importantly, that a majority of adults will agree with me. I think a majority of adults will be shocked at the actions of a minority that not only apparently feels entitled to destroy publicly-owned art it dislikes, but feels entitled to avoid any accountability for that.

      • Dan says:

        I’m not a bronze statue restoration expert, but repairs have been done on statues that were far more broken up. People are letting their emotions run wild on this.

  12. Katy Berman says:

    Sawing the statue in half was a travesty. Removing the monument makes me sorrowful, but it does nothing to diminish my admiration for Lee.

  13. Tony Robertson says:

    What do the Woke have against Traveler? As for Lee, couldn’t they have just chopped off his head like the old French social justice activists?

    • JoAnna McDonald says:

      Lol … If they did that, they could have resold the statue to Sleepy Hollow, New York. (Disclaimer: this is satire.)

  14. Those horrified by the removal of Lee’s statue might want to take a look at the role of Confederate Heritage Defenders in promoting the current ire directed at the statue.

    For years the people of Richmond have been trying to move the statue but found themselves blocked in deciding what parts of Virginia history were memorialized in their city by a state legislature of representatives with no connection to Richmond who insisted that Lee and his accomplices rule over the city’s monumental landscape.

    While some here are decrying the removal of the statue as an assault on great art, we need only to watch video of pre-2020 attempts to remove the statue to see that it was not artists, art students, or art historians who encircled the statue in its defense, it was NeoConfederates from often racist and extremist organizations carrying Confederate flags who mobilized from out of town, I spent time on their social media which often characterized Richmond as “enemy territory.” Groups like the Virginia Flaggers went out of their way to insult those who actually live in Richmond and they indelibly associated the Lee statue with the worst tendencies in American political life.

    There is a reason many Richmonders assembled happily yesterday to watch the statue come down. It had become a gathering place for those opposed to the changes in race relations over the last sixty years. It was a shrine at which white supremacists came to worship. The fact that so many “ordinary white Southerners” accepted this transformation of the statue into an altar for NeoConfederate worship illustrated the danger inherent in its continued presence in the city. For Richmonders, removing the statue meant removing the gathering place it had become for militiamen, MAGAs, and denizens of the AltRight.

    When I saw supporters of the statue loudly proclaim that they would “never visit Richmond again” I thought to myself, “yeah, I think that is one of the goals of the statue’s removal.”

    • nygiant1952 says:

      Nicely stated Patrick Young.

      • Donald Smith says:

        I challenge you to a Lincoln-Douglas debate, with the subject: “Resolved: All Cops Are Bastards.” Given how happy you are with everything that transpired at the Lee Memorial, I’m presuming you’ll take the affirmative side.

    • billhenck says:

      Do you really want to go there with the MAGA line? The statue was removed in large part because a mob defaced it. While you are celebrating, consider the implications of that.

      • That the memorial attracted the wrong sort is no fault of the memorial.
        Tom Crane

      • Donald Smith says:

        You mean, the mob that thinks that All Cops Are Bastards? The one that emblazoned “ACAB” on the pedestal of the Lee Memorial, and the city left it there for months, for all to see? That mob?

    • Donald Smith says:

      We’re not decrying the removal—we’re decrying its DESTRUCTION. The city of Richmond sawed a bronze statue in half. You destroyed art.

      The Lost Cause didn’t make you destroy it. MAGA hats didn’t make you destroy it. YOU destroyed it. Own what you did.

      You’re really telling us that one statue, on an obscure street in Richmond,* had this much of a psychic effect on the city? Okay then…if you say so.

      I saw, in the Richmond Times-Dispatch this morning, that the removal of the statue was a “catalyst for change” in the city. Should we conclude that one statue held Richmonders back from achieving their potential? (Doesn’t say much for modern-day Richmonders, does it?)

      * “who insisted that Lee and his accomplices rule over the city’s monumental landscape.” Sorry—no sale here. A few years ago, I went looking for Monument Avenue. It wasn’t easy to find. The city didn’t list the statues on its tourist maps, so I had to use Google Maps. Anti-statue activists act as if the Lee Statue was 500 feet tall, and I95 ran under Traveller’s legs.

      “they indelibly associated the Lee statue with the worst tendencies in American political life.” No, YOU did that. Own what you did. Stop being a victim.

      “Groups like the Virginia Flaggers went out of their way to insult those who actually live in Richmond.”

      Well, when you paint “All Cops Are Bastards” on the Lee Memorial, along with foul language, with the full approval of the city government, then you’ve earned some insults.

      • Pat Young says:

        Lol. I will have to take Donald at his word that almost no one has heard of Monument Avenue in Richmond. I assume the rest of his assertions are as reliable.

  15. Katy Berman says:

    What about the people who loved the statue? Who loved the way it looked against the sky, its single-word inscription that told a long story? The exultation over its defacement and destruction, the pious dismissal of those who wished it could remain as Nazis or white supremacists, is simply wrong. It is important to push past the anger and consider that there are Americans who feel deeply and helplessly saddened by the vandalizing and removal of monuments.

    • Why didn’t the “the people who loved the statue” work for its relocation years ago when it became obvious that most Richmonders did not want it? Why was it politically desirable to keep Lee’s statue where it was in the face of the city’s calls to move it over the last decade?

      • billhenck says:

        Maybe people who loved the statue wanted it on Monument Avenue. Maybe they have rights too. Your attitude seems to be “nice statue you have there. It would be a shame if anything happened to it. Do what we want and it won’t get defaced or sawed into pieces.”

        It is my understanding that the city of Richmond controlled the other statues on Monument Avenue. They were just taken down within the last year or so. Are you asserting that white supremacists controlled the Richmond city government until the past year? Is there anything those pesky white supremacists cannot do?

        In all seriousness, though, you seem to be conflating a handful of white supremacists with people you have political differences with. That can work both ways and bad things happen when political opponents are silenced or “othered.” Please see Portland, Charlottesville, the Capitol on January 6th, and James Hodgkinson.

      • Donald Smith says:

        So, because we didn’t move the statue quick enough, progressives were justified in destroying it? (Sawing a bronze statue in half is de facto destroying it).

        But, to answer your question—the statue belonged to the state of Virginia. Many Virginians wanted the statue to remain in their capital city.

        Perhaps Virginia should move its capital.

      • Dan says:

        “(Sawing a bronze statue in half is de facto destroying it).”

        Is it?

      • Donald Smith says:

        Dan says:
        September 10, 2021 at 9:01 PM
        “(Sawing a bronze statue in half is de facto destroying it).”

        Is it?

        So, do you have evidence that the City of Richmond and Virginia state government have plans (and funding) to restore the Lee statue to good quality? DO TELL!

        Or, please explain how sawing a bronze statue in half should NOT be considered “destroying” it. Spoiler alert: I don’t think you can.

      • Dan says:

        The statue is not “destroyed.” People need to chill a bit.

  16. Tony Robertson says:

    By all accounts, Traveller was a good horse. Although we cannot be certain what his thoughts were on Critical Breed Theory (CBT). Some wartime anecdotes support modern progressives’ claims that he was a bit of a supremacist when it came to relations with Missouri Foxtrotters, Tennessee Walkers, and Texas cutting horses.

    Thus, his removal comes as an abundance of caution. A potential stain removed from our history.

    • Taylor says:

      Even worse, according to an account by an a Civil War Union Army veteran who was an 18 year old bugler in attendance at the surrender:

      “(Traveler) was a sturdy gelding, deep of chest, with small head and feet, and his color was appropriately Confederate gray, with the exception of mane and tail, which were black; a combination that made him a very striking and handsome animal.”

      “I Saw Lee Surrender,” Saturday Evening Post. April 6, 1940
      https://www.saturdayeveningpost.com/2018/07/civil-war-memory-saw-lee-surrender/

      No fault of his (its?) own, but surely the predominance of Confederate gray seals the horse’s fate.

      On a more serious note, the interview of Peter Hughes by Jeff Nilsson, (September 8, 2021), found further down that page, may be of interest to many posting here.

  17. Douglas Pauly says:

    It’s perfectly alright for residents and citizens of any given area to determine what will stay and what will go when it comes to public displays, so long as legal processes are adhered to. While that hasn’t always been the case when it comes to removal or destruction of Confederate markers, it does indeed appear to have been for this statue of Lee. That said, removing these artifacts will supposedly “cure” certain societal ills. I ask: “How so?” Removing these markers will not reduce the murder rates among the aggrieved groups who claim such harm from these markers. They won’t change arrest or conviction rates. They won’t prevent anyone from being ‘left behind’. It all comes across as yet another orchestrated deflection from the REAL problems that plague such large swaths of our population. I wonder what the next deflection will be for the express purpose of covering up those real problems? Stay tuned…

    • nygiant1952 says:

      After 250 years of abject slavery, followed by 100 years of 2nd class citizenship, the removal of these monuments sounds the death knell for the Lost Cause.

      • Donald Smith says:

        The victimhood is strong with you, oh erudite one.

      • Douglas Pauly says:

        Yeah, right. And my point is made, that removing them accomplishes NOTHING as far as addressing the REAL problems that plague certain groups in this country and life! But thankfully we still have the white Democrats who will ensure that those certain groups will ‘think’ as they are ordered to, and do what they are told, and what they will be told to be outraged about. For their own good, of course.

      • nygiant1952 says:

        I was wondering how long it would take for you to mention the Democrats.

  18. Donald Smith says:

    Remember Flip Wilson? The comedian who made the phrase “The Devil Made Me Do It” famous?

    I’m reminded of that as I read all the comments justifying the destruction of the Lee statue in Richmond. (Sorry, but sawing a bronze statue in half, to fire up a cheering crowd, constitutes “destroying” art).

    “The statue made me do it.”

    “The Lost Cause made me do it.”

    “We make men without chests and expect from them virtue and enterprise”—C.S. Lewis. Perhaps it’s time to replace “Virginia is For Lovers” with “Richmonders Have No Chests.”

    Either way, the Taliban is laughing.

    • nygiant1952 says:

      Do you really think the Taliban cares what happens in Richmond?

      • well, actually they do care about what happens here … take a look at the Taliban in Kabul over the past weeks aping the Iwo Jima flag raising at the United States Marine Corps Memorial in Arlington … and then mocking our dignified return ceremony when fallen service members come home … all over social media.

      • nygiant1952 says:

        No mention at all by the Taliban as to events in Richmond.

        Better to ignore what the Taliban does, rather than giving them credence.

        Just sayin’.

      • Donald Smith says:

        No mention at all by the Taliban as to events in Richmond.

        Better to ignore what the Taliban does, rather than giving them credence.

        Just sayin’.

        20 years ago, al Qaeda saw the U.S. response to the bombings of the Tanzania and Kenyan embassies, and the attack on the USS Cole, and concluded we were pushovers. They tested that theory on 9/11. We proved them wrong…at the cost of 20% of the Pentagon, three WTC towers and 3000+ people.

        I remember reporting to the Pentagon when I was mobilized after 9/11, and driving by families who were staring at the gaping hole in the building, hoping that the rescuers would hit a miracle and find their missing loved ones. (There were no miracles).

        When you say “Better to ignore what the Taliban does, rather than giving them credence,” what you’re really saying is that you expect America’s military and diplomats to keep you safe while you say childish things.

        Own it.

      • nygiant1952 says:

        I mentioned the Taliban…once they attack the United States, let me know.

        You are diverting the conversation by bringing a new group. into the discussion, since you can’t counter my comments on the Taliban.

        Own it.

      • Donald Smith says:

        “Own it”

        Gladly. I don’t think your comments are worth countering. I own that, proudly. You strike me as a person who feels entitled to say whatever he feels good about saying, while expecting worthy men and women to keep him safe as he does it.

        How’s that?

      • nygiant1952 says:

        “Gladly. I don’t think your comments are worth countering. I own that, proudly. You strike me as a person who feels entitled to say whatever he feels good about saying, while expecting worthy men and women to keep him safe as he does it.

        How’s that?”

        Usually, when one debates, one stays on the topic, sticks tot he facts and doesn’t use diversion or “what-about-ism”.

        Since you ARE trying to counter my comments, you must think they are relevant

        The rest of your comment is moot.

    • Donald Smith says:

      The Taliban watches American media closely. Anyone who pays attention to the news knows that.

      But, to clear up any confusion, I am saying that the Taliban—-whose most prominent foray into the world of art and culture was to destroy the Bamiyan statues (Google it)—would look at the people who hooted and whooped as the Lee Statue was chopped up, and see kindred spirits. THEN, when they heard those statue choppers claim that they just had to destroy the statue because the legacy of the “Lost Cause” was a pressing problem in Richmond society—-THEN they’d break out laughing.

      I am comparing the statue choppers to the Taliban.

      Glad I could clear that up for you.

      • nygiant1952 says:

        Donald, just because you say it, doesn’t make it a fact. It may be true, but I’d rather see some documentation that the Taliban is concerned about Richmond Va.

        I can wait.

        Glad I could fix that for you.

      • Donald Smith says:

        Thank you, oh “erudite” one. Oh, and if you have to tell people that you’re “erudite,” that’s a problem.

      • nygiant1952 says:

        You are welcome!

      • mark harnitchek says:

        hi Mr. Giant … your constant call for “citations” when you read something you don’t like is not argument by-the-way … this is a friendly, usually, exchange of ideas among Civil War buffs, not a PhD dissertation or masters thesis defense.

        And Don’s comments about “anyone who pays attention” is on the mark … this is political science and national security 101 stuff — how state and non-state actors use their instruments power to influence events in their self-interest … it’s called DIME (google it if you want to know more) … DIME is short for Diplomatic, Information, Military, and Economic … and these are instruments of power that the Taliban uses — particularly information and military — to great effect … citaton not required.

        you’re welcome

      • nygiant1952 says:

        Hi Mark,

        In a discussion of ideas, it is expected that you back up your statements with the facts. And these facts are backed up by citing an article or a book, or some academic journal.

        Why can’t one elevate a Civil War discussion to that level of a PhD dissertation, or a Masters thesis defense? I know I am trying to…Why don’t you meet me half way?

        Mentioning the Taliban and trying to compare them to 350 years of slavery and 2nd class citizenship, and Jim Crow legislation is at best a stretch, and is basically a-historical.

        It is a diversion.

        There…I corrected your comments.

        You’re welcome!

    • Donald Smith says:

      “Since you ARE trying to counter my comments, you must think they are relevant”

      Actually, I think of it more as pest control. If you don’t spray the bugs in life, they multiply. It’s a thankless job, but someone has to do it.

      • nygiant1952 says:

        Actually, I think of it more as pest control. If you don’t spray the bugs in life, they multiply. It’s a thankless job, but someone has to do it.

        Thank you very much , for proving my point.

        I look at it as standing up to The Big Lie.

  19. The Taliban are gnerally clever about social media and the internet. Yes, indeed they may well understand that the destroyers of a 1200 year old Buddhist monument have compadres who destroyed 120 year old art.
    Tom Crane

    • nygiant1952 says:

      Can you cite some documentation that backs your position, that they care about what happens to a monument in Richmond.

      • Donald Smith says:

        We cite common sense.

        We also note that we appear to have backed you into a corner on this issue: We’ve compared the destruction of the Lee Statue to the actions one would expect to see from the Taliban. The normal response would be to refute our assertion. Instead, you seem to be claiming that we can only make our assertion unless the Taliban themselves have explicitly said it, and we can document that. We reject your premise.

        We do not need a license from the Taliban to compare you to the Taliban.

        We assert that, when rational and well-informed people watched the barbarism we saw in Lee Square—destroying a statue, and hooting and whooping over it—it’s natural to be reminded of the world’s most prominent cultural barbarians (at this time)—the Taliban.

        Rational people can disagree whether the Lee Statue should have been removed. I’ll stipulate that, as a supporter of Confederate heritage, I can’t make an argument compelling enough to justify keeping any of the Confederate statues on Monument Avenue, Lee’s included. The Civil War ended more than 150 years ago. If Richmond wants to move on from its Civil War legacy, that’s its right. Neither Lee, nor Jackson, nor Stuart, were Richmonders. And, a city with a majority African-American and progressive white population is NOT the place I’d expect to see a Confederate statue nowadays.

        Removing a statue, respectfully, is one thing. Destroying it, while crowds chant and hoot, is shameful. But it is something that we’d expect from the Taliban.

        You’re welcome.

      • nygiant1952 says:

        You don’t mind if I’d like to see some actual documentation, do you?

        Your comparison is so trite, that refuting it would give it acknowledgement.

      • Documentation? That is silly. Expectation of what the Taliban might do is simple syllogism. It is reasoning, not factual assertion. Unfortunately, it is also an accurate comparison.
        Tom

      • Not every country removes its monuments and memorials. It is not a necessary step as the population and the popular vote changes. In Ireland, which has seen a similar change in the popular voice still has many of its pro-British monuments. *Some* have been removed. One – the Admiral Nelson pillar in downtown Dublin – was famously bombed in the 1960’s one night. One monument in particular – sometimes known as the Traitor’s gate – remains from the Boer war. It was erected in Dublin at the close of the Boer war. Many Irish served in the British army which successfully prosecuted the Boer war. The monument actually lists the names of all the Irish soldiers who were killed in that war. Even though many residents today deride the gate as “Traitor’s Gate,” it still remains. If one looks closely, a visitor can find monuments to Prince Albert, Sir Walter Raleigh and a host of lesser known “heroes” of the Protestant ascendancy. throughout the country. So, no, monuments which have become unpopular need not be removed.
        Tom Crane

      • nygiant1952 says:

        Let’s see now….

        1.
        On September 4, 1861, before a crowd of 1,000 people, the first Confederate-dedicated monument was inaugurated at Manassas, honoring Francis Bartow. An obelisk made of marble, it was mysteriously stolen in 1862. Probably destroyed by Union troops during 2nd Manassas.

        2. The monument to the US airmen who aided the Poles in the Polish -Soviet war was destroyed by the Russians in 1970.

        Seems to me, removing monuments occurs more often that one thinks.

  20. Donald Smith says:

    The statue choppers and Lost Cause Police have given the Taliban a wonderful PR gift.

    The next time anyone criticizes the Taliban for destroying the Bamiyan statues, the Taliban can point to the Lee Statue. The Taliban can claim that the West has no problem destroying art it considers blasphemous—so why is it holding the Taliban to a different standard? The Taliban can then say that what’s good enough for the city of Richmond, the Lost Cause Police crowd and the target audience of the Washington Post should be good enough for them.

    • nygiant1952 says:

      When they do cite Richmond Va, please let me know.

      • billhenck says:

        The issue some of us here are concerned about hits a lot closer to home than Afghanistan. A statue with historic and artistic value was defaced by a mob and then sawed into pieces to cheers. People supporting this seem to justify it because they have tracked down random losers with social media accounts that espouse white supremacy. This is part of a national trend, primarily but not exclusively on the left, to use random losers on social media as an excuse to demonize, marginalize, and even physically attack people they have political disagreements with.

        If you want an example closer than Kabul, look at Portland, Oregon. Black clad “anti fascists” beat people and violently attacked a federal courthouse for over 70 straight days. They blinded two federal security officers (can anyone on this website tell me whether those officers regained their sight without first looking it up on google?) Those proud anti fascists justified their actions because of, you guessed it, white supremacy.

        There are valid reasons to want the Lee statue removed. However, the manner in which it was done and the manner in which opponents of that removal were dismissed as white supremacists was wrong. Period. You and Governor Ralph “The Klansman” Northam can shout white supremacy all you want to, but what happened was wrong and will have negative effects for quite some time.

      • nygiant1952 says:

        A couple of corrections, just so that we can be on the same page.

        1.A statue to a traitor to the United Stares was sawed into pieces….can we agree on that?

        2. In studying American History, the “mob” has always played a role since Colonial times, and the right to assembly is a protected right in the US Constitution….can we agree on that?

        3. Why did yours Portland as an example? A more sinister attack occurred on January 6th when a mob, inched by a US President , attacked the seat of the US Government in order to prevent the Congress from doing its duty, as written win the US Constitution? Several people died. I don’t have to look up on Google if they are going to regain their lives back.

        4. The monuments that have been taken down, honor traitors to the United States, and represent a time in our History when Black Americans were treated as 2nd class citizens, denied the right to vote, and were lynched without the benefit of a trial.

        If…IF…you want to honor those traitors, then preserve the battlefields where they fought. That is a lasting tribute to their cause.

        White supremacists represent the greatest threat to he Nation. We learned from Weimar Germany, in the 1930s the threat of White Supremacy. Recall what these White supremacists chanted at Charlottesville…”The Jews will not replace us”.

        White Supremacy= Fascsim

        Be vigilant. I am.
        And call out White Supremacy . Will you join me?

    • mark harnitchek says:

      Bingo, you hit the nail on the head … this is the classic rejectionist view of history — there is nothing to be learned from the past so just get rid of it … instead of acknowledging the nation’s shortcomings — sometimes painful — and use public history as a teaching tool, the rejectionists simply destroy it … not a great way to keep the nation moving toward that “more perfect union.”

    • Judy Scarlata says:

      I don’t think that the Taliban needs something as current as the destruction of the Lee Sculpture ( for a sculpture it is!) as an example of a Western country destroying art that the regime of that country didn’t like! Has anyone heard of the art exhibit “Entarte Kunst” (Degenerate Art) that Hitler had? This exhibit included modern masters’ art that he deemed was not truly art and should be destroyed. It didn’t feed into the Nazi ideal.

      • mark harnitchek says:

        good point … this is hallmark of modernists and authoritarians … in the French Revolution, after executing the king, abolishing the aristocracy and assaulting religion, the new regime declared 22 Sept 1792 as the beginning of Year 1 … and all done in the name of reason — nothing to see or value looking to the past.

  21. mark harnitchek says:

    so here’s a thought on whether or not to tear down public history that’s controversial … i just finished an MA in history at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA … you know old George Mason — Virginia politician, one the founders, planter, and slave holder.

    he has a very prominant statue on the main drag of the campus … rather than tearing down the statue, renaming the school, or taking other actions that would further divide people, the University curated the site with an acknowledgement of the existance of slavery in the Mason family and the contributions of those enslaved folks (who are memorialized by name) who enabled Mason’s success as statesman and Virginian … nothing is erased and every voice is heard.

    it’s beautifully done and represents a teaching moment everytime i walk that path with thousands of other students … if you’ve got a spare two minutes, check out the attached video … George Mason University leadership knocked it out of the park.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UylKtl-UF5k

    one could argue this would be expensive and difficult to do with R.E. Lee and other CSA monuments … but, think of all the teaching moments we might have educating people about the Civil War … and frankly, once we start tearing down public history we don’t like, where do we stop?

    • Taylor says:

      George Mason, of course, also drafted much of the Virginia Declaration of Rights.
      Doing what you suggest to such statues may be less expensive than moving or destroying them, but would those who want the statues taken down even consider having them contextualized and made a source of education?

      • mark harnitchek says:

        you’re right about George Mason … the VA declaration of rights was the model for our Bill of Rights … and you raise a good point regarding the “statue removing lobby” … i am sure there was a constituency at George Mason that wanted to do just that … but the university, to their credit, took the more courageous path and created a fantastic bit of public history which will endure for generations … ultimately, it’s all about leadership.

      • mark harnitchek says:

        the other sites that have done a nice job in curation are Mount Vernon and Monticello where Washington and Jefferson’s slaves are given their prominent and proper role in not just the history of these presidents, but the for the nation as well … everything from their names, what they did, how many children they had, how long they lived, what sort of clothing they wore, their quarters, et al is included

        important since so many more people will see this public history then will ever read a history book … hence the need for the discussion of doing similar efforts for these Confederate monuments … again, if properly done, all these sites could represent a tremendous learning opportunity for the thousands of people that see them … public history is powerful tool if done right.

    • Judy Scarlata says:

      Thank you for your comments, Mark. I appreciate that you can see the idea of “nothing to see or value from looking to the past.” And this from the “reasoned thinkers” of the French Revolution! I doubt that this current crop of “reasoned thinkers” trying to erase OUR culture at this time in history, have any new ideas or thoughts to add to their destructive philosophy. I must say, they’re very creative, borrowing ideas from a bunch of old Frenchmen!

  22. nygiant1952 says:

    Nice op-ed piece in today’s Washington Post.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/09/10/robert-e-lee-statue-richmond-trump-history/

    “No general in U.S. history was defeated as unequivocally and as totally as Lee. For all his supposed strategic skill, his army was entirely destroyed. One-quarter of those who served under him were killed, and an additional half were wounded or captured. He was a traitor to the United States who killed more U.S. soldiers than any other enemy in the nation’s history, for the supremely evil cause of slavery. To boot, he was a cruel enslaver and a promoter of white supremacy until his death.”

    In 1868, Lee joined in issuing the White Sulphur Springs manifesto, which argued that Black people had “neither the intelligence nor the qualifications … for political power.”

    “Neither Lee nor his statue deserves a pedestal.”

    • Judy Scarlata says:

      Figures! Coming from that famous left wing wonderful W. P.!

      • nygiant1952 says:

        Rather than attacking the messenger, could you please inform us, what facts are incorrect?

        Erudite minds would like to know.

      • So many. But, myself and others have already addressed all of them. You are repeating your points. You cite additional sources, but they are still the same points.
        Tom

      • nygiant1952 says:

        LOL

        That’s the response from someone who can’t defend their position, because they have no facts to back them up.

        Pesky thing , those pesky facts.

      • Heck, I enjoy the Washington Post and NY Times, for national news. But for opinions about Southern or Western history, they really are clueless. How is such a piece even a source for “facts” about Confederate history?
        Tom

      • nygiant1952 says:

        Let’s see now…..
        1. Lee was defeated…there isn’t any question about that , is there?

        2.One-quarter of those who served under him were killed, and an additional half were wounded or captured. …no question about that, is there?
        3.He was a traitor to the United States who killed more U.S. soldiers than any other enemy in the nation’s history,…no question about that, is there?
        4. He fought to defend slavery….no question about that.

        Facts are facts, and really don’t depend on whether they are in a newspaper, or a book…do they?

      • No, I would say pesky rejection of those pesky facts. Cherry-picking the facts you wish to accept.
        Tom

      • nygiant1952 says:

        Interesting. So, that we are on the same page…

        1. You must think Lee was not defeated. I have it on good authority that Lee surrendered to Grant, ending the Civil War.

        Do you have evidence that Lee did not surrender at Appomattox?

        2.Lee’s army imposed 240,322 civil war casualties on the enemy. Lee’s army incurred 208,922. Comparing Grant and Lee, Lee exceeded Grant’s casualties by more than 55,000.

        Can you think of any other person who is responsible for killing more American soldiers?

        3. He fought against his country. Lee betrayed his allegiance to the United States, his own country by committing hostile acts, and aiding its enemies in committing hostile acts.

        4. The South left the Union to preserve slavery. It went to war to defend slave labor.

        I’d be interested in any references or citations that you may’ve that would defend your position.

        Now, I do understand that you can have your own opinion. But, you don’t have a right to your own set of pesky facts. I’d like to read your facts so that I can compare them against the factual history of the Civil War.

        Pesky facts..Ok?

      • Scroll up and see my points made already by myself and others. Its pointless to engage with you, Giant. You evade and deflect with marked ability.
        Tom

      • nygiant1952 says:

        That’s the response from someone who can’t back up their opinions with facts.

        Stay safe

    • Taylor says:

      I looked up the manifesto. Apparently, the full paragraph from the correspondence to Gen. Rosecrans states:

      “It is true that the people of the South, together with the people of the North and West, are, for obvious reasons, opposed to any system of laws which will place the political power of the country in the hands of the negro race. But this opposition springs from no feelings of enmity, but from a deep seated conviction that at present the negroes have neither the intelligence nor other qualifications which are necessary to make them safe depositories of political power. They would inevitably become the victims of demagogues, who for selfish purposes would mislead them, to the serious injury of the public.”

      I am not trying to make any point by this. I am only suggesting people may want to read the entire manifesto, which can be found at

      http://rosecransheadquarters.org/Rosecrans/WhiteSulphurManifesto/Lee.htm

      I do not have an online reference for the letter of Gen. Rosecrans, to which the above-noted letter was a reply. If someone does I would welcome being directed to it.

  23. Judy Scarlata says:

    I think we all should face facts! This is our history! If we erase our history, the good and bad of it, how can we teach our children to love the good and fight the bad? No nation in this world has a perfect past.
    I understand it is the “mission” of some to erase the history of our great country, to start over with a “clean slate.” Then to re-write history…THEIR way! OK, they have the right to say what they feel, but they are not in the majority, and they had better realize that although they might think they are running things, they ARE NOT! Everyone deserves a say. Others, too. In art, we call that POINT OF VIEW.
    As far as destroying artwork, THAT is the start of a dictatorship, as art should NEVER be censored in a FREE society. Whether one agrees that Lee’s sculpture is art or not is irrelevant. As a PIECE OF ART, it should have been moved to a place where it can be preserved NOT destroyed, no matter the reason for it creation.

    • nygiant1952 says:

      The history has NOT been erased at all. There is a new book on the Civil War coming out every 2 weeks. So, to say that history is being erased, is not a fact in evidence.

      What is being removed are monuments to an institution that subjugated Black slaves to a ruling class of Whites, for over 350 years.

  24. Judy Scarlata says:

    I say that these are artworks and should be preserved as such, Giant. I have an art background and am not an advocate for the Confederacy or white supremacy. History is what it is! You can’t change it! Don’t you understand that? I find that you have a one-track position as evidenced by many of the comments from the other readers. They also find it impossible to discuss with you.
    I also doubt in that in your “erudite,” educated background, that you know much about art or its preservation at all. (See my comment on “Entarte Kunst” in one of the above comments, that you obviously missed reading…selectively?) I hold to my position, when art is destroyed or censored, we are at the start of a dictatorship and the loss of a FREE society.

    • nygiant1952 says:

      The difficulty you are having, is confusing art, and interpretation of that art, and what it stands for. When I took art classes, much discussion was made of interpreting the art, in that time period, and what certain symbols represented.

      Statues of Confederates honor men who turned their backs on the United States and fought to preserve the institution of slavery. And they represent the time of Jim Crow legislation, when Blacks were treated as 2nd class citizens and had to endure a separate but equal position in society…which was never equal in the Olde Confederacy.

      These sculpture are an insult to part of our population, a population that has contributed to American society, through the arts and also has defended our Nation since Colonial times. Blacks have fought in all wars in North America.

      As far as education in art is concerned, I am a student of the Hudson River School.

      Of course, we also have to be aware , at all times, of a-historical art, which depicts events that never did occur.

      • Judy Scarlata says:

        Of course, Giant, I should have known, that you are erudite in the visual arts as well! Have you spent a lifetime teaching at the college and high school levels? Do you have a M. S. In Art Education with an Art History emphasis? Have you worked with museum directors and had your students be enabled to view precious works of art in their vaults? I don’t think so. A couple of art courses taken does not a professor make. Since you know everything about art and wow, the Hudson River School! ( poor Thomas Cole must be turning over in his grave!). I obviously can’t preach to the choir. We’ll leave it at that. Agree to disagree as you stated with a few of the commenters above. It’s Saturday, it’s beautiful out and I am outta here. Have a good day and don’t forget, it’s 9/11-20 years. God bless!

      • nygiant1952 says:

        I never realized you needed a BFA or an MS is Art to be able to interpret art.

    • Donald Smith says:

      “I find that you have a one-track position as evidenced by many of the comments from the other readers. They also find it impossible to discuss with you. I also doubt in that in your “erudite,” educated background, that you know much about art or its preservation at all.”

      Sometimes, the point of engaging someone in an extended discussion, is to put that person’s thoughts and reasoning on record, for all to see.

    • mark harnitchek says:

      you got it … like it or hate it, it is public history and it is art … so, preserve it privately or curate it where it is like George Mason University, (see my link above), Mount Vernon and Monticello did … it can be done … you’re right about destroying history that people don’t like — hard to stop once you’ve started … takes us to a bad place.

    • mark harnitchek says:

      hi Mr. Giant, i don’t think Judy is either confused or having difficulty … she just has a different opinion 🙂

  25. Judy Scarlata says:

    Hi All! I want to broach the topic of art education. One of the commenters has said that you don’t need a degree to interpret art. No, you can have an opinion on anything, albeit uneducated it might be. It’s like the man who says,” I don’t like all art but I do know what I like.” Ok, he has the right to that opinion. It’s also like the guy who detests modern art because he thinks a child could do it. It doesn’t LOOK like anything recognizable to him, therefore he dismisses its value. He doesn’t understand how it came about or how and why it developed. Art education aims to show the value in each piece of art, no matter the reason for its creation. The artists of the Nazi period in Germany created some interesting pieces of work. Would I want them in my collection? No. But they serve in themselves to teach us about the restrictions Art had on it during a time of no freedom in Germany, a time of dictatorship. It was a bad era for very many people. We MUST learn from that. Art is one way we can do this. Dismissing this art and not trying to learn the message it is giving only throws away an opportunity for learning about the bad things from a culture. And so it is with the General Lee sculpture. I hope you all are understanding the point(s) I am trying to get across. Thank you.
    Judy

    • Dan says:

      Absolutely agree. Save the confederate statues and exhibit them together outside a museum, with informational plaques. Keep them at ground level rather than on pedestals, so that people can actually see the details.

  26. mark harnitchek says:

    hi Judy,

    i get it — you are crystal and advance a thoughful argument … in fact, i got it the first time you made your point … and i am a slow learner!

    i think the only person who didn’t get it is our esteemed collegeaue who thinks it is you are “having difficulty” and “are confused” 🙂

    however, i believe most of our other readers “get it” as well … although i have no facts to bolster this statement … apologies to our fellow civil war buff from the great state of New York for not “having the facts” 🙂

    mark, a yankee transplant to the great state of Virginia.

  27. Judy Scarlata says:

    Mark,
    Thank you for your comments and your support. I too am from the Great State of New York. But I am from Upstate! A whole world of difference from our friends in the “City!” New York used to be greater, it used to think for itself, but then a certain political party got a stranglehold of it with our former, hmmm shall I say, unmentionable Governor, and things went “south” (which is an unfair saying, I think). Anyway, if we could get out from under this noose around our necks that has anyone that doesn’t want to work constantly getting things for free, courtesy of the hardworking taxpayer in this state, we could breathe free again. That’s why people are leaving NY and heading South! My brother did and he was an Albany cop….sick of the attitudes, sick of the welfare increases, sick of the taxes, sick of the constant pay raises for teachers unions, sick of the rotten roads we have up here. And, being a former teacher myself, those unions are a joke! A good teacher doesn’t get paid enough in my opinion and a bad teacher (and there are plenty of those!) is not worth any amount they get paid! Anyway, thanks for your comments and your support. I thought I was making myself pretty clear, but “There is none so blind as he who will not see.”
    Judy

    • nygiant1952 says:

      What does the statue of Lee represent in the over -all scheme of things? Well, on one level, it was created with great skill, and had stood for over 100 years. It is a true representation of Lee and it may be the best likeness of his horse.

      On another level, since it was constructed during the era of Jim Crow, it is a reminder of the Black American of their 200 years of servitude and 100 years of being treated as 2nd class citizens. Only in the 1960s with the Cvil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights act of 1965 did Black Americans obtain the rights that were granted to them under the 14th Amendment of the US Constitution.

      It also represents to the Black American the era of lynching, without the benefit of a trial by jury, guaranteed by the US Constitution to said Black Men. The last lynching of a Black man in the Unites states occurred in 1981. And the lynching of a Black man did occur in Wytheville Va in the 1920s.

      And lets’ not ignore the fact that Robert E Lee was a traitor to the United States of America. He fought for the enemy is is singly responsible for the killing of more US soldiers than any other person incur history. He fought to defend the ability for White men to own Black men.He fought to defend an economic system that was based on slave labor, and not free labor. You do know that in the slave economy, those slaves had no unions to protect them, no bargaining power, no ability to go on strike, no guarantee of medical insurance, no 40 hour work week. And NO CHILD LABOR LAWS.
      ==========================================================================

      On this day, September 11, let us remember that the enemy attacked New York City and the Pentagon. I am a bit surprised that anyone, especially on this day, would try and disparage anyone from New Yawk. .The attacks were directed toward our military might and our financial might. And I can say that as a New Yawker, I am proud of how my city and my state responded to that attack. We took a tough shot to the body, but we were never knocked out. The spirit fo the City rose to the occasion. And we overcame.

  28. Judy Scarlata says:

    Did you take a tough shot to YOUR body on 9/11, GIANT? We’re you down at Ground Zero helping out? Because unless you were a first responder or one of the people in one of those planes or buildings, you took only a psychological shot as ALL THE REST OF THE NATION did on that day. The heroism of the NY police and fire and other combined services was amazing and it will never be forgotten. Yes, the Twin Towers will never be forgotten. And since this still is the land of the free despite what others are trying to do to it, I can say anything I want at anytime about any subject, including New York and 9/11 and it surprises me you were so sensitive when you lose sensitivity on so many other discussed topics . I want to emulate you, the erudite one who says what he thinks always under the guise of academics and proof and liberty for all. I want my freedom too. I am sick to death of being pontificated to by people like you ( which is so typical) who enjoy playing being the masters of all just because they “read up on things.” Your opinion isn’t any more or less valid than the rest of ours, no matter how many sources you quote. I get the feeling that our fellow commenters also see thru your “one trick pony” routine as well as I do from their comments.
    In every discussion, on EVERY topic, it always comes back to the same drumbeat with you. Who gave you your marching orders, Giant? The DNC et. al.?
    At any rate this whole topic has been pretty well been put to rest. Back to discussing the Civil War.

  29. Taylor says:

    Do we?

    • Taylor says:

      OK. This comment ended up in entirely the wrong place and makes no sense where it is. It appears I cannot delete it or move it, so I suggest everyone just ignore it.

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