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Author Topic: To Those Demanding the Destruction of the Monument in Pittsboro  (Read 5500 times)
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Pi
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« on: August 17, 2017, 04:24:13 PM »

To Whom This May Concern

A gravestone marks naught but those that have given their lives.  It does not stand for any causes.  It only recognizes one thing: loss of human life.  We all know this, in our heart of hearts.  We all know that in the course of waging war, it is almost always the poor and destitute who are charged with lunging into the fray of death and pain.

It is the truth of all those who served, and so it is with those who died as Confederate soldiers.  Men, both young and old, sacrificed their lives in what they perceived as defending their homeland.  Though they were on the wrong side of history, the vast majority did not own another human being.  If there is any truth on this Earth, it is that the rich and powerful declare the war while the poor are the ones who ultimately pay for it.  For many of them, there is no gravestone. For their bodies were burned or buried alongside of those they fought.  All that stands to remember them are the monuments that most people simply walk by without a second glance.

Monuments that stand in town squares here in the southeastern US represent the loss of human life, first and foremost.  They remind us that war has a cost.  They also remind us that not every cause is just.  But lest we forget, the survivors of the Civil War had sons that fought in the Spanish American War.  Their grandsons fought in the First World War.  Their great grandsons fought in the Second World War.  Their great great grandsons fought in Vietnam.

It can be said that for the most part, America is gracious in victory.  We allow our enemies to collect and bury their dead.  We allow them to honor those dead.  We often rebuild that which we destroy.  Despite all the horrible and tumultuous wars, no matter how terrible our enemies are, we still respect the sacrifice of their combatants.  Except when it comes to the Civil War.  Slavery has been abolished.  Those who fought and died in the bloodiest American conflict since our founding are long gone.  We have little left to remember them by but we can learn from their mistakes.

Let the monuments stand as a reminder of how terrible war can be.  Let them stand as a reminder that unless we love and care for one another as fellow human beings, the consequence just might be death and destruction.  For those who try to sweep history under the rug are often doomed to repeat it.  There is a pervasive hunger for violence against those who hold different views.  The espousing of unpopular ideas is being considered the same as violence and actual violence has become the accepted response.

Let us pray to whatever deity guides us, or look within ourselves, to find the tolerance we so desperately need.  
« Last Edit: August 17, 2017, 04:26:51 PM by Pi » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2017, 07:40:30 PM »

In short, this is not a gravestone, nor a memorial to war dead, it is actually a celebration of the confederacy, so take an actual look at it. I had some concerns when I thought of it as war memorial, until I went back and looked at all of it again. Please read the rest of my comment on the other thread: http://chatham-county-nc.com/bulletinboard/index.php/topic,34659.msg301718.html#msg301718
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« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2017, 09:14:36 PM »

In short, this is not a gravestone, nor a memorial to war dead, it is actually a celebration of the confederacy, so take an actual look at it. I had some concerns when I thought of it as war memorial, until I went back and looked at all of it again. Please read the rest of my comment on the other thread: http://chatham-county-nc.com/bulletinboard/index.php/topic,34659.msg301718.html#msg301718


Wrong.  It is a monument that memorializes soldiers that fought in the Civil War.  Soldiers, I might add, that are by law considered American soldiers and all the rights and reverence that entails.  

I'm assuming then that you are in favor of its removal?  What, pray tell, is the reason for all of this now?  Don't you realize this is being used by people like Voller to simply get attention?

It says "Our Confederate Heroes" on there.  I think it is a fair assumption that, since that is pretty much the largest text on the thing, that it's the primary purpose of the monument/memorial.  Whether or not those who fought and/or died should be considered heroes is another discussion.  I happen to think they were fighting for the wrong side, even though (as I said above) they probably felt as if they were defending their homeland or their state.

Not sure how many of those soliders died, but based on the attrition rates it is probably safe to say many of them did.  I do not believe that it memorializes the Confederacy as much as it honors those who fought and perhaps died.  Clearly you have a different interpretation that fits your agenda.  Whatever the hell that is.
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« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2017, 10:11:57 PM »

  The statues are being taken down by people that would never serve any army but would be all too willing to spit at the soldiers that did weather on the right side or not.  They just want to have the rights others died for.
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« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2017, 11:00:53 PM »

I'm assuming then that you are in favor of its removal?.....
It says "Our Confederate Heroes" on there.  I think it is a fair assumption that, since that is pretty much the largest text on the thing, that it's the primary purpose of the monument/memorial. ...  I do not believe that it memorializes the Confederacy as much as it honors those who fought and perhaps died.  Clearly you have a different interpretation that fits your agenda.  Whatever the hell that is.
Excerpted quote. The most prominent text is CSA 1861-1865.
I am not on a mission to get it removed and why would you assume that? and I don't have "an agenda" (what is with you people who see invisible agendas everywhere, sheesh!) I'm just pointing out that when I went and actually looked at it I formed a very different impression than I had before (that's preferably done in daylight).
And didn't your momma teach you not to cuss at people?
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« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2017, 04:10:26 AM »

I'm assuming then that you are in favor of its removal?.....
It says "Our Confederate Heroes" on there.  I think it is a fair assumption that, since that is pretty much the largest text on the thing, that it's the primary purpose of the monument/memorial. ...  I do not believe that it memorializes the Confederacy as much as it honors those who fought and perhaps died.  Clearly you have a different interpretation that fits your agenda.  Whatever the hell that is.
Excerpted quote. The most prominent text is CSA 1861-1865.
I am not on a mission to get it removed and why would you assume that? and I don't have "an agenda" (what is with you people who see invisible agendas everywhere, sheesh!) I'm just pointing out that when I went and actually looked at it I formed a very different impression than I had before (that's preferably done in daylight).
And didn't your momma teach you not to cuss at people?

What is wrong with YOU people?  You are the ones claiming that the monument celebrates the Confederacy when in fact it is honoring the soldier. Why do you keep ignoring the fact that it also includes a statue of a solider? 

I shall use whatever language I deem appropriate for those spreading a false narrative. Your agenda is quite clear based on your posting history.

This is a wedge issue drummed up by people like Voller who seek nothing but self aggrandizement at best and a modicum of attention at the worst. Didn't your momma teach you not to carry the water for people like that?
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« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2017, 03:28:41 PM »

At the dedication ceremony of the statue in Pittsboro, the keynote speaker, North Carolina Chief Justice William Clark not only championed the issue of state's rights, but specifically questioned the legitimacy of the 14th Amendment. Is there somehow a claim here that was just a simple coincidence?

The motivations behind the monument and what it was created to represent seem to clearly go a bit beyond a humble tribute to the fallen soldiers. Likewise, the UDC itself even went so far as to claim in its various writings that slaves were content with their position and that the KKK was a justified, necessary and noble group - right up into the 1930s and beyond. Clark's 1907 dedication speech was a typical hat tip to the great Lost Cause, even if he was simply playing to his audience.

People are free to interpret his statements and the text and statue according to their own beliefs and knowledge, but his dedication speech and the writings of the UDC provide some factual context. My family has veterans on both sides, who fought mainly to protect their family & homes. This does not change the facts about Clark's speech - or the context.
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« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2017, 04:25:29 PM »

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« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2017, 05:21:46 PM »

At the dedication ceremony of the statue in Pittsboro, the keynote speaker, North Carolina Chief Justice William Clark not only championed the issue of state's rights, but specifically questioned the legitimacy of the 14th Amendment. Is there somehow a claim here that was just a simple coincidence?

The motivations behind the monument and what it was created to represent seem to clearly go a bit beyond a humble tribute to the fallen soldiers. Likewise, the UDC itself even went so far as to claim in its various writings that slaves were content with their position and that the KKK was a justified, necessary and noble group - right up into the 1930s and beyond. Clark's 1907 dedication speech was a typical hat tip to the great Lost Cause, even if he was simply playing to his audience.

People are free to interpret his statements and the text and statue according to their own beliefs and knowledge, but his dedication speech and the writings of the UDC provide some factual context. My family has veterans on both sides, who fought mainly to protect their family & homes. This does not change the facts about Clark's speech - or the context.
.

Do you have a link to the full speech?  Wouldn't it be more instructive and informative to know what he actually said rather than implying that his motivations stemmed from racism? 

Do you think that he gave a speech and never mentioned those that fought and died?  Are we to believe that the monument is in no way in remembrance of those who gave their lives?  Can you produce the text of the speech and prove that the "context" you selectively mention is the whole story?

Simple question Yip. Should it stay or should it go? 
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« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2017, 05:35:28 PM »

At the dedication ceremony of the statue in Pittsboro, the keynote speaker, North Carolina Chief Justice William Clark not only championed the issue of state's rights, but specifically questioned the legitimacy of the 14th Amendment. Is there somehow a claim here that was just a simple coincidence?

The motivations behind the monument and what it was created to represent seem to clearly go a bit beyond a humble tribute to the fallen soldiers. Likewise, the UDC itself even went so far as to claim in its various writings that slaves were content with their position and that the KKK was a justified, necessary and noble group - right up into the 1930s and beyond. Clark's 1907 dedication speech was a typical hat tip to the great Lost Cause, even if he was simply playing to his audience.

People are free to interpret his statements and the text and statue according to their own beliefs and knowledge, but his dedication speech and the writings of the UDC provide some factual context. My family has veterans on both sides, who fought mainly to protect their family & homes. This does not change the facts about Clark's speech - or the context.
.

Do you have a link to the full speech?  Wouldn't it be more instructive and informative to know what he actually said rather than implying that his motivations stemmed from racism? 

Do you think that he gave a speech and never mentioned those that fought and died?  Are we to believe that the monument is in no way in remembrance of those who gave their lives?  Can you produce the text of the speech and prove that the "context" you selectively mention is the whole story?

Simple question Yip. Should it stay or should it go? 

I appreciate learning about that dedication and am not totally surprised. I'm sure that there's a viable source though the full text of his speech may not survive, just possibly a report of it (I'm thinking of what seems most likely for the time).

I don't think it's productive to force people to take sides rather than trying to have a conversation, the reason being that given the current law, these may be false choices.

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« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2017, 05:41:03 PM »

Well, what people are apt to do is throw out unreferenced material and then take no official stance of their own. Even if it is clear that they do have a strong opinion.

It takes more courage to stand for something than undermine the beliefs of others.  Your methods obviously vary.

I am willing to bet that the speech did in fact make reference to fallen soldiers. I believe that was likely glossed over in an attempt to push a particular narrative.

The refrain most often heard (not necessarily here on the forum) is that unless you are in favor of removing all the monuments you are a racist. I think that's a very wrong, simplistic, and self-serving way of damning by association.
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« Reply #11 on: August 19, 2017, 09:43:00 PM »

I believe it should be moved and no longer represent the centerpiece of the town. It is right to honor loved ones and veterans. However, I don't believe a Confederate soldier should serve as a representative for the entire county. Some people support leaving it there, that does not make them racist.

Also, I clearly didn't say the speech did not reference fallen soldiers.

Of course it mentioned fallen soldiers, as it should. I do not have a link to the full text, but will try to track it down. Here's where I saw it:

http://chathamrabbit.blogspot.com/2007/08/monument-2-event.html

It is not pushing a narrative to point out that it seems the 14th Amendment was specifically referenced.

It is pointing out what may very well be facts. Glossing over things to push a particular narrative would be something more like claiming it was only about the soldiers while having no idea at all what was specifically said at the dedication ceremony - and also not looking for it. (I'll give you the benefit of the doubt, maybe you did.)

So, if that section about the 14th was indeed included as quoted in the link, do you think it was a non-racial coincidence? Just random rambling?

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« Reply #12 on: August 19, 2017, 09:48:33 PM »

Partial text from link above:

"The hopes of our perpetuity as a government and the maintenance of our liberties as a free people depend upon upholding this guarantee of the rights of each state, in its integrity. There are a few good men who panic stricken at the result of the war of 1861-5 have declared that "state's rights died at Appomattox." Nothing is farther from the truth. [...]

It is true that there is the fourteenth amendment which was passed solely (if indeed legally adopted at all) to secure the rights of the newly emancipated colored people. The monopolies and plutocracy of this country quickly seized upon it as a device to draw all jurisdiction of all questions concerning them from the state courts, whose judges are mostly elected by the people, and responsible to them, into the subordinate federal courts whose judges are in most instances selected by the great capitalistic combinations and hold for life. "Like sappers and miners," to quote the words of Mr. Jefferson, they have been at work night and day to wrest the fourteenth amendment into something very different from its true meaning, and to make it repeal both the tenth and eleventh amendments and, indeed, nullify the whole spirit of the constitution.

Should this succeed, there would be no longer use for state judges or state legislatures, and even the acts of Congress would be set aside at will by judges appointed for life at the selection of Wall Street."
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« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2017, 11:23:34 PM »

Yip, what you didn't say is the issue. You did not give a full accounting and it is also clear that the blogger has a narrative as well.

Here's what I am saying:

1. I don't think that monument represents all of a Chatham. It's really quite a stretch to say that it does. Monuments often have a specific purpose and I believe the purpose of that one is to remember those who served and/or died in the Civil War. No evidence that you have provided disproves or invalidates that notion.

2. Clark was clearly a racist. However I think the quote you provided shows that he was concerned that the 14th was being twisted by some entities. And that such twisting of the precedent was not in accordance with its true meaning and was instead being used to undermine state courts. On what issues I have no idea.  As far as I can tell, history has shown him to be as wrong about the courts as he was about the topic of equality. Our state courts seem to be very much alive and well.

What Clark said way back then is perhaps not as relevant as you think it is. The monument means different things to different people. If I thought the purpose of the monument was to honor the Confederacy, I would also support moving it. But I am not convinced that is all there is to it. Indeed, I think it stands as a memorial not just to those who fought and died, but as a warning that civil war is a horrible thing and should never be repeated. That slavery is abhorrent and is part of our history. To our everlasting shame.

The monument means many things. It represents our history and has become part of history itself. It is an imperfect symbol, but maybe that's also approproate.

This is little but yet another wedge issue drummed up to make people angry at one another. And why?  Because it serves the people who have something to gain by pitting us against each other.

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« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2017, 10:11:59 PM »

1) The monument is not located in a park or cemetery, but rather in the center of the county & town of Pittsboro - indeed the geographic center of the entire state. What location in the county could actually be more prominent? Ask yourself that question. I think you are downplaying the symbolic nature of its location, also outside the courthouse.

2) Not only Clark was a racist - the UDC itself has published many racist articles and books both before and after this particular statue, including a longstanding support and justification of the KKK. Clark was not just 'concerned that the 14th was being twisted' in general, his concern was that it was being used to give equal rights to black citizens. This is the very common tactic during that time period - and sadly beyond - of using states rights as a code word for legal slavery. Are you still seemingly claiming his bringing up the 14th had nothing to do with race??

So what were the goals of the UDC, the primary supporters and funders of these statues? It went far beyond honoring the dead - it was part of their overall propaganda effort of pushing for a 'southern version' of textbooks and the delivering of "Lost Cause" speeches that tried to legitimize the beliefs of the confederacy. So, now, you said that "If I thought the purpose of the monument was to honor the Confederacy, I would also support moving it." Let's look at what the UDC has said in its own writings:

From the "Minutes of the ... annual convention of the United Daughters of the Confederacy : [serial] North Carolina Division" 1899:

"The work of the United Daughter of the Confederacy is not based on sentiment alone, as the records of your work will show. Our main objects are memorial, historical, benevolent, educational and social. We are building monuments of bronze and marble to our noble Confederate dead as an inspiration for future generations. We have built and assisted in building all over the South, monuments in the form of Soldier's Homes, Hospitals, Memorial Halls and Schools for descendants of our Confederate Soldiers, in whose veins flow pure Anglo-Saxon blood, who otherwise could not be educated." - Mrs. I.F. Faison, President of the NC Div of the UDC

"We must see that correct history is taught our children...so they will be able to state facts and prove that they are right in the principles for which their fathers fought and died: and continue to preserve and defend their cause, until the whole civilized world will come to know that our cause was just and right.....No, our cause was not lost, because it was not wrong." - Mrs. I.F. Faison, President of the NC Div of the UDC

(Source: http://archive.org/stream/minutesofannualc1909unit#page/16/mode/2up/search/anglo-saxon)

Once again, your words: "If I thought the purpose of the monument was to honor the Confederacy, I would also support moving it."

I encourage you to look up the UDC yourself and read what they thought these statues represented and their views on race and the South. Perhaps you are already well aware.

The following does not prove that the motivation to build the statue was not simply a memorial. However, it does add to the context of their beliefs and speaks to their overall morality, somewhat like a character witness in a trial. I do understand how many people consider these things an entirely separate issue, of course. To me, the rate of the construction, the language of their surrounding speeches and the many written records are all part of my consideration. I do have respect for the humanity of the Confederate troops and men like Col. Lane as well. I read some place recently that some historians view the 'lost cause narrative' and their mythic statues were helpful in stitching the Union back together, by allowing Southerners some degree of respect in defeat. However, I don't think that this means they should be in the town square forever.

Just a friendly bunch off folks building a monument, right?



"The Ku Klux Klan was an absolute necessity in the South at this time. This Order was not composed of the “riff raff” as has been represented in history, but of the very flower of South­ern manhood." - Miss Mildred Lewis Rutherford, Historian General United Daughters of the Confederacy

Just a little more context from the time period, with the added evidence of the UDC purchase of a KKK flag, which seems to signal their support of such crimes:

A colored man hanged in Chatham County. A revenue officer riding along the road, saw his body hanging and reported. His wife and children were sitting under the body moaning. Nothing was done about it.

A colored man in Chatham County badly whipped. As he returned to his house, the Kuklux followed. One of his daughters came out of his house with an infant in her arms, and fled. The Kuklux fired on her and wounded her and her infant.

A colored woman near Pittsborough, Chatham County, beaten with a club until her life was despaired of, because she complained to a magistrate that a white man, a Kuklux, had stolen her chickens.

A colored minister of the gospel in Gulf Township, Chatham County, compelled to take a torch and burn his own church, which he and others had built on his own land. The next morning, after the Kuklux had departed, the melancholy sight was presented of the minister and his congregation holding prayer over the ashes of his church.

There are many other documented cases of people being dragged from the jail and hanged with no trial by the KKK and their supporters in Chatham.

Again, apart from the specific quote about monuments provided above, of which perhaps there are more of in their writings, these facts do not directly show the intent of this one statue. However, taken as a whole, they do tend to signal a larger agenda of the UDC, which was clearly "to honor the Confederacy" as well as their belief system through their work.

BTW, according to former Chatham County Commissioner Tommy Emerson, the last lynching in Chatham was in 1924.

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