How Will Creating Lynching Monuments Set Things Right?

 

The Civil War of the United States will never be over, if some groups have their say.

I missed this story last year; its current iteration saddens and frustrates me. It seems that some people want to transform our history, create new villains and victims, design a story that will make some folks hate others more than ever, and pity those who had little power. I don’t think a lynching monument, or several of them, are going to improve this picture.

Last fall the Equal Justice Initiative was in the process of building a monument to memorialize the history of lynching in our country; the intention, in part, was to contrast them with the Confederate statues that were erected in the South.  One person tried to explain the rationale behind the lynching monuments:

‘What we are trying to do is tell the real truth,’ DeKalb County NAACP President Teresa Hardy said of the new memorial, which she hoped would be a slab marker including the names of people lynched in her county.

Lynching memorials or markers also are being considered in Birmingham, Ala., Tallahassee, Fla., and other places with public Confederate monuments and markers.

The decisions to put up lynching memorials is odd on many levels. Some people say that people need to know that lynchings took place. I agree. They were a despicable part of our history and should be taught in our high school-level history classes. In some ways, however, establishing these memorials seems like payback: if white people can celebrate Southern Civil War heroes, black people can punish them by reminding them that the South not only fought a dishonorable war, but Southerners unjustly lynched blacks.

I understand that for some people, reminders of the Civil War are painful. But has it occurred to the black community that the Confederate statues not only celebrate bravery and leadership, but also remind us that hundreds of thousands of people died on both sides? Isn’t there a benefit to having reminders of our worst wars so that we take them seriously, so that we honor human life, and never forget the horrific experiences we have been through? Don’t we benefit from facing the truth, whether we live in the North or South, that our Republic is fragile and sometimes seriously at risk?

Activist blacks say that racism will never be over, that white people are inherently racist. Yet I doubt that these kinds of movements to build lynching memorials are helpful in planting seeds of reconciliation.

The best question I’ve seen about putting up lynching monuments was this one:

Some who consider Confederate monuments racist have questioned whether putting up new markers about lynching reinforces notions of black people as victims.

‘I’m not sure how I feel about this landscape where we have monuments to white triumph and next to it or down the road you have monuments to black victimization,’ said Nina Silber, a Boston University history professor.

What do you think?

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  1. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Stad (View Comment):

    Let me get this right: If a lefty artist hangs a noose from a tree, it’s a memorial to lynching. If anyone else does it, it’s racist.

    No, that’s not quite it, @stad (and I think you know that). I don’t think they will be quite that realistic, although there may be photos and examples inside. But then again, I don’t know for sure.

    • #31
  2. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Valiuth (View Comment):
    Im confused by your first paragraph. Do you think the history of African American suffering is simply too short to warrant public memorialization? Surely not. And as to Jews not feeling victimized or having a victim mentality, I am also puzzled. Seems to me Jews today spend plenty of time worrying about their own victimization, and mind you I dont find this unwarranted. Plenty of antisemitism still around. But that doesn’t seem to me to be so different from what African Americans feel.

    @valiuth, you bring up a number of fair points. You’re correct on my “length of time” comments: how long a person suffers is not the issue, and I apologize. I do think, however, that there are some who think they are the only groups who are victimized, and don’t appreciate that Jews have suffered for as long as they do. But that’s a different issue. Regarding Jews worrying about their victimization–my issue about victimization is not whether one feels victimized at times, but whether one primarily identifies as a victim. I think (I can’t prove it) that this kind of identity is not the primary identity of Jews, but there seem to be many blacks who identify that way. I, for one, do not identify primarily as a victim. I do become alarmed at reports of anti-Semitism because the world has a long history of scapegoating and murdering Jews. The degree to which a person identifies as a victim or not cannot be measured, so I don’t know a different way to explain it. I appreciate your challenge because it helped me clarify the idea for myself, and therefore for others.

    Valiuth (View Comment):
    To me it seems that people here are too easily dismissing the feeling and anxieties of African Americans. I think as a Jew you might sympathize more, after all if I told you you worry too much about the “anti-zionism” of the progressives you might think me at best niave if not outright insensitive or even secretly sympathetic to it. 

    I object to the blacks who exaggerate the degree of racism that exists, and refuse to recognize the huge strides this country has made regarding racism. I also object to those blacks who believe that whites are all racist. And I also object to those who turn innocent and silly comments into racist attacks. Yes, there are Jews who do this, too, but I think it tends to happen more with the black community. I am proud that America is one of the most tolerant countries in the world, toward blacks and Jews and other groups, and I object to those who discount that fact.

    Valiuth (View Comment):
    To me it seems that because racism is used as a political cudgel against Republicans that endorsing these monuments will only help to fuel and empower the various race grifters that exist in the African American community. But grifters will manipulate any situation, so in general I think it’s best to put them out of mind. And ask your self this. Do you honestly think lynching victims are not worthy of public memorialization, a kind ofs civic beatification? Public monuments long outlive their initial political meanings and significance and they carry on as messages from the past to a future present. And these monuments to the victims of lynching will, I think, carry on a crucial message to never forget that evil exists in this world, even in a pleasant peaceful American town, and that it was not the work of dispassionate nature but willful human action. And thus we must ever be vigilant against it.

    I totally support this comment. Beautifully said.

    If I’ve been unclear or you want me to expound further, let me know.

    • #32
  3. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    Let me get this right: If a lefty artist hangs a noose from a tree, it’s a memorial to lynching. If anyone else does it, it’s racist.

    No, that’s not quite it, @stad (and I think you know that). I don’t think they will be quite that realistic, although there may be photos and examples inside. But then again, I don’t know for sure.

    I think there is an ulterior motive by the left for these lynching “memorials”.  Holocaust memorials are there to remind us the level of depravity human beings can sink to in their treatment of others.  I feel these lynching “memorials” are only there to keep blacks angry at whites and voting Democrat.  Yes, I got very cynical when I read your post . . .

    • #33
  4. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Stad (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    Let me get this right: If a lefty artist hangs a noose from a tree, it’s a memorial to lynching. If anyone else does it, it’s racist.

    No, that’s not quite it, @stad (and I think you know that). I don’t think they will be quite that realistic, although there may be photos and examples inside. But then again, I don’t know for sure.

    I think there is an ulterior motive by the left for these lynching “memorials”. Holocaust memorials are there to remind us the level of depravity human beings can sink to in their treatment of others. I feel these lynching “memorials” are only there to keep blacks angry at whites and voting Democrat. Yes, I got very cynical when I read your post . . .

    Actually I think two purposes can be involved. These memorials can also remind us of the depravity of human beings AND to perpetuate racism. That’s what I’m coming to conclude.

    • #34
  5. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    I would suggest that shrines are to humans or the holy while monuments are to great men or events. 

    Martyrs sort of straddle the line between victim and great men. 

    The Viet Nam Memorial is a list of soldiers who died. Some will doubtless insist that they were victims and some would say they were great men to a man. Both positions have less to do with the soldiers and much to do with the politics of those who would take such a position. 

    I imagine the South is full of hangin’ trees, some few of which might even have been used for an actual hanging. A brass plaque and a new rope would make for the most powerful reminder you could ever have. I don’t imagine this is what anyone wants. 

    So a carved block with names? What do we do with people who were lynched but weren’t black? I don’t want to suggest that lynching was equal-opportunity, but it wasn’t race-exclusive either. 

    Which brings me to another point; lynchings are extra-judicial executions. Vigilante justice, but, who gets executed for what is the thing that varied. 

    Black people could be executed for almost any ‘crime’, or no crime at all.* The state, usually jealous of the right to smite, was often complicit in these extra-judicial killings. 

    Also, black people were not in a position to get either justice or extra-judicial revenge. 

    My point – assuming I really have one – might be that lynching isn’t the actual issue; rather it was that we had a culture that held that killing black people was not that big of a deal. 

    Not sure you can put that on a monument. 

    • #35
  6. Valiuth Inactive
    Valiuth
    @Valiuth

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    Let me get this right: If a lefty artist hangs a noose from a tree, it’s a memorial to lynching. If anyone else does it, it’s racist.

    No, that’s not quite it, @stad (and I think you know that). I don’t think they will be quite that realistic, although there may be photos and examples inside. But then again, I don’t know for sure.

    I think there is an ulterior motive by the left for these lynching “memorials”. Holocaust memorials are there to remind us the level of depravity human beings can sink to in their treatment of others. I feel these lynching “memorials” are only there to keep blacks angry at whites and voting Democrat. Yes, I got very cynical when I read your post . . .

    Actually I think two purposes can be involved. These memorials can also remind us of the depravity of human beings AND to perpetuate racism. That’s what I’m coming to conclude.

    So isn’t this then the debate about confederate Civil War monuments just mirrored back? That those monuments were placed with ulterior motives for the purpose of perpetuating white racism and maintaining segregationist sentiments alive by glorifying the fight  for the preservation of slavery?  It seems to me people want to have it both ways. That you can defend Confederate monuments as just commemorations of history with no ulterior motives and implications but to accuse monuments to the victims of the Confederacy and its ideology of being purely political and revenge driven. Does that math really add up? 

     

    • #36
  7. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    Valiuth (View Comment):
    Does that math really add up? 

    Not even slightly.

    • #37
  8. Joshua Bissey Inactive
    Joshua Bissey
    @TheSockMonkey

    @susanquinn,

    Your OP includes some quotations that I don’t see in the article you linked. Was there another webpage you meant to link to?

    I’m not sure I understand why lynching memorials would be a problem. We have memorials for the World Trade Center and OK City federal building attacks, so this would seem similar. There are also Holocaust museums, not to mention the concentration camps and death camps still standing. Sure, lefties will use them for their sick purposes, as they do everything else. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have them.

    Susan Quinn: Activist blacks say that racism will never be over, that white people are inherently racist. Yet I doubt that these kinds of movements to build lynching memorials are helpful in planting seeds of reconciliation.

    “Activist blacks”? Like Candace Owens? I don’t think “activist blacks” are the problem. Leftists are the problem.

    • #38
  9. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Joshua Bissey (View Comment):

    @susanquinn,

    Your OP includes some quotations that I don’t see in the article you linked. Was there another webpage you meant to link to?

    I’m not sure I understand why lynching memorials would be a problem. We have memorials for the World Trade Center and OK City federal building attacks, so this would seem similar. There are also Holocaust museums, not to mention the concentration camps and death camps still standing. Sure, lefties will use them for their sick purposes, as they do everything else. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have them.

    Susan Quinn: Activist blacks say that racism will never be over, that white people are inherently racist. Yet I doubt that these kinds of movements to build lynching memorials are helpful in planting seeds of reconciliation.

    “Activist blacks”? Like Candace Owens? I don’t think “activist blacks” are the problem. Leftists are the problem.

    Sorry. Here are the links I quoted from:

    http://www.wsfa.com/story/36601770/eji-presents-plans-for-lynching-monument/

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/in-the-south-new-monuments-look-to-honor-victims-of-lynching-11551535200?mod=searchresults&page=1&pos=1

    https://eji.org/about-eji

    I believe I asked whether they would be helpful for reconciliation, since blacks feel racism will always exist–not whether or not we should build them.

    When I speak of activist blacks, I’m thinking of Black Lives Matter, not Candace Owens. You’re right–she’s an activist too, and I support her work.

    • #39
  10. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Valiuth (View Comment):
    So isn’t this then the debate about confederate Civil War monuments just mirrored back? That those monuments were placed with ulterior motives for the purpose of perpetuating white racism and maintaining segregationist sentiments alive by glorifying the fight for the preservation of slavery? It seems to me people want to have it both ways. That you can defend Confederate monuments as just commemorations of history with no ulterior motives and implications but to accuse monuments to the victims of the Confederacy and its ideology of being purely political and revenge driven. Does that math really add up? 

    I didn’t say I supported Confederate monuments. I’m ambivalent, but I’m not sure that tearing them down is helpful, since they are already there. In fact, they might be important as a testament to the long-lingering sentiments of the South after the Civil War that erupted in violence and hatred. Not such a good picture, either, IMHO. But true.

    • #40
  11. Valiuth Inactive
    Valiuth
    @Valiuth

    TBA (View Comment):

    My point – assuming I really have one – might be that lynching isn’t the actual issue; rather it was that we had a culture that held that killing black people was not that big of a deal. 

    Not sure you can put that on a monument. 

    How does one capture heroic sacrifice in a monument either? I think even a simple plaque with a list of names can be a powerful reminder. A statue of a known or particularly memorable victim could also work. I also don’t think the monuments and commemorations need to be exhaustive off all people so unfairly treated. Even the Catholic Church has not canonized all martyrs, though all of them are thought worthy of the honor. 

    • #41
  12. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):

    Ulysses S Grant did not loathe Robert E Lee like Eisenhower loathed Nazi leaders. Grant and Lee trained together. They both loved the Constitution and God. If nothing else, Confederate monuments like Stone Mountain can remind us that it was a war between brothers with good people throughout.

    I don’t object categorically to memorials about shameful episodes. But there are few I would trust to design them. And it seems advisable to more frequently memorialize heroism than victimhood.

    This is why I’m generally not in favor of monuments to victims. Society gains more by encouraging heroism. Memorials to lynching are not a “balance” to monuments to Confederate generals or soldiers, but creating such memorials will likely lead to a tit-for-tat false accounting that will undermine both the effort to acknowledge heroism and the effort to remember those have unjustly died. I also have some concern that memorials to lynching will come to be seen less as memorials to the victims than to be beat-downs of all white people.

    The heroism of black soldiers who were formerly slaves is legendary. With very little training and equipment they were incredibly brave and immediately gained the respect of their white peers (many of whom did not think black-Americans capable of such discipline and bravery until they were proved wrong). Rather than cement the idea that black-Americans are always victims why not remember people who were born with nothing but fought for everything. 

    • #42
  13. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):
    Rather than cement the idea that black-Americans are always victims why not remember people who were born with nothing but fought for everything. 

    Beautifully said, @henrycastaigne.

    • #43
  14. Valiuth Inactive
    Valiuth
    @Valiuth

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Valiuth (View Comment):
    So isn’t this then the debate about confederate Civil War monuments just mirrored back? That those monuments were placed with ulterior motives for the purpose of perpetuating white racism and maintaining segregationist sentiments alive by glorifying the fight for the preservation of slavery? It seems to me people want to have it both ways. That you can defend Confederate monuments as just commemorations of history with no ulterior motives and implications but to accuse monuments to the victims of the Confederacy and its ideology of being purely political and revenge driven. Does that math really add up?

    I didn’t say I supported Confederate monuments. I’m ambivalent, but I’m not sure that tearing them down is helpful, since they are already there. In fact, they might be important as a testament to the long-lingering sentiments of the South after the Civil War that erupted in violence and hatred. Not such a good picture, either, IMHO. But true.

    Well that is my view. There is plenty of good arguments to be made about the ulterior motives for the erection of many of these monuments. But as I said in an earlier post their initial political motives can and do over time fade. Different people can then look at them in a different time and walk away with different impressions. I don’t think we need to go on a binge of tearing down Confederate monuments, though I have some strong sympathies for those who wish to do it through legitimate means (ie. petitioning a town council and holding some sort of vote). After all some of this reminds me of the clearing out of monuments to Communism and the USSR that were littered throughout Eastern Europe. I think if you wish to better contextualize the Confederate Monuments that do stand you need to have the other side of the Southern experience represented. It was precisely the need by Southern Whites to exclude blacks from the society they rightfully belonged to that helped perpetuate the wounds of the Civil War into modern times. I don’t think you can now try to exclude the public commemorations they feel are necessary to have their experience represented and think you are doing anything else other than perpetuating the old patterns. 

     

    • #44
  15. Joshua Bissey Inactive
    Joshua Bissey
    @TheSockMonkey

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    I believe I asked whether they would be helpful for reconciliation, since blacks feel racism will always exist–not whether or not we should build them.

    When I speak of activist blacks, I’m thinking of Black Lives Matter, not Candace Owens. You’re right–she’s an activist too, and I support her work.

     In both paragraphs, I think it would make more sense to say “leftists,” instead of “blacks.” That way, you’re talking about people that think in a certain way, instead of broad-brushing all black people.

    Or, for “activist blacks,” substitute “professional grievance-mongers,” or “race-hustling race-baiters,” etc.

    • #45
  16. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):
    Rather than cement the idea that black-Americans are always victims why not remember people who were born with nothing but fought for everything.

    Beautifully said, @henrycastaigne.

    I (if it matters, a late-middle-aged white “cis-normal heterosexual” man) have been much more moved by museum displays and stories of 1) a former slave who became an extremely sought-after builder of wagons for westward moving families; 2) a former slave who became a successful tavern owner and property owning landlord; 3) a slave whose owner let him keep earnings from a side business the slave ran making pottery, which slave became a very successful and sought-after potter; several former slaves who became successful and sought-after cowboys in Texas; etc. than I have by displays of “victims.”

    In other words, I am impressed and encouraged by people who took the situation they were dealt and made something of themselves. Those displays remind me that I can do something with whatever I have been dealt. 

    • #46
  17. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):
    In other words, I am impressed and encouraged by people who took the situation they were dealt and made something of themselves. Those displays remind me that I can do something with whatever I have been dealt. 

    So it’s subtly anti-leftist and pro-market and pro-human. That sounds great. 

    • #47
  18. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    What was the name of the book/movie of a free black man who was kidnapped and turned into a slave and when freed, became successful. Not only was the movie great but the book, written by the man himself, was incredible!

    • #48
  19. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    What was the name of the book/movie of a free black man who was kidnapped and turned into a slave and when freed, became successful. Not only was the movie great but the book, written by the man himself, was incredible!

    12 Years a Slave.

    • #49
  20. Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… Coolidge
    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo…
    @GumbyMark

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):
    Rather than cement the idea that black-Americans are always victims why not remember people who were born with nothing but fought for everything.

    Beautifully said, @henrycastaigne.

    I (if it matters, a late-middle-aged white “cis-normal heterosexual” man) have been much more moved by museum displays and stories of 1) a former slave who became an extremely sought-after builder of wagons for westward moving families; 2) a former slave who became a successful tavern owner and property owning landlord; 3) a slave whose owner let him keep earnings from a side business the slave ran making pottery, which slave became a very successful and sought-after potter; several former slaves who became successful and sought-after cowboys in Texas; etc. than I have by displays of “victims.”

    In other words, I am impressed and encouraged by people who took the situation they were dealt and made something of themselves. Those displays remind me that I can do something with whatever I have been dealt.

    This is not an either/or.  There are examples of those who were lynched precisely because they tried to make something of themselves.  So they also ended up as victims.

    • #50
  21. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Percival (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    What was the name of the book/movie of a free black man who was kidnapped and turned into a slave and when freed, became successful. Not only was the movie great but the book, written by the man himself, was incredible!

    12 Years a Slave.

    THANK YOU!!! Great book! Such courage, such resilience!

    • #51
  22. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):
    Rather than cement the idea that black-Americans are always victims why not remember people who were born with nothing but fought for everything.

    Beautifully said, @henrycastaigne.

    I (if it matters, a late-middle-aged white “cis-normal heterosexual” man) have been much more moved by museum displays and stories of 1) a former slave who became an extremely sought-after builder of wagons for westward moving families; 2) a former slave who became a successful tavern owner and property owning landlord; 3) a slave whose owner let him keep earnings from a side business the slave ran making pottery, which slave became a very successful and sought-after potter; several former slaves who became successful and sought-after cowboys in Texas; etc. than I have by displays of “victims.”

    In other words, I am impressed and encouraged by people who took the situation they were dealt and made something of themselves. Those displays remind me that I can do something with whatever I have been dealt.

    Americans love stories of underdogs who win against impossible odds. 

    Underdogs who stay under not so much. 

    • #52
  23. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… (View Comment):

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):
    Rather than cement the idea that black-Americans are always victims why not remember people who were born with nothing but fought for everything.

    Beautifully said, @henrycastaigne.

    I (if it matters, a late-middle-aged white “cis-normal heterosexual” man) have been much more moved by museum displays and stories of 1) a former slave who became an extremely sought-after builder of wagons for westward moving families; 2) a former slave who became a successful tavern owner and property owning landlord; 3) a slave whose owner let him keep earnings from a side business the slave ran making pottery, which slave became a very successful and sought-after potter; several former slaves who became successful and sought-after cowboys in Texas; etc. than I have by displays of “victims.”

    In other words, I am impressed and encouraged by people who took the situation they were dealt and made something of themselves. Those displays remind me that I can do something with whatever I have been dealt.

    This is not an either/or. There are examples of those who were lynched precisely because they tried to make something of themselves. So they also ended up as victims.

    Good point – a person can’t get more uppity than that. 

    • #53
  24. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    TBA (View Comment):

    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… (View Comment):

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):
    Rather than cement the idea that black-Americans are always victims why not remember people who were born with nothing but fought for everything.

    Beautifully said, @henrycastaigne.

    I (if it matters, a late-middle-aged white “cis-normal heterosexual” man) have been much more moved by museum displays and stories of 1) a former slave who became an extremely sought-after builder of wagons for westward moving families; 2) a former slave who became a successful tavern owner and property owning landlord; 3) a slave whose owner let him keep earnings from a side business the slave ran making pottery, which slave became a very successful and sought-after potter; several former slaves who became successful and sought-after cowboys in Texas; etc. than I have by displays of “victims.”

    In other words, I am impressed and encouraged by people who took the situation they were dealt and made something of themselves. Those displays remind me that I can do something with whatever I have been dealt.

    This is not an either/or. There are examples of those who were lynched precisely because they tried to make something of themselves. So they also ended up as victims.

    Good point – a person can’t get more uppity than that.

    Isn’t America made up of uppity peopole? My own family were German serfs under the Russian nobility. My ancestors had to to board a ship to America and make money with the sweat of their brow because they had no education or advantages. It took a generation but we came out ahead. Honestly, I’m better off here as a descandant of a refugee than being born in Russia. 

    My German ancestors would have been called uppity in Russia because they were smart about how to make money and they worked hard. 

    We Americans should all be uppity. We should all try to make more money than our ancestors in a decent way. The hell with victimhood, lets make money money and drink beer.

    • #54
  25. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    TBA (View Comment):

    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… (View Comment):

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):
    Rather than cement the idea that black-Americans are always victims why not remember people who were born with nothing but fought for everything.

    Beautifully said, @henrycastaigne.

    I (if it matters, a late-middle-aged white “cis-normal heterosexual” man) have been much more moved by museum displays and stories of 1) a former slave who became an extremely sought-after builder of wagons for westward moving families; 2) a former slave who became a successful tavern owner and property owning landlord; 3) a slave whose owner let him keep earnings from a side business the slave ran making pottery, which slave became a very successful and sought-after potter; several former slaves who became successful and sought-after cowboys in Texas; etc. than I have by displays of “victims.”

    In other words, I am impressed and encouraged by people who took the situation they were dealt and made something of themselves. Those displays remind me that I can do something with whatever I have been dealt.

    This is not an either/or. There are examples of those who were lynched precisely because they tried to make something of themselves. So they also ended up as victims.

    Good point – a person can’t get more uppity than that.

    Isn’t America made up of uppity peopole? My own family were German serfs under the Russian nobility. My ancestors had to to board a ship to America and make money with the sweat of their brow because they had no education or advantages. It took a generation but we came out ahead. Honestly, I’m better off here as a descandant of a refugee than being born in Russia.

    My German ancestors would have been called uppity in Russia because they were smart about how to make money and they worked hard.

    We Americans should all be uppity. We should all try to make more money than our ancestors in a decent way. The hell with victimhood, lets make money money and drink beer.

    I’m right there with you. There remains a streak in human nature where you can tolerate being down as long as you feel other people – worse people – are more down (or at least enough miserable). Their success is an assault on what was left of your self-esteem. Basically envy with a few minor tweaks. 

    • #55
  26. Joshua Bissey Inactive
    Joshua Bissey
    @TheSockMonkey

    TBA (View Comment):

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):
    Rather than cement the idea that black-Americans are always victims why not remember people who were born with nothing but fought for everything.

    Beautifully said, @henrycastaigne.

    I (if it matters, a late-middle-aged white “cis-normal heterosexual” man) have been much more moved by museum displays and stories of 1) a former slave who became an extremely sought-after builder of wagons for westward moving families; 2) a former slave who became a successful tavern owner and property owning landlord; 3) a slave whose owner let him keep earnings from a side business the slave ran making pottery, which slave became a very successful and sought-after potter; several former slaves who became successful and sought-after cowboys in Texas; etc. than I have by displays of “victims.”

    In other words, I am impressed and encouraged by people who took the situation they were dealt and made something of themselves. Those displays remind me that I can do something with whatever I have been dealt.

    Americans love stories of underdogs who win against impossible odds.

    Underdogs who stay under not so much.

    I hate to ask, but it sounds like you’re saying that someone who was lynched is choosing to “stay under.”

    • #56
  27. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    Joshua Bissey (View Comment):

    TBA (View Comment):

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):
    Rather than cement the idea that black-Americans are always victims why not remember people who were born with nothing but fought for everything.

    Beautifully said, @henrycastaigne.

    I (if it matters, a late-middle-aged white “cis-normal heterosexual” man) have been much more moved by museum displays and stories of 1) a former slave who became an extremely sought-after builder of wagons for westward moving families; 2) a former slave who became a successful tavern owner and property owning landlord; 3) a slave whose owner let him keep earnings from a side business the slave ran making pottery, which slave became a very successful and sought-after potter; several former slaves who became successful and sought-after cowboys in Texas; etc. than I have by displays of “victims.”

    In other words, I am impressed and encouraged by people who took the situation they were dealt and made something of themselves. Those displays remind me that I can do something with whatever I have been dealt.

    Americans love stories of underdogs who win against impossible odds.

    Underdogs who stay under not so much.

    I hate to ask, but it sounds like you’re saying that someone who was lynched is choosing to “stay under.”

    Not sure how you would get that from my comment and other comments I quoted. 

    • #57
  28. Joshua Bissey Inactive
    Joshua Bissey
    @TheSockMonkey

    TBA (View Comment):

    Joshua Bissey (View Comment):

    TBA (View Comment):

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):
    Rather than cement the idea that black-Americans are always victims why not remember people who were born with nothing but fought for everything.

    Beautifully said, @henrycastaigne.

    I (if it matters, a late-middle-aged white “cis-normal heterosexual” man) have been much more moved by museum displays and stories of 1) a former slave who became an extremely sought-after builder of wagons for westward moving families; 2) a former slave who became a successful tavern owner and property owning landlord; 3) a slave whose owner let him keep earnings from a side business the slave ran making pottery, which slave became a very successful and sought-after potter; several former slaves who became successful and sought-after cowboys in Texas; etc. than I have by displays of “victims.”

    In other words, I am impressed and encouraged by people who took the situation they were dealt and made something of themselves. Those displays remind me that I can do something with whatever I have been dealt.

    Americans love stories of underdogs who win against impossible odds.

    Underdogs who stay under not so much.

    I hate to ask, but it sounds like you’re saying that someone who was lynched is choosing to “stay under.”

    Not sure how you would get that from my comment and other comments I quoted.

    The conversation is about a monument to victims of lynching, so I thought perhaps that’s who you were talking about.

    • #58
  29. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    Joshua Bissey (View Comment):

    TBA (View Comment):

    Joshua Bissey (View Comment):

    TBA (View Comment):

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):
    Rather than cement the idea that black-Americans are always victims why not remember people who were born with nothing but fought for everything.

    Beautifully said, @henrycastaigne.

    I (if it matters, a late-middle-aged white “cis-normal heterosexual” man) have been much more moved by museum displays and stories of 1) a former slave who became an extremely sought-after builder of wagons for westward moving families; 2) a former slave who became a successful tavern owner and property owning landlord; 3) a slave whose owner let him keep earnings from a side business the slave ran making pottery, which slave became a very successful and sought-after potter; several former slaves who became successful and sought-after cowboys in Texas; etc. than I have by displays of “victims.”

    In other words, I am impressed and encouraged by people who took the situation they were dealt and made something of themselves. Those displays remind me that I can do something with whatever I have been dealt.

    Americans love stories of underdogs who win against impossible odds.

    Underdogs who stay under not so much.

    I hate to ask, but it sounds like you’re saying that someone who was lynched is choosing to “stay under.”

    Not sure how you would get that from my comment and other comments I quoted.

    The conversation is about a monument to victims of lynching, so I thought perhaps that’s who you were talking about.

    Yes, but the conversation has also touched on whether such a monument would reinforce feelings of victimhood. 

    • #59
  30. Joshua Bissey Inactive
    Joshua Bissey
    @TheSockMonkey

    I continue to be puzzled by the idea that we should now avoid memorializing victims, lest it contribute to victimhood culture. Memorializing victims is nothing new. In Missouri, we have a town called Japan, which is named for the local church (The Church of the Holy Martyrs of Japan). A whole church, and now a whole town, named after victims. Christianity has a long history of honoring those persecuted for the faith. As I pointed out before, there are memorials to the victims of the World Trade Center and Oklahoma City attacks. There are holocaust museums.

    None of those things contribute to a culture of victimhood. The purveyors of victim culture do that, and they don’t need memorials to do it.

     

    • #60
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