May 12, 2017

Sanitizing New Orleans History

I was aghast when I heard that New Orleans was going to remove its Civil War statues.  Now, while I understood South Carolina removing the Confederate flag from its capital building, removing the statues seems revisionist to me.

I asked a local college history professor I know for his opinion on the topic.  He became more animated than I had ever seen him,  and emphatically claimed that erecting the statues in the first place was the revisionism.  He feels that because he was a slave owner, there should have never been a statue of Jefferson Davis in the first place.

The key word about the college history professor isn't history, but college.  My observation is that college professors spend too much time with eighteen year olds,  and Peter Pan liberalism distorts any objectivity that they may have processed.  The statue of Davis in New Orleans was erected in 1911.  Regardless of the rationale at that time,  it is now part of that city's history.

I borrowed the word sanitizing from Condoleezza Rice.  She used it in explaining what a current mistake New Orleans is making in regard to its history.


Scott Armstrong said...

Totalitarians always control the narrative of the past and present and future. One may dress up the removal of statues and battle flags of a lost cause( that we all agree was at best misguided) any way they like, but the point is, they cannot, and will not permit or tolerate any point of view but their own. That is now the standard thinking of of intellectual betters and the controlling force on almost every college and university campus.

Monkey Momma said...

Removing these statues was a 6 to 1 decision by New Orleans City Council. Elected representatives are (finally) taking action to dismantle a celebration of slavery.

This sounds like democracy in action to me. Not totalitarianism.

Jamie Kelton said...

Modern book burning. If we don't like history, lets erase it.

Steven Ramos said...

...and sanitizing the horrid history of the Democratic Party. They've already sanitized it on their website, "For more than 200 years, our party has led the fight for civil rights, health care, Social Security, workers' rights, and women's rights." They erased that they were the slave holding party, the segregation party, the lynching party, the KKK party. Once the history is totally sanitized it will be impossible to link them to that past. Their history page begins at 1920 with Women's Suffrage. A victory owed to the GOP.

From the GOP Platform of 1920 - "The Republican Congress established by law a permanent woman's bureau in the Department of Labor; we submitted to the country the constitutional amendment for woman suffrage, and furnished twenty-nine of the thirty-five legislatures which have ratified it to date." Source:

Scott Armstrong said...

Our Democracy is supposed to protect the rights of the minority. In this case the supporters of leaving the Civil War statues in their place because for them they are not a symbol of slavery but clearly something else.
Mob rule and totalitarians pay no such respect to those who hold minority opinions.

TRENT HALL said...

History is written by the victors......what else is new? It's a balancing act determined by the prevailing mores of the times. It's reflecting the continuous advancement of better progress vs. originalism.

If the city of Munich ten years ago kept a plague or monument to the 1923 Nazi Beer Hall Putsch, most non Germans would be aghast. Five years from now perhaps nationalist/populist/anti-Brexit European sentiment might simply agree it's just Munich honoring it's past.

JoshLCowen said...

Imagine if the Italians removed statues of all the great leaders from the Roman Empire to today. There would only be statues of sex goddesses. Well, let me think of why that would be bad.

ironpigpen said...

And then again, perhaps not.

Rank and file German people, who certainly are aware of the fact that it is their very own hard work that makes their country one of if not the leading economic engines of the European Union (which the German people were never allowed to vote upon because it was simply a non-negotiable part of the deal that allowed for Reunification), are definitely not happy about financially bailing out unproductive Greece (and some other southern EU nations) every five minutes. Angela Merkel, the one-time Stasi secret police "IM" informer, might be in love with "Multi-Kulti" but the rank and file German people are actually quite angry about the overwhelming flood of Muslim refugees, who, it turns out, think it is socially-acceptable to fondle and grope German women at public swimming pools. To summarize, anyone who thinks the rank and file German people are "anti-Brexit" most likely knows very little, if anything, about how the rank and file German people truly feel about infamous Adolf Hitler and the failed Munich Putsch attempted by his National Socialist Workers' Party, as well.

Nevertheless, sincere best wishes to all those going on sight-seeing expeditions in Munich five years from now.


Scott Armstrong said...

the victors today are those who will trample underfoot the timid.

TRENT HALL said...

Actually Rolf, there have been plenty of opinion polls taken since 1945 of how the Germans feel about the Nazi era. In general, had Hitler died suddenly in July, 1939, he would be regarded as the greatest German leader since Bismark. For he unified the country, provided full employment, restored the military, regained the lost German speaking populace in neighboring countries without resorting to war, restored Germany as the dominant power in Europe, gained international prestige for Germany by hosting the 1936 Olympics, erased the Jews from the body cultural/political/professional realms, and afforded an avenue of upward mobility for the average man, who no longer felt held down by what they viewed as a class system dominated by Junkers, Prussian Generals and the petty bourgeoisie. Hitler provided a genuine "peoples revolution" in this sense because the Nazis despised the old order.

The real "cost" of this, of course, is considered hindsight...."Victor's" narrative. Germans rather, view the war as we view a heavyweight championship was for Europe, and they simply lost. Move on. Besides, there were no real Nazis, other than Hitler, in Germany anyway.

The revisionists, like Patrick Buchanan & other alt right nationalists, argue that the war was unnecessary, that it was folly for Britain & France to honor the Treaty to defend Poland, just as it was folly for Germany to declare war on the United States when it honored it's Treaty with Japan, and for Italy to follow suit to honor it's Treaty with Germany. Alternatively, they say the war was necessary because Germany only wanted to save Europe from "Godless Communism."

German Big business leaders today view the Muslim (mostly Turks in Germany; North Africans in France) as Big business leaders here view the Hispanics.....necessary to do the dirty jobs no one else wants to do. But, European countries are much smaller than the United States, and so enclave concentration of Muslims in the major European cities is so much more visible and a source of constant social friction. Hispanics in the US, legal & otherwise, by and large, want to climb the economic ladder, and there is far less pressure not to intermarry or assimilate into American "culture." Muslims, by and large, by culture & religion, have a different mindset, and intermarriage & assimilation is discouraged or outright prohibited.