Monday, January 22, 2018

What If St. Augustine Asked Me To Add Context To Confederate Monuments?

Here's a thought. What if St. Augustine asked just regular people to help add the "context" that the city has deemed necessary in order to keep from moving Confederate monuments? The city has appointed some academics in order to do the job, and I can only imagine the meetings. Someone will quote Howard Zinn, and then another academic will attack that supposition. Another might want to bring up Winthrop Jordan's The White Man's Burden, which will also be shot down. Then another professor will quote his or her own book, and before long, each will in turn quote themselves. Most likely half of the profs will have copies of their treatises with them with pages pre-marked. And when it all shakes out, they won't have a better context than an average guy like me.


Why won't they be able to create a good context for Confederate monuments? It's because the context is different for all of us. These professors see it from an academic point of view, but they'll be sure to add their own "diverse" opinions to the text. So does everyone else here. More than 50% of the citizens in St. Augustine want the memorial to stay, so it'll stay. That's the context right there. In fact, I'd have a referendum and just publish the numbers as context. To those who think remembering the heroes of the Confederacy is a good thing, they can feel vindicated. For those who believe the traitors who fought an unjust war should not be praised on public land, they can shake their heads at the published numbers. What more context is needed?

Honestly, we have history museums and history classes where we can learn more about the Civil War. And we've got our tree-hugging or Rebel-flag-waving parents to cover the rest.