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  1. #17056
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    Re: National, Regional and Local News

    Quote Originally Posted by ponchi101 View Post
    Serious question:
    What do you think about this movement to remove statues from public places, basically by destruction? The removal is NOT by consensus and it has expanded from people related to the confederacy to further in the past.
    Opinions are welcomed.
    I think if it makes people's daily life a little better not having to walk by it, it's worth it - no one is really that hurt. The Elk Statue example is more of an outlier, vast majority of these have been justified.

    Beyond that it doesn't matter much.


  2. #17057

    Re: National, Regional and Local News

    Rumor has it that when they pulled down the Christopher Columbus statue in Baltimore and tossed it into the harbor it was heard to ask "Is this the Indian Ocean?"

    H/T to Twitter
    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.




  3. #17058
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    Re: National, Regional and Local News

    Quote Originally Posted by mmmm8 View Post
    I think if it makes people's daily life a little better not having to walk by it, it's worth it - no one is really that hurt. The Elk Statue example is more of an outlier, vast majority of these have been justified.

    Beyond that it doesn't matter much.
    Just want to clarify by "it doesn't matter much" I mean that it shouldn't be substituted for actual justice reform and legal protections.


  4. #17059

    Re: National, Regional and Local News

    It is the reason I am asking and the problem I have with the protests. What do we want? What is the end game? After the protests, what is expected to be achieved?
    If this just fizzles out like OCCUPY WALL STREET, will minorities really be better off?
    Face it. It's the apocalypse.

  5. #17060
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    Re: National, Regional and Local News

    Quote Originally Posted by ponchi101 View Post
    It is the reason I am asking and the problem I have with the protests. What do we want? What is the end game? After the protests, what is expected to be achieved?
    If this just fizzles out like OCCUPY WALL STREET, will minorities really be better off?
    This has been the platform of the movement since 2016

    https://m4bl.org/policy-platforms/


    The short version is on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moveme..._Lives#Demands

    As with any widespread movement, I'm sure not all protesting under the BLM slogan would sign under this (I already know a lot of people who have a huge issue with the mention of Israel). Defunding the police isn't on there either, because that's a new thing, but police reform is.

    I can tell you also that I'm seeing this movement really resonate in corporate America, for the first time since I've been in the workforce (~15 years), which gives me hope for some progress in the workplace.


  6. #17061

    Re: National, Regional and Local News

    Quote Originally Posted by mmmm8 View Post
    This has been the platform of the movement since 2016

    https://m4bl.org/policy-platforms/


    The short version is on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moveme..._Lives#Demands

    As with any widespread movement, I'm sure not all protesting under the BLM slogan would sign under this (I already know a lot of people who have a huge issue with the mention of Israel). Defunding the police isn't on there either, because that's a new thing, but police reform is.

    I can tell you also that I'm seeing this movement really resonate in corporate America, for the first time since I've been in the workforce (~15 years), which gives me hope for some progress in the workplace.
    Thanks. Yes, that is a lot to digest and some stuff is up for discussion, like almost everything. I find it a bit ambitious but worth discussing.
    Then again, I am not an American. So my voice is null.
    (Our problems here in L. America are not totally different but certainly are local. I should focus on those).
    Face it. It's the apocalypse.

  7. #17062

    Re: National, Regional and Local News

    Quote Originally Posted by mmmm8 View Post
    I think if it makes people's daily life a little better not having to walk by it, it's worth it - no one is really that hurt. The Elk Statue example is more of an outlier, vast majority of these have been justified.

    Beyond that it doesn't matter much.
    mmmm8, I have thought a lot about your post, and while I understand what you are saying, I disagree with your conclusion. While no one person may really be hurt be having an individual statue removed via this 'process', I think that it is not worth because there is other damage done by this type of vigilante action. I say this for the following reasons:
    1) I think that it circumvents process, and leads some people to think that it is always okay to ignore process when it doesn't move quick enough for your tastes (esp. in a situation where no one is in physical danger from the statue).

    2) It creates optics that makes it appear that if your side doesn't get what it wants, you will result in some type of 'vigilante' actions to take matters into your own hands. I think that this creates problems for people that may be sympathetic to the cause but have issues with these types of 'citizen' actions, causing them to rethink their support for the change of policies and procedures, which ultimately will have greater impact than tearing down a statue.

    3) In many cases, I think that these have turned into a somewhat knee jerk reaction. I can understand the actions on confederate generals and I think that the popular consensus is there (but I still think that there should be some type of process [in general] followed). I'm not so sure that there is the same buy in on statues of Washington, Columbus, etc. I think that there needs to be more education on the historical legacies of some of these figures and how we judge them, and what it means to have a memorial or statue of said figure. Can it be redone to teach some history, of which I think Americans in generally tend to be woefully ignorant of the intricacies of history. We want everything to be, for lack of a better metaphor, black or white, with no shades of grey. This weakness (yes, I think it in general is a weakness) also colors our politics, leading us to cut off our nose to spite our face, where if a politician does not support our political positions 100%, we will vote them out and then often lose an election of someone who supported 80% of what we want and get someone that only supports 10% of what we would like to see. This type of all or nothing situation is what has gridlocked many important issues in Congress (and I say this in regards to both sides), which is why, for example, we have had needed immigration reform stymied for years.

    4) What is the endpoint that you use? Do we tear down the Washington monument because Washington owned slaves? The Thomas Jefferson Memorial? Maybe they do need some reconsideration, but it needs to be thoughtful and not done on impulse and pure twitter-driven emotion, which often has misinformation in it since people often senselessly retweet without checking out the facts in a tweet.

    5) I think that some of these could be considered art. Do you destroy art because it says something you don't agree with? If so, with what justification? Wouldn't relocation be a better option in this case? Isn't the destruction of art what was done in Nazi Germany with Jewish (and other) art that did not meet community standards, and more importantly, with ISIS? What do we do about art that gets created by someone whose values don't meet today's standards? Do we destroy them? And not, I am not talking about blatantly offensive art. These are questions that I think takes thoughtful reflection and discussion.

    6) I think the energy put into this destruction would be better off being funneled into more advocacy/education/push for policy changes and electing officials that reflect those values - of course, this doesn't give the satisfaction of a immediate victory over a statue's destruction.

    So, yes, I think beyond that it matters a great deal. But, that is my individual perspective. Yes, the confederate statues need to be removed. Perhaps so do some others. How things are done also is important and matters a great deal in this context and could have ramifications beyond the removal of the statues to the detriment of the overall justice movement. I may well be wrong in my viewpoint, and I am willing to reconsider my opinion in light of ongoing arguments and events, but I tend to see things in many shades of grey and with multiple connections. This situation is no different. That doesn't mean we shouldn't do the right thing - I just have a different opinion on how it should be done, and why, and the reasons for doing it are larger than any one person's feelings about a statue.

    Incidentally, I would not be surprised if some of these incidents are not being encouraged by the Russians or the Chinese in an effort to divide the country and weaken us overall by serving to inflame the divisions that affect our society today.
    "And for my next fearless prediction..."

  8. #17063

    Re: National, Regional and Local News

    About the historical context.
    Columbus did not enslave and treated indigenous populations criminally because they were indigenous. His actions were simply the default mode for the Spanish empire at the time. We cannot judge people by today's standards. If we do so, not even the Greeks will survive.

    Jeff. Your post will give me a lot to think about. In very positive ways.
    Face it. It's the apocalypse.

  9. #17064
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    Re: National, Regional and Local News

    Quote Originally Posted by ponchi101 View Post
    About the historical context.
    Columbus did not enslave and treated indigenous populations criminally because they were indigenous. His actions were simply the default mode for the Spanish empire at the time. We cannot judge people by today's standards. If we do so, not even the Greeks will survive.

    Jeff. Your post will give me a lot to think about. In very positive ways.
    The default mode was for the Spanish Empire to treat weaker populations that way. Therefore, he did it precisely because they were indigenous. When he was in Genoa setting off, he wasn't enslaving Italians, he waited until he got to "the Indies." I agree with you about judging with a lens of history, to a point. Maybe we don't judge the person, but the glorification of that person throughout history can still be judged. The question (to me), isn't "Was Columbus awful?," it's "Should we celebrate Columbus even though that means we celebrate his atrocities?" and the answer is "No."

    Obviously, the Romans and the Greeks (especially that one Macedonian) did a lot of stealing and enslaving too on large and small scales. You can appreciate the Socratic method despite Socrates' love for underage boys, but should we have a "Socrates" day? (Socrates suggested his pedophilia was platonic...)


  10. #17065
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    Re: National, Regional and Local News

    Jeff, you make a lot of good points (and some I disagree with) and overall seems you've given my comment more thought than I have

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff in TX View Post
    mmmm8, I have thought a lot about your post, and while I understand what you are saying, I disagree with your conclusion. While no one person may really be hurt be having an individual statue removed via this 'process', I think that it is not worth because there is other damage done by this type of vigilante action. I say this for the following reasons:
    1) I think that it circumvents process, and leads some people to think that it is always okay to ignore process when it doesn't move quick enough for your tastes (esp. in a situation where no one is in physical danger from the statue).
    I understand your point, but obviously the whole frustration of the BLM protests is that the process is rigged. In fact, the only reason people are knocking down the vast majority of the statues that haven't been taken down is because the municipalities haven't moved to do it through "process." As such, it is a perfect metaphor for the frustration with "process" from those who have been demanding justice for centuries.

    In terms of my comment, I wasn't saying knocking a statue down is necessarily the best way to do it, but was thinking about removal of the statues in general.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff in TX View Post
    2) It creates optics that makes it appear that if your side doesn't get what it wants, you will result in some type of 'vigilante' actions to take matters into your own hands. I think that this creates problems for people that may be sympathetic to the cause but have issues with these types of 'citizen' actions, causing them to rethink their support for the change of policies and procedures, which ultimately will have greater impact than tearing down a statue.
    I think this is a problem with the fickle allies and not with the movement. I understand "violence" is scary but it's towards statues, whereas black people have been facing, again, centuries of violence towards them - people. If people find destruction of property scarier and too appalling in the face of murders, I think this is something they need to grapple with. Again, not advocating FOR vandalism, just saying people who get so turned off by it they turn against being anti-racist weren't going to be very strong allies anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff in TX View Post
    3) In many cases, I think that these have turned into a somewhat knee jerk reaction. I can understand the actions on confederate generals and I think that the popular consensus is there (but I still think that there should be some type of process [in general] followed). I'm not so sure that there is the same buy in on statues of Washington, Columbus, etc. I think that there needs to be more education on the historical legacies of some of these figures and how we judge them, and what it means to have a memorial or statue of said figure. Can it be redone to teach some history, of which I think Americans in generally tend to be woefully ignorant of the intricacies of history. We want everything to be, for lack of a better metaphor, black or white, with no shades of grey. This weakness (yes, I think it in general is a weakness) also colors our politics, leading us to cut off our nose to spite our face, where if a politician does not support our political positions 100%, we will vote them out and then often lose an election of someone who supported 80% of what we want and get someone that only supports 10% of what we would like to see. This type of all or nothing situation is what has gridlocked many important issues in Congress (and I say this in regards to both sides), which is why, for example, we have had needed immigration reform stymied for years.
    I agree with you regarding education. What's the immediate solution? The education system isn't up to this at the moment, not consistently.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff in TX View Post
    4) What is the endpoint that you use? Do we tear down the Washington monument because Washington owned slaves? The Thomas Jefferson Memorial? Maybe they do need some reconsideration, but it needs to be thoughtful and not done on impulse and pure twitter-driven emotion, which often has misinformation in it since people often senselessly retweet without checking out the facts in a tweet.
    I generally agree although I think here again, the harm is limited even from over-haste (although, yes, some should be preserved in some way).

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff in TX View Post
    5) I think that some of these could be considered art. Do you destroy art because it says something you don't agree with? If so, with what justification? Wouldn't relocation be a better option in this case? Isn't the destruction of art what was done in Nazi Germany with Jewish (and other) art that did not meet community standards, and more importantly, with ISIS? What do we do about art that gets created by someone whose values don't meet today's standards? Do we destroy them? And not, I am not talking about blatantly offensive art. These are questions that I think takes thoughtful reflection and discussion.
    This is why cities and governments should act on this so the art can be preserved. But most aren't/haven't been doing so, and that's why people are resorting to vandalism.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff in TX View Post
    6) I think the energy put into this destruction would be better off being funneled into more advocacy/education/push for policy changes and electing officials that reflect those values - of course, this doesn't give the satisfaction of a immediate victory over a statue's destruction.
    I completely agree, which was what the "otherwise it doesn't matter much" comment referred to - it can distract from the real pressing issues.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff in TX View Post
    So, yes, I think beyond that it matters a great deal. But, that is my individual perspective. Yes, the confederate statues need to be removed. Perhaps so do some others. How things are done also is important and matters a great deal in this context and could have ramifications beyond the removal of the statues to the detriment of the overall justice movement. I may well be wrong in my viewpoint, and I am willing to reconsider my opinion in light of ongoing arguments and events, but I tend to see things in many shades of grey and with multiple connections. This situation is no different. That doesn't mean we shouldn't do the right thing - I just have a different opinion on how it should be done, and why, and the reasons for doing it are larger than any one person's feelings about a statue.

    Incidentally, I would not be surprised if some of these incidents are not being encouraged by the Russians or the Chinese in an effort to divide the country and weaken us overall by serving to inflame the divisions that affect our society today.
    I think in general you're approaching this from the position of "let's get progressive reform done!" whereas a lot of black people (not that I can speak for black people) are in the "completely fed up, angry and grieving" emotional response stage, which is completely justified because the things that have been happening are persistent. That's why we're seeing some impulsive, emotional reactions.

    Your approach is the more rational one and maybe more effective in the long (long long long) run. That said, I think it's this type of response that has the biggest chance to get through.


  11. #17066

    Re: National, Regional and Local News

    Quote Originally Posted by mmmm8 View Post
    The default mode was for the Spanish Empire to treat weaker populations that way. Therefore, he did it precisely because they were indigenous. When he was in Genoa setting off, he wasn't enslaving Italians, he waited until he got to "the Indies." I agree with you about judging with a lens of history, to a point. Maybe we don't judge the person, but the glorification of that person throughout history can still be judged. The question (to me), isn't "Was Columbus awful?," it's "Should we celebrate Columbus even though that means we celebrate his atrocities?" and the answer is "No."
    ...)
    This is the crux of our disagreement. If the Genoans had been unable to defend themselves the Spaniards would have invaded and treated them the same way that they treated the American indigenous population Or it would have been the French or any regional power of the time. You only have to look at how the Spaniards treated themselves, through the institution of the inquisition.
    Had Columbos, or Ponce de Leon, or Cortez had reached America and found blue-eyed blonde populations, the same pattern of enslavement and genocide would have been followed. It was "the Cross or Crucifixion. Your choice". It was Guns, Germs and Steel.
    Face it. It's the apocalypse.

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