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monuments to robert e. lee mark our growth as a nation

monuments to robert e. lee mark our growth as a nation News Article With The full text news. The Resource Link is down the post and you can View this News Article in the source page.



monuments to robert e. lee mark our growth as a nation

to our collective horror, a vandal recently desecrated the lincoln memorial, and we’d feel no better were someone to harm the martin luther king jr. or iwo jima memorials. the moral principle that monuments are out of bounds—because all are sacred to someone, and we all have to get along like grown-ups—is quite sound. it also brakes calls for the destruction of confederate monuments.the iconoclasts who wish to get around this have devised some superficial talking points: a good example is an attack on robert e. lee for having been a traitor unworthy of commemoration, and on his commemorators for having been racially motivated and thus undeserving to leave monuments behind them. lee was a traitor if the southern states had no right to secede in 1861, yet many americans have admired lee nonetheless, and even raised statues to him. how could this be?to answer such a question, we tend to fall into the trap of asking ourselves why someone would raise such a statue today. hard experience from the civil rights era up to the recent march in charlottesville has prepared us to find racist intent. then when we ask ourselves why people of a more distant past erected statues to lee, we project racist intent onto them, as though our thought processes were interchangeable with theirs, their motives deducible from ours.despite racism, commemoration had other motivationsnoting the “presentist” fallacy does not give the statue erectors a pass. there is much objective evidence for the...