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November 21, 2017, 09:44:26 am
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Author Topic: Does erasing history cure racism?  (Read 2308 times)
patric
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« on: August 16, 2017, 12:12:06 pm »

(This could just as easily been a local topic, but nevertheless deserves a thread of its own)

Quite a few things have happened recently to bring us to this:

Three Tulsa school board members publicly support changing name of Lee Elementary School
http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/education/three-tulsa-school-board-members-publicly-support-changing-name-of/article_a2469262-607f-5ea3-9c55-9adccae5550f.html


Mostly knee-jerk reactions to events mentioned in other threads here, including the planned riot in Charlottesville, Virginia where a neo-nazi cop-wannabe plowed into a crowd of people with a car.

(Tulsa School Board members) Jennettie Marshall, Shawna Keller and Amy Shelton are the board members who have declared publicly that they support changing Lee Elementary Schoolís name. Board members Gary Percefull, Suzanne Schreiber and Cindy Decker declined to comment, and Ruth Ann Fate didnít voice an opinion.

This does not remotely compare to Mr. Trump's failure to directly condemn the racist hate groups who supported his election. 
Erasing the names of those who shaped our history -- for better or worse -- is cultural and intellectual dishonesty better suited for scenes from Orwell's "Nineteen Eighty-Four" than an educated society.

Yet we are promised that sanitizing our war memorials, street and school names will fix racial inequity.

"Thereís not much we can do to fight against White Supremacists in America, but this is something we CAN do,Ē reads the petition posted by Antigone LoVoi.
http://www.tulsaworld.com/homepagelatest/following-charlottesville-protests-online-petition-started-to-change-the-name/article_42930ca9-ef67-5f86-a68e-05a9ab8eef0b.html

Exactly what would that do?  Has historical cleansing ever "fixed" hatred or prejudice?
Is editing the past a verifiable solution to anything, or just an opportunity to take a swipe at another culture?
If there is a logical, rational reason for this "whitewash," the case hasnt yet been made, but the knees of our city educators are still twitching.

"In this enlightened age, there are few I believe, but what will acknowledge, that slavery as an institution is a moral and political evil in any country."
-- Robert E. Lee

If anything, tweaking history (or how we remember history) is more the problem than the solution.







(P.S. Ulysses S. Grant was a slave owner.  Everyone turn in your $50 bills to me by midnight.)
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swake
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« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2017, 12:27:31 pm »

The question is, why should he have ever been honored with naming a school after him in the first place? What is Lee famous for? What did he do for this country that we would honor him for?

Heís famous for being a traitor to this country. He was the top general of the CSA, which was founded to preserve slavery and the result was a war with more than a million deaths. Today he is a hero to the KKK, White Pride and Nazi types.

Removing his name from a school is correct, he did nothing of value, added nothing but pain and death to our history and he did it on the side of evil.


Ulysses S Grant was President and a general that preserved the Union and helped end slavery. That he also was a slave owner is part of his history that should be remembered along with the positive reasons he is famous today. here's an interesting article on that very question.
https://pastexplore.wordpress.com/2015/06/29/did-ulysses-s-grant-own-slaves-during-the-civil-war/

His situation is very different from Lee.
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Hoss
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« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2017, 12:48:41 pm »

The question is, why should he have ever been honored with naming a school after him in the first place? What is Lee famous for? What did he do for this country that we would honor him for?

Heís famous for being a traitor to this country. He was the top general of the CSA, which was founded to preserve slavery and the result was a war with more than a million deaths. Today he is a hero to the KKK, White Pride and Nazi types.

Removing his name from a school is correct, he did nothing of value, added nothing but pain and death to our history and he did it on the side of evil.


Ulysses S Grant was President and a general that preserved the Union and helped end slavery. That he also was a slave owner is part of his history that should be remembered along with the positive reasons he is famous today. here's an interesting article on that very question.
https://pastexplore.wordpress.com/2015/06/29/did-ulysses-s-grant-own-slaves-during-the-civil-war/

His situation is very different from Lee.

Lee, however, was also a prominent general in the Mexican-American War if my memory serves me.  Lincoln implored him to join the Union army.  I'm not advocating for or against.
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swake
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« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2017, 12:58:58 pm »

Lee, however, was also a prominent general in the Mexican-American War if my memory serves me.  Lincoln implored him to join the Union army.  I'm not advocating for or against.

If he had stayed out of the war, would he be remembered today?
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BKDotCom
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« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2017, 01:34:24 pm »

How is removing statues and renaming building's erasing history?

History books still cover the civil war and Robert E Lee

History books can now have a new entry:

2017:   America decides that Robert E Lee should no longer be honored with statues and having Elementary schools named after him.  Many wonder why schools in Oklahoma were named after him in the first place.
2017:   President Trump stubbornly refuses to condemn Nazis...  get's the boot after 8 months in office.

Did the YMCA erase history when they renamed the Thorton Y @ 51st & Darlington to Tandy?
« Last Edit: August 16, 2017, 01:46:01 pm by BKDotCom » Logged
Conan71
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« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2017, 02:03:20 pm »

I have to agree mostly with Patricís post.  Re-naming things doesnít change racial attitudes or outcomes, folks.  I really donít care if they call it Lee School or PS 2, the name of a school building has nothing to do with changing attitudes about racism.  If anything, I believe it makes pinhead nazi types believe they are even more be-set and they will become more active the more symbols like this they think are important are extinguished.

At what point do we go back and start wiping out literature and movies with racial stereotypes to keep everyone happy?

You couldnít get away with making a movie like Blazing Saddles these days, I donít think.  The movie poked fun at every stereotype you could think of and it was thought of as comic brilliance at the time.

I lost count of how many times the N-bomb was dropped in Pulp Fiction.  Might need to go back and re-edit that. 

Oh and I HATE Illinois Nazis!

(A bit of levity, folks. I think U.S. society is forgetting how to laugh at times even when it comes to certain stereotypes)

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« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2017, 03:01:08 pm »

  Statues are not history.  They can be an expression of someones version of it.  

As for a school being named for someone.  Usually when a school is named for someone like Wright or Roosevelt you learn about the person and perhaps the school even uses some positive characteristic, motto, success story, etc. to inspire the students.  Students read about the person, do essays on them, etc.

Strikes me as odd that Lee was chosen in the first place and I wonder why when there are so many great, positive role models to learn about?  What were they hoping to teach the children?  Do they regularly admonish them in the classrooms saying "Don't be a terrible loser like Lee and join the wrong side!".  How positive and motivating is that? lol

Wooo Hooo! Go Lee!  Oh wait, I mean...
« Last Edit: August 16, 2017, 03:03:03 pm by TheArtist » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2017, 03:21:28 pm »

 Statues are not history.  They can be an expression of someones version of it.  

As for a school being named for someone.  Usually when a school is named for someone like Wright or Roosevelt you learn about the person and perhaps the school even uses some positive characteristic, motto, success story, etc. to inspire the students.  Students read about the person, do essays on them, etc.

Strikes me as odd that Lee was chosen in the first place and I wonder why when there are so many great, positive role models to learn about?  What were they hoping to teach the children?  Do they regularly admonish them in the classrooms saying "Don't be a terrible loser like Lee and join the wrong side!".  How positive and motivating is that? lol

Wooo Hooo! Go Lee!  Oh wait, I mean...

Lee was opened in 1918, at the height of the KKK and right before the race riot. You tell me why it was named what it is named?
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erfalf
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« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2017, 03:33:30 pm »

Why so many schools are named after Lee (hint, it's ain't racist):

He accepted an offer to serve as the president of Washington College (now Washington and Lee University) in Lexington, Virginia, and served from October 1865 until his death. The Trustees used his famous name in large-scale fund-raising appeals and Lee transformed Washington College into a leading Southern college expanding its offerings significantly and added programs in commerce, journalism, and integrated the Lexington Law School. Lee was well liked by the students, which enabled him to announce an "honor system" like West Point's, explaining "We have but one rule here, and it is that every student be a gentleman." To speed up national reconciliation Lee recruited students from the North and made certain they were well treated on campus and in town.

It took me ages to find this on Wikipedia.  Roll Eyes

In other words, it's because he was hell of a lot more of a man (human) than most people arguing his removal from society.
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« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2017, 04:30:09 pm »

In other words, it's because he was hell of a lot more of a man (human) than most people arguing his removal from society.

For many people, one aw sh!t wipes out a thousand attaboys.
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TheArtist
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« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2017, 06:11:52 pm »

http://www.cnn.com/2017/08/16/us/robert-e-lee-statues-letters-trnd/index.html

Based on his writings, Lee was not a fan of statues honoring Civil War generals, fearing they might "keep open the sores of war."
According to historian Jonathan Horn, Lee was often consulted in his lifetime about proposals to erect monuments to Confederate Gen. Stonewall Jackson and others.

In a 1866 letter to fellow Confederate Gen. Thomas L. Rosser, Lee wrote, "As regards the erection of such a monument as is contemplated, my conviction is, that however grateful it would be to the feelings of the South, the attempt ... would have the effect of ... continuing, if not adding to, the difficulties under which the Southern people labour."

Three years later, Lee was invited to a meeting of Union and Confederate officers to mark the placing of a memorial honoring those who took part in the battle of Gettysburg.
"I think it wiser not to keep open the sores of war but to follow the examples of those nations who endeavored to obliterate the marks of civil strife, to commit to oblivion the feelings engendered," he wrote in a letter declining the invitation.

Such conflict over Civil War symbols, some 150 years after the war ended, makes Lee look prescient.
"Lee feared that these reminders of the past would preserve fierce passions for the future," wrote Horn, author of a Lee biography titled "The Man Who Would Not Be Washington"

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« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2017, 06:36:28 pm »

Why so many schools are named after Lee (hint, it's ain't racist):

He accepted an offer to serve as the president of Washington College (now Washington and Lee University) in Lexington, Virginia, and served from October 1865 until his death. The Trustees used his famous name in large-scale fund-raising appeals and Lee transformed Washington College into a leading Southern college expanding its offerings significantly and added programs in commerce, journalism, and integrated the Lexington Law School. Lee was well liked by the students, which enabled him to announce an "honor system" like West Point's, explaining "We have but one rule here, and it is that every student be a gentleman." To speed up national reconciliation Lee recruited students from the North and made certain they were well treated on campus and in town.

It took me ages to find this on Wikipedia.  Roll Eyes

In other words, it's because he was hell of a lot more of a man (human) than most people arguing his removal from society.

I'm not saying you are wrong, but Tulsa was basically run by the KKK at the time and the city burned down Greenwood just three years later.
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swake
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« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2017, 06:37:55 pm »

For many people, one aw sh!t wipes out a thousand attaboys.


He didn't exactly ding a car in parking lot and not leave a note. His aw sh!t was leading a war to protect slavery that killed over a million Americans.
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« Reply #13 on: August 16, 2017, 10:22:23 pm »

He didn't exactly ding a car in parking lot and not leave a note. His aw sh!t was leading a war to protect slavery that killed over a million Americans.

These guys think it was a bit less killed:
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/03/science/civil-war-toll-up-by-20-percent-in-new-estimate.html

Still a lot of people though.

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patric
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« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2017, 10:50:19 pm »

These guys think it was a bit less killed:
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/03/science/civil-war-toll-up-by-20-percent-in-new-estimate.html
Still a lot of people though.

I think at one time there was a consensus that the toll was around a million Americans lost, once disease and starvation were figured in.

Those same historians scoff at the notion that Lee was fighting "to preserve slavery" as he abhorred the practice, and only became a slaveowner by inheritance.  His foe Grant, however, was much more enthusiastic about the practice. Grant was a wealthy incompetent that was only tapped because of his military popularity (like N.B. Forrest) and let his corrupt cabinet run his administration to the ground.  (sound familiar?)

In the thinking of the day, Virginia was Lee's "country" and he only took up arms against his former West Point classmates when they became the invading army.
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