History, Statues, Graffiti


The Robert E. Lee statue has become a tourist attraction of sorts. Dozens of people were coming and going this afternoon when Laura and I walked by. Cars were driving around the traffic circle and passengers were waving Black Lives Matter signs out their windows. As much as I personally hate seeing the statues desecrated — I admire the honor, self-sacrifice and martial valor of the men being celebrated, not the cause they fought for — I have to say that it was moving to see African-American families come to gaze upon what they regard as a monument to their oppression and listen to them explaining to their little ones the meaning of it all.

— JAB

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14 responses to “History, Statues, Graffiti

  1. I’m SHOCKED that you braved a sojourn into Antifa land.

  2. Richmond is sad.

  3. Was Berlin sad?

  4. Do they explain to them what “F-ck 12” means?
    How about “ACAB” ?

    • Don’t know what ACAB is, but maybe the other is just bragging.

      • Wikipedia: “A.C.A.B. is an acronym meaning “All Cops Are Bastards”. It is used as a slogan and written catchphrase in graffiti, tattoos, and other imagery. It is sometimes numerically rendered as “1312”, after the alphabetic order of the letters.”

  5. Jim, you say, “…I have to say that it was moving to see African-American families come to gaze upon what they regard as a monument to their oppression and listen to them explaining to their little ones the meaning of it all.

    The problem I have with the above paragraph is, are the families telling their children what actually happened according to historical events, or were they embellishing them with their limited amount of knowledge? The “corruption of blood” doesn’t weigh heavily on me, nor do I feel ANY guilt for events of which I had no part. My ancestry is Scotch, English, Irish, Welsh and Romanian, and while there were despots in all of the nations to which I have heritage, I also feel no guilt to the atrocities that happened centuries ago. The statues, just like the Nazi concentration camps and their ovens which are being preserved to also serve as reminders of what mankind should never allow to happen in the future.

  6. Jim, nice column. For what it’s worth, I’m challenged to separate the cause the generals fought for from the dedication of their service. As a result, I have no problem with the removal of the statues. But I, too, have a problem with the desecration of public space.

  7. It would be refreshing if protesters would spend a couple days learning about Lee before attacking a caricature that bears no resemblance to the real man.

    • Yes to that! Lee himself was torn about the War and devoted himself to rebuilding Virginia, specifically through his efforts at Washington College to educate a new generation, during his short life after the War. He would have disavowed what the Lost Cause stood for, and I doubt he would have allowed that triumphant statue with his name and frame on it. It was erected 20 years after his death — as an act of defiant politics he did not share, and not incidentally as a real-estate promotional gambit by the developers of Monument Avenue.

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