Monument removal movement spreads

This article from the NYTimes suggests that other monuments–having nothing to do with the Confederacy–are now being scrutinized for possible removal.

The movement carries significant potential political effects:

“The disputes over America’s racial past and public symbols have proliferated with dizzying speed, spreading to states far beyond the Confederacy and inspiring campaigns by minorities and political progressives across the country. But along the way, they have become to some an example of politically correct sentiments gone too far, with the potential to mobilize the right and alienate the center.”



Eric Foner on “whose History”

One of the most distinguished historians in the United States weighs in on the Confederate statues arguments.

“The historian Carl Becker wrote that history is what the present chooses to remember about the past. Historical monuments are, among other things, an expression of power — an indication of who has the power to choose how history is remembered in public places.”



Confederate symbols at Ole Miss

The timing of this article was extraordinary–kind of a glimpse of Things to Come, just a few days later, in Charlottesville VA.  The article appeared in the Times on Weds. Aug. 9.  The first incident at UVA was Aug. 11.

The article describes a process called “contextualism,” and “gradualism,” to describe the university’s approach to dealing with Confederate symbols.  In light of the instant demolition of Confederate statues that has taken place in the last few weeks, it’s hard to imagine those cautious approaches getting much traction anymore.

Here’s a stained-glass window in a building on the Ole Miss campus depicting Confederate soldiers— as if any more proof were needed that attitudes toward the Civil War in the South are a form of secular religion.