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Mayor's Unflinching Honesty About Confederate Monuments Gives Me Hope

Mayor's Unflinching Honesty About Confederate Monuments Gives Me Hope

David Korten

I’ve rarely been so moved by a political speech. If you haven’t heard it, don’t miss it.

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I am proud this is the second mention of the speech I have posted on my facebook timeline. And this is what I wrote there moments ago: “Seeing this wonderful speech get some national attention is miraculously good! Southern “democratic” politics will not be the traditional spinelessness it has been. Who knows, if it threatens the Wall Street monopoly power over the national D party, perhaps we will all benefit from his extraordinary example. Consider, who else on the US modern political stage has exhibited this kind of articulate, clear, stellar leadership against the horrible, lingering, racist cultures still dominating both the GOP and the Wall Street D parties? We have not heard this kind of public presentation since the two Kennedies, Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and George McGovern. Remember, the Wall Street Ds threw all of them, JFK, RFK, King, Malcolm X, and McGovern, under their Wall Steet “status quo conservative” bus; precisely as Bill Clinton did with his blatantly racist “ending welfare as we know it” and precisely as Barack Obama did with his refusal to even mention the density of the race issue on his watch until Black Lives Matter made it impossible for him to cling to his precious, stupid, silence on it. Only we can push that party leadership off its continuing perverse institutional racism. Mayor Mitch Landrieu takes his family tradition of silence on this issue and transforms it into both regional and national leadership on its monumental manifestation. It sets an entirely new standard for the D Party. Either the party catches up; or the party goes the way the GOP is now going: into the junk heap of the past.”

May we all see the most promising and helpful course-correction, and step proudly into it without hesitation!


I’m torn. Can’t we keep the awful history and include along side the monuments the truth about what really happened. Erasing the history, though I understand the distaste, just doesn’t seem right. It reeks of a kind of censoreship…


Thank you, WJS. Well put!

Had the majority of southerners at some point during the past century and a half accepted the US (North’s) Civil War victory and assimilated into the north’s culture, I would be OK with the historical statues remaining in place. Until the South changes the statues are just one of the many levers that enable the South’s ongoing wholesale undermining of democracy.

Do you find statues of Hitler and Goebbels and Himmler in Germany? They are removing statues, not history. Statues are not historical events - most were not even erected until the violent white backlash against reconstruction and the rising black political and economic power in the 1870’s-80s. The history remains in the history books. Although some of the books are pretty bad. The Virginia history textbook that I had in 7th grade in 1968 (all 7th graders had to take Virginia history back then) was awful. It literally defended slavery.

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I’m not sure what you mean by “assimilate into the north’s culture”. Do you mean they were supposed to erase their dialect, their food, their music? You will be happy to hear that the forces of capitalist homogenization have pretty much accomplished that. You can spend a whole day in, say, Charlotte, and never hear a drawl nowadays. And the old time musical and artisan craft traditions of the southern Appalachians are pretty much extinct.

It has been said that the South may have lost most of the battles and been forced to surrender at Appomattox, but they won the culture war, The heroes of most of the 20th century westerns were Southerners who fought proudly for the South with their Rebel Yells. All the Rebels Without a Cause were southern rebels in spirit

The meme that the American Civil War was fought about “state’s rights” and to protect southerners notions of their unique specialists. To them, slavery harfly figured in at all,

Maybe this Romance of the .Heroic Rebel Good Old Boy with that special Johnny Reb lost cause something will at long last finally really be gone with the wind.