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Sat Jun 20, 2020, 03:58 PM

Tearing down Confederate statues I can understand. But Ulysses S. Grant?

Okay, okay...Prewar Grant once owned a slave when he himself was dirt poor. I believe he inherited the slave from his father-in-law when he died. They both worked side-by-side in the same field Grant owned. Shortly thereafter, Grant freed the man. I know, that doesn't excuse owning another human being under any circumstances, but how about just a modicum of perspective here (I know, it's hard)?

Couldn't one at least make the argument that Grant more than atoned for his brief ownership of that one slave with his heroic and invaluable leadership for the Union during the Civil War, without which the Union may not have prevailed over the Confederacy?

I know I'm going to get pummeled for this, but if statues of Grant are now verboten, please, someone, take down Robert Byrd's statue in West Virginia. I know many here don't want to hear that because it's a favorite RW talking point, but even those a-holes are right about some things. Say what you will about Grant (and there certainly is room for criticism, as with all people, dead or alive) but at least he wasn't the grand cyclops of the KKK. If there's no redemption for Grant, who actively fought to end slavery and the evils of the Confederacy, there should not be any for Byrd either. We forgave Byrd because of (D) this. But Grant doesn't get a single brownie point for being instrumental in defeating the very evil we all claim to despise?

Please, someone explain this to me. What have I missed?

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Reply Tearing down Confederate statues I can understand. But Ulysses S. Grant? (Original post)
jcmaine72 Jun 20 OP
elleng Jun 20 #1
kimbutgar Jun 20 #11
PTWB Jun 20 #22
elleng Jun 20 #28
EarnestPutz Jun 20 #2
kimbutgar Jun 20 #13
MoonlitKnight Jun 20 #35
kimbutgar Jun 20 #37
MoonlitKnight Jun 20 #41
Sgent Jun 20 #52
EarnestPutz Jun 25 #66
Sgent Jun 25 #67
EarnestPutz Jun 26 #68
Music Man Jun 20 #3
Mariana Jun 20 #4
ProfessorGAC Jun 20 #6
Mariana Jun 20 #12
jcmaine72 Jun 20 #16
ProfessorGAC Jun 20 #25
Polybius Jun 20 #5
Raine Jun 20 #7
Dial H For Hero Jun 20 #19
sarisataka Jun 20 #20
Amishman Jun 20 #50
superpatriotman Jun 20 #8
DTomlinson Jun 20 #61
jmg257 Jun 20 #9
brush Jun 20 #33
jmg257 Jun 20 #38
coti Jun 20 #40
Kaleva Jun 20 #10
Mariana Jun 20 #14
tritsofme Jun 20 #17
zipplewrath Jun 20 #18
Aristus Jun 20 #45
Raine Jun 20 #51
UncleTomsEvilBrother Jun 20 #15
WhiskeyGrinder Jun 20 #21
Kaleva Jun 20 #23
WhiskeyGrinder Jun 20 #26
PTWB Jun 20 #24
Kaleva Jun 20 #27
PTWB Jun 20 #30
Dial H For Hero Jun 20 #34
Kaleva Jun 20 #36
PTWB Jun 20 #39
Kaleva Jun 20 #42
PTWB Jun 20 #48
DTomlinson Jun 20 #57
PTWB Jun 20 #63
coti Jun 20 #47
DTomlinson Jun 20 #58
WhiskeyGrinder Jun 20 #49
DTomlinson Jun 20 #56
WhiskeyGrinder Jun 20 #60
brush Jun 20 #29
rockfordfile Jun 20 #31
jalan48 Jun 20 #32
ExciteBike66 Jun 20 #43
Aristus Jun 20 #46
coti Jun 20 #44
MichMan Jun 20 #53
2naSalit Jun 20 #54
DTomlinson Jun 20 #59
PTWB Jun 20 #64
DTomlinson Jun 20 #55
2naSalit Jun 20 #62
PTWB Jun 20 #65
melm00se Jun 26 #69

Response to jcmaine72 (Original post)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 04:03 PM

1. 'We're' into tearing EVERYTHING down now, it seems.

Sadly, I fear nothing will remain untouched.

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Response to elleng (Reply #1)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 04:22 PM

11. In San Francisco someone last night defaced statues of poets and other non political figures In

Golden Gate Park. I suspect itís some right wingers who snuck into the Golden Gate park and did this to rile us up.

I can just hear some right winger, ďyou tear down my statues Iím taking down yours as revengeĒ.

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Response to elleng (Reply #1)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 04:54 PM

22. We may be in a situation where only from the ashes of oppression can we rebuild in equality.

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Response to PTWB (Reply #22)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 05:06 PM

28. Maybe.

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Response to jcmaine72 (Original post)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 04:04 PM

2. No pummeling at all. I agree completely. Recently read that Grant's autobiography is....

....really good and have been wanting to read it. I wonder if this ownership of a slave is mentioned?

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Response to EarnestPutz (Reply #2)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 04:23 PM

13. The 3 part docudrama on tv recently was excellent.

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Response to kimbutgar (Reply #13)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 05:16 PM

35. Very good

Itís a shame the post war didnít go as he planned.

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Response to MoonlitKnight (Reply #35)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 05:19 PM

37. He got obstructed by Congress

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Response to kimbutgar (Reply #37)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 05:20 PM

41. Yep

And then tarnished by the rewriting of history to make the south look better.

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Response to EarnestPutz (Reply #2)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 06:07 PM

52. It was written

by Mark Twain

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Response to Sgent (Reply #52)

Thu Jun 25, 2020, 02:34 PM

66. Autobiography.

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Response to EarnestPutz (Reply #66)

Thu Jun 25, 2020, 02:40 PM

67. Clemmons was the

publisher and editor. Its an open question whether he ghost wrote it or not.

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Response to Sgent (Reply #67)

Fri Jun 26, 2020, 02:35 AM

68. Ta-Nahesi Coates wrote about this in "The Atlantic" and dismissed the question of....

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Response to jcmaine72 (Original post)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 04:05 PM

3. It is irrational, indeed.

A legitimate movement to tear down icons of people who fought to preserve the institution of slavery easily begins to look cartoonish when this kind of stuff becomes part of the equation too.

Like you said, there's something to be said about celebrating the journey of people who emancipated their slaves and were on the side that fought the Confederacy. Grant was also at least president of the United States, not a part of a group that tried to secede and fight against it. That, more than anything, is why it's lunacy to put up statues of Confederates. They were literal traitors.

So I understand that tearing down statues of Grant, Jefferson, etc., is born out of a particularly passionate moment, but it's based on bad thinking about history. It is dumb.

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Response to jcmaine72 (Original post)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 04:05 PM

4. Do you know exactly who tore that particular statue down?

It would be much easier to figure out their motivations, if we knew exactly who did it.

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Response to Mariana (Reply #4)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 04:08 PM

6. I Could See That As A Counter Protest

"You take down Lee, we're taking down Grant!"
Seems realistic.

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Response to ProfessorGAC (Reply #6)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 04:22 PM

12. That's what I think.

Some Neo-Confederates could have done it, counting on the fact that people like the OP would blame the BLM protesters.

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Response to Mariana (Reply #12)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 04:31 PM

16. That is a blatantly dishonest portrayal of my post.

Where did I blame BLM...or ANY GROUP specifically...for tearing down Grant's statue?

You know what? Don't even bother answering my question. I will simply block you. If I've learned anything during my 25 years or so on the internet it's that people who deliberately distort what other people write to the extent that you just did to me cannot be reasoned with under any circumstances.

Good bye.



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Response to jcmaine72 (Reply #16)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 04:57 PM

25. I Understand Your Reaction

I do not agree with the post extrapolating it to your OP.
I was only agreeing that RWNJs might do this as a Confederate counter protest.
I do not see you as either gullible or anti BLM's message.
Just being clear.

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Response to jcmaine72 (Original post)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 04:07 PM

5. Are there any 100 foot plus statues of Confederates or the Founding Father's?

How would they go about toppling them?

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Response to jcmaine72 (Original post)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 04:10 PM

7. This is starting to remind me of the Talban blowing up

those statues " those who don't remember history are doomed to repeat it ".

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Response to Raine (Reply #7)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 04:43 PM

19. This.

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Response to Raine (Reply #7)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 04:48 PM

20. We do seem to be moving

in an iconoclastic direction

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Response to Raine (Reply #7)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 05:53 PM

50. No historical figure or culture can live up to modern sensibilities

If we want to erase all history that doesn't measure up, we will end up with nothing left.

I get wanting to remove Confederate monuments from prominent display in cities. We're going way past that and it's somewhat worrying

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Response to jcmaine72 (Original post)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 04:14 PM

8. How to lose friends and elections 101

The stupidity and uselessness of wanton, mindless destruction are getting very hard for this Democrat to understand, defend or support.

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Response to superpatriotman (Reply #8)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 06:51 PM

61. +1

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Response to jcmaine72 (Original post)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 04:18 PM

9. Sheesh Grant was anti-slave even though his wife's family wasn't.

Last edited Sat Jun 20, 2020, 05:19 PM - Edit history (1)

He freed the slave when he could have sold him, even though he was very poor at the time.

Stupid.

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Response to jmg257 (Reply #9)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 05:14 PM

33. Grants father was anti-slavery. His father-in-law owned slaves and his bride was...

given the enslaved man. Grant freed him even though he could've gotten a lot of money for him. This was all just shown in the Grant documentary on the History channel.

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Response to brush (Reply #33)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 05:19 PM

38. Ah thanks for the correction!

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Response to jmg257 (Reply #9)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 05:20 PM

40. Actually, Grant's father was an abolitionist

Grant married into a slave owning family. There was reportedly quite a bit of tension between the families about the issue. But Grant did work amongst the slaves on his wife's farm and even was made fun of by slavery-supporters for it.

But the one slave he ended up taking "ownership" over, he freed, of his own accord. That, on its own, says a LOT.

Not to mention he is arguably the person most responsible for the North winning the Civil War and slavery being outlawed (maybe next to Lincoln himself).

It may be that his history vis a vis blacks is quite different from how he treated Native Americans, though. But I think an awful lot of people need to answer for that.

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Response to jcmaine72 (Original post)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 04:20 PM

10. Might be people who don't know history and thought the statue was of a Confederate.

Many of us can recognize Grant, Sherman, Sheriden, Hooker, Burnside, McClellan, Thomas, Lee, Jackson, Hood, Johnston, Stuart and others but some can't.

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Response to Kaleva (Reply #10)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 04:26 PM

14. More likely that some Neo-Confederates knew exactly who it was

and seized the opportunity to destroy it, and get it blamed on others.

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Response to Mariana (Reply #14)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 04:35 PM

17. Oh come on.

It might have been aliens?

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Response to Kaleva (Reply #10)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 04:37 PM

18. Never attribute to cunning

that which can be explained by stupidity.

My first guess would be it was someone who didn't know their history.

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Response to Kaleva (Reply #10)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 05:29 PM

45. That's what I was thinking.

They all had facial hair, and they all had stars on their uniforms, even majors and colonels. It's easy to get confused. Although I am allowing for the possibility that this was a counter-protest by General Lee supporters.

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Response to Kaleva (Reply #10)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 06:00 PM

51. That might be but they should take a few minutes to look it up on the internet

before destroying something and looking like an ignoramus and tainting the cause.

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Response to jcmaine72 (Original post)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 04:29 PM

15. The answer is, "NO."

No, if he "owned" another individual, there is no atonement. Think about how you sound when you say he "worked side-by-side in the same field." You've effectively reduced this human being to a "working animal" and nothing else.

This enslaved person had the psychological burden of being an owned individual regardless of the "owner" working next to him. What if the enslaved person's desire to sit home and not work for Grant? What if the enslaved person didn't want to work at all. What of his dreams? Desires to love? Those simple human rights were still taken from him by Grant.


"We" didn't forgive Byrd. A political party forgave Byrd.

The sooner we understand that this current movement operates outside of the political stratosphere, the sooner we'll start understanding the pain that Black people have had to endure since reaching the shores of this country.

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Response to jcmaine72 (Original post)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 04:52 PM

21. Dude launched an illegal war against the Lakota after trying paternalistic assimilationism.

We can do better.

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Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Reply #21)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 04:56 PM

23. We shouldn't forget the hanging of 39 Dakota fighters Lincoln signed off on.

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Response to Kaleva (Reply #23)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 04:58 PM

26. Absolutely. I posted about it last December, but there's never a bad time to remember it.

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Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Reply #21)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 04:56 PM

24. AMEN

Few of our founding fathers and historic military figures can withstand even a cursory examination of their beliefs and record.

It is past time to move forward outside of the omnipresent gaze of monuments to white men.

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Response to PTWB (Reply #24)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 05:04 PM

27. When held to the standards of today.

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Response to Kaleva (Reply #27)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 05:11 PM

30. Yes, when held to the standards of today.

Do you think it makes the young black teenager feel better knowing that his school was named after a slaveholder who was actually a good man judging by standards 200+ years ago?

It is well past time we tore down every monument, renamed every military base and school, and removed every glorification of every white man who enabled oppression.

I am not advocating we ignore the history, not at all. We need to do a much better job of teaching our young people exactly how terrible and flawed our founding fathers were, in addition to teaching the roles they played in the birth of our nation.

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Response to PTWB (Reply #30)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 05:16 PM

34. Tear down all monuments to FDR, then? Really?

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Response to PTWB (Reply #30)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 05:17 PM

36. How about Lincoln who approved the execution of 39 Dakota Freedom Fighters?

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Response to Kaleva (Reply #36)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 05:19 PM

39. What about him?

Rename the schools. Replace the monuments. Teach about his wonderful actions right alongside his terrible ones.

It is time to move on from our history of white male supremacy.

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Response to PTWB (Reply #39)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 05:24 PM

42. The domination of our nation by some white males is our history.

That cannot be ignored unless one wants to falsify our past.

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Response to Kaleva (Reply #42)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 05:44 PM

48. No one is saying we shouldn't teach Lincoln's contribution.

But we should not maintain these monuments to flawed white men, especially not when the oppression of blacks, women, native Americans and other persons of color continue.

Teach about them. Donít worship them. Donít force minorities to live under their white shadows.

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Response to PTWB (Reply #48)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 06:45 PM

57. How about do something substantive about the lives of oppressed people rather than symbolic crap

like this.

This will backfire, I guarantee it.

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Response to DTomlinson (Reply #57)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 07:44 PM

63. Why not do both?

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Response to PTWB (Reply #39)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 05:37 PM

47. Tear down the enormous DC monument to arguably our

best President who himself emancipated and won a war to free the slaves, then promptly gave up his very life as a result of that.

Wow. You must be the purest soul on DU. I prostrate myself before your grace.

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Response to coti (Reply #47)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 06:46 PM

58. Haha, nice.

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Response to Kaleva (Reply #27)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 05:46 PM

49. Did enslaved people have different standards than people do today?

Do the tribes and nations of North America?

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Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Reply #21)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 06:43 PM

56. He also helped win the Civil War and oversaw successful Reconstruction before it was rolled back.

So...

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Response to DTomlinson (Reply #56)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 06:49 PM

60. Maybe statues aren't the best way to tell the complicated history of someone's actions.

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Response to jcmaine72 (Original post)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 05:10 PM

29. You are correct. Grant didn't buy the enslaved man, did work side by side with him in the field...

and then freed him even though he was told he could get a lot of money for him.

Grant also wouldn't allow surrendering confederates to keep their slaves. He allowed them to keep their horses and sidearms but not their slaves.

Grant was decent man, and the best general of the Civil War.

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Response to jcmaine72 (Original post)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 05:12 PM

31. I agree

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Response to jcmaine72 (Original post)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 05:14 PM

32. Someone is working hard to help us lose the November election.

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Response to jcmaine72 (Original post)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 05:25 PM

43. Was it Grant who banned Jews from Kansas? (Edit: it was other states)

General Order 11.

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Response to ExciteBike66 (Reply #43)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 05:31 PM

46. Yes. the General Order was rescinded after a public outcry.

Grant admitted in his memoir that it was one of the worst mistakes of his life.

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Response to jcmaine72 (Original post)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 05:26 PM

44. Pretty well agreed, at least with regard to black civil rights

You're not going to find many out there who did as much to empower black Americans as Grant.

Wouldn't be that surprising if people had other issues with him, though.

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Response to jcmaine72 (Original post)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 06:32 PM

53. When less than half of people can name one SC justice, I doubt many even know who the statues are

other than some old white guy on a horse etc. They see news clips of others doing it and just want to vandalize something themselves.

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Response to jcmaine72 (Original post)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 06:36 PM

54. All this statue toppling has brought me around to this...

it's a fucking statue, tear them all down, maybe that's really a cathartic thing we need right now. Perhaps it will help us focus on our future rather than trying to live up to a mythical past all the time. We can keep the form of government, sans corruption, it works pretty well. We could do with a major shift in our social culture though.

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Response to 2naSalit (Reply #54)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 06:47 PM

59. No.

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Response to DTomlinson (Reply #59)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 07:45 PM

64. Yes.

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Response to jcmaine72 (Original post)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 06:42 PM

55. Aside from the Confederate statutes, this is symbolic nonsense/an excuse for vandalism.

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Response to DTomlinson (Reply #55)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 06:59 PM

62. Well maybe we should make it against the law and arrest everybody!

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Response to DTomlinson (Reply #55)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 07:49 PM

65. I suppose you think we should allow statues of Columbus to stand?

After all, Columbus was no confederate.

As far as Iím concerned we can tear down every statue and monument that celebrates white privilege and the whitewashing of our oppressive history.

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Response to jcmaine72 (Original post)

Fri Jun 26, 2020, 08:41 AM

69. This behavior is exactly why

violent revolutions need to be avoided.

The actions of the mob, in some cases based upon ignorance, very quickly attain legitimacy.

As mentioned above: old dead white guy statute = (out of ignorance) must be a racist.

Here it is Grant.
A week or so ago it was a 19th century abolitionist in Philly.

Additionally, for those who claim that there can be no atonement: If all it takes is a single misstep to be damned, the world will be devoid of people.

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