Again, you’re back to trying to stuff the genie back into the bottle and get things into a complete definition, and they don’t yield very easily to the convenient definitions. First, when we restrict our scope to physical statues and plaques, we find clear parallels between the construction patterns of Union and Confederate monuments. In terms of memorials, one of the most exciting projects going on right now, which people might want to look into, is the Equal Justice Institute, which is an institute that does many things involving civil rights, and incarceration, and so forth, but one of the projects they started years ago was to document every single known lynching that took place in America from the end of the Civil War up to the 1960s. I cant seem to find a comparison of these 2 things. The Lee monument in Charlottesville, that went up in 1924, so that’s what has some people saying, “This is the apex of white supremacy in the South, and therefore it’s teaching people about white supremacy.”. The influx of public and private expenditures on monuments coincides with the lifespan of veterans from the conflict, as well as a pattern witnessed in other wars that commemorates major anniversaries. Our politics are very fraught and very fractured at this point, but we also see certain trends taking place in our politics that are pretty alarming and should be alarming to anybody who cares about democracy, that principally being voter suppression efforts taking place. Controversial statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, Charlottesville, Virginia. Ed O’Donnell: In some ways, I see that point, but I would draw the line, frame it somewhat differently, in terms of from the very beginnings of American history, we’ve had rebellion and defiance and small versions of radicalism have really been at the heart of American history. Allen Guelzo: I think I’d be a little happier at seeing some of these removals take place if it really was proceeding according to a pattern, according to the kind of thought-out process that Ed is describing. I mean ignorance in the sense of monuments or locations or statues that have simply lost whatever sting they might have had. We could say the same thing about Ulysses Grant, because Ulysses Grant before the Civil War was a slave-owner. They make no distinction between Confederate and Union, abolitionist and pro-slavery, 15th-century figures and 20th. Private Messages: Contact the Profile Managers privately: Mary Richardson, Terri Rick, US Civil War Project WikiTree, and Nae X. Angry mobs are tearing down and defacing monuments across America. The other aspect is that they are going to build a national monument, a national memorial to lynching, something that would have been unthinkable 20, 30, 40, certainly 100 years ago. Most battlefield monuments, markers, and tablets were erected by veterans specifically for future … Ed O’Donnell:  Right. I think what both Ed and I are saying is that there are ominous signs in the life of our democracy. The Great Courses: How do you see this moment playing out over the next few years? One is that you can’t reverse it. Earlier this month, the last major Confederate monument in California came down.It was a curious one: a nine-foot granite pillar in an Orange County … Leave the Lee memorial up there, but put a Sojourner Truth memorial there, or something along those lines where they can be in conversation, and also put a new interpretive text next to the Lee monument that explains the context in which it went up. 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