WATWB – Your Monthly Shot of News That Doesn’t Suck

This post might piss a few people off, but fuck it; here goes.

Robert E. Lee was a vicious bastard. In a world of slave owners, he reveled in cruelty. And yet, for some reason, there was a 12 ton statue of him in Richmond, VA. The question of whether or not he was a great general is debatable, but the question of whether or not he was a decent person is crystal clear.

Now, before we get too deep into the weeds, remember something: I’m not calling you a racist. So put down the pitchforks and torches and listen for a moment.

Lee has been lionized by history as a great man, a scholar, a gentleman, and a war hero. But the simple fact of the matter is he was a traitor to the country, a slave-owner, and an avid believer in the racist treacle he espoused. To sum it up: he genuinely felt blacks were not smart enough to take care of themselves. And for this he got a statue.

That big ol’ honkin’ statue of Lee astride his horse was erected in 1890, not long after the US Civil War and a time when the South was still licking its wounds and referring to the war as “The War of Northern Aggression”. They’d been hurt badly, stomped into the ground by Grant’s larger and better outfitted armies and Sherman’s march to the sea. The Confederacy was smashed and dragged kicking and screaming back into the United States where it’s continued to be a thorn in our side.

Last summer, after Derek Chavin – bastard and murderer – knelt on the neck of George Floyd for nine minutes, people had enough. The statue of Lee was graffiti tagged eight ways to Sunday and calls to remove a memorial to white supremacy were renewed. In a similar vein, the statue of Juan De Oñate, another brutal murderer and general bastard, was removed from Old Town in Albuquerque, NM. It’s almost as if the country is waking up and looking at the past without the rose-tinted glasses we were handed in elementary school.

And what went up in place of Lee’s statue? Nothing for now. But just a couple of miles from Lee’s old statue a monument honoring abolition was erected. Now, you tell me which is better for a country that has right in its Declaration of Independence the phrase “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness”? A monument to white supremacy and failed insurrection or a monument to actually trying to live up to the words we like to say?

You may now pick your pitchforks and torches back up. The comments section is below.

Read the article here

Our lovely and talented hosts this month are: Susan Scott and yours truly.

1. Keep your post to below 500 words, as much as possible. (Wow, I totally missed that mark this time around).
2. All we ask is you link to a human news story on your blog on the last Friday of each month, one that shows love, humanity and brotherhood.
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And now, your moment of Zen

4 thoughts on “WATWB – Your Monthly Shot of News That Doesn’t Suck

  1. Eric, thanks for hosting this month and sharing your thoughts on a hot-button subject. The thing is that we need to educate ourselves not only on the history of the Civil War, but the history of slavery and oppression/racism toward people of color. I read a book last year called “The Warmth of Other Suns” by Isabel Wilkerson that opened my eyes in so many ways and it made me wonder if schools are going to start teaching actual history about redlining, the Tulsa massacre, how blacks have been treated, etc. I have no pitchfork, but I’d be willing to take up a sword of knowledge to fight one.

    • I hadn’t even heard of the Tulsa massacre until I watched the Watchmen miniseries. It’s sad that the whole thing was so buried it took an HBO miniseries to tell everyone about it.

      • I have a FB friend who has lived in Oklahoma all of her life and she did not know about it either. They never taught it in school or talked about it. I’m glad that these events are finally coming to light, but it’s too bad it has taken so long.

  2. The new monuments signifying the abolition of slavery are magnificent and powerful. In South Africa, statues and monuments of past apartheid leaders have also been torn down. I wonder if the Cecil John Rhodes statue at Oxford University UK has met a similar fate. I know that there were ‘demands’ for this to happen – even from Rhodes scholars. I think it hasn’t. Hopefully we’re waking up to our histories and our complicity and complacency. Burning hot topic. Thanks for co-hosting along with me. Have a great Zen weekend!

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