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History Study it well

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ChuckDyke

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Not sure what atheism has to do with this?
It is the next step up from deism influenced by Napoleon Bonaparte. Judaism is way older than Christianity religions were political systems of the past. Understand why theocracies make a come-back. They restore the old ways.
 

din djinn

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This is THE ONE history point I have been arguing for almost 40 years, since I moved to the South for university, and encountered a "new" history, different from what I thought was the established history we all learned. I am strongly opposed to perpetuating what I am convinced is a myth, The Lost Cause, so forgive me if I keep getting up on a soapbox to rant again.

Why do any of us assume that we were not indoctrinated, but that only others were/are victims?

I feel I was duped. There was important American history that I was never taught, nor anyone in my family, nor my friends. Things like I already mentioned: Juneteenth was not taught, while the Tulsa Race Massacre was deliberately hidden.

When I studied, travelled, and worked abroad later in life, I learned elements of U.S. history not taught in our schools during the 1970s-80s, when American exceptionalism was de rigueur. There is being proud of one's country, but then there is not being critical about things to the point of being fake.

This element of the Lost Cause Myth is not myth for some, but history. So, again, either I was indoctrinated (to believe it is myth), or the losers of the American Civil War ran the most successful propaganda campaign arguably in all history, but clearly American history. They, not the winners, wrote the history generations of Southerners were taught. Their efforts continue to have powerful cultural and political effects for this entire nation even to this day.

We are not learning from history when we are propping up propaganda. I could post page link after link about the Lost Cause myth, but anyone interested is capable of finding it.

The American Civil War figuratively, and in cases literally, pit brother against brother. It was a terrible time for the United States. Why must we go through this sort of thing again over inanimate statues? In many cases the fight is just about relocating these statues. America has many real problems to deal with, but it seems we are letting ourselves get distracted from solving them by culture wars, and no one is willing to compromise. Previously, compromise had been the key to success, growth, and progress, now it is seen as weakness and not tolerated.
 

Bulletpoint

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This element of the Lost Cause Myth is not myth for some, but history. So, again, either I was indoctrinated (to believe it is myth), or the losers of the American Civil War ran the most successful propaganda campaign arguably in all history, but clearly American history.
There's also a third option: That myths arise spontaneously when enough people want to believe them. There's no need for any specific people to sit down and invent the myth, then spread it through a propaganda campaign.

Why do any of us assume that we were not indoctrinated, but that only others were/are victims?

I don't.
 
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din djinn

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There's also a third option: That myths arise spontaneously when enough people want to believe them. There's no need for any specific people to sit down and invent the myth, then spread it through a propaganda campaign.
I am sure there is a part of that. But when the United Daughters of the Confederacy is allowed to vet text books and only allow those with their same "history" through, then I would call it more of a propaganda campaign, even if those spreading it believed it themselves.


 
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Bulletpoint

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I am sure there is a part of that. But when the United Daughters of the Confederacy is allowed to vet text books and only allow those with their same "history" through, then I would call it more of a propaganda campaign, even if those spreading it believed it themselves.
Yes, but it's a propaganda campaign that gets a lot of tailwind by appealing to feelings people already have. A bit like the "stab in the back" myth in Germany after WW1. When you have a nation that has been crushed on the battlefield and humiliated culturally, people always look for a new narrative.
 

din djinn

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My experience from living in the South, and getting to know folks that believe the myth affirms @Bulletpoint's point. These were not people with hate in their heart, conspiring together for any nefarious purposes. But that is not to say the lies within the myth did not do real damage to American people. And I guess that is my point. What right does preserving the myth, even uniting the country around it, whether or not there is a historical basis, outweigh the damage it can cause, even to one individual? Now, some of those same friends I made in the South, generations removed from the causes for and creation of the myth, take umbrage when you challenge the myth with historical fact, and in doing so, it often strengthens their desire to uphold the myth, especially for those still holding onto the roots of the myth's lessons (the lionization of the South). For those people, they see these attempts at corrections as attacks which then serve as a kind of validation that they, the South, were being attacked or punished. I just don't see anyone looking upon these statues and saying to themselves, "This must never happen again." So, what is the lesson they are learning?
 

Bulletpoint

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For those people, they see these attempts at corrections as attacks which then serve as a kind of validation that they, the South, were being attacked or punished. I just don't see anyone looking upon these statues and saying to themselves, "This must never happen again." So, what is the lesson they are learning?
I don't know enough about the USA to really answer that rhetorical question, but I think that deep down, everybody has a desire and maybe even a need to see themselves as part of the "good guys". Growing up in a country or region associated with evil and plagued by cultural guilt and shame must be extremely hard mentally. And the temptation to invent counternarratives must be very strong.
 
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din djinn

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My feeling is it becomes self-perpetuating. I feel it is time to move past the us versus them mentality. Let's let go of holding onto Civil War tropes so we can come together and step into the future. That is my hope. I think the best path towards that involves recognizing the history and not trying to be part of the myth. I don't blame anyone for any event that happened in the 1800s. They are all dead now. But maintaining two narratives is not unifying. Even if there are shameful things in the past, there is a lot the South can be proud of, that is part of history too, but more importantly part of the present. No one is responsible for what their ancestors did, only what they do, and we can all be better.

There is a zeal to bring down these monuments. A lot of it probably is misguided: No one is perfect, and we ought not judge people by today's standards. But there is a lot of pent up frustration because these statues are a kind of thorn that constantly pricks at some people. In terms of history, they represent oppression to the formerly oppressed, and praise those that were the oppressors, who the monuments often make out as valiant and courageous, and maybe suggest they, the white southerners, might be the "true victims" historically speaking, wronged by Northern aggressors and denied their rights.

I claim VERY few, if any can learn a redeeming lesson with these portrayals given places of honor. Place them in museums and give them some context. And I pray the U.S. stops clinging to the past and divisions, and looks more toward the future. How about this for a lesson from history, a speech from Lincoln:

"A house divided against itself, cannot stand."

I believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free.

I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided.

It will become all one thing or all the other.

Either the opponents of slavery will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction; or its advocates will push it forward, till it shall become lawful in all the States, old as well as new — North as well as South....


...

Did we brave all then to falter now? - now - when that same enemy is wavering, dissevered, and belligerent?

This result is not doubtful. We shall not fail-if we stand firm, we shall not fail.

Wise counsels may accelerate or mistakes delay it, but sooner or later the victory is sure to come.
 

HOA_KSOP

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I find it interesting that we should tear down symbols even if they offend ( and harm ?) even one person? So let me ask the obvious question. What if someone is offended by a statue of Gandhi? Martin Luther King? Nelson Mandela? I am sure that there is at least one person who is deeply offended by their likeness, so if we use the rationale stated in this thread shouldn't those statues come down? They offend someone, cause them "harm", so?

Let me give you some advice that a wise man (my father) once gave me. First, the only measure you should use to judge a person (or idea) is whether they are good or evil, judging them on anything else is nitpicking. Second, toughen your ass up, because there will always be someone out to kick it, chew it or kiss it. Roughly translated, you should have the morals and intelligence to discern and judge good and evil and act accordingly. Furthermore, your moral fiber should be developed enough not to be offended or harmed by ideas you don't agree with or symbols you don't like. At least that's the way ADULTS are supposed to function.
 

din djinn

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With all due respect, @Bootie, for I recognize this is your site, and I will leave hereafter if you wish, but I will now make one last appeal as my message was taken out of context with the statement you wish to close upon. @Hedgehog has brought this topic up in one form or another 3 times in the last month. I said as little as I could prior to that, but can no longer. (And I've PMed him and we are fine.) This topic has been my cause for 40 years and ending it on a mischaracterization of my remarks is unfair.

Why address the mischaracterization? Because this site is supposed to be about history, my position is in support of history, but no one is interested in the history.

"And I guess that is my point. What right does preserving the myth, even uniting the country around it, whether or not there is a historical basis, outweigh the damage it can cause, even to one individual?" I wrote that and stand by it. But the key word I would emphasize is MYTH. I am not asking that these be removed (AND preserved in a museum or cemetery!) because they offend people. But they do offend people, AND they are not history. This is a hot topic in America with everyone having an opinion based on this or that, but rarely do we ever see a debate from either side about the history. That was what I was trying to do here.

I privately explained to @Hedgehog to that I don't lose sleep over this but I am bemused that for all the emotion behind this, people don't understand the basic facts. These statues themselves are an attempt to recreate history from one perspective but totally at odds with historical fact.

It is nice to look at one's cause as right and just, but no where on Earth should we celebrate an unjust cause just because some people, the defeated South, doesn't "have the morals and intelligence to discern and judge good and evil and act accordingly" nor have "moral fiber" "developed enough not to be offended or harmed by ideas you don't agree with ." I claim those that want to keep these statues either do not know the history of them, find it irrelevant because they just want what they want, or they are okay with letting a few former slave holder families control the narrative with myths and falsehoods.

Did the South fight for liberty and self-determination? How about letting local governments decide for themselves to keep or remove these statues on local public land? Isn't that the same kind of thing the Confederacy allegedly stood for?

Final summary:
Look at the history. Let's teach historical facts, not "feel good fables."
Communities should be allowed to decide for themselves what to do, as should families, and individuals so long as it isn't breaking laws or harming others. Communities have decided to remove these. I am not telling communities that wish to keep them to tear them down despite my objections. Why do we outside the communities get to force them to keep them?

Peace
 

Stafford

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@din djinn without intending to speak for him, I believe @Bootie had military history in mind when he set up this site. Military as in the battles, tactics, strategies, and weapons employed - not the social or political history that caused them.

While your point is referencing people who were part of the military, they are controversial for sociopolitical reasons rather than military ones. We don't get into depth on those topics here because they are subjects people can get extremely passionate about and rapidly turn an otherwise fairly genial place of conversation into a very toxic one, as I'm sure you have seen happen on other forums.

I fully support @Bootie and the forum staff in keeping such things from happening here. There are plenty of other places to discuss sociopolitical issues if you are so inclined.
 
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