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Post We Must Let Robert E Lee Go
Created by John Eipper on 09/15/20 9:37 AM

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We Must Let Robert E Lee Go (Cameron Sawyer, Russia, 09/15/20 9:37 am)

John E wrote on September 12th: "Whenever I hear a condemnation of the removal of Confederate monuments, I try to put myself in the place of African Americans who have to walk by sculptures honoring those who fought to keep their people enslaved. White Anglo-Americans can never understand what this feels like. The offending monuments should go to museums, as they've done in the former East Bloc nations."

JE took the words right out of my mouth. I believe Robert E Lee (a relative of mine, by the way) was a good man, and I believe that the origins of the Civil War were a bit more complicated than the current narrative would like, but the bottom line is these monuments were put up during a period in our history when black people were being treated viciously, were having the benefits of freedom taken away from them by being forced into a kind of apartheid made of Jim Crow and other kinds of horrible institutions, and all that at the very same time when a wave of Confederate nostalgia was producing all these monuments. And we want black people to believe that the monuments and Jim Crow have nothing to do with one another? Really?

I'm kind of sorry they have to go, because to me they don't represent slavery or oppression, but go they must. We'll never make any progress in this country if we don't heal these wounds somehow, and giving up Robert E Lee is the least we can do.

JE comments:  I'm just a Yankee from generations of shirkers, but Cameron Sawyer's Southern pedigree gives his message genuine gravitas.  My one concern:  if Robert E Lee ends up "cancelled," is there any reason that fellow slaveholders Jefferson and even Washington won't have to join him?

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  • If We Cancel Robert E Lee, What About Jefferson...and Washington? (Edward Jajko, USA 09/16/20 4:53 AM)
    John E commented on September 15th: "If Robert E Lee ends up 'canceled,' is there any reason that fellow slaveholders Jefferson and even Washington won't have to join him?"

    And what happens then to Washington and Lee University, or Jefferson City, Missouri, Jeffersonville, Indiana, or Jefferson University and Medical School, Philadelphia, or the State of Washington?

    JE comments:  Ed, I still remember my 6th-grade class trip to Jefferson City.  During the tour we learned that the correct name is "City of Jefferson."  Missourians say "Jeff City"--but never "St Louie." 

    We could make a list here of epic proportions.  The US capital may be overdue for two cancellations:  Washington (egads!), District of Columbia (the horrors!).  Perhaps, following the example of the former Washington Redskins, we could simply opt for the generic:  "Capital City of the United States."

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