Cindi’s proposal with regard to monuments

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I meant to call attention to Cindi Scoppe’s column yesterday

In light of the fact that, without two-thirds majorities in both legislative chambers, no one in South Carolina can remove a Confederate monument from any public space — whether state or local — she dusted off her idea for an alternative:

… I was so delighted by Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg’s idea. Well, it’s not actually Mr. Tecklenburg’s idea. It’s one I’ve proposed numerous times, and it certainly wasn’t original to me. But it’s a great idea. Leave up the monuments — not that South Carolinians have any choice — but add signs to provide context.

To Mr. Tecklenberg, it’s not just about doing an end-run around the Legislature. As he told Charleston’s Post and Courier newspaper last week: “I don’t believe we’ve done a good job of telling the whole story of slavery and Reconstruction and what happened there and Jim Crow. One hundred years from now, you want people to know the great lengths the white folks who were in charge around here went to try to put racial barriers back into place.”

First on Mr. Tecklenberg’s add-to-rather-than-subtracting-from list is a towering monument to John C. Calhoun, which includes the words “Truth, Justice and the Constitution” and little else. Like the fact that he provided the intellectual underpinnings for the Confederacy….

As a way of protesting the Legislature’s habit of telling local governments what they can and can’t do, it’s an excellent approach. A sign saying, “This monument is still here because the General Assembly won’t let us take it down” has merit — if, indeed, you do want to take it down (a subject on which I remain agnostic until you tell me which monument where, and give me time to think about it).

And beyond that, there is also merit to adding educational information to monuments, if we choose to leave them up. Perhaps this approach would be a good substitute for the current Heritage Act, if lawmakers would consider it.

At least, it would be a good approach in theory.

In practice, well… Can you imagine how hard it would be to get a truly representative group of people — by which I mean, representing every possible position regarding Confederate monuments, which is the kind of panel the Legislature would (and should) appoint — to agree on the wording of such a plaque?

By contrast, the decision to take a statue down or keep it up is child’s play…

61 thoughts on “Cindi’s proposal with regard to monuments

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      There’s nothing simple about history — something I wish everyone at every point on the political spectrum would fully understand.

      It’s wonderfully complex, and doesn’t fit perfectly with anyone’s pat explanations. Which is one of the things I love about it…

  1. Richard

    Brad, tell your ex-work wife that reporters should report and not give us their opinion. Tell me the news and keep your opinion to yourself. I can’t wait until The State finally shuts its doors completely.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Assuming you mean Cindi, I can’t imagine why you would call her a “reporter.” She hasn’t been a reporter for 20 years. Surely you know the difference between a reporter and a member of the editorial board.

      If you don’t, that would explain a lot about Trump supporters’ anger toward the press…

  2. bud

    Who is going to write these markers? A committee of some sort? Couldn’t they become controversial themselves? What if someone spells something wrong or leaves out an important detail. Thurmond statue initially failed to include his oldest child. Couldn’t the statues still be controversial even with the new markers? I see nothing but endless controversy regardless of what is done. This is just another example of rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Then again Brad would have to close up shop if we didn’t have these silly symbols to obsess over.

    1. Scout

      Of course it would be controversial. The people that don’t want the monuments removed will not like this either. But it is a compromise and one that lets both sides have a say. People that care to discern their own truth will have the tools to do so. No path left available to us at this point is controversy free. This may be the best solution.

  3. Harry Harris

    Scoppi’s proposal is quite similar to the ones I posted here a couple of days ago. Would require study, collaboration, and compromise, but much better than stonewalling or destructive attacks. Our younger generation needs and deserves the added context. We, in the South, need to correct what was done in the Jim Crow spirit and in defiance of civil rights advances. We should always be willing to revisit our past and sometimes, frankly, repent.

  4. Bart Rogers

    Understanding Brad’s sentiments about things outside South Carolina, just read an article about NYC and statues/monuments. Seems as if some are taking offense at Christopher Columbus and Ulysses Grant among others and want them removed. Apparently Christopher Columbus upset the denizens of the Caribbean at some point and Grant had Jews forcibly removed from some states.

    Since this has now turned into a real piece of raw, red meat for SJWs, why not just remove every damn statue of anyone from every public square or other prominent place in every town, city, county, state, federal property, or anywhere one can be seen that just might be a trigger, driving the poor offended person to seek out a safe place to recover and seek counseling.

    Just destroy them, don’t place them in a museum because some snowflake might visit the museum and see the offensive statue creating a hostile environment they need to flee from with all haste. If a statue is enough to send someone into a frenzy and create a hostile environment or remind them of the past grievances committed against their ancestors, they need to stop and really evaluate what is actually important in their life.

    Once the snowball starts rolling downhill, it gathers momentum, builds itself into a destructive force, and destroys anything in its path. This snowball is gathering steam and has the potential to divide us even further than we are now. The irony is that a large majority of the population according to the latest polls do not want the statues to come down, not even the ones honoring Confederates. But, you have mayors of large cities like NYC, Baltimore, and Atlanta who will pander to the whims of anyone with a social justice grievance past or present who is not an older white male in a “New York Minute”. Yes, I said it, an older white male, sue me.

    What is actually humorous and ironic is that the SJWs, Democrats, liberals, and any other offended group of two or more will end up blaming Donald Trump for the crimes against humanity by the offenders because the statues commemorating them were standing when he was elected POTUS. And the media will be more than willing to carry their water to the ends of the earth.

    Wonder where the adults are hiding when they are needed most? That’s right, if they speak out, they will be “shamed” by a SJW on Facebook, Twitter, or some other social media outlet.

    1. Doug Ross

      “Grant had Jews forcibly removed from some states.”

      That you didn’t mentions the thousands of Native American Indians killed under his command is a sad reminder of just how little attention is given to that period in American history. Grant started a war with the Lakota tribes in South Dakota in order to grab their land and the gold that was there.

      It would be an interesting question to ponder as to who has it worse today – black Americans or native Americans?

  5. Harry Harris

    Had to look up SJW, and would be glad to be one if it means social justice warrior. Interesting that my comment above was flagged for moderation, and I didn’t call anyone a name or use a curse word.
    To the point, the snowball rolling downhill occurred when the South became defiant after reconstruction yielded the ground to Jim Crow. Monuments, naming actions, and other memorials to the lost cause and its heroes started popping up, in part aimed at reminding black people of “their place” and intimidating those bent on securing the rights granted by the amendments passed at the end of the war. Another good number of flag displays, monuments, and plaques appeared during the advance of the civil rights era in the late ’50s, and 60’s. Revisions to monument signage, building signage, and a few other displays are needed in my view to state present positions on the actions and character of persons and groups elevated to hero status during periods of ignorance or suppression.
    As an example, Columbus was an explorer with documented ignominious motives and behavior. That stuff should be included in his exalted public profile and in historical studies. Nobody is perfect. His accomplishments should be known and celebrated as well.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Harry, I don’t know why your previous comment was held. Usually, it’s because of links or because the text contains a name that is flagged because it was used by a troll at some point. And unfortunately, they’ve used some pretty common names. But I’m not seeing the problem on that comment…

  6. Mark Stewart

    That’s not a realistic proposal.

    The options are:
    – Public pressure on the legislature to replace the Heritage Act
    – Take the legislature to court
    – Ignore the legislature and remove/relocate the “worst” examples anyway

    This is an asinine “law” – the Heritage Act that is (it is institutional racism plain and simple). There really isn’t any credible reason that it should be respected. I am usually a law and order proponent; but in this case the moral and ethical response is to deride the legislature for this and otherwise confront this unjust taking.

    I don’t know where I stand on the individual statues themselves; but when the Citadel and various county courthouses (as examples) are specifically prohibited from removing Confederate paraphernalia added inside and around the buildings during Jim Crow and the Civil Rights era we have a big problem of legislative over-reach and clear examples of institutional racism.

    The South Carolina Legislature has never been known to find its way forward without being dragged by its scalp into the present. That is what is going to be required here.

    1. bud

      It should be noted that the South Carolina general assembly is overwhelmingly Republican. That is important.

    2. Brad Warthen Post author

      Mark, as for this option:”Public pressure on the legislature to replace the Heritage Act…”

      … I’m not sure that the folks who would WANT to do away with monuments would ever, ever have that kind of leverage.

      Let’s suppose that a majority of South Carolina wanted to amend or repeal the Heritage Act so that we’d be free in our local communities to make decisions about monuments. (I’d be with them on that, regardless what happens to monuments — the state has NO business telling local communities what they must and must not honor.)

      First, I’m pretty sure that’s not the case now, and it would take a great deal for that to become the case. But let’s suppose it did — let’s suppose a majority in South Carolina wanted to do away with the Act.

      It still wouldn’t happen, because gerrymandering.

      On something like this — indeed, on most things — what a majority of people in the state want is irrelevant. Indeed, even if most of the people in a member’s district want it (in spite of most of the districts being drawn to guarantee the election of Republicans and the few remaining to guarantee the election of Democrats), that’s still fairly immaterial.

      All that matters is whether there are enough votes in that member’s primary to keep him from being nominated next time. And there always will be, as far as I can see into the future.

      Thanks to the way we draw district lines, a member will always see his “constituency” not in terms of a majority of the electorate, but in terms of the most extreme people who vote in his primary.

      And that minority is as solid as a rock. It’s roughly that 30 percent or so that will support Trump no matter how much he lies to them and engages in outrageous behavior, a group that is immune to facts — a 30 percent that is often a majority in GOP primaries, or at least a big-enough plurality to frighten the member.

      We’re unlikely to see the Heritage Act go away for the same reason we’re unlikely to see this Congress impeach Trump: Not simply because, as bud likes to see it, they’re Republicans, but because thanks to the way they have drawn the districts, they walk in fear of that extreme minority…

      1. Mark Stewart

        Yes; I’m just giving them the benefit of the doubt and the opportunity to do the right thing for South Carolina; today and tomorrow.

        The reality is that options two and three will ultimately force their hand and reveal the hollowness of the legislative pandering. Unfortunately, that is not the best thing for representative democracy. I hate to see mob rule carry the day; though I am willing to make an exception with this issue. We have to stop perpetuating the vileness that is slavery. It holds everyone in the South back – black and white. It is a terrible patrimony.

        There are, and should be, a wide range of nuanced opinions on this; but there are only two positions underlying all of those – one like to the future, the other to the past.

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          Well, as I said I want to see it go away, too — because subsidiarity — but I wouldn’t characterize the current situation as arising entirely from “pandering.”

          Speaker Lucas, faced with political realities, probably did the smart and perhaps even moral thing when he promised his caucus that if they’d just go ahead and get the flag down, he would leave the rest of the Act intact. It was the one sure way to shut them up about “slippery slopes” and “where does it stop” and the other excuses people come up with not to do the right thing.

          I don’t know if you remember what it was like that night that the matter was before the House, but I was there, and it was pretty tense. There were some guys ready to lie down in front of the train, and he needed to prevent that. We had that one window for getting the flag down, and pretty much everyone was persuaded (I know I was) that we had a now-or-never situation in front of us.

          Things had gone smoothly in the Senate among Clementa Pinckney’s colleagues, but it was getting sticky in the House. Lucas did what he thought he had to to get the job done. The Art of the Possible and all that.

          And while I find it frustrating that such an Act still exists, I find it hard to condemn him for it…

          1. Mark Stewart

            No, nor would I. I will, however, hold him accountable should he, or anyone else, do anything other than work for our, and our children’s, future.

            Reality has a way of illuminating myopic fallacies.

    1. Claus2

      Maybe a rapper or NBA/NFL player or two. Street thugs hanging out on the corner selling drugs to grade school kids or carjacking… maybe a 17 year old baby-mama with her three kids who don’t look like each other.

    2. Brad Warthen Post author

      Actually, Burl, we kind of did that.

      Back in the 90s, someone came up with the idea of an African-American Monument for the State House grounds, as a sort of balance or compensation for the flag flying there. It was initially a part of a proposed compromise of some sort on the flag.

      That particular deal fell apart, as I recall, but the late John Stringer Rainey — an old-school patrician gentleman, the sort with a strong sense of noblesse oblige — wouldn’t let go of the idea of the African-American Monument. He undertook it as a personal mission, and raised the money to build it. It was a huge deal to him. I remember him talking to me about the proposal over lunch one day at the Cap City Club. After he excused himself, I spotted him standing down on the grounds of the State House, staring at the spot where the monument would go.

      It’s a pretty elaborate monument, with a lot of features. One of them is a representation of a slave ship with all the people’s bodies packed in like sardines. So that’s what I meant “we kind of did that.”

      It’s a fine thing in itself. But I did not like it presented as part of a deal — one of several advanced over the years that sought to separate black and white with a proposition of “Here’s something for YOU, and something for US.” Like the deal where we adopted an MLK holiday AND a Confederate Memorial Day holiday — because, you know, white folks couldn’t possibly want to honor MLK.

      The only “deal” I wanted on the flag was for a consensus of South Carolina, black and white, acting through our elected representatives, to decide it was time to take it down, period. That’s what we got in the end, though at a terrible cost…

      1. Claus2

        “Back in the 90s, someone came up with the idea of an African-American Monument for the State House grounds, as a sort of balance or compensation for the flag flying there. ”

        So now that the flag has been removed, can we move this abomination of a monument off of the Statehouse Grounds? Maybe move it somewhere more appropriate… like MLK Park.

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          Folks, again, I’m approving some comments that don’t really meet the standards for civility, because I think there’s a limit to the extent to which I should shield y’all from offensive statements.

          If y’all think I shouldn’t do that, discuss. But please, don’t waste time trying to convince me this isn’t offensive, as some of you are wont to do under such circumstances….

          1. Claus2

            Why didn’t you post my response? Is it because you can’t handle the truth? There was nothing bad in the response. Maybe the “man behind the curtain” thing touched a nerve.

            1. Brad Warthen Post author

              I forget what you said, but I think you were complaining about moderation.

              Well, there’s going to be moderation. I AM the man behind the curtain — and the one in front of it. And if people are just trying to be unpleasant, then I’m not going to allow their comments.

              And people who constantly say accusatory things like “I must have touched a nerve” are not participating in good faith.

              By the way, someone — “Richard” I think — asked what the civility policy is. I just deleted that because I didn’t feel like explaining it for the hundredth time. Just go to the search field and look for “civility.”

              But make NO mistake about the bottom line — it’s my blog. I’m the arbiter. If I think you’re being a pain and making this a less pleasant place for people to some and talk issues, that’s it.

              If I think a comment is of the kind that it would make another person read it and say, “I don’t want to get involved with THAT,” and leave the blog, I’m going to disallow it.

              And there’s no point in arguing about it…

  7. Margaret Pridgen (Maggie)

    A guy in Wilmington, NC, has an interesting idea. He added a white flag of surrender to one such monument that he has to walk by every day on his way to work. As he explains: “It’s a participation trophy for someone on the wrong side of history. A war was fought here and this stuff happened, but the white flag gives it context.”

    People keep taking the flag down, and he keeps putting it back up.

  8. bud

    A quick count shows about 4 comments on the monuments for every comment on Trump’s Afghan strategy. That is both fascinating and frustrating. Just seems to me that an issue that may cost a trillion$ and put thousands of Americans in harms way should warrant more attention than a few statues that until recently were generally ignored. But that’s just me. Or so it seems.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      While you and I are unlikely to agree on specifics, you know that I care deeply about the larger point — in this country, we pay too little attention to foreign affairs. Too many Americans just don’t care enough. This produces dangerous results, such as people voting for Mr. America First…

  9. Mark Stewart

    I’ve read the SC Code of Laws – Title 10. I read it differently in a couple of crucial ways than has been reported (necessity of 2/3 vote of both chambers to make changes).

    The section before the 2000 Heritage Act is Section 10-1-163. It specifically applies to the SC Statehouse and grounds, while the 2000 Act talks about other public areas of the State.

    The 1995 Act 145 says:

    “Location of portraits, flags, banners, monuments, statues, and plaques removed from State House during renovations; payment of costs of removal and return.

    (A) All portraits, flags, banners, monuments, statues, and plaques which were in or on the State House on May 1, 1995, which may be removed from the State House during renovations must be returned to their original location when the State House is reoccupied. Cost for removing and returning these items must be paid from the funds of the Department of Administration for maintenance. When all portraits, flags, banners, monuments, statues, and plaques are returned to their original location after the renovations are completed, the location of these items must not be changed in the chambers of the House of Representatives unless approved by the Speaker of the House of Representatives and in the chambers of the Senate unless approved by an absolute majority of the Senate members. The location of all portraits, flags, banners, monuments, statues, and plaques located outside of the respective chambers must not be changed unless approved by an act passed by the General Assembly. For purposes of this subsection, “original location” means the general vicinity or at an alternative location if the wall or structure is removed or modified such that the portrait, flag, banner, monument, statue, or plaque cannot be returned to its original location.

    (B) All costs for the display, cleaning, and restoration of all portraits, flags, banners, monuments, statues, and plaques on the exterior or interior of the State House except those inside the Senate and House Chambers must be paid from the accounts of General Services, Division of the Department of Administration unless otherwise directed by the General Assembly.

    Here is the relevant text: “The location of all portraits, flags, banners, monuments, statues, and plaques located outside of the respective chambers must not be changed unless approved by an act passed by the General Assembly. For purposes of this subsection, “original location” means the general vicinity or at an alternative location if the wall or structure is removed or modified such that the portrait, flag, banner, monument, statue, or plaque cannot be returned to its original location.

    In other words, for alterations to the Statehouse and grounds, only a simple majority of the General Assembly is required to approve changes for these items.

    An interesting wrinkle also appears in the 2000 Heritage Act (Section 10-1-165): “No person may prevent the public body responsible for the monument or memorial from taking proper measures and exercising proper means for the protection, preservation, and care of these monuments, memorials, or nameplates.”

    In other words, there may be no reason why local governments may not take the proper measures and exercise the proper means to protect , preserve and care for these monuments, etc. Walling them up or covering them as was done in Charlottesville and other places would appear to be wholly consistent with the intent of the 2000 Act, so long as they remain in place as situated.

    I can see Lucas getting a simple majority to approve such appropriate changes to the Statehouse and grounds. And I can see many municipalities being willing to protect these monuments from potential vandalism and the deleterious effects of the passage of the seasons. So why not now?

  10. Burl Burlingame

    How about moving the statues to the top of tall buildings, so they can act as for-real lightning rods?

  11. Bart Rogers

    One final comment about the removal of statues or symbols that some find offensive. It started with the removal of the Confederate flag in SC after the shooting of 9 worshipers in Charleston by a white supremacist. Then, the next was the protest in Charlottesville by skin heads, KKK, white supremacists, and some who were not members of any SPLC designated hate group. Someone ran their vehicle into the crowd and a young lady was killed. Then the other rallies that ended up being cancelled but there was still violence. Confederate statues were removed or vandalized. The issue has become a flash point and as predicted, it has moved beyond Confederate statues, monuments and into the naming of streets, buildings, military bases, and other places where anyone connected to the Confederacy is displayed. The other side of the coin is now being shown because the statue removals were not enough.

    A theater in Memphis has cancelled the annual showing of “Gone With the Wind” because it is offensive to some based on the claim is that it is too sympathetic to the South. But to go a little further in the PC and SJW movement, a Catholic School in California has removed the statues of the Virgin Mary and baby Jesus because the student body has a high percentage of non-Catholics and some parents complained.

    If one doesn’t want to go to a theater and watch the movie, they have freedom of choice to not go. I don’t believe anyone is standing on the sidewalk in Memphis, sticking a weapon in their side and forcing them into the theater. As for the Catholic school, the tuition starts at around $35k for kindergarten and up to $45k plus for higher grade levels. It is still a Catholic school, not a secular public school. If one wishes to pay tuition for their child or children to attend and if the school of choice is a Catholic school, if they cannot understand or accept that simple fact, they need to look elsewhere for a place to send their children. By the very nature of the name of the school and the fact it is Catholic, there will be religious statues and an even stronger likelihood one or two will be of the Virgin Mary and Baby Jesus.

    Think it won’t get worse? Think again.

    1. Mark Stewart

      And so you would propose what?

      History, our quest for present interpretation of past events, is always in a constant state of revision. That’s what the United Daughters of the Conferderacy sought to do by reclaiming their perceived losses through the iconization of “the lost cause”. Why do we have to accept this white-washing of the historical record as perpetual fact?

      The real history is that the Confederacy lost, slavery was abolished and 150 years later we are still struggling some to reach full acceptance in America that everyone should have equal rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as citizens of this nation.

      We can celebrate the sacrifices of forfathers, but do we really need to publicly lionize the post-civil war revisionist movement? Would Robert E. Lee in defeat have wanted his statue erected across the South? Is Wade Hampton’s monument a honorific of his battlefield leadership; or, is it instead a memorial to a terrorist and governmental usurper? They are not all easy calls; but some are indeed obvious to any willing to be objective and empathetic. Let’s get going on those.

      1. Claus2

        So what do we do about the African American Monument on the Statehouse grounds? Isn’t that a reminder of slavery, so should it also go? Because we need to eradicate every single reminder of slavery in this country before some people will shut up and find something else to complain about. Like I’ve suggested before, the pyramids in Egypt were constructed by slave labor, those things should also be destroyed because when I see a picture of the Sphinx or of an Egyptian pyramid a tear comes to my eye thinking of all those poor mistreated slaved who were forced to build them.

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          You’re kind of obsessed with that, aren’t you? Does it just stick in your craw that there’s a monument to black people amid all the ones to white people on the State House grounds?

          1. Claus2

            Kind of the kettle calling the pot black aren’t you there Mr. Kettle? Should we begin naming things that you obsess about on the Statehouse grounds? If we’re going to start removing them, let’s remove all of them including the one of dear old slave owner George Washington.

            1. Brad Warthen Post author

              Name one thing currently on the State House grounds that I am “obsessing” about. You can’t, because I can’t. So what are you talking about?

              1. Claus2

                Currently none, but I can remember you obsessing about the flag on the dome, the flag on the pole not to mention your obsessing about Trump on a hourly basis.

                1. Brad Warthen Post author

                  That’s exactly right. The flag had to go, and it would have been wrong to sit still for a minute as long as it continued to fly on State House grounds.

                  Ditto with Trump. Every moment he remains in office is a gross insult to this country and what it stands for. When he’s out of office, I’ll be very, very glad to forget that he ever existed…

            2. swampbubbles

              Is this your cry:

              No Trump No Wall No USA at all?

              You are GOING DOWN in court if you don’t die first from…what’s your official disability – diabetes – ?

          1. Mark Stewart

            Right, you weren’t the intended audience, though it is likely you are the one who understands the analogy.

    2. Brad Warthen Post author

      The push and pull of ideas in a pluralistic society… that’s what this is.

      Much of it is silly, of course. But neither taking statues down or leaving them up will be the end of America.

      If I were to care a great deal about this — say, if I HAD to have a position, because it was my job — I would say we have two categories here: We have the discussion about Confederate monuments (and Jim Crow monuments like the one to Ben Tillman), and we have all the nonsense about George Washington, Teddy Roosevelt, Christopher Columbus, etc.

      The first is a discussion that arguably has some merit — after all, we’re talking about monuments that were usually raised in the political context of whites reasserting supremacy after Reconstruction. That’s a legitimate political discussion about the central conflict of our history, and how we publicly memorialize it.

      The second isn’t worth a thought, outside the context of university “safe spaces” where people talk about such nonsense.

      (And the Virgin Mary — that fits into neither. It’s private, not public.)

      I have no particular appetite for any of it — we got the flag down, and that’s what mattered to me. (A flag flying from a pole has life, and it states the lie that what this flag symbolizes holds sway in the here and now. Marble, granite and bronze monuments are cold and lifeless, and clearly have to do with the past.) But I’m willing to participate in discussions related to the first category…

      1. Mark Stewart

        Stand in the middle of Main Street and look to the Statehouse. Imagine what it must have felt like as a newly freed – and enfranchised – person to see what was supposed to be a memorial to fallen soldiers hijacked to serve as an ever-present sentinel of the continuation of white supremacy. This is not sited to honor mourning, it is placed to instill fear and repression.

        I don’t have anything to fear from that statue, and yet it still turns my stomach sour every time I see it “guarding” South Carolina’s seat of Legislative and Executive power.

        1. Doug Ross

          “This is not sited to honor mourning, it is placed to instill fear and repression.”

          WAS not IS. Let’s try and live in the reality that most people (black or white) don’t give those statues a moment’s thought. The statues represent a bygone era that no longer exists except in the small minds of a tiny group of hangers on.

          1. Claus2

            Let’s shut down the State Museum while we’re at it… there are items on display in there that may upset people… and in today’s society we can’t have that. Next let’s hit the public libraries, all of those horrible books telling stories of terrible times… they must go, who’s with me… I can bring the matches.

            1. Brad Warthen Post author

              Again, I’m not interested in fighting about monuments.

              But it’s REALLY ridiculous to lump monuments in with museums. They’re as different as night and day. A monument is about honoring. A museum is about remembering, and learning from. Entirely different — so much so, it feels kind of ridiculous to have to point it out…

          2. Mark Stewart

            If you accept that it WAS placed where it was for the purpose of rejecting what was then a majority of the state’s population, then it really doesn’t matter if people today (in your mind) don’t feel it is alienating; it should still be removed to another location.

            I don’t reject the memorial statue, I do however reject the political statement it made – and continues to make. It is inappropriate; no, it is offensive to all of us here in the present and those who will live in the future South Carolina. Isn’t that a good enough reason to relocate the statue?

  12. Chuckie

    All I can say is: If you want to add context to these monuments by adding a plaque or something of that nature, you’d better make sure they’re strongly anchored to the monument itself, because there are folks out there who will make every effort to rip these historical “addenda” down. Until several years ago there was a historical marker (not a monument, but one of those heavy grey-colored signs) on the outskirts of Greenville marking the spot where a lynching took place. It wasn’t up but a few years before somebody ripped it off the post. It hasn’t been replaced.

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