Aug 31, 2017

Selective Statues And Op-Eds

Much attention has been paid to the noble effort, in many parts of America, to remove offensive statues and memorials of past heroes of the south who are now recognized as villains by their beliefs and deeds. Most of the focus has been on statues depicting Confederate generals, statesmen, and even soldiers. Every day, it seems, brings news of another monument to those associated with protecting evil institutions being removed from a public space.

Sadly, no proper attention is being paid to another so called hero of the past.

This twentieth century president knowingly put a member of the Klu Klux Klan on the supreme court, deliberately excluded black gold medal athletes to a “whites only” White house welcome, refused to sign anti-lynching laws because he was afraid it would lose him white votes, declined to desegregate the military and federal work force that had only recently been segregated by America’s 1st progressive president, Woodrow Wilson, a little over a decade before. He did, however, sign legislation that introduced Redlining as official business for the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) and, as one historian put it, turned the institution into one which “exhorted segregation and enshrined it as public policy.” This same president was the leader of a political party that was heavily populated with outspoken racists. All this said, these many detestable acts, and the tendency to give deferential political treatment to bigots, were just the tip of the iceberg.

This president interned over 120,000 Japanese-Americans in concentration camps simply because they were of Japanese ancestry. Many lost everything they owned, including land, homes, and businesses. During their time in these concentration camps they were separated from immediate family and acquaintances. He also denied Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi Germany on the MS St. Louis entry into the United States, despite direct appeals to him. As a result, many of those poor souls ended up back in the hands of Adolf Hitler.

This President, of course, is Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and even today, he is celebrated by many of the same people who are, at this moment, advocating for the removal of potentially offensive imagery from public spaces.

Now, one might say he did some of these things because that was the thinking of the times, or he had support from congress and/or the Supreme Court. But aren’t these the same excuses we rightfully dismiss when apologists for the confederacy try to justify that racism.? If ridding our public places of certain monuments will serve to unite America and shield the public from unnecessary offense and uncomfortable historical events, then how can we possibly justify memorials and a place on our coins for FDR? On that note, shouldn’t we also agree that the monuments to the five Democratic Senators that signed the racist “Southern Manifesto” Including the still beloved Sam Irvin and Former Senate Leader and Hillary Clinton mentor Robert C. Bryde be removed? Should we then remove the numerous statues, and the name from the many academic buildings of one of America’s most notorious racist residents, Woodrow Wilson.

Who out there, with what I assume are only the best of intentions, could demand we only remove some statues of disgraced historical figures, but leave these others standing? Surely no honest person of any integrity would do such a thing.

Scott Armstrong,

Editorial From Molovinsky; The above thought provoking Op-Ed was submitted to The Morning Call last week by Scott Armstrong. After not hearing back from the editor for over a week, Scott asked if I might be interested in printing it. In addition to its own merits, I'm also interested in addressing the paper's editorial policy. I've come to the conclusion that the Morning Call bases their decision on who submits the piece, rather than its merits. Both Armstrong and myself have had our submissions put off, I suspect for being too conservative for the paper's taste. In my case, I also suspect that they are providing cover for certain sacred cows. The red illustration at the top of the post is from Robert Trotner's Facebook page. He also is currently being put off by the editor.


Ray Nemeth Sr said...

Excesses by avowed socialists are exempt from scrutiny, they have served a higher purpose in the eyes of the left, Even Stalin, the greatest butcher in modern times, is given a pass, this along with Castro, and now Meduro. As you see, presently Antifa and their cohorts are given a pass for their violence, while focusing on anyone who opposes their agenda. The MC has been biased for decades. I have refused the paper, even at no cost. Objectivity by the press is a thing of the past.

Fire the incompetants said...

The Morning-Call is a rag and a very left-leaning newspaper. It is utterly apparent when you read the letters from the editor and the same left-leaning authors are highlighted. They see true conservatism as the enemy and persons like you Michael, Scott, will never get print time. This is why I cancelled my subscription and have no plans to ever re-subscribe; at any cost. Just like the Alt-Left, their position is right and there is no other alternative. Therefore, they can take their newspaper and shove it were the sun doesn't shine.

Scott Armstrong said...

I thought Bob had retired. Otherwise I would not have even bothered to send the op-ed in. He bald faced lied to me two years ago and we both knew it. That was the Pawlowski PAC op-ed that he promised to print then held onto long enough(many weeks)to have the excuse that as a candidate(just turned in petitions for failed school board race)he could not print my op-ed. I believe you posted that one for me as well Mike.

Dave said...

I'm quite certain that Mr Armstrong's letter goes against the Op Ed policy of both the Morning Call, as well as Tribune Publishing as it does not go along with it's policy of resisting President Trump in all ways. President Trump, you see, is a sympathizer of the American Nazi Party, with a long history of supporting an America First policy according to those who believe the American people made a severe error in judgement by not electing Hillary Clinton.

After Charlottesville, the media has turned on itself, running commentary pieces questioning the need for open and free expression. The Washington Post ran an op-ed by Skidmore College professor Jennifer Delton supporting the silencing of controversial conservative speakers on college campuses. The New York Times printed a breathless tired by K-Sue Park (someone’s actual name) urging the American Civil Liberties Union to reconsider its stance on free speech.

Most alarmingly, the ACLU has taken the criticism to heart and is now questioning its foundational principle. After defending the right of white supremacists to gather in Charlottesville, the civil advocacy group is asking for forgiveness. One board member of the Virginia branch resigned in protest of the organization’s actions, tweeting, “What’s legal and what’s right are sometimes different.”

doug_b said...

The election of Donald Trump, has fueled hysteria of the left.

They were greatly misled by the likes of Bernie / Hillary / Obama that entertained ideas such as free college tuition, free medical care, free housing, free immigration, universal basic income.... 'free?' - well 'free to them'. IMO Obama was the most destructive president we have ever had.

The left was hit with the stark reality that the majority of the US citizens disagree with their leftist/socialist ideas and now they're having a temper tantrum.

The media has lost all sense of impartiality, and that is destroying any credibility they may have had. The press used to be the 4th estate. But not any more.

Bob said...

President Trump said decisions about whether statues should be removed should be made by local communities that are home to those statues. I agree.

Jamie Kelton said...

Mr Armstrong.

The Battle of Charlottesville didn't cause the great broad based attack on free speech and the first amendment which is the real objective of all this turmoil. It had been under attack long before the War on Statues began. The left had always been hostile to free speech.

Early in Obama's first term one of Obama's self proclaimed Marxist czars delivered the definitive statement of the left on free speech. He declared that it was a device to give political enemies a platform to argue against the progressive agenda. That viewpoint animates the entire spectrum of behavior whether its calling opposing viewpoints hate speech on campuses or denying views hateful to the left a platform on social media.

The left, whether here or in Europe, is hostile to free speech or free expression. In Europe you can be silenced for questioning the wisdom of allowing unfettered immigration into the continent. If you object to the Muslim practice of female genital mutilation, you can be silenced as a hate monger. That is the way of the left and in effect, the Democratic Party that supports those viewpoints.

The problem is the left and its vile totalitarian instincts. The Democrat party has been overrun by enemies of the first amendment. Republican RINOs submit to PC rules and acquiesce in the destruction of free expression. Hopefully there will be a remedy at the ballot box in 2018.

Bob said...

The real problem here is that all the people who don't see the world the way I do are hate-filled totalitarian thugs. Or maybe I'm just projecting.

doug_b said...

Courtesy of Power Line:


An old Reagan-era joke that can be endlessly updated goes as follows: Scientists announce that the world is going to end tomorrow. How will the news media cover it:

Wall Street Journal: World to End Tomorrow: Markets to Close Early. (See page A8 for details.)

USA Today: World to End Tomorrow—But We’re Grinning and Bearing It

New York Times: World to End Tomorrow: Women and Minorities Hardest Hit

Washington Post: World to End Tomorrow: Reagan Policies Blamed.

Bob said...

Fox News: World to End Tomorrow--Here's How to Avoid Mexican Rapists Until Then

Iman Trek said...

well written Scott, and very thought provoking man. However, as much as I get your talking points what about the Eugene Mcduffie??? I mean how the Morning Call publisher shelved a written article bout the Mayor's bullying episode days before the election in May????

Geoff said...

In general, I'm reluctant to put up statues to any individual political or military leader. It seems un-American (even if we've done it for a long time). As a veteran, I can leave out the types of statues at Gettysburg and elsewhere installed to commemorate fallen comrades--a better form of reconciliation.

People should have a voice in who gets memorialized in their country or their town, and if you have a statue or a school named after you, you open yourself up (even in posterity) to second-guessing. And yes, real historical accounting should take into account that Washington and Jefferson owned slaves, even if they (for different reasons and in different ways) probably realized that this was a terrible thing. That's a real wrestling with history, not the nonsense we hear about today.

That said, this op-ed fails to recognize that there is a distinction with a difference in today's debate over Confederate memorials to individuals. The current desire to wash the reputations of Confederate leaders, in keeping with the oddball politics of our time, is particularly concerning. The leaders of the so-called Confederacy were the Taliban of their times in terms of their views of humanity. Spend an hour reading the primordial rantings of a lunatic like the so-called "Vice President of the Confederacy" Alexander Stephens to see what these people were really like. That Nathan Bedford Forrest, basically a warlord, is memorialized anywhere in the United States is stunning.

First, it is highly unusual for any nation to raise memorials to those who raised arms against it--I'm not sure I can think of any. Jefferson, Washington, Wilson, and even Roosevelt had odious views on race relations (even if somewhat normal for their times) but none started a rebellion against the United States Government or the government of their State. I've always found it odd that it was somehow "conciliatory" to allow the raising of memorials to treasonous felons. It would be far more conciliatory if Richmond had put up a statue to Abraham Lincoln, since one of their disgusting followers murdered him.

Second, these men were losers, and Americans don't raise memorials to losers anywhere else. Washington was a winner, and so was Roosevelt. The Confederate leaders had the pick of the American officer corps, defendable internal lines of communication, the strategic initiative, and a fair amount of international sympathy and STILL managed to screw it up. Mostly, they screwed it up because of their inflexible insistence that the richest among them be allowed to own other humans and treat them as they wished. Why do we celebrate Robert E. Lee? Because he stole the property of fellow Americans during armed operations in Pennsylvania and Maryland?

We live in tumultuous times and it is understandable why people feel uncertain. But it doesn't take much imagination to see what the broader issue is about. Defending political statues installed to celebrate white supremacy takes a lot of tip-toeing. This op-ed fails to hit its mark.

Iman Trek said...

Geoff I swear I just heard a mic drop.... what more funny is how no one responded to us.....

The Abe Lincoln analogy was on point.

LVCI said...

Part 1 Of 2
OK, let's see how many people I can piss off in one post. Since I comment here so little often wonder if MM will allow this to stand.

August 31, 2017 at 6:01 AM Ray Nemeth Sr said...
"As you see, presently Antifa and their cohorts are given a pass for their violence"
No one of reasonable mind on the so called progressive side agrees with this

August 31, 2017 at 7:23 AM Fire the incompetants said...
'Just like the Alt-Left, their position is right and there is no other alternative"
Kelly Ann Conway invented that term. Of course there are always alternatives with people of reason. This is BS.

August 31, 2017 at 8:00 AM Scott Armstrong said...
"I thought Bob had retired. Otherwise I would not have even bothered to send the op-ed in"
I agree with your editorial for the most part. Problem is you want to blog here and at The Morning Call constantly complaining instead of publishing your own website or newspaper. It's theirs get over it. If you don't like it stat your own or post your complaints on your Facebook page where people can comment. See how that goes for ya.

August 31, 2017 at 10:14 AM doug_b said...
"The election of Donald Trump, has fueled hysteria of the left... The left was hit with the stark reality that the majority of the US citizens disagree with their leftist/socialist ideas and now they're having a temper tantrum."
Check out the popular vote. Trump doesn't have a mandate. Quite lying. Half the country doesn't make for a "majority". There's no "hysteria". That's the word FOX News and other right-wingers use. Think much on your own to come up with another narrative?

August 31, 2017 at 10:37 AM Jamie Kelton said...
"The problem is the left and its vile totalitarian instincts. The Democrat party has been overrun by enemies of the first amendment."
Trump has made it clear about his hatred of the so called "fake news". No exactly a friend of the 1st amendment either. Jamie could you just for once also agree some on the so-called "right" are not too happy with Trump's "totalitarian instincts" either? .Stick to the issues please instead of being against all things contrary to your biased partisanship?

LVCI said...

Part 2 of 2
As far as Scott's piece is concerned
I mostly agree, but not along party lines. Of course Franklin Delano Roosevelt was no saint. Nor was either party then or now. American ideology and values should go beyond either party's both then and now. All statues are similar to idol worship much like it was when Moses came off the mountain to find his people kneeling before them. Whether it be Martin Luther king, General Lee or coach Paterno I see no need for any of them. None of them should be destroyed. All of them should be located in proper museums or battlefields for educational purposes not in public squares. So yes you are right Scott these statues should not disappear. Everyone should know what they stand for, but not as monuments.

As far as street names and educational namings-- they should remain. Frankly I'm not upset by any of them if they stand where they now are. This whole thing is becoming too big a deal by both sides to the point of becoming silly. I think--I like many others-- could care less.

michael molovinsky said...

iman @12:58, myself, i generally prefer not to respond to comments. however, your comments are most welcome

LVCI @4:02, I seldom ever delete comments, except for crudeness of expression or obessive repetition. your comments are most welcome.

JoshLCowen said...

St. Paul spent time as a persecutor of Christians. Should we re-name all Churches named in his honor? Christ forgave Paul, Lincoln called for reunification of the states. But liberals can't let go of history.