The Significance of Commemoration in the Struggle for Relations of Respect. (2018). While all of them committed grave moral wrongs,[14] only the former group also accomplished a great deal of good and were, with respect to some issues, morally prescient. [13] The majority of those protesting the removal of the Robert E. Lee statue in Charlottesville were part of the “Unite the Right” rally, which consisted of white supremacists and white nationalists who were clearly motivated to preserve the Lee statue for racist reasons. The grand monuments to the so-called “heroes” of the Confederacy in Baltimore, Charlottesville, Richmond, and elsewhere are the signature pieces that draw the admiration and attention of … The statue, erected in 1890, is slated for removal. There is a morally relevant difference between people like Thomas Jefferson or Mahatma Gandhi and people like Robert E. Lee or Nathan Bedford Forrest. Steve Helber / AP. (2019). [8] Premise (4) just follows from a necessarily true general claim about how reasons weigh against one another, at least if the reasons in question are understood to have “requiring force.”. The New York Times. Monuments are reverential in nature, so if they’re placed in a museum they’ll cease to be monuments but will maintain their aesthetic and historical value. A drone image shows the area surrounding the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee on Monument Avenue in Richmond, Virginia. Coaston, J. According to a recent NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist University poll, 86 percent of Americans “disagree with the white supremacy movement” and 94 percent “disagree with the views of the KKK.” And yet, 62 percent think that the Confederate statues should remain in place “as historical symbols.”. Second, not all preservationists wish to preserve Confederate monuments to honor anyone’s “noble accomplishments,” as the Charlottesville protest demonstrated. Per The Atlantic: Erecting memorials that provide a more inclusive and accurate narrative of the past, then, seems a more effective way to counter racist monuments than does defacing them. Another Confederate statue in Durham was toppled over by a group of protesters; after a NC Central University student was arrested for vandalism, some of her professors praised her and suggested awarding her a scholarship. Coaston, J. For more information, see Coaston’s (2019) account of the rally. [8] This only leaves (5), which is perhaps the most controversial premise. Marsalis, W. (2017). Re-Righting History America Inside Out, April 11, 2018. Everybody knows who won the war. Cotter, H. (2017). Alfred Brophy has surprisingly argued that preserving Confederate monuments ought to be illegal because they supposedly violate the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment. (1) should be uncontroversial since it follows from the more general claim that we have moral reason to avoid harming innocent people. But, for the sake of the future, more work remains. Why New Orleans Should Take Down Robert E. Lee’s Statue. In B. Fischer (ed.) Torin, A. Some have responded by arguing that there is a clear distinction between memorials honoring Confederate soldiers, who actively fought to defend slavery, and those like Washington and Jefferson, who owned slaves. After the removal of a statue honoring Robert E. Lee, a general in the Confederate Army considered by many to be a hero for the part he played in the American Civil War, a clear divide has formed over whether it was the right thing to do. Risking Civilian Lives to Avoid Harm to Cultural Heritage? Coates, T. (2015). So far, however, these considerations have been ignored. Confederate monuments, even ones made for supposedly innocuous reasons, can be harmful by making obvious one of the darkest periods in American history: being non-voluntarily reminded of these facts can make people suffer. In mid-August, Baltimore removed a Confederate monument overnight. If one is interested in a more historical defense of Confederate monuments, they may want to read Shedler’s (1998). Within the Shadow of Monuments. The Washington Post, September 3, 2015. Countless more examples can be found by listening to interviews of counter-protesters who oppose preserving Confederate monuments. The Physical Legacy of a Troubled Past. [1] Confederate monuments were most frequently erected during the Jim Crow era between the 1900s and 1920s and the Civil Rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s to intimidate and oppress African Americans. Brophy, A. Journal of Political Philosophy, 27(2), 166–186. In fact, many protestors now are demanding the removal of statues not only based on whether they are associated with slavery, but also on whether they “glorify” racism. Connellan, M. (2010). Timmerman, T. (2020). A monument in Charlotte, N.C., erected in 1929, praises Confederate soldiers because “they preserved the Anglo Saxon civilization of the South.” It was defaced in 2015 and subsequently put in a clear protective case to prevent future vandalism. (2019). Many know the history behind them, and are constantly reminded of the racist motivation for their creation, and suffer as a consequence. We can make a positive impact on higher education policy, but we need your support. Those actions spell trouble for the future of … Continue reading “University Administrators’ Pandemic Power Grab”, Now that President Biden has been sworn in as the 46th president, he wants to hit the ground running and attend to urgent priorities. Connellan, M. (2010). August 20th, 2017. There is a morally relevant difference between people like Thomas Jefferson or Mahatma Gandhi and people like Robert E. Lee or Nathan Bedford Forrest. One cannot assume that all monuments associated with the Confederacy must be torn down without looking closely at the individuals they depict; case-by-case analysis is necessary. Those looking to explore this issue beyond this short article should first read the articles mentioned in the previous note. Franck says that Lee’s mission was centered on upholding human bondage, whereas Jefferson’s mission was the advancement of human freedom. [1] Monuments are any physical structures meant to honor or memorialize a person, group, event, and so on. The most prominent from conservatives is that these statues are important for two reasons: for the sake of history and its preservation, and for the sake of solemn remembrance. Shedler, G. (1998). (2019). 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