The well-deserved destruction of Silent Sam


Police stand guard after the confederate statue known as Silent Sam was toppled by protesters on campus at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, N.C., Monday, Aug. 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

Silent Sam was a Confederate war memorial at the University of North Carolina, that was dedicated to the Southern students who went to war for the Confederacy. It got toppled. There are many who are trying to argue the usual crap — it’s erasing history! Good people on both sides! The war was about state’s rights, not slavery! — you know, all the usual noise. So let’s unerase some history and go back to the statue’s unveiling in 1913, and the speech by Julian Carr. Carr was a white supremacist who supported the KKK, made his money with tobacco manufacturing, thought lynchings were a praiseworthy event, and was just generally a terrible human being.

His speech is interminable and overwrought, with much praise for the noble and heroic sons of the South who gave their life, and the dutiful and devout beautiful Southern women who supported them. There are poems in it, and classical allusions. I shall skip over those to the parts that are most discordant today.

The present generation, I am persuaded, scarcely takes note of what the Confederate soldier meant to the welfare of the Anglo Saxon race during the four years immediately succeeding the war, when the facts are, that their courage and steadfastness saved the very life of the Anglo Saxon race in the South – When “the bottom rail was on top” all over the Southern states, and to-day, as a consequence the purest strain of the Anglo Saxon is to be found in the 13 Southern States – Praise God.

Look at him, practicing Identity Politics! I guess the Civil War was actually about propping up the superiority of his narrow branch of white people. But then he gets personal.

I trust I may be pardoned for one allusion, howbeit it is rather personal. One hundred yards from where we stand, less than ninety days perhaps after my return from Appomattox, I horse-whipped a negro wench until her skirts hung in shreds, because upon the streets of this quiet village she had publicly insulted and maligned a Southern lady, and then rushed for protection to these University buildings where was stationed a garrison of 100 Federal soldiers. I performed the pleasing duty in the immediate presence of the entire garrison, and for thirty nights afterwards slept with a double-barrel shot gun under my head.

<jaw dropped>

He said that? He was proud of whipping a woman in public?

OK. Tear it down. Tear ’em all down.

Comments

  1. dobby says

    Never forget that “during the four years immediately succeeding the war” thousands of blacks and their supporters were murdered and schools, churches and other buildings destroyed. He was praising murderers and terrorists.

  2. Jado says

    He said that? He was proud of whipping a woman in public?

    PZ, you seem surprised. This is who they are – this is who they ALL are. If they are not active malicious racists, they are amoral greedheads who will gladly follow the malicious racists if it means another tax cut. They have no compassion or empathy. And therefore they need to be marginalized forever as an example of the unfortunate results of random genetic variation and poor education. Either they have heads full of bad wiring or they choose to indulge the faulty instructions they have been given as children, or both.

    It will be a good day when they are all on soapboxes shouting on a street corner, as hordes of pedestrians pass them by with a pitiful glance.

  3. lotharloo says

    Well, at least those racists and fascists could write and speak beyond fifth grade English, unlike the current racists and fascists in power.

  4. Saad says

    I horse-whipped a negro wench until her skirts hung in shreds, because upon the streets of this quiet village she had publicly insulted and maligned a Southern lady, and then rushed for protection to these University buildings where was stationed a garrison of 100 Federal soldiers. I performed the pleasing duty in the immediate presence of the entire garrison, and for thirty nights afterwards slept with a double-barrel shot gun under my head.

    Just a more articulate precursor to “Knock the crap out of him, would you?” and “I’d like to punch him in the face.”

    They all need to go. And if right winger point out that Washington and Jefferson were slave owners too, their statues and memorials can go too. Not having statues of someone doesn’t erase them from history. Just look at the fucking Nazis. They even keep coming back.

  5. tenine says

    If the statue is metal, as it appears to be, maybe it should be melted down and made into a memorial to all black women whipped all through the hell on earth history of this country.

  6. monad says

    The “bottom rail was on the top” taken from a quote by a former slave to a captured rebel. It was no natural calamity afflicting Anglo-Saxons to be resisted. It was a hole the Confederates had dug themselves into, and it is a lasting shame they made their way out so easily.

  7. says

    Yep, the “purest strain of the Anglo Saxon” was found in the South. Except for all those born of mixed parents who were able to “pass” as white, and their immediate descendannts. I suspect Carr would be surprised how “impure” some of the people he knew were.

  8. johnson catman says

    The racist republican legislators in Raleigh passed a law in 2015 making it illegal to remove the confederate statues from public grounds without their approval (which, as you can guess, they would never give). UNC is a public university, not private. Tim Moore, the State House Speaker, called for the arrest and prosecution of the “perpetrators”.

    The rally and takedown were well planned, with large protest banners first being raised around the statue. Eventually, a rope was attached, unseen by the police presence. Then it was quickly pulled down.

    At least one of the Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina system has called for the statue to be put back up. Because authoritarians gotta authoritate.

    There are three confederate statues on the grounds of the NC Capitol that were placed under guard to prevent anything from occurring. The governor had called for those to be moved to a Civil War battleground. The Historical Commission that met to determine the fate of those refused to do anything citing the 2015 law as preventing the commission from acting.

    As a side note, the statue that was pulled down in Durham last year has yet to be put back up, and all of the cases against the protesters and “perpetrators” were dropped by the Durham County DA.

  9. Janstince says

    I’m a little concerned.

    Those students used the wrong techniques. For one thing, they should have been much farther away. Even bronze has been known to shatter, and I’d hate to see good students hurt by racist shrapnel.

  10. unclefrogy says

    It will be a good day when they are all on soapboxes shouting on a street corner, as hordes of pedestrians pass them by with a pitiful glance.

    that or something similar is what I would like to see happen to that a-hole from Queens
    uncle frogy

  11. naturalcynic says

    So when are they going to change the name of the city directly west of Chapel Hill – Carrboro?
    I suggest that they bury all the statues a few miles north at Bennett Place, where the largest surrender of Confederate soldiers under Gen Johnston was made to Union Gen. Sherman.

  12. wzrd1 says

    Yep, the “purest strain of the Anglo Saxon” was found in the South.

    I’m sure that line would’ve played out real well in much of Louisiana.
    Where riding him out of town on a rail very well may have been revived.

  13. marcoli says

    Ironically, at this very time Catholic run universities and other schools in Pennsylvania are changing the names of places that were named after priests involved in the rape of children. I don’t hear people saying “they are trying to erase history!!!”

  14. rcs619 says

    As a southerner, screw all these people who idolize traitors. You literally can’t be more anti-american than the Confederate States of America. They didn’t want to be a part of the US any more, and they butchered thousands upon thousands of US soldiers in their attempt to break away.

    Absolutely keep the history alive. Never forget (and never let the south forget) what we did to each other, but do it in its proper context and in an appropriate venue.

    Honestly, a lot of it is a desperate attempt to sooth their own worries. They can’t get over the fact that their ancestors were the badguys, and they feel like that makes them bad people by association or something. So they cling to the lost cause narrative, they cling to the “history” defense, so that they don’t have to accept the fact that their ancestors fought for a bunch of white-supremacist traitors. They want to base part of their identity on being a southerner and having ties to the Civil War, but they don’t want any of the baggage that goes with that. I know I absolutely had ancestors who fought for the south. I can accept that, at the time and in their context, it probably made sense. They were still on the wrong side and I’m glad they lost though.

    I can appreciate why the US treated the south with such kid gloves after the war, but sometimes I really wonder if it wouldn’t have been better to have just hung the entire CSA government and shot all of their senior military officers as an example. All the leniency did was give them time to dig in and organize their resistance. Dealing with a conquered nation is always super finicky. Both being too lenient and being too harsh have both backfired throughout history.

  15. albz says

    Mmmm…
    Removing a monument to racism: very good.
    Doing it as a vandalic action: very, very, very bad.
    You cannot simply go around destroying things you don’t agree with: not even ones that praise racism, mysoginy, violence, death etc. Otherwise I’d be out burning down churches and crossess all around my country.
    Want to take it down? Fine: do it throught proper channels, and let me know where to sign. If you cannot, then your problem is not the statue, it’s the people around you.
    Also: the video of the students toppling the statue shows a bunch of hysterical, persons, screaming and hitting the Evil in front of them. I don’t care if they’re on the right side, I don’t want fanatic mobs enforcing my point of view with violence. Next time it could be the same mob with a different target: no thank you.

  16. albz says

    @17 chrislawson-
    You would have made an excellent Sergey Nechayev.
    Thinking that you can use violence to enforce your ideals because you are on the side of Good(TM) is something we’ve seen too many times in human history. And it always, always led to fanatism, oppression, and additional violence.
    This is, to an extent, the same attitude that makes you think that you can drop a bomb over a bus full of kids because they could be going to learn how to become terrorists. (Yes, I know that you do not approve of that…but someone does, and he thinks he’s doing it to protect USA and democracy, and this is exactly my point)

  17. Saad says

    albz, #16

    I don’t want fanatic mobs enforcing my point of view with violence.

    Are they hurting any living thing? Destroying a statue is not violence.

    Next time it could be the same mob with a different target: no thank you.

    The two things are different. I’m sure you had something in mind like people attacking Republican voters or senators’ families. Yes, that would be 100% wrong.

  18. Saad says

    albz, #18

    This is, to an extent, the same attitude that makes you think that you can drop a bomb over a bus full of kids because they could be going to learn how to become terrorists

    No, it isn’t. Statues and people are completely different things. Destroying the former doesn’t mean you’re on a slippery slope to hurting the latter. You’ve made a pretty bold claim there without supplying any supporting evidence.

  19. albz says

    @Saad.

    Are they hurting any living thing? Destroying a statue is not violence.

    Indeed it is: it’s just not violence against people, but still violence, vandalism and uncontrolled rage.
    You are actually justifying this fact because it suits your vision of the world, not because it’s only damaging things. Proofs, you ask? Let’s try with some examples.

    What if I go and set fire to some cops’car? It’s a thing, so it’s ok, do you agree? (this is a rhetorical question: you already did)

    Next, I’ll go in some Vietnam or Iraq memorial with a jackhammer and level everything down. Also, there is a terrible statue somewhere on an island in New York that I’d like to melt down. No problem with that, on your side.

    Or maybe, just maybe, I think your house is on a sacred land for my religion, so I’ll just show up one night and burn it down.

    No violence against people in any of these situations, so it’s all right for you.

    You totally miss the point. In a democracy there is one situation in which it is allowed to use violence (on things but even on other people): when it is the only way to avoid physical damage to someone, or prevent a much greater damage.
    Claiming special protection for vandalism and violence against something you hate is just plain wrong, and makes you a bigot and a fanatic. Believing to be on the right side can not be a justification: not even if you actually are, as in this case.

  20. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Indeed it is: it’s just not violence against people, but still violence, vandalism and uncontrolled rage.

    Albz#211, you lie. What happened was planned, not uncontrolled. Your trolling of us is uncontrolled. You can’t help yourself And no citations to back up your claims. Typical.

  21. albz says

    Nerd, just two questions:
    1) is my usage of “uncontrolled rage” term your only objection to my previous post, or do you also have some substantial counter-argoment, apart from picking up one term and bashing at it, or calling me a troll?
    2) what kind of citations are you expecting from me?

  22. Saad says

    albz, #21

    Nice try with that list, but they are not analogous situations. What’s the context and reason for you doing each one of those? “I don’t like the objects” won’t fly. The removal of statues of Confederate pro-slavery white supremacist traitors is far beyond “I don’t like it”.

    Indeed it is: it’s just not violence against people, but still violence, vandalism and uncontrolled rage.
    You are actually justifying this fact because it suits your vision of the world, not because it’s only damaging things.

    Violence against living things and violence against inanimate objects are in completely different categories. Vandalism isn’t wrong in every situation. Your uncontrolled rage accusation is just tone trolling.

    What if I go and set fire to some cops’car? It’s a thing, so it’s ok, do you agree?

    Depends. Did you do it in response to police trying to suppress a protest about cops murdering a black person? Or are you just doing it because you don’t like cops?

    Next, I’ll go in some Vietnam or Iraq memorial with a jackhammer and level everything down. Also, there is a terrible statue somewhere on an island in New York that I’d like to melt down. No problem with that, on your side.

    State your reason for destroying the Vietnam war memorial.

    Define “terrible”.

    Or maybe, just maybe, I think your house is on a sacred land for my religion, so I’ll just show up one night and burn it down.

    That’s just pathetic. You gotta do way better than that.

    In a democracy there is one situation in which it is allowed to use violence (on things but even on other people): when it is the only way to avoid physical damage to someone, or prevent a much greater damage.

    Why do you think I should just take your word for that? Where did you pull this out of?

  23. Saad says

    If there were statues of Himmler and Goebbels in public spaces spread across Germany and various local governments were refusing to take them down and some citizens decided to take them down themselves, they wouldn’t have done anything wrong. Note that I’m using the word “wrong” and not “illegal”.

  24. albz says

    Saad: please have a discussion with your brain and come up with one coherent position, not two.
    In @19 your objection is that violence against people is bad, violence against thing isnt. Let’s quote your own words, bold mine):

    Are they hurting any living thing? Destroying a statue is not violence.

    and again, in @20:

    No, it isn’t. Statues and people are completely different things. Destroying the former doesn’t mean you’re on a slippery slope to hurting the latter.

    But then in @24 you ask me to motivate my reasons for possible violence against things. Things, not people: go back and read again my examples.
    Because, you see, my whole point has nothing to do with people: and if it makes you and Nerd feel better I’ve no problem at all to declare that violence against people is much worse than violence against things, and that therefore my reference to kids bombing is an inappropriate exaggeration (for this purpose).

    But your silly whining in @24 is very useful to clarify your position: for you violence (things, ok?) is fine if it’s against things you despise, but it’s not fine if it’s against thing you like. This is the point, this is the really stupid, bigot, fanatic position I reject.

    And you really pretend that I come up with an explanation of why I hate some unspecified monument or car? Can you try and think over it a little bit more, maybe understanding what I actually wrote?

  25. A. Noyd says

    @albz
    You can’t be a champion for justice if you refuse to see the direction the slippery slope is slanting, you useless fucking scold. This sort of vandalism is a consequence of tyranny, not the precipice leading up to it.

  26. Saad says

    But then in @24 you ask me to motivate my reasons for possible violence against things. Things, not people: go back and read again my examples.

    Why are you struggling with such simple concepts. I’m asking for your reason behind destroying those objects. I have never said that destroying just any object you feel like is fine and that I won’t criticize the destruction of any and all objects. I’m looking at the destruction on a case by case basis and with the reason and context in mind. It’s called using your fucking brain to analyze things. Making blanket statements and painting every instance of vandalism with a broad brush is idiotic.

    But your silly whining in @24 is very useful to clarify your position: for you violence (things, ok?) is fine if it’s against things you despise, but it’s not fine if it’s against thing you like.

    It’s not about my personal hate, you shithead. How many times do I have to say it? It is inexcusable to have (on public spaces) statues honoring white supremacist pro-slavery Confederate traitors to the United States.

  27. A. Noyd says

    Saad (#28)

    It is inexcusable to have (on public spaces) statues honoring white supremacist pro-slavery Confederate traitors to the United States.

    And apparently nearly all the locals agreed, but they were forced to keep the thing in place by a legislature packed to the rafters with racist assholes who keep power through voter disenfranchisement and bullshit lawmaking. Of course people are going to resort to vandalism and vigilantism when legal channels are deliberately and wrongfully closed to them. With what the legislature’s been up to lately, they’re lucky it’s just been statues so far.

  28. albz says

    @28

    Why are you struggling with such simple concepts

    because you’re unable to grab them

    I’m asking for your reason behind destroying those objects

    ,totally missing that the whole point is reasons do not matter when violence is involved.

    Fuck off.

  29. consciousness razor says

    In @19 your objection is that violence against people is bad, violence against thing isnt.

    No, Saad’s objection was that it isn’t violence when you destroy an inanimate (not living) object.

    Let’s quote your own words, bold mine):

    Are they hurting any living thing? Destroying a statue is not violence.

    That’s a pretty normal way to use the word. Your varied attempts to insinuate all sorts of things other than what we’re actually talking about (blowing up a school bus, for a prime example) is not an honest form of argumentation that we should take seriously.

    and again, in @20:

    No, it isn’t. Statues and people are completely different things. Destroying the former doesn’t mean you’re on a slippery slope to hurting the latter.

    Yep, here too: different things. Just thinking clearly for a bit would help you.

  30. consciousness razor says

    ,totally missing that the whole point is reasons do not matter when violence is involved.

    Actually, they do matter. They really do. I’m a pacifist, and that means, among other things, that I think it’s only acceptable in self-defense type situations. I have a right to self-defense. There are reasons for that, and there are reasons why I think violence is unacceptable in other types of situations.

    It not at all the case that we must be irrational, like you’re suggesting here. That may be how you happen to work, but I can only recommend that you try having reasons some time, ones that are good enough that others should have to take them just as seriously as you. If you can’t do that, I think you’re probably not doing the best you could have.

  31. jamiejag says

    That statue iswas a form of violence against people. It iswas an assault on every person of color and every non-racist person who had to walk by it on their way to class.

    /ftfm

  32. albz says

    @31+32. …are you serious?

    […] it isn’t violence when you destroy an inanimate (not living) object.

    That’s a pretty normal way to use the word

    No razor, this is a pretty awkward attempt to justify an undefendably stupid assertion:

    https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/violence
    Behaviour involving physical force intended to hurt, damage, or kill someone or something.

    So stop trying to tell me that (just to make an example) taking up a bulldozer and flatting out your home is not a violent action, because it is. The toppling of that statue was vandalism, and was violence.

    Reasons matter, you say? And I say no: reasons only allow for violence as the very last option in very specific situations -and this was not one. And, again, the world is not Good vs Evil: there is a whole spectrum of situations. Once you start condoning unnecessary violence for something like this, you’ll have no way to reject it in so many other situations without being hypocrite.
    There were many ways to protest against that statue: only, they require much more effort. Violence is quicker and simpler -but is wrong almost any time.

    I’m starting to think that your way of thinking is more common in the USA than in our country. Obviously we too have plenty of people like that, but luckily for the moment we still call them “assholes”. Hope that this won’t change.

  33. consciousness razor says

    @31+32. …are you serious?

    Yes.

    No razor, this is a pretty awkward attempt to justify an undefendably stupid assertion:

    https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/violence
    Behaviour involving physical force intended to hurt, damage, or kill someone or something.

    You don’t need to consult a dictionary to know how words are actually used by real people. It is not “undefendably” stupid to wonder how real people use their own words in real life.

    Again: you were equivocating between violence against people/animals (who can experience harm) and “violence” against inanimate objects (which don’t experience anything). This is certainly not an irrelevant distinction to make in ethics. The fact that you might use the word “violence” in both cases is not a good reason to confuse these two meaningfully different things. If you allow yourself to use different terms, for the sake of clarity if nothing else, then this kind of confusion can be avoided. But apparently you didn’t want to avoid it, because your argument relies on that kind of confusion. It’s not written in stone anywhere (nor could it be in any dictionaries) that we have to share your confusions. What you’re sharing is a Greek gift, which I may politely decline. Keep your confusions to yourself, thank you very fucking much, if you can’t/won’t learn from others about how you might resolve them.

    Reasons matter, you say? And I say no: reasons only allow for violence as the very last option [blah]

    So actually you’re not saying “no,” and you’re not to be taken seriously when you do say no, because you immediately give an example of how and when they do matter. Got it.

    There were many ways to protest against that statue: only, they require much more effort. Violence is quicker and simpler -but is wrong almost any time.

    If it’s “almost” any time, that suggests you think this is not the case about every time. You should elaborate on that. Since you’re conceding this point, it would be good to know what kind of progress we’ve made thus far. That way, hopefully, you won’t backslide on this point later.

  34. Saad says

    albz, #30

    ,totally missing that the whole point is reasons do not matter when violence is involved.

    You’re still confusing harming items and harming people. I agree with the violence against living beings as a last resort thing. But that’s not the topic. I’ll play using your use of the term violence here. Here’s a breakdown of some different types of violences that you keep mixing up with each other:

    There’s violence against inanimate objects and there’s violence against humans and other animals. In this discussion, I am not talking about violence against people or animals.

    Now, under the violence against objects category, there are two more categories: violence against a citizen’s private property on privately owned land and violence against an object that is in a public space and isn’t privately owned by someone. In this discussion, I am not talking about private property.

    I’ve noticed you have yet to state who is caused harmed or whose personal life/safety/happiness is burdened by the toppling of such a statue.

    So stop trying to tell me that (just to make an example) taking up a bulldozer and flatting out your home is not a violent action, because it is.

    First you need to stop trying to compare destroying someone’s private property where they live and destroying a statue that nobody’s well-being or means of living depends on.

  35. albz says

    @35

    You don’t need to consult a dictionary to know how words are actually used by real people. It is not “undefendably” stupid to wonder how real people use their own words in real life.

    You’re right, I don’t need it. On the contrary you would greatly benefit from actually knowing what words mean -not to you, but to everybody: that’s what dictionaries are for.

    you were equivocating between violence against people/animals […] and “violence” against inanimate objects

    No I wasn’t. I brought up the first kind in an unfortunate example in one single post. Then I went on with tons of examples of the second kind -that you ignored; I also explicitly apologized for the possible confusion generated by the kids example, and retreated it. If, after all this, you are still stuck on a meaningless topic in order to avoid the actual one then it’s your own problem, and you’re either too stupid to understand or too hypocrite to admit it. In any case: fuck off.

    you’re not to be taken seriously when you do say no, because you immediately give an example of how and when they do matter

    No, I didn’t simply rely on an “example”: I explicitly stated, lots of comments before that one, my idea about when using violence is allowed. The fact that you cannot read (or possibly, remember anything for more than 5 minutes) explains a lot.

    If it’s “almost” any time, that suggests you think this is not the case about every time

    again: I’m not suggesting anything, I wrote it plain and straight. It is obvious that you don’t understand eve simple sentences -but then again, you actually have issues even with single words, so I shouldn’t be surprised.

    Ok, on my side we’re done. My position is clearly stated above, exactly as your idiocy, so we can close this argument.

  36. monad says

    albz, this is not the equivalent of destroying a house or a car, let alone a person. This is the equivalent of someone putting up a giant poster that says “albz, if anyone tried to beat or kill you, they would be a hero”; you trying to take it down through proper channels, and discovering the government blocked those channels against the wishes of the populace they are supposed to represent; and then finally, sick of seeing the threat, tearing it down.

    Tearing down a poster like that is technically violence, in the dictionary sense of physical force intended to damage something. So would be tearing it down with government approval, in fact, or eating a carrot afterward. But if it is not a totally distinct sort of violence from mobs going out of their way to harm other people, your concept of violence is so overbroad as to include completely different things.

  37. unclefrogy says

    albz:
    are you really advocating that the only kinds, of for the lack of another word , resistance that are morally justified are those that follow all the legal procedures normally allowed or Gandhian no-violent protest?
    because

    It is inexcusable to have (on public spaces) statues honoring white supremacist pro-slavery Confederate traitors to the United States.
    ———————————————————————————
    That statue iswas a form of violence against people. It iswas an assault on every person of color and every non-racist person who had to walk by it on their way to class.

    and those who are supporting the keeping of those monuments on public land the loudest are advocating violence and racism and I would add revolution to abolish the Constitution Of The United States and re-establish the same traitorous and treasonous ideas that led to the Civil War all those many years ago.
    you are free to go and offer your head to be clubbed down if you wish many others are very tired of waiting for justice with folded hand and bowed heads.

    “Let me give you a word of the philosophy of reform. The whole history of the progress of human liberty shows that all concessions yet made to her august claims, have been born of earnest struggle. The conflict has been exciting, agitating, all-absorbing, and for the time being, putting all other tumults to silence. It must do this or it does nothing. If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightening. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters.”

    “This struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, and it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress. In the light of these ideas, Negroes will be hunted at the North, and held and flogged at the South so long as they submit to those devilish outrages, and make no resistance, either moral or physical. Men may not get all they pay for in this world; but they must certainly pay for all they get. If we ever get free from the oppressions and wrongs heaped upon us, we must pay for their removal. We must do this by labor, by suffering, by sacrifice, and if needs be, by our lives and the lives of others.” Frederick Douglass

    we ain’t done yet after all these years
    uncle frogy

  38. consciousness razor says

    your concept of violence is so overbroad as to include completely different things

    Exactly. albz, if you’re going to have a decent argument, it’s not enough to merely put words together into (mostly) grammatical sentences. You have to think about what the fuck you’re actually saying, why you’re talking that way in this specific context, whether it actually tells us something factual/useful/important (about the world and not merely your word usage), whether anybody should even care, whether we should believe what you’re saying, how we should reach the same conclusions as you have, and so on. Why not try doing stuff like that?

  39. unclefrogy says

    albz:
    are you really advocating that the only kinds of, for lack of a better word, resistance that are morally justified are those that follow all the legal procedures normally allowed or Gandhian non-violent protest?
    Because

    It is inexcusable to have (on public spaces statues honoring white supremacists pro-slavery confederate traitors to the United States.
    ————————–
    That statue iswas a form of violence against people. It iswas an assult on every person of color and every non-racist person who had to walk by on their way to class

    and those who are supporting the keeping of those monuments on public land the loudest are advocating violence and racism and I would add revolutioon and treasonous ideas the same ones that led to the civil war in the frist place all those years ago.
    you are free to go and offer your head to be clubbed down if you wish or patiently file law suit after law suit. Many others are tied of waiting for justice with folded hand and bowed heads.
    Let me give you a word of the philosophy of reform. The whole history of the progress of human liberty shows that all concessions yet made to her august claims, have been born of earnest struggle. The conflict has been exciting, agitating, all-absorbing, and for the time being, putting all other tumults to silence. It must do this or it does nothing.. If there no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters.
    This struggle may be a moral one , or it may be a physical one, and it may be both moral and physical but it must be a struggle Power concedes nothing without demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress. In the light of these ideas, Negroes will be hunted at the north, and flogged at the south so long as they submit to those devilish outrages, and make no resistance, either moral or physical. Men may not get all they pay for in this world; but they must certainly pay for all they get. If we ever get free from the oppressions and wrongs heaped upon us, we must pay for their removal. We must do this by labor, by suffering, by sacrifice, and if needs be, by out lives and the lives of others. Frederick Douglass
    we ai’nt done yer after all these years

    uncle frogy

  40. unclefrogy says

    that quote fro FD that started with “let me …..and ends with Frederick Douglass” was supposed to be in blockquotes

    failed again!
    uncle frogy

  41. vucodlak says

    @ albz, #16

    You cannot simply go around destroying things you don’t agree with: not even ones that praise racism, mysoginy, violence, death etc. Otherwise I’d be out burning down churches and crossess all around my country.

    Arson is different from simple vandalism because fires can easily get out of control. Arson puts lives at risk, as someone has to put the fire out. Vandalism might put lives at risk, but typically doesn’t. Vandalism can be violent, but often isn’t. This wasn’t.

    Want to take it down? Fine: do it throught proper channels, and let me know where to sign.

    They tried that for years. The Powers That Be (hereafter PTB) simply don’t give a damn what the little people want. If the powers will not listen, then it’s well-past time to get their attention.

    The PTB push the idea that acts which result in the destruction of property are inherently violent. That’s a lie, but they’ve repeated it often enough and long enough that a whole lot of people believe it, and wouldn’t dream of damaging all the many, many things that belong to the PTB. Not only that, those believers will turn on those who do break the taboo, condemning them to years of torture over inanimate objects.

    If the destruction of property poses a risk to living beings (beyond those doing the destroying), or if the intent/effect is to terrorize a vulnerable group, then it is an act of violence.

    Also: the video of the students toppling the statue shows a bunch of hysterical, persons, screaming and hitting the Evil in front of them. I don’t care if they’re on the right side, I don’t want fanatic mobs enforcing my point of view with violence.

    If they truly were fanatics, they’d have blown the statue up, or driven a truck through the police surrounding it, or toppled it heedless of the crowds. Instead, the statue-topplers took pains to insure no one else got hurt, even risking their own safety to avoid hurting bystanders and the enforcers of the status quo.

    There was no fanaticism in that crowd; only dedication and anger. Dedication is exactly what one needs to an effective activist, and anger is a perfectly understandable reaction to evil.

  42. albz says

    @42
    vucodlak: your post seems reasonable -and I appreciate the tone. However this thread is full of apparently reasonable justification of the vandalic act. It was not against people so it does not count as violence; they are racist so it’s ok; you tried other ways and failed, so you’re authorized to destroy it; the act was planned and controlled so it was fine; they just toppled a statue, didn’t use fire which is dangerous, so no problem.

    All these are rationalizations. They are just a way to avoid recognizing a very simple fact: you all praise and justify the vandalism because it was performed against something you hate. You don’t see any problem in this because you think that being right is enough; I disagree, and that’s all. We have a different vision of what is right, so no reason to go on on this topic.

  43. A. Noyd says

    albz (#43)

    you tried other ways and failed, so you’re authorized to destroy it

    You’re the dipshit who said to “do it throught [sic] proper channels,” and then ignored how the “proper channels” have already been hijacked and cut off by racist fanatics. You don’t get to call it a “rationalization” when your own demand for how people deal with something is currently impossible.

    it was performed against something you hate

    No, that is not people’s reasoning. For fuck’s sake, Saad even made that explicit in #28. Stop putting words into people’s mouths so you can minimize the problem.

  44. John Morales says

    Lofty, nah.

    I think that for albz, being a vandal is a bad thing to be, and never justifiable.

    (I do note that iconoclasm is a form of vandalism, for albz’s consideration)

  45. jrkrideau says

    Ah, albz,
    Are you an American? What is your views on the American Revolution? I presume you deplore the violence?

  46. fernando says

    Destroying symbols of opression (slavery, fascism, comunism, etc.) is always the correct thing to do.
    If i was an american citizen, i would be ashamed if a statue erected by racists, to honor men that fought against my country, men that had slaves, was still standing in my country.

  47. Kreator says

    jrkrideau @#48:
    Good! I’ve been to the basilica that houses that mausoleum, and it’s horrible; the place exudes evil at every corner, as if it were actually haunted by the spirit of Franco himself. From the large, ugly statues of armed angels that look down at you, to the murals depicting violent battles, to the iron crosses (not precisely Christian ones) that “decorate” the gates, his hate is actually palpable inside the building. I hope they give that place a good cleansing.

  48. vucodlak says

    @ albz, #43

    It was not against people so it does not count as violence

    People were not injured, precautions were taken to insure that that was the case, and no vulnerable group was terrorized. This was not violence.

    they are racist so it’s ok

    The war that the statue “honored” was a hideously lethal explosion of violence in support of some of the vilest racism in human history. The justification for the construction and placement of the statue was ugly and racist, as demonstrated by the OP. The defense of the statue was and is racist.

    Given all of that, the destruction of the statue was necessary, not “ok.”

    you tried other ways and failed, so you’re authorized to destroy it

    Authorized? Of course not. People should not wait to be vested by authority to do the right thing. Not when it has been shown time and again that the authority it is thoroughly invested in perpetuating oppression and evil.

    the act was planned and controlled so it was fine

    That is indeed the way to do it, and the way it was done.

    they just toppled a statue

    They also struck a symbolic blow against institutionalized racism but, yes, physically speaking they just pulled down a statue.

    didn’t use fire which is dangerous

    Rarr! Fire bad!

    (it’s also not terribly effective against bronze statues)

    so no problem

    Well, you’d thinkthere wouldn’t be, but here we are.

    All these are rationalizations.

    Nope. They’re rationale. As in the perfectly reasonable explanations for why every complaint you’ve raised is utterly baseless. In other words, you’re wrongity-wrong-wrong.

    you all praise and justify the vandalism because it was performed against something you hate.

    The list of things I hate is vast and often contradictory, but I don’t support vandalism against most of the things on it. For example: I am against tearing up manicured lawns, doing donuts on school sport fields, and urinating on crappy buffets. I hate all those things, but my hatred is not justification for their damage or destruction.

    I hate white supremacist symbols more than those three things put together, but that’s not why it’s vital that they be destroyed. White supremacist symbols must be destroyed because they are an instrument of harm wielded against human beings. They’re in the same category as whips and chains and brutal police. Everything in that category has to go, by legal means if possible, by illegal means if necessary. That doesn’t mean by any means necessary, but that does mean that some things that would be impermissible against the merely obnoxious are on the table. Conscientious vandalism is one of those things.

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