Posts Tagged ‘confederate history month’

Shreveport’s Confederate Monument

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – In an ongoing effort to erase history, the Louisiana House has passed without objection a bill that would remove Robert E. Lee Day and Confederate Memorial Day from the calendar of state holidays:

Democratic New Orleans Rep. Matthew Willard, who is Black, said he was shocked to learn the Confederate holidays remain on the state books when it was brought to his attention by a constituent.

“I had no clue,” Willard said. “I actually didn’t believe it. I couldn’t in good conscience sit by and not try to change it.”

Williard said he is compelled to carry the bill to honor his late grandfather Elliott “Doc” Willard, a well-known New Orleans educator and Civil Rights leader who died in 2012.

Not that this will make one iota of difference to anyone. No state offices closed on these days and only groups like the United Daughters of the Confederacy and Sons of Confederate Veterans paid any attention to them, and I can guarantee you that these groups will still quietly observe these days just as they always have. The local UDC chapter and the SCV chapter get together on these days and have a small ceremony at the cemetery and clean headstones of Confederate dead.

Meanwhile, in New Orleans, the City Council has officially renamed Lee Circle. After removing the Lee monument from the circle in 2017, and two years of discussion, the space will now be called “Harmony Circle.” 

Don’t you feel more politically correct now?

Since the monuments were removed across the south, I am unaware of any decline in violence or injustice. As far as I know, the Civil War is still part of our country’s history and you can still purchase Shelby Foote’s brilliant three-volume history of the war at Amazon and in bookstores.

Here in Caddo Parish, in northwest Louisiana, our huge Confederate monument has been enclosed in a giant plywood box in front of the courthouse for a couple of years now as local politicians attempt to find someone to move it without destroying it to a “less offensive” site. The monument belongs to the United Daughters of the Confederacy and therefore can not be just destroyed. After years of litigation and debate, the city is on the hook to pay for moving it and they must do so without damaging it.

The final cost for this process is about $800,000.

Now, what better way could we spend that money around here, in a city that is short over one hundred police officers, where we have daily shootings, and our murder rate is record breaking each year? In a city where restaurants can’t open because workers don’t show up? Where potholes are large enough to plant trees and downtown is a wasteland inhabited only by the homeless?

Perhaps moving the monument will finally solve all this. You think?

…was not about slavery. I maintain and have always maintained that those who make that argument are deceiving themselves and frankly are not reading the material of the time.

Newly Elected Virgina Governor Bob McDonald’s restoration of Confederate History Month, (good idea) coupled with his failure to include the recognition of slavery and it’s evils (incredibly stupid, ridiculous and horrible idea) was a great example of that dynamic in action.

McDonald has since corrected the idiocy by acknowledging his mistake and adding the following to his proclamation:

WHEREAS, it is important for all Virginians to understand that the institution of slavery led to this war and was an evil and inhumane practice that deprived people of their God-given inalienable rights and all Virginians are thankful for its permanent eradication from our borders, and the study of this time period should reflect upon and learn from this painful part of our history;

This has led to some excellent introspection including this quote from Alexander Stephens at the Corner.

Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.

The idea of emancipation was so radical when suggested by Irish Pat Cleburne it stopped the advancement of one of the best commanders the Confederates ever had.

To paper this stuff over is to deny reality.