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The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Civil War

Civil War Slavery 19th Century America

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#21
caltrek

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Virginia Judge at Heart of Monument Takedown Fight Linked to College Op-Ed Blasting Desegregation

 

https://www.courthou...-desegregation/

 

Introduction:

 

RICHMOND, Va. (Courthouse News) — Four decades ago, a young man wrote an opinion piece critical of school desegregation and instant voter registration for his college newspaper. That op-ed resurfaced Friday, and Virginians discovered the author is now a Richmond judge who in recent weeks blocked the removal of Confederate monuments during the nationwide re-examination of symbols still tied to the institution of slavery.

 

Elected officials spent the day condemning the piece written by Brad Cavedo in The Collegian, the University of Richmond’s newspaper, in 1977.  

 

“This is highly problematic,” said Delegate Lamont Bagby (D-74), in a tweet which included a screengrab of the op-ed. Bagby also chairs the state’s Legislative Black Caucus. 

 

In “What does U.S. Life Offer Me?” Cavedo — at the time the editor of The Collegian’s editorial section — wrote about his desire to leave the United States after graduation.

 

“I will be leaving the solicitous paternalism of the federal courts, which among other things nearly wrecked my high school education by instituting a massive busing plan that caused more upheaval in my school and life than most people could imagine,” he wrote. 


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#22
caltrek

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Defend History. Tear Down the Confederate Statues.

 

https://www.motherjo...nts-iconoclasm/

 

Introduction:

(Mother Jones) After the Civil War, Edward Virginius Valentine returned from Europe to his hometown of Richmond, Virginia—the former Confederate capital—and began using his training in classical sculpture to enshrine the myth of the Lost Cause. Over the next few decades Valentine made a career of sculpting monuments to defenders of slavery, building tributes to Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, among others. And he made the statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis in Richmond—unveiled on Monument Avenue in June 1907 by Davis’ last remaining child and toppled in June 2020 by protesters against systemic racism after the death of George Floyd.

 

Over the past few months, protesters have spray-painted, damaged, torched, and toppled symbols of white supremacy around the country. Critics have decried the acts as shameful attempts to erase the country’s history. The president demanded that protesters who took down a Confederate monument in Washington, DC, be “immediately arrested.” But the destruction of our cultural legacies is itself part of our cultural legacy, reaching back to ancient history. It is as old as the act of honoring false gods.

 

The Symbolism

 

Valentine, working with an architect, made the monument “overwhelmingly tall” and depicted Davis in a “heroic” pose, delivering his famous 1861 speech about quitting the US Senate to the join the Confederacy. Like all the Confederate statues on Monument Avenue, it was erected during an era when white Southerners were rewriting the story of the Civil War. According to the propaganda of the Lost Cause, the Confederates hadn’t betrayed their country; they’d fought gallantly for the principle of states’ rights. And Davis wasn’t the treacherous leader of a failed state that had rebelled to protect slavery; he was a hero fighting a tyrant in vain to protect a “way of life.” But how to show all that? Valentine, and other artists, looked to a previous empire: Rome.

 

The article goes on to quote a highly racist remark by Thomas Jefferson.  As often happens with Jefferson, it does not go on to explain that Jefferson later changed his mind regarding his assessment of the potential capabilities of  blacks.

 

The remaining article also underlines the point that destruction of historic icons is very much a part of an historic process that has been repeated many times in the past.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#23
caltrek

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I suppose one reason why a "politically incorrect guide" to the Civil war would have appeal to the South is because of the way northerners and westerners keep reminding the south of slavery and its racist past.  Yet, as I think I discussed earlier, the North was not free of racism in its own dealing and analysis.  For its part, the fast growing western state of California was actually flirting around with a de facto slave system even as the Civil War raged in the South.  In California's case, it was not blacks who were the target of this enslavement, rather it was First Nation native born tribal members.  As historian Richard Steven Street explains:

 

 

Glaringly incompatible with the state’s professed devotion to liberty, the federal government’s opposition to slavery, and the generally accepted idea that social progress was linked to free labor in a competitive society, the repressive law (the Indian Indenture Act - caltrek) could no longer be defended, although many farming representatives would not listen to such logic.  Condemning calls for repeal with hysterical cries of dismay, California farmers justified the repressive policies of the Indian Indenture Act on the grounds that they assisted Indian field hands by curbing their bad habits and teaching them to work with authority ….unable to justify what for most by now regarded as a de facto version of the southern Black Codes, California legislators on April 27, 1862, finally eliminated the system.

 

Source: Beasts of the Field, Richard Steven Street, page 151


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#24
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Virginia Judge at Heart of Monument Takedown Fight Linked to College Op-Ed Blasting Desegregation

 

https://www.courthou...-desegregation/

 

Introduction:

 

RICHMOND, Va. (Courthouse News) — Four decades ago, a young man wrote an opinion piece critical of school desegregation and instant voter registration for his college newspaper. That op-ed resurfaced Friday, and Virginians discovered the author is now a Richmond judge who in recent weeks blocked the removal of Confederate monuments during the nationwide re-examination of symbols still tied to the institution of slavery.

 

Elected officials spent the day condemning the piece written by Brad Cavedo in The Collegian, the University of Richmond’s newspaper, in 1977.  

 

“This is highly problematic,” said Delegate Lamont Bagby (D-74), in a tweet which included a screengrab of the op-ed. Bagby also chairs the state’s Legislative Black Caucus. 

 

In “What does U.S. Life Offer Me?” Cavedo — at the time the editor of The Collegian’s editorial section — wrote about his desire to leave the United States after graduation.

 

“I will be leaving the solicitous paternalism of the federal courts, which among other things nearly wrecked my high school education by instituting a massive busing plan that caused more upheaval in my school and life than most people could imagine,” he wrote. 

 

Did he also oppose Brown v. Board of Education itself or only forced busing? Because one could support the former and yet simultaneously oppose the latter.



#25
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I suppose one reason why a "politically incorrect guide" to the Civil war would have appeal to the South is because of the way northerners and westerners keep reminding the south of slavery and its racist past.  Yet, as I think I discussed earlier, the North was not free of racism in its own dealing and analysis.  For its part, the fast growing western state of California was actually flirting around with a de facto slave system even as the Civil War raged in the South.  In California's case, it was not blacks who were the target of this enslavement, rather it was First Nation native born tribal members.  As historian Richard Steven Street explains:

 

 

Glaringly incompatible with the state’s professed devotion to liberty, the federal government’s opposition to slavery, and the generally accepted idea that social progress was linked to free labor in a competitive society, the repressive law (the Indian Indenture Act - caltrek) could no longer be defended, although many farming representatives would not listen to such logic.  Condemning calls for repeal with hysterical cries of dismay, California farmers justified the repressive policies of the Indian Indenture Act on the grounds that they assisted Indian field hands by curbing their bad habits and teaching them to work with authority ….unable to justify what for most by now regarded as a de facto version of the southern Black Codes, California legislators on April 27, 1862, finally eliminated the system.

 

Source: Beasts of the Field, Richard Steven Street, page 151

How moly! :( How sad, tragic, and terrible! :( Did anything similar exist in Mexican California or did this only exist in American California?



#26
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Defend History. Tear Down the Confederate Statues.

 

https://www.motherjo...nts-iconoclasm/

 

Introduction:

(Mother Jones) After the Civil War, Edward Virginius Valentine returned from Europe to his hometown of Richmond, Virginia—the former Confederate capital—and began using his training in classical sculpture to enshrine the myth of the Lost Cause. Over the next few decades Valentine made a career of sculpting monuments to defenders of slavery, building tributes to Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, among others. And he made the statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis in Richmond—unveiled on Monument Avenue in June 1907 by Davis’ last remaining child and toppled in June 2020 by protesters against systemic racism after the death of George Floyd.

 

Over the past few months, protesters have spray-painted, damaged, torched, and toppled symbols of white supremacy around the country. Critics have decried the acts as shameful attempts to erase the country’s history. The president demanded that protesters who took down a Confederate monument in Washington, DC, be “immediately arrested.” But the destruction of our cultural legacies is itself part of our cultural legacy, reaching back to ancient history. It is as old as the act of honoring false gods.

 

The Symbolism

 

Valentine, working with an architect, made the monument “overwhelmingly tall” and depicted Davis in a “heroic” pose, delivering his famous 1861 speech about quitting the US Senate to the join the Confederacy. Like all the Confederate statues on Monument Avenue, it was erected during an era when white Southerners were rewriting the story of the Civil War. According to the propaganda of the Lost Cause, the Confederates hadn’t betrayed their country; they’d fought gallantly for the principle of states’ rights. And Davis wasn’t the treacherous leader of a failed state that had rebelled to protect slavery; he was a hero fighting a tyrant in vain to protect a “way of life.” But how to show all that? Valentine, and other artists, looked to a previous empire: Rome.

 

The article goes on to quote a highly racist remark by Thomas Jefferson.  As often happens with Jefferson, it does not go on to explain that Jefferson later changed his mind regarding his assessment of the potential capabilities of  blacks.

 

The remaining article also underlines the point that destruction of historic icons is very much a part of an historic process that has been repeated many times in the past.

What did Jefferson say and/or write about blacks' capabilities later on? I just want to see the quotations and/or text with my own eyes.

 

Also, in regards to Confederate statue demolition, I wouldn't mind if these statues instead ended up in some museums of the Confederacy or something, but Yeah, I certainly don't think that they actually belong in any public places in the US. And Yes, I would say the same thing about Hitler statues if some museum about Nazi Germany was actually willing to take in Hitler statues.



#27
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Futurist: How moly!  :( How sad, tragic, and terrible!  :( Did anything similar exist in Mexican California or did this only exist in American California?

 

To get a full picture one needs to go back to Spanish California. In that era, many missions were set up throughout the coast or near coastal regions of southern and central California.  These missions involved efforts to Christianize natives. Those efforts often involved the virtual enslavement of those unfortunate enough to be ensnared in the system.  In 1810, Government authorities in Mexico City seized the Pious Fund, the source of income that supporters used to pay for supplies shipped to the California missions. This action forced the California missions to become self-sufficient, achievable because of the size of the herds of cattle accumulated on mission lands., Mexico declared itself independent of Spain on April 11, 1822, inheriting the rule of Alta California (what is now the state of California in the United States) The takeover led to the acceleration of land grants in some areas of the state to encourage development, especially rancheros upon which were raised cattle.  These land grants also served to help maintain peace.  Although the Mexican government made the grants to mostly Mexican immigrants or their descendants, recipients also included local native Indians such as Cristina Delgado, a widowed Native American, as well as immigrants of other than Spanish descent, such as William Hartnell and David Spence.   On July 25, 1826, Governor Echeandia struck a further blow against the padres (Catholic priests), proclaiming that any married native who had been a Christian fifteen years and could prove his ability to support himself was free to leave the missions.  This was a largely symbolic measure as few Indians qualified under the criteria established by the measure.  In 1833, the Mexican Congress ordered the definite secularization of all the California missions.  On November 3, 1834, the California Assembly authorized the confiscation of all mission properties.  This confiscation meant that the government granted one–half of the movable property to the natives who had taken residence at the Missions.  The other half went to secular administrators, which in effect meant that the government allowed use for religious purposes. So, the Mexican era was in large part characterized by increasingly liberal policies toward the natives.  Of course, this did not overturn the traditional hierarchy of Latin America. Under that hierarchy, the Spanish born were most favored, followed by those of Spanish descent, who were favored over those of mixed race. Pure blooded descendants of pre-Columbian natives and blacks were at the bottom of this social pyramid. Of course, the shift from Spanish to Mexican rule can be seen as an exertion of effort by the native born of Spanish descent to achieve at least equality with Spanish born immigrants.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#28
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Futurist: What did Jefferson say and/or write about blacks' capabilities later on? I just want to see the quotations and/or text with my own eyes.

 

In researching this question to find the passages that I remember reading, I realized that I may have overstated the case. I think that where I formed my perception of Jefferson's attitude was in his comments regarding a black man named Benjamin Baddecker.

 

Jefferson's letter to the Marquis de Condorcet presented Banneker's attainments as evidence of the mental capacity of Negroes. He said:

 

We have now in the United States a Negro, the son of a black man born in Africa and a black woman born in the United States, who is a very respectable mathematician. I procured him to be employed under one of our chief directors in laying out the new Federal City on the Potomac and in the intervals of his leisure, while on that work, he made an almanac for the next year, which he sent me in his own handwriting, and which I enclose to you. I have seen very elegant solutions of geometrical problems by him. Add to this that he is a very worthy and respectable member of society. He is a free man. I shall be delighted to see these instances of moral eminence so multiplied as to prove that the want of talents observed in them, is merely the effect of their degraded condition, and not proceeding from any difference in the structure of the parts on which intellect depends.

 

Source: https://www.jstor.or...pdf/2713794.pdf (see page 69).

 

While this passage is clearly along the lines that I suggested, the picture is considerably more muddied than I realized. Other passages can be found, both before and after his letter to the Marquis de Condorcet, where Jefferson is less definite in his opinion.

 

Still, Jefferson was, at times at least, working toward a more liberal attitude in which he occasionally showed an understanding of his  own limitations in rendering a conclusive judgement on the subject:

 

To Henri Gre6goire who had sent Jefferson a copy of his Litterature des Negres, he wrote:

 

Be assured that no person living wishes more sincerely than I do to see a complete refutation of the doubts I have myself entertained and expressed on the grade of understanding allotted to the negroes by nature, and to find that in this respect they are on a par with ourselves. My doubts were the result of personal observation on the limited sphere of my own State, where the opportunities for the development of their genius were not favorable, and those of exercising it still less so. I expressed them, therefore, with great hesitation; but whatever be their degree of talent it is no measure of their right

 

Source: https://www.jstor.or...pdf/2713794.pdf (see page 70).


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls






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