At times NobodyisFlyingthePlane will be a diatribe about the current state of affairs in the US and the world at large, at other times it will be an evidentiary discussion of the problem, and most of the time it will just be a collection of links I wanted to share.
E pluribus unum, the motto on the Great Seal of the United States, was adopted by an act of Congress in 1782. From the beginning our country has recognized the derivation of it’s power: out of many, one.
The United States is not a mono culture. We’ve been multiculti from the beginning. We’ve done bad things to many of our culties, but we are making ourselves a better one. You can’t look back to a time when America was a country of and for white folk. It may have appeared as such but one country out of many people has been the way all along. We can no longer accept monuments that say otherwise.
Now is the time to double down on our openness, our acceptance, our diversity, our unity, and our quest for betterment as a country, as a culture, and as a collection of exceptional individuals.
Mayor Mitch Landrieu, of New Orleans, said all this and more last May…
There is no other place quite like it in the world that so eloquently exemplifies the uniquely American motto: e pluribus unum — out of many we are one.
it immediately begs the questions, why there are no slave ship monuments, no prominent markers on public land to remember the lynchings or the slave blocks; nothing to remember this long chapter of our lives; the pain, the sacrifice, the shame… all of it happening on the soil of New Orleans. So for those self-appointed defenders of history and the monuments, they are eerily silent on what amounts to this historical malfeasance, a lie by omission. There is a difference between remembrance of history and reverence of it.
As President George W. Bush said at the dedication ceremony for the National Museum of African American History & Culture, “A great nation does not hide its history. It faces its flaws and corrects them.”
The historic record is clear, the Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, and P.G.T. Beauregard statues were not erected just to honor these men, but as part of the movement which became known as The Cult of the Lost Cause. This ‘cult’ had one goal — through monuments and through other means — to rewrite history to hide the truth, which is that the Confederacy was on the wrong side of humanity. First erected over 166 years after the founding of our city and 19 years after the end of the Civil War, the monuments that we took down were meant to rebrand the history of our city and the ideals of a defeated Confederacy. It is self-evident that these men did not fight for the United States of America, They fought against it. They may have been warriors, but in this cause they were not patriots. These statues are not just stone and metal. They are not just innocent remembrances of a benign history. These monuments purposefully celebrate a fictional, sanitized Confederacy; ignoring the death, ignoring the enslavement, and the terror that it actually stood for.
After the Civil War, these statues were a part of that terrorism as much as a burning cross on someone’s lawn; they were erected purposefully to send a strong message to all who walked in their shadows about who was still in charge in this city. Should you have further doubt about the true goals of the Confederacy, in the very weeks before the war broke out, the Vice President of the Confederacy, Alexander Stephens, made it clear that the Confederate cause was about maintaining slavery and white supremacy. He said in his now famous ‘cornerstone speech’ that the Confederacy’s “cornerstone rests upon the great truth, that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery — subordination to the superior race — is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.”
All we hold dear is created by throwing everything in the pot; creating, producing something better; everything a product of our historic diversity. We are proof that out of many we are one — and better for it!
Mitch Landrieu’s Speech on the Removal of Confederate Monuments in New Orleans https://nyti.ms/2qTgzmx
Look at the chart CNN shared from the Southern Poverty Law Center. It shows when Confederate monuments were created or designated. Spikes occur when racial tensions peaked. Further proof that monuments on courthouse grounds were meant to intimidate and negatively impact minority legal rights. School names peaked in the Civil Rights era. Clearly meant to provoke and intimidate recently integrated student bodies. How can a black child thrive in a school named for someone who fought to enslave her ancestors?
The staff here at NobodyisFlyingthePlane recognizes the subtlety and nuance of opinions and points of view in the debate over Confederate monuments and symbols. But just having an opinion doesn’t make it valid. Beside you know what they say about opinions and assholes, “when your opinion looks and smells like one we don’t want a monument to it in front of City Hall”.
Confederate heritage is the heritage of anti-American slave owning racist rebels who lost a war. We could allow for a desire to memorialize Southern heritage, but we should not tolerate symbols of hate, racism, and white supremacy for this purpose.
The Civil War was fought to preserve a racist slave-owning way of life. Debating this doesn’t produce valid reasons to memorialize the Confederacy. Confederates attempted to defeat the US military and in so doing end the United States of America. You can’t simultaneously exalt Confederate heritage and American heritage, they are mutually exclusive. You can have your opinions, you can speak your opinions, we just can’t tolerate their enshrinement in public spaces.
Confederate memorials, statues, and other symbols have always represented the pro-slavery, white supremacy view, and as such they are harmful to American principles of inclusion and equality. Most important, and what is presently being more fully realized, is that they are more than just symbols. They are actual tools of oppression. The impact of living under and conducting business under these symbols is real, it’s quantifiable, and it has significant negative impacts on the lives of American citizens. The perceived right to remember the past does not compare to the real need for equality without oppression.
It’s easy to say, and certainly true, that there are many battles to fight for equality which have greater significance than the monument battle, but this battle is about symbolism and it has widespread consequences and deeply felt effects.
Critics say there has often been a very thin line between many of those trafficking in Confederate history and purveyors of white supremacy. The Confederate battle flag, which was reborn as a powerful symbol for segregationists during the days of integration, has long been a favorite totem of the racist right and groups like the Ku Klux Klan.
Many of the monuments went up between 1890 and 1920, when white elites reconsolidated their power over Southern state governments, said W. Fitzhugh Brundage, chairman of the history department at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Having been angrily sidelined during Reconstruction, the whites newly in control were busy enshrining into law racially discriminatory and segregationist ideas.
While many of the inscriptions on the monuments were vague or anodyne, Professor Brundage said, the dedication speeches were often brutally frank.
“You can often find very clear invocations of the obligation of white Southerners to defend and promote Anglo-Saxon civilization, as they put it,” Professor Brundage said. One example: a speech delivered at his university in 1913 at the dedication of a Confederate soldier statue that has come to be known as “Silent Sam.” The speaker, a Confederate Army veteran named Julian Carr, boasted of how, just after his return from Appomattox, he “horsewhipped a Negro wench” who had “maligned a Southern lady.”
As the civil rights era dawned, Old South symbols re-entered the mainstream of Southern politics. In 1948, a party of breakaway, pro-segregation Democrats known as the Dixiecrats adopted the Confederate battle flag. And as Southerners zealously resisted federal efforts aimed at integration, the number of public Confederate displays and tributes surged across the South. Georgia incorporated the battle flag into its state flag in 1956, and, in 1962, the battle flag began to fly over the South Carolina State House.
In Monument Debate, Calls for an Overdue Reckoning on Race and Southern Identity https://nyti.ms/2v9GHrH
As satisfying as it seems, violence towards white supremacists won’t accomplish much. Making fun of them will. Making their protest into a fundraiser for groups that help people leave that lifestyle will.
Violence directed at white nationalists only fuels their narrative of victimhood — of a hounded, soon-to-be-minority who can’t exercise their rights to free speech without getting pummeled. It also probably helps them recruit. And more broadly, if violence against minorities is what you find repugnant in neo-Nazi rhetoric, then “you are using the very force you’re trying to overcome,” Michael Nagler
How to Make Fun of Nazis https://nyti.ms/2vHcTpH
This fella is on to something. Let poor families help themselves to determine solutions.
We’re trying to elevate this concept of “no service.” We’d like to take the money that programs would normally spend on social workers and instead make it available as scholarships or investments or loans. That would parallel the kinds of benefits that we give to the rich because society thinks they create the jobs.
When Families Lead Themselves Out of Poverty https://nyti.ms/2uXDlIa
Terrorists in the US are overwhelmingly white citizens who espouse conservative view points.
Of the nearly 1,500 individuals in a University of Maryland study of radicalization from 1948 to 2013, 43 percent espoused far-right ideologies, compared to 21 percent for the far left. Far-right individuals were more likely to commit violence against people, while those on the far left were more likely to commit property damage.
Trump Asks, ‘What About the Alt-Left?’ Here’s an Answer https://nyti.ms/2vBQ0UK
Simple and well put. Ignored at all of our expense.
what makes America America is that it is built around an idea: the idea that all men are created equal, and are entitled to basic human rights. Take away that idea and we’re just a giant version of a two-bit autocracy.
Real Americans understand that our nation is built around values, not the “blood and soil” of the marchers’ chants; what makes you an American is your attempt to live up to those values, not the place or race your ancestors came from.
When the President Is Un-American https://nyti.ms/2vwdjPD