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Sat Jun 20, 2020, 06:07 PM

Thousands Call For The Removal Of A Statue Of Abraham Lincoln With 'Degrading Racial Undertones'

Source: DCist

JUN 20, 12:43 PM

Thousands Call For The Removal Of A Statue Of Abraham Lincoln With ‘Degrading Racial Undertones’ In Capitol Hill
Margaret Barthel



A petition to remove the Emancipation Statue from Lincoln Park said it depicts “degrading racial undertones.”

WIkimedia Commons

More than 2,000 people have signed a petition to remove the Emancipation Statue from Lincoln Park on Capitol Hill. The statue shows the 16th president towering over a freed enslaved person, who is kneeling with broken shackles on his wrists — a depiction with “degrading racial undertones,” the petition said.

While Lincoln is a significant figure and “worthy of memorializing,” the petition said, “This statue … perpetuates the idea that we are beneath white people and should simply be grateful for the scraps that have been thrown our way.”

The petition was started by Marcus Goodwin, a candidate for an at-large seat on the D.C. Council, and posted online on Thursday. Goodwin says it’s not an accident that he chose this week to get the word out.

“This Juneteenth, I want us to send a message that this type of symbol represents the philosophy of racial superiority that we should be removing from society,” he wrote in the petition.

{snip}




Read more: https://dcist.com/story/20/06/20/thousands-call-for-the-removal-of-a-statue-of-abraham-lincoln-with-degrading-racial-undertones-in-capitol-hill/



I, for one, welcome our new Taliban overlords.

53 replies, 3380 views

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Reply Thousands Call For The Removal Of A Statue Of Abraham Lincoln With 'Degrading Racial Undertones' (Original post)
mahatmakanejeeves Jun 20 OP
Jedi Guy Jun 20 #1
mahatmakanejeeves Jun 20 #4
Jedi Guy Jun 20 #6
Igel Jun 21 #45
onetexan Jun 20 #30
Warpy Jun 20 #40
Jedi Guy Jun 20 #42
gladium et scutum Jun 21 #48
jalan48 Jun 20 #2
Jedi Guy Jun 20 #11
lapucelle Jun 20 #3
mahatmakanejeeves Jun 20 #7
lapucelle Jun 20 #8
mahatmakanejeeves Jun 20 #9
lapucelle Jun 20 #15
mahatmakanejeeves Jun 20 #19
LanternWaste Jun 20 #31
Jedi Guy Jun 20 #34
Post removed Jun 20 #5
scarletwoman Jun 20 #17
reACTIONary Jun 20 #26
reACTIONary Jun 20 #28
PatrickforO Jun 20 #39
ibegurpard Jun 20 #10
lapucelle Jun 20 #12
mahatmakanejeeves Jun 20 #13
progree Jun 20 #14
DeminPennswoods Jun 20 #16
mahatmakanejeeves Jun 20 #21
Post removed Jun 20 #18
scarletwoman Jun 20 #20
Merlot Jun 20 #23
scarletwoman Jun 20 #24
morillon Jun 20 #29
riversedge Jun 20 #37
flibbitygiblets Jun 20 #35
flibbitygiblets Jun 20 #35
Maeve Jun 20 #43
Hekate Jun 21 #46
Maeve Jun 21 #50
Mr.Bill Jun 20 #22
appalachiablue Jun 20 #25
keithbvadu2 Jun 20 #27
treestar Jun 21 #52
PatrickforO Jun 20 #32
raging moderate Jun 20 #33
flibbitygiblets Jun 20 #38
Hekate Jun 20 #41
treestar Jun 21 #53
Maeve Jun 20 #44
tirebiter Jun 21 #47
GoneOffShore Jun 21 #49
DeminPennswoods Jun 21 #51

Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 06:10 PM

1. Now this is just getting silly. N/T

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Response to Jedi Guy (Reply #1)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 06:19 PM

4. To my surprise, he's actually not a dummy.

Marcus Goodwin for DC Council At Large 2020

Get to know Marcus Goodwin

Marcus was born and raised in DC. He is a middle child with seven brothers and sisters. His mother came to this country at age 22 from Senegal in West Africa. With her, she brought a sense of optimism that Washington was a place where she could pursue the American Dream. His father grew up in South Carolina and came to DC to study at Howard University.

Marcus grew up in neighborhoods where there were too many barriers to success and too few opportunities to get ahead. However, the direction of his life changed when he had just a couple of opportunities provided to him.

His parents were able to get him into a good school, where he became a boy scout, played sports and met mentors who went to college and achieved big things with their lives.

Marcus got the opportunity to go to the University of Pennsylvania, had fulfilling internships working at the DC Council and Mayor’s Office and got a Master's degree from Harvard University.

He has built a career developing commercial properties that provide jobs and affordable housing for DC residents. His career has given him the opportunity to own his own home and have financial security.

{snip}

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Reply #4)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 06:22 PM

6. Evidently not, but he's still misguided in this endeavor, IMO. N/T

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Reply #4)

Sun Jun 21, 2020, 01:34 AM

45. Neither was Einstein.

But in many ways he was foolish.

They're different kinds of things, and very often smart people are fools and people with little knowledge can still use what little they know to be wise.

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Response to Jedi Guy (Reply #1)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 07:25 PM

30. agree

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Response to Jedi Guy (Reply #1)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 08:10 PM

40. I never thought it was particularly good art

but the point wasn't that black folks were kneeling to Lincoln, the point is that slavery had made them live their lives that way and now the shackles were broken and they were free to stand.

Symbolism was different when that one was cast.

Then again, Lincoln himself wasn't particularly keen on meeting black folks as equals. History and its heroic figures are always a lot more complicated than any of us would like.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #40)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 10:35 PM

42. Agreed on the symbolism.

In my mind, the next frame in the film would be for the newly freed slave to stand proud. I guess some people see it differently. I still think it's silly to go around tearing down monuments/statues of important historical figures because they don't measure up to today's standards. That's a bar that virtually no one from that time period will ever be able to meet.

Lincoln was a product of his time, so of course he's not 100% morally pure. That said, how many people today, influential or otherwise, are 100% morally pure?

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Response to Warpy (Reply #40)

Sun Jun 21, 2020, 07:05 AM

48. We tend to clad historic figures in a coat of virgin white marble

" Lincoln himself wasn't particularly keen on meeting black folks as equals"

Lincoln is no different. By the standards of today, Lincoln would be called a racist. Having said that, Lincoln's view on racial equality was not much different than the thinking of about 95% of the white population of the United States in 1860.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 06:11 PM

2. This will help Trump and the Republicans.

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Response to jalan48 (Reply #2)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 06:26 PM

11. Yep, it certainly will.

As will the calls to take down statues/monuments of other founding fathers, such as Jefferson. Sooner or later someone will probably propose tearing down the Washington Monument or the Lincoln or Jefferson Memorials.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 06:15 PM

3. Some background on the statue...

To honor Lincoln's memory, former slave Charlotte Scott of Virginia used the first $5 she earned as a freedperson to start a fundraising campaign to build a statue in Lincoln Park. Donations were only accepted from freed slaves, primarily African American veterans, though a white-run war relief organization called the Western Sanitary Commission coordinated the effort Ms. Scott started.

Designed by Thomas Bell, the statue features President Lincoln in his characteristic frock coat, holding the Emancipation Proclamation before a kneeling black man. Modeled after Archer Alexander, the last person captured under the Fugitive Slave Act, the black man’s arm is extended to show his shackles have been broken.

The memorial statue, known as the Emancipation Memorial, was placed in the park in 1876 and dedicated on April 14th, the 11th anniversary of President Lincoln’s death, with over 25,000 people in attendance. Frederick Douglass delivered the keynote address before President Ulysses S. Grant, his cabinet, and members of Congress.

The statue has not been met with universal acclaim. For many people, including Frederick Douglass, the monument perpetuated negative stereotypes about African Americans.


https://www.nps.gov/places/crlincolnpark.htm

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Response to lapucelle (Reply #3)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 06:23 PM

7. Nit to pick with the NPS:

April 14th, the 11th anniversary of President Lincoln’s death

He was shot on the 14th, but he died on the following morning, the 15th.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Reply #7)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 06:24 PM

8. Great catch. N/T

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Response to lapucelle (Reply #8)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 06:25 PM

9. Defund the National Park Service! NT

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Reply #9)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 06:32 PM

15. ...



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Response to lapucelle (Reply #15)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 06:37 PM

19. The way some members of the Park Police act patrolling the Mall, you'd think they weren't even human

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Reply #9)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 07:25 PM

31. Quickly grab a pocket full of reductio ad absurdum and pretend validity!

No doubt, the most consistent use of logical fallacies as a point of order is seen as a both strength and an advantage by many, many people these days.

Good on ya...

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Response to LanternWaste (Reply #31)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 07:30 PM

34. Alternately...

joke
/jōk/
noun
a thing that someone says to cause amusement or laughter, especially a story with a funny punchline.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)


Response to Post removed (Reply #5)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 06:36 PM

17. A link to Lew Rockwell is not welcome on DU. Could you find something else to make your point?

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Response to scarletwoman (Reply #17)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 07:15 PM

26. +100

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Response to Post removed (Reply #5)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 07:21 PM

28. Lew Rockwell is a neo Confederate propagandist...

... and an opponent of the changes to the American constitution that came about in the aftermath of the civil war.

It is certainly true that Lincoln, like Jefferson and other early proponents of liberal principles held racist beliefs, but I would want a more reliable and sympathetic source for discussion of it.

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Response to Post removed (Reply #5)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 07:39 PM

39. Yeah, that's a little TOO much of a hit-piece on Lincoln.

But, it does bring up a good point. The US is built not only on slavery, but also on genocide. Until we can be honest enough with ourselves to say, "Yes, we did that, and we are sorry - it is our shame as a nation and a people," we will never really get anywhere.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 06:26 PM

10. The statue trashing is starting to get out of hand and

I would normally consider Lincoln out of bounds but this particular one really is gross. YMMV.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 06:26 PM

12. Here's Frederick Douglass's address given at the unveiling.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 06:31 PM

14. Heard on Native American segment on AM950 radio (Minnesota) today how horrible he was

https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/lincoln-dakota/
Did Abraham Lincoln Order the Execution of 38 Dakota Fighters?

After a violent Native American uprising in 1862, President Lincoln signed off on 39 executions but also prevented the deaths of 264 other Dakota combatants.


(1 of the 39 was spared. The rest were hanged).

Also from Minnesota:

City of Duluth moves to remove the word 'chief' from key job titles, 6/17/20
https://www.mprnews.org/story/2020/06/17/city-of-duluth-moves-to-remove-the-word-chief-from-key-job-titles
The Duluth City Council will vote Monday on a proposal to change the city’s “chief administrative officer” position to “city administrator.” The goal is to “proactively remove language that is harmful, misrepresentative, and derogatory.”

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Response to progree (Reply #14)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 06:36 PM

16. Years ago, our church had a pastor who

was originally from Minnesota. I still remember him telling me how Minnesotans discriminated against their native American population. Every bit as bad as AfAms are treated elsewhere.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)


Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 06:40 PM

20. I have to agree it's a degrading depiction of a black man.

Maybe replace it with a statue of just Lincoln alone?

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Response to scarletwoman (Reply #20)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 06:45 PM

23. Agreed, it's a degrading depiction of a black man.

Embarrassing to have this type of thing around. I realize the history behind it, but that doesn't make it good to look at now. It just didn't age well.

To bad the black man isn't standing next to Lincoln.

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Response to Merlot (Reply #23)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 06:49 PM

24. Yes, both men standing together would make for an excellent statue.

It could be something quite beautiful!

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Response to scarletwoman (Reply #24)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 07:22 PM

29. Yes, standing, maybe shaking hands, but kneeling?

Yikes. It's not a good look at all.

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Response to morillon (Reply #29)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 07:31 PM

37. Agree. The image does not wear well at all.

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Response to scarletwoman (Reply #24)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 07:31 PM

35. Which is why the request should be to replace, not remove the statue

Then it's a teachable moment for racist/Trumpy's (same thing, I know), and they can't use it against us. You could even have a plaque next to the new statue, with a picture of the old statue, and an explanation of the history. Problem solved.

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Response to scarletwoman (Reply #24)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 07:31 PM

35. Which is why the request should be to replace, not remove the statue

Then it's a teachable moment for racist/Trumpy's (same thing, I know), and they can't use it against us. You could even have a plaque next to the new statue, with a picture of the old statue, and an explanation of the history. Problem solved.

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Response to scarletwoman (Reply #20)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 10:42 PM

43. How about just the black man standing free with broken chains?

The moment, not the men.

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Response to Maeve (Reply #43)

Sun Jun 21, 2020, 03:47 AM

46. Oh sure, let's not acknowledge the man who gave his life to free slaves & hold the country together

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Response to Hekate (Reply #46)

Sun Jun 21, 2020, 07:27 AM

50. Ever been to the Lincoln Memorial?

Last edited Sun Jun 21, 2020, 08:36 AM - Edit history (1)

I think he's already been acknowledged. Besides, the plaque that accompanies the statue could speak to that.
edited to add--the two standing would also be a good change. The kneeling may have seemed a good idea back in the day, but now it gets in the way of the intended concept

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 06:42 PM

22. Statues I want removed

are pretty much the ones representing people who committed Treason and tried to overthrow the government of my country. I think that's reasonable.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 06:53 PM

25. This DC original has a copy in Boston

also under scrutiny. Both works are titled, the 'Emancipation Statue.' Lincoln is shown in the process of 'emancipating'-- freeing a slave to become a 'freeman' is how I interpret it.

In view of the title, and on closer look, the sculptor may have intended to portray Lincoln in the act of 'emancipating' and the slave coming out of a state of bondage...

The statue isn't named 'Lincoln and the Freedman' which would likely have shown a more positive and confident figure of the black man.

Although stereotypical and somewhat undignified-- 'great white leader grants freedom'-- the image of the black man-- submissive, shacked and powerless could have been the sculptor's way to emphasize the horrible state of slavery which the man was leaving.

Such depictions, and much worse have been around for years- demeaning and offensive portrayals of blacks as servile or ignorant, whether visual, in print or otherwise.

50-50, tough call in some ways. *I would have preferred a sculpture of Lincoln with a proud, strengthened
and more dignified 'freed' black man and former slave.
__________________

*Article Excerpt: (Boston Copy of 'Emancipation Statue' also found offensive, under threat of removal):

...'Goodwin and the signatories on the petition are not the only ones who have expressed frustration over the statue’s subservient image of a formerly enslaved person. Goodwin was inspired by a similar petition started recently in Boston, which has a copy of the Emancipation Statue. That petition has more than 11,000 signatures, and Mayor Marty Walsh has said he’s open to moving it.

“I’ve been watching this man on his knees since I was a kid. It’s supposed to represent freedom but instead represents us still beneath someone else,” wrote Tory Bullock, the author of the Boston petition.

When he heard about the Boston effort, Goodwin, a native Washingtonian, went to Lincoln Park to examine the original statue for himself. “You really see when you get that close to it … just how terrible the positioning is of the freed slave,” he said.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 07:21 PM

27. Why do they hate Lincoln down south?

Official republican position - Lincoln was our nation's greatest leader

Thank God republicans won that war back in the 1860s.

This is the official position of today's republicans.
From the 2004 GOP Platform

"One hundred and fifty years ago, Americans who had gathered to protest the expansion of slavery gave birth to a political Party that would save the Union - the Republican Party.

In 1860, Abraham Lincoln of Illinois carried the Republican banner in the Presidential election and was elected the Party's first President. He became our nation's greatest leader … and one of our Party's greatest heroes. "

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Response to keithbvadu2 (Reply #27)

Sun Jun 21, 2020, 12:41 PM

52. Good point. I've argued with neo-confederates

talking about the "War Between the States" which the North fought only to keep the South's wealth. OTOH, there are those that insist the Republicans are the party that freed the slaves and Democrats the ones who wanted to keep it (oblivious to the changes in the parties since then - so why aren't they Democrats?)

So to rant on about how bad Lincoln was is to be inconsistent with their claim that their party is the one that freed the slaves and accomplished everything after that.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 07:27 PM

32. Lincoln was a great man, a great president, a great human being. BUT

this statue does in fact depict blacks as racially inferior.

While I can respect the opinion of those of you saying this is silly, I've got to say we've been reading an American 'story' designed to divide us. If we are going to defeat racism once and for all, we have to be honest with ourselves. We are all great storytellers, and we all tend to tell stories with ourselves in the role of the noble 'star.'

But the reality is that by perpetuating things like this statue, and allowing its powerful visual message to go unchallenged, we are not being honest. We need a new statue with Lincoln maybe shaking the hand of, or embracing a black man. Not one with a black man seeming to grovel at his feet.

I'm tired of living in a society where evangelical pastors talk about the 'blessings of slavery,' and Fox countering Michelle Obama's poignant observation that the WH was built by slaves by saying, oh, but they were happy and well fed slaves.

No. They were human beings enslaved by us.

WE did that. We have perpetuated it. And now we need to fix it with a massive retooling of the police system, better education, AND getting rid of statues like this. I mean, imagine how YOU might feel when confronted with this statue if you were a little boy or girl of color. It's just not OK. It is part of the problem.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 07:28 PM

33. I read a book once by an anti-slavery minister.

Last edited Mon Jun 22, 2020, 12:33 PM - Edit history (1)

He said he had become an abolitionist because of a trip he took down South as a young minister. It was supposed to be a simple get-to-know-you tour of fellow ministers and church members in the South. Maybe they were hoping to hire him, who knows? They had written that he would gain weight with lots of wonderful Southern-cooked meals. He wrote that he actually lost weight, that he could hardly stand to swallow the food, because he was constantly stricken by heart-pounding and stomach-wrenching pity for the horrible physical condition of the people waiting on them at table. And the same was true of almost all the other Black people he saw down there. He was also shocked by how oblivious his white hosts were to the agony surrounding them. He finished the tour but came home as quickly as he could and promptly launched a tour of Northern churches to spread the news and do whatever he could to rescue those Black people and end slavery.

This guy mentioned that the prosperity of the South seemed to limited to only a small number of whites, and that he saw a large number of poor whites who looked underfed, overworked, and hopeless. But the Black slaves were not only underfed, overworked, and hopeless, but also in pain from recent tortures, physically disfigured by huge scars both old and new, and obviously pushing themselves heroically through a never-ending nightmare ordeal. I am wondering whether this statue was trying to convey how miserable conditions were for most Black people in the South before slavery was ended? Frederick Douglass spoke of Abraham Lincoln's struggle to work through his early poverty-stricken rural isolation from and ignorance about Black people, wrestling with a lifelong hatred of slavery versus his desire to help people from his own very poor rural white community, finally realizing that he could help both groups by abolishing slavery. Maybe this statue could be altered to both express and encourage the insights that are available to us now?

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Response to raging moderate (Reply #33)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 07:36 PM

38. Interesting and plausible theory, Moderate

Thanks for the story--if you happen to remember the book title, I'd love to check it out.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 09:36 PM

41. Because enslavement was just so not-degrading that it cannot be depicted like this.

Give me a fucking break. Excuse me, but this has gone far enough.

Likewise, while I am at it, leave the monuments to Washington and Jefferson alone. They were human beings, not plaster saints. Their words and deeds founded this nation, for good and ill -- and the toweringly good part was the documents left by Jefferson that can and have been interpreted anew in each generation.

Just give me a fucking break.

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Response to Hekate (Reply #41)

Sun Jun 21, 2020, 12:50 PM

53. a shallow symbolism akin to right wing

claims that Obama, by bowing as was the tradition of the foreign leaders he was meeting, showed deference and submission to them. This man in the statue is not bowing in some sense of superiority of Lincoln. He's about to get up from a forcibly lowered position. Lincoln is there because he was of some help, and represents where the man can soon be when he stands up.

It's one thing to take down a symbol of someone who supported the Confederacy, but extending it to anyone who owned slaves would take down the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial and close up Monticello and Mt. Vernon.

In Wilmington, Delaware the iconic statue of Caesar Rodney was taken down. He lived in the "southern" part of Delaware, which had slavery. He owned slaves. He also signed the Declaration of Independence. Which matters more, in light of the society at the time?

https://www.delawareonline.com/story/news/2020/06/12/wilmington-remove-christopher-columbus-caesar-rodney-statues/3175003001/

Includes a photo of Obama speaking in front of the statue.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 10:53 PM

44. Anyone know the Abraham song from "Holiday Inn"?

It is cringe-worthy now, but meant to be about the freedom of slaves--I'll let you look it up yourselves (Abraham song Holiday Inn on Google) because I hate to repeat the words. Still, it was considered acceptable praise at the time.
Times change; feelings change. Statues need to change as well.
History must be remembered, but not necessarily celebrated'

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Sun Jun 21, 2020, 05:51 AM

47. That we are not talking about His Majesty Washington I is the reason we give him points

At least I do.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Sun Jun 21, 2020, 07:07 AM

49. Look - squirrel!

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Response to GoneOffShore (Reply #49)

Sun Jun 21, 2020, 07:54 AM

51. Succinct

This is all taking eyes off the prize.

Last night on MSBNC, one of the heads of a state NCAAP chapter was being interviewed by Ali Velshi. Velshi asked him about the statue toppling. Instead of saying, this is a distraction. What we want to accomplish is recognizing past and present injustices and to develop a path forward to correct them. Sadly, he ended up defending removing statues completely obscuring the real objective and playing right into Trump's hands.

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